What kind of tree did American loggers saw with such a saw?

Why are young forests all over Russia?

The topic, which has been repeatedly discussed in various articles and forums, received an unexpectedly large and lively response from readers. Especially indignant were the (many) foresters, they “accused” me of not knowing the basics of forestry operations and “branded” me with disgrace.And, as a rule, they didn’t know elementary, tabular data on the maximum life span of trees (maybe they skipped the theory in the technical school)?), and some of them, with surprise, found out (after a surge of sincere and emotional indignation) that they live in Eurasia. The most interesting thing is that they did not dispute the main point of the article, but that did not prevent them from furiously (and not always culturally) arguing about nonsense. [ Click to read ] [more]At the same time, many readers shared information about ancient trees in their area and other interesting information. Perhaps you will also be interested to read this material, and when finally all the annoying self-isolation ends, it will be possible to take a new look at the trees in your forest.

In a previous article of the series Try to explain.

The clay-filled buildings. We briefly reviewed the issue of clay-filled first floors in old towns. Where did the uniform layer of clay and sand, which covered the streets and squares of our cities, come from? is not yet particularly clear. There are versions, but I will not rush to publish them yet, but first I will try to give maximum introductory information.

It’s actually Mt. or maybe a petrified stump?

Where have the ancient forests gone in Russia?

In Russia, the Council for the Preservation of the Nation’s Natural Heritage in the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly has opened a program called “Trees. Monuments of Living Nature”. Enthusiasts all over the country, day and night, are looking for trees two hundred years old and older.

Trees two hundred years old and over, of all species and varieties, as a result of this program. found throughout the country, about 200 pieces (the information is old and the number has probably increased, but the order of numbers is roughly clear). And most of the trees found have nothing to do with the forest. Freestanding, park and artificially planted.

And that. that’s all? And where are those fabulous forests with “witch oaks”, which can reach from 400 (pine) to 1500 (oak) years old?

Most of our forests are young. They are between a quarter to a half of a lifetime old. Apparently, in the 19th century there were some events that led to the almost total destruction of our forests. This is true of the whole area, Siberia. including!

Of course there are exceptions: really untouched forests in Priangarye, on Valaam and probably somewhere else in the expanses of our immense motherland. There are really fabulously large trees in their mass. And although these are small islands in a boundless sea of taiga, they prove that the forest can also be.sequoia park in the U.S.A

North America, for example, has many such forests. And not just the famous sequoias, but also pine trees, for example. And where did they go with us?? All these larches, cedars, oaks? Why did our territory suddenly go “bald”??

For information: the climatic zones of Canada and Russia, circa are the same and although the climate there is slightly milder, this (according to experts) doesn’t change the overall picture too much.and America again

The official explanation: all the forest burned in fires. That means about 700 million hectares, erupted simultaneously across the country? No, scientists tell us, burned alternately, but for a very long time.

That is, if the basic age of the old trees in the bulk of the forests is at least 100 years old, this suggests that the massive burns that have so rejuvenated our forests occurred over a period of no more than 100 years.

Translating to dates. In the 19th century alone. This required the burning of 7 million. hectares of forest.

We probably had trees like that growing here, too. the conditions are very similar

Theories about human economic activity can also be discarded. We’ve never had that many people. The density of the population that lived in Siberia was at all times (to put it mildly) not high. This is the second time we tried to settle Siberia and the Far East according to Stolypin’s scenario, who needs to be massively cut down??

Nevertheless, they have always cut wood, both for domestic and industrial needs, but without heavy machinery, they could only take it out and float it on an industrial scale not far from the riverbanks. The bulk of the forests, before the arrival of the all-pervading Chinese, were hard to come by.

“You want to be advanced? The most important thing is that the population of the area is not the same as the population of the city!”

Many researchers on this topic, have noticed that the new forests in many areas, on satellite images, appear to be planted in a strictly orderly fashion.

And indeed, there is a well-developed block network over a huge area, which was designed in yards and was laid not later than 1918. The length of the clearings is such that 20,000 loggers, assuming manual labor, would take 80 years to complete. Slices are very sporadically maintained, if at all, but they are not overgrown.

On the other hand, according to historians and extant articles on silviculture, there was no funding on a commensurate scale and the required number of arborists then. Nor was it possible to recruit a similar number of free laborers. There was no mechanization to make this work easier.

