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January/February 2023 | Saulo Guerra

PlantMax X2 in South America

Tree Planting


Developing, researching, and innovating new tree planting machines is one of the main proposals of the Cooperative Program on Forest Mechanization and Automation (PCMAF), led by Prof Saulo Guerra and Dr. Guilherme Oguri, which is part of the Forest Research Institute (IPEF). PlantMax X2, manufactured by Plantma Forestry Sweden, is operating in Brazil. This machine was brought from Timber, a member of the Rodoparaná Group, supporting foresters and the forestry industry since 2002 in the southern part of the country. Timber is the official dealer of many brands, like Sany, Fuch, and Ponsse. For background information on the PlantMax refer to Continuous tree planting with the PlantMax article. 

PlantMax X2 configuration
The PlantMax X2 is mounted on an 8 x 8 Buffalo King Forwarder from Ponsse, removing the crane and adding both rotary scarifiers on both sides to prepare the ground on a continuous mode, intermittent mode, or remove slash sideways. The planter machine can carry up to 30 thousand seedlings in a storage area with climate and moisture control before planting by two autonomous arms. Each arm can “feel” the soil condition, detect stones and decide whether to plant - from 2.8 m up to 3.3 m spacement between rows.

In 2023, field evaluation will be carried out in many forestry sites with different soil conditions, weed and silviculture status. Furthermore the machine will also be assessed whilst planting different pine and eucalypt species. Other important aspects such as soil compaction, seedling survival rate, and planting quality will also be quantified.

First results
According to our first records, planting at 3m x 2.5m, the tree planting machine could reach up to 2300 – 2500 seedlings per hour, at 1.5 km h-1 average working speed.

Forsilvitech will bring more detailed results from field evaluations in different sites and forest conditions this year.