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them where thousands of logs are kept sometimes for a year or more before being taken out of the water to be run through the saws, yet this exposure does not affect their quality in the least. If a man wishes to build a frame house of first-class material, he buys fir lumber and covers the building with cedar shingles, which are considered as among the best for roofs because they will last for a quarter of a century without decaying. The railroad builders are after the long square fir timbers because they are so strong and durable. In the days of wooden ships enormous quantities of fir went into the framework and spars of vessels, and today cargoes containing masts of Oregon pine are sent from the Pacific country clear around Cape Horn to New England, where the spars are placed in coasting vessels.
To the eastern man, trees such as grow in the pineries of the Carolinas, Georgia, and other states are considered big because they sometimes reach 150 feet above the ground and may measure three or four feet through at the butt. Stand one of the largest Georgia pines beside a big fir on the shores of Puget Sound, and it would look like a little sapling, for some of these giants of the Northwest rise a hundred feet before they put out even the first branch, and most of what the lumberman calls the larger growth average at least eight feet. through at the butt. Right here is one reason why there is such a great waste in logging in the Pacific Northwest. The timber cutter usually drives his axe into the trunk so high from the ground that, as we have already stated, the stump which is left may be ten or twelve feet above the roots. Seldom does he make a cut less than six feet above the ground. Ask him why, and he will tell you that he wants to avoid any rotten spot which may be in the heart. Instead of taking the trouble to bore a small hole in the center to find out if any part of the heart is decayed, he simply cuts it from where he thinks the trunk is sound and often leaves as much good wood in the stump as can be sawed out of one of the smaller pines which are continually being cut for lumber in the southern forests.
Another reason why these huge scars are left on the face of the earth is be
cause it is tiresome to wield the axe with a foothold on the ground. When a tree is marked out for felling by the foreman of the gang, the first thing done is to cut notches a few feet above the roots. Into these are driven what are called spring boards. Upon them stand the axemen, and as they give with every move of the body, the axe can be swung back and forth with less fatigue, so these destroyers of the forest waste the timber merely because it is easier for them to cut into the trunks above the ground than at the roots. A word about the decayed spots. The fir is such a vigorous and hardy tree that seldom is the heart rotten except possibly a few inches in the very center. If it is decayed in any way a few minutes' boring with a small auger will quickly determine this fact, but the tree cutters will not even take the trouble to do this. Within the last few years small shingle mills have been put up on what the man of the Northwest calls the "logged-off lands," for so much good lumber can be obtained from the stumps where trees have recently been cut that a mill may be kept running in a neighborhood for a year or so before it is necessary to move the machinery to some other place. The shingle bolts, as they are called, can be sawed out of the stumps and carried to the mill in flumes which are merely long troughs filled with water. In this way the stumpage of a tract of logged-off land for a distance of eight or ten miles around the mill can be converted into shingles.
This industry alone shows how the present methods of timber cutting in the Pacific Northwest have been wasteful, but the destruction of young trees is far more serious. When a piece of forest is to be invaded, the first man to go through it is the "timber cruiser." He is such an expert in forestry that he can estimate closely the number of board feet which a fir will yield after he has merely measured its length with his eye and run his tape around its base at two or three places. He is looking especially for the trees which will cut into timbers one hundred feet and over because these long timbers are in such demand among railroad and bridge builders that a tree of this sort will bring double the price of another which may cut into almost as
THE TECHNICAL WORLD MAGAZINE
much board and planking. It is no small task to fell one of the larger firs, which may be two hundred and fifty or three hundred feet from root to top, because it is not only so long but so heavy. A single one may be sawed into logs which weigh in all from one hundred and fifty to two hundred tons, and some of the twenty-four-foot logs will weigh forty tons each. To get one of these giants down without splitting the trunk or breaking it off requires some skillful work on the part of the felling gang. First the foreman examines the ground on all sides and chooses the spot for the bed where there may be a swampy spot or the underbrush is thicker than in other places, but usually a "bed" is made consisting of small branches which are heaped in piles. These piles are, of course, in a straight line a few feet apart, the idea being to cut the tree so it will fall on the series of piles to keep it from striking the ground too hard. If there are some small trees in the line of the fall which may help break the force of the shock the fir is felled if possible so as to strike them. Consequently when
small specimens which if allowed to it comes down it may destroy several grow would perhaps have been of the crushed, their trunks sometimes torn same size. With their branches bent and apart half way up from the roots, they present a sorry spectacle in a forest, and tion from some fire accidentally or purif later the tract is swept by a conflagraposely kindled, the scene of ruin is truly pathetic to the lover of Nature. As a rule the men who do the felling are so down in the place and is uninjured, but skilled in their work that the tree comes sometimes a strong wind or a cut too much on one side causes it to be a "side winder," as the lumberman says, and it falls in the wrong place, perhaps rent blow and bringing down a dozen or more asunder by the tremendous force of the jack has been caught under one of these trees with it. Many an unlucky timber "side winders," and either maimed for life or crushed to death.
Only those who have journeyed along the railroads of the Pacific Northwest speak about the destruction by fire on the can appreciate the ravages of fire. We
A LOGGING TRAIN.
prairie, sometimes of farm houses, when the prairie grass becomes so dry that it ignites. Occasionally fire sweeps through the so-called forests of the East, but these are merely bonfires compared with the work of the flames in the great woodlands on the slopes of the Rockies and the Cascades. The fir forests are notable for their dense growth, the trees being so near together that sometimes one can
go through the leafy aisles and only see by chance the sky. The logged-off lands form one of the principal sources of the forest fires. After the trees have been cut down, the sap in the stumps dries out rapidly and they begin to decay in a short time. Then they are literally masses of tinder which may take fire even from the match carelessly dropped after a settler has lighted his pipe. In getting
ing area to throw water upon the flames even if enough water could be secured to extinguish them. Nor can they turn up the earth in furrows as the men of the prairies do in fighting the grass fire and thus stopping it for want of fuel to feed upon. The people can only hope and pray for rain or a change of wind. An idea of what these forest fires mean in the destruction of our timber can be gained when it is stated that there are places on the Northern Pacific Railroad where the track has literally been destroyed for stretches of twenty-five or thirty miles-ties turned to ashes and rails twisted and warped so that they are fit only for the scrap heap. The smoke
fire for cooking or heating even in the open field without extinguishing it before he goes away. If a lumberman, settler or a prospector should forget to put out even the embers of his camp fire and is caught afterwards he stands the chance of spending a half year in prison. In fact, the forest fires have done so much damage that the farmers look upon an offender of this sort very much as the people of the plains regard the horse thief. The timber cutters themselves are largely responsible for starting many of the big fires because they seem to care nothing for the enormous waste in the industry. Talk with any of them and the man thinks that there is no limit to