Observing your tree

How to accurately document your tree

How to create an observation

Observations allow our software to compute CO2 values for all of the trees in the forest, without at least one observation a tree won't actually contribute to the totals. This guide explains how to add observations for a tree.

Step 1 - create a new observation

Go to your dashboard, find the tree you're going to observe and click Manage Tree, once on the tree page click Add Observation.

Step 2 - measure the height of the tree

This step depends on the height of your tree! If it's possible you can measure the height from the point where the trunk meets the soil up to the point where the leaves end at the top of the tree.

If the tree is too tall for this method you have two options, you can either use an app on a mobile phone, or use the less accurate (but more fun) manual method.

Using an app

Go to your phone's app store and install something like Smart Measure, these apps are easy to use and allow you to measure the height of an object using the phone camera. In our experience these can be very accurate but make sure you follow the app instructions, you can sense check the result using the manual method below if you like.

The manual method
  1. Stand with your back to the tree with your legs apart. You're going to look at the top of the tree through your legs so don't stand right next to it to start!
  2. Bend forwards and look to the top of the tree through your legs.
  3. Shuffle forwards or backwards (keeping your legs straight) until the top of the tree is only just visible to you.
  4. When you're sure that you can only just see the very top of the tree mark the spot where your feet are.
  5. The distance from this point back to the tree trunk should be the same as the height of the tree.

This method is based on simple geometry and the assumption that the angle of sight to the treetop is 45 degrees. This forms a 45 45 90 isosceles triangle, so the height is the same as the distance from the trunk at this point.

As this is quite a rough estimate it's worth checking this against a measurement app if possible.

Once you've got your measurement for the height, convert to cm and add this to the observation height input.

Step 3 - measure the circumference of the tree

This step is a bit easier than the height.

  1. Take a tape measure and measure 1.5 metres up the tree trunk.
  2. Wrap the tape measure around the trunk and measure the circumference at this height.

Once you've got your measurement for the circumference, convert to cm and add this to the observation circumference input.

Step 4 - add a picture and comment

This step isn't required but it's great for the site if you can add a bit of information about how the tree is looking. It's even better if you can add a picture, this will be used as the profile picture for the tree.

Once your observation is added some initial data will be calculated for the tree. It will then start contributing to the daily totals.