Cords and boards

By: 
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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