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Research Projects - Biomass Harvesting

Who’s Involved?

Research Introduction

Emerging interest in woody biomass as a source of bioenergy and bioproducts may evolve to provide an enhanced market for low and poor quality wood. If these markets develop, there may be an opportunity to both satisfy wood demands for a bioenergy/bioproducts market and cover the costs of stand rehabilitation efforts that can significantly improve the composition, growth, and value of future stands.   The primary objectives of this project are to compare biomass harvest systems and vegetative management treatments for rehabilitation of low value beech-dominated hardwood stands.  We anticipate that the findings of this study will encourage the application of silvicultural treatments in previously sub-merchantable stands, thus improving forest productivity while providing economically harvested material for the growing biomass market.

Research Details

The primary objectives of this project are to compare biomass harvest systems and vegetative management treatments for rehabilitation of low value beech-dominated hardwood stands. A factorial combination of two harvest systems, three stand conditions and three vegetation management treatments are proposed to compare feasibility, cost, and efficacy of rehabilitating young beech-dominated stands in Maine.

What’s New on this Project?

The first field season finished at the end of August. Over the past few months we established three harvest blocks and sub-treatment units within each block, conducted a pre- harvest cruise and sampled understory vegetation, completed a pre-harvest herbicide treatment, and completed time and motion studies of harvesting operations. Our data processing and analysis is ongoing.

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