National Geographic : 1899 May
REDWOOD FORESTS OF THE PACIFIC COAST tracts by a great number of persons, but a few of the lumber companies have large holdings. Classifying the 280,000 acres above spoken of by holdings, it appears that Of a quarter section, 160 acres or less, there were... 6 holdings From j section to a section (640 acres) ........... 7 " From 1 section to 4 sections .................... 8 " From 4 sections to 18 sections................... 11 " From 18 sections to a township................... 7 " Over a township ................................ 3 " The last were tracts of 30,000, 30,000, and 27,000 acres. The above are the holdings of lumber and mill companies. Whether this classification properly represents the character of the hold ings of the entire belt is doubtful. It is probable that the hold ings of those not owners of mills or logging camps are smaller. The forest is nearly pure redwood. Occasionally spruce and Oregon pine-that is, red fir-are found, forming perhaps 10 per cent of the forest only. The southern part of the strip is, on the whole, composed of older trees than the northern part, and the wood is denser and of less rapid growth. In the north are some tracts covered with trees not more than 200 or 300 years old, while the age of the mature trees reaches several hundred, perhaps a thousand years. The annual rings show that in the north, especially in damp valleys, the growth is several times as rapid as in the southern part of the strip. The methods used in logging are, in the main, similar to those employed in the great fir forests of Washington, but with slight modifications to fit different conditions. The use of animals, such as oxen and mules, for dragging the logs from the woods is over; so are the days for driving logs in streams. More modern methods are universally employed. Indeed, the most modern methods of labor saving are here in use. In every re spect a redwood logging camp and a redwood lumber mill are thoroughly up to date-nay, more, they are the pioneers in labor saving devices. The trees are felled in this wise: They are chopped half-way through on the side on which they are to fall, and then the other half is cut with the saw. Two days' work of two men is required to fell a tree five feet in diameter. The felling must be done with the utmost accuracy, as the trees stand so thickly that when felled they cover the ground completely, and yet they must not be allowed to fall on one another, as that would involve great loss by breakage.