National Geographic : 1955 Nov
653 National Geographic Photographer William W. (ampbell, III Maryland Boy Scouts Earn Forestry Merit Badges by Identifying Leaves the direst tree despoilers. The American elm has been hard hit by the Dutch elm and phloem necrosis diseases despite all efforts to check their spread. White pine blister rust has threatened the five-needle pines, and mil lions of dollars are being spent to eradicate the host plants, currant and gooseberry. American forests contain nearly two trillion board feet of saw timber, 85 percent of it softwood. The appraised value of all our forest products in 1953 soared to a staggering total, $26,300,000,000. By comparison, however, only a portion of our virgin woodland remains. Trees cover about three-fourths of the original acreage, but one-fourth of this never will produce good saw timber. Federal, State, and private agen cies are educating men to protect the woods against fire, insects, and disease, and to fol low proper cutting and planting methods. With the help of forest rangers throughout the United States, artist Weber found superb specimens of State trees to illustrate this series. He traveled week after week, sketching the trees in their true settings. Searching for western white pine, Mr. Weber located a virgin stand in the Lochsa River Valley of Idaho's Panhandle. The eastern white pine painted by Mr. Weber lifts its crown skyward near Mount Katahdin, Maine's loftiest peak. His buckeye tree stands in Oxford, Ohio; the festive holly near Dover, Delaware. Deer Watch Artist at Work In Wyoming the artist chose a particularly graceful cluster of balsam poplars on Cotton wood Creek below the majestic Tetons. Scarcely moving for hours, he became so much a part of the quiet landscape that three deer came without fear to drink near his easel. He quickly sketched them into his picture (page 688). As tree symbols, the States have chosen characteristic species beloved in the region. All the trees depicted here are native Ameri can plants; few have attained marked success outside the Western Hemisphere. One notable exception is the northern red oak (page 665), which is being planted in creasingly in England. Sturdy Quercus rubra apparently grows better on poor soil and in a smoke-laden atmosphere than England's native species, and some of these Americans now stand in Sherwood Forest, storied haunt of Robin Hood.