Felling a Forest Giant, Oregon

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
The state of Oregon is noted for its fine forests. It contains one-sixth of the standing timber of the United States. Its forested area in 1914 was about 16,000,000 acres. These forests are made up of magnificent trees of spruce, hemlock, pine, cedar, and redwood. The Douglas fir is the most common and is the greatest producer of lumber. In 1916 the state produced more than 98,000,000 board feet of lumber. You are shown here one of these forest's looks. It does not suggest to you, however, the great height of the trees. These are sometimes 300 feet high. The timbers from some of the Douglas firs are 110 feet in length. Lumbering is carried on in these forested sections on an extensive scale. Great sawmills are built, usually beside a large stream. This stream may furnish water power, but it is chiefly valuable in carrying logs to the mill and in shipping the lumber away. In many places small railroads have been constructed deep into the woods to carry the logs to mills. One of the most interesting processes in lumbering is here seen. This is the felling of one of the forest giants. First of all the tree is "girdled" a few feet from its base. That is, the bark is removed so that it will catch in the teeth of the cross-cut saw. The lumbermen then build broad platforms such as you see, so they can reach the girdled strip. Back and forth they pull the saw, one or two men holding either handle. The exciting moment is when the saw has all but severed the huge trunk. The branches tremble, the uncut portions of the trunk snap, and the tree slowly begins to fall. The workmen remove the saw, and run some distance away. There is a swishing in the air, and then a loud crash. Another monarch of the woods has fallen! Keystone ID: 13567 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.