Image and text from The History of Wisconsin’s Northwoods – 350 Years in the Seeley Hills by Jim Schirott. Reprinted with permission.

“The 9-foot diameter tree pictured here was probably 500 years old, before being cut by the North Wisconsin Lumber Company boys.  Venerability did not matter to Freddy Weyerhauser.  The only thing that mattered was board feet.  A tree like this would have stood 300 feet tall with a canopy of 150 feet.  All the pine between Hayward and Cable was clear cut.  The remaining oak, which does not float, was then sold to the Edward Hines Lumber Company.  Weyerhauser’s company did not replant.  In fact, slash, left to dry, accounted for 60% of the total tree. Fires were common.  Much of what had  been magnificant white pine forests were replaced by Jack Pine, Scrub Oak and Poplar, all of which thrive in burnt-over fields of slash.  Make no mistake, the current forests are beautiful in their own right.  But it would hae been something to see if Weyerhauser had spared only five acres of first growth in the Seeley Hills…”

Share this: