Every tree is cut by hand to ensure control of your valuable timber as its falling. The tree can be guided away from other younger trees to protect them for the next generation. Once the tree is down, it is bucked, or cut up, according to species to ensure the highest value.
When the cutting is complete, the forwarder uses the grapple and boom to grab the logs and place them in the bunk. Once the bunk is full, the logs are driven out to a landing place where they can be laid out to be measured and graded by log buyers. The landing is also where the trucks will load the purchased logs. The forwarder does have to drive up to every tree to grab the logs, but a main trail is designated for the majority of the hauling. In most conditions a little soil disturbance happens, but it is short lived. Often when trees are in seed, it can actually help plant acorns and nuts, similar to tilling a garden. The main trail is typically an already established trail or can become an access trail for future recreational use.
Low Ground Pressure Dozer
When ground conditions become too wet for the forwarder, a low ground pressure bulldozer is used to bring the wood out. It is half the size of the forwarder, and has the ground pressure (psi) of an average adult person. It can bring wood out in the muddiest of conditions with little disturbance to the ground. It has 28" wide tracks and the ground pressure comes in at less then 3 psi. This piece of equipment can also be used to clean up main trails if conditions become less then ideal over the course of a job.