Share Your Observations!

Step 1: Create a login on iNaturalist and download the Mobile App is an smartphone application to collect and share observations. Download the app below, join the Western Redcedar Dieback Map project, and start sharing!

Step 2: Join the Western Redcedar Dieback Map Project

Step 3: Add an observation of a western redcedar tree

Open iNaturalist and click 'Observe'
Use your camera or open your phone's photo library to take or find photos for the observation.

Include these four images if possible

How to Use iNaturalist

Getting Started

iNaturalist has prepared an incredible guide for getting started. Check it out for step by step instructions and photos like the one below.

iNaturalist Observations

Inaturalist Getting Started - What Are Observations Image Link

Contributing to the Western Redcedar Dieback Map
  1. Download the application
  2. Create an account
  3. Join the Western Redcedar Dieback Map project
  4. Add an observation that includes a photo of a western redcedar tree
  5. Indicate that you want to add the observation to Western Redcedar Dieback Map
  6. Answer the extra required questions about the observation.
  7. Save the observation!

Field Guide

Learn how to contribute with iNaturalist

Step 4: Tag the 'Western Redcedar Dieback Map' project

Step 5: Answer Project Questions

More information about the questions in the iNaturalist project are provided below.

Tree Canopy Symptoms

Please indicate the type of tree/tree canopy symptoms
(e.g. if you can see through the canopy more than normal, please indicate ‘thinning’. Similarly, please indicate if the tree has a dead top or if the tree canopy is browning).

Percent Canopy Affected (%)

If the tree is unhealthy, please indicate how much of the canopy is affected. Please ignore old dead branches in the lower canopy and focus on recent dieback.

Number of Unhealthy Trees

Please estimate the number of additional unhealthy trees in the area. 

(e.g. indicate 0 if all trees are healthy, indicate 1 if only one unhealthy tree was observed in immediate area, etc).

Other Factors

Please indicate if there are signs or symptoms of other factors that could affect the health of the trees.

Have more questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Common Dieback Symptoms

Top Dieback
Brown Canopy
Thinning Canopy

Note if 'other factors' could be involved

Below are some other possible factors involved in redcedar dieback. Note that the bark was peeled off to reveal these factors.

Please note: redcedar trees drop old needles in fall

Normal Seasonal Foliage Flagging

Browning of older, interior foliage during the early fall is normal and not an indicator of tree dieback.

More information about this healthy, seasonal expression is available here and here.

Healthy seasonal foliage browning - do not be concerned if you see this natural drop of old needles in the fall. Please consider these trees 'healthy' when adding observations.

Step 6: Share the observation!

Click Share and Celebrate!

Click share after adding photos, identifying the tree, adding a location, tagging the Western Redcedar Dieback Map project, and answering the project questions.

Woohoo! You've now helped accelerate research!

Want to collect more data or set up permanent plots?

Our partners in federal and state agencies have developed a more robust tool on Survey123 to measure stands of western redcedar and collect samples. Please contact Christine Buhl (OR), Betsy Goodrich (WA), or Melissa Fischer (WA) for more information.

The Data


Help science go faster! All observation data collected in the iNaturalist project are open and available to anyone.

Users can choose not to disclose the exact location of the observations when uploading them to iNaturalist.
Please contact us if you have additional concerns about how the data will be stored or used.

Although the data is open, we request that researchers contact us if they are interested in using the data.


The Analysis

Landscape Patterns

Observation data will be used to identify patterns in the distribution of the western redcedar decline.

Common Site Characteristics

Questions have been added to the iNaturalist project to help identify common site characteristics.

Relationship with Climate

Overlay analysis will be completed to evaluate the relationship between historical climate data and patterns of decline.

Please contact us to collaborate or request for more information.

Contact Us