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Make a clearly visible mark on the tree trunk at a fixed, measured height above ground level—say, four feet, or six feet. Hold a ruler in front of you and step backwards until the one inch measure on the ruler matches the distance from the ground to the mark on the trunk. Notice how many inches on the ruler match the entire height of the tree. The height of the tree is then the number of inches multiplied by the height in feet of the mark.

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  • The method that I've shared is the one that I learned in school for Arboriculture (classes to obtain my Arborist license) and is used to determine falling area for trees.  It is surprisingly accurate for the apparent rudimentary method! I prefer to use my 10 scale as that makes everything easy.  If you have two people you can have the second stand at the tree and have them hold their hand (then measure to the ground before moving their hand) where the "1" is on the scale simplifying the process even more!

    • Hi David, Yes i was showed this too far back to remember.We did not use it ,but the forester i was with had complete confidence in it. We were doing the every 20 years survey on a five mile grid,  One acre is relocated by pins set in the ground for a inventory of trees, done by the U.S. Forest Service .This included all the data that is taken on trees.Also if anything had change,if they were still there,and what had changed this acre.I was on the sixty year survey, this means the third time. This was in the 1970's .What was amazing is we used a hand held compass and a Eng. 100 ft. chain to find these acres. And locate all the pins. But anyway, back to the tree height.You can also buy a tree and log scale stick, There is also the Biltmore Stick but it is metric, If you plan to get involve in this, buy a Blume -Leiss Altimeter or a Haga Altimeter. The Haga is easy to carry and cost less,but the Blume is better it has a rangefinder, but i think you can get one with the Haga also. Anyway good luck with your Arborist license. This will help with your tree surveys.


  • Survey Legend

    this is very interesting..there seems to be quite a few less-talked-about methods for measuring tree height and are a couple things im looking into as well..

  • Survey Legend

    this is fantastic...and it may even be a better solution than the one offered here  thanks David!

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