# How many board feet in a tree

## Measuring Standing Trees | Ohioline

Determining Diameter, Merchantable Height, and Volume

Randall B. Heiligmann, Extension Specialist, Forestry

Stephen M. Bratkovich, Former Extension Specialist, Forestry

Woodland owners often need to measure the merchantable board-foot content (termed "volume") of certain trees in their woodland. In order to sell timber, for example, an estimate is needed of the quantity to be sold. If trees are to be cut to provide lumber, an estimate of volume is needed to determine what size and how many trees to cut. Using the methods described in this article, a woodland owner can estimate the board-foot volume in one or several trees. If an estimate is needed for several acres, however, it is recommended that the woodland owner engage the services of an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry Service Forester, a consulting forester, or an industry forester. Methods needed to accurately and efficiently inventory timber volume on large areas are beyond the scope of this publication.

Tree Volume Estimation

In the United States, the most common measure of lumber volume is the board foot, defined as a piece of wood containing 144 cubic inches. It can most easily be visualized as a board 12 inches square and one inch thick (12" x 12" x 1" = 144 cubic inches). However, any piece of wood containing 144 cubic inches is a board foot (e.g., 3" x 4" x 12"; 2" x 6" x 12"; etc.). The board-foot content of any board may be determined by multiplying the length by the width by the thickness, all expressed in inches, and dividing by 144 cubic inches.

The board foot is also the most common volume measure for trees and logs to be used for lumber and veneer. The board-foot volume of a tree or log is an expression of the number of board feet of lumber that can be cut from that tree or log. The lumber volume that can be cut from a tree or a log depends on a great many variables, including how the tree is cut into logs, the dimensions of the lumber, how much of the log is lost in sawdust and waste, and the efficiency of the sawmill and workers. Because of these variables, the board-foot volume of a tree or log cannot be measured exactly but is estimated.

Numerous methods (called "rules") have been developed to estimate board-foot tree volume. Two board-foot volume rules are commonly used in Ohio, the Doyle and the International 1/4-Inch rules (Tables 1 and 2). Both of these rules provide an estimate of the board-foot content of a tree based on tree-trunk diameter breast high and merchantable tree height (discussed later). The Doyle rule is the most common rule in Ohio. It is used by the timber industry and many professional foresters. The International 1/4-Inch rule is used by state agencies and the U.S. Forest Service.

 Table 1. Standing Tree Board Foot Volumes—Doyle Rule Dbh(inches) Number of 16-Foot Logs 1/2 1 1-1/2 2 2-1/2 3 3-1/2 4 Board Feet 12 20 30 40 50 60 14 30 50 70 80 90 100 16 40 70 100 120 40 160 180 190 18 60 100 130 160 200 220 40 160 20 80 130 180 220 260 300 320 360 22 100 170 230 280 340 380 420 460 24 130 220 290 360 430 490 540 600 26 160 260 360 440 520 590 660 740 28 190 320 430 520 620 710 800 880 30 230 380 510 630 740 840 940 1,040 32 270 440 590 730 860 990 1,120 1,220 34 300 510 680 850 1,000 1,140 1,300 1,440 36 350 580 780 970 1,140 1,310 1,480 1,640 38 390 660 880 1,100 1,290 1,480 1,680 1,860 40 430 740 990 1,230 1,450 1,660 1,880 2,080 42 470 830 1,100 1,370 1,620 1,860 2,100 2,320 From: Ashley, Burl S. 1980. Reference handbook for foresters. USDA NA-FR-15. 35 pp.

A comparison of these two volume tables will show that they are not identical. The International 1/4-Inch rule is generally considered to be the best estimate of the amount of lumber that can actually be sawn from a tree or a log under optimum conditions. The Doyle rule substantially underestimates the volume of trees in the smaller diameter classes. The International 1/4-Inch rule should, therefore, be used when the most accurate estimate of yield is important, as when determining how many trees to cut to obtain a specified amount of lumber. When marketing timber stumpage, however, the choice of volume rule is less critical. Confusion on quantity should not arise as long as both buyer and seller know which rule was used to estimate volumes. Timber stumpage prices are commonly adjusted based on which rule is used.

