FEMC Regional Project

Regional Forest Health Monitoring

The Forest Health Monitoring Program (FHM) was established in 1991 through a joint effort between the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) and the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative to monitor the condition of tree species in Vermont. Plot design follows the structure set by the USFS National Forest Health Monitoring Program, with additional metrics added to reflect improvements in monitoring technologies and additions to monitoring objectives. As of 2019 FEMC began the process of regionalizing the FHM network which resulted in 49 annually monitored plots in VT and 20 plots in MA. In 2020 FEMC began conversations with state partners from various organizations and agencies to design a regional plot network that would be comparable to that of the USFS FIA program and meet the needs of the states in the New England region and New York.

Forest Health Monitoring Data and Reports on our Data Archive

Project Goals

To collect annual forest monitoring data that focuses primarily on forest health and detecting subtle disturbances that may otherwise go unnoticed using other similar protocols and techniques. The FEMC FHM program aims to create a comprehensive FHM protocol that can not only be integrated with the nation's standard forest monitoring protocols but also be flexible enough to monitor issues that various forest stakeholders may have.

Regional Plot Network

In future updates of the Regional Forest Health Monitoring project page this map will be dynamic and downloadable for all users. In the meantime we are using a static version of the current proposed plot network as of January 27, 2020.

Project Quick Facts

Start Date:

1/1/1991

End Date:

Ongoing

Sampling Cycle:

Annual

Number of Plots Established (as of 2023):
VT
49
NH
25
RI
7
CT
43
MA
93
ME
104
NY
110

States:
Vermont
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
New York
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Maine

Project Personnel:

FEMC Staff:

Soren Donisvitch
Ben Porter
Alison Adams
Jennifer Pontius

Project Contact:

Ben Porter

Related Links:
National Forest Health Monitoring Program Information
Interested in learning more about the program or this data?

Cluster style FHM plot layout based on USFS FIA P2 Plots (VT, RI, NH)

Nested style plot layout based on existing Massachusetts style CFI networks (MA, ME, CT, NY)

General Metrics

Browse: Crews survey each subplot for presence/absence of browse. Beginning in 2020 crews also began classifying the browse impact present within the subplot based on the USFS FIA browse impact scale.

Invasive Species: Crews survey each subplot for presence/absence of invasive species and classify the observed area that the species occupies within the subplot.

Regeneration and Saplings: For clustered plots (VT, RI, NH), each of the four (4) subplots have a designated 6.8' radius microplot that is 12' east of the subplot center. For nested plots (MA, NY, ME, CT), each plot has four (4) designated 6.0' radius microplot 26' away in each of the cardinal directions of plot center. Within this microplot technicians will carefully survey seedlings ( <1" DBH) and saplings ( >1" DBH and <5" DBH). The seedlings are further divided into two different classes. Class 1 seedlings encompass conifers that are <6" in height and hardwoods <12" in height. Class 2 seedlings account for conifers that are >=6" in height and hardwoods >=12" in height. For saplings, technicians will measure DBH and status (live or dead). Once a sapling’s DBH reaches 5 inches it becomes a tree.

Prism: Technicians use a 10 Basal Area Factor Wedge prism to assess all live and dead trees from the subplot center.

Trees:

  • Physiological measurements (DBH/Height)
  • Vigor
  • Crown Health (Dieback/Transparency/Discoloration/Defoliation)
  • Damages

Seedling Guide (2022)

A guide to the seedlings of Vermont for Forest Health Monitoring.

Forest Health Monitoring – Field Manual (2023)

This is the field protocol used to support the FEMC field crew in the summer for the Forest Health Monitoring Project while they are out in the field. This protocol is a shortened version of the full protocol. This manual was last updated in 2020.

Vermont Forest Health Monitoring Protocol (2019)

This is the full protocol used by the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative and partners for collecting annual forest health measurements on a permanent network of plots across the state of Vermont. These measurements include crown health assessments, digital canopy photography, assessments of invasive species abundance and browse intensity, regeneration inventories and surveys for forest pests and pathogens. This is the 2019 update to the manual, completed on 9/20/2019.

