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Table 1 Description of standing dead decay classes from USDA Forest Service [14].

From: Accounting for density reduction and structural loss in standing dead trees: Implications for forest biomass and carbon stock estimates in the United States

Decay class Description
1 Limbs and branches all present, top pointed, all bark remaining, sapwood intact, heartwood sound, hard, original color.
2 Few limbs and no fine branches present, top may be broken, bark variable, sapwood sloughing, heartwood sound at base incipient decay in outer edge of upper bole, hard, light to reddish brown.
3 Branches absent with only limb stubs, top broken, bark variable, sapwood sloughing, heartwood with incipient decay at base, advanced decay throughout upper bole, fibrous to cubical, soft, dark, reddish brown.
4 Branches absent with few or no stubs, top broken, bark variable, sapwood sloughing, heartwood with advanced decay at base, sloughing from upper bole, fibrous to cubical, soft, dark, reddish brown.
5 No limbs or branches, top broken, bark less than 20 percent, sapwood gone, heartwood sloughing, cubical, soft, dark brown, or fibrous, very soft, dark reddish brown, encased in hardened shell.
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