AbstractAn efficient wood harvesting activity aims to fully recover wood as a measure to increase the profit, but safety prescriptions should be obeyed each time when harvesting operations are performed. A study was carried out in three forest compartments in order to determine whether the actual tree felling procedures match the recommended ones and, if not, to compare how the used practices may affect the wood recovery when felling trees using a conventional undercut. The study yielded significant statistical differences between the recommended and used cuts dimensions, as well as significant differences between the procedures used by three studied work teams. The general trend was to make deeper cuts and smaller openness when performing undercuts. Since one reason for such tree felling procedures may be the increment of wood recovery rate, we conducted a comparative analysis between the potential volume loss in the two mentioned scenarios, and only small differences were found; this should discourage the use of such tree felling techniques. The present estimates suggest that the potential volume loss was 0.89 to 1.20% of the harvested volume, yielding small gains in terms of wood recovery if compared to that of 1.74 to 3.17% corresponding to the recommended practices.