Timber Cruise

Timber cruiser, log scaler, forester

Why even consider having your timber cruised? In order to evaluate whether a timber cruise has value to you, a little background information is necessary. Timber cruising is a systematic survey of your forest that provides you with information about the quality and quantity of forest products located on your property. Specifically, a timber cruise involves the measurement of individual trees on the forestland to provide landowners, timber buyers, foresters, and other interested parties with an estimate of the volume located on the parcel.



This section applies only to timber cruises related to the forestry riparian easement program to establish easement compensation. A timber cruise is required to determine the volume by species and grade to accurately determine the value of the qualifying timber.(a) The cruise method will be a one hundred percent inventory of qualifying timber on the proposed easement premises. The inventory will include species, diameter class, grade, and any other information necessary to determine a value for the qualifying timber.(b) A sampling cruise method may be used under certain circumstances such as where easement premises are greater than ten acres or where the forest trees are homogeneous. Additional trees left voluntarily by the small forest landowner may be noted but will not be included in the cruise volume.

The timber is cruised by an experienced forester who systematically measures trees using a series of try out points or plots. Depending upon the timber age and size of parcel, valuation methods may be either 1/10 acre plots, prism (point) cruise, strip-cruise, or in some cases, a 100% inventory. We utilize computer software in computing data collected in the field. This results in an accurate timber estimate.

The vast majority of “timber cruises” are these. The data in not interpolated or manipulated; it is given to clients in standardized cruise reports (e.g., SuperAce cruise reports). These reports provide volume and trees per acre by species, sort, grade, age, along with other information. Absent is an estimate of the timber value. Clients for these reports typically work in the timber industry.

The Microsoft Windows interface makes the creation of cruise templates a breeze. Once these templates are created they provide the initial set-up for differing cruising conditions, timber types, and size classes. Changes in the cruise template are only needed if timber prices or merchandising specifications change.

A wide sort of objectives can be accomplished through a timber cruise, e.g., determination of need to reduce stocking levels (PCT or Thinning), determination of whether timber is getting too large and less marketable (butt diameters of logs in excess of 33”), harvest planning, estate planning, forest management plans, etc. About 20% of the class subject matter being taught today benefits from or is directly dependent on a timber cruise. A prime example is the class being taught this afternoon: Stand Density Management.

Timber Cruising Cruising is the process of measuring forest stands to determine stand characteristics, such as average tree sizes, volume, and quality. The primary purpose of cruising is to obtain a volume estimation to appraise and prepare timber sales. We provide technical expertise in statistical sampling, measurement protocols, and volume estimation procedures. We provide cruising software, documents, training, and technical support. The National Cruise System is a set of software tools developed for timber cruisers to design a timber cruise, collect timber cruise data, and produce statistically defensible volume estimates for timber sale contracts. Current Software The software takes advantage of new technologies made available in the last decade while preparing for new technologies on the horizon. Forest Service users will need to check with their Regional Measurement Specialists before utilizing the new software. View the National Cruise System Introduction presentation: PDF, 198 KB, and/or PowerPoint (.pptx), 1.5MB. Cruise Manager – setup new cruises, manage cruise data, and perform error checking. FSCruiser – field data collection. CruiseProcessing – calculates tree volume, biomass weight and statistics for completed cruises. Cruise Design – an interactive approach to efficient cruise design. CheckCruise – allows cruiser measurements to be compared to check cruiser measurements. Legacy Software This older software will be phased out by the end of calendar year 2016. Legacy FSCruiser Legacy CruiseProcessing Legacy Cruise Design Legacy National Check Cruise Program

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