ORGANON Frequently Asked Questions

ORGANON runs, but it looks really weird.
How do I sample a stand for ORGANON?
Can I run ORGANON in a batch mode?
I would like to execute ORGANON from within my Visual Basic program. How do I do it?
What is the Wood Quality output?
What are the maximum SDI values used in ORGANON?
Which versions of ORGANON are Y2K compliant?
How do I export ORGANON tree data files from EXCEL?
My program can't find the DLL. What do I do?
How do I find the detailed "version" (really edition) number?

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"ORGANON seems to be running, but it looks weird. The screens are jumbled, with strange characters (for example: [P25;34H )."

Older versions of ORGANON (6.0 and earlier) use a screen control driver, called ANSI, to place characters on the screen, clear the screen, and do other useful chores. ORGANON 7.0 does not use ANSI and therefore should not be effected by this problem. However, if you still want to use an earlier version you can get the ANSI driver running manually. On the root directory of your hard disk, there should be a file named CONFIG.SYS. First, find out where ANSI.SYS is located on your system. (On most machines, it will be in C:\DOS). Now edit CONFIG.SYS (at the C:> prompt type edit CONFIG.SYS). Look for a line that starts with DEVICE= and above it, add the line DEVICE=C:\DOS\ANSI.SYS. (Assuming you found ANSI.SYS in \DOS. Otherwise, put in the drive and subdirectory where ANSI.SYS is located). Save the altered file, and re-boot your machine. All should now look normal on the screen. If you are running ORGANON under Windows 95, see "I'm running Windows '95. Is that a problem?"

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"How do I sample stands for ORGANON projection?"

Sample Plot Design

The sampling design used to develop the ORGANON growth model for
southwest Oregon (SWO) and northwest Oregon (NWO) is a nested
design of two fixed plots and a variable plot.

Trees Sampled Plot Sized Plot Radius
---------------------------- --------------- --------------
0.0 < DBH <= 4.0 inches 1/229 acre 7.78 feet
4.0 < DBH <= 8.0 1/57 acre 15.56 feet
8.0 < DBH 20 BAF  

In old-growth stands, the current SWO project is using a fourth
subplot. This is a 60 BAF variable plot for trees greater than 36

The two fixed area subplots are circular and radii should be
corrected for slope. The plot radius factor (PRF) for a 20 BAF is
1.944 (Bell and Dilworth 1990, Table 16). To check a tree that is
borderline (to see if they should be measured or not):
1. Measure the DBH
2. Measure the horizontal distance to the center of the tree
3. Calculate the limiting distance (DBH*PRF)
4. If the limiting distance is greater than the horizontal
distance to the tree's center measure it.

Other sampling designs could be used for data collection. Hann and
Zumrawi (1991) found that designs different from the one used in
constructing the model produced the same projection rates, but
produced greater variation in individual predictions, particularly
with small plots. This suggest that alternative designs should be
as similar as possible to the original design and should avoid very
small plots.

Tree Measurements

The measurements that should be take on trees in any of the
subplots (or selected by another sampling design) are (Hann et al.
1. Species (required for all trees)
2. DBH (required for all trees)
3. Total Tree Height (optional, but strongly suggested)
4. Crown Ratio (optional, but strongly suggested)
5. Expansion Factor (required for all trees)
6. 5-year Radial Growth inside bark (optional)
7. User defined codes (optional)

Species codes in ORGANON have followed the USFS stand exam
numeric codes. These are:

Code Species SWO NWO RAP SMC
--------- ------------------------- -------- ------- ------- -------
015 White fir Y N N N
017 Grand fir Y Y N Y
081 Incense cedar Y N N N
117 Sugar pine Y N N N
122 Ponderosa pine Y N N N
202 Douglas-fir Y Y Y Y
231 Pacific yew Y Y N Y
242 Western red cedar Y Y Y Y
263 Western hemlock Y N Y Y
312 Bigleaf maple Y Y Y Y
351 Red alder Y Y Y Y
361 Pacific madrone Y Y N Y
431 Golden chinkapin Y N N N
492 Pacific dogwood Y Y Y Y
631 Tanoak Y N N N
805 Canyon live oak Y N N N
815 Oregon white oak Y Y N Y
818 Calif. black oak Y N N N
920 Willow Y Y Y Y

Diameter at breast height (DBH) is the outside diameter
measured in inches (to the nearest 1.10 inch) at 4.5 feet
above the ground line (on the uphill side) for all trees
greater than 4.5 feet tall.

