Alternative Method for Determining Trunk Diameter at Different Heights on a Standing Tree

Madina H. Abishova, Brad M. Kard, Kamil H. Hasanov, Zohrab S. Ismailov, Aygun X. Bagirova, Valeh K. Shukurov, Tarana S. Babakishiyeva, Iqbal A. Aliyev, Sima Z. Hasanova, Jeyhuna A. Hajiyeva, Vidadi S. Samadov


Reliably determining trunk volume of a growing tree and accurately measuring changing diameters along the trunk at different heights are important data to foresters world-wide.  Existing methods for determining trunk diameter of a growing tree assume the horizontal cross-section is a circle.  However, to an observer standing beside a tree and looking upwards along the trunk, the imaginary cross-section of the trunk does not look like a circle but appears elliptical.  As the observer stands closer to the tree and the higher the established point where the diameter of the trunk is measured, the elliptical shape of the cross-section becomes more pronounced.  Conversely, the smaller the tree and the farther the observer stands from the tree, the imaginary cross-section of the trunk becomes more circular.  In this paper we describe a method that makes it possible to accurately determine the diameter of a trunk regardless of the above two distance factors.  Using the mathematical parameters of an ellipse, the objective of this study was to provide an accurate method to calculate the diameter at any height on the trunk.


Calipers, dbh, diameter-at-breast-height, forest measurement and inventory, laser mensuration, error estimation

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