Wood processing is an engineering discipline comprising the production of forest products, such as pulp and paper, construction materials, and tall oil. Paper engineering is a subfield of wood processing. The major wood product categories are: sawn timber, wood-based panels, wood chips, paper and paper products and miscellaneous others including poles and railway sleepers.
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Forest product processing technologies have undergone extraordinary advances in some of the above categories. Improvements have been achieved in recovery rates, durability and protection, greater utilization of NTFPs such as various grain stalks and bamboo, and the development of new products such as reconstituted wood-panels.
Progress has not been homogenous in all the forest product utilization categories. Although there is little information available on the subjects of technology acquisition, adaptation and innovation for the forest-based industrial sector, it is clear that sawmilling has been far less affected by the spread of innovations than the manufacturing of panel products.
Wood processing produces additives for further processing of timber, wood chips, cellulose and other prefabricated material.
6 steps to successful tree felling
When felling trees, the correct working techniques are essential for not only creating a safe working environment, but also working more effectively.
1. Plan ahead
When it comes to tree removal using a chainsaw, preparation is key. If you plan the felling and which forestry equipment to bring, not only are you in for a safer working session, but your post-felling work will also be a lot easier. First, ask yourself if there are any major obstacles – such as overhead lines, roads or buildings – in the area. Deploy warning signs if you know that a road crosses the work area or that a lot of people pass by on a daily basis.
2. Check the felling direction
Continue by carefully studying the tree to determining the felling direction. How do the branches look and how do they grow? Also, take the wind direction into consideration. If you’re unsure of the tree’s natural direction of fall, step away from the tree and check with a plumb line (see fact box for details). Clear around the tree in the intended felling direction. Also clear about 45 degrees behind the tree in both directions, creating your path of retreat.
3. Prune the trunk
Once you have cleared the area, put up your warning signs and decided on the tree’s direction of fall and your path of retreat, check that you have enough fuel in the tank for the task ahead. Then it’s time to prune the trunk to get rid of all the branches and twigs that might get in the way when sawing the felling cut. The safest way to prune is to work with a pulling chain (underside of the chainsaw guide bar) from the top down.
4. Decide on cutting technique
Once the trunk is twig-free up to shoulder height, it’s time to make the felling cut. When doing this, it’s important to remember two things: the hinge should have a uniform thickness with the right dimensions, and the felling wedge or breaking bar should be inserted before the tree can pinch the guide bar. Which technique you should use for making the cut depends on the tree size and slope, and on the size of your chainsaw. We have put together information about the different techniques here, so that you can determine which method best suits your conditions.
5. Check for diseases
If you notice that the timber is discolored and soft, or if the lower part of the trunk looks swollen or diseased, you need to be very careful. This is an indication that the tree is infested with rot and that the wood fibers are weakened. When this happens, fell in the tree’s natural direction of fall and use a winch if you are unsure. Rot infestation usually subsides higher up in the tree so one option might be to fell the tree with an extra high stump.
6. Choose your tool
There are several felling tools to choose from when taking down a tree. The size of the tree determines which type of forestry equipment you need. For smaller trees, you do not normally need felling tools. Hand force is enough, possibly with the help of a long pole. A felling wedge provides greater felling force than the different types of breaking bars. In extreme cases, you can use a rope and a winch, which is the safest and most powerful way to fell a tree. Have a look at the fact box for more information about the different tools.
- Explain processing of wood
- List 5 part of a tree