Total tree heights (HT) and crown ratios (CR) are important
variables and should be measured. In most cases, however, it
would be to time consuming to measure all trees. In these
cases an adequate number of trees should be measured to
characterized the height-diameter relationship for each
species (30 is probably a good number to start with). Trees
should be selected that represent the range of tree sizes
present. Total heights are measured in feet. Crown ratio
(CR) is the ratio of green crown length to total height and is
calculated from total height (HT) and the height to live crown

CR = (HT - HLC)/HT

Expansion factors is the numbers of trees per acre each
sampled tree represents on each plot or point. The ORGANON
program will calculate this value for fixed area plots,
variable plots, or any combination of the two plot types based
on diameter breaks.

Fixed Plot EF = 1/Plot Area in acres

Variable Plot EF = BAF/Trees Basal Area in square feet

Radial growth is the 5-year growth inside bark at breast
height to the nearest 0.1 inch. This is measured using an
increment borer. If the measurement is during the growing
season, the current year's growth should be ignored.

User codes are a 1 or 2 digit number that can be assigned to
a tree. This can be used later in ORGANON's thinning options
to remove trees with certain user codes.

Two other variables needed by the ORGANON model are the age and
site index of the stand. Healthy and undamaged site trees should
be sample through out the stand. For the SWO version (Hann and
Scrivani 1987) these trees should represent the tallest trees in
the stand (if older residuals are present these are probably
damaged and should not be used). For the NWO and SMC versions (King 1966)
the trees should represent average dominant and larger codominant
trees (i.e. the largest 20 percent by diameter or approximately the
40-largest diameter trees per acre). Selected trees should be
measured for total height and breast height age.

Field forms

These field forms contain spaces for the tree data and reminders of the numeric format.
They can be viewed and printed with Adobe Acrobat.
If you don't have Acrobat it can be downloaded here.

Page 1
Page 2

How many plots should I measure?

One should measure enough plots to adequately characterize the area
of interest. For uniform, single species type stands this is probably about
10 plots (or about 50 trees). For more heterogeneous stands (more species, age
classes, variable stocking, etc) more plots (and trees) should be
measured. Plots should be put in the stand on a systematic grid to
cover the area of interest.

Literature Cited
Bell, J.F. and J.R. Dilworth. 1990. Log Scaling and Timber
Cruising. OSU Book Stores, Inc., Corvallis, OR. 396p.

Hann, D.W. and J.A. Scrivani. 1987. Dominant height-growth and
site-index equations for Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine in
southwest Oregon. Research Bulletin 59. Forest Research
Laboratory, College of Forestry, Oregon State University,
Corvallis, OR. 13p.

Hann, D.W. and A.A. Zumrawi. 1991. Growth model predictions as
affected by alternative sampling-unit designs. Forest Science

Hann, D.W., C.L. Olsen, and A.S. Hester. 1993. ORGANON User's
Manual: Edition 4.2 Southwest Oregon Version, Edition 1.2 western
Willamette Valley Version. Department of Forest Resources, Oregon
State University, Corvallis, OR. 113p.

King, J.E. 1966. Site index curves for Dougls-fir in the pacific
Northwest. Weyerhaeuser Forestry Paper 8. Centralia, WA. 49p.

Weiskittel, A.R., D.W. Hann, D.E. Hibbs, T.Y. Lam, and A.A. Bluhm. 2009. Modeling top height growth of red alder plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 323-331.

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Can I run ORGANON in a batch mode?

Yes, but we only recommend it for those very experienced in running the ORGANON model (it is not for the timid). You do this by preparing a command (or "answer") file, and redirecting input to that fiile. To run ORGANON in batch mode you must have already created an .INP file for the run you wish to make. Then, you must create a command file. The command file is simply a file that lists all the key strokes to be used in the run. It substitutes for your entries from the keyboard.

