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TOPIC: A simple explanation of the volume formulas
http://groups.google.com/group/entstrees/browse_thread/thread/080c01a0ee2b3c51?hl=en
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== 1 of 5 ==
Date: Sun, Dec 30 2007 4:49 pm
From: "Edward Frank"
ENTS,
There has been a recent flurry of posts concerning the geometry and
calculus of various tree section forms. For those of you not into
math I want to try to explain in more basic terms what these posts
were talking about. There are four basic shapes that were being
discussed that can be used to model portions of the trunks of trees
for volume calculations. These are: Cylinder, paraboloid, cone, and
neiloid. A cylinder is the most basic form. It looks like a can of
soup in shape. The volume of a cylinder is the area of a flat end of
the can time the height of the can. The paraboloid might be though
of as the pointiest end of an egg in shape, with the tip of the
point equating to the top of the tree. The next shape is a simple
cone shape, with the pont at the top of the tree, The final form is
the neiloid. The base of a tree often flairs outward in a concave
shape. Think of the pointed sections in an egg carton that fit
between the eggs. These are a neiloid in shape. In a tree these
shapes are very tall and narrow, but are still basically the same as
the examples.
How to relate these forms to volume is pretty simple if looking at
the entire tree as a single shape. As mentioned above the volume of
a cylinder is the area of the end of the can times the height of the
can. Since the can, or tree is basically round in shape, then the
area of the "end" of the can or a crosssection of the
tree is (pi)r^2 (pie x radius squared). This is multiplied by the
height. The other forms follow this same formula. The cross section
of each is (pi)r^2. This in each case is multiplied by the height.
The only basic difference is what is in the bottom of the formula.
For a cylinder it is (pi)r^2 x height/1, for a paraboloid it is (pi)r^2
x height/2, for a cone it is (pi)r^2 x height/3, for a neiloid it is
(pi)r^2 x height/4. The only difference is by what number you are
dividing this basic formula. 1  2 3 or 4.
Now what Bob has done with those unfriendly looking equations if to
figure out how to apply these basic formulas to successive section
of the tree as you move upward. Each measured girth becomes the base
of a new shape. Therefore he can calculate which form best
approximates that particular section of the tree. For the most part,
the typical shape of most trunk sections is somewhere between that
of a paraboloid and that of a cone  in effect the denominator of
the equation is somewhere between 2 and 3 (if it was in a basic
form.).
The final series of equations showed how being out of round would
effect the volume formulas. Any tree that is not perfectly round
will have a crosssection area that is somewhat less than a circle
with the same girth. Therefore if you just use the diameter as
calculated by dividing the girth by pi, you will overstate the
volume of the tree to some degree depending on how out of round the
tree is. Bob was showing how this difference varied with how out of
round the tree was so that better volume calculations could be made.
Ed Frank
(I am trying to remember to delete old posts from my replies and be
conscious of changes of topics)
== 3 of 5 ==
Date: Sun, Dec 30 2007 6:21 pm
From: "Edward Frank"
ENTS,
As I look over the post [above] I find I have made one of those
hideously annoying "intuitively obvious" jumps that I
always hated in math class. In the next to last paragraph I say:
"For the most part, the typical shape of most trunk sections is
somewhere between that of a paraboloid and that of a cone  in
effect the denominator of the equation is somewhere between 2 and 3
(if it was in a basic form.). " This would be if that form were
applied to the entire rest of the tree. For a particular segment of
a cone or paraboloid, obviously the bottom part of a cone or
paraboloid occupies more of the space than does the top part of the
form. These numbers are for the average of the complete form from
top to bottom in the cylinder. So, in the case of these segments,
the shorter the segment the higher percentage of the volume of the
general cylindrical shape they occupy, and the closer in size are
the volumes for the cone and the paraboloid form to each other.
[limit as height approaches 0 is 100%] Bob has made a series of
tables/formulas that show what the upper diameter and the section
volume would be for the segment when mixing different proportions of
the cylindrical shape with that of the paraboloid shape, to obtain
the best fit for the section.
The between 2 and 3 denominator reference is still applicable to the
entire tree when the final volume is calculated. It is in fact the
reciprocal (1/x) of the percentage that the actual volume of the
trunk divided by the volume of a cylinder of equal basal diameter
and height. This cylinder occupation concept has been mentioned
briefly before, and I will do a more detailed writeup about it
soon. The caveat here is if the tree has a particularly wide flaring
base the percentage occupation will be low, and if the tree has a
broken top, the cylinder occupation percentage will be higher.
Ed
== 4 of 5 ==
Date: Sun, Dec 30 2007 9:47 pm
From: dbhguru@comcast.net
ENTS,
Some added information to go along with Ed's lucid explanation is in
order. Each geometric solid that we use in ENTS has three types of
equations associated with it:
(1) An equation that expresses the total volume of the solid, e.g. V
= (1/3)*pi*r^2 for the cone.
(2) One or more equations that express the volume of a segment of
the solid formed between parallel planes passing through the solid
at right angles to the axis of the solid. The segment is called a
frustum.
(3) An equation that expresses the taper of the solid. From the
taper equation, equations of classes (1) and (2) can be derived via
integral calculus.
I successfully derived a general equation of taper that can be used
to derive (1) and (2). The equation is:
r = R*[(Hh)/H]^p
Class (2) equations can take any of several forms. Each equation is
based on one of two basic assumptions:
(a). The frustum is part of a single solid that covers the entire
trunk,
(b). The frustum does not assume a single solid.
Much of the article that will be published in the spring edition of
the ENTS Bulletin will present class (2) equations for the cone,
paraboloid, and neiloid.
Bob
== 5 of 5 ==
Date: Mon, Dec 31 2007 1:03 am
From: Beth Koebel
Bob and Ed,
Thank you for a simple explanation of the math that
you have been talking about. I'm sure that I was not
the only one on the list that was getting totaly lost.
The most math that I had was simple Trig and a little
Stats.
Beth
