Bucking, Limbing, and Felling

By Eben Lehman on May 13, 2009

The six new photo galleries added to our website today feature well over 200 historic photos further documenting the work of loggers in the field.  The first four new galleries relate to the bucking and limbing of cut timber, the process during which loggers removed branches and then sawed the felled trees into fixed-length sections.  This process was historically done using axes and crosscut saws:


Eventually, modern power saws were developed that could be used effectively by loggers for the bucking and limbing work.  Power saws and chainsaws were of course also adopted for the felling of timber as well.  The other two new photo galleries document timber felling using power saws and the larger two-man power saws.  These galleries provide an excellent visual record of the early field use of power saws for logging operations.


For more on the history of loggers and power saws, read “A Lesson from Nature: Joe Cox and His Revolutionary Saw Chain” by Ellis Lucia from the July 1981 issue of Journal of Forest History.  This article looks at the many mechanical and technological experiments and innovations that went into the development of power saws over the 19th and 20th centuries.  The article focuses on Joe Cox, who laid the foundation for modern chainsaws with his saw design during the 1940s modeled after the jaws on timber beetle larva.  Cox patented his unique design and in 1947 founded his own company, the Oregon Saw Chain Corporation, which is still in existence today as the Oregon Cutting Systems Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of cutting chains for chainsaws.

Visit all of these new photo galleries:

And for additional topics, browse our previously posted subject galleries, or search the FHS Image Database.