Forest Health Monitoring Data

Regional Forest Health Monitoring

Dataset Name Data Availability Description Dates
Cluster Plot Style Invasive Species Observations (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable Invasive species and abundance on subplots 2014-06-01 to present
Cluster Plot Visitation Information (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable Information about specific visits to the cluster plots 1992-01-01 to present
Cluster Prism Measurements on Subplots (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable Counts of live and dead stems in a 10-factor prism at each cluster subplot 2014-06-01 to present
Cluster Sapling Measurements on Subplots (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable Diameter and species of all saplings on cluster microplots (2.5 to 10 cm DBH) 1992-06-01 to present
Cluster Seedling Measurements on Subplots (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable Counts of seedlings on cluster microplot by species 1992-06-01 to present
Cluster Subplot Locations (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable Cluster subplot location information including latitude and longitude of both fuzzed and unfuzzed locations. Note: not all plots have true plot locations or all subplots recorded, as not all plots are publically available. For all unfuzzed plot locations, please submit a request to FEMC. 1992-01-01 to present
Cluster Tree Identifying Information (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable This dataset contains the basic tree info such as plot ID, location within the plot (distance and azimuth), and species. 1992-06-01 to present
Cluster Tree Subplot Health and Physiology Measurements (VT, NH, RI) Downloadable Measurements of a wide range of tree characteristics, including height, diameter, crown condition, health indicators and others 1992-06-01 to present
FHM Invasive Species Abundance Codes Downloadable Regional FHM Invasive species abundance codes 2020-06-01 to present
FHM Invasive Species Codes Downloadable Invasive Species Codes used for region FHM program. 2020-06-01 to present
Forest Health Monitoring Tree Species Codes Downloadable Gives the species codes and corresponding taxonomic information for trees monitored as part of the Forest Health Monitoring Project. Also correlates to other project code lists 1994-06-01 to present
Nested Invasive Species Observations (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Nested Plot Style Invasive species and abundance on subplots 2019-08-28 to present
Nested Micro Plot Visitation Information (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Information about specific microplot visits 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Plot Identifying Information (CT, MA, ME, NY) Description only Nested Plot Foundational information about plots, including location and status 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Plot Locations (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Nested plot location information including latitude and longitude of both fuzzed and unfuzzed locations. Note: not all plots have true plot locations, as not all plots are publically available. For all unfuzzed plot locations, please submit a request to FEMC. 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Prism Measurements (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Counts of live and dead stems in a 10-factor prism. 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Sapling Measurements on Microplots (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Nested Diameter and species of all saplings on microplots (2.5 to 10 cm DBH) 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Seedling Measurements on Microplots(CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Counts of seedlings on microplot by species 1992-06-01 to present
Nested Subplot Identifying Information (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Foundational information about nested microplots, including locations of plots based on cardinal direction 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Tree Health and Physiology Measurements (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Measurements of a wide range of tree characteristics, including height, diameter, crown condition, health indicators and others 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Tree Identifying Information (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable This dataset contains the basic tree info for the nested plot style such as plot ID, location within the plot (distance and azimuth), and species 2019-08-13 to present
Nested Visitation Information (CT, MA, ME, NY) Downloadable Information about specific visits to the Nested plots. 2019-08-13 to present

Massachusetts Forest Health Monitoring

Dataset Name Data Availability Description Dates
Hemispherical Photo Identifying Information By request Locations, dates and camera heights for hemispherical photos taken on subplots 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Invasive Species Observations By request Invasive species and abundance on subplots 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Plot Identifying Information By request Foundational information about plots, including location and status 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Plot Visitation Information By request Information about specific visits to the plots. 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Prism Measurements on Subplots By request Counts of live and dead stems in a 10-factor prism at each subplot. 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Sapling Measurements on Subplots By request Diameter and species of all saplings on microplots (2.5 to 10 cm DBH) 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Seedling Measurements on Subplots Description only Counts of seedlings on microplot by species 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Subplot Identifying Information By request Foundational information about subplots, including locations, condition and updates 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Subplot Visitation Information By request Information about specific visits to the subplots 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Tree Health and Physiology Measurements Description only Measurements of a wide range of tree characteristics, including height, diameter, crown condition, health indicators and others 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31
Tree Identifying Information By request This dataset contains the basic tree info such as plot ID, location within the plot (distance and azimuth), and species. 2019-08-13 to 2021-12-31

Vermont Statewide Aerial Sketchmapping of Tree Defoliation, Mortality and other Damages

Dataset Name Data Availability Description Dates
Standardized and Combined Aerial Insect and Disease Surveys, 1985 to present Downloadable Spatial data (shapefile) of all aerial defoliation surveys in Vermont from 1985 to the latest data available merged together into one dataset with a subset of fields. Data prior to 1995 were not always digitized, and may be incomplete before that year. 1985-01-01 to present
Vermont ADS Standardized Data for Indicators Dashboard Downloadable Summarized Insect and Disease Survey data (previously Aerial Detection Survey) for Vermont. 1980-01-01 to present
Vermont Pest Origin Status Downloadable A descriptive dataset that categorizes the pests found in the Vermont Insect and Disease Survey dataset as native, non-native invasive, or unknown based on the information available at the time. 1980-01-01 to 2018-04-16
Year-by-Year Aerial Insect and Disease Surveys, 1985 to Present Downloadable Spatial data (shapefiles) of yearly aerial insect and disease surveys in Vermont from 1985 to present, separated into years and retaining all fields. Data prior to 1995 were not always digitized, and may be incomplete before that year. 1985-01-01 to 2018-12-31
Yearly Flight Coverage Polygons, 1985 to 2018 Downloadable Spatial data (shapefiles) showing the areas that were flown over and mapped during each year (flown/not flown information) 1985-01-01 to 2018-12-31

