Melville Forestry Services
Do you work all year?
Many people are surprised to learn that we work all winter; downtime is most likely in the spring when the ground thaws.
Whether it’s zero or ninety-five, we’re out there. We don’t typically work in the rain.
Where are the trees you cut?
Within limits, anywhere there are trees, we can do a harvest. Generally we work in farm woodlots & on the ridges that we
have here in central PA.
Do you plant seedlings?
Usually we can rely on sprouts form the stumps of trees that have been harvested and natural seed from residual trees left
for that purpose. In stands where the overstory was removed before adequate regeneration was established, where
regeneration failure has occurred, or where management plans call for the addition of species not currently in the stand,
planting may be used.
How big is your saw?
It’s kind of like asking how big is your car. The size of the engine is what matters. We run saws between 2.5 and 6 cubic
inch displacement. Bars (blades) are between 14 & 30 inches long. Very rarely we need a 36” bar. The 6 cubic inch saw is
about 9 horsepower. The short answer is that we use the saw that is the right size for the job at hand. The 2.5 cubic inch
saw weighs less than 8 pounds; the 6 cubic inch saw weighs about 20 pounds with a 28” bar.
What brand of saw do you use?
We use a variety of professional-grade saws including Stihl, Husqvarna and Jonsereds.
What’s a good logging job?
A good logging job is comprised of the following qualities, to the degree that they are applicable:
Minimize soil disturbance, compaction & erosion. Generally less than 5% of the area in my jobs shows mineral soil. Keep
in mind that depending on the species in question, soil disturbance may be desirable to get regeneration. Ruts, if they
occur, should be graded out when the job is completed.
Comply with regulations. At the state & federal level, loggers must comply with OSHA, DOT, EPA (Clean Water Act), and
Department of Labor. At the local (township or county) level, they must comply with timber harvesting ordinances and road
posting & bonding.
Protect the residual stand. Damage to the trees that will be left after the harvest should be minimized. Bent-over, root-
sprung or rainbowed trees should be felled.
Pay attention to aesthetics. A job that’s lousy silviculturally can be made to look great to the eye. Trash is picked up. The
landings are graded & seeded. Tops are lopped where appropriate
It is unfortunate that a good logging job and good forestry are not synonymous.
Frequently Asked Questions
Age class A group of trees within a stand or forest that are roughly the same age plus or minus 10% of the rage of rotation.
AGS/UGS Acceptable growing stock/unacceptable growing stock. AGS trees are relatively straight, either have or will have a
sawlog in them, are sound, &/or help meet some management objective such as wildlife food or cover, or biodiversity. They
are generally the kind of trees that should be left in the stand after the harvest is complete. UGS do not have these qualities
and should be the first to be designated for removal.
BA Basal area. The cross-sectional area of the tree at 4 ½ feet above the ground.
BF Board feet. One board foot of lumber is 12” x 12” x 1”.
Canopy The upper layer of the forest, formed by the crowns of the tallest trees.
Codominant Trees which are in the canopy layer of the forest but do not have the entire top of their crowns exposed to direct
Crown The upper part of the tree including the leaves & branches.
Cruise To measure trees prior to harvest. Diameter is measured at 4 ½ feet above the ground using a diameter tape,
Biltmore stick or caliper. Height is estimated, and the data is entered in a table to be converted into board feet estimated.
DBH Diameter at Breast Height. The diameter of a tree at 4 ½ feet above the ground on the uphill side of the tree.
Fell To cut a tree down. Felling: the work of cutting the tree down.
Forwarder An all-wheel drive machine designed to be driven in the woods. Its job is to carry trees, cut to log length, from the
forest to the landing. It is equipped with a loader to lift the logs onto the back of the machine.
Landing The location where logs from the woods are brought so that they can be loaded onto a truck to be hauled to market.
Overstory The trees which collectively make up the canopy.
Pioneer A sun-loving tree species that invades old fields early in succession.
Residual Trees which will remain in the forest after the harvest.
Rotation The length of time it takes to grow a crop of trees to economic maturity.
Shade intolerant Trees which require full sunlight to survive. They are usually fast growing & relatively short-lived (80-120
Shade tolerant Trees which can survive in the shade of others for a prolonged period. When the trees above them die, they
are ready to grow into the vacancy.
Silviculture The art & science of forest establishment, growth, management & renewal.
Skidder A four-wheel drive tractor equipped with a winch and sometimes a grapple. It is used to drag (skid) trees from the
forest to the landing.
Stumpage. Trees to be removed during harvesting.
Succession The progression of cover types from grasses to shrubs to shade intolerant trees to shade tolerant trees