ACRE: An area of land containing 43,560 square feet, roughly the size of a football field, or a square that is 208 feet on a side.
ANNUAL RING: The growth layer of one year, as viewed on the cross section of a stem, branch, or root.
BASAL AREA: Of a tree - the cross-sectional area (in square feet) of the trunk at breast height (4-1/2 feet above ground). For example, the basal area of a tree 14 inches DBH is approximately 1 square foot. Of an acre of forest - the sum of basal areas of the individual trees on the acre. For example, a well stocked northern hardwood stand might contain 80-100 square feet of basal area.
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES: Implies a practice or combination of practices, that is determined by a state or designated area wide planning agency to be the most effective means of preventing or reducing the amount of pollution.
BILTMORE STICK: A tool resembling a yardstick, calibrated to measure the diameter of a tree at breast height. Sticks are calibrated with different scales depending upon the reach (arm length) of the person using it.
BLAZE: To mark a tree, usually by painting and/or cutting the bark. Boundaries of forest properties frequently are delineated by blazing trees along the boundary line.
BLOWDOWN: A tree pushed over by the wind, also called “wind throw”.
BOARD FOOT: A unit measuring wood volumes equaling 144 cubic inches which is commonly used to measure and express the amount of wood in a tree, saw log, veneer log or individual piece of lumber. For example, a piece of wood 1 foot x 1 foot x 1 inch or one measuring 1 foot x 3 inches x 4 inches both contain 1 board foot of wood.
BOLE: The main trunk of a tree.
BREAST HEIGHT: The standard height, 4-1/2 feet above average ground level, at which the diameter of a standing tree is measured.
BUCK: To cut trees into shorter lengths, such as logs or cordwood.
BUTT LOG: This is the first log above the stump and is generally the most valuable log in a tree.
CANOPY: The upper level of a forest, consisting of branches and leaves of taller trees.
CHAIN: A distance of 66 feet. Five chains make a tally.
CHOKER: A length of wire rope or chain with a loop or noose at one end used to secure trees or sections of trees for skidding.
CLEARCUT: A harvesting technique that removes all the trees (regardless of size) on an area in one operation. Clear cutting is most often uses with species that require full sunlight to reproduce and grow well. Produces an even-aged forest stand.
CO-DOMINANT: A tree receiving full light from above, but comparatively little from the sides. Such trees usually have medium sized crowns.
CONIFER: A tree belonging to the order coniferales which is usually evergreen, cone-bearing and with needle, awl or scale like leaves such as pine, spruce, fir and cedar; often referred to as a "softwood".
CORD: A pile of wood 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long, measuring 128 cubic feet. Actual volume of solid wood in a cord will vary from 60 to 100 cubic feet, depending on size of individual pieces and orderliness of stacking. In the Lake States, pulpwood cords are usually 4' x 4' x 100" and contain 133 cubic feet.
CROOK: A defect of a tree characterized by a sharp bend in the main stem.
CROP TREE: A tree identified to be grown to maturity and which is not removed from the forest before the final harvest cut. Usually selected on the basis of its location with respect to other trees and its quality.
CROWN: The branches and foliage of a tree; the upper portion of a tree.
CROWN CLASSIFICATION: Individual trees in a stand may be classified according to the relative size and height of their crowns compared to other trees in the stand. In descending order of crown height and size the classes are: dominant, co-dominant, intermediate, suppressed.
CRUISE: A survey of forest land to locate timber and estimate its quantity by species, products, size, quality, or other characteristics. Also refers to an estimate derived from such a survey.
CULL: 1) A tree or log of merchantable size rendered unmerchantable because of poor form, limbiness, rot or other defect. 2) The deduction from gross volume made to adjust for defect. 3) To reject a tree, log, or board in scaling or grading. 4) Any item of production that does not meet specifications. CULVERT: A conduit through which surface water can flow under roads.
DIAMETER, BREAST HIGH (DBH): The diameter of a tree at 4.5 feet above average ground level, except that in National Forest practice it is measured from the highest ground level.
