Forest Terminology Explained


While undertaking research, you or your students may come across some terms that may need explaining, so we have made it easy for you below. 

*FURTHER INFORMATION: The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (ABARES) has produced an "Australia's forests and forestry glossary" (2020) found here -

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Salvage logging

Logging carried out to use trees that have been damaged by fire or storm.


A log of suitable size and straightness, relatively free of internal defects and able to be milled into sections of sawn timber.


The viable part of a plant from which a new plant can grow.

Seed orchard

Collection of seed-producing trees; trees cultivated for the production of seeds used to grow and improve tree qualities.

Selective logging

Selected trees within an area nominated for logging are logged while other trees are retained to maintain the forest structure & wildlife habitat.

Senescent trees

Similar to over-mature trees.


A woody plant smaller than a tree, usually divided into separate stems near the ground. Also see understorey.


This is a branch of forestry that involves the use of science and art to grow and maintain trees. It involves tree establishment, growth, health and quality.


A rubber tyred tractor for dragging felled logs to a loading area. Also see feller buncher.


To haul logs along the ground from tree stump to log landing.

Snig track

A track along which logs are snigged, usually from felling point to a nearby log landing.


The method of removing logs from site after felling operations by dragging.


The action of chaining a log at stump, then dragging the log along the ground to a landing where it can be loaded on trucks or processed.


Tree species, including radiate pine and cypress pine, that have soft wood that is useful in making newspapers, toilet paper and tissues as well as house frames and furniture.


An individual that has a specific stake in a given set of resources, and can be affected by decisions of others.


A group (or cluster) of upright trees.

State forest

Publically owned forests under state or territory control. Areas of state forests are designated for production where some harvesting occurs.


Part of a plant. A stalk which supports a leaf, flower or fruit.


A type of rainforest occurring between the tropics and temperate geographic regions; found between tropic and temperate conditions.

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

The management of our private & public forests to ensure forests continue to provide a sound supply of renewable timber for present & future generations.

Sustainable Yield

Amount of trees removed from a forest must at least equal the amount a forest is able to replace naturally.