Glossary of Forestry Terms

Below, you will find a database of forestry and investment terms providing trusted definitions from the world of trees.

The content of this glossary has been kindly provided by several authoritative sources including the WWF, the UK governmental organisation Forest Research, and the NC State University.

We publish definitions where the expertise of the author can be verified and cited so as to provide a current and trustworthy resource.

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An area of land measuring 43,560 square feet. A square 1-acre plot measures 209 feet by 209 feet; a circular acre has a radius of 117.75 feet.


(a) Sensitivity to or appreciation of the forest’s beauty through recognition of its unique and varied components. (b) Beauty through an orderly appearance.


The establishment of a stand of trees or forest in an area where there was no previous tree cover.

All-Aged Or Uneven-Aged Management

The practice of managing a forest by periodically selecting and harvesting individual trees or groups of trees from the stand while preserving its natural appearance. Most common in hardwood forests.

All-Aged Or Uneven-Aged Stand

A forest stand composed of trees of different ages and sizes.


Any of a class of vertebrates that regulate their body temperature externally; lay shell-less eggs in wet areas; live in water during early development and live both in water and on land as adults; and use lungs, gills and their skin for breathing. Most have four legs and smooth, moist skin without scales.

Ancient Woodland

Woodland which has been in continuous existence since 1600 (1750 in Scotland).


A plant that has true flowers and bears its seeds in fruits. In temperate zones, many angiosperms are deciduous trees, while in tropical zones, many are evergreen trees. Examples include oaks, willows, maples and birches.


A plant that lives or grows for only one year or one growing season.

Annual Ring

The combination of one earlywood layer (light colored) and one latewood layer (dark colored) seen in a cross-section of a tree. One annual ring usually represents one year of growth.

Annual Wildlife Seed Mixture

A mixture of soybean, millet, cow pea, sorghum, lespedeza, buckwheat, and other seeds from which single-season plants are grown to serve as food or protective cover for wildlife. Some mixtures reseed naturally, while others require reseeding, light disking, and fertilization.


A botanical garden devoted to trees.

Artificial Regeneration

The growth of new trees through seeding and planting.


Anything of value that can be converted into cash. Assets can be classified as either short- term or long-term assets. A short-term asset is expected to be consumed within one year, while long-term assets are to be consumed in more than one year.

Awaiting Validation

Status for a Woodland Carbon Code project or group that is undergoing assessment by a certification body.


Bankable Project

A project that is financially viable, meaning that it generates an acceptable risk-return on investment. If investors assess the bankability of the project to be acceptable, then the required capital for the project will be provided. The bankability of a project is established already during the phase of project development, laying out the revenue generating activities and an optimal risk- sharing model.


The tough exterior covering of a woody root or stem that protects the tree from injury caused by insects and other animals, by other plants, by disease and by fire.

Basal Area

(a) The cross-sectional area (in square feet) of a tree trunk at breast height (4.5 feet above the ground). For example, the basal area of a tree that measures 14 inches in diameter at breast height is about 1 square foot. (b) The sum basal areas of the individual trees within 1 acre of forest. For example, a well-stocked pine stand might have a basal area of 80 to 120 square feet per acre.


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.

Best Management Practices

Procedures employed during harvesting and/or timber stand improvement activities that reduce erosion and prevent or control water pollution.

Best Management Practices (Bmp)

Management practices that maintain and improve the environmental values of forests associated with soils, water, and biological diversity; primarily used for the protection of water quality. These practices are often used during and following harvesting of timber.

Biltmore Stick

A stick similar to a yardstick in appearance, but usually about 25 inches long. One side is scaled to read a tree’s diameter by holding the stick horizontally at arm’s length and against the tree at breast height. A Merritt hypsometer runs along one edge of the stick and is scaled to read a tree’s height from 66 feet away from the tree’s base. These two measurements are then used to find the tree’s volume according to the volume table printed on one face of the stick.


The variety of life forms in a given area; can be categorized in terms of number of species, variety of plant and animal communities, genetic variability or some combination of these categories.


Energy from any fuel that is derived from biomass.

Renewable energy produced from organic matter that is used directly as fuel or has been converted into liquids or gasses for use as a fuel.

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.


Any organic matter, including forest and mill residues. Forest biomass is usually obtained through in-woods chipping of all or some portion of trees, to include tops and limbs, for energy production.


A set of precautions that aim to prevent the introduction and spread of harmful organisms. These may be pests, pathogens or invasive species.


Any of a class of vertebrates that regulate their body temperature internally, have bodies that are covered almost entirely with feathers and have forelimbs modified as wings that enable most to fly.


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.

Board Foot

A unit of measure equal to a board that is 1 inch thick, 12 inches long and 12 inches wide, or 144 cubic inches.

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)) ÷ 12]


The main trunk of a tree.


A fixed income instrument that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower (typically corporate or governmental).

Boreal Forest

The sub-Arctic forest of the high northern latitudes that surrounds the North Pole and is mainly composed of coniferous trees.


Branch wood and leaf material that is generally too small in diameter to be considered part of the timber product from a harvesting site.


Similar to wood pellets (see below) but larger, briquettes are made from compressed wood fibres and used for heating.


A class of trees that have broad, flat leaves of many different shapes; most are deciduous; also called hardwood because most broad-leaved trees have harder wood than do conifers. Examples include oak, hickory, maple and ash.


Trees that do not have needles or cones, such as oak, birch and beech. A few, such as alder, have cone-like structures for their seeds which are not true cones.


A harvesting function of cutting a felled tree into shorter lengths.

Buffer Rules

See riparian buffer rules.

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.

Build-Operate-Transfer (Bot)

Through a Build-Operate-Transfer model a public entity gives a concession to a private company to build and operate a project for a set time period (usually 20 or 30 years). After this period, control of the project is returned to the public entity.


Cable Skidder

See skidder.


A thin layer of specialized cells within a tree’s trunk that divide to produce new inner bark cells to the outside and new sapwood cells to the inside. The narrow band of cells that is responsible for the tree’s growth in circumference.


The “roof” of the forest formed by the crowns of the tallest trees.

A layer or multiple layers of branches and foliage at the top or crown of a forest’s trees.

Capital Expenditures (Capex)

CAPEX are capital expenditures to buy, maintain, or improve its fixed assets. CAPEX includes purchasing new assets or using money to extend the life of an existing asset.

Capital Gains

Profit on the sale of an asset such as timber, land, or other property. Reporting timber sales as capital gains provides certain tax advantages over reporting revenues as ordinary income.

Carbon Credits

In this context carbon credits are defined as tradable certificates that provides companies the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide per credit. Carbon credits can be traded on carbon markets, generating financial returns.

Carbon Sequestration

Process that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — trees, grasses, and other plants uptake carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and store it in biomass.

Carbon Sink

A forest, ocean, or other natural environment viewed in terms of its ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carrying Capacity

The maximum number of healthy wildlife that a given habitat or area can support without degradation of the habitat.


The net amount of cash and cash-equivalents being transferred into and out of a business. Positive cashflow enables a company to settle debts, reinvest in its business and redistribute money to shareholders.


