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Timber Cruising

Laser Technology has created some products that were specifically designed for timber cruising applications such as stem mapping, measuring tree heights and diameters, determining if "borderline" trees are in or out of a plot, verifying buffer zone layouts, and even researching an area for growth and yield.

TruPulse laser rangefinder and Criterion RD 1000 mounted on staff measuring diameter of trees
TruPulse and Criterion RD 1000

It was because of the US Forest Service that LTI initially got involved in the professional measurement industry. We developed the first hand-held reflectorless total station that measured distance, height and azimuth with a scope that helps determine the diameter of trees. We have come a long way from then and are now offering state-of-the-art products that make it possible to measure a lot more while moving less.

The Criterion RD 1000 is no exception. It is the first-of-its-kind measurement tool that is easy to use under various light conditions and provides a direct read-out of heights and diameters.

It can also be used as a slope-corrected Basal Area scope for variable plot cruising. Used as a dendrometer, it can quickly measure diameters anywhere on the stem as well as the height at which a specific diameter occurs.

All our laser rangefinders have taken forestry measurements to a whole new level. Reflectorless technology makes it possible to hit the top of trees for accurate height measurement, and then you can toggle into filter mode to penetrate thick brush.

Our TruPulse lasers are small enough to fit in your vest pocket and some models are rugged and weatherproof, ready to take on the harshest field conditions.

Stem Mapping

Timber Cruising Stem Mapping

Using the conventional baseline method with a tape and hand compass for stem mapping can be cumbersome and extremely time consuming. Our laser rangefinder with a built-in compass or MapStar system provides you with a quick and easy way to establish the coordinates of individual trees, especially for higher density stands with increased tree counts. Simply set up in a fairly open area with good visibility to most stems within a plot. From that one position, you can rotate 360 degrees and map in all visible trees. If needed, you can relocate to a secondary position and complete mapping the designated area.

Accurate Tree Heights = Reliable Timber Inventory

The most significant attribute for determining accurate tree volume is tree height. The percent error in volume is equal to or greater than the percent error in estimating tree heights. Most tree volumes are established by equation expansion based on tree DBH, total height (or height to a specific diameter- merchantable height) and a measure of form or taper.  Learn more about tree height measurements.

Buffer Zone

Timber Cruising Buffer Zone

To protect the forest ecosystem, good management practices require a buffer zone of native vegetation to be left undisturbed along stream courses. The thickest brush is typically found in these areas, which make any of our lasers an ideal measurement tool because it can accurately penetrate heavy foliage when in "filter mode". With just a LTI laser, you can walk along the buffer boundary and easily measure distances to convenient targets near the stream channel. If needed, a second cruiser can hold a reflector and move along the bank of the stream. Once the limiting distance from the stream course is verified, the buffer zone area can be marked.

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