Measuring Tree Diameter

Tree-trunk diameters are measured at breast height (termed diameter at breast height or DBH), defined as the diameter of the tree 4½ feet above ground on the uphill side of the tree. If a tree forks below breast height, each trunk is treated as a separate tree. DBH can be measured with a tree caliper, a Biltmore stick, a tree diameter tape, or a flexible measuring tape (e.g., cloth or steel). Tree calipers, Biltmore sticks, and tree-diameter tapes can be purchased through forestry equipment supply companies. The flexible measuring tape can be used to measure tree trunk circumference and circumference divided by 3.14 to determine diameter.

 Table 2. Standing Tree Board Foot Volumes—International 1/4-Inch Rule Dbh(inches) Number of 16-Foot Logs 1/2 1 1-1/2 2 2-1/2 3 3-1/2 4 Board Feet 12 30 60 80 100 120 14 40 80 110 140 160 180 16 60 100 150 180 210 250 280 310 18 70 140 190 240 280 320 360 400 20 90 170 240 300 350 400 450 500 22 110 210 290 360 430 490 560 610 24 130 250 350 430 510 590 660 740 26 160 300 410 510 600 700 790 880 28 190 350 480 600 700 810 920 1,020 30 220 410 550 690 810 930 1,060 1,180 32 260 470 640 790 940 1,080 1,220 1,360 34 290 530 730 900 1,060 1,220 1,380 1,540 36 330 600 820 1,010 1,200 1,380 1,560 1,740 38 370 670 910 1,130 1,340 1,540 1,740 1,940 40 420 740 1,010 1,250 1,480 1,700 1,920 2,160 42 460 820 1,100 1,360 1,610 1,870 2,120 2,360 From: Ashley, Burl S. 1980. Reference handbook for foresters. USDA NA-FR-15. 35 pp.

Measuring Merchantable Height

Merchantable height is the height of the tree (or the length of its trunk) up to which a particular product may be obtained, usually minus a one-foot stump height. Merchantable tree heights for sawlogs and veneer are generally estimated to the height where the trunk diameter tapers to 10 inches, or until heavy branching or defects are encountered. The merchantable height of very valuable trees, such as veneer black walnut, may be measured to the nearest foot or two feet. The merchantable height of most other trees is measured in units of 16-foot logs and 8-foot half-logs. Merchantable height measurements are rounded to the nearest half-log. Thus, a tree with a merchantable height of 42 feet would be measured as having 2½ logs of merchantable height.

Merchantable heights may be measured with a number of special instruments designed specifically for tree-height measurements such as clinometers, altimeters, relascopes, or hypsometers. These instruments are available through forestry equipment supply companies. Merchantable heights can also be measured with a long pole if only a few trees are being measured and they have relatively short merchantable heights. With some practice, merchantable heights in log and half-log units can be estimated quite accurately, particularly for trees with short merchantable heights.

Using the Tables to Estimate Merchantable Tree Volume

Once the diameter at breast height and the merchantable height of a tree have been measured, Table 1 or 2 may be used to estimate its volume in board feet. For example, a 20-inch DBH oak tree with a merchantable height of 2½ logs contains 260 board feet Doyle rule or 350 board feet International 1/4-Inch rule.

When using these tables, it is important to remember that only that portion of the trunk that will produce a useable product should be measured. Portions of the trunk or entire trunks that are hollow, excessively crooked, rotten, etc. , should not be measured. You may hear foresters or buyers talking about gross and net volume. Gross volume is the estimated tree volume without deduction for defects (i.e., the DBH and merchantable heights of all of the trees were measured ignoring defects, volumes were determined, and the volumes were added up). Net volume is the estimated tree volume with proper deductions made for defects.

