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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of Boom-Corridor and Selective Thinnings on Harvester Productivity in Dense Small Diameter Pyrenean Oak (Quercus pyrenaica Willd.) Coppices in Spain

Herguido-Sevillano, Lucia; Tolosana, Eduardo; Laina, Ruben; de la Fuente, Teresa; Bergstrom, Dan; Fernandez-Lacruz, Raul; Nordfjell, Tomas


Due to socioeconomic transformations in the 20th century, Quercus pyrenaica Willd. coppices in Spain, as well as other European coppices, have experimented an abandonment and lack of intervention leading to stagnant high density stands with fragile health due to competition. Thinnings are often required to ensure their stability and health, producing forest products such as firewood or biomass, which are key energy sources in a carbon-neutral economy. However, thinnings are seldom performed because they lack economic sustainability due to a low productivity, high costs and low biomass prices. In this study, two thin-ning methods, selective thinning (ST) and boom-corridor thinning (BCT), were tested car-rying out a time study in a high-density small-diameter Q. pyrenaica stand in the Leon province (Castilla y Leon, Spain) with a forest harvester base machine, on which an accumulating felling head Bracke C16c was mounted. The residual stands were significantly different regarding the final density (greater in BCT) and the final average DBH (bigger in ST), while thinning intensity (odt center dot ha-1) was the same. In most work elements, time per tree was not significantly different. BCT showed a significant 48.6% increase in harvester productivity when compared to ST, with averaging 4.43 and 2.99 odt center dot pmh-1, respectively, due mainly to the average weight per extracted tree, 42% greater in BCT. When considering the common range of unit tree weight, the productivity was 16-23% greater for BCT, far less than observed in the trials. These results show the potential of BCT over ST in the studied conditions, although there is room for improvement. Further studies could include the future evolution of the treated stands and perform a cost analysis.


coppice thinning; biomass; forest time study; accumulating felling head; Bracke C16c; mechanization

Published in

Croatian Journal Of Forest Engineering
2024, Volume: 45, number: 1