Romppala (Kontiolahti), Eastern Finland, 31 October 2019

Small wood harvesting and boom-corridor thinning was tested in the Finnish conditions in late October 2019. A team comprising Finnish and Swedish SMALLWOD project partners had prepared 18 experiment plots. The measurements before, during, and after the test harvestings followed the same protocols as those in Sweden, allowing comparisons between countries. The Finnish test harvestings featured two harvesters, two machine drivers, and one forwarder with an embedded weight measurement crane.

A demo event was organized on 31 October 2019 at the site. The 25 participants represented, alongside SMALLWOOD researchers, local machine entrepreneurs, forestry equipment retailers, local forest owners’ association, local energy cooperative, state forestry administration and regional authority. The participants saw the harvester at work, received an introduction to the Bracke’s multi-tree harvesting head, and walked through some harvested test plots to observe the harvesting quality, comparing traditional selective harvesting method outcome and the boom-corridor thinning outcome.

It was not very easy in all cases to recognize which method had been used. A concluding observation from the event was that skilled drivers can use their expertise to select the most suitable boom corridors places and directions. While some systematics is used, one shall avoid too much systematics. In this way, silvicultural features of selective harvesting may be combined with the productivity benefits resulting from the bit more systematic boom-corridor thinning method.

The organizers are grateful to the landowner of the site, who welcomed the research and dissemination activities to his land.

When researching new harvesting techniques, one needs to investigate the impacts from multiple viewpoints and consider also the business models”, emphasizes the principal investigator of the Finnish sub study of the SMALLWOOD project, professor Teppo Hujala from the University of Eastern Finland.