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Forestry & Society Definitions & Tools. HORT / RGSC 302 J.G. Mexal Fall 2006. Forestry & Society Definitions & Tools. Tree : a woody perennial at least 10 ft tall, usually with one main stem. Conifer: cone bearing plant, usually evergreen and softwood

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Forestry society definitions tools

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools


J.G. Mexal

Fall 2006

Forestry society definitions tools1
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • Tree: a woody perennial at least 10 ft tall, usually with one main stem.

    • Conifer: cone bearing plant, usually evergreen and softwood

      • e.g. pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, juniper

    • Broadleaf: usually deciduous trees and hardwood

      • oak, walnut, ash, cottonwood, balsa

    • Monocots: some monocots are classified at trees;

      • e.g. palm trees, Joshua tree, bamboo

Forestry society definitions tools2

Log 4

Log 3

Log 2

Butt log

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • Log: harvested tree

    • 16 ft for softwood (also called ‘bolt’)

    • 12 ft for hardwood (also called ‘bolt’)

  • Butt log: first log, 25-33% of value of tree. Used for plywood or dimension lumber

Forestry society definitions tools3
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • D.B.H. Diameter breast height; measured at 4.5 ft (1.35 m) above ground on standing tree.

  • Height: merchantable height measured to 2” or 4” top; using a clinometer.

Forestry society definitions tools4
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • DIB = Diameter Inside Bark

  • Annual Increment = one growth ring



Forestry society definitions tools d tape
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools- ’D’ Tape



Forestry society definitions tools clinometer
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools- Clinometer

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools- Logger’s Tape

(English units)

Forestry society definitions tools gps navigator
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools-GPS Navigator

Precision + 30’

Forestry society definitions tools5
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • Cord: volumetric measure for pulpwood or firewood, equal to 128 cu. ft. (4 ft x 4 ft x 8 ft) loosely stacked, or 90 cu. ft. solid wood and bark.

    • 1 cord = 0.495 MBF Doyle scale

    • 1 cord ~ 2 tons

    • 1 cord ~ 2,700 copies of daily newspaper

Forestry society definitions tools cord

Firewood Cords

Height (ft)

DBH (in)

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools-- Cord

Flinchum / For.Source 9(12):12:’04)

Forestry society definitions tools biltmore sticks
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools-Biltmore Sticks

Forestry society tools so pine infomation stick
Forestry & SocietyTools-So. Pine Infomation Stick

Forestry society definitions tools6
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • Board Foot: volumetric measure of lumber or logs that will be milled into lumber

    = 1 ft long x 1 ft wide x 1 in thick

  • MBF: one thousand board feet

  • MCF: one thousand cubic feet

Forestry society definitions tools7
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

Volumes Scales

  • Doyle : bd ft = ((D -- 4)/4)2 x L

    • used in East & South

  • Scribner : bd ft = ((0.79D2 --2D --4) x L)/16

    • used by USFS

  • International: bd ft = 0.796D2 --1.357D --1.230

Forestry society definitions tools8

Doyle calculation

Tree = 20” DBH, 80’H

bd ft = ((D -- 4)/4)2 x L

= ((20-4)/4)2 x 80

= ((16/4)2 x 80

= (4)2 x 80

= 16 x 80

= 1,280

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

Forestry society definitions tools9

Doyle calculation

Tree = 20” DBH, 80’H

bd ft = ((D -- 4)/4)2 x L

= ((20-4)/4)2 x 80

= ((16/4)2 x 80

= (4)2 x 80

= 16 x 80

= 1,280

Scribner calculation

Tree = 20” DBH, 80’H

bd ft = ((0.79D2 --2D --4) x L)/16

= ((0.79x202 – 2x20 -4) x 80)/16

= ((0.79x400 -40 -4) x 80)/16

= ((316 – 44) x 80)/16

= (272 x 80)/16

= 21,760/16

= 1,360 (106%)

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

Forestry society definitions tools cord1

Firewood Cords

Height (ft)

DBH (in)

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools-- Cord

Flinchum / For.Source 9(12):12:’04)

Forestry society definitions tools10
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

Volume (bd ft)


Tree Height (ft)

Forestry & SocietyForest Measurements/ Forestry Handbook 1984

Board Feet

Diameter of 16 ft log

Forestry society definitions tools farm bull 2102 1956
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools/Farm Bull. #2102, 1956

Board Feet

Volume (cords)

Forestry & SocietyPiece Size vs Value/Barbour, USFS-1999

Value/log ($)





8 foot log small end diameter (in)

Forestry society definitions tools11
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • Basal Area: cross-sectional area of tree stems at a standard height (usually DBH);

  • Stand Basal Area: total values on a per unit area. Attribute widely used in stocking and thinning prescriptions.

Forestry society definitions tools12
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools

  • Current Annual Increment: Growth rate per year at a specified point in time.

    • Vol./ Area/ Time

  • Mean Annual Increment: Size divided by age.

    • Includes standing volume + removals

  • Periodic Annual Increment: Average growth rate up to a specified point in time.

