Surveys and Training for Logging Damage - 130-106

Description: The selection silvicultural system requires the preservation of high quality advance growth and residual overstory stems, and assumes the continued growth and development of those stems to meet future forest objectives. Productivity is dependent both on maintaining the residual forest in a highly vigorous state by minimizing damage to the individual stem, and by providing an environment that has not been denigrated by past operations. However, poorly managed harvest operations can cause substantial environmental degradation, a reduction in merchantable volume and a decrease in timber quality. Up to one-half of the residual stems of stand basal area can be damaged during logging operations. Up to 40% of advance reproduction may be damaged with the level of damage directly related to skid trail coverage. Levels of acceptable damage and shortened harvesting seasons are seen as a major limitation to forest operations.

The principal objectives of this study are to quantify the long-term growth and yield, quality and value implications of logging damage related to harvesting activity, and to identify (where possible) means of extending periods of operability in the spring (high bark shear susceptibility) and fall (high risk of soil saturation and rutting) without compromising damage standards.

The project is considering the following factors:

1. Impacts related to residual trees (stem abrasion, root shear, crown breakage) and regeneration, with linkages to the physical environment through the FERIC/Tembec “Ground Disturbance” study;

2. The role of logger training as a mitigator (improvement of work techniques); and

3. Harvest method (mechanized harvester and convention cut and skid) as a factor.

The goal of this project is to provide information about the long term effects of logging damage to future harvesting. This topic has little research to date and the information will be invaluable to improving the efficiency of long term forestry operations. The collaboration between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Forestry Research Partnership will encourage a transfer of this information to those who are directly involved in logging operations.


The Project Team Scott McPherson, Murray Woods, Andree Morneault, OMNR, Al Stinson, MNR-FRP, Bill Cole, OFRI.



Report: Interim Investigation of Selection Harvesting Damage to Tolerant Hardwood Stands in Central Ontario (February, 2003)

Technical Notes/ Reports:

Pinto, F. and M. L. Smith. 2007. Assessment of log ging damage after conventional and mechanical log ging in a final removal shelterwood harvest. Southern Science and Information Technical Report SSI #125, 15p.

Woods, M.E., Smith, M.L. and S. McPherson. 2007. Incidence of damage to tolerant hardwood stands managed by the selection system in central Ontario. Southern Science and Information Technical Report Number SSI #124, 39p.


Tree Tips:
Tree Tip for Project 130-106, April 2005


Planning landings and trails

Protecting residual trees and regeneration
Controlling soil erosion on skid trails and landings
Installing water crossings in harvest blocks



Logging Damage Studies - Presentation (2008)


Careful logging intro
Regen & residuals - Part A
Regen & Residuals - Part B


Partial Cut
Roles & responsibilties
Regen & residual trees
Soil & hyrology
Water & wetlands
Regen & residual w/ silviculture intro

Physical Env Training
Site disturbance - Intro
Site disturbance - Compaction & rutting
Site disturbance - Erosion
Site disturbance - Nutrient loss
Erosion & sedimentation course overview


Status Reports:

Status Report (2007-2008)

Project Work Report (2007-2008)

Status Report (2008-2009)

Financial Summary (2008-2009)

Status Report (2009-2010)

Status Report (2010-2011)

For Additional Information Contact:

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