(Or, How to Understand "Forest-ese")
Following is a brief glossary of the "forest language" spoken
by the forest products industry, as well as by state and federal regulators.
There are more forest glossary terms available from Wood Links USA.
The yearly increase in wood volume, usually expressed in terms of board
Bands that show tree growth for one year, as viewed on the cross section
of a stem, branch or root, or on a trunk core sample. Can be counted to
determine a tree's age. Variation in width of rings records how the tree
responded to growing conditions in different years. (Click here to learn
more about tree rings.)
Best Management Practices: (Also known as "BMPs")
Common-sense actions required, by law, to keep soil and other pollutants
out of streams and lakes. BMPs are designed to protect water quality and
to prevent new pollution. (Click here to go to a discussion of Best Management Practices.)
A unit for measuring wood volumes equaling 144 cubic inches, commonly used
to measure and express the amount of wood in a tree, sawlog or individual
piece of lumber. For example, a piece of wood measuring 1-foot x 1-foot
x 1-inch or a piece measuring 1-foot x 2-inches x 6-inches each contain
1 board foot of wood.
A protective strip of land or timber adjacent to an area requiring attention
or protection. For example, a protective strip of unharvested timber along
Controlled Burn: Any burning that a landowner starts intentionally
and controls to accomplish a particular purpose, such as brush or slash
Prescribed Burn: Application of fire to land under conditions of
weather, soil moisture and timer of day, that will accomplish specific silvicultural,
wildlife, grazing or fire-hazard-reduction purposes.
The tree crowns in a stand.
Forestland that is producing or capable of producing at least 20 cubic feet
of industrial wood per acre per year and is not withdrawn from timber utilization
by statute or administrative regulation.
A stack of wood containing 128 cubic feet. The standard dimensions are 4
x 4 x 8 feet.
The branches and foliage of a tree.
A survey of forest land to estimate timber quantity.
A plant community dominated by trees and other woody plants.
An educated professional responsible for planning and producing healthy
and sustainable forests.
A diverse group of manufacturers that harvest, process and use timber products
in their final products. Activities include the harvesting of the timber
resource; conversion of logs to primary timber products such as lumber,
plywood and wood pulp; and the conversion of primary timber products to
secondary or final products such as pallets, furniture and paper products.
Land at least 10 percent stocked by tree stands of any size or that formerly
had such tree cover and that will be regenerated with trees.
All activities involved with the growth, harvesting and reforestation of
forest tree species.
A group of tree species that, because of their environmental requirements,
commonly grow together. Examples of forest types are the Douglas-fir/hemlock
type or the spruce/fir type. Also, a descriptive term used to group stands
with similar composition and development characteristics.
Wood used for conversion to some form of energy, primarily for residential
A classification of timber inventory that includes live trees of commercial
species meeting specified standards of quality and vigor. When associated
with volume, includes only trees 5.0 inches in diameter breast-height (DBH)
Removing mature trees to improve the growing conditions for other trees
in the forest and to provide raw materials for human use. (Click here go
to Harvest Options page.)
A table that expresses log volume based on log diameter and length. The
Scribner Decimal C Rule is the legal rule in Idaho.
The lumber content of a log as determined by a log rule.
The process of forest growth, with young plants sprouting from seeds that
have been naturally dropped upon the soil.
Nonindustrial Private Forest:
Forestland owned by farmers, ranchers and all other individuals and corporations
that do not operate wood-processing plants.
Hardwood panels, hardboard, insulating board, particleboard and medium-density
fiberboard used in construction.
Roundwood, whole-tree chips or wood residues that are used for the production
of wood pulp.
The act of replanting or reseeding a forest area to replace trees removed
by harvest or destroyed by fire, wind or disease.
Logs, bolts or other round sections cut from growing stock and non-growing
stock sources: includes sawlogs, pulpwood, pilings and poles.
The removal of dead trees or trees being damaged or killed by injurious
agents other than competition, to recover value that would otherwise be
A log usually used in the manufacture of lumber of veneer, meeting minimum
standards of diameter, length and defect.
A small tree which has been produced from a seed.
The art, science and practice of controlling the establishment, growth,
composition, health and quality of forests and woodlands. Silviculture entails
the manipulation of forest and woodland vegetation in stands and on landscapes
to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable
A contiguous group of trees sufficiently uniform in age class distribution,
composition and structure, and growing on a site of sufficiently uniform
quality, to be a distinguishable unit.
Softwood plywood, waferboard, oriented board, particleboard and composite
board used in construction.
Harvest practices which, over time, ensure that the rate of timber harvest
does not exceed the rate of timber growth.
A cutting made to reduce stand density of trees primarily to improve growth,
enhance forest health or to recover potential mortality.
Represents a purely biological measure of timber output. It is the amount
of timber produced in the forest and stored "on the stump" for
both present and future consumption.
The volume of sound trees that die annually from natural causes such as
insects, disease, competition from other trees, fire and windthrow.
The uprooting and overthrowing of trees by the wind.