LIDAR ground truthing in Duke Forest

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pdbrandt
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:51 pm

LIDAR ground truthing in Duke Forest

Post by pdbrandt » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:52 pm

I identified a handful of 140+ ft groves in Orange and Durham counties from the NC LIDAR data.

One site corresponds to a 141 foot tulip poplar along the Eno River in Hillsborough (http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=3738).

Another corresponds with a not quite 140 foot loblolly pine grove in someone's front yard in Durham (http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=4902)

A third was a bit of a dud near downtown Chapel Hill -- the deciduous trees there were only ~120ft tall -- but it did lead to discovery of a 104.9 foot tall American Beech (http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=4899)

This morning on the way in to work I stopped at a trail head of the Durham Division of the Duke University Research Forest and Nature Preserve (http://www.dukeforest.duke.edu/location/index.htm). The Duke Forest comprises 7,020 acres of land in 3 counties split up into 6 main tracts of land. The land is open to limited recreational use.

Here's the LIDAR map showing a 145 LIDAR hit off a trail less than 1/2 mile from the trail head.
image.jpg
I walked through a dense pine forest less than 75 years old to reach the site and wondered as I walked if there could really be 140ft trees nearby. Well, the LIDAR data did not disappoint. I found an area of older loblolly pines near a small creek. The first pine I measured was 139.1 feet tall. A second pine measured 142.8. Nearby was a tulip poplar that seemed a bit out of place. It measured in at 131.5 feet tall.
142.8 foot tall Loblolly Pine
142.8 foot tall Loblolly Pine
131.5 foot tall Tulip Poplar
131.5 foot tall Tulip Poplar
Deer prints and frozen leaves in the sandy creek shore near the tall grove
Deer prints and frozen leaves in the sandy creek shore near the tall grove
I have just one more 140 ft LIDAR site in the area to visit, which happens to be in another division of Duke Forest. Hopefully it will not disappoint.
Patrick

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eliahd24
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:17 pm

Re: LIDAR ground truthing in Duke Forest

Post by eliahd24 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:45 pm

Great finds. It's nice to find Loblollies in the 140's. I've only found 2 in Atlanta. One is about 175 years old in Fernbank Forest and about 9' cbh. Still blows my mind that the species gets damn close to 170' in the Congaree!

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