When a tree is ready for harvesting and has been felled, the trunk is usually debranched and cut into butt log, middle log, top log and one to three sections of pulpwood. Crown and branch wood can be collected up to be chipped and used as forest fuel. Smaller trees that are felled during thinning, for example, are cut into pulpwood or small-dimension sawlogs (top diameter 120–200 mm).
Sweden currently has around 140 sawmills, which produce over 10,000 cubic metres of sawn wood products per year. Production is being concentrated among ever fewer companies, with the individual sawmills specialising in wood types and product groups. Of the total production in Sweden of around 17 million cubic metres sawn wood products (2011), the 10 biggest companies account for around 60 percent and the 20 biggest companies account for around 80 percent of the country’s production. Alongside the industrial sawmills is the smaller-scale production for local and domestic purposes at a number of small sawmills. Different cutting methods are used at the sawmills. The circular saw dominates among the small sawmills, while reducer band saws and reducer circular saws are most common in larger sawmills. The reducing process mills away the circular segments outside the rectangle, which is then divided up into planks and boards using band or circular saws. The profiling saws cut a profile out of the log cross-section, and then the circular saws divide the planks and boards up into different cross-sectional dimensions. Profiling saws are very much on the up, with older sawmill methods becoming more uncommon. See also Surface structures in the chapter Quality and range.