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I am a BSE major at Arkansas State College, in Jonesboro Arkansas. I am currently doing a math modeling project, and I am trying to find out how to find board feet in standing tree. Not a log, just a standing tree by taking the diameter at waist length. I have searched everywhere on the net to no avail. The project is due on friday so I know that I won't recieve a message in time. But I would still like to know the answer to my question.

It would be greatly appreciated.

Reply from Duane:

See: http://www.kyphilom.com/duane/formail2.html#mess31

Most people use this.

See also:

From:Mark Kern - Hamburg, Germany

Dear Sirs,
I would like to establish a log and lumber business and the main species are Black Cherry and Black Walnut from the Appalachian. Because of the different measure system USA/Germany I would like to know if you could give me an idea where I get a detailed description for doyle scale (measurement of the logs) so I'm able to make it understandable to my German customers. Unfortunately they are only used to metric (m3) measurement.

Reply from Duane:

Formulas for several different log scales: D=diameter inside bark L=log length

Doyle: volume = (D- 4)^2 * L/16 
Scribner: volume = (0.79*D^2-2*D-4) * L/16 
International volume = 0.049762*L*D^2 + 0.00622*L^2*D - 
0.185476*L*D+0.000259*L^3 - 0.011592*L^2 + 0.042222*L 
Many mills use Doyle log scale, especially since most veneer logs are bought on the Doyle scale. Areas where there are quite a few small logs use either Scribner or International.
From:Mike LaMure - Madisonville, KY

Good morning,

My son is doing a leaf collection for a school project (6th grade). My wife is a sales manager in the southeast and contacted other regional sales people about sending leaves from their regions. Well now we have all these leaves and are having some difficulties identifying them all (we know where they came from but thats about it) . If you have any suggested books or web sites we would really appreciate the help.

Thank You

Reply from Duane:

Go to my bookstore page and type the words "tree identification" in the search box there and click on the search button.


Hello Duane,

My name is Daryl and I have read some of your web page listings and have learned a lot and was hoping you good tell me how much money a board foot I can expect to get out of blk walnut and cherry and soft maple and large cottonwood trees, I live about 60 miles north of indianapolis and have had many buyers make me offers and would like to see if I can get the most out of my trees because they need to be cut out anyway. I have about 5 acers of woods of which have 50 or so cottonwoods that are very large , I was told by one buyer that has about 15000 board ft. and that was 2 years ago I was figuring about 25000 b.ft. then ,and also there are 32 blk walnuts starting at 18" across and 5 of them at about 24" across. I have about a dozon blk cherry trees at 18" to 20" across and several maple and sycamores from 24" to 36" wide. I've been offered $1500 just for the cottonwoods by one company, to $1500 for all the trees in the woods by another company, I dont like the idea of cutting the trees but there growing in soft muc soil and I lose about 6 trees a year from the wind blowing them over, and also is there a goverment program that could help me keep the land next to me from being developed into a housing addition because the people who own it live in the city and want to sub devide it and get at least $150,000 for the 36 acers, and the land here is getting to many subdevisions on it , and at the rate its going in 10 years we'll be a suburb of indianapolis.

Reply from Duane:

Here are some tree volumes board feet on the International 1/4 inch scale for a tree with 2 logs each 16 feet long.

Tree diameter  Volume 
breast high    board feet.
18"              248
24"              469
30"              758
36"            1,121
Here are some local prices for logs delivered to the mill. Prices are in dollars per 1,000 board feet.
Black Walnut  $150 to $2,500
Black Cherry  $150 to $2,000
Hard Maple    $150 to $1,600
Soft Maple    $150 to $260
Sycamore      $150
Yellow Poplar $150 to $600
Red Oak       $150 to $1,000
White Oak     $150 to $2,000
As you can see prices vary considerably depending on tree quality.
From:Tina Cochran

Hi Duane:

My family is just starting to get their feet wet with forestry. We have quite a few acres that my grandfather left us. We are looking into having some of the timber harvested and trying to look into forest management. Our biggest concern is management not income. None of the family is in real need of the money yet we need to make sure that everything is done properly and we are not taken at the same time. We have had a state forester to come and walk approx. 50 acres and now we are getting ready to draw up a bidding contract to receive bids.

In trying to self educate I found your web site and it has been TERRIFIC. However, I have noticed you using the term "mbf". Please let me know what this means. I would also appreciate any information on where to obtain tax information on owning a forest and timbering.(In Kentucky).

Reply from Duane:

mbf stands for thousand board feet.
From:Cheyenne Emory
Grad Student
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN

I am writing to request more information on the Ginseng root. I live in East Tennessee, Grainger Co., and have heard from old timers that it grows wild around these parts. Can you tell me more about this? I would like to harvest it if it is possible, but am not very familiar with it. If you could send me a picture of the root/flower, I would greatly appreciate it.

Reply from Duane:
Also go to my good start page at
and in the google search engine box type ginseng.
Also check the ginseng links on my forestry page at

From:Orville Thomas Evans

Duane: I have recently scanned the posts on your website. There seems to be a question about planting nuts from seed. Walnuts and hickories should be stored over winter in such a way as to keep them moist but not wet, and to protect them from squirels and mice. Moist is when the storage medium is damp to the touch and wet is when you can wring water out of it. One good way is to layer them in sawdust (moist, but not wet) in a rodent proof container. A layer of sawdust, a layer of walnuts, etc. In the spring the nuts can be planted. I prefer to wait until they just begin to germinate ie crack open so you can see the young root start to protrude. If you plant them then, rather than sooner there is less time for the squirels to find them. The nut is then planted about 2" deep. A tin can with one end open and an X cut in the other end is placed over the nut and mashed into the ground. A few weeks later the planting is inspected. If the nut has sprouted the triangles forming the X are pried up to allow the sprout to emerge. The can will rust (don't use aluminum cans) and this can be facilitated by burning the cans prior to use. The method is not foolproof! Coons will dig up the whole can in search of a pecan. No planting is safe until the nut has deteriorated and this may be several months. Walnuts, hickories, and pecans stored this way will germinate the next spring, not over the next several years. Keep up the good work.
Tom Evans
President, Kentucky Nutgrowers Association

From:Mark E. Nussbaum

Chemicals like "Crossbow" and "Brushmaster", among others, are very effective for killing woody vegetation. I've settled on "Crossbow" on my farm for my TSI work, as it also sprays pasture to remove all woodys very economically. (About $11+ spray rig application fee/acre for pasture) You can buy it in 1 gallon containers, and when used in basal treatment, you might as well go in with neighbors to buy a gallon, as you'll likely never use it up doing TSI alone. It's about $45/gallon.

I do TSI in post sale followup and in non-sale stands on my farm in southeast Missouri, 20 miles west of Cape Girardeau. Our tree specie mix is pretty similar, with white oak, red oak, and tulip poplar being the generally favored trees. I do about 80 acres per year of TSI. I've done some counting during the work, and we remove an average of 840 live stems per acre. It's so high because I cut all undesireable species, (here they're sugar maple, elms, sycamore, and others) whether that tree is 1/2" diameter or 30" diameter.

