Technical Development Services - our experience

Providing evidence based information and recommendations to forestry practitioners and decisions makers

Evaluation of forestry operations


The assessment of different working methods provides quantitative (costs, outputs) as well as qualitative information (for example degradation of brash mats, or suitability of a type of machine to given site and/or crop conditions).  These elements can yield:

  • Benchmark costs for given operations in given conditions
  • Suggestions for method development and improvement
  • Indications of method suitability and limitation in given site/crop conditions.

Some examples of our forestry operations evaluations:

  • Produced benchmark outputs and costs for a range of ground preparation techniques (scarification, spoil trench mounding, hinge mounding), as well as for woodfuel production in conifer thinnings and clearfells
  • Woodfuel production trials showed that outputs could be improved by cutting fixed instead of random length products
  • Direct seeding trials for the mechanical broadcasting of acorns determined that suitable machinery calibration would allow to meet sowing density and depth targets.

Knowledge dissemination

Group at outdoor workshop

We share and disseminate knowledge within the forest industry via:

  • Our enquiries service
  • Attendance at forestry events and shows
  • Publication of findings
  • Specific workshops and seminars, organised on request to address specific technical issues.

Some examples of our knowledge dissemination events:

  • Took part in ground preparation seminars with Forestry Commission Scotland to describe methods to improve planting mound density and uniformity counts per hectare, and sustainability (2008).
  • Organised training events as part of the COMFOR project to disseminate health and performance improvement tools and methods (2009).
  • Delivered workshops using expert presentations and machine demonstrations to promote the harvesting of woodfuel (2002-2006).

Contribution to international projects

Ground preparation

Our expertise in operational forest research led us to contribute to a number of forestry related international projects including:

  • EFORWOOD: development of sustainability assessment tools
  • COMFOR: machine operators health and performance
  • Robinwood: woodfuel production in rural areas.

We also contribute to the development of ISO standards on:

  • Hand held pesticide applicators
  • Roll over protection
  • Other safety matters on large forestry machinery.

Contacting us

If you are interested in these services or would like further information please see below contact information:

Michael Wall
Forest Research Technical Development
Forestry Commission
Ae Village
Scotland DG1 1QB

Tel: 0300 067 6935