Forest Inventory

Forest Inventory

Aerial Surveys’ “Smart Forests” forest inventory solutions give new degrees of certainty in standing forest inventory management.  Any inaccuracies of inventory prior to harvest, at the beginning of the value recovery process for a forest, have a significant and compounding effect further down the supply chain.  Certainty in standing forest inventory allows considerable improvement in margins for forest owners, manager and traders.

Automatic Individual Tree Counting

A total tree count in a forest is obtained using aerial remote sensing techniques.  This replaces the current practice of  estimating tree count from small field samples.

Images of a forests are captured using special CIR film in our large format cameras.  The data is then processed using specifically developed algorithms to enhance the spectral reflectance of individual trees.  A plan is produced showing all trees, with a marker dot on each counted tree.  The total tree count is automatically derived within defined boundaries.

The result is a highly accurate count of the trees within a forest area.  The image of the trees with dot overlay is a powerful audit tool, making this an excellent service for inventory assessment, and for assisting the due diligence process in sale and purchase of forest parcels.

Used in conjunction with an airborne LIDAR sensor, which can determine heights of trees, an aerial assessment of  recoverable volume of a forest can be made.

Tree Attribute Profiling

The Aerial Surveys “Tree Attribute Profiler” is a forest field sampling tool that captures standing tree dimensions to unprecedented levels of accuracy.

Data captured includes heights, diameters, branch location, branch size, and curvature (sweep) in 3 dimensions from a single set-up point.  No longer is the measurement of quality of a tree the matter of subjective judgement.

The Tree Attribute Profiler measures distances to an accuracy of +/- 2mm and requires no special set-up requirements.  A scan of a tree is completed in 2 – 4 minutes, and the data fully processed in 1 minute. Additional information such as defect data can be easily added to the file while the scan is in process using an RF linked datalogger.

The field sample data output from the Tree Attribute Profiler is compatible with most software currently used in forest inventory, including optimisation to volume by log grade analysis programs.


Data captured using the Aerial Surveys’ Automatic Total Tree Counting and Tree Attribute Profiler solutions can be used with existing and new generation forest modelling software packages, such as Atlas Cruiser and YTGEN to produce estimates of the yield of a forest in terms of volume by grade of log.

Previous manual data capture methods have been subjective, with trees being categorised by operators in the field.  Features were bundled together and given a single code for future analysis.  Individual feature detail was lost at that point.

Optimisation with Aerial Surveys data is based on actual tree numbers and location, and actual tree dimensions (more than 150,000 data points per tree), so the model can be re-run at any time using different cutting strategies without compromising the results, because each time the original data is used.  This means that grades can be sought that were never intended at the time of data capture, to accommodate things like changing customer requirements.

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