‘Oak Tree: Nature’s greatest survivor’ a documentary shown on BBC Four features work by a number of Forest Research scientists.
Dr Eric Casella used LiDAR scanning to produce a three dimensional reconstruction of a 400 year old oak tree in Wytham woods that the camera can fly through. LiDAR Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) uses a laser scanner to shoot out millions of pulses of light in every direction; for each pulse fired, the laser records the 3D location of the first object detected on its path. At the end of this process all the recorded points form a point-cloud that can be used to construct, for example, digital images and 3D geometrical models.
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Elsewhere in the programme, Dr Bruce Nicoll, Dr Paul McLean and a team from Forest Research used winches to pull over an oak tree to look at how the anchorage of roots contributes to the wind resistance of oak trees.
The programme is presented by entomologist George McGavin from the Natural History Museum and follows the 400-year old oak through the four seasons looking at how it has adapted to a changing environment and the vast web of life that it supports.