Here, we describe the standardized protocol used by the Canadian Airborne Biodiversity Observatory (CABO) to conduct ground-based surveys of canopy trees at forested sites: Parc national du Mont-M\u00e9gantic and Mont-Saint-Bruno, Qu\u00e9bec. Ground-based canopy tree surveys were conducted in circular sample plots of 15 m radius, with plots distributed across gradients of interest (e.g., species composition, elevation, slope orientation, and logging history), and recorded in the Plots app in Fulcrum. For each sample plot, precise GPS coordinates of plot centres were taken, as well as slope angle and aspect. Within each sample plot, all trees that met the selection criteria were identified to species and geolocated relative to the plot center using the Postex system (Hagl\u00f6f Sweden AB, L\u00e5ngsele, SE). In addition, height, diameter at breast height (DBH), canopy area, and crown dominance class were estimated for all selected trees. All data were entered into the Vegetation Surveys: Large Trees app in Fulcrum. In Parc national du Mont-M\u00e9gantic, for any tree species that had fewer than 10 individuals assigned as 'Dominant' or 'Co-dominant' (crown dominance classes), across all sample plots, additional individuals found outside sample plots were geolocated and measured to bring the sample size to 10 (data recorded in the Plants app in Fulcrum). The ground-based canopy tree surveys were conducted in order to be paired with remotely-sensed aerial hyperspectral imagery.