iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Relationship between tree growth and physical dimensions of Fagus sylvatica crowns assessed from terrestrial laser scanning

Dominik Seidel (1-2)   , Peter Schall (2), Malte Gille (2), Christian Ammer (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 735-742 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1566-008
Published: Jun 11, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

Measurements of physical tree crown dimensions were of subjective character in the past, even though they can be considered important for the management of many silvicultural operations, such as timing of thinning operations. In our study we investigated if and how measures of physical crown dimensions of trees differed when quantified conventionally versus based on 3D-terrestrial laser scanning and how they are related to basal area increment. Some 24 randomly selected predominant or dominant beech trees between 90 and 110 yrs of age and of varying height were used as study trees. We hypothesized that tree crown dimensions obtained from scans are more closely related to tree radial growth than those obtained from conventional field measurements. It was found that from a variety of compared crown size characteristics the scan-based tree attributes mean crown radius, maximum area of the crown and crown projection area were most closely related to individual tree growth. We conclude that the horizontal extension of a tree crown in general is to be considered one of the most important drivers of tree growth. We also conclude that terrestrial laser scanning is a powerful tool to reliably measure physical crown dimensions and TLS-based measurements are more reliable than conventional ones.


Tree Geometry, Crown Structure, Crown Surface Area, Basal Area Increment

Authors’ address

Dominik Seidel
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, 97331 OR (USA)
Dominik Seidel
Peter Schall
Malte Gille
Christian Ammer
Department of Silviculture and Forest Ecology of the Temperate Zones, Faculty of Forest Science and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen, Büsgenweg 1, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)

Corresponding author

Dominik Seidel


Seidel D, Schall P, Gille M, Ammer C (2015). Relationship between tree growth and physical dimensions of Fagus sylvatica crowns assessed from terrestrial laser scanning. iForest 8: 735-742. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1566-008

Academic Editor

Chris Eastaugh

Paper history

Received: Jan 17, 2015
Accepted: May 04, 2015

First online: Jun 11, 2015
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2015
Publication Time: 1.27 months

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