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Methods for Experiment 291 -

agbe291 - Sapling Census

Sapling Census Protocol


Use a folding ruler to measure the height of each tree. Measure from the base of the soil to the tip of the saplings leading stem. Measure from the soil surface, not from the mulch surface. Insert ruler into mulch if necessary. The leader is the tallest live, vegetative stem. Measure to the base of the leaders apical bud. Do not include bud scales or, for conifers, new needles. If there are multiple stems, pick the tallest living stem. Make sure that the ruler follows the contours of the stem, especially for curved stems. Report height in centimeters to the nearest 0.5 cm. (All heights should end in 0.0 or 0.5)


Use calipers to measure the diameter of the sapling at 5.0 cm from the soil surface. Before measuring and repeatedly throughout the day, check the caliper to make sure that it reads 0.0 cm when closed. If the tree has already been measured, find the orange or pink paint pen mark indicating where it was measured previously. Use calipers to record the measurement at that point. If the tree has not been measured previously or a paint pen mark is not apparent, measure 5.0 cm from the soil surface (see Height) using a ruler and mark the tree with a ring there. Measure from that point. If the stem forks before 5 cm or is otherwise not amenable to measurement at 5 cm, mark and measure at a different height and note this on the data sheet. If the stem forks and both resultant stems seem vigorous, measure below the fork. Report Diameter in centimeters to the nearest 0.5 mm. If height of saplings have reached breast height (137cm), measure diameter at 137cm. (All diameters should end in 0.0 or 0.5)


To mark Y, observe if the sapling is producing any reproductive structures (e.g. flowers, cones, seeds). Leave blank if none present.