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Logging is the process of cutting, processing, and moving trees to a location for transport. It may include skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks[1] or skeleton cars.

Logging is the beginning of a supply chain that provides raw material for many products societies worldwide use for housing, construction, energy, and consumer paper products. Logging systems are also used to manage forests, reduce the risk of wildfires, and restore ecosystem functions. [2]

In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used narrowly to describe the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard. In common usage, however, the term may cover a range of forestry or silviculture activities.

Illegal logging refers to the harvesting, transportation, purchase, or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including the use of corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission or from a protected area; the cutting of protected species; or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits.[3] It may involve the so-called “timber mafia”.[4][5]

Clearcutting (or “block cutting“)is not necessarily considered a type of logging but a harvesting or silviculture method. In the forest products industry logging companies may be referred to as logging contractors, with the smaller, non-union crews referred to as "gyppo loggers".

Cutting trees with the highest value and leaving those with lower value, often diseased or malformed trees, is referred to as high grading. It is sometimes called selective logging, and confused with selection cutting, the practice of managing stands by harvesting a proportion of trees.[6]

Logging usually refers to above-ground forestry logging. Submerged forests exist on land that has been flooded by damming to create reservoirs. Such trees are logged using underwater logging or by the lowering of the reservoirs in question. Ootsa Lake and Williston Lake in British Columbia, Canada are notable examples where timber recovery has been needed to remove inundated forests.[7]

Clearcutting

material for many products societies worldwide use for housing, construction, energy, and consumer paper products. Logging systems are also used to manage forests, reduce the risk of wildfires, and restore ecosystem functions. [2]

In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used narrowly to describe the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard. In common usage, however, the term may cover a range of forestry or silviculture activities.

Illegal logging refers to the harvesting, transportation, purchase, or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including the use of corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission or from a protected area; the cutting of protected species; or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits.[3] It may involve the so-called “timber mafia”.[4][5]

Clearcutting (or “block cutting“)is not necessarily considered a type of logging but a harvesting or silviculture method. In the forest products industry logging companies may be referred to as logging contractors, with the smaller, non-union crews referred to as "gyppo loggers".

Cutting trees with the highest value and leaving those with lower value, often diseased or malformed trees, is referred to as high grading. It is sometimes called selective logging, and confused with selection cutting, the practice of managing stands by harvesting a proportion of trees.[6]

Logging usually refers to above-ground forestry logging. Submerged forests exist on land that has been flooded by damming to create reservoirs. Such trees are logged using underwater logging or by the lowering of the reservoirs in question. Ootsa Lake and Williston Lake in British Columbia, Canada are notable examples where timber recovery has been needed to remove inundated forests.[7]

Clearcutting, or clearfelling, is a method of harvesting that removes essentially all the standing trees in a selected area. Depending on management objectives, a clearcut may or may not have reserve trees left to attain goals other than regeneration,[8] including wildlife habitat management, mitigation of potential erosion or water quality concerns. Silviculture objectives for clearcutting, (for example, healthy regeneration of new trees on the site) and a focus on forestry distinguish it from deforestation. Other methods include shelterwood cutting, group selective, single selective, seed-tree cutting, patch cut, and retention cutting.

Log transportation

Logging methods

The Washington Iron Works Skidder in Nuniong is the only one of its kind in Australia, with donkey engine, spars, and cables still rigged for work.

The above operations can be carried out by different methods, of which the following three are considered industrial methods:

Tree-length logging / stem-only harvesting

Trees are felled and then delimbed and topped at the stump. The log is then transported to the landing, where it is bucked and loaded on a truck. This leaves the slash (and the nutrients it contains) in the cut area, where it must be further treated if wild land fires are of concern.

Whole-tree logging

Horse logging in Poland
Cable logging in French Alps (cable grue Larix 3T)
Hardwood logs transported down the Suriname River, Suriname, South America in 1955

Trees and plants are felled and transported to the roadside with top and limbs intact. There have been advancements to the process which now allows a logger or harvester to cut the tree down, top, and delimb a tree in the same process. This ability is due to the advancement in the style felling head that can be used. The trees are then delimbed, topped, and bucked at the landing. This method requires that slash be treated at the landing. In areas with access to cogeneration facilities, the slash can be chipped and used for the production of electricity or heat. Full-tree harvesting also refers to utilization of the entire tree including branches and tops.[9] This technique removes both nutrients and soil cover from the site and so can be harmful to the long term health of the area if no further action is taken, however, depending on the species, many of the limbs are often broken off in handling so the end result may not be as different from tree-length logging as it might seem.

Cut-to-length logging