The scientific name for wood fiber.

Cement Bonded Particleboard

Sheet material manufactured under pressure, based on wood and other vegetable particles bound with hydraulic cement and possibly containing additives.


To meet a set of agreed upon standards that address social, economic, and environmental considerations that promote sustainable forestry. Three common forest certification programs in the United States are Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and American Tree Farm System.


A distance of 66 feet.

Chain Of Custody

The supply chain wood follows from the forest to the consumer, to include processing, manufacturing, storage, and distribution links. With a chain of custody certificate, the wood or fiber used in a product can be traced back along the chain of custody to a certified forest.


A cutting method used in cutting lumber from trees that measure between 6 and 14 inches diameter at breast height. The process chips off the rounded outer layer of a log before sawing the remaining cant or rectangular inside section into lumber. Chip-n-saw mills provide a market for trees larger than pulpwood and smaller than sawtimber.


(see Particleboard).

Clear-Cut Harvest

A harvesting and regeneration method that removes all trees within a given area. Clear-cutting is most commonly used in pine and hardwood forests, which require full sunlight to regenerate and grow efficiently.


A harvesting and regeneration method that removes all trees within a given area. Most commonly used in pine and hardwood forests that require full sunlight to regenerate and grow efficiently.

Clearfell Areas

Sites where all trees have been felled at once. In non-clearfell areas, only some trees are felled at any one time.


An instrument that is held at eye level to read stump height and merchantable or total height when standing 50 and 66 feet from the base of the tree. The difference between the two readings yields the height.


A sampling technique where the entire population is divided into groups, or clusters, and a random sample of these clusters is selected. All (or a selection of) observations in the selected clusters are included in the sample. Cluster sampling is often used when a random sample would produce a list of subjects so widely scattered that surveying them would prove to be far too expensive.


Collateral is an asset that a lender accepts as security for extending a loan. If the borrower defaults on the loan payments, the lender may seize the collateral and sell it to recoup some or all of his losses.


The struggle between trees to obtain sunlight, nutrients, water, and growing space. Every part of the tree—from the roots to the crown—competes for space and food.

Confidence Interval

An estimated range of values that is likely to include an unknown population parameter (i.e. a fixed value for the population as a whole). The confidence interval around an estimate is derived from the sample data, and is used to indicate the reliability of the estimate.


Confederation of Forest Industries.


A class of trees that are evergreen, have needle or scalelike foliage and conelike fruit; often called softwood. Examples include pine, hemlock, cedar and cypress.


Trees with needles and cones, such as spruce, pine and larch.


The protection, improvement, and wise use of natural resources for present and future generations.

Conservation Easement

A voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust, or government agency, that limits the use of the property in order to protect the conservation values of the land.

Consulting Forester

An independent trained professional forester working for a company that provides services to the general public on a fee or contractual basis.

Controlled Burn

See prescribed burn.

Conversion Factor

Numerical factor by which a quantity that is expressed in one set of units must be multiplied in order to convert it into another set of units.

Convertible Loan

This loan gives the debtholder the possibility to exchange all or a portion of the loan principal for equity. This exchange happens at a predetermined conversion rate within a set period.


Trees that are cut near ground level (or sometimes higher, in which case they are called pollards), causing them to produce many small shoots. These shoots are harvested every few years at a relatively early age for products such as staves, fencing, fuel and charcoal. “Coppice with standards” includes scattered trees that are left to grow as normal (“standards”).


A standard unit of measure equivalent to 128 cubic feet of round or split wood. A standard cord measures 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet. A face cord or short cord is 4 feet by 8 feet by any length of wood under 4 feet.

A stack of round or split wood consisting of 128 cubic feet of wood, bark, and air space. A standard cord measures 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet. A face cord or short cord is 4 feet by 8 feet by any length of wood under 4 feet.

Cost-Share Assistance

An assistance program offered by various state and federal agencies that pays a fixed rate or percentage of the total cost necessary to implement some forestry or agricultural practice.


(a) Any plant that intercepts rain drops before they reach the soil or that holds soil in place. (b) A hiding place or vegetative shelter for wildlife from predators or inclement weather.

Credit Enhancements

Credit enhancements refer to improving credit risk of a company by providing reassurance to a lender.

Crop Tree

Any tree selected to grow to final harvest or to a selected size. Crop trees are selected for quality, species, size, timber potential, or wildlife value.

Cross Laminated Timber (Clt)

A large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel consisting of several layers of kiln-dried lumber boards stacked in alternating directions, bonded with glue, and pressed to form a solid, straight, rectangular panel.


The branches and foliage at the top of a tree.


A tree classification system based on the tree’s relative height, foliage density, and ability to intercept light. Crown-class measures past growth performance and calls attention to crop trees that could benefit from future thinning and harvest operations. There are four classifications: Dominant Trees — Larger-than-average trees with broad, well-developed crowns. These trees receive direct sunlight from all sides and above. Codominant Trees — Average-to-fairly large trees with medium-sized crowns that form the forest canopy. These trees receive full light from above but are crowded on the sides. Intermediate Trees — Medium-sized trees with small crowns below the general level of the canopy. Intermediate trees receive little direct light, are poor crop trees, and should be removed during thinning operations. Suppressed or Overtopped Trees — Small trees that grow below the tree canopy and receive no direct sunlight from any direction.


A survey of forestland to locate timber and estimate its quantity by species, products, size, quality, or other characteristics.


A tree or log of marketable size that is useless for all but firewood or pulpwood because of crookedness, rot, injuries, or damage from disease or insects.

Cutting Contract

A written, legally binding document used in the sale of standing timber. The contract specifies the provisions covering the expectations and desires of both buyer and seller.

Cutting Cycle

The planned time interval between major harvesting operations within the same stand—usually within uneven-aged stands. For example, on a 10-year cutting cycle in a hardwood stand, trees are harvested every 10 years.



A practice in which trees shading an access road are removed to increase the sunlight on the roadway and along its periphery. This relatively inexpensive practice maximizes forest edge and cover for wildlife and maintains passable roads year-round.

Dead Wood

Non-living woody biomass not contained in the litter, either standing or lying on the ground. For wood carbon reporting, the minimum was 15 cm diameter for standing and lying deadwood, and 7 cm dbh (diameter at breast height) for fallen trees.


A group of trees that lose all of their leaves every year.


The process by which organic material such as leaves and branches are broken down by bacteria, fungi, protozoans and the many different kinds of animals that live in the soil.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


A mobile machine with flailing chains or knives used in the harvesting process to remove the limbs from trees.


The quantities of UK-grown roundwood that are delivered to processors (mills) or for other uses (such as woodfuel and exports). Note that for sawmills and round fencing mills, the deliveries figure reported is actually the quantity of roundwood consumed by the mill, which may differ from the true deliveries figure if the levels of input stocks vary.


The study of trees; tree identification.

Design-Build-Own-Operate- Transfer (Dboot)

DBOOT is a public-private partnership model in which a private company conducts a large development project under contract to a public-sector partner. It is a variation on the BOT model and differences in the fact that the contractor also designs and owns the project during the project period.

