Skip to main content

Estimating Tree Grades for Southern Appalachian Natural Forest Stands

Buy Article:

$29.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Log prices can vary significantly by grade: grade 1 logs are often several times the price per unit of grade 3 logs. Because tree grading rules derive from log grading rules, a model that predicts tree grades based on tree and stand-level variables might be useful for predicting stand values. The model could then assist in the modeling of timber supply and in economic optimization. Grade models are estimated for ten species groups found in the southern Appalachians, using data from several thousand trees and permanent plots in the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database. The models correctly predicted grades of a majority of trees in both a test and a validation data set, and predictions of grade proportions across a sample of the population were usually within three percentage points of actual grade proportions. But success of models varied across species and diameter groups. Considering several measures of modeling success, the most accurate models were those predicting tree grades for softwoods and larger hardwoods. For. Sci. 44(1):73-86.

Keywords: Ordered probit; forest value; grade distribution; southern Appalachians; tree quality

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Economist, USDA Forest Service, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 12254, Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709. Phone. (919) 549-4033;, Fax: (919) 549-4047

Publication date: February 1, 1998

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
  • Submit a Paper
  • Membership Information
  • Author Guidelines
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more