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Forestry Terms  - B -

BACKCUT -Final cut in felling a tree. Made on the opposite side of the direction of fall.

BACKFIRE -Blaze set in front of an advancing forest fire in an effort to check the wildfire by cutting off its fuel supply.
-Controlled fire set into the wind.

BARBER CHAIRr -High slab-like splint, resembling a chair back, left standing on a stump above the undercut as a result of faulty felling or heavy lean of the tree.

BARE-ROOT SEEDLING-Tree seedling grown in a nursery bed. When large enough for transplanting, the seedling is lifted from the nursery bed, and the dirt is removed from the roots before packaging.

BARK BEETLES -Small, cylindrical beetle of the family Scolytidae, the adult of which bores into and beneath the bark of various trees for the purpose of egg laying.

BARKING DRUM -Large drum in which logs or billets are tumbled by mechanical rotation, the bark being removed by abrasive action .

BARKING IRON -Tool with a narrow-shaped, curved blade used in removing bark by hand. Also called a spud.

BARK RESIDUE -Refers to the bark removed from a log and also to portions of wood and foreign matter such as sand, grit, or stones that may be imbedded in the bark.

BARK THICKNESS: A measure of the thickness of the bark at d.b.h., unless otherwise specified. Radial bark thickness is determined at a level slightly (1") below the d.b.h. to prevent callousing. It is measured from the inside of the cambium layer to the outside of the exterior bark.

BARREN LAND: Areas of limited plant life. Examples are mud flows, talus slopes, beaches, dunes, dry salt-flats, bare rock, surface mines, and glaciers.

BASAL AREA: The cross section area of the stem or stems of a plant or of all plants in a stand, generally expressed as square units per unit area. Tree basal is used to determine percent stocking. For shrubs and herbs it is used to determine phytomass. Grasses, forbs, and shrubs usually measured at or less then 1 inch above soil level. Trees - the cross section area of a tree stem in square feet commonly measured at breast height (4.5' above ground) and inclusive of bark, usually computed by using d.b.h. or tallied through the use of basal area factor angle gauge.

BASAL AREA FACTOR -Number of units of basal area per acre (or per hectare) represented by each tree.

BEAVER PONDS: Water impounded wither by temporary dams constructed by bank dwelling beaver or by permanent dams built by lodge dwelling beaver.

BEDDING - Land prepared before planting in the form of small mounds. The prepared land concentrates topsoil and elevates the root zone of seedlings above temporary standing water. Fertilizer is often incorporated into the bedding.

BILTMORE STICK -Graduated stick used to estimate tree diameters when held at right angles to the axis of the stem and
comparing the graduations cut by lines of sight tangential to either edge of the stem.

BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY - The variety of life forms in a given area. Diversity can be categorized in terms of the number of species, the variety in the area's plant and animal communities, the genetic variability of the animals, or a combination of these elements.

BIOMASS -Total woody material in a forest. Refers to both merchantable material and material left following a conventional
logging operation.
-In the broad sense, all of the organic material on a given area; in the narrow sense, burnable vegetation to be used for fuel in a
combustion system.


BLAZE -To permanently mark trees, indicating those to be cut or the course of a boundary, road, or trail (24).

BLOCK - An area of land or timber that has been defined for management purposes. One block may be composed of stands of different species or ages.

BLUE-STAIN -Discoloration in the sapwood of pine. At one time this was thought to be a serious defect; now it is used as
high-quality interior finish.

BLUE-STAIN FUNGUS -Most common form of fungal stain occurring in sapwood. Conifers are most susceptible but may also occur in light-colored heartwood of perishable timbers. Commonly develops in dead trees, logs, lumber, and other wood
products until the wood is dry. Reduces the grade of wood, but does not significantly reduce the strength. Some blue-stain
lumber is highly valued for specialty products.

BOARD FOOT - A unit of wood measuring 144 cubic inches. A 1-inch by 12-inch shelving board that is 1 foot long is equal to 1 board foot. Board foot volume is determined by:

length (feet) x width (inches) x thickness (inches)/divided by 12

BOLE - The main trunk of a tree.

BOLE LENGTH: The length in feet of merchantable bole of trees 5.0" d.b.h. and larger between the top of a 1 foot stump and 4.0" diameter outside bark (d.o.b.) unless otherwise specified.

BOLE TOP DIAMETER: The diameter outside bark (d.o.b.) of the tree stem at a point on the bole above which no merchantable product section exists. See BOLE LENGTH.

BROADLEAF - A tree with leaves that are broad, flat and thin and generally shed annually.

BUCK -To saw a felled tree into short cuts. To saw felled trees into shorter lengths.

BUCKER -One who saws felled trees into required lengths, such as logs, bolts, or sticks.

BUFFER STRIP - A narrow zone or strip of land, trees, or vegetation bordering an area. Common examples include visual buffers, which screen the view along roads, and streamside buffers, which are used to protect water quality. Buffers may also be used to prevent the spread of forest pests.

BUILT-UP LAND: Areas predominantly covered by man-made structures. Examples are cities, strip developments, transportation facilities, institutions, and industrial areas.

BUTT LOG -First log cut above the stump. Also known as butt cut .


BUTT LOG GRADE: The condition of the bottom log in a sawlog tree, or estimate of potential sawtimber quality for hardwood poletimber.

BUTT OFF -To cut off a piece of a log because of a defect. -To square the end of a log .

BUTT ROT -Decay or rot characteristically confined to the base or lower bole of a tree.

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