The scribe is courtesy of Ian Adams of Glenbranter Forest Office who has collected a considerable amount of old forestry tools.
The special shaped blade on the scribe knife very effectively cuts a groove in the bark of a tree particularly those with a smoother bark such as spruce and fir, less easy on Scots pine.
The scribe was used for several purposes one of which was to mark points where measurements had been taken on sample trees so that in an audit or a presale inspection they could be double checked. The other purpose was to use it to mark the numbers on the stem of the tree which had been selected as volume samples or for other purposes. Roman numerals were used as the figures I and X and L were easier to cut than the curved Arabic numerals. Markers had to know their Roman numerals fairly well if the sample numbers were large!