Home Miracle at Work Healthy Forests Cool Stuff for Teachers Cool Stuff for Kids Search/Directory  









Timber Harvesting

Cross-Ditches

    Other Harvesting Activities

  • Stabilize or reclaim landings and temporary roads on completion of use.
  • For each landing, skid trail, or fire trail, provide and maintain a drainage system to control the dispersal of water and to prevent sediment from entering streams.
  • Install necessary cross-ditches on tractor skid trails. Appropriate spacing between cross-ditches is determined by the soil type and slope of the skid trails. Timely implementation is important.
  • When natural re-vegetation is inadequate to prevent accelerated erosion before the next growing season, apply seed or construct cross-ditches on skid trails, landings, and fire trails. A fight ground cover of slash or mulch will retard erosion.

  • Ditches, cross ditches, or outsloping can prevent water accumulation on landings. Be sure to cross-ditch skid trails leading down to landings.

    Cross-ditches divert surface water from bare soil to areas where it will not cause erosion. They should be constructed on roads, landings, and skid trails (pictured). Cross-ditches can be constructed with a shovel, but mechanical equipment is most common. Cut the cross-ditches into solid soil, at least 8 inches deep. Shape the berm, parallel to the cut, at least 12 inches above the skid trail grade. Construct the cut downward, but not more than at a 45 degree angle, so water runs to the outlet. Be sure the cross-ditch is open at the lower end so water runs out. Water should flow onto slash, vegetation, or rocks. When temporary spur roads are cross-ditched, be sure to connect the waterbar into "cutslope" to intercept all surface flow.

    Recommended Cross-ditch Spacing Distance for Roads and Skid Trails

    Grade of Road or Trail (5) Unstable Soils (High Erosion Hazard) Stable Soils (Low Erosion Hazard)

    2 135' 170'
    5 100' 140'
    10 80' 115'
    15 60' 90'
    20 45' 60'
    25+ 30' 40'



More Timber Harvest Information:   < < Last  |  Next > >



BACK TO BMP INDEX   TOP OF PAGE
Idaho Forest Products Commission
©2005 All rights reserved.