Felling small trees with a drive-to-tree feller-buncher
Conventional forestry equipment is often used to harvest small-diameter trees. The typical ground-based logging operation is highly mechanized, with the most common using feller-bunchers, grapple skidders, and a chipper or grinder. But these machines may not be economical when used in pre-commercial or unmerchantable thinning operations in which the number of trees to be removed per acre is high but volume per tree is low. Published studies commonly find that feller-buncher productivity (tons/productive machine hour) is directly proportional to tree diameter. As tree diameters increase, the tons produced per hour increase, resulting in a lower cost per unit of wood produced.