How trees shaped early America

This picture shows how the English cut down trees to supply their industry.

This picture shows how the English cut down trees to supply their industry.

Across North America, the geography provides a great home for tress to be grown. The United States has both the oldest tree and the tallest trees. Trees were used as a center for protest by the Sons of Liberty that helped start the American revolution. Also, they were used to drive national development and has helped form America to what it is today. Colonists focused on using the trees around them for supplies and to trade for goods. England suffered from a severe timber crisis and needed the wood from America for firewood as well as fuel for the iron industry. Hot temperatures were required for the coal. The shipping industry relied heavily on timber. Before iron and steel, boats were almost made of strictly wood. On page 14 of American Canopy, it states that “bodies of such vessels needed about 2,000 mature oaks”. The English Navy fleet used the trees for the masts which was one of the biggest at the time “The tallest white pines soared 250 feet above the forest floor, often a hundred feet straight up without a single branch” on page 27 in American Canopy. People even cut down or burned trees to make paths for travel as well as getting rid of hiding places for animals and other humans to attack. Trees would also be used for houses. The settlers left the fruit growing trees as they held value. Selling wood for fuel, wood products or tanning would help pay for the removal of the trees. The demand of lumber later increased as the industrial revolution came around and wood was needed for many purposes. The cutting down and use of all these trees affected the forests.

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