Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.
In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard. However, in common usage, the term may be used to indicate a range of forestry or silviculture activities.
Illegal logging refers to what in forestry might be called timber theft. It can also refer to the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission or from a protected area; the cutting of protected species; or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits.
In common usage what is sometimes called clearcut logging is not is necessarily considered a type of logging but a harvest or silviculture method and is simply called clearcutting or block cutting. In the forest products industry logging companies may be referred to as logging contractors.
Cutting trees with the highest value and leaving those with lower value, often diseased or malformed trees, is referred to as high grading. It is sometimes called selective logging, and confused with selection cutting, the practice of managing stands by harvesting a proportion of trees.
Logging usually refers to above-ground forestry logging. Submerged forests exist on land that has been flooded by damming to create reservoirs. Such trees are logged using underwater logging or by the lowering of the reservoirs in question. Ootsa Lake and Williston Lake in British Columbia, Canada, are notable examples where timber recovery has been needed to remove inundated forests.