Chapter 7 - Crown conditionThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Tree crown conditions are visually assessed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program as an indicator of forest health. These assessments are useful because individual tree photosynthetic capacity is dependent upon the size and condition of the crown. In general, trees with full, vigorous crowns are associated with more vigorous growth rates (Zarnoch and others 2004); when trees undergo stress, the first symptoms are often visible in the crown. Furthermore, tree crowns form the overstory structure of the forest and directly influence the composition and structure of the understory thereby making them an integral component of the forest ecosystem.