To get the most lumber from a tree, the first step in sawmilling– removal of the tree from the forest–has to be done properly.
According to John Koning’s book Forest Products Laboratory 1910-2010: Celebrating a Century of Accomplishments, “after a tree is felled, it must be delimbed (swamped) and then cut (bucked) into log lengths.”
But making the wrong choices as to how the logs should be cut can have big impacts at the sawmill. Not taking defects into account or making errors when cutting the log lengths can lead to excessive waste and more harvesting than is necessary.
This early diagram taught loggers how to cut a felled tree to maximize quantity and quality of lumber.