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Production economics of harvesting small-diameter hardwood stands in central AppalachiaAuthor(s): Yaoxiang Li; Jingxin Wang; Gary Miller; Joe McNeel
Source: Forest Products Journal 56(3):81-86
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionThree harvesting systems of chainsaw/cable skidder, feller-buncher/grapple skidder, and harvester/forwarder were simulated in harvesting three hardwood stands 30 to 50 years old in central Appalachia. Stands were generated by using a 3D stand generator. Harvesting prescriptions included clearcut, shelterwood cut, selective cut, diameter limit cut, and crop tree release cut. The interactions among stands, harvest prescriptions, and harvesting systems were evaluated statistically in terms of production, cost, and traffic intensity. The weekly production of the chainsaw/cable skidder system was 5,773 ft³ ( 163 m³) with a unit cost of $38 per 100 cubic feet (cunit) ($13.4/m³). The feller-buncher/grapple skidder and harvester/forwarder systems could produce 22,153 ft³ (627 m³), and 8,423 ft³ (239 m³) with the unit cost of $34.3/cunit ($12/m³) and $46.8/cunit ($17/m³), respectively. Results indicated that the feller-buncher/grapple skidder system was the most productive and cost-effective system for harvesting small-diameter hardwood stands in central Appalachia under the simulated harvesting prescriptions. Compared to harvesting mature stands, harvesting small-diameter hardwood stands was about 15 percent (felling) and 14 percent (extraction) less productive, and 29 percent (felling) and 13 percent (extraction) more expensive. Results should help planners, loggers, and foresters efficiently manage and utilize small-diameter materials in the region.
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CitationLi, Yaoxiang; Wang, Jingxin; Miller, Gary; McNeel, Joe. 2006. Production economics of harvesting small-diameter hardwood stands in central Appalachia. Forest Products Journal 56(3):81-86
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