USDA Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version



Published in Environ Monit Assess (2013) 185: 4977–4993. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-012-2919-z


Comprehensive assessment of individualtree crown condition by the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program has its origins in the concerns about widespread forest decline in Europe and North America that developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Programs such as the US National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, US National Vegetation Survey, Canadian Acid Rain National Early Warning System, and joint US– Canadian North American Sugar Maple Decline Project laid the groundwork for the development of the US Forest Service crown-condition indicator. The crown-condition assessment protocols were selected and refined through literature review, peer review, and field studies in several different forest types during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Between 1980 and 2011, 126 publications relating specifically to the crown-condition indicator were added to the literature. The majority of the articles were published by the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service or other State or Federal government agency, and more than half were published after 2004.