The stand's basal area usually goes from about 105 before TSI to about 70 afterwards. (This is for non-timber-sale TSI work) On post sale TSI, I usually end up with 35-55 crop trees left per acre that are 8" or greater, and am having excellent oak regeneration due to light on the ground. None of the stands had quality trees under 8" dbh when I started as they had become very densely shaded due to heavy maple invasion.

How much does this kind of TSI cost? I pay 15$/hour to cutters that bring their own quality chainsaw, 13$/hour if they use my saws. I cut too, and end up doing about half the acreage. It takes about 2 to 2.5 hours/acre, and I use $40/acre for an average cost. I almost never get anything salable from the TSI cutting. Does it pay? Yes, yes, yes. I figure that with my site indexes, growth rates, and past timber sales figures, (I sell a stand every year, and cut on a 15 year rotation) every $40/acre spend on TSI returns me $193/acre after 10 years.

That's a rate of return of about 16% on the TSI investment. I consider the investment fully gone after 10 years, and try to TSI each stand every 10 years.

From: John Biro - no valid email address.

My father is curently doing some logging at my grandfathers and he would like to know how to identify a Birds eye Mapple, and how to identify a Curly Mapple. If you could send me some answers that would be great, I saw this site and thought I may get some help here.

Reply from Duane:

First of all bird's eye and curly maples are not species of maple. They are terms applied to grain patterns of wood sawed from maple trees. These grain patterns are caused by the conditions under which the tree has grown. Usually a red maple growing under stress conditions will be the type to yield these woods.

To identify these trees standing in the woods it is necessary to become familiar with the bark patterns and growing conditions characteristic of these wood types.

Bird's Eye Maple

Curly Maple

From: shari_19@hotmail.com

I am trying to find info (for my boyfriend actually who is in forestry college) about how clear cutting affects the deer population. I have been searching and searching the net and can't find a thing! HELP!

Reply from Duane: Deer are woodland inhabitants who are browsers. That means they eat leaves and twigs of young short woody trees and shrubs. That means that they can find most to eat in stands of trees with lots of young trees. They especially thrive in forest edges where older forests offering shelter meet areas with younger forests offering food. So deer populations increase greatly where there are mixes of older forests and younger clearcut areas. In general, clearcuts unless they are huge, will increase deer populations. The ideal situation is a mix of stands of small size, say five or ten acres, of various ages interspersed. A clear cut of several hundred acres would not provide as much forest edge effect as several smaller clearcut areas.

From: Clay Broyles

Hi Duane,

I am a Forest Tech student at Hiwassee college in Madisonville TN. I have taken a course in mensuration but I still am confused about figuring number of plots and spacing for a variable plot cruise. I can find a formula for cruise percent for fixed plots but how do you figure plot spacing and number on variable plots?

I neglected to tell you that you web site is fantastic, probably better than USFS.

Reply from Duane:

First review my page on the web on forest measurements.

Take 20 to 60 plots spread at random throughout the tract on a grid. If the tract is 144 acres and you decide to take 40 plots that is one plot on every 3.6 acres. Thats 36 square chains. The grid can be plotted at 6 chains by 6 chains or 4 chains by 9 chains. The longest side of the grid section should not be more than 2 1/2 times the shortest. Its less walking in the woods if you use 4X9 rather than 6X6 because you only have to walk 4 chains between plots.

Lay out the grid and locate the plots on the ground by compass and pacing. Be sure that plot centers are located at random.

Collect the data and then do a statistical analysis of the data to get the coefficient of variation. Based on the allowable error and the confidence level required for the cruise, calculate the number of plots needed and then go out and collect additional plot data on whatever additional plots are required. Be sure these plots are located at random throughout the tract also.

As for the initial number of plots needed, you will get a feel for that when you have done it a few times. It depends on the variability of the stand but when you work for a while in a local area you learn to estimate that.

By the way, you should use this same method if you are taking fixed radius plots too. It has nothing to do with the method of sampling but only with the variability of the stand and the accuracy desired. Since, mathematically, variable radius plots will tend to be less variable than fixed radius, you will end up taking fewer plots with variable radius plots. That's the advantage of point sampling.

That's it. If this is unclear or you have additional questions, let me know.

From: Jeff

I really enjoyed your web page, it was very informative and interesting! Keep up the great work. Is there a resource where I can find what would be the most economical tree to harvest, for example where can I find data concerning maturity rates, tree scarcity, and expected board feet per tree, etc...? Thanks for your assistance and taking the time to create a wonderful web page!

Reply from Duane:

I'm glad you enjoyed our web efforts. In answer to your question concerning most economical tree to harvest, I assume you are really asking which trees to plant or favor in reproduction and growth. The answer to that depends on your site quality, local market conditions and a number of other factors which cannot be answered except in the context of your specific situation.

I suggest that you contact your local forestry agency for specific advice. Also spend time pursuing all the links on our forestry page for a more comprehensive knowledge of the entire subject.

From: Gavin Wilson

Duane, I'm interested in purchasing yellow poplar stumpage in eastern Kentucky and northeastern TN (also VA, NC, WV). if you run across anything of interest, here's where I can be reached:

    Gavin Wilson, procurement forester
    Columbia Kentucky Corp.
    Rt 3 Box 600
    Manchester, Ky 40962
    (o) (606) 598-7565

From: Bertha Guevara

Can you please give me some suggestions on planting hickory nuts in Texas. We live 60 miles north of Corpus Christi.:)

Reply from Duane:

There are 13 species of hickory native to the eastern United States. Of these only pecan (which is a hickory) occurs in most of Texas. Two or three other species including shagbark and bitternut hickory occur in the very easternmost part of Texas.

Hickory nuts planted in the fall in good soil to a depth of about 2 or 3 times the diameter of the nut should germinate well if they survive to the following spring. The problem is that many of them will be found and eaten by squirrels. For that reason, plant a great number and hope that some survive. I have told people to cut the bottom out of a tin can and place that upright in the soil around the seed to protect it but my brother-in-law said he tried that and the squirrels dug up can and all.

From: Chuck Toennies

I visited your home page and have a question for you about forestry.

I have 20 acres about 30 miles east of St. Louis in southern Illinois. I would like to plant trees on 10 of these acres which will be harvested in later years.

Which types of trees for this part of the country do you recommend which will grow well and also produce the maximum $ value ?

Reply from Duane:

The type of trees which should be planted on a given area of land is dependent on the site quality more than on the part of the country. Only a trained forester who examined your land on the ground and was familiar with forestry in your area could answer your question. The answer would depend on the type and depth of soil, the slope and drainage and aspect and previous use and the native species adapted to the area as well as soil mychorriza (sp?) and a number of other local factors.

I suggest you contact a forester with a local office of your state forestry agency and ask him to make an inspection and answer your questions. Usually this service is free of charge. If you have trouble finding a local office, ask at your local Farm Service Agency, or Agricultural Extension Agent. Both of these should be listed in the phone book under Federal and State offices.

