A Log Roll Out

If you ever have the chance to attend a log roll out, I would suggest that you jump on the offer. Every time I attend a session I learn new things and come away from the gathering stymied at the knowledge, common sense, errors, and issues that surround the logging industry.

a demonstation of what metal objects inside of wood do to the sawsThis log roll out was at the Stimpson Mill in Clastskanie. Before we got to examine the logs, we had a brief safety lesson. Less than 24 hours before the tour, the mill was shut down due to the saws hitting metal in-bedded in the log they were cutting through. The saw itself was irreparably damaged and it was only by very quick action on the part of the operator that the mill was able to mitigate damages only to the saw itself and the broken saw did not become bits of hot, flying shards of sharp metal. If metal of any kind is found in a log, the whole log is taken out of the mill instantly and no part of it can be milled. One small piece of metal could be dangerous and the mill will not take the chance that there may be other bits of metal in the log. The demonstration showed lag screws, wire, electrical insulators, nails and bullets in-bedded in wood and stressed the danger.  Continue reading

So You Think You Can Wood 2

Part 2 in a series of stories about our farm, the firewood production project and our involvement with Oregon Woodland Coop. In Part 1 you heard about the history of the property, logging and planting protocols.

Story 2- Assessing capabilities

Our farm is tucked into the Coast Range of the Pacific Northwest. Most of the flat ground on the property is in hay fields, open range areas for the herd of Black Angus cattle, the Nehalem River and riparian areas. Most of the forestland on the property is uphill from the fields, steep uphill. The top of the ridge is over 800 feet higher than the elevation at river level. One of the biggest challenges we have in the firewood production project is ability to have wood available to process when we need it. Continue reading

Hauling Under Way

logs decked into sorted piles awaiting pickupIt was tough for the loggers to get the trees down without too much breakage. The steep terrain and old stumps made the process impossible for the trees to be felled by machine so they did it the old fashioned way, one tree at a time with power saws and many wedges to tip each tree the right direction. Once felled, each tree needed to be dragged off the hill in order to make a landing spot for the next one to fall safely. After the loggers worked like crazy to get all the tree length logs off the hill, the landing became the hub of activity. Continue reading

A Busy Log Landing

Log pile on the left, split firewood on the right and felled tree in background.On this foggy morning, the log landing is a hub of activity.

At the left of the picture you can see a smidgen of the decked logs that are destined to be cut into 16 inch pieces. On the front right you can see a pile of completed firewood pieces that are destined to be stacked into a crib later on in the day. And in the background you can see the tree ‘Old Three Top’ with only about half of its oversized limbs removed with many more still to go before the logs can go into the shipping deck. In the middle of the picture, the falling saw sits atop the stump from ‘Old Three Top.’


Dog Log

Black and white dog on log pile.You would think that Jackson the dog would have been tired after spending the day running the woods while we were scarifying the clearings and bringing turns of timber down the hill.

But being tired didn’t stop him from finding a high vantage point on the top of the log pile in the landing. Once up there he spent several minutes looking each direction just in case there was something about that needed to be chased down. There has been a gray squirrel that has been hiding around the log pile and both dogs spend hours running around and around trying to lure the critter out of its secure hiding hole under the pile.

Jackson always runs on logs. He is very good at it and he does it for fun. It surprised us when he posted up on this tallest vantage point over 5 feet in the air.

Final Contract Load

A loaded log truck destined for the pulp mill.The final loads destined for mills are the pulp logs. These are long, slender trees that are not big enough for lumber.

They have been cut down to the 3 inch tops and are trucked to either the pulp mill in North Plains, or the sister company in Longview, Washington.

Since both mills are the same company, the hauler gets to choose the destination depending on where other forests are located that have logs scheduled to be hauled.

This is the final load out our forest to complete the logging contract for our cleanup/thinning project for this year. It has been an intensive summer and seeing this last load depart from the forest brings the realization that the really big job of clearing and replanting is now looming and the hard work has just begun.