After several years of disruption due to the COVID pandemic, 2022 saw the return of some sort of normality to forestry, with many events returning in person for the first time in several years. Join us as we take a look back at some of our most memorable stories from the last 12 months. 

Forestry Journal:

A BIG year needs big machines and they didn’t come much bigger than the star of our first issue of 2022. The spotlight was turned on Ponsse’s Elephant King forwarder as the Finnish manufacturer showcased its capabilities during an online event. 

“The comfort of the seat has clearly changed, its position, and the seatbelt system,” said customer Walter Calcerra from Uruguay. “This has been well-received.

“I have just spoken to an operator who is doing the same number of trips as before but is less tired. And we’ve noticed, in terms of efficiency, that we can load more wood per trip. We’ve had a very good experience with Ponsse.”

We also got stuck into the worrying news of Phytophthora pluvialis on Britain’s shores, caught up with several businesses to hear how they were slowly recovering from the pandemic, and paid tribute to the life of Lars Bruun

Read January's stories 

Forestry Journal:

In February, attention turned to O’Neill Terrain Services, a Scottish-based firm offering a wide range of services. 

Talking about the “crazy 18 months of COVID”, founder Andy O’Neill said of the company’s ambitions: “I aim to build on what we have achieved to date and look to engage with more clients and interesting jobs.” 

During a busy month, Forestry Journal also took a closer look at a plan to stop Ips typographus from reaching Scotland, shared the little-known story of William Gibson – the Scot who founded Jonsered in Sweden – and chatted to John Deere’s service manager Billy Telfer on his recent retirement and career

Read February's stories 

Forestry Journal:

We continued to showcase forestry firms in March’s issue. First up was Ufkes Greentec, with Mark Jibson and Lee Richardson telling us how they brought the Dutch woodchippers to the UK. 

Lee said: “We needed time to establish ourselves and prove we weren’t just a flash in the pan. We know we’re not.” 

Elsewhere, we went on the road with KWR Contracting as the team tackled ash dieback in North Yorkshire. The firm’s specialised material handler, the wheeled Sennebogen 718, was among the stars of the show. Staff told us how the 718 was designed with an oversized slew ring to increase the slewing power.

March also saw FJ profile Dan Cordell, one of the world’s best carvers, and review the Stihl MS 400 C-M chainsaw. 

Read March's features 

Forestry Journal:

The lack of new faces coming into forestry will be no surprise to many readers. But that could soon change, thanks to a unique project from Confor. The Introduction to Forestry Machinery training scheme was launched for the first time last year, and we joined one of the sessions in Perthshire in April

There candidates had the chance to get behind the wheel of a John Deere 1510G forwarder, with one of them, Scott MacFarlane, saying: “I’ve struggled to know what I want to do after leaving the military, but I feel the forestry sector is a place I could feel happy working.” 

In a similar vein, an initiative took root in Ireland to give young people a taste of forestry. Inspired by Mark Curtis and run alongside the likes of John Deere and Coillte, it saw youngsters head into the woods to watch productive forestry in action. 

Forestry Journal:

Tree planting in the UK remains one of the sector’s thorniest issues, and that edition also saw it go under the microscope, with Dr Terry Mabbett examining a recent report that questioned the government’s ability to hit its targets, and Christopher Rhodes taking a closer look at piece-work rates.

Read April's articles 

May saw the continuing of our successful Voices of Forestry series, with Rachel Orchard becoming the first woman in the industry to feature. Steffi Schaffler of Teamwork Horse Logging and Future Trees Trust’s Dr Jo Clark have also since penned their own take on the sector. 

In her own column, Rachel wrote of her experiences as a young woman newly entering forestry and the need to show it is an industry for everyone. 

The series has quickly become one of the magazine’s most popular, generating a lot of feedback from readers.

The Timber Haulage Academy starred in the same issue and a new concept forwarder running on tracks (called the Centipede) was revealed. 

Forestry Journal:

Also in May, we travelled to Knoydart – one of the most remote places in the UK – to see the installation of a new Wood-Mizer sawmill. 

Read May's articles 

Forestry Journal:

After nearly two years of false dawns, much of 2022 saw the return of forestry’s biggest events as they had been before COVID. June saw hundreds of delegates head to Glasgow for the Institute of Chartered Foresters’ conference, held in person for the first time since 2019. 

