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What’s in Rich’s Cruise Vest?

A tool many foresters use to determine which trees they should measure is a prism.

As it is almost never feasible nor cost effective to measure every tree in a forest, foresters measure a subset of the tree population. We navigate to a predetermined location, called an inventory plot, and measure the trees in that location.

When we look through the prism, the image is refracted, and this offset image helps us determine an “in” tree versus an “out” tree. If the trunk of the tree overlaps itself, it is “in” and gets measured. If there is a gap and the images of the tree trunk do not overlap, it is “out” and does not get measured.

Then, through statistical analysis, a forester can determine overall tree counts and volumes in a given forest stand or property.


-Rich Congdon, Real Estate Specialist/Assistant Analyst