A forest cover map represents an 11.2 km x 14.6 km area, and can show you the species, averages ages and heights of the trees in the area. These maps are made from air photos by interpretation and already have all the typing and interpretation completed from the air photo. This map will interpret exactly what the air photo shows you but the codes on the map are explained and easy to read through a legend at the bottom of the map.
While the legend of the map may look complicated, it is not difficult to interpret. A code is shown on each map. For example, a block of land on a forest cover map with the following notation:
would designate that the piece of land in block 86 had spruce and lodgepole pine trees as the major species on the property with a few aspen trees, the trees were between 121-140 years old and were 28.5-37.4 meters tall, they were all mature, had the crown closure code of 5, which means that the percentage of the ground covered by the vertically projected crowns of trees would be 46-55%, and a site index of 16, which means that in about 50 years, trees in this area would be able to grow up to 16 meters above an average person's breast height.
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