Lumberjack in the States

Lumberjacks, out of the countryside, are often referred to as by lumberjacks. Functions are the same: fell, trim, and transport trees for processing. Tree felling, for obvious reasons, has never been an environmental job, but is a necessity. Like us, Americans motivate this need with trivial facts: “look around and see how many things are made of wood. Trees provide us with paper products and lumber. Things like pencils, furniture, buildings, houses, documents, books, and desks are all made from trees (wood).”.

American loggers work deep in the woods, in heavily wooded areas such as: Oregon. Washington, Montana, British Columbia, or in California. They set up base camp there, and get to work felling massive trees. At first glance, this job among Americans seems easy, but statistically it is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States.

Harvesting logs is a pretty tough job, so loggers, usually strong, in good physical shape, must have quick reactions. They work as a team (crew) to cut more timber, stockpile the piled trees, and transport them for trucks, a helicopter, or a barge. Standard equipment for a woodsman includes: chainsaws, a helmet, reflective vests, a “pike,” axes, and spiked shoes.

Logging operations are identical to “ours” and consistent. The first step in logging involves felling trees. Trees destined for logging are often more than a hundred years old, grow to several tens of meters in height, weigh several tons, and cost several thousand. The trees are felled with a chain saw. Felling wedges are used as an auxiliary lever for felling in a given direction. Ideally, a multi-ton tree should lie in the desired direction, but this does not always happen. Loggers are at risk with every tree they cut.

Before he can raise his level to become a feller, he must work for some time as a choker. The American choker is in more danger than the feller. Not only do they have to avoid the fall of giant trees, they also have to literally climb through a field of huge logs in order to scoop up fallen trees for transport to the loading docks. If hooks break off, the steel rope can whip around and cut a man in half.

“Tractors,” because of the high diameter of the trees, can’t always make sure that the hooker partner is safe. After the trees are pulled out, they are usually loaded onto trucks using heavy equipment such as cranes. The harvested timber is then sent for processing by truck. There can be no delay with each individual successive operation-if one member of the crew slows down the billet cycle, he puts an end to his career.

Harvesting logging sites is risky work. Not only do loggers have to constantly worry about being cut in half, flattened by a giant tree, or crushed by a broken and fallen boulder; they also have to worry about the colossal distance of the job site from populated areas. Lumberjacks working in the middle of uninhabited areas. Sometimes it takes several hours of travel in the case of a logging tragedy to the nearest hospital.

World logging is leaving the land looking like a patchwork quilt. In order to limit the impact on the environment, the logging industry works by design with leases to secure future forests.

Interestingly, the advantage of the American logging profession is indicated by the reward, for his work, of a kind of adventure, risk, and life outdoors. Logging is a physically demanding, never-ending job. There are no formal requirements to become a logger in the States. Any large lumber company needs hardworking, determined, tough loggers.

Nevertheless, some information is given on websites: to become a logger in a logging company, one must have a high school education. Then practice (probation) at the workplace. It should be noted that the labor days of an American logger must be at least 12 hours a day.

Logging wages vary, but generally an entry-level logger earns about 25 an hour or about 30,000 a year. After a few years on the job, they can get up to 80,000 a year. Generally, experience and skill is gained from seniority and from the “tips” of older mentors-colleagues. Accordingly, by acquiring new practical knowledge and applying it in practice, you “grow,” and therefore “grow your paycheck.”. Before dedicating your life to logging, tuning in to the historic profession, you should watch and watch the informative American documentary “Loggers” on the Discovery Channel, or purchase tickets to the World Logging Championships.

Lumberjacks work long hours in the fresh air so that wood products come into every home and community. It’s a dangerous job, but someone has to do it, why not you??

“Office: Forestry’s uninhabited no-man’s-land “wilderness”

Specialization: Felling trees, trimming limbs, choking and transporting trees for later processing

Certifications / Education: None, no formal education required

Required Skills: Physical stamina, diligence, preference for working outdoors

Potential employers: logging companies

Best and Worst Occupations. and why the profession of lumberjack is not popular

The logging profession is at the bottom of the list and scored in the bottom 10% of all ranking methodologies where it was used including: environment, employment projection, physical stress and stress, except for income where it has 25%. The predominant part of loggers‘ lives is spent outdoors.

“Unemployment among loggers is very high, and demand for their services is expected to continue to fall through 2016.”. website says. “All work takes place outdoors, you have to have a strong will to work being a logger, which is why this profession is considered not only the worst job, but one of the most dangerous in the world.”.