## How Much Lumber in that Tree? (E2915)

There are times when a woodland owner may want to determine the board foot volume of certain trees in his or her woodlot for building purposes or for sale. Measuring the volumes of standing trees enables the property owner to select the proper combination of available trees to provide the desired amount of lumber. Volume calculations can also help the woodland owner avoid harvesting more trees than necessary and can give him or her an accurate accounting of the number of board feet for sale.

Large trees that will yield boards for lumber are called sawtimber trees. Sawtimber is measured and sold in terms of board feet. A board foot is 1 inch thick, 1 foot wide and 1 foot long. The first step in determining the board foot contents of standing trees is measuring their diameters and usable heights. Tables 2, 3 and 4 summarize these volumes using various log rule techniques.

Anyone can determine the board foot content of their trees by following a few simple steps. This bulletin describes how to estimate the amount of lumber in a tree with easy-to-make tools. If an estimate of the entire woodlot is needed, however, the owner should contact an area forester or a consulting forester for this service. More complex techniques are involved in estimating volumes on a large scale, which are beyond the scope of untrained individuals.

### Measuring Diameter

Tree diameters are measured at breast height, which is 41 ⁄2 feet above the average ground level. Although diameter tapes are often used to take this measurement, another tool, called a Biltmore stick1, is easy to construct in the home workshop. Use a straight piece of hardwood that is free from knots or other defects, as shown in Fig.1. The stick should be 30 inches long, 1 ⁄2 inch thick and 11 ⁄2 inches wide, and beveled on one edge.

Fig. 1. Dimensions of Biltmore stick designed to measure tree diameter on one side and merchantable tree height on the other side.

Sand the sides and edges of the stick smooth. The stick is then graduated on the unbeveled side according to the figures given in Table 1.

1The Biltmore stick may also be purchased from forestry equipment catalogues such as Forestry Suppliers or Ben Meadows.

 Diameter-graduations on a stick Distance in inches from end of stick to diameter graduations Diameter-graduations on stick Distance in inches from end of stick to diameter graduations 5 4. 6 18 13.7 6 5.4 19 14.3 7 6.2 20 14.9 8 7.0 21 15.5 9 7.7 22 16.0 10 8. 23 16.6 11 9.2 24 17.1 12 9.8 25 17.7 13 10.5 26 18.2 14 11.2 27 18.7 15 11.8 28 19. 2 16 12.5 29 19.7 17 13.1 30 20.2

Measure tree diameters with the Biltmore stick in the following way (see Fig. 2):

1. Hold the stick 25 inches from your eyes in a horizontal position. Hold the beveled edge of the stick against the trunk of the tree at breast height.

2. Look straight at the tree without moving your head from side to side. Adjust the stick so that the left or zero end is lined up with the left side of the tree.

3. Without moving your head, shift the line of sight to the right-hand side of the trunk.

4. Read the diameter on the stick nearest the point at which the line of sight crosses it.

Tree diameter can also be measured using an ordinary tape measure. Wrap the tape around the circumference of the tree at 4.5 feet above its base. Divide the circumference by 3. 14 (π) to calculate the diameter of the tree.

Fig. 2. Measuring tree diameter with a Biltmore stick.

### Measuring Height

Tree heights are measured in units of 16-foot logs or fractions thereof. In slender, straight trees, this measurement is taken to a point on the upper trunk of the tree where the diameter inside the bark is 8 inches. With older trees, however, excessive branching or forks may reduce the usable height. One should then measure the distance between stump height and usable height.

A Merritt rule for measuring tree heights can be inscribed on the reverse side of the Biltmore stick; then both rules, one for measuring tree diameter and the other for measuring tree height, will be on the same stick.

To inscribe the Merritt rule on the stick, simply mark graduations of 6.1 inches from the zero end of the stick (see Fig. 1). Each graduation represents a 16-foot log length. Inscribe half-log marks halfway between the 16-foot log marks. Make the graduation for both the diameter scale and the height scale with a sharp pencil or marker. Then give the stick a coat of clear var nish or polyurethane. This will bring out the color of the indelible lead, as well as protect the stick from moisture and discoloration.