From: PACKERTODD@aol.com

I own 60 acres of land in southern Ohio, 5 acres of which is heavily treed with very large Poplar. I am interested in finding a buyer. I estimate about 200,000 to 300,000 board feet after trimming and sawing; about 50-75 large trees about 3 feet in diameter at the base. Can you provide some advice on how I can find a good Buyer that I can trust?

Reply from Duane:

A tree 36 inches in diameter breast high with 4 16 foot logs or 64 merchantable feet contains about 2,000 board feet. More likely if the tree is 36 inches at the base it would be about 30 to 32 inches breast high and contain around 1500 to 1700 board feet. High quality yellow poplar trees of this size, if they are sound, might bring $400 or so per thousand on the stump as sawlogs. If there is a local veneer market for poplar, prices might be quite a bit higher.

At 1600 board feet per tree, with 75 trees you are more likely to have about 120,000 board feet than 200,000.

I suggest you contact a forester with your state forestry agency to get further advice and a list of buyers in your area. I also suggest that you contact several buyers and get competing prices or perhaps take bids and get a lump sum payment in advance of cutting. Although you may get a little more money if you take a percentage of sale value or some other arrangement, that can lead to you having to supervise the logging closely and to arguments about volumes and values which you are better off without. It can also lead to your getting less money if the buyer is not completely honest. Another possibility would be for you to hire a contract logger whom you would pay a set amount per thousand board feet to cut the trees for you and transport them to a buying point you specify.

To contact the Ohio Division of Forestry, look for a link to their web site on my forestry web page.

From: Angela Jones

I live in Germany, I am American. I am homeschooling my daughter, she is in eigth grade. I grew up on a farm in Oregon (Willamette Valley) and at many of the local reserves we were given small seedlings to plant. Germany has many non cultured area that are "just" maintained for ecology, and there are always walk ways through these areas. Heather and I were looking for pine cones and found many cuttings of limbs. These were fresh. Can we take a cutting and develope into a tree? Can we start our own trees? We would not be doing a great deal, just one or two so that Heather can write a paper on it and maybe do a science project. We do not want to incorrectly cut limbs, can we use the ones we find on the ground? I guess I am asking for information on how to grow a tree from scratch.

Reply from Duane:

Pines will not grow from limbs. Some hardwoods can be started by placing fresh cuttings in moist soil. Usually these are wet ground species like willow or cottonwood or very prolific species like locust. The best way to start trees would be from the seeds found in mature pine cones before they open. When the cones are fully opened the seeds are spread by the wind and are no longer in the cone. When the cone is "green" or still developing the seeds are not mature enough to sprout. The mature seed can be planted in moist soil and should germinate although the time period before germination can be quite long for some species.

Another alternative is to dig up a small seedling or sprout and replant it. However, before doing this I would check with the local German forestry agency about local regulations. Also ask to talk to one of their foresters. I'm sure they will be glad to give you much valuable information about the reproduction of local species. As a matter of fact a trip to a local forestry agency might be a good field trip for both you and Heather.


I found your site through a search of Forestry sites. I am interested in your program TMBRCRUZ. Is it still available?

Reply from Duane:

The TMBRCRUZ program has been in use for almost 20 years on an old TRS-80 microcomputer and I have been meaning for the last five years to convert it to an IBM-PC compatible format. I began doing so last summer but did not have time to finish the project. Several people like yourself have requested that I do so and I fully plan to finish it soon and make it available. Unfortunately my highest priority at this time is to get my business programs, particularly my medical billing programs, ready for the year 2000.

I intend to do some more work on the TMBRCRUZ program and finish it this summer but time will tell. Please check back with me in a few months.

From: Sandra Grant

I am a barrister in New Zealand.

I am in the process of preparing a case for trial involving poor planting of a 900 acre pine forest in this country. I would be grateful if you could let me know if you are aware of any studies that have been carried out that link poor planting technique with either toppling or sinuosity in trees or any studies on the likely effects of poor root orientation generally.

Reply from Duane:

I am not aware of any studies of the effects of planting trees improperly. However there are a number of links on my web site to discussions of proper planting techniques.

In my opinion, improper placement of roots during planting would result in stunted tree growth and high mortality rates. Toppling, or trees falling or blowing over, would most likely be caused by improper root development due to shallow soil, a hardpan, or compacted soil. Trees planted with roots improperly placed would not be likely to get large enough to blow over.

Sinuosity, by which I assume you mean slender and crooked stems, would most likely be caused by overstocking which would be a combination of planting trees too closely together and/or not thinning properly as the stand developed.

Your use of the words toppling and sinuosity brings to my mind a picture of a stand of trees planted too close together on a poor timber site or at least a site not well suited to the species planted. Of course, I am also assuming from your description that these trees are sapling or small pole size greater than eight to ten years old. If you are describing small seedlings or saplings which simply were uprooted or came out of the ground and/or grew poorly this could be caused by low quality seedlings, poor planting technique or poor site. If you are in an area in which the ground freezes and the trees were planted on bare soil, frost heaving could uproot the trees.

From: Joshua First

In the Trees Per Acre By Spacing table, if you had an "Age" column on the left side, what age would you start and end with? I.e. at 6' distance between trees, is that an age class of 1 year old? At 40 feet between trees, is it 65 years old?

Reply from Duane:

There is no answer to your question because there is no relationship between age and number of trees per acre.

Let's say we take an unstocked area, say bare field or clearcut forest, and establish a stand of trees, let's say 1000 trees per acre, and then on a similiar area establish 300 trees per acre.

If we check the stands in 30 years we will have fewer trees than we originally established due to mortality and in the case of the stand with 300 trees per acre we may even have gained trees due to natural regeneration if we had originally understocked the stand. Anyway we might still have at that point 800 trees per acre in one stand and 250 in the other.

Because we have an area with a given soil quality and amount of rainfall and sunlight we may be able to predict the total mass of vegetation that would be produced in those 30 years but the form of that vegetation, whether it is in many smaller trees or a few larger trees is determined by how under or overstocked the stand is. An understocked stand will tend to have large trees with spreading bushy tops, too short bodied for maximum wood production. An overstocked stand will tend to have many long bodied trees of small diameter, too small for quality wood production and each one slow growing. Part of the art of forestry is to reach the ideal stocking of best quality trees to produce the maximum amount of high quality wood in the shortest time.

So, for a given site, at a given age we can predict the total amount of mass of vegetation produced but we cannot say how many trees there will be or how much quality wood because one is influenced by the other. If I say we should have x cubic feet of wood per acre that may be in A trees times B feet per tree or in C trees times D feet per tree.

We do have what foresters call Normal Stand and Stock tables which show for each site quality and timber type the ideal stand conditions at each age. These tables can indicate the number of trees there should be for each diameter class but the trees in the smaller diameter classes in a normal stand would usually be younger trees so this still does not give us number of trees by age.

From: Randy

Was looking for info on when was the best time to plant Dogwoods in Northern Virginia - and I arrived at the sight. Do you know when the best time is?? I have two locations in the side of a town house, and want to plant a pink and a white dogwood try so it will be ready by spring.

