Current issue: 54(2)
This paper investigates and models the effects of pruning season and tool on wound occlusion with varying tree and branch characteristics of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) stems at the pruning height of 0−4 metres. Dates of eight secateurs prunings, three saw prunings and two sticks prunings as well as unpruned control were tested in permanent plots on four sites. Knot occlusion and discolouration in stemwood were measured from about 1600 studied knots of 112 sample trees felled five to six years after pruning in 2010. Knot occlusion rate was modelled according to pruning tool, date, tree growth, and branch characteristics. The occlusion was the fastest in trees pruned in spring or early summer, and the slowest in trees pruned in autumn. Stubs of living branches occluded faster than the dead ones with the same diameter. Saw pruning resulted in clearly better occlusion rates than secateurs pruning, caused by the shorter knot stubs after saw pruning. Hitting dead branches away with a stick resulted in the worst occlusion status. The colour defects spread more often upward from the knot than downward. Discolouration in stemwood was detected more frequently near to the pruned branches than the unpruned ones, and more widely near to the stubs of dead branches than the living ones. Most saw and secateurs pruned branches were completely occluded during the experiment, so these prunings were suitable for all branches under 20 mm in diameter, and for living branches even up to 30 mm in fast-growing trees.
Detailed pre-harvest information about the volumes and properties of growing stocks is needed for increased precision in wood procurement planning for just-in-time wood deliveries by cut-to-length (CTL) harvesters. In the study, the non-parametric Most Similar Neighbour (MSN) methodology was evaluated for predicting external quality of Scots pine and Norway spruce, expressed as stem sections fulfilling the saw log dimension and quality requirements of Finnish forest industry, as they affect the recovery of timber assortments and the value of a pre-harvest stand. Effects of external tree quality were evaluated using saw log recovery and saw log reduction caused by stem defects, as well as total timber value (€) and average unit value (€ m–3) in a stand. Root mean square error (RMSE) of saw log recovery and reduction were 9.12 percentile points (pp) for Scots pine and 6.38 pp for Norway spruce stands. In the unit value considerations, the predictions compared with measurements resulted in the RMSE of 3.50 € m–3 and the bias of 0.58 € m–3 in Scots pine stands and 2.60 € m–3, and 0.35 € m–3 in Norway spruce stands, respectively. The presented MSN based approach together with the utilization of the external stem quality database included in the ARVO software could provide dimension and external quality predictions usable for pre-harvest assessment of timber stock at a stand level. This prediction methodology is usable especially in analyses where timber assortment recoveries, values and unit prices are compared when different bucking objectives are used.
The objective of the study was to ascertain the effects of tree selection (thinning from below, from above and according to stem quality) and timing of first commercial thinning (early and delayed) on the growth, yield and quality of trees in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand. A long-term field experiment (25 years) was measured in 5-year periods and the further development was simulated with growth and yield models to final cuttings using alternative rotation periods of 55–85 years. The measurements included also the exact location and type of technical defects detected on all trees in the experimental plots. The measured volume increment per unit area during the study period, 25 years after the early thinning stage was the lowest in the plots thinned from below, and the highest in the plots thinned from above or in the delayed thinning plots. However, the largest volume of saw logs during the whole rotation of 80 years was yielded after early first thinning according to the quality. The largest volume of very high-quality butt logs was produced by pruning connected with early thinning from above, and a smaller volume after early thinning according to stem quality but no after thinning from below or delayed first thinning. Without pruning an early quality thinning with one intermediate thinning was the most profitable thinning treatment in the Scots pine stand regardless the rotation length or the interest rate used. By interest rates of 1% and 2%, the optimal rotations were 80–85 years and 70 years respectively. A late thinning at the age of 60 year with long rotation was profitable only for the pruned pine stands with a low interest rate.
In a closed market, roundwood buyers pricing system affect the roundwood flow from the stands to different roundwood users. If a buyer is capable to discriminate higher value stands from low quality stands better than its competitors, the buyer should be able to buy better raw material. In the study, a discrete event simulation was used to examine the effect of residual value appraisal (RVA) -based pricing of roundwood by log dimensions and grades compared to the traditional pricing based on average unit prices (UP) of roundwood assortments on roundwood flow. The core of the simulation model was the data containing 51 pine dominated stands from southern Finland. Sample trees were theoretically bucked by the bucking simulator in order to estimate the volumes, dimensions and grades of the logs and roundwood assortments. The simulation model of roundwood markets included four roundwood buyers, two corporations and two saw milling enterprises. The main finding of the study was that the buyers who use RVA gains an advantage and receives better quality compared to buyers who use UP. As the number of buyers using RVA increases, the competition increased and the advantage decreased.