Diameter At Breast Height (Dbh)

Tree diameter measured at 4.5 feet above ground level.

The diameter of a tree measured in inches at breast height—a standard 4.5 feet above the ground.

Diameter Tape

A steel measuring tape that has a scale calibrated to read a tree’s diameter when wrapped around the tree’s circumference.

Diameter-Limit Cutting

A selection method in which all marketable trees above a specified diameter are harvested. Diameter-limit cutting can lead to long-term degradation of the stand.

Direct Or Broadcast Seeding

(a) Sowing seed for broad coverage from the air or on the ground. (b) Seeding of forest stands, roadways, or specified plots for wildlife.

Direct Production

Timber that is sold after the trees have been felled by the woodland owner or their contractors.

Discount Rate

Cashflow in the future does not equal today’s cashflow due to uncertainty in projections and because cash today is expected to be worth more tomorrow when it produces an interest or Return On Investment. Reversely, that means that cash in the future has a lower value in the present. The discount rate refers to the rate that is used to discount future cashflow in order to compensate for these risks and determine its present value. A high discount rate refers to greater uncertainty, lowering the present value of future cashflow.


A dividend is a token reward paid to shareholders for their investment in a company’s equity. It usually originates from the company’s net profits.

Drum Chopping

A site preparation technique in which logging debris is leveled by a bulldozer pulling a large drum filled with water. Chopped areas are often burned to further reduce debris and control sprouting before seedlings are planted.



Wood cells produced at the beginning of a tree’s growing season that are generally light in color. Also called springwood.

Ecological Succession

The gradual change of plant and animal communities over time.


The science or study of the relationships between organisms and their environment.


A biological community of living organisms and nonliving components such as air, water and mineral soil that interact. An ecosystem can be of any size — e.g., log, field, pond, woodlot, or Earth’s biosphere. See ecosystem services.

Ecosystem Services

Benefits people obtain from the goods and services produced by an ecosystem — e.g., water and air purification, nutrient recycling, recreation, biomass for fuel. See ecosystem.


The transition between two different types or ages of vegetation.

Endangered Or Threatened Species

A species is endangered when the total number of remaining members may not be sufficient to reproduce enough offspring to ensure survival of the species. A threatened species exhibits declining or dangerously low populations but still has enough members to maintain or increase numbers.

Endangered Species

Any species that has been classified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or a state wildlife agency as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A species is endangered when the total number of remaining members may not be sufficient to reproduce enough offspring to ensure survival of the species.


A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.

Endowment Fund

An endowment fund is an investment fund that is established by a foundation that makes consistent withdrawals from invested capital. Endowment funds are typically funded entirely by donations and are structured in a way that the principal amount invested remains intact while investment income can be provided for immediate funding in order to keep a non- profit company operating efficiently.


The sum of all external living and non-living conditions and influences that affect the development and survival of an organism.

The interaction of climate, soil, topography, and other plants and animals in any given area. An organism’s environment influences its form, behavior, and survival.


The wearing away or removal of land or soil by the action of wind, water, ice or gravity.

The wearing away of land or soil by the action of wind, water, or ice.


Environmental, social and Governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that responsible investors use to evaluate companies in which they might want to invest.


The first five to ten years or formative period that ends once young trees are of sufficient size that, given adequate protection, they are likely to survive at the required stocking.


European Union. It currently comprises 28 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.


The statistical office of the European Union, situated in Luxembourg. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions.


The evaporation of water from the soil and the transpiration of water from the plants that live in that soil. Approximately one-quarter of a forest’s annual rainfall returns to the air through evapotranspiration.

Even-Aged Management

A forest management method in which all trees in an area are harvested at one time or in several cuttings over a short time to produce stands that are all the same age or nearly so. This management method is commonly applied to shade-intolerant conifers and hardwoods.


A group of trees that do not lose all of their leaves every year but go through a gradual replacement by dropping only their oldest leaves each year. Instead of being bare in winter, these trees have leaves all year.



United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, responsible for the Forest Resources Assessment and for compiling international statistics on production and trade of wood products.

Feller Buncher

A machine used in the harvesting process that can cut a tree, hold it, and move to the next tree to cut. After one or more trees are cut, the machine places the trees in a small pile to be moved to a landing.


Panel material with thickness equal to or greater than 1.5mm, manufactured from lignocellulosic fibres with application of heat and/or pressure. The bond is derived either from the felting of the fibres and their inherent adhesive properties or from a synthetic binder added to the fibres.


Any nonflammable barrier used to slow or stop fires. Several types of firebreaks are mineral soil barriers; barriers of green, slow-burning vegetation; and mechanically cleared areas.

First-Loss Position

An investment that will suffer the first economic loss if the underlying assets lose value or are foreclosed on.

Flashboard Riser

A versatile water control device used in the coastal plain to manage water movement. Water levels are physically altered to control fire and maintain beneficial soil characteristics to reduce soil oxidation and soil damage caused by heavy equipment

Flat Or Straight Planting

Planting trees directly into the ground without beds or, in some cases, without first moving logging debris.


The leaves of a tree or other plant.


Vegetation such as leaves, stems, buds, and some types of bark that can be eaten for food and energy.


Any herb other than grass.


Any herb other than grass.


In the United Kingdom, there is no formal definition of “forest”; the term is often used for large woodland areas (especially conifers) or for old Royal hunting preserves such as the New Forest or the Forest of Dean.

An ecosystem dominated by extensive tree cover, frequently consisting of stands of trees that are often characterized based on species, age, and size class. Forests are often categorized based on their purpose — e.g., urban forest, industrial forest, non-industrial private forest.

Forest Canopy Cover

Forest Certification

The means of conserving forests by promoting responsible forestry practices that address social, economic, and environmental considerations. Forests are evaluated according to an agreed upon set of standards and certified as being well managed by a qualified independent auditor (or certifier). Wood or wood products from those forests are then labeled so that consumers can identify them as being obtained from a sustainable forest. See certify.

Forest Cover

Forest Floor

The lowest level of the forest that is made up of tree seedlings, dead leaves and needles, grasses, ferns, flowers, fungi, and decaying plants and logs.

Forest Management

Caring for a forest so that it stays healthy and vigorous and provides the products and values the landowner desires.

(a) Proper care and control of wooded land to maintain health, vigor, product flow, and other values (soil condition, water quality, wildlife preservation, and beauty) to accomplish specific objectives. (b) The practical application of scientific, economic, and social principles to forest property.

Forest Management Plan

Written guidelines for current and future management practices recommended to meet an owner’s objectives.

Forest Service (Fs)

An executive agency of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). Forest Service fulfils DAERA’s legal obligations for forestry in Northern Ireland.

Forest Stewardship Plan

A written document listing activities that enhance or improve forest resources (wildlife, timber, soil, water, recreation and aesthetics) on private land over a five-year period.

Forest Type

A designation or name given to a forest based on the most abundant tree type or types in the stand; groups of tree species commonly growing in the same stand because their environmental requirements are similar. Examples of North Carolina forest types include (a) pine; (b) mixed hardwood; (c) cypress, tupelo and black gum; and (d) oak and hickory.

