On surveys and site plans, I've often found treelines. These look like the below image, and serve to delineate in a very approximate way the areas full of trees and those that aren't:

treeline dividing an area of trees from a grass/meadow area

Is there a standard for where the line should be drawn, in terms of either tree trunks or canopies? For example, in the image below, should line A approximately run down the canopies of the trees closest to the outside? Should line B approximately run down the trunks of those trees?

treeline with curved side highlighted in red with letter A, and other side highlighted in blue with letter B

I am aware that these lines are all very approximate and one should never read too much into them. However, before approximating something, no matter how roughly, I'd like to know what the target to be aiming at is. (And likewise for interpreting someone else's approximation.)

  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your instinct, and ultimately it's about making the information clear to the reader... $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ I'd have assumed halfway between A and B... Or maybe B is the line of the trunks and A is the line of the canopy? (In other words, I have no idea). $\endgroup$
    – AndyT
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen a few large scale professionally drawn plans of areas that I'm familiar with (in the UK, if that matters) and the tree lines correspond to the approximate size and shape of the actual tree canopies. $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


It depends on what the survey scope is. In some cities where certain types of trees must be protected, such as Oaktree in Ventura county, the trunks are marked and assigned an ID and canopies delineated.

They are a required part of any development application documents, such as Lot subdivision, zone change, etc.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.