Witness Definitions for Land Surveyors

witness corner—See corner, witness [USPLS].

witness mark—A material mark placed at a known distance and direction from a property corner, instrument, or other survey station, to aid in its recovery and identification. In surveying, a witness mark is established as an aid in the recovery and identification of a survey station, or other point to which it is a witness. A mark which is established with such precision and accuracy that it may be used to restore or take the place of the original station is more properly called a reference mark in control surveys, and a witness corner in land surveys; witness post or witness stake.

witness point [USPLS]–A monumented station on a line of the survey, employed to perpetuate an important location remote from, and without special relation to, any regular corner. (BLM 1973, paragraph 4-17).

witness post—See witness mark.

witness stake—See witness mark.

witness tree—According to the General Instructions of 1846, and other institutions prior to that year, “Witness trees are signalized and marked as [bearing trees], but the course and distance to them, as well as the small chop, are omitted.” Later, all trees used as corner accessories were marked as bearing trees, and the distance and bearing from the corner was recorded. The term “witness tree” became obsolete.

Source: NSPS “Definitions of Surveying and Related Terms“, used with permission.

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