Loading productivity of untrimmed and trimmed pulpwood
The increase in biomass usage for fuels and energy has required a re-examination of harvesting and transportation systems to efficiently deliver these products to market. Some biomass markets accept forest residues or whole trees (including stem wood, bark and needles) as a feedstock. Therefore, there is less need to remove limbs and tops or deconstruct the tree other than to make transport more efficient. Transporting untrimmed wood or whole trees directly to the mill would appear to be a viable option to achieve increased harvesting productivity and efficiency. In the spring of 2014 a pilot study was undertaken to examine the advantages and disadvantages of untrimmed wood in the wood supply chain. In the fall of 2014, a second study examined the productivity of loading untrimmed (whole) pulpwood trees compared to loading trimmed pulpwood trees.