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Question: Steve, I don't remember seeing any articles on forestry tree markings. Could you shed some light on what some markings I've seen mean. What do three blue slashes signify? Does red mark property lines? What are blue rings and yellow markings over scars? - Ed

Answer: Hi Ed! There are no national tree marking standards.

Forestry organizations have tried for years to set a few guidelines for tree and timber marks. But foresters are an independent breed. Many foresters see their tree marking designs and system as their personal or company imprint. Circles, number of slashes and other quick spirts, including stump marks, usually signifies cutting status and the quality or grade of the tree marked. Boundary line colors often designates land belonging to a particular owner and usually painted over some removed bark (scars) to last longer.

Discussion: Are There Timber Marking Standards?

Comments

January 21, 2008 at 12:34 pm
(1) Dave says:

In my 50+ years of forestry, working on public, industry, and private land, I have seen a lot of different marking systems. A common one uses orange (or red or yellow) for trees to be cut, red for cutting area boundaries, blue for property boundaries, but different foresters and companies may have a completely different set of standards. Usually, a tree with a mark at eye level and one on the stump is one to be cut. Slashes are often used to make boundary marks stand out from other marks. Other colors, circles, etc may be used for inventory and other purposes.

November 12, 2008 at 1:21 am
(2) Dale Netherton says:

As a Forest Superintendent several years ago in S.E. Texas I devised a standard for personnel on my area to conform to to get away from subjective calls on marking. It consisted of a hierarchy of considerations when approaching a tree to either be marked or left. By using this criteria there was far less disputes on the way the marking was done.

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