Forestry Basics

Page 7The reason why we need to measure trees is to calculate the valume so we know how big it is and to come up with a price for the tree. Uasualy the bigger the better unless it has defects. The convenient point of measurement is determined by a person's height. A standard point is 4 ½ feet above the ground (above the ground on the uphill side if the tree is on a slope). Stem diameter measured in this manner is referred to as "diameter at breast height" and is abbreviated "dbh". Diameter is usually measured with a special diameter tape sold by forestry supply companies. However, many carpenter's tapes have a scale on the reverse side for measuring units of diameter. Or, you may use a regular cloth tape to measure around the tree and divide the reading by 3.14 to obtain the diameter. Measuring dbh to the nearest inch is adequate.

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