Reply from Duane:

Trees can be transplanted in temperate climates at any time when they are dormant. In deciduous trees that means when the leaves are off. So the proper time to transplant dogwoods in Kentucky and Virginia would be from about mid November to mid April. Now, in practice, it is usually difficult to care for tree seedlings and to find much good planting weather from about mid December to mid February, so we usually consider a fall planting season in late November and early December and a spring planting season from mid February through mid April. Trees can be planted either time. Some people argue that fall planted trees do better but small seedlings should not be planted on bare ground during the fall due to the danger of frost heaving as the ground freezes and thaws during the winter.

From: Jon Eynon

Can you explain to me what the expansion numbers mean on your timber cruise example and exactly what is the Doyle factor estimating?

Sorry if these are simple questions but I am confused!

Reply from Duane:

The introduction to forest measurements page is very technical and may be hard to understand if you have not had an introduction to point sampling in a forest measurements class.

The expansion numbers Ft read as F sub t or factor sub tree are the number of trees of a particular tree diameter class represented by each tree selected by point sampling techniques at BAF 10. In other words each 10 inch diameter tree selected represents 18.34 trees per acre, so to estimate the number of 10 inch trees per acre you would multiply the number selected in your sample by 18.34

The doyle factor is the result of multiplying the expansion number for each tree by the volume in board feet for that tree size using the doyle scale for estimating board foot volume of timber. So while the Ft factor above multiplied by number of sample trees gives an estimate of number of trees per acre, the doyle factor multiplied by number of sample trees gives an estimate of board foot volume per acre doyle scale.

From: Clive Boustred

My compliments on your web site, what a great job. I particularly appreciated your comments with respect to how to optimize production by not cutting too soon. I wish more people in California would consider sustainable forestry the only option.

I wondered if you could explain how the Board Ft volume tables work. I was working on some simple conservative calculations, which show tree volumes about two times greater than what industry tables show. I am simply calculating the volume of a tree from the cross section area at the base multiplied by the height then divided by three which gives us the volume of a cone - a conservative measure since a tree is typically fatter than a cone:

    Taking a 36 inch diameter tree as an example:
    The radius of this tree is half the diameter = 18 inch
    The cross section area is = PI x Radius x Radius
                    = 3.141592654 x 18 x 18
                    = 1,018 inches squared
    The Volume of a 170 ft tree if it were a tube would simply be the height times 
    the area: 

    Volume of Tubular Tree = 170 x 12 inches x 1,018
                    = 2,076,467 cubic inches
    Volume of Conical tree = 2,076,467 / 3 cubic inches
                    = 692,156 cubic inches

    To convert this to Board feet we simply divide by 144 cubic inches (1 Board Ft 
    is a 1 inch by 12 inch by 12 inch plank, or 144 cubic inches) 

    Volume of Conical Tree = 692,156 / 144 board feet
                    = 4,807 Board Feet

This is still more than double the 2109 Board Ft given in the California Forestry Handbook Table A-12 Volume tables for young-growth coast redwood, board feet, Spaulding rule to an 8 inch top for a 36 inch 170 ft tree. Even if we take off six inches for bark from the diameter of our conical tree we still get 3,338 Board Ft which should be a gross underestimation.

Do you know of any explanations why the forestry numbers are so very low?

Reply from Duane:

A board foot is a 1 inch thick board 12 inches square. Although one cubic foot of solid wood contains 12 board feet of lumber in theory, when 1 inch boards must be sawed from round logs, with attendant losses in squaring the log and allowing for saw kerf, often board foot-cubic foot conversion ratios of 5:1 or 6:1 are recommended.

Log rules used to predict board foot output sawn from rough logs are inaccurate due to the fact that output changes with log diameter, method of slabbing, saw thickness, sizes of boards produced, skill of the sawyer and many other factors. However, log rules are usually based on the idea of a squared log formed inside the bark at the small end of a log sixteen feet long by sawing slabs and bark from the outside.

There are three major log rules in general use in the United States; Scribner, Doyle, and International.

    The Scribner, developed by J. M. Scribner about 1846, was 
    derived from diagrams of 1 inch boards drawn to scale within 
    cylinders of various sizes.  A saw kerf of 1/4 inch is presumed.  
    The minimum board width used was probably 4 inches and no taper 
    allowance was included, so the rule ignores all volume outside 
    scaling cylinders projected from the small ends of logs.  This 
    rule will normally underscale logs unless the maximum scaling 
    length is held to about 16 feet.  When volumes of 16-ft logs are 
    desired the rule-of-thumb formula 0.8*(D-1)^2-D/2 provides a 
    close approximation of the Scribner Log rule. 

    The Doyle log rule, devised by Edward Doyle about 1825, is based 
    on a mathematical formula
            Bd. ft. = L*((D-4)/4)^2
    where D is the log diameter at the small end inside bark in 
    inches and L is the log length in feet.
    For 16-ft. logs, the formula may be reduced to merely (D-4)^2.
    This rule is inaccurate and inconsistent underscaling small logs 
    and overscaling large logs but it is in widespread use in the 
    Southern and Eastern United States.

    The International log rule, based on a reasonably accurate 
    mathematical formula, is the only one in common use that makes 
    an allowance for log taper.  Devised in 1906 by Judson Clark, 
    the International rule includes a fixed taper allowance of 1/2 
    inch per 4 ft. of log length.  Thus scale values for a 16-ft log 
    are derived by totaling board foot volumes of four 4-ft. 
    cylinders, each 1/2 in. larger in diameter than the previous 
    one.  In addition to the allowance for taper, the rule also 
    provides rational deductions for slabbing and saw kerf.  The 
    International allows for either 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch saw kerf 
    plus 1/16 inch for board shrinkage.  Slabs are deducted in the 
    form of an imaginary plank 2.12 in. thick and having a width 
    equal to log diameter.   The International 1/8 in. log rule is
            Bd ft = 0.22*D^2-0.71*D
    For 1/4 inch saw kerf just multiply the above bd ft volume by 
    0.905.  This formula is for 4 foot long log sections.  For 16 
    foot log lengths, a simpler formula, 0.8*(D-1)^2 will provide 
    approximate volumes for the International 1/4-in. rule.
Of the three principal log rules described here, the International is undoubtedly the most consistent and it becomes quite accurate for mills producing mainly 1-in. boards with a 1/4-in. saw thickness. The International 1/4 inch rule has been officially adopted by several states and is widely used by the U. S. Forest Service.

Most of this information is from "Forest Measurements" by T. Eugene Avery, McGraw-Hill, 1967.

An example:
A log 16 feet long, 16 inches diameter inside bark at the small 
end considered as a 16 foot long 16 inch diameter cylinder would 
contain 89.36 cubic feet of volume or 1072 board feet.
By International 1/4 inch rule, board feet=180
By Doyle rule                   board feet=144
By Scribner rule                board feet=172
This is a ratio of about 6:1 (1072/172)

From: Chad

Dear Mr. Bristow:

I am writing to ask for information on a 10% Strip Cruise. Would you explain the procedures of this type of cruise to me?

Reply from Duane:

A strip cruise is a timber cruise in which all trees in a strip of a given width through the woods are measured. Usually the width of the strip is determined by something easy to measure. For instance taking a straight compass line through the woods and measuring every tree within ten feet on either side of the line would result in a strip 20 feet wide.

