Forestry:  Key Points

     Vermont Forests
Fall 2009





Current Issue

1. Be able to use a 10-factor glass prism to determine the basal area of a given plot and discuss the various other measurements that could be accrued with this tool. Be able to compare and contrast other methods of obtaining tree information (fixed radius plots and total tree measurements, for example). 7.18

2. Be able to use a scale stick for determining tree height, standing diameter, standing board foot volume, and cut to length board foot volume, and be able to explain the limitations/advantages of similar tools: other scale sticks, diameter tape and clinometer. 7.18

3. Be able to identify from a tree section all of the component parts and their functions and be able to discuss how these functions work collectively and totally to keep the tree alive and allow the tree to interact with the rest of the forest. 7.13, 7.11

4. Be able to identify the various Vermont forests (northern hardwood, boreal, oak-hickory, etc.) and their locations. 7.13

5. Be able to demonstrate how soils and nutrient cycling affect trees and forests. 7.13, 7.15

6. Be able to explain how and why forests change over time. 7.13

7. Be able to discuss how stress, both natural and human induced, influences trees and forests over the short and long term. 3.9, 7.15

8. Have a basic understanding of the relationship between stocking and density and how they affect tree growth. Be able to explain a stocking chart. 7.15

9. Be able to describe the purpose of silviculture and the reasons for implementing it. 7.15

10. Be able to describe, compare and contrast the various silvicultural systems used in forests. 7.15

11. Have an understanding of the difference between a forest management objective and a silvicultural prescription. 7.15

12. Be familiar with the most common forestry terms related to silviculture. 7.15

Overarching Concepts
Forests are important ecosystems affected by climate, elevation, soils, precipitation, air quality and human activities - both past and present.

Forests function as communities over time and change constantly as these communities grow. The longer the time, the greater the collective change.

The tree is the basic forest building block and is a complex structure with multiple functions. How it grows and its relationship within the forest environment determines the condition of the forest.

Forests are an important natural resource in Vermont, providing a variety of forest products, clean air and water, soil stability and habitat for wildlife.

Forest management requires measurement, data collection, and forest evaluation before changes can be made.

Forest management is built on understanding of how forests respond to change, both natural and human directed.
Mrs. Steiner - Science Educator 2009
Copyright Susan Steiner and her students unless otherwise noted.
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Key Points

Tree Identification website

Measuring Basal Area
Hardwood Swampls of VT website
Forest Pests of VT
Forest Health website
Emerald Ash Borer article
Riparian Zones website
Northern Harwoods website

Forest Mensuration website
Using a Prism
The Biltmore Stick
Measuring Tree Volume

Site Index
Tree Cores website
Tree Cookies
interactive website

Glossary of Terms website