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Modifying the Christen Hypsometer for Use in Dense Conifer Stands

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Locating a position that provides a clear view of the top of the target tree is a major problem when tree heights are being measured in dense conifer stands. A further complication arises if a measured horizontal distance is required, as with conventional hypsometers based on trigonometric principles. The Christen hypsometer, based on geometric principles, does not require a measured horizontal but has been little used, probably because of the instability of the hand-held instrument. A modification of the Christen hypsometer utilizes a staff for stability, thereby enabling greatly increased precision with prolonged use. Since the staff permits positioning the instrument further from the eye, additional gains are then possible via an enlarged scale. For trees over 50 or 60 feet high increasing the length of the standard pole from 10 feet to 18 or 20 feet is recommended.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, Hiwassee Land Company, Calhoun, Tennessee

Publication date: March 1, 1977

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

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