The German Logging Championship is back for another high-octane season at the upcoming LIGNA, which runs from 27 to 31 May in Hannover. With elite lumberjacks and forestry professionals from all over Germany facing off in a range of logging disciplines, there will be thrills and spectacle aplenty for visitors. The championship is the "Formula 1" of forestry skills, with high-power chainsaws cutting into wood with precision and at incredible speeds in fiercely fought contests where the difference between victory and defeat is measured in tenths of a millimeter.

This year, some 100 contestants will be putting their endurance, handling skills and precision to the test in five disciplines: tree felling, chain fitting, combined cut bucking, precision bucking and delimbing. They will perform their amazing feats of chainsaw handling skill under the watchful eye of expert judges, who will score them on safety, accuracy and speed.

One of the big highlights of the championship is the tree-felling event. There's no forest on the Hannover Exhibition Center campus, so the organizers have gone all out to re-create a real-life tree-felling scenario, complete with 18-meter tall logs which have been set into the ground in specially cut 1.5-meter deep bore holes. 150 metric tons of sand have been trucked on site and spread out in three sweeping arcs, creating a cushion to absorb the momentum of the falling logs and stop them from shattering when they hit the ground. The tree-felling event is followed by the delimbing contest, in which each contestant has to cut off 30 uniform-thickness branches (broomsticks) that have been specially attached to a horizontal log. Like tree felling, this is a test of speed and accuracy.

"While tree felling is the most important of the five disciplines, delimbing is probably the most spectacular," said VWMD (German Woodsmen's Championships Association) President Wolfgang Junglas. "Contestants are scored in accordance with a sophisticated set of rules that is administered by an independent federal body. To be eligible to participate in the national championships, all contestants must first qualify in all five disciplines in accordance with VWMD rules in recognized regional championships. In concrete terms this means they must have gained at least 1,200 points in the U24 class or at least 1,300 points in the professional class."

Sponsors of the German Logging Championship include Aspen, Zeller+Gmelin (Divinol), Husqvarna, STIHL, and Pfanner. All the sponsors will have their own exhibition stands directly adjacent to the competition arena on one of the themed "avenues" in the outdoor forestry demonstration area. The demonstration area is a 3,000 sqm zone comprising a series of theme-specific "avenues", where exhibitors can stage moderated live demonstrations of their forestry technology solutions. As in previous years, it is organized jointly by Deutsche Messe and the German Forestry Council (KFW). German Logging Championship events and moderated demonstrations will be held on the demonstration area on each day of LIGNA.

The 2019 German Logging Championship at LIGNA is organized jointly by Deutsche Messe AG and the German Woodsmen's Championships Association (VWMD). The event is also supported by the Lower Saxony Forestry Service and by Wahlers Forsttechnik, the provider of the PONSSE Bear harvester that will be used to move the logs into place. The 8-wheeler PONSSE Bear is the largest harvester in the Ponsse range and an unbeatable powerhouse for large-diameter trees and demanding conditions.

About the Logging Championship

The idea of turning the routine daily tasks carried out by forestry workers into a competition comprising five key disciplines dates back to the 70s. The German Logging Championship and the International Logging Championship are both held every two years.

LIGNA first hosted Germany's national competition in 1999. In 2019, some two decades later, the German Logging Championship (now in its 14th season) is once again being held at LIGNA.