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The Amazing Biltmore Stick and Cruiser Tool

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What is a Biltmore or Cruiser Stick?
The Biltmore or Cruiser's Stick

The Biltmore or Cruiser's Stick

Photo by Steve Nix
The "Biltmore stick" or cruiser stick is an ingenious device used in cruising and measuring trees and logs and to estimate lumber. It was developed around the turn of the century based on a principle of similar triangles. The stick is still very much a part of a timber owner's tool kit and can be purchased at any forestry supply center. You can even make your own.

This scaling tool is a straight wooden stick, similar in appearance to a yard stick. The Biltmore stick is graduated for direct readings of tree diameters and heights. The stick allows you to measure the diameter at a point 4.5 feet above stump height and also the merchantable height in terms of 16-foot logs from a distance of one chain (66 feet). With these two measurements, the board foot volume of the tree may be determined. The actual volume table is printed on the stick.

This step-by-step feature will take you throught the entire process of using a cruiser stick. You will be shown how to determine tree height, diameter and total merchantable volume.

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