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Logging Dictionary

Updated on September 9, 2010

Dictionary Of Terms... ...used on this site

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Here you will find a dictionary of terms used on this web site and in the woods among loggers...

If you have some words you would like to contribute or see here then please e mail me.


Ablative or Ablative My favorite term; Ablative; To do, A bridge was needed, a bridge was built, Caesar crossed doesn't matter that it took ex amount of troops, dollars weeks months. For 1000s of years the ancient Greeks held the concept in high esteem yet didn't have a word for the concept. Julius Ceaser gave the concept a word, the concept reached modern fame when it became an engineering term during the begriming of the space age, in fact we would never have been able to re enter the Earths atmosphere without the concept (Ablatuv) being put into practice. The engineering term means this; to be spent and cast off after it is used to absorb the heat of re-entry; thus an ablative material. It is the casting off part in engineering terms that is so closely associated with the term meaning that I find so fascinating.

Arborist A person who works with trees. A person who typically has no hands on experience with trees, paid a $50.00 fee for his/her certificate, went to school for a couple of weekends and charges in excess of $100 per hour. A person who in most cases is wrong when it comes's to diagnosing trees.In most cases a jackass relying on a cracker jack box type of certificate to take advantage of you and your money; what can I say; this is my experience.



Bar Chainsaw blade

Back To Back a knot, to stop knot the end or the tail of the taut line hitch. See knot section, To back the clove hitch with two half hitches or a bowline. When pulling a tree over I clove hitch it to the hitch on a truck then I "Back " the clove with a bowline.

BBR Branch bark ridge also see cambium

BCR Branch collar ridge

Block A pulley

Bowline An essential knot used in the tree service industry. Click here to go to source

Branch bark ridge The cambium layer of the branch and the tree. Where they knit or join together

Burl A type of abnormal tree growth, dormant buds that make a circular pattern in the wood. Also makes the tree look like cauliflower. Click here to go to exotic wood pages

Burly Big Knarly deformed leviathan

Butt-hitching A term used by climbers when tying off and lowering limbs form the main stem of the part of the top or limb being removed with a rope. Click here to go to roping section top


Cabling A method of cabling a tree to other forks, trees or to a dead man.

Cambium- The fragile growth area just underneath the bark yet not into the wood. The width of the cambium layer is contingent upon 1. The species of the tree2. always the diameter of the tree. The cambium layer is where the tree lives and grows usually 1/100 in size of the size of the diameter of the tree. The cambium layer is extremely thin on an Oak tree where the girth of the tree becomes the roots1/10,000

Caulks A logging boot with many little spikes in the sole. Same as corks

Chunking To piece out the log portion of a tree or branch

Climbing line The climbers long line securing him in a tree and leading to the ground. Click here to go to climbing pages

Corks a logging boot with many little spikes in the sole, same as caulks.

Climbing line The primary safety line for a climber allowing him to swing from tree to tree, climb, ascend and descend.


Clove hitch A knot used for lowering limbs and tying off objects to send to climber on his climbing line.

Cluster When used to describe exotic wood this term means that the burl pattern is not complete that it is sparse and most often mixed with other types of figure in the wood. When used to describe trees this word means a grouping of trees.

Co-dominant The tree, trees or forks in trees in a grouping of trees that is not the dominant tree but lives in conjunction with the dominant.

Compartmentalized- A dynamic region of Cambium growth In the crotch and or branch bark ridge or branch collar region of a tree where healing and advanced growth takes place. A Hormonal area of growth in a tree. Also see Cambium Layer (similar)

Crotch The fork in a tree or branch

Curf An area on the cutting tooth of the chain on a chainsaw. a curved area correctly in the shape of a half moon on the underneath right side portion of the right cutting tooth of the chain and a curved area on the left side of the left cutting tooth. The typical mistake the novice makes when sharpening the chain on a chainsaw is to give the tooth NO CURF!

Cumberland cut The pie cut on a tree when the slanted portion of the cut is on the upward side. top



Dead man An anchor used in the ground to secure a tree, object or pole.

Deciduous tree- A tree that lose's its leaves annually.




