Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science

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An evaluation of the economics and productivity of fully mechanised tree seedling planting in Brazil

Saulo Philipe Sebastião Guerra, Rafael Ribeiro Soler, Guilherme Corrêa Sereghetti, Guilherme Oguri


From an economic point of view, Eucalyptus is the most important forest genus in Brazil, covering more than 5 million ha. However, most of the silvicultural practices have a low level of mechanisation compared with harvesting and logging operations. This study presents an evaluation of the economics and productivity of the first Brazilian experience of using a planter device attached to an excavator boom while performing eucalypt seedling planting. A classic time-and-motion study was performed on two commercial tree spacings to evaluate the economic efficiency. Considering the final cost of planted seedlings, the wider spacing was 17% higher than narrower spacing, due to a higher productivity: 355 and 324 seedlings per productive machine hour (pmh), respectively. Total cost was 66.84 € pmh−1 and 0.21 € planted seedling−1 with wider spacing.

Keywords: cost, Eucalyptus, planter, productivity

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