Site Specific Silvicultural Operations

SS SilvicultureSite-specific silvicultural operations involve the use of geospatial technologies (GPS and GIS) to improve operational efficiency and reduce the cost of wood fiber. This involves using technologies previously developed for precision agriculture and implementing them in forest management and planning. Example technology includes using GPS and variable-rate technology (VRT) to improve the efficiency of herbicide spraying or fertilizer application. Control systems and field computers are available to provide real-time guidance information to machine operators to minimize over-application or skipped areas while assisting operators when navigating during operations. These technologies are readily available and are currently being used in forest operations in the U.S.

Other new technologies include radio frequency identification (RFID) and GPS-based steering systems have great potential for use in silvicultural operations. Temperature recording RFID tags can be used to track the conditions in which tree seedlings are lifted, processed, transported and stored before planting. This temperature data can be combined with information on who planted the tree, when it was planted, and where it was planted (using GPS data) to help landowners better understand tree seedling survivability. GPS-based steering systems are being used frequently for guidance of agricultural tractors. However, these systems also have the potential to provide guidance for forestry site preparation operations (both tillage and herbicide or fertilizer application). Rows can be more precisely established to minimize erosion and to maximize the number of trees planted on the site. The develop of new technologies will assist with adoption of them for site-specific silvicultural operations and with current forest industry trends of consolidation and workforce reduction will encourage more automation and data collection for verification of services.

Research Presentations for Site-Specific Silvicultural Operations

Last Updated: May 08, 2017