Lidar and GIS Technologies Aid in Record-Breaking Tree Discovery

lidar…from International Forest Industries

“A true giant of the tree world has been discovered in Australia using a combination of cutting technologies that are aiding foresters in general, everyday forest management.

“”This discovery was basically a by-product of our sustainable forest management,” Luke Ellis, GIS manager of Forestry Tasmania, said. The company has the statutory responsibility of managing more than 9.1 Mha of state forest land, public land that contains about 39% of Tasmania’s forests. About half the forests managed by Forestry Tasmania are available for sustainable timber production, and a network of formal and informal reserves on the state forests helps the company protect the environmental quality of its forests including flora, fauna, soil, water, and cultural heritage.

“Located in Hobart, the capital of Australia’s southern island state of Tasmania, Forestry Tasmania announced last fall that it had found the only known standing hardwood tree to be more than 100 m tall. The swamp gum tree, nicknamed Centurion (a Roman officer in charge of 100 soldiers), was subsequently climbed and accurately measured at 99.6 m high and 4.05 m in diameter. While tantalisingly short of the 100 m-mark, this makes Centurion the world’s tallest eucalyptus tree and tallest flowering plant. It is topped only by a number of California coast redwood trees, the tallest of which reaches 115 m. Redwoods are softwood trees and grow to be taller than hardwoods, but botanists do not classify them as flowering plants. Centurion was found about 80 km southwest of Hobart in a state forest, conveniently near the Tahune AirWalk tourist attraction boasting picnic areas, swinging bridges, and a visitor’s centre.”