Vermont Forest Health Monitoring

Dataset Name Data Availability Description Dates
Coarse Debris Data from Down Woody Material Survey By request Data collected on coarse woody debris from the down woody material survey, including species and size of down material 1991 to present
Duff Depth Data from Down Woody Material Survey Downloadable Data collected on duff depth from the down woody material survey, including depth of duff, litter and fuel. 1991 to present
Fern Diversity at Forest Health Monitoring Plots Downloadable An inventory on fern diversity at Forest Health Monitoring Plots and a measurement of their abundance. 2018-06-11 to 2018-08-22
Fine Debris Data from Down Woody Material Survey Downloadable Data collected on fine woody debris from the down woody material survey 1991-06-01 to 1998-12-31
Forest Health Monitoring Natural Community List Downloadable Forest Health Monitoring plots organized by natural communities. 2017-06-01 to 2018-08-22
Forest Health Monitoring Tree Species Codes Downloadable Gives the species codes and corresponding taxonomic information for trees monitored as part of the Forest Health Monitoring Project. Also correlates to other project code lists 1994-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Forest Health Monitoring: Mt Mansfield, Lye Brook Wilderness Area, and Ranch Valley Description only Standard tree size measurements and damage assessments on plots in Mt. Mansfield, Lye Brook Wilderness Area, and Ranch Valley. 1992-01-01 to 2015-12-31
General Plot Characteristics Downloadable A general description of the Forest Health Monitoring Plots including dominant understory and overstory species, slope, aspect, approximate age of forest stand, % canopy coverage, tree size class diversity, and downed woody debris size diversity. 2018-06-11 to 2018-08-21
Geological and Soil Characteristics of Forest Health Monitoring Plots Downloadable The soils and geology of each plot were characterized by pH, duff/soil depth, presence of acidic/basic indicators, and descriptions of the rocks present, topography, and the expected bedrock at each location. 2018-06-16 to 2018-08-15
Hemispherical Photo Identifying Information By request Locations, dates and camera heights for hemispherical photos taken on subplots 2014-06-01 to 2021-12-31
Invasive Species Observations Downloadable Invasive species and abundance on subplots 2014-06-01 to 2021-12-31
Lichen Abundance at the Plot Level Downloadable Lichen abundance at each plot 2002-01-01 to 2002-12-31
List of Lichen Species Surveyed Downloadable List of the lichen species and the corresponding codes for the 2002 lichen survey 2002-01-01 to 2002-12-31
Microplot Fuel Loading from Down Woody Material Survey Downloadable Data collected on fuel loading from the down woody material survey, including shrub and herb height, both live and dead 1991 to present
Plot Condition Class Downloadable Information on the overall condition of the plot in terms of stand type, age, disturbance and other characteristics 1992-01-01 to present
Plot Identifying Information Description only Foundational information about plots, including location and status 1992-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Plot Visitation Information Downloadable Information about specific visits to the plots 1992-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Prism Measurements on Subplots Downloadable Counts of live and dead stems in a 10-factor prism at each subplot 2014-06-01 to 2021-12-31
Residue Data from Down Woody Material Survey By request Data collected on residue from the down woody material survey 1991 to present
Sapling Measurements on Subplots Downloadable Diameter and species of all saplings on microplots (2.5 to 10 cm DBH) 1992-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Seedling Measurements on Subplots Downloadable Counts of seedlings on microplot by species 1992-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Subplot Identifying Information Downloadable Foundational information about subplots, including locations, condition and updates 1992-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Subplot Visitation Information Downloadable Information about specific visits to the subplots 1992-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Transect Information from Down Woody Material Survey Downloadable Characteristics of each transect used in the down woody material survey 1991 to present
Transparency Photo Identifying Information By request Locations, dates and file names of pictures of foliage transparency taken on subplots 2014-06-01 to 2021-12-31
Tree Health and Physiology Measurements Downloadable Measurements of a wide range of tree characteristics, including height, diameter, crown condition, health indicators and others 1992-01-01 to 2021-12-31
Tree Identifying Information Downloadable This dataset contains the basic tree info such as plot ID, location within the plot (distance and azimuth), and species. 1991-06-01 to 2021-12-31
Yearly Plot-level Summaries of Forest Health Indicators Downloadable Summaries of forest health metrics at the plot level. 1994-01-01 to 2012-12-31