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A dichotomous key organizes the USDA Forest Service hardwood tree grade specifications into a stepwise procedure for those learning to grade hardwood sawtimber. The key addresses the major grade factors, tree size, surface characteristics, and allowable cull deductions in a series of paired choices that lead the user to a decision regarding tree grade. Subtle grading rules, previously presented as footnotes to the major specifications, are included in the key. It simplifies the process so thatdoi:10.1093/njaf/3.1.19 fatcat:j3hsc2vkmjgnja3grgff45sc5e