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Felling and Skidding Costs Associated with Thinning a Commercial Appalachian Hardwood Stand in Northern West Virginia

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Detailed cost information on thinning operations is needed to develop economic guidelines for managing immature central Appalachian hardwood stands. Three thinning treatments were applied in a 50-yr-old mixed-oak, cove hardwood stand in northern West Virginia. A commercial logging contractor using chain saws and a rubber-tired skidder conducted the logging operations. Time-study data were used to compute production rates for felling marked trees and skidding tree-length logs to roadside landings for each thinning treatment. Production rates ranged from 2.7 to 3.0 cunits/hr depending on the residual stocking treatment. The cost of merchantable material at roadside ranged from $10.79 to $11.99 per cunit. Regression equations for predicting felling and skidding times were developed for each treatment. Data from these equations can be used in estimating production rates and costs for similar thinning operations. A nomogram is provided for estimating felling and skidding costs for a 60% residual stocking treatment, the current recommended silvicultural prescription for stands similar to the study area. North. J. Appl. For. 3:159-163, Dec. 1986.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, P.O. Box 404, Parsons, WV 26287

Publication date: 01 December 1986

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