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Productivity and profitability of harvesting overgrown roadside verges – a Swedish case study

Fernandez Lacruz, Raul and Edlund, Marita and Bergström, Dan and Lindroos, Ola (2021). Productivity and profitability of harvesting overgrown roadside verges – a Swedish case study. International Journal of Forest Engineering. 21 , 19-28
[Research article]

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Abstract

Despite the large biomass potential, current management practices for roadside verges (ditch backslopes,foreslopes and bottoms, possible parking lots and other lateral land) consist of regularly cutting the vegetation manually with motorized brush saws or flail mowers and leaving it to rot in situ. Regular vegetation clearing is crucial for safety reasons and to maintain road functionality. This study considered the cost-efficiency of a mechanized harvesting system, using a harvester and a forwarder (as an alternative to current clearing practices), to maintain the verges of a forest road in northern Sweden. Cutting a 2.5-m wide swath on each verge removed between 32 and 112 dry t ha−1 (16–56 dry t km−1 of road) of biomass. Analyses showed that the use of forest machinery to cut and extract biomass from roadside verges can be cost-competitive compared with motor-manual clearing when the average tree height is above 7 m (~26-year-old trees), and profitable for average heights above 8 m (~29-year-old trees). As the overgrown biomass has to be cleared anyway, a mechanized harvest could partially or fully offset maintenance costs. When setting cutting intervals, a trade-off needs to be made between larger biomass production and maintaining a clear and safe road. Future research needs to investigate how size, density of vegetation and width of the cleared swath affects the long-term quality and safety of roads.

Authors/Creators:Fernandez Lacruz, Raul and Edlund, Marita and Bergström, Dan and Lindroos, Ola
Title:Productivity and profitability of harvesting overgrown roadside verges – a Swedish case study
Series Name/Journal:International Journal of Forest Engineering
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:21
Page range:19-28
Number of Pages:10
ISSN:1494-2119
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:bioenergy, biorefinery, wood, small-diameter trees, maintenance, time study
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108400
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108400
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1080/14942119.2020.1822664
ID Code:23129
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:09 Apr 2021 13:43
Metadata Last Modified:09 Apr 2021 13:51

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