DOI: 10.3390/drones8030091 ISSN: 2504-446X

Assessment of the Health Status of Old Trees of Platycladus orientalis L. Using UAV Multispectral Imagery

Daihao Yin, Yijun Cai, Yajing Li, Wenshan Yuan, Zhong Zhao
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Assessing the health status of old trees is crucial for the effective protection and health management of old trees. In this study, we utilized an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with multispectral cameras to capture images for the rapid assessment of the health status of old trees. All trees were classified according to health status into three classes: healthy, declining, and severe declining trees, based on the above-ground parts of the trees. Two traditional machine learning algorithms, Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Random Forest (RF), were employed to assess their health status. Both algorithms incorporated selected variables, as well as additional variables (aspect and canopy area). The results indicated that the inclusion of these additional variables improved the overall accuracy of the models by 8.3% to 13.9%, with kappa values ranging from 0.166 and 0.233. Among the models tested, the A-RF model (RF with aspect and canopy area variables) demonstrated the highest overall accuracy (75%) and kappa (0.571), making it the optimal choice for assessing the health condition of old trees. Overall, this research presents a novel and cost-effective approach to assessing the health status of old trees.

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