Learn Like an Intern
Foresters are sometimes asked to interpret old land deeds that may have a “chain” as a unit of measure, which equals 66 feet. If this sounds like an unusual length, 66 goes into a mile’s 5280 feet exactly 80 times; a GMF one-chain measuring band appears coiled in the photograph to the left.
Even today, the chain can figure in a method of estimating the merchantable height, or the number of 16’ logs, that can come from a standing tree, so long as the tree can be viewed from one chain away. The edge of the hypsometer pictured below provides the instructions at that distance for holding the stick vertically at the individual’s elbow bend, which produces an “arm’s length” of 25” from the eye. If the bottom of the stick is lined up with where the stump would start, the first 16’ log will be where the “1” falls against the view of the tree, and the numbers on the edge of the scale stick increase from there.