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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.
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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: 01 June 1977

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