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Georgia 4-H Forestry Field Day Manual

Lonnie E. Varnedoe, Public Service Assistant, The University of Georgia
Kim D. Coder, Professor of Forestry, The University of Georgia
David J. Moorhead, Professor of Forestry, The University of Georgia

The University of Georgia, Extension Forest Resources, Bulletin FOR96-029, 1996, 52 pp.

Glossary of Forestry Terms

Abney Level - An instrument used to determine the percent of slope on a site.

Aspect - A compass reading taken facing down a slope in the direction water would run, gives the compass direction.

Clinometer - Height measuring device.

Conservation - Gifford Pinchot, a turn of the century forester closely associated with President Teddy Roosevelt, applied the word to describe a natural resource philosophy. It meant "wise use". Through the years it has taken on an extended meaning that really says "wise use over a period of time." The time factor forces us to consider the consequences of current use compared to future use.

Coppice - A stand of trees originating from sprouts on the stumps or roots of trees previously cut. Most hardwood species sprout readily when cut young. Few conifers will sprout from the stump.

Crown Class - Tree crowns are classified as to the position in which they are found. The following are the generally recognized classes:

Dominant - Trees with crowns that extend above the average tree crowns and receive light from directly above and some from the sides.

Co-Dominant - Trees with crowns that form the general crown level of a stand and receive full light from the top, but little from the sides.

Intermediate - Trees that are shorter than the two preceding classes but with some branches extending into the general crown and receives little direct light from above and from the sides.

Suppressed - Trees with crowns entirely below the general crown level and receive no direct light either from above or below.

Cull - Tree or log of merchantable size, but with no market value.

D.B.H - Diameter of a tree at breast height or 4 ½ feet above ground.

Duff - Often referred to as litter, which is made up of materials on the upper layer of the forest floor. This includes freshly fallen leaves, twigs and slightly decomposed organic matter.

Erosion - The wearing away of the soil by agents such as wind, water, and gravity.

Exposure - That portion of the slope that is directly in the path of wind, rain, and sun. That part of a slope open to action of the elements.

Forest Land Capabilities - The productivity of the land as it is affected by particular location or position on a slope.

Forest Types - A classification of a site indicating the major tree species present or the major species represented in an area.

Germination - This process occurs when viable seed meet favorable conditions that will allow it to grow.

Girdle - To chop or remove a strip of bark, or a section of wood containing the food-carrying tissue of a tree, in an even strip around the perimeter of the tree or twig.

Harvest - The removal of marketable products from the forest.

Mature Tree - A tree that has reached a size that the forest manager decides is a merchantable product.

Multiple-Land-Use - A term used to indicate the management of timber, wildlife, grazing, water and recreation in an integrated, consolidated program.

Merchantable Height - A term used to indicate the marketable length of a tree.

National Forests - These differ from National Parks in that recreation is not their only use. Recreation may be a primary use in one part of the National Forest. For example, there are more acres of Wilderness areas in National Forests than National Parks. The National Forest system administers 154 forests and 19 grasslands. On most National Forest land timber, water, wild-life, recreation, and grazing are compatible resources. These are managed for productive and sustained yields according to the land's capability.

National Parks - The National Park Service was established by Congress to promote and regulate the use of national parks, monuments, and reservations and to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and any wildlife therein. The Park Service administers 295 separate areas. The Park Service manages some areas for historical or recreational uses. Each of the 35 national parks were established to preserve a unique natural area for our enjoyment and study. National parks are often confused with National Forests.

Old Growth - This term describes forests with trees over 100 years of age.

Partial Cut - Method of cutting mature trees, such as shelterwood cut, selection cut, or seed tree cut.

Pole Timber - A young tree that is 3 to 12" in D.B.H.

Prescribe Burn - Control burning to enhance forest management techniques in silviculture, wildlife management, fire hazard control, etc.

Preservation - In natural resources, other than wood preservation, this term is related to landuse. The meaning stems from 19th century land reserves wherein areas and resources were set aside for limited or restricted use and development. Preservation often restricts land to recreation or scientific study. Preservation may be contrasted to the principle of multiple use which rather intensively develops one or more of an area's resources.

Reproduction - A natural establishment of seedlings or sprouts 0-1" D.B.H.

Residual Stand - Trees left after any partial cut.

Sanitation Cutting - The removal of dead, damaged, or susceptible trees; essentially to prevent the spread of pests or pathogens and so promote forest hygiene.

Sapling - A young tree less than 3" D.B.H. The minimum size is usually placed at 1" D.B.H.

Seedling - A tree grown from seeds.

Silviculture - A term used to indicate the establishment, development, care, and reproduction of stands of timber.

Site - The combination of biotic, climatic, soil, and ecological factors and conditions of an area that produce forests or other vegetation.

Slope Position - A particular location on a slope, e.g. upper, middle, or lower slope, ridge top, or bottom land. A specific topographic location.

Sprout - A tree originating from a root or stump.

Stocking - A measure of the proportion of the area actually occupied by trees.

Sustained Yield - Management of a forest stand to provide a constant supply of timber and revenue.

T.S.I. - Timber Stand Improvement. Any practice designed to improve a stand of timber by removal of vines, culls, and undesirable species.

Wilderness - In the strictest sense, this means that an area that has never been developed by man. A 1964 Wilderness Act defined it thus: "A Wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominated landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrampled by man, where man himself is a visitor and does not remain." In common use, the word is associated with these undeveloped areas and those set aside with a little development. In some cases, man-made items are dismantled to reduce the area to a primitive state. Under these broader uses, some roadless areas are considered wilderness when the access is limited to hiking, canoeing, or horse back riding and the use is set aside for recreation. To most of the general public, wilderness experiences are gained in a number of settings involving wild but not necessarily true Wilderness areas.

Wild Fire - Fires burning out of control, regardless of how or why they were started.

Wolf Tree - A tree that occupies more than its fair share of growing space.

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