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Old 06-02-2017, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Here are some maps of historical tree density. The first map is a composite, and then there are other maps for various types of trees.

Notice that Iowa is mostly level II and III (1-5 cords per acre), while Ohio is mostly levels V and VI (10-50 cords per acre). So Ohio was much more forested than Iowa at that time (1884).


History of American Forests: Tree maps made for 1884 census.

Last edited by hikernut; 06-02-2017 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
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Originally Posted by ennaf View Post
I've heard somewhere that huge areas of wooded land were cut down in Iowa (eastern?) many years ago for farming.
The typical school of thought in the early days of settlement in this country was that ground that didn't grow trees wouldn't grow crops, so early settlers in Iowa and other states wasted much time and effort clearing wooded areas for farming while the more fertile prairie lands remained unsettled until last.

My part of Iowa has plenty of timber, so I can't relate to the OP's statement at all.
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Old 06-05-2017, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,854 posts, read 2,393,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duster1979 View Post
My part of Iowa has plenty of timber, so I can't relate to the OP's statement at all.
Yes, your area has quite a few trees, as does the eastern part of the state.

I grew up in northern IA, and trees are mostly limited to areas that are not suitable for farming, either because they are too hilly, too close to a river that floods every year, or part of some state/county land.


Farmland is so precious that in many places even the fence lines have been removed. We used to have fences between the farms, so on each side there was lost perhaps 5-10 feet. We lived on a quarter-section (a square which is one-half mile on a side). My dad farmed our land plus several other pieces of rented land, totaling probably between one and two full sections.

Farming operations are much bigger today, as is the equipment. I know someone whose family farms 13 sections of land (as of a few years ago... perhaps more today). The equipment is gigantic and they prefer to farm very large pieces of land that do not require turning around much, which just wastes time and destroys some of the crops. Fewer fences, fewer trees, fewer end rows.
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