Tree Detectives

Jewel records observations about the sample plot

Jewel records observations about the sample plot

Shannon measuring DBH of the tree

Shannon measuring DBH of the tree

 

Left: Ash leaf (Fraxinus) Middle: Winged elm (Ulmus alata) Right: Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)

Left: Ash leaf (Fraxinus)
Middle: Winged elm leaf (Ulmus alata)
Right: Slippery elm leaf (Ulmus rubra

The month of May felt like a whirlwind! During the last two weeks of school, including finals week, I spent about twenty hours in the forest. I now have data for 26 plots, which covers 2600 square meters of forest.

 

 

 

Besides measuring the size of the tree, an invaluable part of the data is the species identification. This turned out to be a little more difficult than I originally expected; trees can be surprisingly tricky. Some species have very similar leaves, and sometimes the leaves were too high up on the tree to get a good look. I would feel the leaf to compare its roughness, memorize the bark pattern, or examine the patter that the leaves grew off the branches. It felt like detective work.

 

 

Sometimes a tree would simply stump me. In these cases, I saved leaves in a plant press for later, so I could ask a botanist or detailed botany books. The video shares what it was like to use a plant press in the field.

 

 

 

 

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