DECIDUOUS TREE: A tree that loses all of its leaves during the winter season.
DEFECT: Any irregularity or imperfection in a tree, log, piece product, or lumber that reduces the volume of sound wood or lowers its durability, strength, or utility value. Defects in lumber may result from such factors as insect or fungus attack, growth conditions and abnormalities, manufacturing or seasonal practices, etc.
DIAMETER-LIMIT SALE: A timber sale in which all trees over a specified DBH may be cut.
DIAMETER TAPE: A tape measure, calibrated to determine the diameter of a tree by measuring its circumference.
DIB (d.i.b.): Diameter inside bark, usually measured at the small end of a log.
DOMINANT TREES: Those trees within a forest stand that extend their crowns above surrounding trees and capture sunlight from above and around the crown.
EVEN-AGED FOREST: A forest in which all of the trees present are essentially the same age (within 10 to 20 years).
EVERGREEN: Trees that retain green foliage throughout the year. Not all conifers are evergreens. An example is tamarack.
FINAL CUT: In even-aged management, the amount or volume of material removed in harvesting the main crop at the end of the rotation.
FOREST LAND: Land at least 10 percent stocked by trees of any size or formerly having had such tree cover and not currently built-up or developed for agricultural use. Forest land may include Grassland, Shrub land, Tree land, Wetland, and/or Barren land. Examples of forest land use are grazing, recreation, and timber production.
FOREST MANAGEMENT: Giving the forest the proper care so that it remains healthy and vigorous and provides the products and amenities the landowner desires. FOREST TYPE: A group of tree species which, because of their environmental requirements and tolerance for shade and moisture, are repeatedly found growing together. Examples are the jack pine type and the aspen-paper birch type.
GRADE: The slope of a surface such as a roadway. Also, the elevation of a real or planned surface or structure.
GRADING: Evaluating and sorting trees or logs according to quality.
GROUP SELECTION: A process of harvesting patches of selected trees to create openings in the forest canopy and to encourage reproduction of uneven-aged stands. GROWTH RATE: With reference to wood, the rate at which the wood substance has been added to the tree at any particular point; usually expressed in terms of number of rings per inch. Growth rate bears an inverse relationship to number of rings per inch. Also applies to volume, value, or other types of increase in trees or stands.
GROWTH RINGS: The layers of wood laid down each growing season, also called annual rings. These rings frequently are visible when a tree is cut and may be used to estimate the age of the tree, as well as to determine the rate of its growth.
HARDWOOD: A term used to describe broadleaf, usually deciduous, trees such as oaks, maples, ashes, elms, etc. It does not necessarily refer to the hardness of the wood.
HARVEST: A general term for the removal of trees.
HEARTWOOD: The inner core of a woody stem, wholly composed of nonliving cells and usually differentiated from the outer enveloping layer (sapwood) by its darker color.
HIGH GRADING: Removing the mature, high quality trees from a stand and leaving inferior species and defective trees. "Take the best and leave the rest." Generally regarded as a poor forestry practice.
IMPROVEMENT CUT: A cutting made in a stand past the sapling stage for the purpose of improving its composition and character, by removing trees of less desirable species, form and condition in the main crown canopy.
INTENSIVE FORESTRY: The practice of forestry with the objective of obtaining the maximum in volume and quality of products per unit of area through the application of the best techniques of silviculture and management.
INTERPLANT: To set young trees among existing forest growth of similar age and/or size, planted or natural, to bring the stand to a fully stocked condition. LANDING: An area where wood is concentrated in a harvest operation prior to hauling to the mill.
LANDING: A place where logs or tree-length material is assembled for processing, loading and transporting.
LOGGER: An individual whose profession is harvesting timber.
LOGGING DEBRIS (SLASH): That unwanted, unutilized, and generally unmarketable accumulation of woody material in the forest such as limbs, tops, cull logs, and stumps, that remain as forest residue after timber harvesting.