    •  Vol. /  Time

Forestry society site index si 50 wenger 1984
Forestry & SocietySite Index (SI50)/Wenger 1984

Height (ft)

Douglas-fir in WA

Loblolly pine


Forestry society site index si 50 wenger 19841
Forestry & SocietySite Index (SI50)/Wenger 1984

Height (ft)

Height (ft)

Douglas-fir in WA

Ponderosa pine in CA





Forestry society ponderosa pine site index si 100 wenger 1984
Forestry & SocietyPonderosa Pine Site Index (SI100)/Wenger 1984

Volume (BF or ft3)

BA (ft2) or DBH (in)

Site Index (SI 100)

Forestry society silviculture stocking
Forestry & SocietySilviculture/ Stocking

Lincoln National Forest

Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation

Sue Nichols

Forestry society silviculture stocking1
Forestry & SocietySilviculture/ Stocking

Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation

Sue Nichols

Lincoln National Forest

Forestry society definitions tools13
Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools--

  • Things to Know

    • Tree, DBH, DIB, log, clinometer, conifer, annual ring, heartwood, sapwood, evergreen, deciduous, hardwood, cord, MBF, silviculture, stocking, site index, basal area (BA), board foot, Biltmore stick, stocking, current, mean, periodic annual increment

    • Doyle, Scribner calculations (how to do)


Advance regeneration: small trees that appear before any silvicultural practice is undertaken to establish new growth.

Age class: a distinct aggregation of trees of more or less similar age originating from a single natural disturbance or regeneration cutting.

Angiosperm: member of the class Angiospermae, including flowering plants with ovules (seeds) enclosed in an ovary (fruit). Members include oak, pecan, aspen, cottonwood, mahogany, and also referred to as ‘hardwoods’.

Basal area: the cross-sectional area of tree stems at a standard height (usually 4.5 ft); the total of such values on a per unit area basis (= stand basal area) is a stand attribute widely used in stocking and thinning guides.

Biome: an extensive community of plants and animals determined by soils and climate; an ecosystem.

CAI: current annual increment. Growth rate per year at a specified point in time.

Clearcutting method: a method of regeneration an even-aged stand in which a new age class develops in a fully exposed microclimate after removal, in a single cutting, of all trees in the previous stand. Regeneration may be from natural seeding, direct seeding, planted seedlings, or advance reproduction. Harvesting may be done in groups or patches (group or patch clearcutting) on in strips (Strip clearcutting). In the clearcutting system, the management unit or stand consists of the individual clearcut stand.


Clone: a group of individuals of identical genotype, usually arising from vegetative propagation.

Commercial thinning: a thinning in which the trees removed have value at least equal to the cost of harvest.

Conifer: a cone bearing plant. Member of the class Gymnospermae. Also, called softwood species.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): a federal program to convert highly erodible crop land to trees, grass or wildlife habitat through incentives that include cost sharing and annual payments, usually over a 10-year period.

Board foot: a volumetric measure of lumber or logs that will be milled into lumber = 1 ft long x 1 ft wide x 1 in thick.

Cord: unit of volumetric measure for pulpwood, equal to 128 cu. ft loosely stacked or 90 solid cu. ft of wood and bark. One cord equals 0.495 MBF Doyle scale. One cord of hardwood equals about 2 tons or 1,000 to 2,000 lb paper or 2,700 copies of a daily newspaper.

D.B.H.: diameter breast height, diameter of a standing tree, measured at 4.5 ft (1.35 m) above ground.


Density: number of individuals per unit area (ecology); any measure expressing degree of competition (forestry).

Doyle scale: volumetric scaling rule for log purchase calculated by the formula:

bd ft = ((D-4)/4)2 x L,

where D = log diameter in inches, and L is log length in feet. This scale gives an approximate indication of the number of lumber board feet that can be sawed from a roughly cylindrical log.

Ecology: the study of relations between plants and animals and their environment.

Ecosystem: a distinguishable community of plants and animals interacting with the physical factors of its environment.

Even-aged stand: a stand of trees containing a single age class.

Forest: an area supporting trees, ordinarily including multiple ages, species, and conditions.


Forest management: the practical application of scientific, economic, and social principles to the administration and working of a forest property for specified objectives.

Forestry Incentives Program (FIP): a federal cost-sharing program for approved forest management practices such as site preparation, planting and timber stand improvement. Private owners of at least 10 acres but normally no more than a total of 1,000 acres of eligible forest land may apply. The total cost share payments cannot exceed $10,000 annually but are usually much less.

Genotype: the genetic composition of an individual organism.

Group selection method: a method of regenerating uneven-aged stands in which trees are removed and new age classes established in small groups. Maximum width of groups is approximately twice the height of mature trees. The management unit or stand in which regeneration, growth, and yield are regulated is an aggregation of such groups.

Gymnosperm: member of the class Gymnospermae; seed plants with ovules (seeds) borne on open scales of cones. Examples include pines, spruces, junipers, ginkgo, and collectively referred to as softwoods.


Intolerant: lacking the ability to grow in shade of or in competition with other and taller plants.

