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Profile Models for Estimating Log End Diameters in the Rocky Mountain Region (Classic Reprint)

Raymond L. Czaplewski

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Excerpt from Profile Models for Estimating Log End Diameters in the Rocky Mountain Region

Estimates of merchantable wood volume are needed for timber sale preparation, and forest inventory and planning. For decades, these estimates were obtained with volume equations that used standing tree measure ments of diameter at breast height and total height. Mer chantable volume equations are developed for specific utilization standards, such as inside bark Scribner board foot volume between a 1-foot stump and a 5-inch top diameter outside bark, subject to a minimum 16-foot log length, with diameters rounded to the lower 0.1.inch. A merchantable volume equation is useful for many years, assuming utilization standards do not change. However, utilization standards can evolve rapidly, often in response to local market and economic conditions. The ability to assess the effects of proposed changes to current standards is also needed. Continuous develop ment of volume equations for new merchantability stand ards is becoming less practical given the rate at which these standards are changing.

Stem profile models taper models) can also be used to predict merchantable volume. Stem profile models predict diameters at any height along the main stem using standing tree measurements of diameter at breast height and total tree height. They can, therefore, estimate the number of merchantable logs in each tree using predicted diameter at standard log ends. Log length and end diameters, which are common merchant ability criteria, are also inputs to algorithms that com pute volume according to cubic or board foot scaling rules. Therefore, a single stem profile model can be used to predict volume using a wide variety of current and future merchantability standards, under different rules for scaling wood volume.

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