Douglas M. Flewelling, Ph.D.
Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.
Oak trees cover more than 8 million hectares of land in California. They have a significant role in providing an anchor for many wildlife habitats, settling soil for a watershed, and preserving the beauty of nature and the environment. Drought stress, wildfires, sudden outbreak of native pest occurrence, and improper interaction with humans, threaten California oaks. The Wildlands Conservancy’s Wind Wolves Preserve has a great concern for oak tree mortality. But has had difficulty finding and mapping oak tree health. To assess and monitor oaks field data collection has been expensive and timeconsuming, and field data collection may not be accessible to field survey. Using satellite imagery, aerial photography and drone imagery, areas of stressed and dead trees were identified. Python geoprocessing tools were developed that automate calculation of NDVI, identification of tree-clusters, and calculation of tree-cluster difference from season to season or year to year. Satellite imagery showed clusters of trees but were unable to identify oaks specifically due to resolution limitations. Spatial resolution was a very determinant factor in assessment of oak tree health. Thus, Sentinel-2 at 10m resolution was better at finding tree-clusters than Landsat-8 at 30m resolution
Ambelu, Z. T. (2019). Identifying Oak Tree Mortality Using Image Analysis (Master's thesis, University of Redlands). Retrieved from https://inspire.redlands.edu/gis_gradproj/286
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