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Viewing:Definitions (A-H)

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Forest Inventory & Analysis Program
11 Campus Blvd.
Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3294

(610)557-4075
(610)557-4250 FAX
(610)557-4132 TTY/TDD

 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.
 

Methodology

Common Definitions Used by the FIA (A-I)

Acceptable tree:
  • Live sawtimber trees that do not qualify as preferred trees but are not cull trees.
  • Live poletimber trees that prospectively will not qualify as preferred trees, but are not now or prospectively cull trees.

Accretion: The estimated net growth on growing-stock trees that were measured during the previous inventory (divided by the number of growing seasons between surveys to produce average annual accretion). It does not include the growth on trees that were cut during the period, nor those trees that died.

Basal-area class: A classification of forest land based on basal area (cross-sectional area of a tree stem at breast height in square feet per acre) of all live trees of all sizes.

Board foot: A unit of lumber measurement 1 foot long, 1 foot wide, and 1 inch thick, or its equivalent.

Board-foot stand-volume class: A classification of forest land based on net board-foot volume of sawtimber trees per acre.

Bog / Marsh / Swamp: Land that has less than 10.0 percent stocking with live trees and which characteristically supports low, generally herbaceous or shrubby vegetation, and which is intermittently covered with water during all seasons; includes tidal areas that are covered with brackish water during high tides.

Commercial species: Tree species currently or prospectively suitable for industrial wood products; excludes species of typically small size, poor form, or inferior quality, such as hawthorn and sumac.

County and municipal lands: Lands owned by counties and local public agencies or municipalities or leased to them for 50 years or more.

Cropland: Land that currently supports agricultural crops including silage and feed grains, bare farm fields resulting from cultivation or harvest, and maintained orchards.

Cubic-foot stand-volume class: A classification of forest land based on net cubic-foot volume of all live trees per acre.

Cull decrement: The net volume of rough or rotten trees in the previous inventory that are classified as growing-stock trees in current inventory (divided by the number of growing seasons between surveys to produce average annual cull decrement).

Cull tree: A rough tree or a rotten tree (see both).

Cull increment: The net volume of growing-stock trees in the previous inventory that are classified as rough or rotten trees in the current inventory (divided by the number of growing seasons between surveys to produce average annual cull increment).

Diameter at breast height (d.b.h.): The diameter outside bark of a standing tree measured at 4-1/2 feet above the ground.

Dry ton: A unit of measure of dry weight equivalent to 2,000 pounds or 907.1848 kilograms.

Dry weight: The weight of wood and bark as it would be if it had been oven-dried; usually expressed in pounds or tons.

Farmer-owned lands: Lands owned by farm operators, whether part of the farmstead or not; excludes land leased by farm operators from non farm owners.

Federal lands: Lands (other than National Forests) administered by Federal agencies.

Forest industry lands: Lands owned by companies or individuals that operate primary wood-using plants.

Forest land: Land that is at least 10 percent stocked with trees of any size, or that formerly had such tree cover and is not currently developed for a nonforest use. The minimum area for classification of forest land is one acre. The components that make up forest land are timberland and all noncommercial forest land (see definitions).

Forest type: A classification of forest land based on the species that form a plurality of live-tree basal-area stocking.

Forest-type group: A classification of forest land based on the species forming a plurality of live-tree stocking. A combination of forest types that share closely associated species or site requirements are combined into the following major forest-type groups:

  • White / red pine. Forests in which eastern white pine, red pine, or eastern hemlock, singly or in combination, make up the plurality of the stocking; common associates include red maple, oak, sugar maple, and aspen.
  • Spruce / fir. Forests in which red, white, black, or Norway spruces, balsam fir, northern white-cedar, tamarack, or planted larch, singly or in combination, make up a plurality of the stocking; common associates include white pine, red maple, yellow birch, and aspens.
  • Hard pine (also called loblolly/shortleaf pine). Forests in which eastern redcedar or pitch pine, singly or in combination, make up a plurality of the stocking; common associates include white pine, paper birch, sugar maple, and basswood.
  • Oak / pine. Forests in which hardwoods (usually hickory or upland oaks) make up a plurality of the stocking and in which pines or eastern redcedar contribute 25 to 50 percent of the stocking.
  • Oak / hickory. Forests in which upland oaks, hickory, yellow-poplar, black locust, sweetgum, or red maple (when associated with central hardwoods), singly or in combination, make up a plurality of the stocking and in which pines or eastern redcedar make up less than 25 percent of the stocking; common associates include white ash, sugar maple, and hemlock.
  • Oak / gum / cypress. Bottomland forests in which tupelo, blackgum, sweetgum, oaks, or southern cypress, singly or in combination, make up a plurality of the stocking and in which pines make up less than 25 percent of the stocking; common associates include cottonwood, willow, ash, elm, hackberry, and maple.
  • Elm / ash / red maple (also called elm/ash/cottonwood). Forests in which elm, willow, cottonwood, or red maple (when growing on wet sites), singly or in combination, make up a plurality of the stocking; common associates include white ash, sugar maple, aspens, and oaks.
  • Northern hardwoods (also called maple/beech/birch). Forests in which sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, black cherry, or red maple (when associated with northern hardwoods), singly or in combination, make up a plurality of the stocking; common associates include white ash, eastern hemlock, basswood, aspens, and red oak.
  • Aspen / birch. Forests in which aspen, paper birch, or gray birch, singly or in combination, make up a plurality of the stocking; common associates include red maple, white pine, red oaks, and white ash.

Gross growth: The sum of accretion and ingrowth.

Growing-stock trees: Live trees of commercial species classified as sawtimber, poletimber, saplings, or seedlings; that is, all live trees of commercial species except rough and rotten trees.

Growing-stock volume: Net volume, in cubic feet, of growing-stock trees 5.0 inches d.b.h. and larger from a 1-foot stump to a minimum 4.0-inch top diameter outside bark of the central stem, or to the point where the central stem breaks into limbs. Net volume equals gross volume less deduction for cull.

Hard hardwoods: Hardwood species with an average specific gravity of greater than 0.50.

Hardwoods: Dicotyledonous trees, usually broad-leaved and deciduous.

Harvested cropland: All lands from which crops were harvested or hay was cut; all land in orchards, citrus groves, vineyards, and nursery and greenhouse products.