Our forest is well-known for the structural and aesthetic quality of its wood.

They have a fine grain and regular growth rings because they grow between 1,000 and 1,500 meters of altitude. The weather conditions enable the wood to grow slowly. For several years, Maurice MOULIN, the teams of buyers, and forestry technicians have been working with private forest owners in order to make them aware of the need for a better management, maintenance, and development of their heritage. All these actions undertaken for a regular management of the forest patrimony assure us today, and tomorrow as well, more productive forests and better-quality wood. The MOULIN sawmill mainly sources its wood from Auvergne (Livradois, Meygal, Mézenc, Margeride) and Rhône-Alpes (Pilat, Roannais, Haut Forez, Beaujolais, Vercors) forest areas. The Auvergne massif covers more than 700,000 hectares of wooded land, 49% of which are coniferous trees (82% for Haute-Loire). 84% of this wooded area belongs to nearly 240,000 private owners. The Rhône-Alpes forest covers nearly 1,54 million hectares and grows by more than 7,000 hectares per year; i.e. nearly 8,000 000 m3 per year. 60% of the standing volume is softwood.

Sustainable forest management.

The MOULIN sawmill is committed and remains very active for the sustainable management of forests and is PEFC certified.

What is PEFC?

PEFC is an international forest certification system. It is the world’s major independent organization in securing and constantly improving the long-term forestry exploitation in accordance with ecological, social, and economic standards. The PEFC certification aims to guarantee the customer the origin of the purchased products, i.e., from wood harvested in sustainably managed forests. Through an independent verification service (accredited certification services) PEFC gives customers and users in the market place assurance that forests are managed according to high standards. Forest owners who have PEFC certified forests thus meet the market demand for PEFC certified timber. Thus, they take part in the promotion of the wood material in a competitive context with other construction materials. It is therefore necessary that the owner commits to the sustainable management of the forests, for present and future generations.

What is sustainable forest management?

Sustainability describes a way of managing a forest, limiting the exploitation of the forest to suit its wood renewal rate, so that trees in the forest will never be entirely cut down, thus enabling the forest to regenerate. Today, it is the notion of sustainable development which deals with this principle in a more concise way. In 1987, this term was defined by the Brundtland Commission with the following words: “sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. The sustainability of the forests lies in the long periods of regeneration and permanent increase in the need for wood.

Forestry operations

The MOULIN sawmill requires some 400,000 m3 of logs per year to supply its sawmill. Within three years, at constant scope and with the full operation of the existing sawmill, the need is estimated at 600,000 m3 per year. The development of the Moulinvest group in complementary activities to its core business has led it to completely overhaul its forestry organization. We know how to use all the wood cut down and to valorize each log according to its quality: structure wood, formwork wood, pallet wood, energy wood and poles for electricity and telecommunication lines. 

The Moulin sawmill used to be 100% outsourced but has reintegrated since 2014 its own teams of mechanized cutting and skidding of short and long woods to be able to optimize the sorting of logs from our intervention in the forest. 

We work with the same machines and technologies as those used in Scandinavian or Canadian countries.

Our forestry machines and those of our logging partners are perfectly adapted to the different configurations of work sites that we may encounter.

Our forestry technicians are at your disposal to advise you in the management of your forests or to ensure a purchase offer if you wish to sell wood.

Transport of logs

To transport logs to our sawmill, it is necessary to use trucks equipped with a crane and enclosed body to carry heavy loads. The forest roads are often very steep, and it is essential to call on the services of professional wood transporters.

In order to get a better management of the energy used for the exploitation and the transport of logs, we develop the transport in light semi-trailer for long distances.

Wood species

FIR (50%)

Its natural area is limited to mountainous regions. It needs humidity and shelter in its first years. It accepts poor and fresh soils. It is the only spontaneous fir species in Western Europe and it is a large tree (up to 50 m high and 2 m of diameter). It can live more than 200 years. Its trunk is straight and cylindrical. Its smooth, silver-gray bark becomes rough and cracked with age; its growth rings are highly visible. Its yellowish wood is light, not very nervous, elastic and tender.

SPRUCE (20%)

Spruce is found on large reforested areas in the Massif Central. It is a high tree which can exceed 50 m, with a particularly rectilinear bole, with a sharp top, it can reach a very old age in the mountains (up to 400 years). It is a white wood with a fine grain and a polish appearance, and it sometimes has pockets of resin. It is quite light and tender, not very nervous.


It is neither a pine nor a fir, but it is called Oregon Pine or Douglas fir. It likes cool, slightly acidic soils, resists cold well, and can withstand pruning. It was massively used in reforestation. Originally from North America and integrated in France in 1842, it is a tree with spectacular growth that can reach 40 to 55 m high, and several meters of diameter, with a very narrow bole. Its bark is thick and cracked. The red part with an extracted sapwood is naturally rot-proof.

PINE (10%)

It is abundant in the southern part of the Massif Central. Very frugal, it resists the cold, prefers siliceous soils, tolerates acid soils and hardly supports limonestone. It has been widely used as a reforestation species on poor soils. It is easily recognizable by its salmon-pink bole. A light species, very resistant to cold, it has a generally irregular crown, a very straight bole and is fast growing. It can reach a very old age, its dimensions differ if it is in the plains or in the mountains. Its wood is reddish-white, heterogeneous with straight grain and very variable. It is a light to medium-heavy wood, relatively nervous, and it has a very strong mechanical resistance in compression, in bending and to shocks.

Supply criteria

A team of five forestry technicians work in the field to gather a maximum of quality wood.

Visits to the forest enable to determine the most appropriate value for the wood based on various parameters:

      Exposure and slope of the forest

      Amount of humidity and sunshine of the area

      Length, conicity, curvature and defects (cankers, forks) of the logs

Our experience in the field enables us to perfectly know our supply area and to mainly approach the most appropriate massifs to our needs.