LUMP-SUM SALE: A timber sale in which payment is based on the estimated value of the tract, distinguished from a sale in which payment is based on the volume Harvested and Scaled.
MBF or mbf: Thousand board feet - unit for measuring wood volume. One board foot is 1 foot x 1 foot x 1 inch or .144 cubic inches.
MAIN STEM: The portion of a tree between ground level and the division into major branches, usually referred to as the bole.
MARKING TIMBER: The process of indicating what trees are to be cut or otherwise treated. Prior to timber sales it is advisable to mark with paint each tree to be harvested. One spot of paint at eye level and one on the stump portion will help determine whether unmarked trees have been cut.
MATURE TREE: A tree that has reached the desired size or age for its intended use. Size or age will vary considerably depending on the species and intended use.
MERCHANTABLE TIMBER: A tree or stand of trees that may be disposed of at a profit through conversion to saleable products.
MIXED STAND: A stand in which less than 80 percent of the trees in the main crown canopy are of a single species.
NATURAL REGENERATION: Regenerating a stand of trees using seed from trees either on-site or nearby, or sprout growth for some species of hardwoods.
OLD GROWTH FOREST: A forest dominated by long lived species that has escaped catastrophic disturbance for at least 120 years. It usually has large old dying trees, large snags and down logs.
OVERSTOCKED: The situation in which trees are so closely spaced that they are competing for resources, resulting in less than full-growth potential for individual trees.
PARTIAL CUT: A cutting which only a part of the stand is removed. It usually implies a series of such cuttings. PULPWOOD: Wood cut or prepared primarily for manufacture into wood pulp, for subsequent manufacture into paper, fiber board, or other products, depending largely on the species cut and the pulping process. Generally trees 5" to 9" DBH. REGENERATION: The act of replacing a forest stand that has been harvested, either naturally or artificially.
REGENERATION CUT: A timber harvest designed to promote and enhance natural establishment of trees. Even-aged stands are perpetuated by seed tree, shelter wood, and clear cuts. Uneven-aged stands are perpetuated by selection of individual or small groups of trees.
RESIDUAL STAND: Trees remaining uncut following any cutting operation.
ROTATION: The planned time interval between regeneration cuts in a forest stand.
SALVAGE CUT: A harvest made to remove trees killed or damaged by fire, insects, fungi, or other harmful agents; to utilize available wood fiber before further deterioration occurs.
SAPLING: A tree at least 4.5 feet tall and up to 4 inches diameter.
SAWLOG: A log large enough to produce lumber or other products that can be sawed. Its size and quality vary with the utilization practices of the region.
SAWMILL: A plant at which logs are sawed into salable products. It includes all the machinery and buildings necessary for the operation of the plant.
SAWTIMBER: Trees that yield logs suitable in size and quality for the production of lumber.
SCALING: Process of measuring wood products, usually pulpwood and saw logs, after the trees are felled.
SECOND GROWTH: Forests that originate naturally after removal of a previous stand as by cutting, fire, or other cause. A loosely used term for young stands.
SELECTION CUT: A regeneration cut designed to create and perpetuate an uneven-aged stand. Trees may be removed singly or in small groups. A well designed selection cut removes trees of lesser quality and trees in all diameter classes along with merchantable and mature high quality saw log trees.
SHADE TOLERANCE: Relative ability of a tree species to reproduce and grow under shade. Tree species are usually classified in descending order of shade tolerance as: very tolerant, tolerant, intermediate, intolerant, and very intolerant.
SHELTERBELT: A wind barrier of living trees and shrubs maintained for the purpose of protecting farm fields. As applied to individual farmsteads, termed "Windbreak".
SHELTERWOOD HARVEST CUTTING: A harvest cutting in which trees on the harvest area are removed in a series of two or more cuttings to allow the establishment and early growth of new seedlings under partial shade and protection of older trees. Produces an even-aged forest.
SHRUB: A low-growing perennial plant with a persistent woody stem and low branching habit.
