Forestry Learning Objectives

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For successful completion of the forestry section, contestants should be able to:

  • Understand tree growth, parts and tissues of a tree, and the life cycle of a tree.
  • Identify common tree species from bark, leave or seed without a key, and identify unusual trees and shrubs through the use of a key.
  • Know the typical forest structure: canopy, understory and ground layers and crown classes and the common species that are found in each layer.
  • Understand forest ecology concepts and factors affecting them, including tree communities, regeneration, competition, and primary and secondary succession.
  • Identify the abiotic and biotic factors in a forest ecosystem, and understand how these factors affect tree growth and forest development including the relationship between soil and forest types. Consider factors such as climate, insects, microorganisms, and wildlife.
  • Be familiar with and able to identify common and invasive tree pests and diseases. Be able to identify associated control methods.
  • Understand silvicultural terms, and be able to explain the uses of the following techniques: thinning, single tree and group tree selection, shelterwood, clearcutting, and seed tree management and high grading.
  • Explain the following silviculture systems: clear-cutting , seed tree method, evenaged management, unevenaged management, shelterwood and selection.
  • Know how to use forestry tools and equipment in order to measure tree diameter, height and basal area. Know how to use and read a Biltmore stick, grade scale and log chart.
  • Understand how forest health and management affect biodiversity, global warming, and forest fragmentation.
  • Understand how economic, social and ecological factors influence forest management decisions.
  • Understand the importance and value of trees in urban and community settings, and know the factors affecting their health and survival.
  • Understand the economic value of forests and know many of the products they provide to people and society.
  • Understand why trees and forests are important to human health, recreation, wildlife, and watershed quality.