Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2013, Page: 32-39
Potential Contribution of Branchwood Quantity, Left after Logging Operations, Towards Reducing Depletion Rate and Preserving Ghana’s Forest Ecosystem
PETER KESSELS DADZIE, Interior Architecture and Furniture Production Department, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa
Received: Jul. 16, 2013;       Published: Aug. 10, 2013
DOI: 10.11648/j.ajaf.20130102.12      View  2736      Downloads  98
Abstract
The alarming depletion rate of Ghana’s forests has become one major challenge facing the wood related industries, foresters and environmentalists. This is because, depletion of forest and wood lands do not only affect industrial and economic growth negatively, but also disturbs the whole forest ecosystem. The depletion rate has largely been attributed to the practice of extracting only the stemwoods of trees felled, to meet demand for wood and leading to continuous felling of trees. Branchwood is viewed as one possible supplement to stemwoods, and when extracted for use, can help reduce the extinction rate and subsequently help to preserve the forests and the environment. This study was conducted to ascertain the quantity of merchantable branchwood left in Ghana’s forests, after logging operations, to suggest a possible commercial conversion to supplement stemwood. Data was gathered from four natural forest reserves in three ecological zones. Volumes of merchantable branchwoods on 106 felled trees were computed using Smalian’s equation. These trees were sampled based on accessibility to their branches. Two diameters at each end (ranged from 18cm and 90cm) and one length of each branchwood were measured for volumes computations. Branchwwood volumes of individual trees and those of same species were tallied and their means determined. Results indicated that, merchantable branchwood volumes ranged from 2.302% (Pterygota macrocarpa) to 63.841% (Khaya spp.) of their extracted stemwood volumes. However, the overall average merchantable branchwood volume was found to be 28.602% of the total extracted stemwood volume from the 106 trees. This percentage translates into preserving or conserving about 6 hectares of forest land area, should branchwood be extracted for use. It was concluded that, the average branchwood volume is substantial enough for commercial lumber production to supplement stemwood and help reduce the high depletion rate.
Keywords
Ghana’s Forests Ecosystem, Depletion Rate, Stemwood, Merchantable Branchwood, Smalian’s Equation
To cite this article
PETER KESSELS DADZIE, Potential Contribution of Branchwood Quantity, Left after Logging Operations, Towards Reducing Depletion Rate and Preserving Ghana’s Forest Ecosystem, American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. Vol. 1, No. 2, 2013, pp. 32-39. doi: 10.11648/j.ajaf.20130102.12
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