Tree List Template

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#1)  Tree List Template

Postby Matt Markworth » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:37 pm

NTS,

I periodically make modifications to my tree documentation spreadsheet and have included a template here in case it is helpful to anyone. This has been a topic in the past and I've taken ideas from Bob, Ed, Jess and others and added a few of my own. I'm interested in what columns others like to have so please reply with additional columns that you like to use.

The columns are sequenced/color-coded to answer five main questions: what, where, when, who and how. A sixth category is for report and photo hyperlinks.

Here are the columns:

"What"

Tree # - This is very convenient because I automatically know which tree it is based on my methodology (instead of just a number) and I also name waypoints and photos based on the tree # so it keeps me organized. My methodology for arriving at a number is to take the first letter of each word in the site name, the first letter of the genus, the first letter of the species and a # representing the order that the tree was measured for that species. For example, the 5th Quercus macrocarpa measured at For Example Park would be numbered FEPQM5. As an additional example, the 3rd Quercus muehlenbergii measured at For Example Park would be numbered FEPQMU3 (because QM was already used).

Species (Scientific)

Species (Common)

CBH (ft) – Only because I can quickly form a mental picture of size easier with feet, compared to inches or centimeters. Those columns could easily be added for a more specialized list designed for a specific purpose.

Height (ft)

Average Spread (ft)

Max Spread (ft)

Form – Forest-grown or Open-grown; I’m more interested in the form of the tree itself, as opposed to the current state of whether or not there are trees currently growing around it. For example, if a big wide-spreading woodland oak has trees growing up around it I would indicate open-grown and add a note. A tree with intermediate form can also be placed in the column along with a note describing the characteristics of the tree.

Notes

"Where"

Site

State

Elevation (ft)

Aspect

Latitude

Longitude
(Latitude and Longitude in separate columns so that trees can easily be ordered East/West or North/South)

"When"

Date

"Who"

Measurer(s)

"How"

Measurement Method – Laser rangefinder used, etc.

Additional Columns

Reference – hyperlink to external report

Photos – hyperlinks to external photos

You’ll notice I also like to have filters at the top of each column and I like to freeze the top row and freeze the first two columns so that when I scroll down or to the right I can still see the top row and those two columns. Please feel free to use if it is helpful and share additional best practices.

               
                       
Tree List Template.xlsx
                                               
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Matt

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#2)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby Don » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:01 pm

Matt-
Very nice!  Such standardization may put us on a trajectory that would ease data transfer and management issues...good on ya!
-Don
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#3)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby Matt Markworth » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:32 am

Don,

Thanks. Your discussion of aspect in the past led me to include that one and it's neat when patterns emerge that confirm the common knowledge of a species. Chinkapin oak on southerly slopes comes to mind.

On the topic of standardization I agree it would help with data transfer, although with copy and paste it's not too cumbersome to merge data together whenever that is necessary. In general, I think the merging of data is much easier when using spreadsheets (even if they're formatted differently) as opposed to BBS posts. When updating spreadsheets using BBS data, sometimes it's difficult to know the date of the measurements and in some cases hard to know if it's forest-grown or open-grown.

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#4)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby dbhguru » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:44 pm

Matt,

  Very functional! I like it a lot and can work with it. In terms of your tree tracking, are you looking for standouts on a site or for a geographical area even though they are not maximums for a species? For example, I have lots of data I could pass to you, but I don't want to overdo it.

Bob
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#5)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby Matt Markworth » Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:25 pm

Bob,

Thanks. I really like the idea of focusing on one species and including as many trees as possible similar to your black birch database. The sheer volume of measurements really tells a story. Right now I'm working on the blue ash list (it won't have many trees) and then I'll move on to blue spruce. I have some of your Colorado spreadsheets from past years which will be very helpful and I'll send you the spreadsheet when I'm complete to see if I missed anything.

This particular spreadsheet is the current form of what I'm using for the trees that I measure. In addition, I'm going to do some testing on updating the spreadsheet in the field. Yesterday I installed the free app Google Sheets on my IPhone and emailed the template to myself. I pulled up the email on my IPhone and selected the option to send the spreadsheet to the Google Sheets app. I entered some test data and emailed it back to myself. It all worked very smoothly. The new data can then be easily copied and pasted into the spreadsheet on my computer. I'll still use my notebook on more serious hikes, but entering the data directly might be convenient in more leisurely places like city parks.

Happy New Year,
Matt
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#6)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby Erik Danielsen » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:18 pm

Matt, I also have the google sheets app on my phone and I'd like to try this. I just started using a spreadsheet for all of my raw data entry- I set it up so that I can input the distance and angle readouts as well as the metric dbh (not interested in buying a new logger's tape) and the avg. crown spread (though I calculate that on paper) and the spreadsheet automatically calculates height, cbh in feet, and AF points. When measuring a large number of trees I find this to be a timesaver over calculating on paper. I haven't yet experimented with importing the resulting data into a more database-oriented system like your template but I'd like to. I'm also trying to figure out how to export information from these sheets as charts, to embed in BBS posts like Jess seems to do, but I'm unsure of how to get google sheets to do that.

Inputting directly on my phone while in the field is definitely the next step but battery drain is a serious issue. I'm on a lower-end android smartphone, though, so others may experience this differently.
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#7)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby Matt Markworth » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:50 pm

Erik,

I really like your idea of letting the spreadsheet do the calculations and having a column for big tree points. I use a scientific calculator app for calculations involving sine, but if it was in the spreadsheet it would be even more efficient.

Battery drain can be an issue for long days out in the field, especially if I'm also using it as a GPS. I carry a lightweight 5,200 mAh power pack to recharge my IPhone if necessary.

The easiest way to embed data from your spreadsheet into the BBS is to create a JPG or PNG file with the "Snipping Tool". Before the snipping tool I would do a screenshot, paste it into Microsoft Paint, crop the data and then save as JPG or PNG.

Matt
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#8)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby Matt Markworth » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:29 pm

All,

Recent discussions regarding the various fields used in spreadsheets reminded me of this thread and I just wanted to bubble it back to the top of the Active Topics list.

For the spreadsheet that I uploaded in the first post, I think that elevation and aspect could be considered optional, since they can be determined afterwards if needed with GPS coordinates.

Matt
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#9)  Re: Tree List Template

Postby Don » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:48 am

I fall on the side of 'more the better' and like the idea of the observer noting aspect, slope, elevation and land form (ridgetop, sidehill (concave or convex), valley bottom, flatland, etc.), but yeah, one has to draw the line somewhere!
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