Logging is the harvesting of trees for commercial timber, forest management, and other purposes. Trees are an important renewable resource, and wood products are used in a variety of uses from pulpwood for the production of paper to sawlogs which are processed at sawmills.
Terms and techniques
Logging can refer to the process of felling and transporting trees to a mill or yard, or more broadly can refer to the entire process from tree to market. Selective logging (or selection cutting) is the removal of a proportion of trees in a stand, but not all. This is often done for forest management or thinning purposes. Clearcutting is the removal of all or most trees in a stand. Specialized logging techniques such as underwater logging also exist.
Felling is the cutting of trees, which are then bucked, or cut into smaller pieces, once on the ground. Limbing is the removal of limbs from trees. Trees are sorted according to their usefulness: sawlogs or sawtimber are those logs which are large enough to be sent to a sawmill to be cut into boards. Pulpwood refers to those trees which will be used for the production of paper, particle board, etc. Many tree farms exist mainly to produce pulpwood, and little or no sawtimber. In general, the higher-grade logs are used as sawtimber.
In modern logging, modern technology plays a large role. This includes the use of helicopters, yarders, loaders, "yoaders" (a combination yarder-loader), "feller-bunchers", and mechanical delimbers. Chainsaws are commonly used. Older logging techniques include "high-lead" logging, in which a designated logger would climb a tree to use as a spar, or anchor point, delimbing the tree as he went and cutting off the top. Block and tackle would then be affixed to this tree, which would be used to winch other felled trees to a location called a landing. The landing is the place where felled trees would be loaded onto transport (trucks, or commonly in older times, a railroad or floated down a river.)