Section 6
Chapter 5,167

Directional felling of old crop radiata pine pinus radiata on steep country

Murphy, G.

New Zealand Journal of Forestry 27(1): 67-76


ISSN/ISBN: 1174-7986
Accession: 005166690

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Directional felling is an accepted harvesting practice on the west coast of North America. Among the advantages claimed for it are less breakage, increased volume recovery, increased value recovery, and greater daily hauler production. Breakage from conventional felling of unmanaged P. radiata stands has been shown to be a significant cause of losses in recovery on steep country in New Zealand. To determine if breakage could be reduced, 2 areas were conventionally felled and 2 directionally felled on steep slopes in Tauchara Forest. Piece length, piece volume, pieces per cycle, and daily hauler production were recorded for each of the 4 areas. No attempt was made to record log values produced from each area. Average piece length was 3-6 m (14 to 36%) greater on the directionally felled areas. Average piece volume was .apprx. 5% greater. Average volume per cycle was 2% greater on one and 42% greater on the other directionally felled area. Hauler productivity increased by up to 50%. The feller estimated it took twice as long to directionally fell as it did to conventionally fell. Directional felling is both more difficult and dangerous and thus requires very skilled fellers to ensure that felling is carried out effectively and safely.

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