Value recovery and product sorting in the Southeastern United States
Hamsley, Amanda Kate
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Some timber harvesting systems in the southeastern USA have started using harvesters to buck and sort products. A 2007 survey indicated that most Georgia loggers bucked logs using chainsaws or sawbucks. Forty-five percent of respondents estimated product dimensions with some measurement. We compared value recovery and cost of a modified tree-length (MTL) logging system that measures product dimensions with a harvester to that of a tree-length (TL) system that estimates dimensions. Processing TL loads of product with a harvester on a yard did not increase load value. Although not statistically significant, MTL did recover slightly more residual timber value per acre than TL on two of three sites despite estimated $2/ton higher logging costs. MTL also showed consistent, but not significantly different (alpha = 0.10), increases over TL percent of cruised value harvested. The individual stem analysis showed similar value recoveries ranging from 67% to 78% for MTL compared to 73% to 78% for TL.