If the cruise is to be 10% then there would be one of these strips 20 feet wide out of every 200 feet. The strip lines would be 200 feet apart. If a strip 50 feet wide were used then the lines would be 500 feet apart for a 10% cruise

From: Mark Hurry

First, let me compliment you on an excellent website! This page is the best resource I've found for aspiring woodlot owners like me. I hope to own a small woodlot some day, although this is not likely to happen anytime soon.

My interest in timber production/woodlot management stems primarily from my interest in woodworking and my enjoyment of the outdoors. As I'm sure you know, prices for furniture hardwoods such as walnut and cherry can run up to $4.00 a board foot if a local source is not available. Since I have quite a few furniture projects that I'd like to build over the next 5 to 10 years, I have been considering the purchase of a chainsaw sawmill and small dehumidification kiln. According to the numbers I've calculated, this could save me a lot of money in the long run. My question concerns stumpage fees. Assuming I can find a woodlot owner who is willing to sell me the stumpage rights to a small number of trees (say three to six 24" or larger trees), what would be a fair price per tree (walnut and/or cherry), assuming I got to choose what looked like top quality logs/trees. Thanks in advance for your reply!

Reply from Duane:

The generally accepted way to figure stumpage value is to get a price for the logs delivered at the buying point such as a sawmill or concentration yard and subtract the cost of paying a contract logger to cut, skid, buck, load and haul them.

Usually larger buyers will have some type of a price list available. Hardwoods are sold by grade and it sounds like you are looking for very high quality sawlog or veneer grade timber, so those are the prices that should be used. Logging costs should be figured per thousand board feet regardless of quality. So if a buyer is giving $1200 per mbf for high quality sawlogs and a local logger is logging for $120 per mbf the stumpage price would be 1200 less 120 or 1080 per mbf. I usually also subtract something like 10% or another $108 (.10 X 1080) for the risk associated with evaluating a standing tree as opposed to logs already cut. There then remains the problem of grading the standing tree and measuring it for volume.

Another idea you might consider is to talk to a few local independent loggers about you simply buying a few logs from them from ongoing logging jobs. You would, of course, have to give a premium over their usual price received for the special handling involved but that might be worth the price to have the logs already cut and delivered to you and to save yourself the trouble of finding the trees you want and dealing with one or several landowners.

From: JGarcia471@aol.com

I would like to find information to help me "kill" unwanted tree stumps. All information I find is for growing "healthy" trees, etc. Perhaps I am not searching the right site.

Reply from Duane:

I'm not sure what you mean by "kill" unwanted tree stumps. If you mean kill them in terms of keeping them from sprouting, your best bet is to spray them with one of the commercial silvicides available at many farm supply stores. The specific chemicals that I am familiar with using for this have been taken off the market but others are available. There is some discussion of this in the site preparation message below.

If you mean to actually remove the stump, that is usually done mechanically by either digging them out with shovel or backhoe or commercial tree surgeons have machines which can grind the stump in place. If the stump is not well rotted or very large I would not recommend the shovel method. If it is long dead and dry it could also be burned out with fuel oil. I have also heard of chemicals which speed decay but I am unfamiliar with any specifics of this process.

From: Steve Roark

I'm trying some chemical site prep for natural hardwood regeneration after a harvest on Chuck Swan State Forest, and am asking foresters this question. How small of diameter should we treat? Some say anything taller than 6', no matter what diameter. Another says down to 2" dbh, that fooling with anything smaller is not cost effective. What say you Duane?

The method we're trying is hack and squirt, using a 1:3 Garlon 3/water, with a few ounces of Arsenal AC throwed in for a wider species coverage. I'm doing test areas to see what works best. Any experience you have on chemical methods that work would be appreciated.

Reply from Duane:

I don't have experience in doing what you are describing so comments I make are just based on reasoning which is not nearly as good as actual experience. I suspect that anything smaller than 2" dbh when hacked will be cut off anyway so I would get rid of anything taller than 6 feet but only treat stuff too large to hack off with a single stroke. With hardwood regeneration after a harvest most of your reproduction will probably be coppice reproduction, hopefully from roots or root collars rather than stumps, and so regrowth from hacked stems less than 2" dbh will probably blend right in.

I don't know about the cost or effectiveness of the chemicals you are using, however, I suspect that proper application methods are essential. This means both training and close supervision of work crews.

Of course, follow up inspections every year or two at first with removal of any remaining overstory or cleaning needed and cost effective would also be helpful.

Another idea. Why don't you post your question to the Agroforestry News Group and see if you get any useful information from them? Also check out my links to silviculture sites. You may find information on site preparation at one of those places. Another idea would be to use the Internet search engines to search both the web and the newsgroups.

From Steve:

I just received a TF newsletter and they have your web site listed under sites of interest. Thought you would like to know you are a popular item. Thanks for the feedback on site prep. As I observe results from our attempts with herbicides I'll pass it along so that others can get input on what will or won't work. I'm hopeful the hack and squirt method will work.

Small landowners wanting to do their own management work could benefit from the facts that the chemicals are relatively inexpensive, there is no expensive equipment to buy, and is far less dangerous than chainsaw site prep. I'm having a 47 acre area site prepped using the garlon 3A/Aresenal mix, and sometime this year will try an Arsenal AC/water mix on 33 acres.

I'm also trying Velpar applied to the ground in spot grids. That one hasn't had time enough to determine results.

Thanks for a great website, and will put my question on site prep on the web and see if I get nibbles.

From: Joe Payne

I was glad to see Randy Hogans comments on private landowners taxes as opposed to corporate or partnership owners of a farm.

I am a co-trustee of 145 acres of mixed hardwoods and poplar and pine in rural East Tennessee. Before my father died I placed the farm under the American Tree Farm program (1980). I amortized my expenses for replanting 20 acres of Southern Pine Beetle damaged pine and my father realized a generous tax deduction until he died in Dec. 1986. The farm was then put into a trust by my brother who was appointed executor of the estate. The farm has realized no income until last year when, in cooperation with a Forester subcontracted by the state to conduct Forest Mangement Plans, we conducted a marked sale of about 60,000 bd. ft. of hardwoods, mostly red oak.

I was sure after reading Schedule T of the Timber Tax Form that we would consider the farm from the date the farm went into trust in establishment of Cost Basis in Timber. I find now that trusts are not allowed this consideration from talking to a CPA my brother has hired to do this year's taxes. I am concerned that I may be missing something in the connotation of this statement. Surely we can depreciate the cost of our timber and as you mentioned to Randy Logan, that the cost I or other members of the trust may have incurred since the farm went into trust could be capitalized as part of the basis and duducted from the income of our timber sale. Hope you or some of your knowledgeable readers will be able to help me.

Click if you would like to see a few shots of my farm.

Reply from Duane:

I am not well enough versed in timber tax law to be able to answer the complex question you pose. However, I will be glad to put your message on my forestry email page to see if anyone else will give you an answer.

