Forests, Lands, and NR Operations

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Total and Merchantable Volume Equations for Common Tree Species in British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): G.D. Nigh
Source: Forests, Lands, and NR Operations
Subject: Growth and Yield
Series: Technical Report
Other details:  Published 2017. Hardcopy is available.


The British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations maintains tree taper equations that can be used to estimate individual tree volume; however, the calculations involved in making these estimates are non-trivial. A simple tree stem volume equation overcomes this issue and is easily programmed, for example, in a spreadsheet. Volume equations were developed in 1976. These equations show some bias when tested against the available stem analysis data. Therefore, four new sets of volume equations were developed: total volume by species and region (coast or interior); total volume by species and biogeoclimatic zone; merchantable volume by species and region (coast or interior); and merchantable volume by species and biogeoclimatic zone. Merchantable tree volume is total tree volume minus the volume of the stump and top. These equations provide more accurate volume estimates than the 1976 volume equations and the taper equations.

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Updated March 03, 2017