The aim of the study was to determine the extent to which the cross section of birch (*Betula* sp.) and aspen (*Populus tremula* L.) logs differ from a circle and to test some simple methods for measuring the cross-sectional area which can be used, for instance, for determining the volume of the logs. The material consisted of 420 debarked birch disks and 240 aspen disks which were representative of the logs arriving at two factories.

The convex deficit values for the material were very small, the cross-sectional area error being in general less than 1%. On the other hand, the other parameters deviated from the circular form to quite a large degree. It was also evident that the radii measured from the piths to the surface of the wood varied considerably more in the same disk, as regards length, than the diameters measured in different directions.

It was evident that the shape of the average cross-sectional area was not in general elliptical. It thus appears that any method for measuring the cross-sectional area which is based on elliptical formula is not suitable. The method which gave the best result was that in which the cross-sectional area was taken as the average of the area of the circle calculated from the smallest diameter and that calculated from the diameter passing at right angles to it. This method also appeared to be the best for disks which deviated to quite a large degree from the circular form. The suitability of this method is increased by the fact that the relative error is only slightly dependent on the size of the disk.

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