Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 10:08 UK

Cameras used to find danger trees

Cameras are used to look at the heat flow in trees and check for disease

Thermal imaging cameras are being used to assess the safety of trees in Kent and Sussex.

Eastbourne council has already started using the special cameras to look for diseased trees that could lose branches or fall down.

The technology, developed by a Kent firm, has been used near roads and schools to carry out safety checks.

Park managers said it helped them make checks for dangerous or unhealthy trees in a short period of time.

Darran Solley, from Dover council, said: "New technologies like this can allow us to assess a large scale of trees that we look after in a very short period of time and with an efficient cost."

The thermal imaging system works by taking an infra-red image of the tree, that shows how much of it is healthy and functional.

Because trees use water as a thermal conductor and insulator to manage heat from the environment, parks managers can observe and interpret the flow of heat.

Consistent patterns of heat show a healthy functional tree, while areas of hot and cold show issues that need to be investigated.

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