What Is the First Cut Off a Log Called?

Forestry and sawmill companies have a range of terms within their industry that can be unfamiliar to those just starting out. Everyone in the industry should acquaint themselves with the lingo to close the gaps of communication such as what is the first cut off a log called?

A butt cut or but log is the first log cut above the stump. When a piece of log is cut because of a flaw it is referred to as a butt off. The worth of a tree is in the butt log.

The bottom part of the tree is the butt and this part of the trunk is characteristically different from the upper trunk, branches and roots of a tree. The butt is found above the roots but detached from the trunk which ascends toward the terminal bud.

The butt of a tree is frequently referred to by loggers as the bottom log of a cut tree. A tree’s first cut typically begins at the base or butt. For sale purposes or conversion to a wood product, it is the most valued part of the tree.

When disease is found in a tree near or at ground level, the butt of the tree is also important. Tree managers and tree owners consider butt rot diseases very serious. Trees will unavoidably get weak to the point where the support system is affected which results in trunk failure and the subsequent death of the tree.

Timber growers also value the butt of a tree. The lumber grade will be reduced considerably if there are any flaws in the first 16 feet of a tree trunk which is considered the butt log.

How Butt Rot Effects Trees

All types of trees are vulnerable to butt rot to a smaller or larger degree. The prime causal agent of butt rot are fungal pathogens. They attack the weak, moist and under protected bottom part of the trunk where its principal diameter is documented i.e. the highest number of growth rings or annual rings.

Trees are most susceptible to rot where the lower part of the trunk stem meets with the soil.

What is Root Rot?

Root rot can occur when the tree butt’s location is diseased and the roots are attacked. These types of impurities will damage the transference properties of the xylem tissue that is located in the cambial region below the tree bark. It can also weaken the stem and make the plant more defenseless to collapsing.

What is a Butt Log’s Quality?

Timber harvesters consider the best quality logs come from the butt log. The highest, best quality lumber and wood veneer come from the butt log. Hardwood, which is wood veneer that is sliced or plywood which is pine that is rotary cut demand high prices. It will negatively affect what is paid at timber harvest time if trees of high quality have butt log disease or imperfections.

Tree Butt Swell

The most valuable timber tree will keep a cylinder like form that extends up toward the trunk. It is referred to as butt swell when any more growth of the trunk butt goes beyond the normal stump flare. Butt swell can be usual in some tree types particularly trees on damp sites such as tupelo gum and cypress.

Sound wood that is found in the butt swell is used only for non-construction materials which include specialty items and wood chips. It is recommended to cut above the swell for construction logs. Butt swell in veneer logs is considered a flaw.

The Idyllic Tree

Wood is wood after all, so a tree company will take away any trees. However, some trees are worth more than others. Prices of wood change with the kind of wood, the season and demand. The diameter, any defects, how logs can be made from a tree and the grade are just a few factors that govern its worth. If appearance is important for things such as furniture, then a veneer log or tree would be used. The most valuable are trees used for veneer purposes. In the wood industry, walnut trees are one of the most highly commanded. Also valued are maples, ashes and cherry. A shared rule is the larger the log, the more value it has.

The Idyllic tree should be

  • Healthy, straight and round
  • Well balanced growth and color
  • No flaws
  • Have a centered pith
  • Small or large heart depending on the kind of tree. Trees such as birches, maples and ashes are small hearts and sapwood. Trees such as walnut, cherry and oaks are large heart and heartwood.

Defining the worth

If you are looking to find the value in a tree or forest, it is highly recommended to ask a professional. They will give a fair price and have the best services available to get rid of your trees. You do not want any damage to the roots of the trees, so hire a professional. An inexperienced logger can cause damage to the tree and its value. If you are on the fence about letting your trees go, you can always hire an arborist to help take care of the woods and gain future value.