From: Willie Barrowman

I have not been able to find any information on dogwood trees moved from the forest to my yard (I live in the forest). My question is, do all dogwoods flower? I moved 11 saplings about 5 years ago and to date only 4 of them have shown any signs of flowering. They are getting some good size on them and are healthy.

I am very pleased to have found this site and will be visiting it regularly. I and my neighbors own approximately 350 or more acres of woodlands and we are very interested in keeping the ecology stable.

Interests: Landowner, Conservation, Philosophy, Community, Education

Reply from Duane:

All dogwoods are capable of flowering but all do not flower, or at least not profusely. Dogwood is a shade tolerant species meaning that it survives and grows best under the shade and protection of other trees. However, if grown in fairly dense shade it does not flower much. The best flowering in the spring is on dogwoods which have been exposed to quite a bit of sunlight for the previous season and preferably several seasons.

You mention that you live in the forest. Are these dogwoods in a location where they are able to get some sunlight? You also mention that they have been transplanted. Dogwood is a slow growing tree. That means that it would be slow to recover from the shock of transplanting and also slow to develop the dense leaf structure and bushy top that produces the most flowers.

Another thing to consider is that the number and size of flowers produced by dogwoods can be impacted by the weather, such as a very dry growing season the previous year when the flower buds are formed or a late spring frost which can injure the flower buds just as blooming begins.

From: Brian L. Anderson

Hello Duane,

I found your website and have to say that I am impressed. I do have a few questions that maybe you can answer for me.

I am a forester in Northern Michigan, but my family owns a farm in South Western Ky, in Graves County. The farm was in the CRP program for a number of years but we have converted it to a forestry plantation 2 years ago. We worked in cooperation with the Ky Div of Forestry in Mayfield.

Species planted include yellow poplar, cherrybark red oak, white ash, black walnut, and white oak. The site had the fescue ellimated with a broadcast application of Roundup prior to planting. Fescue ellimination was over 90% successful. The white ash and walnut were planted in the spring of 1994, but due to problems with ordering the remainder of the species could not be planted until the fall of 1994.

At the end of the summer of 1995 I evaluated the site and found that the Ash had close to 100% survival, the walnut 80%, and the remainder was around 55%. I think the poor survival was due to heavy deer populations and the fact that the trees that did poorly were planted in the fall. Broadleaf competition may also be a factor, but I am not sure.

I would like to do some weed control on the site and need some suggestions. The plantation is roughly 36 acres in size with 2 acres in black walnut, 4 acres in ash, and the remainder in a mix of yellow poplar, red and white oak. I know that herbicides that can be used on forested sites are declining in number. I think that mowing is out of the question because it tends to promote grass growth, and the trees would be hard to see from a mower.

Do you know of anything that could be broadcast applied to control broadleaves without injuring the trees? Or, would hand application be feasiable? Another constraint is that I live 850 miles North of the farm so it is hard for me to get down there. Do you know any good contractors on that side of the state that would reasonably take on such a small parcel?

Any suggestions or comments would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Brian L. Anderson
School of Forestry and Wood Products
Houghton, MI 49930

Reply from Duane:

I suspect that any herbicide that would control boardleaved weeds would also be injurious to hardwoods. Hand application is probably the only thing that would work but that would be difficult because of your location in respect to your farm. I don't know any contractors in that area of the state but I am sure that the foresters you have been working with in the Division of Forestry would know of anyone doing that type of work in your area.

You say that you do not consider mowing because you are afraid of grass competition but, at least by the time the seedlings are 18 inches high or so, I would worry more about shading from dense growths of broadleaved weeds than I would about grass, particularly since it is possible to spray around the base of the trees with herbicides which would kill the grass without injury to the trees. As far as seeing the trees during mowing the best way to handle that is to first be sure the trees are planted in straight rows perferably a checkerboard pattern and second to tie a small piece of bright colored flagging near the top of each tree.

Try looking at the links to various silviculture publications from my forestry page. There is a world of information there and there very well may be something that is close to what you need.

From: Bill Dutton

Dear Mr. Bristow,

I am one of the students of the forest mensuration class you will be visiting on thursday at the Robinson Forest. Your forestry web pages have helped greatly with my studies, thanks. For a class project we did a timber cruise on a 2 acre plot to get data to formulate means, modes, medians, ranges, standard deviations and errors of the mean all within a 90% confidence limit. My question is, is there a computer program that you can put your field data into and come up with these figures? It would be nice to have a data base to do all this with, it would save time and decrease the chance for calculation error. Any info. you have on this would be greatly appreciated. The class is looking forward to your visit.

Reply from Duane:


In regard to your question concerning a computer program to do the statistics and create a forest inventory database, I developed a computer program to do just that and have used it for the last 17 years. We will discuss that program Thursday. Be sure to ask about it.

There are also other commercial forest cruising and inventory programs on the market. I am not familiar with how they work or exactly what they do since I use my own program custom designed for the type of cruises I do in Kentucky. I suspect that other programs may be oriented more toward pine plantations in the south but I don't know.

From: Dr. Bob Brocious


Ran across your page while surfing around. I own a farm in Carroll County, Kentucky. My brother and I are getting serious about starting a small saw mill using a Wood-Mizer. I've seen a comment on the web about a program that has been written that is 98% in grading lumber. Do you know anything about it or where I can get it? Do you know if there is any software for grading timber?

Reply from Duane:


There has been research done on developing a computer program to grade lumber based on input from a scanner used to scan the boards but, so far as I know, no system is commercially available, at least for hardwoods. I don't know of any software for grading timber. Timber and lumber grading is a thing that is done to individual trees or boards based on lumber grading rules which are based on the amount of clear cuts in the wood. This is applied mainly to hardwoods as used in the furniture industry. A lumber or timber grader must learn the grading rules well enough to be able to look at the tree or board and assign it a grade. Although grades are technically based on precise measurements the actual practice does not allow time enough for that kind of detail but must be done almost instantly. Other than a program to teach the rules of grading and perhaps to afford some virtual practice I don't know how such a program could work to actually grade trees.

You could try using the keywords "lumber grading" as a search term on one of the internet search engines and see what you find. When I get time I may put the basic grading rules on my web site since you have brought this subject to my attention.

I will also put your question on the forestry email page on my web site in hopes that another of my visitors may be able to answer your question better than I was able to.

From: Douglas L. Klein

I just moved to Kentucky, and VERY much would like to be able to identify trees from their leaves here on the internet. I have just purchased 5 acres, and have perhaps 100 or 200 new treelings growing.

It would be nice to identify them, and then plan which ones to cultivate, keep, or get rid of.

Thank you for any help you can give me.

Reply from Duane:


I don't have much on tree identification yet. One of my long term goals is to develop a page on identifying trees. However, I am involved in so many projects and have so many plans for the web site that I honestly don't know when I will get around to that. Your message will probably result in it getting done a little faster than it might have otherwise.

In the meantime look on my forestry page and follow the links to Growing and Harvesting Timber and to Picture of tree leaves - 70k gif.

You might also check out the books in our Old Kentucky Book Store Forestry Dept.

Thank you for your request. I will post it on my forestry email page to see what response I get from others.

