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A novel way of measuring tree vitality in mature urban trees

2010 | Dr. Denise Johnstone, University of Melbourne

The benefits of trees in urban environments include generating oxygen, removing pollution and absorbing carbon dioxide, among many others. However, predicting the health or vitality of trees quickly and in an objective manner, and thus maximizing the benefits of urban trees, can be problematic.  One of the methods used to assess tree vitality is the measurement of the ratio of leaf variable chlorophyll fluorescence to maximum fluorescence (FvFm). However leaf fluorescence should be measured on fully exposed sun leaves, which are difficult to access in mature trees. The objective of this study is to test a novel method of measuring the bark FvFm ratio of selected smooth barked trees. In order to test the method bark FvFm will be compared with leaf FvFm and a visual vitality index.

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