UK: Bluesky, creator of first-ever National Tree Map, is collaborating with researchers at the University of Leicester to look into the use of airborne mapping systems to discover diseases in trees.
Supported by Forest Research and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the study will examine the use of thermal imaging, aerial photography, and airborne laser mapping systems to better the identification of diseases, establish the accuracy of identification and inform responses to outbreak of diseases.
"By spatially recording the levels of stress in different parts of a forest, we can more effectively target field inspections potentially catching outbreaks before they spread," said Dr Juan Suarez, Project Leader Remote Sensing Applications at Forest Research and co-supervisor on the project.
Utility companies, local authorities and transport operators are all expected to benefit through the early identification and targeted felling of potential unsafe trees. The general public will also gain from increased safety against invasive plant pathogens and the preservation of the UK’s biodiversity.