Among the “losers” on the list of jobs, are: farmer (dairy production), soldier, oil rig worker and, uh, newspaper reporter. “As the world of ‘digital technology’ continues to ramp up. The need for printed newspapers and daily news releases is dwindling.”. CareerCast notes, pointing to the reporter’s profession, the following factors: stress, unemployment and low income as details affecting the career decline of the “fourth estate” (journalism).

America’s loggers!

As far back as two hundred years ago, George Washington praised American loggers for their service to country and nation. The president called them “defenders of the nation,” the profession of lumberjack was considered one of the most dangerous on the North American continent, you have to fight nature, and it rarely loses to man. American loggers believe there are only three things a true expert in their trade should use. a chainsaw, a rope, and a simple wind gauge. Our job is to cut the tree accurately without damaging it or injuring others,” he said. “As you might guess, the main reason loggers die is because of errors in calculating the fall path of trees. A good lumberjack must not only have a knowledge of physics and mathematics, but also a terrific reaction time. Statistics show that 25 percent of lumberjacks are killed by a sudden “bounce” of a tree. When the top of a trunk reaches the ground, its lower part jumps up 1.5 to 3 meters. If a person does not have time to step back, he could be struck in the chest or head. In lumberjack slang, this injury is called an “uppercut.”. Another 27% of injuries and fatalities are due to equipment failures. The most unpredictable tool is the chainsaw. From searing heat to bitter cold, loggers have had to work in all kinds of weather. The cause of 38% of the deaths is the fall of a felled tree onto a person. It is estimated that the average time of collapse of the shaft is in the region of three seconds, and the force of the impact is more than five tons.

woodcutters retire before they reach 40 years of age. Many remained disabled for the rest of their lives. Even with the advent of precision technology, their work has not become safer. Today there are 86 “occupational” deaths per 100,000 workers. Statistics put loggers in the top five “most ungrateful professions in the United States. Despite the enormous risks, high mortality, psychological and physical strain, on average they get only 10 per hour.

Felling to the side of the slope

If the tree is straight and low (up to 4 meters), has a slope of at least two or three degrees, you can use the technique of felling towards the slope to cut it. First of all, you should decide at what height the sawing will be done. It depends on the final purpose of the procedure:

  • if the stump needs to be uprooted, the sawing is done at a height of 70 cm to 1 m from the ground level (the remaining part of the trunk will later serve as a lever);
  • If the stump will remain in the ground or you plan to remove it with chemicals, it’s enough to leave 30-50 cm;
  • If you plan to remove the tree stump with a chipper, look at the height of the top cutter. about three quarters of its height is needed.

A detailed inspection of the tree will help to choose the depth of the cut. A healthy plant needs to be sawed to half of the trunk, a sick plant will suffice a preliminary sawing to 20-40% of the thickness, a decrepit plant. about 20%.

Let’s consider how to saw a tree in a slanting direction. First you should check whether there are no obstacles in the place of the future fall of the tree (in the side of the slope of the trunk). It is then required to make a notch on the slanted side, which will become a guide. The second, deep notch is made on the opposite side. If everything is done correctly, after these steps the tree will begin to fall in the direction of its slope.

Pulling back when felling trees

Consider how to cut the tree next to the house (this method is also suitable for felling a tree not in the direction of its natural inclination). This requires the use of additional insurance against the wrong fall of the cut trunk. It can be a pullback made with a strong rope, winch, spring, rubber band or other stretching material.

A rubber harness acting as a stretching device is attached to a steel pole driven into the ground, another tree standing nearby. It can also be attached to another stationary object. When making notches, such a rubber band will pull the trunk in the right direction.

If a rope serves as a pull, it should be tied to the top of the tree being felled (its length should be longer than the height of the tree). When one person makes the necessary cuts, his helper has to pull the rope in the direction of the trunk’s expected fall.

When the trees and hand saws were big.

Before the advent of modern chainsaws and logging equipment, lumberjacks had a pretty tough time. They had to work with axes and saws by hand, and trees were sometimes up to four meters in diameter.

Lumberjacks posing in front of a Douglas fir tree. Washington, D.C., 1899.

This review features retro images from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. with a picture of courageous woodcutters against a background of huge trees. You can also find out how the biggest lumberjack competitions in the USA and the more modest regional competitions in Russia are held these days.