Groups of tree species commonly growing in the same stand because their environmental requirements are similar. North Carolina examples include pine and mixed hardwood; cypress, tupelo, and black gum; and oak and hickory.


Land that has a minimum stocking level of 10% of forest trees and is at least 1 acre in size and 120 feet in crown width. This includes land that will be naturally or artificially regenerated.


The art and science of managing forests to produce various products and benefits including timber, wildlife habitat, clean water, biodiversity and recreation.

The science, art, and practice of managing and using trees, forests, and their associated resources for human benefit.

Forestry And Land Scotland (Fls)

The Scottish Government agency responsible for managing the national forests and lands in Scotland, created on 1 April 2019.

Forestry Commission (Fc)

The government department responsible for forestry matters in England. The Forestry Commission’s functions in Wales transferred to the Welsh Government and to Natural Resources Wales on 1 April 2013. The Forestry Commission’s functions in Scotland transferred to Scottish Forestry and to Forestry and Land Scotland on 1 April 2019. The Forestry Commission is supported by two agencies; Forestry England and Forest Research.

Forestry England (Fe)

The Forestry Commission agency responsible for managing the national forests in England. Prior to April 2019, Forestry England was known as Forest Enterprise England.

Forestry Research (Fr)

The Forestry Commission agency responsible for forestry and tree related research (including statistics).


A machine, usually self-loading, used in the harvesting process for hauling a log completely off the ground from the stump to a landing.


A harvesting function of hauling a log completely off the ground from the stump to a landing by a forwarder.


Forest Stewardship Council.

Fuel Loading

A buildup of fuels, especially easily ignited, fast-burning fuels such as pinestraw.


A pool of financial resources, often invested and professionally managed, dedicated for a specific purpose.


A pooled investment fund that has a portfolio which contains different underlying portfolios of other funds.

Fusiform Rust

A disease resulting in a canker or swollen area on the limbs or trunks of pine trees from orange spores produced by infected oak leaves. Fusiform rust degrades stem quality and tree value, often leading to breakage, disfigurement, and eventual death of the tree.


Gdp Deflator

Gross Domestic Product at market prices deflator. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a measure of the total economic activity. Growth in GDP reflects both growth in the economy and price change (inflation). Applying a GDP deflator to time series of prices or price indices removes the effects of inflation to enable a comparison of changes in price that are not caused by inflation.


To begin to grow, usually following a period of dormancy and in response to favourable conditions. For example, the sprouting of a seedling from a seed.

Gestation Period

The gestation period is the timespan from investment to profit generation. The longer the period, the riskier a project becomes for investors.


A physical cutting or disruption of the cambial sap flow within a tree. Girdling by humans, animals, or insects can often kill a tree.

Grace Period

A set length of time after the due date during which a financial obligation may be met without penalty or cancellation. Sometimes, grace periods can last several years to allow projects that have low cashflow in the onset of a project to become bankable.


Grants are financial resources that do not have to be paid back. Typically, a grant is provided to facilitate a purpose or stimulate performance.

Grapple Skidder

See skidder.

Great Britain (Gb)

England, Wales and Scotland.

Green Tonne

The weight measurement of timber freshly felled before any natural or artificial drying has occurred.

Green Tree Reservoir (Gtr)

A wooded area that has been intentionally flooded to benefit migratory ducks and waterfowl. GTRs may be planted with a grain crop, such as millet, the summer before the winter flooding. The GTR can be an effective, low-cost method of luring waterfowl into forested tracts.

Gross Value Added (Gva)

A measure of the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the United Kingdom.

Group Selection

(a) The removal of small groups of trees to regenerate shade-intolerant trees in the opening (usually at least ¼ acre). (b) A specific type of selective cutting.

Growing Stock

The volume of timber in living trees. It is also often referred to as the standing volume.


A financial guarantee is a contract by a third party (guarantor) to back the debt of a second party (creditor) to ensure that the creditor can pay off its debt to the investor(s).


A plant whose seeds are not enclosed in flowers. Most gymnosperms produce their seeds on the surface of the scales of female cones and are pollinated by wind. Conifers are the most common type of gymnosperm.



An area in which a specific plant or animal naturally lives, grows and reproduces; the area that provides a plant or animal with adequate food, water, shelter and living space.

(a) An area in which a specific plant or animal can naturally live, grow, and reproduce. (b) For wildlife, habitat is the combination of food, water, cover, and space.


The wood of broadleaved trees, such as oak, birch and beech; a term sometimes used for the broadleaved trees themselves.


Trees with broad, flat leaves as opposed to coniferous or needled trees. Wood hardness varies among the hardwood species, and some are actually softer than some softwoods.

Hardwoods (Deciduous Trees)

Trees with broad, flat leaves as opposed to coniferous or needled trees. Wood hardness varies among the hardwood species, and some are actually softer than some softwoods.


The central core of a tree, which is made up of dense, dead wood and provides strength to the tree.


A metric unit of square measure, equal to 100 acres (2.471 acres or 10,000 square metres).

Hectare (Ha)

Unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres (100 m by 100 m), approximately equivalent to 2.47 acres.

High Forest

Trees capable of growing to be suitable for timber production (compare with coppice).


A harvesting technique that removes only the biggest and most valuable trees from a stand and provides high returns at the expense of future growth potential. Poor quality, shade-loving trees tend to dominate in these continually high-graded sites.

Hm Revenue & Customs (Hmrc)

The United Kingdom’s tax authority.

Hybrid Annuity Model (Ham)

Under a HAM model, the government makes payments in a fixed amount for a considerable time length and consequently in a variable amount for the remaining period. The model was introduced in 2016 in order to revive public-private partnerships and stimulate investments in highway construction in India.


Any device used for measuring tree height.


Improvement Cut

An intermediate cut made to improve the form, quality, health, or wildlife potential of the remaining stand.


A reward for improving forest management. Incentives include reimbursement of some expenses but can also take the form of an abatement of property or income tax.


The growth rate of standing trees.

Increment Borer

A hollow auger-like tool with a screw bit used to remove core samples from trees.


Interest is the amount charged on top of the principal originally lent to the borrower. It is the amount the borrower has to pay for the ability to use the money.

Internal Rate Of Return

The IRR is a financial metric used to estimate how profitable potential investments are. The IRR is a discount rate that makes the Net Present Value of all cashflows equal to zero: today’s value of the expected cashflow equals today’s value of invested cash. In general, the higher a project’s IRR, the more desirable it is to invest in the project. External factors, such as cost of capital or inflation, are left out of the calculation.

The interest rate at which the net present value of all the cash flows (both positive and negative) from an investment equal zero. It is used as a guideline for evaluating the profitability of an investment. See net present value.


Describes species introduced deliberately or unintentionally outside their natural habitats where they have the ability to establish themselves, invade, outcompete natives and take over the new environments.


J-Root Or L-Root

An improperly planted seedling that takes a J-shaped configuration in the planting hole. Such seedlings often die prematurely, grow poorly, and are susceptible to windthrow.

Junior Loan

Junior loans have a lower priority than a first or senior lender. In the case of a foreclosure, the senior debt will be paid down first. Therefore, it is considered a subordinate debt.