From: Nadia Khan (IPSD)

Do supply any info you may have on the Asian environmental regions. Planning to do a 14 episode series for TV on conservation of the environment. Any help would be appreciated!

Interests: Conservation, Humor, Internet, Education

Reply from Duane:

I'm sorry, but I don't have any information specifically on Asia.

You might try some of the worldwide environmental organizations linked to on my forestry page.

As for general statements about forest management and the environment you are welcome to quote from my web site. You might find some general principles that would apply on my "State of Forest Conservation in Kentucky" page.

From: Steve J.

Mr. Bristow,

Excellent on-line manual for Forest Management Workshop! It answered so many of my questions.

I am looking for the same type of material that may have current land, lumber prices and growing data for Michigan. If you have any contacts you can share it would be greatly appreciated.

Reply from Duane:


Thanks for the compliment. I don't have the information you want but I will put your message on my forestry email page.

Maybe somebody who does have such information will read it.

You might also try contacting your state forestry agency or, I think, Michigan State has a forestry school who might have this information.


From: Kevin Lysdahl

I got your info from your home page. Neat stuff.

I live in NW Wisconsin and have a Black walnut tree in my yard. I would like to plant some of its nuts at my cabin 10 miles away. What is the correct procedure to do this? I have tried several times to no avail. Could you be of help?

Reply from Duane:


The nuts should be planted at a depth of about twice the diameter of the nut. You should be aware that due to their thick shells walnuts may lie in the ground for several years before they germinate. Scarification may help but I have never heard it recommended for walnuts. It can't hurt to try with a few of them though. Scarification is simply using a file or some other instrument to remove much of the shell, at least in a few places, so that it is not so thick and that may cause them to germinate faster.

The other problem is that planted walnuts are often dug up and eaten by squirrels. Try cutting both the top and bottom from a tin can and putting it in the soil vertically with the walnut inside to protect it from squirrels. I told my brother-in-law to try this and he said that the squirrels dug up the can, walnut and all.

You might also consider digging up already germinated seedlings in late fall or early spring and transplanting those. Be aware though that, for best survival and growth, black walnut requires deep, loose, moist topsoil.


From our feedback page.

name=Al Justice

email_subject=Those fuzzy green worms on my walnuts

comments=More and more over the past few years, some type of web-like infestation of a little green fuzzy worm is appearing on trees in S. West Virginia. Is this gypsy moth? If not, what then are they?



Reply from Duane:


I don't really have enough information to answer for sure but considering the time of year, if you are seeing webs on various hardwood trees in the fall, then it is probably fall webworm. These are the larva of moths which eat the foliage off the trees in the fall. Although they are often noticed and sometimes widespread they do little, if any, damage to the trees other than aesthetically. The reason for so little damage is that the leaves are very necessary to the trees during the growing season which in primarily in the spring and, if it is a wet year, during the early summer. (April though June and sometimes early August). Since the fall webworm does not do its damage until after the year's growth has taken place and the leaves are soon to fall anyway, they really don't hurt the trees. Fall webworms tend to stay inside the webs and simply expand the size of the web as they grow.


From: Randy Hogan rhogan@cyberramp.net

I just received a new copy of US Forest Service ag. handbook 708 "Forest Owners' Guide to the Federal Income Tax". It appears that if a timber property is owned by a company or is treated as a business by the individual owner, any ordinary expenses such as herbicide application, costs of prescribed burn, etc., may be deducted as an expense and those expenses can actually offset other types of income (subject to passive loss rules).

It further appears that the individual property owner who only has income and expenses infrequently cannot treat his holdings as a business and must only take his expenses as an itemized deduction on his return subject to a 2% of his Adjusted Gross Income.

Do you know if most individual timber owners follow the above? Any comments will be most appreciated. I do enjoy your web site.

Randy Hogan

Reply from Duane:

I work mostly with companies and farmers who own forestland so that question has not come up before. Generally, I think, farmers just count the expenses of forest improvement as a part of their other farm expenses.

I assume you are talking about a situation where someone, like a retired person, who is not operating another business but does own timberland incurs expenses for the management of that timberland in a year in which there were no timber sales and thus no income from the timberland. I have not had any occasion to answer that question, so have done no research on it. However, a CPA I asked about this said that such expenses are usually capitalized as a part of basis and deducted when a timber sale does occur.

In any of your forestry practices have you ever used controlled burning to help the regeneration of hardwoods? I am looking for research and examples on controlled burns for regeneration. I noticed in the manual the use of pesticides and stem cutting to help rid unwanted growth. Wouldn't controlled burning be a more economicly and environmentally safe alternative? What kind of wildlife considerations are used when implementing pesticides?
I am unfamiliar with any use of controlled burning in regenerating hardwoods. Basically site preparation for regeneration is a matter of removing, killing or controlling unwanted vegetation to favor more desirable species or individual trees. In general hardwoods are more susceptible to fire damage than are pines particularly certain fire resistant pine species. (also some fire regenerated pine species require heating of the seeds before they will germinate.) Usually in regenerating hardwoods the objective is to favor some hardwood species over others and at that small size all are susceptible to fire damage. Controlled burning would be more economical if it would work but for the reasons discussed above it probably wouldn't. Controlled burning would make sense if you were preparing for tree planting rather than natural regeneration but in most forest situations natural hardwood regeneration is more economical and silviculturally more desirable than planting. Planting of pines is often economical but planting hardwoods usually isn't in an area that has previously supported forest vegetation.

As for the environmental effects of site preparation pesticides and particularly effects on wildlife, they would really be insignificant because the term pesticide means any chemical or biological agent used to control pests of any type. The pesticides used in site preparation are actually herbicides which are biological agents such as hormones or chemicals such as salts which kill herbaceous vegetation. As such they have little or no effect on animals and if they were applied in such a way as to have much effect on vegetation other than that targeted for removal would also have detrimental effects on the desirable species being regenerated.

Another consideration is that fire only destroys the top growth but usually doesn't harm the roots while the objective with pesticides is to kill the entire plant so that it does not sprout. In regenerating hardwood species by root sprouting after a cut it is desirable to get as many sprouts as possible from the root rather than from stumps. In this case a controlled burn could kill buds on stumps while leaving roots intact to sprout.

Sender: Brian Melick bsm120@psu.edu

Hi Duane......

Hope everything is going good down there in Kentucky !!!

Don't know if you remember me,, but I talked to you some months ago. I'm the one that bronze plates Maple and Oak leaves ...

Anyway.. Just thought I'd drop you a note a let you know about a little problemo we have done here in S.W.Ont, Canada....

Gypsy moths !!! A whole mess of them..... And I ain't kidd'N...

They moved in here three years ago, and now they are everywhere ,,, millions of them. I'd say some 500-1000 acres, totally infested.

We sprayed (ariel) them with BT,, but we won't know the effects for another 2-4 weeks. They have literally striped trees bare. Trees that are more than 100 years old and some 40-50 feet tall totally defoliated. Once the Oaks are eaten, they start eating everything else too, even Scotch pine won't deter them.