Loggers in front of a three-and-a-half-meter-diameter spruce, 1901.

To cut down trees this big, the loggers had to work in groups. But the work did not end, after the wood was felled. It then had to be split into many logs.

Lumberjacks posing on a Douglas fir tree, 1918.

Lumberjacks and 10 mules before felling a tree, 1917.

Loggers rafting timber down the Columbia River in Oregon, 1910.

Afterwards, the wood was taken to the river to be floated downstream. Balancing on logs was even becoming a kind of sport back then. who could hold on longer.

Men posing in felled trees, 1907.

With the advent of chainsaws and other machinery, logging in its original form is slowly disappearing. Each year, however, lumberjack contests are held in various wooded areas of the United States and Canada to pay homage to the hard work of lumberjacks.

Russia’s regions now also began to host similar contests. Here’s one of them:


The challenge: A three-meter log is set upright with two special support boards with a metal wedge at one end. Competitors must hollow out a log, insert wedges of planks, and climb the wedges like steps to reach the top of the log. On the log there is a 30cm diameter log, which has to be split in two, hitting it from both sides. Important: mastery of the axe, physical strength and sense of balance.

Objective: on a signal the contestants must take their hands off the horizontally propped log, start the same STIHL MS660 chain saw and saw two thin wooden discs off; they must not go over the mark, only 10cm from one end of the log are available. Important: mastery of the chainsaw, accuracy, judgement.

Underhand Chop

The challenge: to literally cut up the branch on which you are sitting. That is a short log you’re standing on. The logs are placed horizontally on the floor, with marks around the edges, on which they must stand with their feet. The axe strokes are made strictly between the athlete’s non-spaced feet; in the middle of the operation, one must turn around and start chopping from the opposite side of the log. The first to cut a tree in half wins. Logs 30-35 cm in diameter are used. Important: mastery of the axe, a sense of balance.

The task: to saw off a thin disc from a horizontally fixed log with a hand held crosscut saw. Competitors are allowed to invite an assistant to insert wedges into the cut and spray the saw blade with lubricant. Important: mastery of the handsaw, physical strength.

The roots of the sport

“Sport logging” is the Russian translation of the term timbersport. In the domestic tradition logging does not have such a romantic flavor as in the western world. The endless forests of colonial countries provided plenty of room for creativity and gave birth to heroes like Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack who chopped down several trees at once with a single blow. Settlers needed new areas and plenty of fuel. both of which could be solved with wood. Increased demand has created a new profession that has gradually taken on its own quality standards.

The first logging competitions started in Australia in the 19th century. Even back then it was a dangerous and spectacular sport, involving the most desperate daredevils who made their living from logging in the relic forests of the fifth continent. The competition was an exact duplication of the woodturners’ practical tasks. felling and chopping logs with a two-handed saw and axe. Today the world’s premier logging competition is called STIHL Timbersports, and is supported by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. the German brand has signed up as a partner for the fourth year in a row.

Tools and equipment

The official sport logging league is the STIHL Timbersports Series, with thousands of competitors from all over the world. A professional association of loggers from around the world is not only a competition to be called the best, but also an organization that sets high quality standards. The correlation between the competitive disciplines and the daily challenge is straightforward. the sport is based on key forestry jobs such as felling and bucking whole logs with chainsaws, axes, and two-handed saws. Standard chainsaws and axes are used in the competition. exactly the same can be bought at a specialized equipment store.

In the team event, the loggers compete in four disciplines: Stock Saw (to saw a thin disk off a log with a chainsaw), Single Buck (to saw a thin disk off a log with a hand saw), Underhand Chop (standing on a short log, split it in two with an axe) and Standing Block Chop (axe to split a log held upright). Four athletes are therefore on the stage at the same time, taking turns to carry out their task. The athlete may begin his/her stage only after the previous one is finished. For a false start there are penalty points which can influence the result of the duel, because the calculation is made by fractions of a second. All in all, it takes the team about a minute on average to complete all four tasks. That’s enough time to cut and chop four impressive logs, about 30 centimeters in diameter.

Why would I ever need a folding saw??

Because you’re smart enough, love the outdoors, and either already have or want to develop advanced survival skills. Besides, a folding saw is a lot more practical than many people think. For example, it does not weigh much, so you can carry it with you even over long distances. So if you like hiking, hunting and walking, you should get one. It will make your life a little easier and safer.

