glossary

Glossary

Afforestation*
Establishment of forest on land, that until then was not classified as forest. It implies a transformation from non-forest to forest.
Chain of Custody
The process by which the source of a timber product is verified. It refers to the process of tracking a tree from stump to shelf.
Clear Cutting**
The removal of all the trees on a site for the purpose of utilization and to provide for regeneration of an even-aged stand of trees, usually of a species requiring full sunlight for proper development and growth.
Controlled Burning**
Use of fire to destroy logging debris, reduce buildups of dead and fallen timber that pose wildfire hazards, control tree diseases, and clear land. Other functions of a controlled burn include clearing a buffer strip in the path of a wildfire.
Deforestation*
The conversion of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 10 percent threshold.
Dimensional Lumber (Southern Pine Inspection Bureau)

Surfaced softwood lumber of nominal thickness from 2 through 4 inches and nominal widths 2 inches and wider; and which is designed for use as framing members such as joists, planks, rafters and studs.
Ecoregions (The Nature Conservancy) Relatively large geographic areas of land and water delineated by climate, vegetation, geology and other ecological and environmental patterns.
Endemic
Restricted to a particular people or country.
Engineered Wood Product
A composite wood product using glued fiber, lumber and/or veneer to meet specific design criteria.
Forest*
The term forest includes natural forests and forest plantations.
Forest Plantation*
A forest established by planting and/or seeding in the process of afforestation or reforestation. It consists of introduced species or, in some cases, indigenous species.
FSC Forest Stewardship Council
FSC Forest Certification label
In order for products originating from certified sources to be eligible to carry the FSC trademark, the timber has to be tracked from the forest through all the steps of the production process until it reaches the end user. Only when this tracking has been independently verified, the product is eligible to carry the FSC logo.
Hardwood Tree (Deciduous)**
Trees with broad, flat leaves as opposed to coniferous or needled trees. Wood hardness varies among the hardwood species, and some are actually softer than some softwoods.
Hectare
Unit of area in the metric system equal to 10,000 square meters, or about 2.47 acres.
High Conservation Value Forests (FSC)
There is a lack of consensus about what constitutes "High Conservation Value Forest" Here is one interpretation:
Forests of outstanding and critical importance due to their high environmental, socio-economic, biodiversity or landscape values.
Indigenous

Originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.
Industrial Roundwood*


The commodities included in this category are sawlogs or veneer logs and pulpwood, and roundwood. This includes chips, particles and wood residues.
Lauan
A hardwood that grows in Southeast Asia.
Natural Forest
A forest composed of indigenous trees, and not classified as forest plantation.
NGO
Non-governmental Organization
Oceania The lands of the central and South Pacific including Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia (including New Zealand), often Australia, and sometimes the Malay Archipelago.
Old Growth

There is lack of consensus about what constitutes an "old growth" forest. Here are some different interpretations:

  • Refers to ecological conditions where large trees in the mature stages of their life cycle generally dominate the forest vegetation. Because there can be large differences among forest types, the USDA Forest Service has taken the approach that the broad definition should be applied in conjunction with specific age and disturbance criteria to form locally appropriate definitions (USDA Forest Service).
  • A forest dominated by mature trees that have not been significantly influenced by human activity. A stand may contain trees of different ages and various species of vegetation (Natural Resources Canada).
  • A forest ecosystem where the dominant trees largely exceed the biological maturity age of the species concerned taking into account its specific environment and its geographical location. The temporal dynamic of these forests is characterized by the coexistence of living trees, senescent trees and standing dead trees as well as the presence of fallen dead trees, lying on the ground, showing different decomposition levels. Those forests show little or no evidence of human disturbance (Canadian Forest Service, Quebec).
  • Forests that contain live and dead trees of various sizes, species, composition and age classes. Old growth forests, as part of a slowly changing but dynamic ecosystem, include climax forests but not sub-climax or mid-seral forests. The age and structure of old growth varies significantly by forest type and from one biogeoclimatic zone to another. (British Columbia Ministry of Forests)
Rain Forest
A tropical woodland with annual rainfall of at least 100 inches (254 centimetres) and marked by lofty broad-leaved evergreen trees forming a continuous canopy.
Reforestation*
Establishment of forest plantations on temporarily unstocked lands that are considered forest.
Roundwood*
Wood in its natural state as removed from forests and from trees outside forests; wood in the rough. Commodities include all forms of industrial roundwood and fuelwood.
Sawnwood*
Wood sawn lengthwise or produced by a profile-chipping process, and planed wood.
Silviculture**
The art and science that promotes the growth of single trees and the forest as a biological unit.
Softwood Tree (Coniferous)** Trees that are usually evergreen, bear cones, and have needles or scalelike leaves. They include pine, spruces, firs, and cedars.
Underlayment
A material used to ensure a level surface below various types of flooring or wall coverings.
Variable Retention (British Columbia Ministry of Forests)



A relatively new silvicultural system that follows nature's model by always retaining part of the forest after harvesting. Standing trees are left in a dispersed or aggregated form to meet objectives such as retaining old growth structure, habitat protection and visual quality. Variable retention retains structural features (snags, large woody debris, live trees of varying sizes and canopy levels) as habitat for a host of forest organisms.
Wood Fuel*
Wood that will be used "in the rough" as fuel for purposes such as cooking, heating or power generation; and wood that will be used for charcoal production.
Wood-based Panels*
An aggregate term including the following commodities: veneer sheets, plywood, particle board and fibreboard. Particle board includes varieties such as oriented strand board (OSB) and flakeboard. Fibreboard includes hardboard, medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and insulation fibreboard.

Wooden Dowel
A piece of wood used for joinery.


*Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

**USDA Forest Service: Interim Resource Inventory Glossary