Stańczykiewicz, A.*, Szewczyk, G. and Kulak, D. 2015. Damage to Advance Growth Resulting from Timber Harvesting During Final Cuttings. Baltic Forestry 21(1): 143-150

The research was conducted in the southern Poland, in mature spruce stand, where final cutting were carried out with the use of LARIX LAMAKO tower cable system combined with farm tractor and with the use of LKT 81 TURBO skidder. The tree-length system (TLS) timber harvesting technology was applied using chainsaw for felling, delimbing and cross-cutting and the above-mentioned machines for skidding to the landings. In the selected stand, four study plots were established, in which inventory of advance growth (saplings) was carried out before and after timber harvesting. In the case of technology using tower cable system, the level of damage to advance growth in individual manipulation sample plots was within the range of 21.9% – 25.4% (average 23.9%). In the case of skidder technology, damage reached the level of 55.6% – 65.9% (average 61.3%). The most commonly observed type of damage to the advance growth as a result of final cutting with the use of tower cable system technology was destroyed saplings. Most damage occurred in the lowest advance growth (up to 0.5m above the ground). As for skidder technology, the most commonly observed types of sapling damage were stem and side-branches breaks; most damage occurred in medium-sized advance growth (0.5 – 4.0 m). A few results presented in this paper may be used for long-term research consisting in, i.e., continuous observation of the growth and development of damaged advance growth or quality and spatial distribution of saplings that were not affected by timber harvesting. Conducting such observations will be possible due to fixed circular research plots, permanently marked at the current stage of the investigations.

Key words: damage to saplings, spruce stand, tower cable system, skidder, final cutting