Have you had any experience with these critters, and do you have any bright ideas for us. Hell if they would have had these in Vietnam and Cambodia, there wouldn't have been a need for Agent Orange !!:))

The good thing is right now they are localized to the 500-1000 acres, but they are slowly moving. A neighbor loaned a plow to his brother from another area, and now he has them too. The plow was left there over the winter, and was loaded with egg casings, and they didn't realize that, that is how they travel.

Anyway we had the Ministry of Forests down here looking at the problem, and they said it wasn't that bad. By the size of the egg casings they found, was how they made their determinations.

Got a few questions for ya !!!
1- Will ariel spraying with BT, do any good?
2- Are they here to stay?
3- Is there anything we can do to protect our trees next year ? i.e. traps, guards on the trunks, better poisons.
4- Will they keep spreading?
5- Is there any known diseases that will eventually kill them off?
6- Are there any natural enemies, that can be introduced in large quanities?

Any help on this matter Duane would be great. You wouldn't believe the bloody mess they are doing to our trees, but not only that, you can't even walk in the woods anymore because they are hanging down everywhere, and it sounds like its raining, from all of their droppings. I swear at night you can even hear them chew !!!

Thanks TTYL Eric...

Eric E.Noeldechen

Sender: Eric E.Noeldechen - ericn@mnsi.net

Answer from Duane:

Fortunately, the gypsy moth hasn't reached Kentucky yet except for a few brought in by tourists, found around campgrounds and controlled. That, of course, is one of the major threats to our hardwood forests. You might try the Gypsy Moth Home Page at Virginia Tech or the Forest Sciences Laboratory at Morgantown, West Virginia.


Great homepage! Looking for information about Black Walnut trees and details on planting them in a "tree farm" setting. Any info would be great. Again - terrific website!


Sender: brandt@biotite.geol.lsu.edu

Dear Sir,

I am a forestry senior at the University of Kentucky, great page! Recently, I have found a yellow-poplar located in southwestern Robertson Co. near the main fork of the Licking River that exhibits evidence of Native American manipulation. These observations have been confirmed by Dr. Paul Kalisz of the University of Kentucky. I would like to have this tree protected as a cultural and historical landmark because the timber rights have been sold to this particular piece of land. The tree is roughly 48 inches dbh and around 120 feet tall. The limbs have been weighted throughout the centuries to give the tree a "wolf-oak" appearance. Directly across the river is an indian mound that covers approximately 0.5 acre and is 30-40 feet tall. Any information about protecting this tree (if possible) would be greatly appreciated. Photographs are available.

John Anderson

Sender: 103277.1077@compuserve.com

Duane - I am a forester working for the California Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection. I've read part of your home page material and I must say I am impressed. Is there any way to obtain a complete copy of all your material directly from you without having to print out each section separately? Perhaps a floppy disk? Or, maybe you have complete copies available?

Sender: Tom_Hoffman@fire.ca.gov

From: Bob Smith bsmith@wcnet.org


Thanks for the automated e-mail about updates to your page. I especially am interested in your forestry section. We own a cabin at Cumberland Point, Lake Cumberland - and have several tree problems.

We have some oaks dying. One died because of its close position relative to the cabin's foundation - it had lost a fair amount of root system. It thrived for several years and then just didn't come out in leaf. This summer another, larger oak, further from the foundation looked sickly - with brown spots the size of a thumbprint on the leaves and some shriveling. That tree looks fine except it could have some foundation clay over part of it's dripline. Another oak just up and croaked out in the woods, all alone. We just noticed it leafless one day.

The two acres we have are about 1/2 in woods which was logged prior to the development. The remaining hardwoods are, as a result, either young or in some way unsuitable for that harvest. I am maintaining young trees in an open area to allow it to reforestate in several years. I'm mowing and cutting brush, leaving pine, maple, oak, cedar and some poplar. These seedlings are anywhere from brand new to 8' tall.

This brings up another tree question. Why do the pine in southern KY never grow like tall like they do here in Ohio? I notice that pine seem to be "stunted" (relatively) until after crossing the Ohio river going north. Is there a method of encouraging the growth of pine? The soil has a lot of clay but even in the loamy woods it is the same.

Enough forestry questions for now.

Bob Smith
Bowling Green, OH
(and Nancy, KY)

Reply from Duane:

Of course a number of things can cause the death of individual trees in the circumstances you describe. Many times trees grow and thrive on soils that are not really suited to them because of shallow topsoil, clay hardpans or some other site feature. This means they are able to grow well and thrive until they grow so large that their root system needs more room or they require more moisture than is available on the site.

They can then die of stress caused by a couple of drought years in a row, an extra severe winter, or other causes. The essential point here is that they would have died anyway sooner or later simply because the site could not support them.

Mechanical and chemical injuries can be other causes of death. This can be root damage from construction such as you described, soil compaction, lightning strikes, salt runoff from winter snow removal, air pollution, fungus attacks such as oak wilt, other diseases, insect attacks, etc.

The primary reasons pines do not grow well in most areas of Kentucky is competition from hardwoods. Pine does best in sandy acid soil. Most of Kentucky's soils are clay loams, limestone based and relatively less acid than in other areas. This soil type favors hardwoods and eastern red cedar. As a matter of fact the very presence of red cedar is an indicator that the soil is not acid enough for good pine growth.

Also the only species of pine native in most of central Kentucky is Virginia pine, a short, crooked, limby, scrubby species. The tall straight limb free pines most people expect in the south include shortleaf, pitch, longleaf, and loblolly none of which grow well in Kentucky except on the ridges of the Cumberland Plateau and on the drier slopes of the eastern Kentucky mountains. Longleaf and loblolly pine are not native at all in Kentucky except perhaps in a few areas of far western Kentucky near the Mississippi river.

From: Leon Felkins


In a previous message you said,
"indeed probably in one way or another in all the Eastern states. This is caused by the recent movement of many forest industries to the East because of depletion of timber supplies in the West."

Why are timber supplies depleting in the West? I used to live out West and every where I saw logging, I saw replanting. I say this because from what I hear in the press, it seems that most people think that cutting trees means destroying the forest. I have always found that conclusion puzzling.

Reply from Duane:

Timber harvest is decreasing in the west because until recently much of the harvesting was "Old Growth" or virgin forests not harvested since the original settlement of this country. As large amounts of overmature timber are harvested and replaced with seedlings or younger stands, there is a period of time in which there is less timber to harvest. Although the land may be just as productive in the future, cutting old growth reduces timber capital in the near term. Also as the amount of remaining old growth forest decreased there was increasing pressure from environmental groups to slow harvesting and/or preserve much of the remaining old growth timber.

From Leon:

I will look at your page shortly for advise concerning planting trees. I did an independent search of the Internet and was amazed at how little real info I found. Specific details are hard to find on any subject it seems. I searched for "Tennessee Forestry" without success. However, I did stumble on to a TN site that had two or three fancy forestry publications in PDF format.

Reply from Duane:

If you will follow my silviculture links and also look at the workshop manual and Growing and Harvesting Timber on my Forestry page, you will find much real info.

Phone numbers I have for the Tennessee Division of Forestry are:
Nashville (615) 360-0720
Knoxville (615) 594-6432

From Leon:

I greatly admire your purposeful productivity on the web.

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