Kg And Pile

A site preparation method in which stumps are pushed up, sheared off, or split apart by a specially designed blade mounted on a bulldozer. Debris is then piled or placed in long rows (windrows) so that an area can be bedded or flat planted.

Kg Blade

A bulldozer-mounted blade used in forestry and land-clearing operations. A single spike splits and shears stumps at their base.

Kyoto Protocol

A protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that set binding obligations on the industrialised countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.


Land Expectation Value (Lev)

The value of a bare tract of land that would be used for growing timber in perpetuity. The LEV is the net present value of all revenues and costs associated with growing the timber in perpetuity. See net present value.

Land Use

The human use of land for economic, social, environmental, or other purposes. Land use is often associated with urban development.


An area designated during harvesting to which logs or trees are brought from where they are cut from the stump to be loaded onto trucks for transporting to the mill.


Wood cells produced at the end of the growing season that make up the darker section of an annual ring. Also called summerwood.


Plants that produce organic nitrogen from nitrogen gas in the air. These plants, which typically form seeds in pods, include soybeans, peas, alfalfa, lespedeza, and locust.


A composite organism made up of a fungus in a co-operative partnership with an alga. Owing to this partnership, lichens can thrive in harsh environments such as mountaintops and polar regions. Characteristically forms a crustlike or branching growth on rocks or tree trunks.

Life Cycle Assessment (Lca)

A process that examines the total environmental impact of a product from extraction of the raw materials to make the product, through production and sale of the product, to the use and disposal of the product.

Limiting Factor

Any requirement for wildlife survival that is in limited supply.


Non-living biomass with a diameter less than the minimum for dead wood, lying dead in various states of decomposition above the soil.


A machine, used in the harvesting process, with a grapple or tongs and supporting structure designed to pick up logs or trees from a landing for final processing and piling or loading for transportation to the mill.

Log Rule Or Log Scale

A table based on a diagram or mathematical formula used to estimate volume or product yield from logs and trees. Three log rules are used today in North Carolina: Scribner is the common scale for pine; Doyle is the common hardwood scale; and the International 1/4″ Rule best measures mill output, although it is used less frequently than the other log scales.


An individual who often works for a company harvesting trees for the production of wood products. Also known as a lumberjack. Loggers stay current in their profession by being certified under programs such as prologger or master logger.

Long Term Contracts (Ltc)

Sales of roundwood, felled or standing, to customers over a period of more than one year. The second and subsequent years of a long term contract are negotiated after the sale of the first year’s volume.



Any of a class of higher vertebrates whose bodies are covered with hair, who give birth to live young, nourish their young with milk from mammary glands, regulate their body temperature internally, have four types of well-developed teeth and typically have four well-developed legs with toes that have nails, claws or hoofs.

Marginal Land

Land that does not consistently produce a profitable crop because of infertility, drought, or other physical limitations such as shallow soils.


The selling of timber or other forest resources. Successful sellers seek a satisfactory price through competition, skillful negotiation, knowledge of timber markets, and the aid of a competent broker or consultant.


(a) The physical process of selecting trees to be cut or left during a harvest. (b) delineating a boundary. Marking is usually done by spraying a spot of bright paint on a prominent part of the tree.


Fruits or nuts used as a food source by wildlife. Soft mast includes most fruits with fleshy coverings, such as persimmon, dogwood seed, or black gum seed. Hard mast refers to nuts such as acorns and beech, pecan, and hickory nuts.

Mature Tree

A tree that has reached a desired size or age for its intended use. Size, age, or economic maturity varies depending on the species and intended use.


The maturity is the date on which a financial transaction ends. On this date the transaction should be renewed or ceases to exist on which the principal is returned to the investor.


Abbreviation denoting 1,000 board feet. MBF is a typical unit of trade for dimension lumber and sawtimber stumpage. (It takes 11 MBF of wood to build an average 1,900-square-foot house.)

Medium-Density Fibreboard (Mdf)

Wood fibreboard made by a dry process in which the primary bond is derived from a bonding agent, and having a density usually exceeding 600 kg per cubic metre.

Mensuration Or Biometrics

(a) The measurement and calculation of volume, growth, and development of individual trees or stands and their timber products. (b) A measurement of forestlands.

Merchantable Height

The stem length, normally measured from the ground to a 10-, 6-, or 4-inch diameter top, above which no other saleable product can be cut. Diameter, local markets, limbs, knots, and other defects collectively influence merchantable height.

Merritt Hypsometer

A scale that measures the number of 16-foot logs in a tree.

Mixed Stand

A timber stand in which less than 80 percent of the trees in the main canopy are of a single species.

Movement Licence

Any movement of Phytophthora-affected wood from a forest site (or subsequent move of affected material from a mill or processing site) requires a Movement Licence to be issued by the Forestry Commission.

Multiple Use

The management of land or forest for more than one purpose, such as wood production, water quality, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics, or clean air.

Multiple-Use Management

The management of land or forest for more than one purpose, such as wood production, water quality, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics and clean air.


Native Species

Species that have arrived and inhabited an area naturally, without deliberate assistance by man. For trees and shrubs in the United Kingdom usually taken to mean those present after post-glacial recolonisation and before historic times. Some species are only native in particular regions – hence locally native.

Natural Colonisation

The creation of new woodland by natural means, i.e. without sowing or planting

Natural Regeneration

The regeneration of existing woodland by natural means, i.e. without sowing or planting.

The growth of new trees in one of the following ways without human assistance: (a) from seeds carried by wind or animals, (b) from seeds stored on the forest floor, or (c) from stumps that sprout.

Natural Resources Wales (Nrw)

The organisation responsible for advising the Welsh Government on the environment, created on 1 April 2013.

Natural Stand (Natural Regeneration)

A stand of trees grown from natural seed fall or sprouting.

Naval Stores

Products such as pitch, tar, and turpentine that are distilled from resin of live trees, mostly pines.

Net Present Value

The Net Present Value is the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows over a period of time. It is used to estimate the profitability of a project. A positive Net Present Value indicates that the expected earnings (in present dollars) generated by a project, exceeds the anticipated costs (in present dollars), and is therefore considered to be profitable. A negative value is expected to result in a net loss.

A criteria used in evaluating an investment or project. It is the difference between the present values of costs and revenues. A positive net present value indicates present values of revenues exceed the present values of costs.

New Planting

Establishing woodland on ground that was not woodland in the recent past.


National Forest Inventory.


Northern Ireland.


1995-99 National Inventory of Woodland and Trees.

Nominal Terms

Refers to prices at the time of sale. See also “real terms”.

Non-Timber Forest Products

Any product derived from the forest that is not timber — e.g., medicinal herbs, resins, mushrooms, berries, ferns, cones.


Elements necessary for growth and reproduction. Primary plant nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.


On The Stump

Standing, uncut timber.


Office for National Statistics.

Operating Expenses (Opex)

OPEX refers to operating expenses which represent the day-to-day expenses necessary to keep the business running. These costs are short-term and used up in the same period in which they were purchased.

