A forest worker felling trees with a chainsaw is a rare sight in Finland these days. More than 95 per cent of the wood we purchase is felled using a harvester.
The harvester operator plans the progress of work in the forest, and the location of the tracks used by the harvester and forwarder. The operator takes into account the terrain, land carrying capacity, weather conditions and any other special features of the felling site.
The harvester operator fells the trees, lops the branches, and cuts the trunks into logs and pulpwood logs. They also grade them in the forest next to the track, where the forwarder operator picks them up and carries them to the side of the forest road. The harvester operator places some of the tops and branches over the tracks. This protects the terrain and tree roots from damage caused by the machine.
If the forest owner or Metsä Group’s forest specialist has not indicated the location of retention trees, the harvester operator decides which trees to leave as retention trees.
Every part of the tree is used
The forwarder operator sorts different grades of wood into different piles along the roadside to ensure the logging truck driver can easily load the right items. In connection with the wood trade, the parties agree where the wood can safely be stored before transport. Roadside storage must not be located near an electric power line, and the loading of trees in general must be safe for the driver and other road users.
Wood from a single felling site is typically transported to many different mills: softwood pulp goes to a different mill than hardwood pulp, and pine logs to a different mill than spruce logs. If the site produces veneer logs, they are transported to yet another mill for upgrading. The logging residue used for renewable energy production – branches and tops, that is – are taken to the energy plant. This ensures that we use every part of the tree efficiently, and that nothing goes to waste.
We send two text messages concerning the felling operations to the wood seller before the work begins: the first around two weeks before harvesting; the second on the day on which the harvester goes to work. The forest owner is welcome to follow the harvesting, but the safety guidelines must be followed. Instructions for a safe visit can be found here Please remember that the safety distance to a harvester at work is 90 metres.