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Thinning Northern Hardwoods with Chain Saws and Forwarders

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Intermediate treatment in northern hardwood poletimber stands is an important silvicultural tool. The choice of harvesting system is constrained by the low product value and the need to minimize residual stand damages. The objective of this study was to document the performance of a conventional forwarding operation in a northern hardwood poletimber thinning. Chain saw productivity averaged 15 cords per scheduled hour (SH), with a large portion of time spent piling manually (17%). Forwarding productivity averaged 3 6 cords/SH at an average forwarding distance of 400 ft. These figures are based on an observed time of 24 hr from 5 working days over a 2-wk period. Time predictors were calculated for each element in the productive forwarding cycle. Bole damage to residual trees was nearly nonexistent. The frozen ground conditions eliminated concern for soil compaction and rutting. Estimated cost to roadside for the system was about $19/cord. Adding the cost of transportation brings the total to about $30/ cord. Based on these observations, the conventional forwarding system appears well suited for thinning small-diameter hardwoods. This information can be used to predict the performance of similar systems in northern hardwood poletimber stands for economic analyses and preparing bids. North. J. Appl. For. 8(4):149-153.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forestry Sciences Laboratory, North Central Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, Forest Hill Road, Houghton, MI 49931

Publication date: 1991-12-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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