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Appendix B: Measuring a Tree To conduct a tree inventory, you must know how to measure a tree. We often measure trees to estimate timber volume, but measuring is also useful (for example when you think you have a champion big tree to measure. The two most frequently measured characteristics of a tree are diameter and height. General agreement and ease both dictate that diameter is measured at 4.5 feet above the ground (on the uphill side). This measurement is expressed as diameter at breast height or DBH. Diameters are commonly measured with a Biltmore stick or diameter tape (Directions for measuring with a Biltmore stick are included in Figure B1). If a Biltmore stick is not available, a regular cloth tape can be used to measure circumference. Circumference can be converted to diameter as follows: circumference (inches) ) 3.1416 = diameter. In forestry, tree height is often based on the number of merchantable logs or halflogs. A log is 16 feet in length; a halflog is 8 feet in length. Height measurement is taken from the estimated stump height to the highest usable portion of the tree trunk. This is usually the minimum top diameter of 4 inches. A Merritt hypsometer, which is often found on the back side of a Biltmore stick, is used for measuring tree height (see Figure B2 for instructions on using a Merritt Hypsometer). Figure B1. Using a Biltmore stick: hold the stick 25 inches from your eye; check with a tape measure until you get the proper distance. With the left end of the stick in your line of sight to the left edge of the tree and without moving your head, read the scale where your line of sight intersects the right edge of the tree. On trees that are oblong, instead of round, take two readings and calculate the average. Figure B2. Using a Merritt hypsometer. Pace out 66 feet from the tree, remaining level with itâ€”neither uphill or downhill from its base. Hold the hypsometer vertically 25 inches from your eye. With the bottom of the stick aligned to where you want to estimate the stump height, read the scale where your line of sight intersects the hypsometer as you look up at the minimum diameter (usually 4 to 6 inches) near the top of the tree. 18 25 read inches here eye 66 feet 1 log 2 logs 3.5 logs
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Title  Woodscaping your woodlands  Page 18 
Full Text  Appendix B: Measuring a Tree To conduct a tree inventory, you must know how to measure a tree. We often measure trees to estimate timber volume, but measuring is also useful (for example when you think you have a champion big tree to measure. The two most frequently measured characteristics of a tree are diameter and height. General agreement and ease both dictate that diameter is measured at 4.5 feet above the ground (on the uphill side). This measurement is expressed as diameter at breast height or DBH. Diameters are commonly measured with a Biltmore stick or diameter tape (Directions for measuring with a Biltmore stick are included in Figure B1). If a Biltmore stick is not available, a regular cloth tape can be used to measure circumference. Circumference can be converted to diameter as follows: circumference (inches) ) 3.1416 = diameter. In forestry, tree height is often based on the number of merchantable logs or halflogs. A log is 16 feet in length; a halflog is 8 feet in length. Height measurement is taken from the estimated stump height to the highest usable portion of the tree trunk. This is usually the minimum top diameter of 4 inches. A Merritt hypsometer, which is often found on the back side of a Biltmore stick, is used for measuring tree height (see Figure B2 for instructions on using a Merritt Hypsometer). Figure B1. Using a Biltmore stick: hold the stick 25 inches from your eye; check with a tape measure until you get the proper distance. With the left end of the stick in your line of sight to the left edge of the tree and without moving your head, read the scale where your line of sight intersects the right edge of the tree. On trees that are oblong, instead of round, take two readings and calculate the average. Figure B2. Using a Merritt hypsometer. Pace out 66 feet from the tree, remaining level with itâ€”neither uphill or downhill from its base. Hold the hypsometer vertically 25 inches from your eye. With the bottom of the stick aligned to where you want to estimate the stump height, read the scale where your line of sight intersects the hypsometer as you look up at the minimum diameter (usually 4 to 6 inches) near the top of the tree. 18 25 read inches here eye 66 feet 1 log 2 logs 3.5 logs 