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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1977) 22(1): 101–110
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Development and use of modified logging skidders for weed control in Kaingaroa Forest

R.W. Washbourn

Rubber-tyred logging skidders have been adapted as chemical spraying units for the control of grasses and weeds on the generally flat terrain of the 130 215 ha Kaingaroa State Forest in the central North Island. Their manoeuvrability in planted lines of radiata pine and Douglas fir on cutover exotic forest permits precise spraying, and this gives effective release from competing weed growth. On flat sites in the region, it is particularly important that vegetation clearance be down to bare earth, because grass and weed growth on such sites compounds the effects of frost damage on the seedlings.
The success of this method of application compares more than favourably with earlier weed control measures by aircraft and by other types of ground machine. The modified logging skidders are less expensive to operate and can work under a range of climatic conditions and also at night. Their use, although recent, is now an important part of successful establishment at Kaingaroa Forest, involving releasing treatment of about 3 500 ha annually

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