Lumber grades: based on number of defects and overall quality, in decreasing order of quality, lumber grades are: FAS- first and seconds, 1F, one face clear, 1C- one common, 2C- two common, 3A- grade 3, BG- below grade, not graded for quality.

MAI: mean annual increment is the average growth rate of a stand up to a specified point in time. Calculated as the sum of present volume plus volume of any thinnings, divided by age.

MBF: one thousand board feet.

MCF: one thousand cubic feet.

Natural regeneration method: a method of establishing forest stands in which the trees grow from natural seedfall or sprouting.

Nonindustrial private landowner: private landowners who hold timber as an investment or as part of a larger privately help business such as a farm.


Old growth: a stage in stand development characterized by advanced age, large trees, layered structure, and abundant woody debris. Usually applied to stands that have had no human intervention.

PAI: periodic annual increment is an approximation to current annual increment (most commonly in volume), calculated as the difference between measurements at two points in time, divided by number of years between the two measurements.

Peelers: logs designated for conversion into plywood.

Post-consumer recovered paper: newspapers, cardboard, magazines, office paper.

Precommercial thinning: an early thinning removing trees too small to have commercial value, usually done to improve spacing; also referred to as ‘respacing’.

Pre-consumer recovered paper: trimmings and scraps recovered before reaching the consumer.

Pulpwood: roundwood greater than 4” in diameter on the small end, cut into lengths of 5 ft 6 in; used in the manufacture of pulp and paper products.


Rain Forest: Evergreen forest (conifer or angiosperm) with high rainfall and little or no dry period.

Regeneration: newly established plants (synonym = reproduction), or the process by which new plants are established.

Rotation: one cycle of a forest stand from planting until final harvest.

Roundwood: round logs or tree sections harvested for use in the forest products industry.

Sawlogs: logs greater than 12 in (small end diameter) designated for processing in a sawmill.

Second growth: the forest that replaced the virgin forests that once covered the region. In some regions of the SE US, the second growth has been cut, and the third or even fourth forest is in the process of being harvested.

Seed-tree method: an even-aged regeneration method in which a new age class develops from seedlings that germinate in fully exposed microenvironments after removal of all the previous stand except a small number of trees left to provide seed. Seed trees are removed after regeneration is established.


Selection method: a collective term for the single tree selection and group selection methods. A silvicultural system involving removal of individual trees (single tree) or scattered groups (group) of trees at frequent intervals, leading to an uneven-aged condition.

Selective cutting: a loose term for any form of cutting that removes only part of a stand. Often incorrectly used as a synonym for selection system. Undesirable term because of confusion introduced by past use of the term for destructive high-grading practices.

Shelterwood method: a method of regenerating an even-aged stand in which a new age class develops beneath the partially shaded micorenvironment provided by the residual trees (overstory). Harvesting may be done uniformly throughout the stand, in groups or patches, or in strips. The overstory is removed once the regeneration is established.

Silvicultural system: a planned program of silvicultural treatment over the live of a stand, extending from regeneration through intermediate operations to harvest and regeneration.

Silviculture: the body of techniques used to manipulate stand environments and direct stand and tree development to create or maintain desired conditions.


Single-tree selection: method: a method of creating new age classes in uneven-aged stands in which individual trees of all size classes are removed more or less uniformly throughout the stand to achieve desired stand structural characteristics.

Site Index: a measure of forest site quality (i.e., the actual or potential productivity of a site) based on the height of dominant trees at a specified age

Site preparation: a collective term for various measures that can be taken to alleviate conditions unfavorable to prompt and adequate regeneration.

Slash: the residue of tops, branches, and other unused material left on the ground after harvest.

Stand: a contiguous group of trees sufficiently uniform in age class distribution, composition, and structure, and growing on a site of sufficiently uniform quality, to be a distinguishable unit.

Stand management: the practical application of scientific and economic knowledge through silvicultural measures designed to direct development of a stand toward desired objectives.

Stocking density: a measure of the total number of trees per unit area.


Sustainable level: the level or rate of production or economic expansion that can be maintained without causing instability to occur in markets or production processes.

Stumpage: a collective term for the trees standing in the forest before harvest.

Stumpage price: the price received for trees standing in the forest. The price is usually broken out by product class.

Thinning: removal of a portion of trees in a stand to promote development of the remaining trees and vegetation and to secure income prior to final harvest, while retaining the even-aged character of the stand.

Tolerant: having the ability to become established and grow under shade of or in competition with taller plants.

Tree: a woody perennial at least 10 ft tall, usually with one main stem.

Veneer: thin sheets of wood peeled from peeler logs used in the manufacture of plywood.

Forestry society definitions tools conversions


2.47 acre

2.2 lb

0.28 cord

28.3 cu ft

1.12 lb/ac







Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools--Conversions

Forestry society definitions tools conversions1





cu ft



0.4 ha

0.454 kg

3.6 m3

0.028 m3

0.9 kg/ha

Forestry & SocietyDefinitions & Tools--Conversions

Forestry society forest measurements wood weights forestry handbook 1984
Forestry & SocietyForest Measurements/wood weights Forestry Handbook 1984


Clinometer conversions/Jan’02

Meters (m)