How Much Timber is That?

If you’ve ever wondered how foresters establish the amount of marketable timber in a forest, or how to determine the approximate height of a tree, Isabella Conservation District Environmental Education Coordinator Mike LeValley was happy to demonstrate last Saturday at Sylvan Solace Preserve. He talked about how foresters evaluate and inventory a forest stand by separating trees to species and diameter, then height. Using a special “yardstick” type tool called a Biltmore Stick, it is possible to realistically measure tree diameter and height. This allows one to calculate how many marketable logs are present in a forest.

Even if one is not interested in actually logging a particular patch of forest, it is an interesting exercise to see it through the eyes of a forester. It is no simple task to conduct a fixed-radius inventory of an area, separate trees to species and diameter, then gauge height to come up with an accurate estimate of how much timber is present. But a Biltmore stick makes the job much easier.

Join us for another walk with Mike on April 9th, when he talks about Reading the Land.