Thursday, March 22, 2007

Selective Logging

When the logger arrived at our place he said "You should have logged the property some ten years ago"

The logger was right as many of the large balsam, aspen, birch and pine trees have fallen because of high winds, decay and "old age."

I hired a local logger last summer who had a great reputation for selective logging of properties; taking only the most mature trees that needed to be harvested and leaving the healthy, younger trees so they will continue to grow.

The logger had all the equipment to cut, trim and lift the large trees into his large logging trucks. The local processing plants were not accepting any trees for a while, so the harvesting was delayed. The local processing plants use the trees to make home building products, such as wood sheathing. The trees can be also used at the paper mills to create paper for newspapers, magazines, etc.

When cutting down the trees, the logger cuts a wedge-shaped piece out of the trunk of the tree with his chain saw. Then the logger makes a chain saw cut on the opposite side of the wedge-shaped cut. The tree loses its strength and balance and falls toward the wedge-shaped side of the trunk.

The logger was able to fell the trees exactly where he wanted them. The falling tree avoids striking other trees or hitting stumps, large rocks, or equipment which might damage the falling tree's trunk. He trims the limbs and may cut the tree into shorter pieces. Some pieces may be 30 to 40 feet long.

Our logger created a landing (a central place to collect the fallen trees) and skidded (dragged) the fallen trees to the landing. He then placed the logs on the truck trailer and when the trailer was loaded with the logs, he transported the logs from the forest area to the processing plant some distance away. He also assembled the cut limbs into brush piles and when sufficient snow was on the ground, burned the brush piles.

The processing plant delay was lifted and the logger proceeded to log the property. Logs must be freshly cut when they arrive at the processing plant. Because of the delay at the processing plant, the logging took more time than expected.

The logger did a great job in selectively logging the forest. Now only healthy trees remain, the paths are open and we can see through the trees and underbrush. The forest will now rejuvenate and young, healthy growth will soon cover the land.

I am excited to see what species will spring up, and also I am looking forward to obtaining some small seedling pine trees and plant them this coming spring.

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