The Difference Between Arboriculture and Urban Forestry

by mphippen 16. April 2013 09:49

And ... How the TruPulse 360 laser rangefinder can be utilized in Forestry.

Arboriculture involves the care of individual trees, while urban forestry deals with forests as systems (groups of trees) in a developed setting.

The science of arboriculture focuses on proper tree planting, pruning, fertilizing, water and other maintenance issues. It also focuses on overall individual tree health. Urban forestry is also a social science, as well as incorporating arboriculture, and includes landscape level management such as urban forest inventory, valuation, planning, policy, etc. The two fields certainly overlap, but the training and practice of both are unique.

A professional in the field of arboriculture is called an arborist and he or she may or may not have a college degree. An urban forester usually earns this title after at least the completion of a specific undergraduate degree.

Knowing accurate Tree Heights are
a must in arboriculture and urban forestry.

To valuate an urban forest it's imperative accurate tree heights as well as proper stem mapping is applied for determining precise tree volumes. Using the conventional baseline method with a tape and hand compass for stem mapping is cumbersome at best and very time consuming. Laser Technology’s laser rangefinder with a built-in compass, the TruPulse 360, or the MapStar Compass Module system offer a quick and easy way to establish the coordinates of individual trees, especially for dense stands with heavy tree counts.

The most important attribute for determining defined volumes is tree height! The percent error in volume is equal to or greater than the percent error in estimating tree heights. Most tree volumes are established by equation expansion based on tree DBH, total height (or height to a specific diameter- merchantable height) and a measure of form or taper. Laser Technology’s Professional Measurement laser rangefinders have been a part of Forestry since 1992 and continues to lead from the front.

The exacting technology used will also help to determine spacing, canopy volumes, and buffer zone maintenance. Good management practices protect the forest ecosystem and require a buffer zone of native vegetation to be left undisturbed along stream courses. The thickest brush is typically found in these areas, which make any of our lasers an ideal measurement tool because it can accurately penetrate heavy foliage when in "filter mode".

With just an LTI TruPulse 360 laser rangefinder, you can walk along the buffer boundary and easily measure distances to convenient targets near the stream channel. If needed, a second cruiser can hold a reflector and move along the bank of the stream. Once the limiting distance from the stream course is verified, the buffer zone area can be marked.

If you haven't had the chance to test drive these highly accurate lasers, please call 1-800-OWN-A-LTI or email us to arrange for a practical demonstration.

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