The Process of Logging Timber

Photo Credit: Superior National Forest

The oldest material still in use today, wood has been a vitally important resource for humanity for centuries. We use in everyone from furniture, building homes, to working with it as a hobby. The timber industry has been one of the most controversial ones in the society, but it is no doubt one of the most important still in work today. Every day, trees are cut down and harvested to be used in different ways all around the world, but what exactly goes in to this process? If you have wondered what kind of work goes into the timber industry, look no further as we have answers about this historic job.

The logging of trees is defined as the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks or skeleton cars. These trees and logs are then taken to mills all over the world to be handled and processed for whatever their end product will be. This lengthy and dangerous process begins with the felling of the tree itself, usually handled by professional loggers that have high quality equipment that is specifically designed to tackle the job. A chainsaw is typically the most common tool used to cut down a tree, while a mechanical harvester is another popular alternative. These trees are cut down at very precise angles as the trained loggers can cut down incredibly large trees and place them in the exact spot they need to. Once the tree has been cut down, it is then loaded up onto a truck and taken off to a sawmill or concentration yard when it is worked into the right condition for commercial resale purposes.

When harvesting timber, there are several different approaches to tackling the job. The most common one found today is commercial clear cutting. This process involved the removal of forests for economic gain, and has benefits to the industry and economy, as well as a few negative aspects. In this process, the loggers remove the entire area of a forest, cutting the trees down to a very low point.

Photo Credit: Superior National Forest

The other method of timber harvesting today is known as silviculture. This process involved loggers cutting down a forest, but only part of the tree, and at a very gradual pace stretching over one to two decades or so. While this process doesn't yield as large of a harvest, it sustains the forest for a longer time period than commercial clear cutting.

One of the oldest professions in the world, harvesting timber has no doubt provided us with an incredibly valuable resource that we are able to use in a wide variety of ways.