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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): M. Chad Bolding; Bobby L. Lanford
Publication Date: 2005

ANNOTATION: This study examined and measured the feasibility of ground-based mechanical harvesting to reduce forest fuel buildup and produce energywood. It shows a cut-to-length harvesting system coupled with a small in-woods chipper provided a low impact way to harvest pre-commercial trees and tops along with merchantable logs. A smaller, less expensive chipper allowed operations to stay small and more efficient when compared to a larger operation and grinder. Productivity and cost results showed the system to be capable of harvesting non-merchantable trees and utilizing non-merchantable portions of merchantable-sized trees as energywood chips. ABSTRACT: Currently, there is a lack of information concerning mechanical forest fuel reduction. This study examined and measured the feasibility of ground-based mechanical harvesting to reduce forest fuel buildup and produce energywood. Cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting coupled with a small in-woods chipper provided a low impact way to harvest pre-commercial trees and tops along with merchantable logs. While CTL harvesting systems have been used successfully with full-sized chippers, it required two or three CTL teams to meet volume requirements. A smaller, less expensive chipper allowed operations to stay small and more efficient. Productivity and cost results showed the system to be capable of harvesting non-merchantable trees and utilizing non-merchantable portions of merchantable-sized trees as energywood chips, which in the past have been normally left in the woods unutilized. The gain from the values of energywood chips and merchandized logs makes the system economically attractive, not to mention the fuel reduction gains received by potentially altering future fire behavior.

Online Links
Citation: Bolding, M. Chad; Lanford, Bobby L. 2005. Wildfire fuel harvesting and resultant biomass utilization using a cut-to-length/small chipper system. Forest Products Journal 55(12):181-189.

Cataloging Information

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Keywords:
  • Alabama
  • biomass utilization
  • cut-to-length harvesting
  • mechanical fuel reduction
  • pre-commercial thinning
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (https://www.frames.gov/contact)
FRAMES Record Number: 7530