Wood residue removal

Wood residue is the waste material which results from log felling and timber processing and is made up of branches, log off-cuts and other wood material.

Removing wood residue

Wood residue accumulates at a rate of about 4-6% of harvested log volume and is usually pushed aside and left to rot. This rotting material can cause problems for the site like reduced landing area, reduced planting area, increased potential for slips and increased risk of fire.

Problems with wood residue can be solved if it is removed and used as wood fuel and the sale of wood residue can also create a new revenue stream for the business.

Benefits of removing wood residue

Once the wood residue is removed:

  • An increased landing space increases the available work area. This improves the ability of the crew to operate and increases storage space for logs.
  • An improved planting area allows more space for future planting and reduces the weed infestation which occurs when the landing space becomes covered with wood residue. The weeds that thrive in wood residue are often those which are the most vigorous and undesirable (e.g. blackberry, gorse, broom, buddleia, pampas and tutu).
  • A reduced risk of slips prevents environmental damage. If wood residue is left on steep slopes it can collapse and cause debris to flow into waterways or onto neighbouring land.
  • A reduced risk of fire occurs as the potential fire fuel source is removed. Fire is a significant risk, especially on central processing landings (or ‘super skids’) which process material from a number of sites and deal with large volumes of wood residue including bark and chainsaw chips. Large piles of wood residue can catch fire and smolder for weeks, resulting in expensive extinguishing costs.