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A Video History of America’s Forests

Here’s a video that we wanted to share with readers right away. If you’re a woodworker, this is a MUST WATCH video.

(Source: Highland Woodworking)


10 Responses to “A Video History of America’s Forests”

  1. Ronald Sauve

    This is an awesome, thought provoking, humbling, and sobering video. Well worth the watch! Is there a way we could get a copy?

    • Gary Katz

      Boy, I didn’t see that as a commercial for anything. I’m sorry if I offended you! A lot of wood working people sent me notes appreciating that history. Not many people were aware of the history of chestnut in this country. Or that only 5 o/o of the old growth forest remains. Some have never even seen an old growth tree. but then not every article in TiC is going to ring a bell for every reader. Fortunately, most readers understand that and patiently enjoy the stories they do enjoy.

  2. Russell Hudson

    Although I knew it to be a promotional piece, I was, none the less, moved by the loss of our great forests. I’m a cabinetmaker and tree-hugger simultaneously. This was a well written and understated film and like the old trees… you don’t see much of this any more.

  3. larry haun

    I live in the Pacific northwest that was once covered by huge, old growth trees–mainly Douglas Fir—millions and millions of acres. All gone—It’s called greed. This was a sustainable forest that is now a plantation for big lumber corporations. The old growth trees had 22 or more growth rings per inch. The plantation trees have 2 or 3 rings per inch.
    Now and then I visit what is known as the Doerner Fir located around 60 miles from our home. It stands 325 ft. tall and is 11 1/2 ft. in diameter. Yes, I give it a hug.
    Larry Haun

  4. Rich

    Born and raised in PA., I’m lucky to have seen pieces built from American Chestnut. The remains of Giant Hemlocks timbered for tannin at Rickett’s Glen. It is indeed a sad to see what of American has been lost to disease and progress.

  5. M. D. Vaden

    Larry Haun, who posted above, may appreciate a recent discovery in the same hills as the Doerner fir. We located several Doug Firs over 300 feet tall, and one of them at 322′ tall is the world’s tallest “live-top” of the species. So the Doerner (or Brummet) Fir has one or more companions. Likely to overtake it since the Doerner has near 40 feet of dead top. The trunks are magnificent though.


  6. John Connley

    I have been in the building materials industry throughout my career and have witnessed the positive changes made in havesting requirements and procedures in recent years.. I believe we fall short of where we need to be on diversity of replanting necessary for healthy forests and wildlife but we have come a long way from the unrestricted problems highlighted in the video. It really just takes a little common sense and balance to achieve our goals of timber supply without destroying everything. Unfortunately the current trends are to exploit the forests of third world countries that are desperate for money and have week governments with little obstacles to exploitation. The reality is that it takes timber for us all to breath and build. If we continue to abuse the resource we won’t be able to do either!

  7. Jim H

    Commercial ad or not it explains alot about the early generations. Harvesting without a plan to reforest leaves us with less of a valuable resource. All material usage must have consideration to leave some for future generations. We carpenters of today pay the price for the sins of our fathers and are stuck with weaker, warped, twisted, knotty, shrinking material. I love the idea of reclaiming the wood from the old homes and making something useful with it. I do this on my remodel projects whenever possible.

  8. Robert Smith

    I am over 75 years now and yet I can still see the old growth forest I visited in Forest hill Louisiana at an age of about ten. I remember when they were driving along a highway to take my mother to a hospital because of a foot accident, Looking up at those old trees that were so tall that the tops seemed to touch as they stood along the highway for miles on end. It set a picture that cannot be repeated.

    It has become a sad memory to me now because I didn’t live there then and instead lived in the sparse deserts of west Texas near the Mexico border where I grew up while the great old forests were being torn away to satisfy a few families.

    I remember trips to outings in New Mexico to camp in tall trees as a youthful boy but that was the extent of my involvement with the oldest forest until I moved from a long career in Denver Colorado with very few forest outings due to my Telephone career there. In 1986 I moved to the valley of the sun, Arizona. The desert smells great but the climate is not good for forests.
    I remember when my young son was moving to Phoenix from New Mexico I was with him and he took a short cut away from I40 down to Heber AZ. and I first saw what was left of the forest in Arizona’s Rim country. I didn’t recognize it as a forest and thought it was growth that was raising up from drainage from Flagstaff or someplace up above Heber. It was third generation growth forest I have discovered. It was what the deforestation of Arizona had left to give rise to a renewed deforestation someday.

    I moved to Show Low AZ. in 2006 to live in what was left there. I really don’t have much hopes for the forest because now the fear is that the young trees up here are using up all the water that would drain down to the valley where it is needed more and more because of population growth and global warming.

    I will not live to worry about it but the 4th generation of deforestation will never happen in my opinion because it will never be left to regenerate itself.

    Sorry about the long post.


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