IDing The patterns and colors of Old Growth on Google Earth

Discussions of trees, forests, trip reports and site descriptions of other locations in Eastern United States, Canada, and Greenland.

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#11)  Re: IDing The patterns and colors of Old Growth on Google Ea

Postby edfrank » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:22 pm

The thing is, that while some of this is old school forestry knowledge in photo analysis, most of us to not want to goo back to school to get a degree in forestry just to pick out good tree locations on Google Earth photos.  What we need are just the basic needs of identifying old growth on photos from secondary growth.  I play with this as do many others in the group.  If people have tips on how to do it, then I welcome their posts to the group.  It need not be groundbreaking or new to science but practical tips on what to pick out are always welcome.

"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky
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#12)  Re: IDing The patterns and colors of Old Growth on Google Ea

Postby sungirlblue » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:08 pm

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone." ― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

i love this...i love the writings of hermann hesse, yet this i've not read 'til now. thank you ~
the trees, they dance. i love to watch ~

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#13)  Re: IDing The patterns and colors of Old Growth on Google Ea

Postby addy » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:05 pm

Michael Knight touches on this subject in a report for a project in Corkscrew Swamp, Florida, he led: ... ._2014.pdf

As does Jordan Burns in a 2015 paper

The later paper describes a characteristic cobbled pattern evident in the deepest old growth pure cypress.

I've spent some time looking at hi res (2' or less) aerials of cypress swamps in Florida.  As the Burns paper notes its easiest to distinguish the old growth swamp areas when they are at the edge or river or marsh/prairie areas and its more difficult when the old growth is in interior areas and contains a larger number of species.

Here is the horseshoe section of Corkscrew swamp in Florida, the center is wet prairie surrounded entirely by definite old growth, and the entire area shown is essentially undisturbed, that is to say the texture gradations are natural:

Southward down the horseshoe the swamp is secondary growth, you can see the border of the old growth area at the north of the aerial, not as distinct as you would think considering the logging method in this region was the forest leveling overhead skid & rail:

From here on down all the images are at 1:3000 scale but only if you click on them - the images on the BBS crawl were resized automatically.

Here is a detail of the natural old growth edges.  The structures are the Audubon Sanctuary facilities:

Here is a detail of the Corkscrew old growth interior areas:

Here is a detail of the Corkscrew secondary growth:

A little ways southwest of Corkscrew is a large strand swamp called the Fakahatchee that was completely logged out for cypress.  Here are two details of its interior.  The first is an area almost completely secondary growth cypress, (and non-marketable cull trees if any) the second contains a large number of other hardwoods, dense shrubs and likely pines in the higher spots:


East of Orlando in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area is an old growth floodplain swamp associated with the lower reaches of Jim Creek.  Here's a detail of the swamp directly centered on the creek:

And at the outfall of Jim Creek:

Away from the channel the texture patterns are similar, although somewhat more varied:


A complete section of the swamp where it is surrounded on both sides by marsh gives a good range of texture variation:

All the Jim Creek aerials are entirely primary growth.  This swamp appears to have been built out as a delta of sorts over the ages (extending over a mile) into the marshes.  The teal is floodplain marsh and the brown is floodplain swamp, to the east is the St. john's River:

North of Jim Creek is another floodplain swamp, along Tosohatchee Creek, that has been logged, in part or entirely, by much less destructive  cut and drag methods, and not very thoroughly either.  It contains old growth sections throughout it in perplexing patterns.  Here's a detail of its interior:

Elsewhere in the Tosohatchee Creek swamp its not clear from the aerial if there are large old growth sections.  Its not clear since the cobbled texture isn't definitive and shows up in secondary growth areas.  This spot may also represent a large area of non-marketable cull trees, which should have to most fantastic forms.  At some point I will make it into this area and find out:

The Tosohatchee Creek swamp also appears to have been formed in part as a giant alluvial fan or delta:

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#14)  Re: IDing The patterns and colors of Old Growth on Google Ea

Postby Larry Tucei » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:50 pm

Addy-  Really good stuff clearly shows the Old Growth. Can't wait to see  your finds from those areas.  Larry
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