The objective of this study was to investigate how a stress wave travels in a standing tree as it is introduced into the tree trunk through a mechanical impact. A series of stress wave time-of-flight (TOF) data were obtained from three freshly-cut red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) logs by means of a two-probe stress wave timer. Two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) stress wave contour maps were constructed based on the experimental data using a commercial software. These stress wave contour maps represent the wave fronts in a time sequence, illustrating the flow of stress wave energy within a log. The analysis of TOF data and wave fronts indicates that stress wave propagation in standing trees is affected by tree diameter, travel distance, and internal wood conditions (wood properties and structural defects). When a stress wave is introduced into a tree trunk from a point source, it initially propagates in the impact direction as a 3D wave. Then the flow of the stress wave energy gradually changes towards the longitudinal directions. As the diameter-to-distance ration reaches 0.1 or below, the wave begins to travel as a quasi 1D wave.