Measure tree heights with the Merritt rule by the following method (see Fig. 3):

1. Stand 66 feet from the base of the tree. Hold the stick vertically at a distance of 25 inches from your eye.

2. Adjust the stick so that the zero end is in the line of sight with the upper limit of usable height.

3. Without moving your head or the stick, shift your line of sight to the stump height at the base of the tree (usually 12 to 16 inches above ground level). From the scale, read the number of logs (or fractions of logs) in the tree.

If the ground is not level, stand on a spot that has about the same elevation as the base of the tree.

Fig. 3. Measuring tree height in 16-foot log units with a Merritt rule.

### Determining Tree Volume

After the diameters and heights of the trees have been measured, the board foot content for each tree can be read from a volume table. Board foot volume is estimated in many ways. Because many of these calculations were developed before the benefit of calculators, estimations are simplified formulas that are easy to tabulate by hand. Other, later formulas are more complex but ultimately more accurate in estimating the amount of useable wood. The International log rule (Table 2), one of these more recent estimation systems, gives a very accurate measure of the amount of lumber that a sound, straight tree will yield at the sawmill.

Local customs, however, sometimes require using other log rule calculations when standing timber is sold. Estimated volumes from two other log rules, Doyle and Scribner Decimal C, are given in Tables 3 and 4.

If you are going to fell the trees yourself and haul the logs to the mill, read the board foot values in Table 2, the International rule. However, if you are selling standing trees in the Lower Peninsula (and if the buyer insists), use the values in Table 3. If your trees are in the Upper Peninsula and the buyer demands it, use the values based on the Scribner Decimal C rule (Table 4).

In using these tree volume tables, increase the volumes by 10 percent for the following trees: balsam fir, spruce, white oak, yellow poplar, black cherry, beech and ash. Also, make suitable deductions for visible defects, such as rot.

Table 2. Tree volume table based on International log rule.

 Diameter 4 ½ feet above ground (inches) Number of 16-foot logs 1 2 3 4 Volume in board feet 10 35 60 11 45 75 12 55 90 120 13 65 110 145 14 80 130 175 15 90 155 200 16 180 240 285 17 205 280 330 18 235 315 375 19 265 360 425 20 295 400 480 21 330 450 540 22 370 500 605 23 405 550 665 24 440 605 725 25 485 665 800 26 725 880 27 790 950 28 850 1,030 29 920 1,110 30 990 1,070

Table 3. Tree volume table based on Doyle rule.

 Diameter 4 ½ feet above ground (inches) Number of 16-foot logs 1 2 3 4 Volume in board feet 10 15 20 11 20 30 12 30 45 50 13 40 60 70 14 50 75 95 15 60 95 120 16 115 150 170 17 140 180 210 18 165 215 250 19 195 255 300 20 225 295 350 21 260 345 400 22 295 390 460 23 330 445 520 24 370 495 580 25 415 560 660 26 620 740 27 685 815 28 750 890 29 825 980 30 900 1,070

Table 4. Tree volume table based on Scribner Decimal C rule.*

 Diameter 4 ½ feet above ground (inches) Number of 16-foot logs 1 2 3 4 Volume in board feet 10 3 4 11 4 6 12 5 8 10 13 6 9 12 14 7 11 15 15 8 14 18 16 16 21 25 17 18 25 29 18 21 28 33 19 24 32 38 20 27 36 43 21 30 41 49 22 34 46 55 23 37 51 61 24 41 56 66 25 45 62 74 26 68 81 27 74 89 28 80 96 29 86 104 30 93 112

*The figures shown in this table must be multiplied by 10 to obtain board foot values.

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## Number of boards and beams in 1 cube

Wooden boards and beams have dimensions of length and sections (length, width and thickness).

To correctly measure the dimensions of the sections of a wooden board or beam, in order to avoid possible errors, it is necessary to step back from the end of the lumber by about 20-30 cm and measure the thickness and width. But in order to find out the price of one board or the cost of one beam, it is necessary to calculate how many boards are in 1 cube and how many beams are in one cubic meter (1 m³) of lumber, because. the price of lumber is usually indicated per cubic meter (cubic meter).

