Im currently creating Tree Constraints Plans in Arc but having trouble creating "representative canopy spreads". Our surveyors collect a North/South/East/West distance from a central point and these distances are then used to depict the canopy spread.
We've been creating the canopies by calculating the average size using the measurements above then using this calculation to create a buffer - a nice circle and works very well. However we'd like to get a more representative shape as i'm sure you're aware tree canopies are rarely circular.
My initial thoughts were to place 4 points around the a center point at the distances and directions provided, then create a polygon using these points and finally smooth the polygon to get an elliptical shape. However this is a long process, especially if we have over 200 trees to work with. That would mean plotting an additional 800 points at specific distances, then digitizing each individual canopy.....there must be a tool or a way of automating the process.
I've attached a couple of examples of the canopies. Example 1 is what we are aiming for example 2 is our current output.
Any ideas or suggestions would be hugely appreciated!