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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 13(3): 399-405. (doi: 10.13031/2013.21605) @1997
Authors:   S. J. Potts, B. R. Hartsough, S. E. Reutebuch, J. L. Fridley
Keywords:   Silviculture, Pruning, Forestry, Douglas-fir, Polesaw, Time-study

Early pruning of young branches can improve the quality of wood in young conifers, but the benefits of pruning need to be compared with the costs. A time-motion study was conducted in British Columbia of second-lift (from 2.8 to 5.6 m) polesaw pruning in a 12-year-old stand of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menzeisii), to help determine costs. Pruning quality was also assessed, using samples from random plots. Productivity relationships were derived via regression analysis. Production rates using polesaws averaged 8.2 trees per productive hour and varied according to tree and stand characteristics. Cost per tree averaged about $2.80. Both the production rates and quality were lower than for pruning with shears, indicating that polesaw pruning is less desirable in all aspects except one: the work can be done from the ground instead of on a ladder.

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