In addition, these tools are not only suitable for use in the wild. If you have a plot in the woods, it is much easier to take care of it and your house. Cleaning up dead and dying trees, pruning healthy branches, clearing shrubs, cutting firewood, and much more. And if you have one in the trunk of your car you don’t have to worry about another fallen tree blocking your way for a long time.

What are the benefits of a folding saw?

portability. No matter how fast and efficient your chainsaw is, you can’t take it camping. Alas, they are too heavy and uncomfortable. Folding saws don’t. You can put them in your backpack or hang them outside your car and hit the road. And when you need to get firewood, build a shelter, or build a hideout, take it out and use it.

Easy to use. If a chainsaw should slip, you risk serious injury. If that happens to a folding saw, there’s a much smaller chance of getting hurt. You still need to keep a close eye on the tool when you are working, of course, but the cost of a mistake is much lower. And it’s easier to prepare such saws for work. take it out, take it out of its sheath, turn it around. and that’s all, you can cut.

Low noise level. Even the best chainsaws still make noise. Averages out at 109 decibels. And 2 minutes of exposure to this level of noise on unprotected ears can already do some damage. Folding saws are easier, and when in use they do not sound louder than a quiet conversation.

No environmental impact. No fossil fuel consumption or emission of harmful gases. And they don’t increase noise pollution. Not to mention that working with such a saw is not a bad physical exercise.

Versatility. They can be used to fell trees, clear brush, make firewood, build shelters, set traps for game and much more. And they handle it all much better than a survival knife.

What to look for when choosing?

  • Length and thickness of blade. There are several factors to consider. The main thing is what you are going to use it for. If it is a case of cutting firewood, you need a thicker and heavier blade. If you’re going camping or hunting, you might want something lighter and more modest. Remember, not all folding saws are the same. Some you’ll have to hold with two hands, for example, while others you can safely hang on your waist belt.
  • Size and weight. If you are planning to use the saw when hunting, camping or setting up camp, these parameters will matter. You don’t want anything to weigh you down or make your backpack too heavy? You want something you can just toss inside or hang outside. and forget about it until the moment you need it. If you plan to work on your own land, then compactness and weight are not so important.
  • Cutting ability. Regardless of whether the saw blade is straight, curved or round, it has a certain “cutting capacity”, which is characterized by the size of the log that can be conveniently cut with such a tool. If the value is 8, for example, you can cut anything under 8 inches in diameter with this saw. So, for camping tools you can take something with a small cutting ability, and for those who are going to saw thick trunks and felled trees. on the contrary, with a larger cutting ability.
  • Tooth configuration. It determines how you will use the tool in the future. As a rule, the more teeth per inch, the finer and more accurate the cut. In other words, a blade with a few big teeth does a better job on soft wood and a high-density blade on hard wood. There is, however, a universal. medium variant.
  • Type of grip. Any saw’s efficiency depends on how well you can transfer the energy your body gives off to it. That’s what the shape and type of grip are for. So it pays to hold any saw in your hand before buying it and find out if you feel comfortable using it. And it is worth remembering that the grip should be stable no matter how much force you apply to the handle and how wet your hands are at the same time.

Do they require special maintenance?

Not quite. For the most part, the maintenance of folding saws is to develop a number of simple, but useful, habits. For example, cleaning the blade after each use. This can be done with an ordinary damp cloth. If there is oily residue on the blade remove it with denatured alcohol before using a cloth. In addition, remember that when folded, the folding saw is very compact and inconspicuous. you can just accidentally sit on it, or drop it on the ground and not notice it. So always put the tool back in its place after use.

Is it possible to sharpen the blades of folding saws by yourself?

You can. Most saw blades can be sharpened by hand. Except that many of them, especially small hacksaws and jigsaws, are not worth it. That’s why it comes with several interchangeable blades. In any case, tooth sharpening is quite a simple, though time-consuming, job. Anyone with sharpening tools and a couple of hours of extra time can do it. However, many hardware stores can do this for you. for a fee, of course.

To sum up

The folding saw is a versatile hand tool with many potential applications in hunting, hiking, camping, bushcraft, and home and yard maintenance. And loggers, construction workers and other professionals also find many uses for this extremely useful tool.

So if you’re looking for a simple, affordable and environmentally friendly way to improve your outdoor recreation, get a folding saw. You won’t regret it.