Oriented Strand Board (Osb)

Multi-layered board made from strands of wood of a predetermined shape and thickness together with a binder. The strands in the external layers are aligned and parallel to the board length or width.

A structural engineered panel formed by adding glue and then compressing three to five layers of thin wood flakes (strands) that are oriented at right angles to each other.

Oven Dry Tonnes (Odt)

Measurement of quantity without moisture (i.e. 0% moisture content).


The volume of wood including the bark. Can be either standing volume or felled volume.



A flat structure, often made of wood, and used to stack, store, protect, and transport goods in a stable fashion.


Panel material manufactured under pressure and heat from particles of wood (wood and chipboard flakes, chips, shavings, sawdust), with the addition of an adhesive.


Pay-as-you-earn tax.


A form of biofuel made from compressed organic matter or biomass. Wood pellets are the most common type of pellet fuel and are generally made from compacted sawdust.


Plants that live or grow for more than one year. Some resprout from a root system or reseed themselves every year.

Perennial Wildlife Mixture

A mixture of all or some of the following: shrub lespedeza, partridge pea, cowpea, annual lespedeza, reseeding soybeans, and other perennial plants that are beneficial to wildlife.


Any organism that is out of place or causes stress to a desired organism.


Any chemical used to kill or control pests.


The part of a tree that carries sap from the leaves to the rest of the tree. Also called inner bark.


A chemical compound that aids root growth and is essential in energy transfer. It is commonly incorporated into beds as triple super phosphate (TSP) at time of planting.


Chemical process carried out by green plants in the presence of light, which combines carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with hydrogen from water in the soil to form sugars as food for the growing plant. Oxygen is a by-product of the reaction.

The process by which a plant or tree combines water and carbon dioxide with energy from the sun to make glucose and oxygen.

Phytophthora Ramorum

Fungus-like pathogen of plants that causes extensive damage and mortality to trees (including Japanese larch) and other plants.

Plant Or Habitat Diversity

A variety of food or cover for wildlife. Variation may occur at one point in time or over a period of time such as during the course of a season. Seasonal diversity of food and cover is often critical to the survival of a species.

Plant Succession

The progression of plants from bare ground to mature forest.


Planted pines or hardwoods, typically in an ordered configuration such as equally spaced rows.


Wood-based panel consisting of an assembly of layers bonded together with the direction of the grain in adjacent layers, usually at right angles (not currently made in the UK).

Poles Or Poletimber

Trees from 5 to 7 inches in diameter at breast height.


An animal that preys on and devours other animals.

Predator Guard

A physical barrier used to keep one animal from eating another. Usually refers to protection devices on nest boxes.

Prescribed Burning

The practice of using regulated fires to reduce or eliminate material on the forest floor, for seedbed preparation or to control competing vegetation. Prescribed burning simulates one of the most common natural disturbances. Also called controlled burning.

Prescribed Or Controlled Burn

The use of fire under specific environmental conditions to achieve forest management objectives. Used to reduce hazardous fuel levels, control unwanted vegetation, favor desired vegetation, and improve visibility and wildlife habitat.

Present Use Valuation

Property tax relief classification based on the land’s productivity for agriculture, horticulture, or forestry production, rather than for market value. Can result in substantial tax savings in areas where land values are high. Some restrictions and penalties apply, including a 3-year rollback provision with interest. Consult your county tax supervisor for details.


An attempt to keep forests in an undisturbed state through the control of internal and external influences.

Price Index

A measure of the proportionate, or percentage, changes in a set of prices over time. Commonly used indices include the Laspeyres index, Paasche index and Fisher index.


The original amount of investment in a project. It can also refer to the actual value of the bond issued.

Public-Private Partnerships (Ppp)

Public–Private Partnerships are a cooperative arrangement between two or more public and private parties, typically of a long-term nature and aimed at delivering goods or services to the public.


A fibrous material produced by mechanically or chemically reducing wood into their component parts from which pulp, paper and paperboard sheets are formed after proper slushing and treatment or used for dissolving purposes (dissolving pulp or chemical cellulose) to make rayon, plastics, and other synthetic products. Sometimes called wood pulp.


Wood used in the manufacture of paper, fiberboard, or other wood fiber products. Pulpwood-sized trees are usually a minimum of 4 inches in diameter.

Pure Stand

A timber stand in which at least 75 percent of the trees in the main crown canopy are of a single species.


Quota Sampling

A method of sampling where interviewers are each given a fixed number of subjects of specified type to interview.



A bird of prey such as an owl, hawk, osprey, or eagle.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits)

A company that often trades on major stock exchanges that owns, and often operates, income producing real estate, such as timberland, on behalf of private investors. REITs buy, manage, and sell real estate or real estate related assets — e.g., mortgages.

Real Terms

Refers to prices at a common date. Prices in real terms are derived by applying a deflator to remove the effects of general inflation to enable a comparison of changes over time that have not resulted from inflation. See also “nominal terms”.

Recovered Wood

Either industrial process by-products (e.g. offcuts or fines from a board manufacturing mill, furniture factory, joinery or construction) or from post-consumer waste wood (e.g. pallets, construction waste) after the stage of recovery or reclamation for purposes of recycling.


Reestablishing a forest by planting or seeding an area from which forest vegetation has been removed.

Regeneration Cut

A cutting strategy in which old trees are removed while favorable environmental conditions are maintained for the establishment of a new stand of seedlings.

Registered Lands

A permit-only hunting program in which land is registered with and patrolled by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Hunters without a permit issued by the landowner are cited for trespass and prosecuted without need for the landowner to appear in court or swear out a warrant.


To free a tree from competition with its immediate neighbors by removing the surrounding trees. This occurs naturally and artificially.

Renewable Resource

A naturally occurring raw material or form of energy that has the capacity to replenish itself through ecological cycles and sound management practices.


(a) The process by which young trees grow to become the older trees of the future forest. (b) The process of forest replacement or renewal through natural sprouting or seeding or by the planting of seedlings or direct seeding.


Any of a class of vertebrates that regulates its body temperature externally, has dry, glandless skin covered with scales, breathes through lungs and lays large eggs that develop on land.

Reserve Account

A reserve account helps to mitigate financial risks by making up for losses up to the amount allocated to the reserve. Over the life of an investment, the reserve account will be replenished to a specified level to increase credit support.

Residual Stand

Trees left in a stand to grow until the next harvest. This term can refer to crop trees or cull trees.


A group of sticky liquid substances secreted by plants that appear on the plant’s external surface after a wound.


The replacement of trees on areas of woodland that have been felled; this can be done either through replanting or natural regeneration.

Riparian Buffer

A vegetative zone next to a perennial or intermittent water body, which help shade and protect the water body from the impact of adjacent land uses.

Riparian Buffer Rules

A series of rules that set additional limits on forest harvesting activities within the riparian buffer zone to protect water quality. The rules are often specific to designated river basins or watersheds.

Roadside Sales

Sales of timber after harvesting. The owner is responsible for getting the trees felled and extracting them to the side of the road, ready to take away.

Root Collar

The transition zone between stem and root at the ground line of a tree or seedling.


