Vegetation management

Colourful point cloud of a tree lined road in USA with trees converging on a powerline, used for vegetation management.

UAV LiDAR for Vegetation Management Surveys

Vegetation management is a crucial activity and is heavily regulated across many sectors including rail, highways, nuclear, airports, utilities, renewables and waterways. The impact of poor vegetation management is wide ranging resulting in safety, environmental, legal, erosion, economic and productivity issues.

The advantages of the Routescene UAV LiDAR system are:

  • Regular survey of dynamic, fast-growing vegetation to evaluate risks
  • Quickly survey areas where there are gaps in existing LiDAR data
  • Detailed survey of sites which cannot be scanned with airborne LiDAR methods
  • Survey sites which are difficult or dangerous to access
  • Create Digital Surface Models (DSM) to determine location, volume and risk level of vegetation.
ApplicationBenefits of UAV LiDAR in vegetation management

Plan and implement vegetation management practices to avoid power blackouts:

  • Tree assessment to detect trees which threaten to grow or fall into powerlines
  • Measure the clearance between powerlines and vegetation to identify areas of encroachment
Wildfires and utilities
  • Overgrowth can cause “tree arcing,” which is the leading cause of outages for utilities, sparking up to 5,000 wildfires annually
  • Analyze wildfire risk and potential exposure:
    • Aids the development and implementation of disaster preparedness programs
    • Provides quality asset data which should be at the core of any disaster avoidance solution
    • Risk analysis to reduce potential for fire ignition and spread
    • Reduce potential damage and liability

Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM):

  • Use 3D mapping and DSMs to develop a management framework, to achieve a balance between safety and fire hazard management, environmental and landscape objectives, economic factors, erosion control

Riparian (creek or river bank) vegetation management:

  • For agricultural, fishing, recreational and flooding purposes
  • Often affected as a result of engineering works that take place in and around creeks or rivers

Effective management of trackside land:

  • Safety of travellers and the rail workforce by reducing or clearing vegetation, stabilising embankments
  • Provides privacy and enhances the attractiveness of neighbourhoods
  • Shields residents from disturbance and dust generated by passing trains
  • Biodiversity benefit from the habitats and wildlife corridors that line-side vegetation provides
  • Control invasive species such as Japanese knotweed
  • Vegetation management and tree clearance or topping programs to ensure the safe and efficient use of airports
  • Runway approach zone encroachment
  • Ensuring vegetation does not block or impair instrument or visual operations of the airport

Active management of woodlands to achieve social, economic and environmental benefits

Use cases