Log Heights

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Fri Sep 15 01:31:06 EST 2000

In article <39C14DA6.8C93C211 at daviesand.com>,
  Karl Davies <karl at daviesand.com> wrote:
> "Mike H." wrote in alt.forestry:
> > This might be an east/south coast problem. We sure measured to the top
> > when we cruised. (way back when there was real timber...)  I can see why
> > sale buyers might only count butt logs - they are always in a hurry and
> > to some degree topwood can be considered profit & risk -- but I don't
> > think they'd be successful over the long run.
> Contract loggers get paid per Mbf for all the logs they deliver, including those
> upper logs, and the mills saw them and sell the lumber.  So there's a double
> standard operating here.  Maybe they don't make a lot of money on upper logs,
> but they do pay for them at the mill.  They just don't like to pay for them on
> the stump.
> But with better utilization techniques, this is changing.  I see trailer loads
> of logs on Interstate 91 headed for Canada all the time.  They take everything.
> Some hardwood loads are so rough, they look like all tip logs.
> >  Logs aren't standardized so much as the scaling procedures.  The
> > traditional west coast 40 footer is that length partly because the first
> > 40 used to be the highest value clear portion of the bole AND partly
> > because the early head rigs could handle 40's. Now it seems to be simply
> > because that's what trucks are built to carry. Modern rigs can be
> > shortened up or stretched out. If you'll look around you'll also see
> > double bunk trucks and mule trains hauling short logs (12'-26') and some
> > super long jobs hauling poles.
> Around here, all the tables for tree volumes are in 16' logs and half logs.  The
> mills take logs in increments of 2' from 8' up to 16' and sometimes longer on
> softwoods.  Our long logs would be comparable to your short logs.
> > Their scale may be based on the fed's old system (32' logs) or any
> > number of modern methods, ranging from metric to 40's to cubic to
> > weight. West coast scale bureaus are quite up to date.
> >
> > Why would an extensive inventory ignore logs above the first segment?  A
> > couple of possibilities- the bulk of the timber may be uniform enough to
> > predict top volumes: defect, cull and breakage are minimal.  Or if it
> > isn't, they're using the above as an excuse to save money and know at
> > least their figures will be conservative.  Some east coast person ought
> > to chime in here...
> One factor might be that FIA has been dealing with "legacy" procedures from
> previous inventories, and just hasn't bothered to update and upgrade.  The
> latest inventory is the third or fourth for MA.  If previous inventories didn't
> include tree heights for some (dumb) reason, and then all of a sudden the new
> one does, there would be HUGE increases in volumes and growth rates.  It would
> be a little hard for the FIA and state burrocrats to explain.
> One other tidbit on this.  The next to latest inventory done in 1984 had about
> 600 plots on about 3,000,000 acres.  But only about 200 plots were
> remeasurements of plots done in the previous inventory back in 1971.  They had
> to throw out over 400 plots!  They didn't say why, but my theory is that those
> 400 plots were all in suburban areas close to Dunkin Donut shops that got
> developed between 1971 and 1984. <G>
> KD
Let's not forget the local Microsoft and MacIntosh stores of the 90's. ;)

Daniel B. Wheeler

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