Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Forest Resource Management

Committee Chair

Joseph McNeel

Committee Member

Curt Hassler

Committee Member

Shawn Grushecky


This study identifies and describes various hardwood log grading systems historically used by the hardwood industry in the United States through a comprehensive literature review and analysis. Additionally, an industry sector survey (Appendix A) was designed and conducted to identify current log hardwood grading systems. Finally, based on the survey data, an analysis of the practices and techniques currently used for scaling and grading Appalachian hardwood logs is presented and discussed.

In the first component of the study, books, journal articles, and papers pertaining to log grading are sorted and broached chronologically by the publication date and then separated into three chronological categories and review. Short summary abstracts of these studies are presented to briefly describe key findings of that study.

In the second phase of the study, the results of a focused survey of hardwood sawmills, log yards, and other wood product producers in the Appalachian region is presented to profile current hardwood log grading and scaling practices. The survey consists of 18 major questions and eight sub-questions designed to characterize current scaling and grading practices used by the forest products industry in Appalachia (Appendix A). Survey results are summarized and analyzed to produce a statistical analysis of the current grading systems used by responding wood product producers. The results will be used to identify the commonly used hardwood log grading and scaling practices. Information developed from this study could be used as a means for the identification of barriers within the industry to a standardized log grading and scaling system. Ultimately, once the barriers are identified and addressed, the data could be used to develop scaling and grading protocols for anew hardwood log grading and system.