Pennsylvania’s professional timber harvesting workforce serves an essential role in ensuring the sustainability of our state’s forest resources. Each day they operate as the boots on the ground, carrying out the critical management activities that sustain our forests and supply our forest products industry. There is no other link in the wood fiber supply chain that has as much of a direct impact on the management of our state’s forests. As such, timber harvesters in Pennsylvania are vital stewards of our forestlands.
The harvesting process starts with marking appropriate trees to be harvested, this is traditionally done by a forester. Then, the logger harvests the trees with a feller buncher or with a chain saw. The felled trees are delimbed, then removed from the forest using a skidder machine. The trees are then cut to length and then loaded onto a truck. These trees are then taken to a sawmill for further processing. Loggers have specific knowledge that makes them very useful to the industry. For example, a seasoned logger can accurately appraise trees for certain characteristics, such as twist, rot, and heavy limb growth, and gauge the amount and direction of lean, to determine how to control the direction of a tree's fall causing the least amount of damage. Loggers clear brush from work areas and escape routes and cut saplings and other trees from direction of falls, using axes, chainsaws, or bulldozers. Loggers trim off the tops and limbs and then measure felled trees and cut them into specified log lengths using chain saws and axes. Loggers secure steel cables or chains to logs for dragging by tractors or for pulling by cable yarding systems, and load logs or wood onto trucks, trailers, or railroad cars, by hand or using loaders or winches.
Farmworkers ● Log Grader and scalers ● Logging equipment operators ● Saw machine setter, operator, and tender ● Tree trimmer and pruner
Fell trees and buck logs.
Operate harvesting equipment.
Evaluate quality of plants or crops.
Trim trees or other vegetation.
Evaluate log quality.
Measure physical characteristics of forestry or agricultural products.
Determine forestry techniques or methods.
Maintain forestry, hunting, or agricultural equipment.
Mark agricultural or forestry products for identification.
Attach equipment extensions or accessories.
Load agricultural or forestry products for shipment.
Perform manual agricultural or horticultural tasks.
Operate and control machinery and equipment.
Judgment and decision making
It is important that loggers receive necessary harvesting and safety training that includes. In order to be considered a Sustainable forestry Initiative Qualified Logging Professional through the Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program, an individual must complete two core courses ( Game of Logging ‐ Level 1 & Professional Timber Harvesting Essentials) and provide proof of current First Aid and CPR certification within a 24-month period.
Graduation from High School or GED is preferred.
Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program preferred.