Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Michael J. Falkowski; Alistair M.S. Smith; Andrew T. Hudak; Paul E. Gessler; Lee A. Vierling; Nicholas L. Crookston
    Date: 2006
    Source: Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 32(2): 153-­161.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (390.85 KB)


    We describe and evaluate a new analysis technique, spatial wavelet analysis (SWA), to automatically estimate the location, height, and crown diameter of individual trees within mixed conifer open canopy stands from light detection and ranging (lidar) data. Two-dimensional Mexican hat wavelets, over a range of likely tree crown diameters, were convolved with lidar canopy height models. Identification of local maxima within the resultant wavelet transformation image then allowed determination of the location, height, and crown diameters of individual trees. In this analysis, which focused solely on individual trees within open canopy forests, 30 trees incorporating seven dominant North American tree species were assessed. Two-dimensional (2D) wavelet-derived estimates were well correlated with field measures of tree height (r = 0.97) and crown diameter (r = 0.86). The 2D wavelet-derived estimates compared favorably with estimates derived using an established method that uses variable window filters (VWF) to estimate the same variables but relies on a priori knowledge of the tree height ­ crown diameter relationship. The 2D spatial wavelet analysis presented herein could potentially allow automated, large-scale, remote estimation of timber board feet, foliar biomass, canopy volume, and aboveground carbon, although further research testing the limitations of the method in a variety of forest types with increasing canopy closures is warranted.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Falkowski, Michael J.; Smith, Alistair M.S.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Gessler, Paul E.; Vierling, Lee A.; Crookston, Nicholas L. 2006. Automated estimation of individual conifer tree height and crown diameter via Two-dimensional spatial wavelet analysis of lidar data. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 32(2): 153-­161.


    conifer tree height, crown diameter, Two-dimensional spatial wavelet analysis, lidar data, spatial wavelet analysis, SWA, Two-dimensional Mexican hat wavelets, variable window filters, VWF

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page