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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.


The 4-H. Forestry Field Day Contests include a number of competitive events in which each member of a three or four person team competes in all the events. The events include:

  1. Tree Identification
  2. Estimation of Tree Measurements
  3. Compass and Pacing (Juniors - pacing only)
  4. Forest Insect and Disease Identification
  5. Forest Site Evaluation (State Contest Only) Team Event

No 4-H Record Books are required for participation in this contest. The team members do not have to be enrolled in the forestry project, however this would be highly desirable.

The objectives of this team competition are to develop abilities and attitudes which help build better citizens and leaders. Participants should also increase their knowledge of trees and forests, and develop some skills in forestry related activities. They should gain a better understanding of, and appreciation for, our forest resources and how they contribute to our economy and quality of life.

Who can participate in the 4-H. Forestry Field Day Contests? Any 4-H Club member may participate as a forestry team member. Girls and boys from both urban and rural areas may participate. Competition, however, will be at two levels - senior and junior. Cloverleaf members may compete as junior team members.

This training manual is designed to provide information for both junior and senior team members who each participate at different levels of competition. Seniors participate at advanced levels in three of the events. These include the following:

  1. Use of the compass in conjunction with the pacing event.
  2. Use of a different tree, forest insect, and disease identification list.
  3. Forest Site Evaluation (Whole team event at the State contest only)

The levels of competition for this event may be on both an Inter- and intra-county competition levels to encourage the selection of the best team members at both the senior and junior levels. District/regional competition will be held between county teams for both juniors and seniors. State competition is at the senior level only. The top team in the state, at the discretion of the head forestry judge, will compete in the National 4-H Forestry Invitational in West Virginia the following July or August.

Coaching help for participants may be obtained at the local level. None of the technical skills are too complex for county extension agents. However, there are probably many willing volunteers in each community. Teams in the past have been very successful using local foresters who may be self-employed, state or federal foresters or industry foresters. Even an untrained local leader who is willing to learn along with the 4-H'ers can do the job. Using local foresters is strongly encouraged.

It is critical that volunteer leaders carefully read this manual to assure the students receive correct information about preparing for this event.

The equipment needed for this project is not elaborate. The events have been chosen so that a minimum of equipment is needed and a minimum of "setting-up" time is required. The equipment needed for a complete contest is as follows:

  1. Tree Scale Stick (tree measurement sticks and International 1/4 rule volume tables).
  2. Hand Compass (most accurate allowed is Silva Ranger Type 15 without slope measuring arrow).
  3. Tape (100 foot tape would be desirable but shorter tape will do).
  4. Small flags or markers (for marking the ends of compass course).

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