Evade To avoid



False crotch False crotching is a roping technique used by tree climbers

Face Cut The first cut on felling a tree which creates the hinge and determines the direction the tree will fall, Termed either "Humbolt" or "Cumberland" the amount of face will determine how many tumbles a log will take when chunking out log lengths from plus 50 ft in the air and will determine if the log will land flat or stick straight in the ground.

Fiddle-back When used to describe exotic wood this word means the pattern in the wood

Felling Felling or feller is the correct way to describe the act of or person who falls trees. He is a timber feller or the trees were felled.

Flip line The short line that is attached to the climbers saddle, usually with a steel cable in spliced into the center of the line.



Gin pole Usually a tree that is topped and limbed in the middle of logging operations and attaching a snatch block or blocks to it to aid in the recovery of logs.

Girth The diameter or circumference of a tree.



High line When used as a roping term this word means the line that one end is tied to the tree and the other and is tied to a structure or object where the branches will be roped to.

See roping section

High lining A roping method, for roping out trees over obstructions such as house. See roping section Hotrod When used to describe a chainsaw this word means a modified chainsaw with more power and speed then usual When this word is used to describe a climber this word means a very fast and efficient climber

Humboldt cut The pie cut on a tree or branch when it is slanted downward.



Inept The ability to comprehend or to function at a given task . "He was inept" or He is inept.



Jackass As pertaining to tree work; a person who thinks he can will a tree over and keeps cutting. A person who doesn't know when to stop.



Kickback Something that a chainsaw does that's really bad that can result in serious injury or death. If you don't know the meaning of this term than you have no-business using a chainsaw. When the chain on a chainsaw usually running @ around 60 miles per hr suddenly stops typically from a small obstruction such as a small twig or branch when it gets caught in between the raker and the cutting tooth of the chain. Also caused by the tip of the bar hitting an obstruction on the top side of the curve causing the saw to kick back in the opposite direction.



Landing Same as LZ, area where logs are stacked and prepared for loading

Lanyard A short line attached to a tool for climbing. a leash

Line-Tailing - To remove all lower branches leaving only the tips (Bad Practice Tree Butchery) A method of trimming/thinning/Windowing a tree usually Elm variety (Oak) typically done in excess, the result; Severe damage to tree resulting in photosynthetic starvation

Locking snap hook A clip used by climbers to attach the climbing line to and their flip line

Look-see Look and see

LZ Landing zone, area where logs are decked and prepared for loading



MBF Manufactured board feet



Novice As pertaining to woodsman, someone that does not know what he is doing and should do nothing that he isn't told to do.



Open face cut Usually the first cut on a tree or branch, some times unnecessary or undesired when cutting a smaller diameter branch. Yet almost always necessary.



Pollard to pollard a tree, a method of trimming a tree developed in the 15 century near the Sherwood forest. Not good tree practice, acceptable with certain trees; mulberry,once a tree has been pollarded it needs to be pollarded every couple of years. Pollarding will kill most trees especially elm variety (Oak) SEE DIAGRAM



Quarter Sawn To mill a log "on the quarter" SEE DIAGRAMS



Rift as pertaining to trees 'tree rift' "there is a rift in this tree." a void causing separation in the mass of an object, usually hidden. see diagrams



Sand Bitch A Sandwich

Sights As pertaining to the sights on a chainsaw or to 'Sight' in a tree. A tree will fall 90 degrees from the sight cut or 90 degrees from the bar of the saw, a line on the saw that is embossed on the side of the saw that is 90 degrees on the horizontal of the blade almost always the first cut made in felling a tree or a branch. To sight in a tree, to look at the sights on your saw.

Snap hook A clip used by climbers to attach a line to

Snatch block A pulley that can open

Splicing The joining of two pieces of rope or steel cable (wire rope) by the method of weaving the braids together.

Springboard A plank to serve as a platform that is attached to a tree above the ground to give the arborist a platform to work from.

Spurs Tree climbing spikes worn on the legs of a climber, also called gaffs or spikes.

symbiotic Cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship between two groups



Timber hitch a knot used to tie off branches

Taut line Hitch The primary tree climbing knot used to descend out of a tree



Under Construction



Under Construction



Wraps The winding of the rope around a tree for lowering. Click here to go to roping section



Under Construction



Under Construction



Zealous Over ambitious

Zip Line A taut line used to attach branches to from a tree on short leashes to remove from over a structure. See Zip line


If you have some terms you would like to add email me


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