Lumber Cube is a common unit of measure for lumber. Almost all wood products: edged lumber, planed lumber, structural lumber, etc. measured in cubic meters ( cubic meters ). The only exceptions are piece products and moldings. In other words, 1 cube of lumber is a volume equal to 1 meter (1 m) in all three dimensions ( width, thickness and length ):

### How many boards and timber in 1 cube

board board 50x100x6000 mm ( 50 mm thick, 100 mm wide and 6000 mm long ) and calculate how many such boards will be in 1 m³.

Based on the fact that all board dimensions are in millimeters, the first step is to convert them to meters. For those who do not remember how many millimeters are in a meter, we recall that
1 m \u003d 100 cm \u003d 1000 mm.

Therefore, the solution is:

• 1 cube (1 m³) / 0.05 (thickness) / 0.1 (width) / 6 (length) = 33 boards in 1 cube (1 m³)

The volume of one board or one beam is calculated as follows:

• 0.05 (thickness) * 0.1 (width) * 6 (length) = 0.03 cubic meters the volume of one board with cross-sectional dimensions of 50x100x6000 mm.

Now we will try to more clearly and easily answer the question "how many boards are in a cube", find out what a "board cube" is and present to your attention tables for calculating the cubic footage of boards, timber and other lumber.

### Lumber calculation tables

Below are tables showing how many boards (boards) are in 1 cube and how many beams are in 1 cube:

#### How many edged boards are in 1 cube

Board size (mm) Number of boards in 1 cube (pieces in 1 m³) Volume of one board in cubic meters (m³)
Edged board 25x100x6000 66 0.015
Edged board 25x150x6000 44 0.022
Edged board 25x200x6000 33 0.3
Edged board 30x100x6000 55 0. 018
Edged board 30x150x6000 37 0.027
Edged board 30x200x6000 27 0.036
Edged board 40x100x6000 41 0.024
Edged board 40x150x6000 27 0.036
Edged board 40x200x6000 20 0.048
Edged board 50x100x6000 33 0.03
Edged board 50x150x6000 22 0.045
Edged board 50x200x6000 16 0.06
Edged board 65x150x6000 17 0.058

#### How many timber in 1 cube

Lumber name Beam size (mm) Number of timber in 1 cube (pieces per 1 m³) Volume of one bar in cubic meters (m³)
Beam 25x50x3000 266 0. 0037
Beam 30x40x3000 277 0.0036
Beam 30x50x3000 222 0.0045
Beam 40x40x3000 208 0.0048
Beam 50x50x3000 133 0.0075
Beam 50x70x3000 95 0.01
Beam 50x50x6000 66 0.015
Beam 100x100x6000 16 0.06
Beam 100x150x6000 11 0.09
Beam 100x200x6000 8 0.12
Beam 150x100x6000 11 0.09
Beam 150x150x6000 7 0.135
Beam 150x200x6000 5 0. 18
Beam 150x300x6000 3 0.27
Beam 200x200x6000 4 0.24

#### How many grooved floor boards in 1 cube

Lumber name Board size (mm) Number of boards in 1 cube (pieces per 1 m³) Volume of one board in cubic meters (m³)
Grooved floor board 38x110x6000 39 0.025
Grooved floor board 38x145x6000 30 0.03
Grooved floor board 40x110x600 37 0.026
Grooved floor board 40x150x6000 27 0.036
Grooved floor board 45x110x6000 33 0.029

#### How many wooden lining in 1 cube

Timber name Board size (mm) Number of boards in 1 cube (pieces per 1 m³) Volume of one board in cubic meters (m³)
Wooden lining 17x95x6000 103 0. 009
Wooden lining 18x95x6000 97 0.01
Wooden lining 19x115x6000 76 0.013
Wooden lining 19x145x6000 60 0.016
Wooden lining 20x100x6000 83 0.012
Wooden lining 20x150x6000 55 0.018

## How many boards in 1 cube: table and calculation example

Home | Articles | How many boards in 1 cube

To simplify the calculation, we have prepared a summary table for you. The table allows you to immediately find out how many boards are in 1 cube, without taking the time to calculate. To make you feel comfortable.