SILVICULTURE: The art of producing and tending a forest; the application of the knowledge of silvics in the treatment of a forest; the theory and practice of controlling forest establishment, composition, and growth.
SKIDDING: The act of moving trees from the site of felling to the landing. Skidding may be accomplished by tractors, horses, or specialized logging equipment. The method of skidding can greatly affect the impact of logging on soil and the residual stand.
SKID ROAD: A road or trail leading from the stump to the skid way or landing.
SLAB: The exterior portion of a log removed during the sawing process.
SLASH: Debris left after logging, pruning, thinning, or brush cutting; also, large accumulation of debris after wind or fire. It includes logs, chunks, bark, branches, stumps and broken under story trees or brush.
SNAG: A standing dead tree used by many species of birds and mammals for feeding and nesting.
SOFTWOOD: Generally, one of the botanical groups of trees that in most cases have needle or scale-like leaves; the conifers; also, the wood produced by such trees.
STAND: A group of trees occupying a given area and sufficiently uniform in species composition, age and condition so as to be distinguishable from the forest on adjoining areas. A forest stand is said to be "pure" if 80 percent or more of the trees present are of the same species. If less than 80 percent of all trees present are of the same species, the stand is said to be "mixed".
STAND DENSITY: The quantity of trees per unit area. Density usually is evaluated in terms of basal area or percent-crown cover.
STOCKING: An indication of the number of trees in a stand as compared to the desirable number for best growth and management, such as well-stocked, overstocked, partially stocked.
STUMPAGE: Uncut trees standing in the forest. It can mean the commercial value of standing trees and sometimes the landowner is guaranteed a price per net mbf by a logger or timber purchaser. This is called “stumpage” also.
SUSTAINED YIELD: An ideal forest management objective at which point the volume of wood removed is equal to growth within the total forest.
SWEEP: Tree defect resulting from a gradual curve in the main stem of the tree.
TALLY: A system of recording trees counted during timber measurement.
THINNING: Removal of trees in an overstocked stand to give the remaining trees adequate room for growth.
TIMBER: Standing trees, usually of commercial size.
TIMBER INVENTORY: A collection of information about a timber stand made by measuring tree and stand characteristics such as tree volume and grade and stand density.
TIMBER STAND IMPROVEMENT: A practice in which the quality of a residual forest stand is improved by removing less desirable trees, vines and, occasionally, large shrubs to achieve the desired stocking of the best quality trees.
TRIM ALLOWANCE: Excess length of a log to allow for square trimming the lumber to an exact length.
UNDER STOCKED: A stand of trees so widely spaced that, even with full growth potential realized, crown closure will not occur. Under stocking indicates a waste of resources, as the site is not fully occupied.
VOLUME: The amount of wood in a tree or stand according to some unit of measurement, (board feet, cubic feet, etc.) or some standard of use (pulpwood, saw timber, etc.)
WATER BAR: A diversion ditch and/or hump across a trail or road tied into the uphill side for the purpose of carrying water runoff into the vegetation, duff, ditch, or dispersion area so that it does not gain the volume and velocity which causes soil movement and erosion.
WELL STOCKED: The situation in which a forest stand contains trees spaced widely enough to prevent competition yet closely enough to utilize the entire site.
WINDBREAK: A wind barrier of living trees and shrubs maintained for the purpose of protecting the farm home, other buildings, garden, orchard or feedlots.
WINDROW: Slash, residue and debris raked together into piles or rows.
WINDTHROW: A tree pushed over by wind. Windthrows (blowdowns) are more common among shallow-rooted species and in areas where cutting has reduced the density of a stand so that individual trees remain unprotected from the force of the wind.
WOLF TREE: A tree that occupies more space in the forest than its value justifies. Usually a tree that is older, larger or more branchy than other trees in the stand.
WOODY PULP: Mechanically ground or chemically digested wood (composed primarily of wood fiber) which is used in the manufacture of paper, fiberboard, etc.

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