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High-pruning of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth): work efficiency as a function of pruning method, pole saw type, slash removal, operator, pruning height and branch characteristics

Skovsgaard, Jens Peter, Ols, Clémentine, Mc Carthy, Rebecka
International journal of forest engineering 2018 v.29 no.2 pp. 117-127
Betula pendula, branches, models, pruning, slash, trees
The objective of this study was to establish an operational model of work efficiency (net or productive work time per tree) for high-pruning of young silver birch depending on pruning method, pole saw type, operator, pruning height and branch characteristics. The final model included number of branches, cross-sectional area of the thickest branch at the cut, pruning height, pruning method (target or flush pruning) and operator as independent variables. Work time increased with increasing values of each of the three numeric variables. For a given pruning height the number of branches was for all practical purposes more influential than the size of the largest branch. Target pruning was significantly faster than flush pruning, all else being equal. The variation in work efficiency for the five operators in the study spanned a range almost twice as large as that attributed to pruning method. The mean work time for other activities during the pruning operation (supportive work time) was estimated at 17% of the productive work time for pruning.