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Damage Characteristics in Young Douglas-Fir Stands from Commercial Thinning with Four Timber Harvesting Systems

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Damage to residual trees from commercial thinning was characterized and compared among four common harvesting systems in western Oregon: tractor, cut-to-length, skyline, and helicopter. Six young (30- to 50-yr-old) Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) stands with various residual densities were studied: Scarring was the most typical damage to crop trees, accounting for 90% of the total damage in most cases. Damage levels greatly decreased as the minimum scar size that defines damage was increased. Scarring by ground-based systems was more severe: scars were larger, and gouge and root damage were more prevalent than in skyline and helicopter systems. Damaged trees were concentrated within 15 ft of skid trails or skyline corridor centerlines. In the cut-to-length system, the harvester caused more wounding (70%) to crop trees than did the forwarder (30%), but forwarder scars were larger and sustained severe gouging. Recommendations for minimizing stand damage are included. West. J. Appl. For. 15(1):27-33.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forest Engineering, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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