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Productivity, Efficiency and Environmental Effects of Whole-Tree Harvesting in Spanish Coppice Stands Using a Drive-to-Tree Disc Saw Feller-Buncher

Copyright © 2017 by Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering
volume: 39, issue: 2
pp: 10
Author(s):
  • Tolosana Eduardo
  • Spinelli Raffaele
  • Aminti Giovanni
  • Laina Rubén
  • López-Vicens Ignacio
Article category:
Original scientific paper
Keywords:
Whole tree harvesting system, Quercus ilex, Quercus pyrenaica, harvesting damages, operational cost, work study

Abstract

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Whole tree harvesting was conducted on two coppice stands with different tree composition
(Q. ilex and Q. pyrenaica) in gentle terrain. Felling and bunching were performed by a
drive-to-tree wheeled feller-buncher with disc saw head. Operations were analyzed on 17 plots
25x25 m2 in order to develop productivity models and to assess operational costs. The study
also aimed at determining biomass collection efficiency and evaluating the impact of the new
harvesting method on the soil, the remaining trees and stumps. The treatment consisted in a
strong coppice thinning leaving standards. Productivity ranged from 2.8 to 4.6 odt/pmh in
the Q. ilex coppice, and from 0.9 to 2.6 in the Q. pyrenaica stand. Tree species, dry weight
per tree and percentage of removed basal area were the main independent variables affecting
productivity. Approximately 50% of the standards showed damages. Most wounds were light,
caused by the drive-to-tree work pattern, followed through GPS tracking. Soil damage was
also light; in no plots, deep disturbances were found. However, most of the stumps were damaged.
Forwarding and chipping productivity and cost were also evaluated. The slash left on
the terrain averaged 3.0 and 1.5 odt/ha in Q. ilex and Q. pyrenaica, respectively, including
scrub debris. As a conclusion, while this heavy feller-buncher can be useful in coppice heavy
thinnings with larger trees, it would be a good option to try lighter disc saw felling heads
mounted on the harvester boom tip, which probably would reach better productivity and reduce
the frequency of stand damage.

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Web of Science Impact factor (2017): 1.714
Five-years impact factor: 1.775
Next issue: January 2019

Subject area

Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Category/Quartile

Forestry/Q1