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Production, Cost, and Soil Compaction Estimates for Two Western Juniper Extraction Systems

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Harvesting trials were performed during the winter and spring of 2003–2004 in central Oregon to compare the costs, production rates, and soil compaction impacts of two systems for harvesting western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis). The two systems compared were a conventional system consisting of manual felling, delimbing, and bucking using a chainsaw and skidding logs with a rubber-tired grapple skidder and a mechanical system that used a feller-buncher, a rubber-tired grapple skidder to skid whole trees, and a stroke-boom delimber. Stump to deck harvesting costs ranged from $32.15 to $49.48/ton for the conventional system and from $60.07 to $63.11/ton for the mechanical system. A limited trial was conducted with the mechanical system that merchandized fence posts as well as sawlogs. When fence posts were produced also, stump to deck costs were reduced to $31.56/ton. Soil compaction was measured pre- and postharvest using a soil penetrometer. Paired t-tests showed a statistically significant difference between harvested sites and nonharvested sites at depths of 2 and 4 in. (P = 0.032 and 0.001, respectively) but no difference between harvest systems.
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Keywords: Range management; commercialization; watershed restoration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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