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Sustainable Forestry: Promising Foresty for Centuries

Lesson 4: Forest Measurement 101


Course: Environmental and Natural Resources I

Unit H: The Role of Forests in the Environment


Competency: EN 29.00 Demonstrate proper forest management techniques.


Objective: EN 29.02 Apply tree measurement techniques and skills that are used by professional foresters.

Goals for the Lesson:

  • Students will understand forestry measurement terms
  • Students will demonstrate how to use a Biltmore stick.
  • Students will use a diameter tape and a Biltmore stick to measure a tree’s diameter.
  • Students will identify tree species in a forest.
  • Students will describe the age and identifying characteristics of a forest.
  • Students will cruise a forest and determine individual trees’ heights and board feet volumes.
  • Students will classify trees according to their product definition, including: pulpwood, chip-n-saw, sawtimber, and veneer logs.
  • Students will determine the value of a timber stand.
Classroom Time Required: 

2, 90-minute class periods

Materials Need: 

Setting: Classroom and forested area.  Need at least ½ acre of forested land.

  • 10-30 Biltmore Sticks or create your own Scale Stick
  • Flagging Tape in Several Colors (green, blue, yellow, pink, white, and orange)
  • Diameter Tape (borrowed from county Extension Agent or local forester)
  • Forest Measurement 101
  • Forest Site Survey
  • Forest Measurement Terms Cheat Sheet
  • Getting to Know Your Forest
  • Weyerhaeuser Intern Agenda
  • Weyerhaeuser Intern Final Report
  • Woodland Owner Notes
  • Forest Measurements Video
  • Calculators