 Dimensions mm Volume of boards in 1 m 3 Number of boards in m 3 Number of boards per m 2 20x100x6000 0. 012 m 3 83 pcs. 50 m 2 20x120x6000 0.0144 m 3 69 pcs. 50 m 2 20x150x6000 0.018 m 3 55 pcs. 50 m 2 20x180x6000 0.0216 m 3 46 pcs. 50 m 2 20x200x6000 0.024 m 3 41 pcs. 50 m 2 20x250x6000 0.03 m 3 33 pcs. 50 m 2 25x100x6000 0. 015 m 3 67 pcs. 40 m 2 25x120x6000 0.018 m 3 55 pcs. 40 m 2 25x150x6000 0.0225 m 3 44 pcs. 40 m 2 25x180x6000 0.027 m 3 37 pcs. 40 m 2 25x200x6000 0.03 m 3 33 pcs. 40 m 2 25x250x6000 0.0375 m 3 26 pcs. 40 m 2 30x100x6000 0. 018 m 3 55 pcs. 33 m 2 30x120x6000 0.0216 m 3 46 pcs. 33 m 2 30x150x6000 0.027 m 3 37 pcs. 33 m 2 30x180x6000 0.0324 m 3 30 pcs. 33 m 2 30x200x6000 0.036 m 3 27 pcs. 33 m 2 30x250x6000 0.045 m 3 22 pcs. 33 m 2 32x100x6000 0. 0192 m 3 52 pcs. 31 m 2 32x120x6000 0.023 m 3 43 pcs. 31 m 2 32x150x6000 0.0288 m 3 34 pcs. 31 m 2 32x180x6000 0.0346 m³ 28 pcs. 31 m 2 32x200x6000 0.0384 m 3 26 pcs. 31 m 2 32x250x6000 0.048 m 3 20 pcs. 31 m 2 40x100x6000 0. 024 m 3 41 pcs. 25 m 2 40x120x6000 0.0288 m 3 34 pcs. 25 m 2 40x150x6000 0.036 m 3 27 pcs. 25 m 2 40x180x6000 0.0432 m 3 23 pcs. 25 m 2 40x200x6000 0.048 m 3 20 pcs. 25 m 2 40x250x6000 0.06 m 3 16 pcs. 25 m 2 50x100x6000 0. 03 m 3 33 pcs. 20 m 2 50x120x6000 0.036 m 3 27 pcs. 20 m 2 50x150x6000 0.045 m 3 22 pcs. 20 m 2 50x180x6000 0.054 m 3 18 pcs. 20 m 2 50x200x6000 0.06 m 3 16 pcs. 20 m 2 50x250x6000 0.075 m 3 13 pcs. 20 m 2

#### Formulas for calculating the board

Examples of boarding boards with a size of 20x100x6000 mm

Formula for calculating the volume of the board:
0. 02 m · 0.1 m · 6 m = 0.012 m 3

6 formula Cuba in pieces:
1 m3/0.012 m 3 = 83 pcs./m 3

Formula for calculating the board in cubes in squares:
1 m 3 /0.02 m = 50 m 2 /m 3

You can also do the calculation for boards measuring 3 meters, 4 meters, 5 meters.

#### The page contains answers to people's simple questions:

• How many boards
• How many cubes of the board
• How many boards
• Planks cubed
• How many cubes are in the boards
• How many pieces in one cube
• How many edged boards in a cube
• How to count how many boards are in 1 cube

#### Why count how many boards are in 1 cube?

Just two reasons to calculate:

• You will find out the total cost of all the lumber required for your project. It is enough to know the price for 1 board and how many pieces in total (determined by calculation or from our table for standard board sizes).