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Simulated productivity of conceptual, multi-headed tree planting devices

Ersson, Back Tomas; Jundén, Linus; Lindh, Erik Mattias; Bergsten, Urban


The demand for mechanized tree planting has been growing steadily in southern Sweden over the last five years. This demand growth is mainly because seedlings on typical southern Swedish clearcuts survive better and grow faster when planted mechanically compared to operational manual planting after mechanical disc trenching. Today, planting machines in the Nordic countries consist of an ordinary tracked excavator with a crane-mounted planting device. Current boom-tip planting devices can be one- or two-headed, and scarify via mounding, plant deeply, and are especially suitable on mesic and moist sites. 

Practical experience has shown that two-headed devices are more productive than one-headed, especially on clearcuts with easy to moderate terrain. However, it is not known whether three- or four-headed planting devices could further increase planting machine productivity. Moreover, would such multi-headed planting devices remain more productive even on obstacle-rich terrain? To answer these questions, we used a discrete-event simulation tool to compare planting devices with one to four heads on clearcuts with varying frequencies of obstacles (ie. stones, stumps, roots) and different thicknesses of humus layer. 
Preliminary results show that planting machine productivity on easy to moderate terrain is highest with four-headed devices, while productivity on obstacle-rich terrain is highest for three-headed devices with obstacle-avoiding features. Also, tray-wise-loaded seedling carousels that were faster to reload increased the simulated productivity of one- and two-headed devices by 4-12% depending on terrain. These simulation results will guide us in choosing which configurations to test on actual planting device test-rigs.


planting machine; mechanized tree planting; boom-tip planting head; discrete-event simulation; terrain model; mounding; site preparation; silviculture; forestry

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Utgivare: FCBA


Fifth Forest Engineering Conference