Biomass Burning Alternatives - Whole Tree Logging

This page last reviewed July 7, 2008

Whole Tree Logging involves cutting and skidding the entire tree, with the limbs still attached, to a landing to be developed into a usable product.

Equipment Needed for Whole Tree Logging:

  • Harvesters for cutting the timber
  • Skidders and/or tractors for taking the whole trees to the landing
  • Delimber for making sawlogs or pulplogs
  • Chipper for making wood chips for biomass plants
  • Flail chipharvester for making wood chips
  • Tub grinder for making wood chips
  • Loader to load logs or pulp logs onto truck
    (Note: A self-loading truck eliminates the need for a loader.)
  • Log & chip trucks
Forest Products:
  • Sawlogs -- delivered in log form to sawmills
  • Pulplogs -- delivered in log form to pulpmills, particleboard plants, or ports for shipment overseas
  • Biomass (hog fuel) -- delivered in chip form, which includes bark and foliage, to cogeneration plants
  • Pulpwood -- delivered in chip form, which does not include bark and foliage, to particleboard plants and pulpmills

Cost to Produce Product:

(These costs are estimates and assume an average timber diameter of 20" or less at breast height and an average slope of less than 40%. The estimated costs do not include haul costs. Actual costs may vary.)

  • Sawlogs -- $24 to $35 per green ton, or $170 to $250 per thousand board feet
    (assuming 26 green tons or 3,700 board feet per truckload)
  • Pulplogs -- $22 to $32 per green ton
    (assuming 22 green tons per truckload)
  • Biomass Chips -- $40 to $60 per bone dry ton
    (assuming 12 bone dry tons per truckload)

Advantages of Whole Tree Logging:

  • Removal of ladder fuels increases protection from threat of wildfire
  • Utilizes low ground pressure equipment
  • Improves stand health and vigor

Disadvantages of Whole Tree Logging:

  • Economics dictate the need for biomass plants or pulplog mills to be in place nearby
  • Suitable only in limited stand types
  • Potential for stand damage