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Measuring the height of trees - method 2

Measuring the height of trees - Method 2


A clinometer is a tool that is used to measure the angle of elevation, or angle from the ground, in a right - angled triangle. You can use a clinometer to measure the height of tall things that you can't possibly reach to the top of, flag poles, buildings, trees.


You will need two people: one to look through the straw and site the top of an object and one to read the degrees that the string makes with the protractor.

  • Find a tall tree (or building, flag pole etc.) in a place where there is plenty of space to move away from the object that you are measuring.
  • Look through the staw and find the top of the tree.
  • Ask your friend to read the angle being recorded on the clinometer. This is read where the string or cotton is touching the protractor.
  • Keep moving back (or forward if you've gone too far) until you have the clinometer angle measuring 45 degrees. With a 45 degree angle your job will be much easier as the distance from you to the tree will be equal to the distance from the ground to the top of the tree.
  • Measure the distance between where you are standing and the base of the tree.
  • Measure the distance from your eyes to the ground (this is where your partner is will help)
  • Add these two distances together - because to be most accurate the triangle has to finish at your feet not your eyes.
  • You now have a very close approximation of the height of the tree, building or other tall structure.