Professors an doc students generally make their living teaching, but often in order for them to keep their teaching jobs or advance in their careers they must produce a certain number of papers per year, which requires great effort, to design the study, collect data, write the papers, I would be surprised if you created the video data collecting it for them over time, if some of them would not publish research papers about it.
Date, reference number for each tree, GPS or address/landmark to assure them its the same tree, especially given they will be cut down/replanted/trimmed over time, tree type, as well as all the issues you already document.
If you really like this idea they would probable ideally want specimen samples as well, which could be labeled with afore mentioned data, and sealed.It’s a long process, however, I think it is much more likely that the mainstream media/news to reference research papers than our opinions even with video data, nor is the media/news likely to on their own initiative to document the pathology of the trees unless its absurdly obvious, like a forest dying over a short period of time.Video documenting periodically a sample set of trees would also facilitate the rapid creation of stop time animation if at least one snapshot was taken from the same position periodically.
The larger the sample size the better, however consistency of data collection is more important than sample size for it to be useful for research papers.Theoretically researchers could mine the video data you have already made to search for the same trees over time however, generally that would probable not provide the periodic data collection consistency that they tend to strive for.Another important aspect of this if you chose to invest the time would be attempting to design the sample selection to avoid the perception of bias.
If you only document dying trees for example the papers antagonists would rightly contest the validity of the data as self selecting only diseased trees.
However, documenting all trees along a street, or in a park healthy or not, in a few parts of town would probable be reasonable.Ideally, gps coordinates of all accessible trees regardless of health in several specific geographic areas would be documented, then using a random function like the one in excel to select a subset of those trees for periodic video data collection.
For example if there are a 200 trees within 10feet of a street in the public right of way, In a certain geographic area it might take 3 minutes per tree to collect the GPS cords, give them a reference number, that it 600 minutes, 10 hours of work, per geographic area. Then its a matter of how much time does it take to document a tree say it takes 3 minutes to video document the status of a tree, if your willing to spend 1 hour a period collecting the data then set the sample size to 20.
Use the random function to select which 20 trees will be monitored out of the 200 in the geographic area.Then select the video data sample collection interval, for example once a year. Then for 10 hours leg work up front, plus 1 hour per year going forward you will be able to provide less biased data for researchers to publish upon.To further lessen the bias the general area could be divided into a grid, many maps are already divided into grids, the coordinates of whatever granularity you feel like preforming that initial leg work for would be taken into account say 100 square meters, those coordinates could listed in an excel spread sheet then once again using the random function the geographic sample locations could be chosen randomly further reducing any perception of bias increasing the validity of the data.Perhaps a simpler way of doing it would be to define the geographic area you are willing to collect data in then very granularly create a grid say 1 square meter, that would be a thousand 1 meter plots in square 1kilometer, reference the gps cords in a table, then using the random function in excel select a sample size say 100 then goto those 100 locations to see if there is a tree that is accessible to monitor in that square meter. It would be important to keep records of the methodology in selecting the sample locations.