The underground portion of a tree that helps anchor the tree in the ground and absorbs water and nutrients from the soil.


The number of years required to establish and grow trees to a specified size, product, or condition of maturity. A pine rotation may range from as short as 20 years for pulpwood to more than 60 years for sawtimber.


Trunk or branch wood, generally with a top diameter of 7 cm or more. Can be in the form of logs (14 cm top diameter or more) or small roundwood (7 to 14 cm).


Sale, Lump Sum (Boundary)

The sale of specified timber on a specified area. The volume may or may not be estimated and published. The buyer is responsible for determining correct volume. The seller guarantees ownership and boundaries.

Sale, Unit

A timber sales arrangement in which the buyer pays for forest products removed in units (measured in cords, MBF, or units of weight). Determination of units removed from the area is verified by mill tally, scale tickets, and buyer’s or seller’s tally.

Salvage Cut

The harvesting of dead or damaged trees or of trees in danger of being killed by insects, disease, flooding, or other factors to save their economic value.


A small tree, usually between 2 and 4 inches diameter at breast height.

Sawlog Or Sawtimber

A log or tree that is large enough (usually 10 to 12 inches in diameter) to be sawed into lumber. Minimum log length is typically 8 feet.


Material of at least 14 cm top diameter that is destined to be sawn into planks or boards.

Sawmill Products

Materials including wood chips, sawdust and bark which arise during the conversion of logs to sawn timber. Most are used as inputs to other wood processing industries, sold for bioenergy or sold for other uses. Formerly called sawmill residues or co-products.


Sawn timber – timber that has been cut into planks or boards from logs.


Wood of large enough size to be used to produce lumber for construction and furniture.


For soil: The removal of the top litter layer of an area (usually in strips) for site preparation. For seed: The abrasion or weakening of the seed coat to encourage germination.

Scottish Forestry (Sf)

The Scottish Government agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulations, created on 1 April 2019. Scottish Forestry also has responsibility for managing the UK Woodland Carbon Code on behalf of the Forestry Commission in England, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Forest Service.

Scottish Government (Sg)

The executive branch of the devolved government of Scotland.


Area of poorly formed trees or bushes unsuitable for conversion to timber.


The deposition or settling of soil particles suspended in water.

Seed Funding

Refers to the initial funding used for setting up a new business or project.

Seed Tree Cut

A harvesting method in which a few scattered trees are left in the area to provide seed for a new forest stand. Selection of seed trees should be based upon growth rate, form, seeding ability, wind firmness, and future marketability. This harvesting method produces an even-aged forest.

Seed Year

A year in which a given species produces a large seed crop over a sizable area. Some species of trees produce seeds irregularly.


(a) A tree, usually less than 2 inches diameter at breast height, that has grown from a seed rather than from a sprout. (b) A nursery-grown tree that has not been transplanted in the nursery.

Selective Cutting

The periodic removal of individual trees or groups of trees to improve or regenerate a stand.

Semi-Natural Woodland

Woodland with natural characteristics (predominantly native species of trees, ground plants and animals) where wood production is not a primary objective; this term is used rather than natural because the woodland may have originally been planted or have been managed for wood production in the past.

Senior Loan

A senior bank loan is a debt financing obligation issued to a company by a financial institution that holds legal claim to the borrower’s assets above all other debt obligations. Because it is considered senior to all other claims against the borrower, in the event of a bankruptcy, it will be the first loan to be repaid before any other creditors, preferred stockholders, or common stockholders receive repayment.

Shade-Intolerant Species

Trees that require full sunlight to thrive and cannot grow in the shade of larger trees.

Shade-Intolerant Trees

Trees that cannot thrive in the shade of larger trees.

Shade-Tolerant Species

Trees that have the ability to grow in the shade of other trees and in competition with them.


Slicing or cutting trees or stumps at the ground line. Shearing may be done at harvest or with a KG blade during site preparation.

Shelterwood Cut

Removing trees on the harvest area in a series of two or more cuttings so new seedlings can grow from the seed of older trees. This method produces an even-aged forest.

Short Rotation Coppice (Src)

An energy crop, usually consisting of densely planted, high yielding varieties of willow or poplar.


The care and cultivation of forest trees.

The art, science, and practice of establishing, tending, and reproducing forest stands of desired characteristics. It is based on knowledge of species characteristics and environmental requirements.

Site Index

A relative measure of forest site quality based on the height (in feet) of the dominant trees at a specific age (usually 25 or 50 years, depending on rotation length). Site index information helps estimate future returns and land productivity for timber and wildlife.

Site Preparation

Preparing an area of land for planting, direct seeding, or natural reproduction by burning, chemical vegetation control, or by mechanical operations such as disking, bedding, scarifying, windrowing, or raking.


A machine that is often hinged in the middle and used in the harvesting process to pull logs or trees from the stump to a landing. Two common forms of skidders used are (a) a cable skidder that uses a cable winch and chokers to assemble and hold a load of logs to skid, or (b) a grapple skidder that uses a bottom opening set of jaws to assemble and hold a load of logs to skid.


A harvesting function of pulling a log or tree from the stump to a landing by a skidder.


(a) Tree tops, branches, bark, or other residue left on the ground after logging or other forestry operations. (b) Tree debris left after a natural catastrophe.


(a) A harvesting function of cutting felled trees into shorter lengths; also known as bucking. (b) a cleaning practice used in plantations to cut back less tough competing vegetation with a light cutting tool or machine.


A standing dead or dying tree.


The wood of coniferous trees, such as spruce, pine and larch; a term sometimes used for the coniferous trees themselves.

A tree belonging to the order Coniferales. Softwood trees are usually evergreen, bear cones and have needles or scalelike leaves. Examples include pines, spruces, firs and cedars. See conifer.

Softwood (Conifer)

A tree belonging to the order Coniferales. Softwood trees are usually evergreen, bear cones, and have needles or scale like leaves. They include pine, spruces, firs, and cedars.

Soil Texture

The feel or composition of the soil (sand, silt, or clay) as determined by the size of the soil particles.

Soil Type

Soils that are alike in all characteristics, including texture of the topsoil. Soil maps and information on site index, erodibility, and other limiting properties are available in a soil survey, obtainable from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Special Purpose Vehicle (Spv)

A subsidiary created by a parent company to isolate financial risk. An SPV has a separate legal status that serves as a method of isolating the risks of these activities.


A group of related organisms having common characteristics and capable of interbreeding. Loblolly and Virginia pine are common species that can be interbred.


See earlywood.


A group of trees that are sufficiently the same in species composition and arrangement of age classes and condition so that they can be managed as a unit.

An easily defined area of the forest that is relatively uniform in species composition or age and can be managed as a single unit.

Standing Sales

Sales of timber while the trees are still standing. The buyer is responsible for getting the trees felled and removed from the site.

Standing Volume

Measurement of quantity before trees are felled. Usually expressed as cubic metres overbark standing.

Statistical Significance

A statistical assessment of whether observations reflect an actual pattern rather than just chance.

