This publication by the Forestry Commission focuses on slash removal after harvesting.
The report, produced by Tom Nisbet and titled “Guidance on Site Selection for Brash Removal”, was published by Forest Research, the research agency of the Forestry Commission (United Kingdom), in May 2009. The removal of slash from the site can cause physical damage to the soil from machine movement, remove essential nutrients from the site and remove base cations. The document categorises these risks into low, medium and high. Management guidelines for slash harvesting are included for each risk category.
The effects of damage to the soil from machine movement due to the slash being removed are determined for various sites. Aspects such as time of removing slash after harvesting, slash mat quality and equipment used are considered. Soil fertility looks at techniques to retain as many nutrients on the site as possible. Delaying slash removal and applying remedial treatments are methods discussed to address the problem. Acidification focuses on water quality and the acid-base status of the underlying soil.
A table then combines the above three risk factors to give an overall risk rating per soil group and soil type. For a more complete account of the research, please visit the website of the Forestry Commission.