Forest Friends

By Mackenzie Allen
6th Grade, Siskiyou County
Grenada Elementary School - Debbi Hoy, Teacher

"Hey, what do you think you will turn into?" asked Douglas. He was hearing the loggers, machines and the log trucks coming to do their jobs.

"What do you mean?" asked all the other trees. They were not paying attention to what was happening around them.

"I mean... Whoa, holy leaves, I am being cut down, YEAH!" exclaimed Douglas. He was so excited, as he had heard great things about what logs turn into from the old timers who were very wise. They seemed to know a lot for trees that had never been cut down. But only a select few of the other trees in the forest would get chosen to be cut down.

"Now what are they going to do to us?" asked the other trees in the forest, who never seemed to listen.

"Do I need to go through the whole process of logging again?" Douglas sounded tired. "I think you young seedlings need to pay more attention to the old timers."

"Would you mind, please?" whimpered the smaller trees. So Douglas started to tell them about the logging process

"Trees are harvested mechanically by a big machine called a feller buncher. It has a long boom with a saw attached to the end. It can grab the tree, cut it and lay it down all by the push of some buttons by the operator sitting in the cab of the machine. Most feller buncher's can cut trees up to 24 inches in diameter. Then the logs will stay on the ground until a skidder drags them to the landing. Once piled up in the landing, another machine called a loader will load the logs onto a log truck. The log truck will then haul the logs to a sawmill." Douglas replied.

"Wait, before you go on, what is the machine called that is taking off my branches?" asked Ponderosa, one of Douglas' friends.

"Oh, thanks for reminding me," said Douglas. "That machine is called a delimber. It takes the tree and with its big boom, strokes the tree, taking off the limbs. It can cut one long log into smaller logs. Some of the really tall trees can have up to two or three logs cut out of if."

"Once we are piled up in the landing, we wait to be loaded onto the log trucks. Since we are close to the top of the pile, we will probably get loaded on the second or third log truck." Douglas loved the idea of being in the process of logging and talking about it also.

"Hey, we are being loaded," shouted Douglas, as he and five other trees swung through the air in the leader's grapples and were being placed down on the log truck.

"I'm getting squished down here!" yelled a log from the bottom of the pile.

Douglas continued to tell the other logs about what was going to happen next. As the logs traveled down the bouncy, dirt road out of the forest, Douglas told the other logs about going to the sawmill. Once they got to the mill, they would be unloaded and then sorted by whatever species or sometimes what size each log was. They would then be put into other separate piles and hopefully would turn into something very useful.

When they got to the mill, everyone was indeed separated. Some stayed in the same pile for a year, while others were cut and made into boards, plywood and panel sheets. Douglas was happily turned into boards, which were used to build a house. He loves everyday he is there and reminds himself once in a while about that wonderful day when he was cut down and going through the logging process and everything that happened that day. He wonders sometimes if the other trees are happy with what they turned out to be.

"I will never forget that day!" Douglas said proudly and he probably never will.