The modern timber harvesting industry would be ineffective without heavy duty advanced machinery used for logging. However, with benefits of mechanization comes the operation complexity. Introducing automation is expected to reduce the mental and physical load on the operator and improve the machine use efficiency. Nonetheless, with current technology fully autonomous timber harvesting is impossible. In this paper a semi-automation scenario is presented using the base joint actuator of a forestry forwarder crane taking into consideration the need to attenuate unwanted oscillations of its hanging grapple. We address the necessary motion planning and motion stabilization tasks. To reduce oscillations along a nominal trajectory, we design smooth reference profiles based on experiments. Meanwhile, a practical structure for a feedback controller is proposed and tested. In this process, actuator nonlinearities are dealt with feasible identification and compensation techniques.