Biomass Burning Alternatives - Cut to Length Logging


This page last reviewed July 7, 2008


Cut to Length Logging involves cutting and processing the entire tree in the woods. The portion of the tree that does not make a sawlog and/or pulplog remains in the woods.

Equipment Needed for Cut to Length Logging:

  • Harvesters for cutting the timber
  • Skidders and/or tractors for taking the trees to the landing
  • Loader to load sawlogs or pulplogs onto truck
    (Note: A self-loading truck eliminates the need for a loader.)
  • Log truck
Forest Products:
  • Sawlogs -- delivered in log form to sawmills
  • Pulplogs -- delivered in log form to pulpmills, particleboard plants, or ports for shipment overseas
  • Posts -- delivered in log form to transfer yard to be processed into post product
  • Firewood -- delivered in log form to transfer yard to be processed into firewood product

Cost to Produce Product:

(These costs are estimates and assume an average timber diameter of 20" or less at breast height and an average slope of less than 40%. The estimated costs do not include haul costs. Actual costs may vary.)

  • Sawlogs -- $25 to $35 per green ton
  • Pulplogs -- $25 to $35 per green ton
  • Posts -- (byproduct of Cut to Length operation) additional cost occurs with rework at the transfer yard
  • Firewood -- (byproduct of Cut to Length operation) additional cost occurs with rework at the transfer yard

Advantages of Cut to Length Logging:

  • Equipment used is suitable for processing very small material
  • Utilizes low ground pressure equipment
  • Low potential for stand damage, due to specialized equipment
  • Fuel removal or modification
  • Improves stand health and vigor

Disadvantages of Cut to Length Logging:

  • Materials that are not usable (limbs and needles) remain in forest and add to the fuel burden
  • Slow production rate
  • More expensive than Whole Tree Logging
  • If Cut to Length operations are not done properly, follow-up burns could damage residual trees


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