2011 Volume 10 Pages 105-121
A single-tree selection system has been widely employed to manage natural forests in Hokkaido, Northern Japan. Tree marking is an essential component of this system; the procedure involves careful selection of trees for harvest according to forest management objectives. Practically speaking, forest managers make tree marking decisions based on their skills gained through training and experiences. While the information on where marked trees are located has traditionally been somewhat difficult to precisely document, recent advancements in global positioning system (GPS) technology could enable managers to pinpoint the geographic location. This paper presents a practical application of GPS technology for tree marking in a single-tree selection forest management system. A total of 1,565 trees were selected and marked for harvest within an area of 29.23 ha at the University of Tokyo Hokkaido Forest. A handheld GPS receiver was used to record the coordinates of all marked trees. To examine positional accuracy, we surveyed the coordinates of 43 marked trees using a closed traverse survey and laser rangefinder with an electronic compass module. Mean positional accuracy of the GPS receiver was 5.7 m, and we observed a variety of harvest intensities over the study site. Results suggest GPS technology is a useful tool for improving the precision of forest management activities under a single-tree selection system.