The objective of this project is to develop a mechanized harvesting and on site debarking system, to test it under a wide range of site conditions and to compare it with the conventional system (ie manual felling and logging and debarking at the mill).
The general objective of this project was to develop a mechanised harvesting system for short rotation forest (SRF) coppice of Eucalyptus and Poplar which includes on-site debarking. Following development the SRF system was assessed to quantify its effects on the silviculture, the economics and the environment. The traditional method of manual logging and debarking at the mill was taken as the base line.
A harvesting device for small softwood will be adapted to hardwood coppice and tested at a number of sites in France (Poplar) and Spain (Eucalyptus). The envisaged mechanized harvesting system combines mechanized felling and logging with debarking at the site. Its costs and efficiency (output per man hour) will be assessed and compared to those of the currently used system.
The optimal harvesting time and cutting height will be identified in order to guarantee the survival of the stumps. The effects of mechanized harvesting on the number of sprouts will also be assessed.
The influence on soil quality of leaving the bark in the forest, as compared to its export to the mill in the conventional system, will also be analyzed.
As with the new system, the debarked wood should be stored for some time at the site, the effects of this intermediate storage on wood quality and the propagation of Phoracanta semipunctata will be also studied.
It is expected that this project will provide sufficient information to decide if and under which conditions the conventional harvesting and debarking of hardwood coppice could or should be replaced by the new, mechanizsed system.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts