The quick answer is Statistics.
The Foresters at Woodland Management Service do Appraise forests of all sizes ranging from individual urban trees to large tracts as large as a half million acres.
Luckily for our clients, as the properties get larger, our samples get smaller. On very small properties where the diversity is proportionally larger we need to measure many more trees per acre to get accurate results, often 100 percent, whereas on larger properties we take carefully designed sample plots that accomplish the same quality goal.
These sample plots are designed to get a good sampling of all of the trees in the forest, and the number and size of the plots will be based on the diversity of the forest in proportion to the size of the forest.
And each plot is also weighted as to the size of the trees, with more larger trees than smaller trees being measured, using a technique that we call Basal Area Sampling.
On the smaller parcels, like a 5 acre forest, we might measure anywhere between 5 plots and 100 percent of the trees, largely depending on the variably of size, species, quality of the trees in this forest.
On a forty acre tract we may get a good inventory with as little as 16 plots, or if it is more diverse and higher value, we may need to put in closer to 40 plots.
Now the real magic happens when we get into the huge tracts of land, the large investment grade properties where we may put in as little as 1 plot per hundred acres. With this kind of coverage you would not think that we would be accurate, but we are extremely accurate.
Most Forestry companies are not geared up to handle this type of inventory, but we have made it our specialty to inventory tracts of all sizes, quickly and accurately not just in the Lake States but throughout North America.
The next time that you hear of a large or small tract changing hands, give us a call, we can help.
And remember, When only the Best will do, Call on the WMS Crew!!