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A Model Relating Merchantable Length to Tree Diameter and Height

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The merchantable length of a tree may be predicted from its diameter at breast height (x) and total height (h) by utilizing a modified logistic growth function. We postulated a nonlinear regression model consisting of either three or four parameters in combination with the two independent variables, x and h. The unknown parameters were estimated by an iterative least squares procedure for each tree species for each of seven minimum top diameter limits using a minimum merchantable length of 8 feet (2.4 m). The model is a reliable predictor of merchantable length for ponderosa pine. western larch, lodgepole pine, and inland Douglas-fir in western Montana. Forest Sci. 23:143-150.

Keywords: Logistic distribution; growth curve; stem taper

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula, Mont. 59801

Publication date: June 1, 1977

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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