AgriculturalLink.com/blog updates latest topics about livestock, food manufacturers, vegetables, organic farming, agritourism, marketing & market info, agribusiness.

Archive for the ‘Forestry’ Category

Forestry

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Forestry is the science and practice of managing a forest for some goal. Prior to the establishment of forestry as a science-based discipline, the exploitation of forests for various products was carried out without sufficient regard for consequences. For example, trees were cut without ensuring tree regeneration. Logged areas were often burned catastrophically without regard for soil resources and logs dragged or flushed down stream valleys to a mill without concern for the stream habitat or water quality.

scale

Scientific forestry is intended to alleviate these unintended consequences by basing management on research and a goal of sustainable management. The practice of forestry encompasses forest protection, forest engineering, silviculture, forest ecology, economics, biometrics, hydrology, wildlife management, and other disciplines.

Forests face multiple threats, such as fire, disease, insect outbreak, and air pollution. Some of these factors can negatively impact large forest areas over short time periods. Other factors may create chronic stresses which may have long-term consequences on the nature of a forest ecosystem and the species within. Forest management activities are, therefore, undertaken to reduce fire risk, control pests, and to guide forest development processes towards specific, often multiple-use, management goals. Techniques include thinning and controlled burns to reduce fire risk, application of pesticides to control insect outbreaks, removal of diseased trees, and etc.

Modern forestry utilizes large equipment, and thus must utilize engineers. Unique achievements of forest engineers include cable yarding systems, the design of forest roads that produce less sediment, and the development of field harvesting equipment that increases efficiency.

Silviculture is the art and science of growing trees. Various silvicultural systems have been devised to harvest a stand (or selected trees) at lowest cost and with minimal damage, to ensure restocking of the site, to help trees grow rapidly, to favor particular species, and to protect biodiversity.

Forest ecology is the study of the forest as an ecological system. Facets of this science include tree physiology and life history, wildlife biology, nutrient cycling, biogeography, and other topics. The results of studies in forest ecology help inform silviculture as well as efforts to document and conserve biodiversity.

Since forestry is often conducted as a business, the economic aspect of forestry has long received attention. Forest economics encompasses field operations (such as harvesting), long-term stand management strategies, firm-wide (or forest-wide) economic planning, assessments of the impact of forest policy on nearby communities, and even international market assessments of wood supply and effects of tariffs and tax policies.

Forest hydrology is concerned with the effects of forestry operations on hydrologic properties of streams and watersheds, water yield, water quality, and stream biota.

Biometrics and forest mensuration are concerned with sampling and measuring properties such as stem form and biomass, site index, stand wood yield, etc. These fields are called upon also for the design of forest inventories and analysis of inventory data.

Forest management is typically extensive rather than intensive. The basic spatial unit of management is the forest stand, which is a more-or-less homogenous and identifiable spatial unit. When a prescription like thinning or fertilization is applied, it is applied to one or more stands as whole units. This is because operational efficiencies can only be achieved in this manner and because detailed spatial manipulations (e.g., fertilizing at different levels for each tree) are not feasible with the information and techniques available. While certain scales of complexity of spatial pattern can be achieved, such as by selection or strip cutting or leaving remnant trees or patches, not all possible configurations are feasible. In addition, there may not be any known prescription that would favor a particular species (such as an endangered species) or remove a pest species.

Commercial forestry is necessarily carried out based on an expectation of profit. Non-market benefits (e.g., biodiversity goals, aesthetics) can and need to be accommodated to maintain a social license to manage the forest but they must not be too demanding of corporate resources (e.g., staff time, land area) or competing land-uses will be selected. Forests on public lands, and particular those located in designated wilderness areas, are sometimes managed for non-commercial goals, including wildlife habitat restoration, old-growth preservation, water resource protection, preservation of biodiversity, and rare or endangered species conservation. Management strategies for preservation-related purposes may not generate net income from the harvesting of forest resources although other local and regional economic benefits may be derived from recreation related activities and by other environmental services provided by forests such as water and air protection and purification.

– See more at: Walker Forestry Services

Forestry Trucks Make Logging Easy

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The harvesting of timber is done all over the world including in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Many years ago, the rising global demand for this product inspired businesses to double their production rate by eliminating the traditional method of forest harvesting.

The conventional way to cut down trees was to use an ax. The felled timbers were then transported using different bodies of water to move them from their current location to various wood-product processing plants. Years passed and there were some improvements with the mode of transporting the timber through the use of donkeys, railroads, and cable lines; production remained slow and costly.

When heavy-duty vehicles began hauling the lumber, the struggle to double production gradually faded and was replaced with the new idea that logging was a good investment. New technology was constantly being developed to eliminate tiring and hazardous techniques and to facilitate safety and efficiency at the work site. Today, these machines help workers solve problems and get the job done efficiently with fewer injuries.

Transitions

Techniques in wood processing are categorized into traditional and modern methods. The conventional way includes the use of axes, cables, railroads, and rivers to fell and move the lumber from the forest to sawmills. This method has since evolved to the contemporary way which involves the use of advanced equipment.

Traditional Cutting Techniques

Customarily, the most costly and exhaustive method used to fell trees was by using an ax, cable lines, railroads, and waterways to cut and transport the wood to the processing plant. This was very tiring and expensive because of the manpower needed to complete the job over an extended time period. Before chainsaws were invented, felling axes were used to cut down trees. This cutting technique required a great deal of effort to fell a tree as well as more time; it affected the overall productivity level.

Transportation

Transferring logs in the past was done by timber rafting; this involved felled trees being brought to certain moving bodies of water so they could begin their journey to the sawmill. This method had one huge disadvantage in that not all felled trees were near a body of water. Another technique used to move the wood was through the use of railroads and cable lines; this was very risky, laborious, tiresome and time-consuming. One other strategy was to use horses and donkeys to pull the timber to the mills.

Contemporary Techniques

Forestry trucks have transformed the timber harvesting process into an effort of efficiency and ease. This equipment is capable of doing the cutting, delimbing, bucking, skidding, and hauling of the wood to the saw mills. It helps those who are in the logging industry to competently perform any job in this emerging market. Aside from using a chainsaw, tree-cutting can be done by a feller buncher or harvester. Skidders or forwarders can then be used to remove the felled logs from the woods. Finally, grapple trucks or log loaders are used to pick up the logs from the roadside and lift them onto transportation vehicles which will carry the product to its final destination.

Bucket trucks can help workers trim hard-to-reach tree branches from a secure elevated platform and spade trucks can be used to unearth tree trunks. Without these machines, logging would remain an exhaustive and hazardous occupation.

The housing industry, along with many others, has created an increased demand for lumber in the global market that the forestry industry has had to attempt to meet. The traditional techniques that were used to supply the world with lumber would not be able to keep up with today’s demand. The use of forestry trucks has made the job much easier and faster than could have been imagined a century ago!