The research goal at Ellsworth Creek Preserve is to test this key question: have restoration thinning treatments at Ellsworth increased the trees’ resilience to drought? Investigating this question requires two basic steps. First, out in Ellsworth, we need branches from the tops of large trees, such as Western hemlock.
We target upper branches because they’re sun-exposed, and therefore driest. To get our hands on these branches, we use a drone.