Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Productivity and costs of two beetle-kill salvage harvesting methods in northern Colorado


Hee Han
Woodam Chung
Ji She
Lucas Wells



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station


Forests. 9: 572.


Two ground-based timber harvesting methods have been commonly used for beetle-kill salvage treatments after a bark beetle epidemic in northern Colorado. A “lop and scatter” method uses a mobilized stroke delimber to delimb and buck trees at the stump, leaving tree tops and limbs on the forest floor, while a whole-tree harvesting method brings the entire tree to the landing where it is delimbed and bucked, and thus produces logging residue piles at the landing as a byproduct. We conducted a detailed comparative time study of the two harvesting methods to develop productivity and cost models and compared the performance of the two methods under various site conditions. We applied the productivity and cost models to lodgepole pine forest stands totaling 3400 hectares of the Colorado State Forest State Park to estimate salvage harvesting costs for each forest stand and identify the least costly harvesting options. The results show that the estimated stump-to-truck timber production costs were $30.00 per oven dry ton (odt) for lop and scatter and $23.88 odt-1 for the whole-tree method in our study harvest unit. At the forest level, the estimated average stump-to-truck costs were $54.67 odt-1 and $56.95 odt-1 for lop and scatter and whole-tree harvesting, respectively. Skidding distance and downed trees affect the harvesting costs of both methods, but their influence appears to be more significant on the whole-tree method.


Han, Hee; Chung, Woodam; She, Ji; Anderson, Nathaniel; Wells, Lucas. 2018. Productivity and costs of two beetle-kill salvage harvesting methods in northern Colorado. Forests. 9: 572.


Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.