Woodlot Requirements for Provincial Tree Marking Audits
The purpose of the tree marking audit is to allow the Province to evaluate a tree marker's work in their own area after the marker feels confident they can apply the concepts that were taught during the one week Provincial Tree Marking Course. This assumes that the marker has been practicing in their home area since the course and is now calling for the audit, based on a sense of confidence in their marking abilities. As well, we ask that only those people who really feel they need to be certified in order to carry out their work should follow up with the auditing process.
The woodlot chosen needs to have background data from cruising or some sort of inventory and should be suited to one of the two main silvicultural systems taught at the Provincial course: 1. Single-tree selection for tolerant hardwoods
2. Regeneration cut under the shelterwood system for pine. The prescription, which must be written by someone that has the proper qualifications, should incorporate the material taught on the course. This can be difficult if the woodlot is not in a state that is suited to these prescriptions. Examples of woodlots that would not work include:
DO NOT USE THESE CONDITIONS FOR YOUR CERTIFICATION AUDIT!
Understocked hardwood stands: < 25m2/ha of total basal area
- Please be sure that good sampling has been done with a prism or fixed area plot system. Preferably 10 well-spaced prism plots are used. Be sure the prism has been used carefully. We have found a number of cases where the audit BA is considerably different from the prescription BA and this has ruined the audit.
Young or single diameter class stands, such as polewood stands that do not have structural diversity and really only require spacing.
Conifer stands/plantations that are young and really only require thinning, as opposed to the regeneration cut stage of shelterwood.
Other strange stands or prescriptions that have conditions that do not match those taught on the Provincial course, i.e. a stand of lowland hardwoods or intolerants such as trembling aspen.
FOR YOUR AUDIT:
For your certification, you can be certified in Hardwood or Conifer or both. We need a separate woodlot for the Hardwood and Conifer certifications.
The audit is conducted using ten prism plots, using a Basal Area Factor 2 metric prism, spaced appropriately across the marked area. We need to evaluate a minimum of 100 trees. This typically requires a marked area of approximately 8 hectares (20 acres) in size. Slightly smaller woodlots can work if they are perfectly square or rectangular and we can get the prism points in without plot or stand edge overlap. Also a higher basal area can allow us to use fewer prism plots. A 4 hectare (10 acre) woodlot is usually too small.
Each prism point needs to land entirely within an area marked by the marker being audited. If more than one marker is involved they to need to have flagged off their own 8 hectare (20+acre) area.
The marking must be an operational project and needs to be done with tree marking paint and should include butt marks. An artificially set-up marking area using flagging tape to identify the trees is not acceptable. Preferably the marked area is part of an operational program and will be cut soon after the audit.
Steps for Getting Audit Completed
Find a suitable woodlot.
Collect required inventory data and have a prescription prepared by a qualified person.
Contact auditor and send the background data, prescriptions, maps, aerial photos, etc. for approval as an appropriate audit site.
Conduct tree marking.
Contact auditor to arrange for field audit. Be sure the auditor is aware of impending harvest but do not expect a short turn-around.
Auditor conducts audit and will give general on-site indication of whether the work appears to be okay.
Auditor will follow-up with confirmation of success or not.
Letter will be sent from auditor to marker with a copy to the Provincial Coordinator.
Provincial Coordinator will issue official certification documentation.
Currently the first audit attempt is free. There will be a charge for follow-up audits.
After successful completion of an audit(s) you will be issued certification for a period of up to 5 years in the forest type(s) you were successful in. To maintain your certification beyond that period will require your attendance at ,and passing, a provincial refresher course.