Changing times: How technique and technology advancements could promote woody biomass harvesting in the United States
As the need for woody biomass continues to develop, so do the techniques and technologies that are used to harvest it. This paper discussed the potential for the woody biomass market in the United States with regards to alternative factors that could be used to decrease planting and harvesting costs. Small-scale harvesting machines such as skid-steer loaders were used for harvesting small tracts of land where residual damage, small diameter wood, and transport costs contribute to high overall costs. In addition to small-scale machines, adaptations in planting methods, using the FlexStandTM, have proven to provide landowners with two effective techniques to alleviate residual tree damage while simultaneously increasing final sawtimber value. Woody biomass tonnage data was collected and compared from both harvested and modeled stands. Results depicted a significant amount of biomass tonnage was removed from all stands indicating high potential for woody biomass in the future.