Note: You will not be able to use the ORGANON windows interface while running in batch mode and must instead run ORGRUN seperately.

For example, here is a file that opens an .INP file named SAMPLE.INP, sends the output tables to the file named OUTFIL, grows the input tree list one cycle, and then quits (returns to DOS).

*******File Begins********

******End of File ********

Note: This file contains 10 lines. Each line represents the user's response to prompting by the program (the blank lines represent the "Enter" key). The responses assume that the file OUTFIL does not exist. Creating command files can be quite tricky for complex management regimes, and may take some trial and error to get them work. If this file were named RUN, we could execute it by typing:


The "<" in the example above is not a typo. It is the "Redirect" symbol that tells MS/DOS to read input from a file.

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I would like to execute ORGANON from within my Visual Basic program. How do I do it?

One way that seems to work (in our limited experience with Visual Basic) is to use a command button to execute the model components ORGEDIT and ORGRUN. To do this you must create PIFs for the ORGRUN applications (ORGEDIT and ORGRUN) and then create a command button in VB. Here are steps for doing this for ORGRUN (you would have to do the same for ORGEDIT):

Create a PIF for ORGRUN:

In Windows use the PIF editor (usually in the MAIN group) to create the PIF as follows:

Program Filename ORGRUN.EXE
Window Title ORGRUN
Optional Parameter
Start-up Directory your path to ORGRUN.EXE
Mark the EXCLUSIVE box under EXECUTION.

Save this PIF as ORGRUN.PIF (by default it will be saved in the windows directory).

In VB create a command button:

1. Add a command button to your form (the box with the rounded corners in the tool bar).
2. Edit the subroutine for the button (click on the button) to look like this:

Sub Command1_Click ()
x = Shell("ORGRUN.pif", 1)
End Sub

Save, launch, and pray (if you are that type).
This should work (at least it did for us, once). Good luck!!!

A second alternative is to used the ORGANON DLL compiled to work with Microsoft Visual Basis.

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"What is the Wood Quality output?

ORGANON has the option to output wood quality information (option number 7 in the run defaults menu) for any cut tree (thinnings and other harvests). The file provides information on thesize of the tree at the time of cutting or prunning and information on inside bark taper, branch size, branch height, and juvenile wood core. The format for the resulting output is found in appendix VIII of the ORGANON manual.

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"What are the maximum SDI values used in ORGANON?

ORGANON Maximum SDI's (as of 03/09/1999)

Version Species Maximum SDI
------- ------- -----------
SWO      DF         530.2
               WF/GF  750.2
               PP          501.2

NWO     DF         520.5
               GF         735.9
               WH        701.5

SMC       DF         520.5
               GF          735.9
               WH        701.5

RAP        RA         354.3


These default values can be changed by putting the desired new values in
columns 81-85 (DF for SWO, SMC, and NWO and RA for RAP), 86-90 (WF/GF) and 91-95 (PP for SWO and WH for SMC and NWO) on the first line of the INP file. Enter the new values as a 5 digit integer (do not include a decimal), a zero will result in the default value being used.

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"How do I export ORGANON tree data files from EXCEL?

Data files may be prepared for simulation in ORGANON by using a
spreadsheet program. Since these files are fixed format (the
numbers must be in specific columns) some care must be exercised
in their preparation. First arrange the columns of data in the
following order: Plot/Point number, Species code, DBH, HT, CR, EXP,
radial growth, and user code. If any values are missing then
leave the cell blank. Output from Excel a comma delinated text file (with a csv extension). This file can then be converted into an ORGANON formatted raw data file using a program and instructions that you can download from:

A very fine text editor may be found here.
No matter which editor you select become familiar with its features and limitations.

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"My program can't find the DLL. What do I do?

Copy the DLL and its library into the current path of your program.
Placing them into the system directory will make them available to all

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"How do I find the detailed "version" (really edition) number?

From the Start button navigate to Settings and the Control Panel. In the Control Panel select the Add/Remove Programs option and navigate to ORGANON edition 7.0. Click on support information. The detailed "version" (really edition) number will be listed as "version". Please use this number when reporting problems with the program.

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The FAQ was last modified 2/20/2013

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