How do I measure the height of a baobab?


Have just returned from a truly inspiring research trip on Quilalea Island where I studied and reported on 56 Baobab trees. One of the many measurements I do is to measure the height of a baobab. It's a question I'm often asked: how does a short person like me manage this?  Well, I don't climb the tree with an extremely long tape measure as has been suggested!

I use a clever little device called a clinometer. I stand exactly 15m away from the tree and look up through the clinometer to the top of the tree, the clinometers calculates the height of the tree by using 1) the distance from me to the tree (15m) and 2) the angle from me to the top of the tree – its basic trigonometree!
 

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