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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Timber Cruising

A cruiser measuring a tree.

Cruising is the process of measuring forest stands to determine stand characteristics, such as average tree sizes, volume, and quality. The primary purpose of cruising is to obtain a volume estimation to appraise and prepare timber sales. We provide technical expertise in statistical sampling, measurement protocols, and volume estimation procedures. We provide cruising software, documents, training, and technical support.

The National Cruise System is a set of software tools developed for timber cruisers to design a timber cruise, collect timber cruise data, and produce statistically defensible volume estimates for timber sale contracts.

Current Software

The software takes advantage of new technologies made available in the last decade while preparing for new technologies on the horizon. Forest Service users will need to check with their Regional Measurement Specialists before utilizing the new software. Forest Service users must now install these desktop applications using the USDA-OCIO Software Center. However, user guides, cruise templates and mobile version of fscruiser may be downloaded here. Standard setup exe's and .zip files are also available here for our non-Forest Service partners.

View the National Cruise System Introduction presentation: PDF, 198 KB, and/or PowerPoint (.pptx), 1.5MB.

  • Cruise Manager - setup new cruises, manage cruise data, and perform error checking.
  • FSCruiser - field data collection.
  • CruiseProcessing - calculates tree volume, biomass weight and statistics for completed cruises.
  • Cruise Design - an interactive approach to efficient cruise design.
  • CheckCruise - allows cruiser measurements to be compared to check cruiser measurements.