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Issues and Opportunities for Salvaging Storm Damaged Wood

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2101231.(doi:10.13031/aim.202101231)
Authors:   Dana Mitchell, Mathew Smidt, Tim McDonald, Tom Elder
Keywords:   damage class, dry storage, hurricane, pellets, salvage logging, storm damaged timber, tornado

Abstract. Southeastern timber stands have been severely impacted by recent storms. Hurricanes have uprooted, shaken and broken trees across thousands of acres of forest lands. Tornados have snapped tree stems along 129 km (80 mile) linear paths. All ages of stands have been impacted. During some events, more wood is downed over the course of one or two days than would normally be harvested in a year. Salvage harvesting to recover some value for the landowner can be difficult because traditional forest products markets are based on a sustainable supply of wood over time.

Mills are not equipped to take this additional volume. Storm damaged wood deteriorates quickly, and landowners are forced to sell their sawtimber at pulpwood prices just to prepare their land for replanting. This project will explore opportunities to extend the time window of salvaging storm damaged wood using a variety of in-woods storage techniques. Wood characteristics of stored wood will be analyzed for use in both traditional and biomass products. The benefits of this project would potentially extend the time window for marketing downed timber.

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