Current issue: 54(2)
Hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × P. tremuloides) is one of the fastest growing tree species in Finland. During the mid-1990s, a breeding programme was started with the aim of selecting clones that were superior in producing pulpwood. Hybrid aspen can also be grown as a short-rotation crop for bioenergy. To study clonal variation in wood and bark properties, seven clones were selected from a 12-year-old field trial located in southern Finland. From each clone, five trees were harvested and samples were taken from stem wood, stem bark and branches to determine basic density, effective heating value, moisture and ash content. Vertical within-tree variation in moisture content and basic density was also studied. The differences between clones were significant for almost all studied properties. For all studied properties there was a significant difference between wood and bark. Wood had lower ash content (0.5% vs. 3.9%), basic density (378 kg m–3 vs. 450 kg m–3) and effective heating value (18.26 MJ kg–1 vs. 19.24 MJ kg–1), but higher moisture content (55% vs. 49%) than bark. The values for branches were intermediate. These results suggest that the properties of hybrid aspen important for energy use could be improved by clonal selection. However, selecting clones based on fast growth only may be challenging since it may lead to a decrease in hybrid aspen wood density.
This study was aimed at determining the maximum cost level of artificial drying required for cost-efficient operation. This was done using a system analysis approach, in which the harvesting potential and procurement cost of alternative fuel chip production systems were compared at the stand and regional level. The accumulation and procurement cost of chipped delimbed stems from young forests were estimated within a 100 km transport distance from a hypothetical end use facility located in northern Finland. Logging and transportation costs, stumpage prices, tied up capital, dry matter losses and moisture content of harvested timber were considered in the study. Moisture content of artificially dried fuel chips made of fresh timber (55%) was set to 20%, 30% and 40% in the comparisons. Moisture content of fuel chips based on natural drying during storing was 40%. Transporting costs were calculated according to new higher permissible dimensions and weight limits for truck-trailers. The procurement cost calculations indicated that with artificial drying and by avoiding dry material losses of timber, it could be possible to reduce current costs of the prevailing procurement system based on natural drying of timber at roadside landings. The maximum cost level of artificial drying ranged between 1.2–3.2 € MWh–1 depending on the supply chain, moisture content and procurement volume of fuel chips. This cost margin corresponds to, e.g., organization, forwarding and transportation costs or stumpage price of delimbed stems.
A light seismic method, a short-pulse radar and a microwave probe are tested in assessing the properties of a forest road constructed on peatland. The light seismic method gave reliable values for estimating the bearing capacity of the road. It was found that bearing capacity was mostly dependent on embankment thickness, but quality of fabric might also have an influence. Embankment thickness and peat depth can be measured on the radiogram, and some additional information on road bed and peat obtained. The microwave peat probe permits recording of the continuous moisture profile in situ, which improves accuracy of planning.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
In the study the proportion of branch samples of various diameter were studied. The branches were taken from small trees to be harvested by total tree chipping method. The material consisted of 1,056 branch samples of birch (Betula verrucosa, now B. pendula Roth, and Betula pubescens Erhr.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) at intervals of 20 cm along each branch.
With exception of the basic density of bark, there was a relation between all the other properties which were studied and the diameter. Even when the effect of diameter was eliminated, in many cases the effect of the distance of the samples from the stem became apparent.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The purpose of this investigation is to examine the weight and moisture of split birch fuel wood and to calculate its heat values. The weight was measured of 255 truck loads in six different locations during the winter 1959–1960. Moisture analysis was made of sample specimens collected from the loads.
The dry matter weight of the birch fuel wood was in an average 333 kg/m3 piled measure. The lowest measured weight was 319 and the highest 341 kg/m3 piled measure. The moisture content in the different parts of the pile varies distinctly. Driest wood is found in the middle of the pile. Wood in the top and bottom of the pile have about similar moisture content.
The manner of storage influences the drying process. The moisture content of open piles is 20.5%, of paper-covered piles 19.9% and roofed multiple-piles of split fuel wood 19.3%. The 2-year-old piles were dryer than 1-year-old ones. Higher percentages (25% and 20 %, respectively) than those measured in the study, are recommended for practical use. The heat value of the wood stored in a pile was in average 1,435 Mcal/m3 piled measure, and 1,455 Mcal/m3 piled measure sampled from a truck load.
The PDF includes a summary in English.