CWFC to Conduct Detailed Measuring and Monitoring of On-Site Recovery, Pre-Processing and Transportation..

Options at the Ellerslie Short-Rotation Woody Crop (SRWC) Technical Development Site in Edmonton

By Tony Kryzanowski

The ultimate goal of afforesting with Short-Rotation Woody Crops (SRWC) (3-20 year rotations) is to maximize volume and value to land owners and industry, and to recognize this resource as a fast-growing, predictable and sustainable feedstock for multiple uses, from conventional forest products to bioenergy and other bio-products to grow Canada’s bioeconomy.

Now that the mature SRWC plantations, established and managed as a technical development site by Natural Resource Canada’s Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) in Edmonton is being harvested, the focus will now be on evaluating a variety of on-site processing technologies and methods, aimed at preparing the harvested SRWC crops to the desired size and characteristics required by end users.

The harvesting of the 18-hectare Edmonton SRWC plantations offer a unique research and development opportunity for CWFC to intensively measure, monitor and verify various harvesting, pre-processing, and transportation systems that very closely mimic a commercial supply chain.

This includes detailed time and motion studies for all the equipment, as well as weight measurement to determine recovered volumes for all harvested material.

Full tree permanent sample plots are also being manually destructively sampled to validate growth charts, partition all tree components and determine carbon values.

As the large stems originate from clonal plantations established between 2002 and 2005, they are colour coded by species, clone and age (14-17) for mass and transportation tracking purposes. To transport the logs, CWFC will use a self loading truck to load and haul the logs for delivery to a pulp mill. The haul trucks have scales to weigh the loads at source, which are validated with the pulp mill scales.

CWFC believes that the data collected and shared will prove invaluable to industry in developing workable business cases, with realistic financial inputs to potentially include SRWCs into their fibre supply mix. This will also allow them to assess the feasibility of recovering forest residues as biomass in natural forests.


One chipping method for the accumulated residues or ‘slash’ from the large stem processing operation will be the use of a portable whole tree chipper, powered by a tractor’s three point hitch. Depending on the end user’s needs, the biomass will be chipped to different sizes using different screens, with the material blown into a chip trailer for delivery to a storage site.

This recovery method will be used in residues and medium stem (4-15 cm) diameter biomass plantations. The loaded wagon will be weighed as each source is chipped, allowing CWFC to measure and track how much biomass is being recovered from each harvested source, followed by the characterization of the material produced.

Small stem harvesters include a forage harvester with a drum chipper and a bio-baler that cuts and round-bales the full stem of the willow or hybrid poplar.

A tractor powered tub grinder will mulch selected small stem bales to produce another biomass product.

As an additional step in the biomass supply-chain, a portion of the pre-processed material will be densified and packaged using a developing technology. This round baling system will compress and package wood chips and mulched material to 2-3 times the density of loose material. These bales will be piled for storage and conditioning (drying) before being shipped to the final users.


For additional information, contact Derek Sidders at [email protected] or 825-510-1287 or Tim Keddy at [email protected] or 825-510-1193 Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Edmonton, Alberta

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
February 2019

On the Cover:
A commitment to staying innovative and cutting edge through continuous improvements has been the key to continued business success for Vancouver Island company Coastland Wood Industries—and recent capital investments reinforce that solid approach (Photo courtesy of Coastland Wood Industries).

Cutting Edge social media for the forest industry
Through her company Cutting Edge Sacha, Ontario’s Sacha Gendron is very ably demonstrating the power of social media in promoting the wood products industry—and encouraging more women to work in the Canadian forest industry.

Perseverance pays off for B.C. sawmiller
Perseverance has paid off for sawmiller Jason Alexander, with his cedar operation in Valemount, B.C. now having a new wood supply agreement, allowing him to expand the operation, and employ more local people.

COFI Conference coming up
Logging and Sawmill Journal previews the B.C. Council of Forest Industries’ annual convention, being held April 3 to 5 in Vancouver, the largest gathering of the forest sector in Western Canada—an event that attracts industry CEOs and executives, senior representatives from customers, as well as government and First Nations leaders.

Canucks head south … to Louisiana
A new sawmill recently started up operations in Louisiana, and it has a strong Canadian connection in its ownership and equipment, through B.C.-based Tolko Industries and the BID Group.

B.C.’s Resources Expo show gears up
Work is well underway for the next Canada North Resources Expo (CNRE) being held May 24-25 in Prince George, B.C., and the interest level in the show from exhibitors—such as suppliers of logging and heavy construction equipment—is high.

Making the switch to cut-to-length
Quebec contractor Luc Beaulieu made the leap to mechanized cut-to-length harvesting with some gently used refurbished logging equipment, and the switch has served him—and his woodlot customers—well.

Family forestry legacy
The Scott Family of Revelstoke, B.C., truly runs a family logging operation, and they’re keenly interested in seeing the family legacy continued—but like a lot of B.C. contractors, they’re facing challenges in achieving that goal.

Coastland’s continuous improvements
Veneer producer Coastland Wood Industries’ business strategy of continuous improvements has delivered solid results for the Vancouver Island-based company.

The Edge
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, is a major feature story from the Canadian Wood Fibre 
Centre (CWFC).

The Last Word
Timber shortages in B.C. are now hitting home, says Jim Stirling.


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