Scotland’s environment minister Mairi McAllan, Oliver Hughes, managing director (forestry) of Gresham House, and PhD researcher Eilidh Forster were among the headline speakers. 

Closing the conference, the Rt. Revd. James Jones told delegates: “Once planted to build ships and later for war, trees are now being planted for a more important battle [climate change].” 

In the same issue, we spoke to Nathalie Petronelli-Stone, a former catwalk model turned forester, who has found a cult following on social media and OnlyFans. Another milestone was reached with Logset’s 30th birthday, and we took time to celebrate that landmark

June's articles can be found below 

Forestry Journal:

Big machines were a constant theme throughout the year and July was no different. This time it was Tigercat’s 1165 23-tonne harvester, which had transformed the work being done by Treetop Forestry in the north of Scotland since its arrival. 

Sean Connor was one of the lucky operators inside the cabin, and he said: “I like it. It’s a nice machine, it’s comfy, the visibility is great; you can see everything around you. That’s always a bonus.” 

Elsewhere, Elmia Wood took centre stage as we headed to the forests of Sweden to speak to some of the industry’s hottest names – including Malwa and Vimek – about their latest offerings.

Forestry Journal:

And there was still time to get back to the big machines, as we revealed all following Ponsse’s launch of its new Giant Scorpion harvester and Mammoth forwarder

Read July's features 

Forestry Journal:

Forestry Journal had once again been on the road in July for Interforst and the Munich event (another returning after the pandemic) was the star of August’s issue. From digital solutions – such as Woods App – to new harvester attachments – like the one on Konrad’s Highlander – the event truly had it all. 

Ralf Dreeke, chairman of the Interforst advisory board, summed it up: “The industry wanted to meet again live.” 

August also featured a report on an open day in Tayside held by Jas P Wilson, Wood-Mizer and Pentland Biomass, and a look at how steep-ground felling had evolved during the last 40 years in Scotland. 

August's features in full 

Head here to read all of our coverage from Interforst 2022 

A82: Former foresters looks back on past efforts to fell unstable conifer

Forestry Journal:

September marked the long-awaited return of the APF, the UK’s largest forestry show.

Ahead of the three-day spectacular (and more on that in a moment), we took a look at what guests could expect from the Ragley Estate event

But the main talking point of that month’s edition – perhaps even the year – was a letter penned by the Forestry Contracting Association to FISA. In a wide-ranging piece, the FCA aired a number of concerns it had about the organisation. 

The letter read: “The FCA does not believe FISA is fair to all those involved. In fact, all the evidence points to the fact that it gives priority to the views of a very small, but powerful elite.” 

Other talking points from September included the launch of what Ponsse had called an electric solution, the EV1, which turned out to be a hybrid forwarder, while Global Recycling was profiled

September's articles in full 

The big APF 2022 preview: Everything taking place at UK's largest forestry show

FCA publishes open letter to ask what FISA has given the forestry industry

Q&A: What are the running costs of Ponsse's EV1? When will a harvester version be out?

Global Recycling Solutions: The complete history (and future ambitions) of forestry firm


Forestry Journal:

The calm after the storm saw the FJ team shine the spotlight on APF 2022 in October’s magazine – and what a show it was

Some of the biggest names in forestry – such as Ponsse, Stihl and Wood-Mizer – showcased their latest products and innovations to record-breaking crowds as the event returned in person for the first time in four years

As well as woodchippers, chainsaws, and forwarders, tree shelters, MEWPs and stump grinders all featured across the three days. For the first time too, the Arb Show was held concurrently, giving attendees even more bang for their buck. 

Ian Millward, APF exhibition secretary, said: “It was excellent and we really enjoyed it.” 

Forestry Journal:

In a bumper issue, we still had space to update on Simon Bowes’s mission to restore a Tapio harvesting head and shared the best of the action from the Scottish Open Chainsaw Carving Competition

Read October's highlights below 

Forestry Journal:

The following month, we visited a vertical tree farm in Dundee – which has shown it can grow trees up to six times faster than a traditional nursery setting – and reported on the Forestry Conference 2022. 

November's articles 

This is all, of course, just a small snapshot of all our industry has achieved during the 12 months and all the stories Forestry Journal has been able to cover in our pages. That’s a testament to everyone in forestry. 

Here’s to 2023.