Last week was an exciting one as we began timber cruising. Fred and Lys took us out to the Beaver Creek tree farm and took us through the process of what to do for each plot while cruising.
Once we arrive at the plot we want to measure, we count the amount of trees close enough to the plot center and big enough to be counted using an electronic relaskop. The goal is to have four to eight trees within the plot.
Once the number of trees in the plot is determined, we measure the diameter of each tree at 4.5 feet, which is called DBH (diameter at breast height). While one person measures the DBHs, the other person starts measuring the heights of the trees, usually using an electronic laser or a clinometer. When the height of a tree is determined, that person also determines what percentage of the tree is covered with live branches.
Lastly, each tree that was considered inside the plot is examined for defects in the bottom, middle, and top third of the tree. Defects are typically things like forked tops, stems that have crooks and bends in them, and scarring or fungus on the tree bark.
We did cruising for a few days, which us interns are slowly getting the hang of.
Friday and Monday, we went back to working on our stocking surveys for the summer.
Cruising is a huge part of what we do in the summers as interns so I am looking forward to seeing how that goes here in the near future.