Cords and boards

Bill Cook

Loggers, foresters, and wood mills use specialized units of measurement to describe wood in both standing trees and cut forest products. Cords, boards, MBF, bolts, and tons are a few of the more common terms. Obtaining market-suitable volumes from tapered, irregular cylinders pose geometrical and processing challenges.    

Tree stems come in a variety of shapes, tapers, diameters, lengths, and other size elements.  Trees are not uniform in their geometry.  Forest management, genetics, soil conditions, and other factors influence the shape of a tree and its trunk.  Sometimes it’s important to estimate wood volume of an entire stand of trees.  Other times, it’s important to estimate a usable volume within individual standing trees or logs.  Many measurements include only the wood in the trunk.  Other measurements also include branches, roots, or both. 

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