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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 10. Department Of Forestry
Chapter 20. Standards for Classification of Real Estate As Devoted to Forest Use under the Virginia Land Use Assessment Law
11/29/2021

4VAC10-20-20. Technical standards for classification of real estate devoted to forest use.

A. The area must be a minimum of 20 acres and must meet the following standards to qualify for forestry use.

B. Productive forest land. The real estate sought to be qualified shall be devoted to forest use that has existent on it, and well distributed, commercially valuable trees of any size sufficient to compose at least 40% normal stocking of forest trees, as shown in Table 1. Land devoted to forest use that has been recently harvested of merchantable timber, is being regenerated into a new forest, and not currently developed for nonforest use shall be eligible. To be qualified the land must be growing a commercial forest crop that is physically accessible for harvesting when mature.

C. Nonproductive forest land. The land sought to be qualified is land devoted to forest use but is not capable of growing a crop of industrial wood because of inaccessibility or adverse site conditions such as steep outcrops of rock, shallow soil on steep mountain sides, excessive steepness, heavily eroded areas, coastal beach sand, tidal marsh, and other conditions that prohibit the growth and harvesting of a crop of trees suitable for commercial use.

D. Definitions.

1. Tree. A living woody perennial plant, six inches or larger in diameter, of a species presently or prospectively suitable for commercial industrial wood products with a well-defined stem or stems carrying a more or less definite crown.

2. Stocking. Normal stocking is the number of trees three inches and larger in diameter at breast high required to equal a total basal area of 75 square feet per acre, or where such trees are not present, there shall be present tree seedlings or tree seedlings and trees in any combination sufficient to meet the 40% stocking set forth in Table 1.

3. Diameter at breast high (DBH). The diameter of the stem of a tree measured at breast height (4.5 feet or 1.37 meters) above the ground.

4. Basal area. The cross-sectional area of a stem, including the bark, measured at breast height.

Table 1
Minimum Number of Trees Required Per Acre to Determine 30 Square Feet of Tree Basal Area of 40% Normal Stocking for Classification as Forest Land.

DBH Range

DBH in 2" Classes

Basal Area Per Tree

Per Acre

Per 1/5 Acre

Per 1/10 Acre

up to 2.9"

Seedlings

400

80

40

3.0-4.9"

4

0.0873

343

80

40

5.0-6.9"

6

0.1964

153

31

15

7.0-8.9"

8

0.3491

86

17

9

9.0-10.9"

10

0.5454

55

11

6

11.0-12.9"

12

0.7854

38

8

4

13.0-14.9"

14

1.069

28

6

3

15.0-+

16+

1.3963

21

4

2

NOTE: (a) Area 1/5 acre; circle, diameter 105'4"; square 93'4" per side

(b) Area 1/10 acre; circle, diameter 74'6"; square 66' per side

(c) Number of seedlings present may qualify on a percentage basis. Example, 100 seedlings would be equivalent of 7.5 square feet of basal area (25% X 30 = 7.5).

(d) Seedlings per acre are based on total pine and hardwood stems. Where intensive pine management is practiced a minimum of 250 well distributed loblolly or white pine seedlings will qualify.

Statutory Authority

§§ 58.1-3230 and 58.1-3240 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR312-01-02 § 1, eff. January 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 5, eff. January 3, 2014.

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