Statutory Plant Health Notice (Sphn)

Statutory Plant Health Notices, requiring the felling of infected trees, are issued by the Forestry Commission/ Scottish Forestry/ Natural Resources Wales/ Forest Service to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. They are currently being issued to control the movement of material infected with Phytophthora ramorum.


Wood from the stem and main branches of a tree, excluding the stump and small branches.

Stocked Area

Area stocked with living trees. This differs from the woodland area (see below) in that felled areas awaiting restocking and areas of integral open space are generally excluded from the stocked area.


A description of the number of trees, basal area, or volume per acre in a forest stand compared with a desired level for balanced health and growth. Most often used in comparative expressions, such as well-stocked, poorly stocked, or overstocked.


A sampling technique where the entire population is divided into groups, or strata, and a random sample is selected within each group. Stratified sampling is often used to ensure that sufficient numbers from each group are included in the overall sample, particularly where results are required for each group.

Streamside Management Zone (Smz)

An area adjacent to a stream in which vegetation is maintained or managed to protect water quality. The width depends on slope, but 50 feet is the normal minimum. Trees may be removed from SMZs as long as the stream bed is not disrupted and sufficient vegetation is left to protect water quality.


The above-ground base part of a tree that would usually remain after felling.


The value or volume of a tree or group of trees as they stand uncut in the woods (on the stump).


The natural sequence of plant community replacement beginning with bare ground and resulting in a final, stable community in which a climax forest is reached. Foresters, wildlife biologists, and farmers constantly battle ecological succession to try to maintain a particular vegetative cover.

Successional Disking Or Mowing

A wildlife-enhancement practice in which a disk harrow or rotary mower is used to knock down existing vegetation every 1 to 3 years to promote the regrowth of annuals, legumes, forbs, and perennials.


See latewood.


The process by which a tree loses its vigor due to inadequate light, water and nutrients.

Sustainable Forest Management (Sustainable Forestry)

The practice of forestry in a way, and at a rate, that maintains the forest’s biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, and its health in such a way that it fulfills, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic, and social functions.

Sustained Yield

Management of forestland to produce a relatively constant amount of wood products, revenue, or wildlife.



Tenor refers to the length of time remaining before a financial contract expires. In contrast to maturity, tenor is mostly used in relation to bank loans, insurance contracts and derivative products. High-tenor contracts are sometimes considered riskier than short-tenor contracts.


A proportion of stems removed in order to give the best stems space and light to grow into a more valuable crop. This is usually carried out some time after canopy closure and may be repeated at intervals. A temporary reduction in standing volume will result.

A tree removal practice that reduces tree density and competition between trees in a stand. Thinning concentrates growth on fewer, high-quality trees, provides periodic income, and generally enhances tree vigor. Heavy thinning can benefit wildlife through the increased growth of ground vegetation.

Threatened Species

Any species that has been classified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or a state wildlife agency as likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A threatened species has declining or dangerously low populations but still has enough members to maintain or increase numbers.

Timber Investment Management Organization (Timo)

A management group that buys, manages, and sells forestland and timber on behalf of institutional clients — e.g., insurance companies, pension funds, and endowments.

Timber Stand Improvement (Tsi)

Improving the quality of a forest stand by removing or deadening undesirable species to achieve desired stocking and species composition. TSI practices include applying herbicides, burning, girdling, or cutting.


Land covered with forest suitable for producing commercial timber. A common standard in the classification of timberland is that the land can produce a minimum of 20 cubic feet of industrial wood per acre per year.

Tolerant Species

A species of tree that has the ability to grow in the shade of other trees and in competition with them.


A harvesting function of cutting off the top of a tree at predetermined, minimum diameter of the upper stem of a tree.


The loss of water through leaves.

Tree Caliper

A metal or wooden device consisting of an arm and two prongs, one of which is free to slide along a graduated scale on the arm. The prongs are placed against opposite sides of a tree to read its diameter on the scale.

Tree Farm

A privately owned forest or woodland in which timber crop production is a major management goal. Many tree farms are officially recognized by the American Tree Farm System, an organization sponsored by the American Forestry Council.

Tree Spacing

The distance between trees, which is most often regulated at the time of planting or during a harvest or thinning operation. Spacing, like stand density, affects understory vegetation, seed production, growth rate, and wildlife habitat.


A distilled chemical produced from tapping into a living pine and harvesting the sap.


Un Ece

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, responsible for compiling international statistics on production and trade of wood products for Europe, the Russian Federation and North America.


The volume of wood excluding the bark.


The area below the forest canopy that comprises shrubs, snags and small tree. Because the understory receives little light, many of the plants at this level tolerate shade and will remain part of the understory. Others will grow and replace older trees that fall.

(a) The layer formed by the crowns of smaller trees in a forest. (b) The trees beneath the forest canopy.

United Kingdom (Uk)

Great Britain and Northern Ireland.



The initial evaluation of a project or group against the requirements of the Woodland Carbon Code. Upon completion a project/ group will receive a ‘Validation Opinion Statement’. The project/ group will then be certified for a period of up to five years.


Value Added Tax.


A thin layer of wood, produced by peeling or slicing, used for decorative purposes. Veneers are usually applied to less expensive or less attractive substitutes including solid timber, wood-based sheet materials, etc.


Verification is the evaluation of a Woodland Carbon Code project as it progresses to confirm the amount of CO2 sequestered to date as well as that it continues to meet the requirements of the Code.

Verified Carbon Unit (Vcu)

Under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, projects are issued unique carbon credits, also known as VCUs. Each VCU represents a reduction or removal of one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Viability Gap Funding (Vgf)

Refers to a grant provided to support infrastructure projects that are economically justified but not financially viable. The lack of financial viability usually arises from long gestation periods and the inability to increase user charges to commercial levels.


Water Bar

A diagonal ditch or hump in a trail that diverts surface water runoff to minimize soil erosion.

Water Control

Management of water (both surface and subsurface) to maintain plant growth, water quality, wildlife habitat, and fire control.


A set of factors assigned to survey responses to ensure that the resulting weighted results are representative of the population as a whole.

Welsh Government

The executive branch of the devolved government of Wales.


A broad term that includes nondomesticated vertebrates, especially mammals, birds, and fish.


A long, narrow row of vegetation, debris, and some soil created during site preparation and clearing operations.


Trees uprooted by excessive wind. Shallow-rooted trees are almost always affected.


The solid interior of a tree.

Wood Chemicals

Chemicals that are found naturally in the various parts of a tree.

Wood Pellets

Sawdust or wood shavings compressed into uniform diameter pellets. They are often burned for heat or energy, but may also be used for other purposes (such as horse bedding or cat litter).

Wood Raw Material Equivalent (Wrme)

The volume of trees required to produce a wood product. Can be measured underbark or overbark.


Land under stands of trees with a canopy cover of at least 20% (25% in Northern Ireland), or having the potential to achieve this, including integral open space, and including felled areas that are due to be restocked. Generally (including the UK) woodland is defined as having a minimum area of 0.5 ha.

A forested area.



The part of a tree that transports water and nutrients up from the roots to the leaves. Older xylem cells become part of the heartwood. Also called sapwood.



A harvesting function of moving logs or trees to a landing, usually by cable or helicopter logging.

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