Biomass chipping for eastern redcedar
Eastern redcedar expansion is a significant economic and environmental problem in much of the Great Plains. Mechanical control measures are quite common and widely available, but application is costly and the often large piles of trees are significant issues for landowners. Biomass production from redcedar has the potential to lower costs and dispose of the material. Following field harvesting trials in 2015 and 2016, we developed production and costing tools to determine the cost and productivity for available production systems which might produce biomass chips at a cost that could be supported by biomass value for energy. Significant issues in the production systems include both low volume per tree and low density in the stands. While hot systems are typically more efficient in biomass harvesting, cold felling, processing, or transportation may be ways to overcome production constraints and increase material value. The lack of conventional timber harvesting in these regions also adds to the cost in terms of available equipment and expertise.