Tsuga canadensis in middle Michigan. The relationship of its ecology to its status as a natural resource

TitleTsuga canadensis in middle Michigan. The relationship of its ecology to its status as a natural resource
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1960
AuthorsDavidoff MLibbe
DegreeMaster of Science
Number of Pages77 pp.
UniversityUniversity of Michigan
CityAnn Arbor, MI
KeywordsTSUGA
Abstract

Eastern hemlock is one of many organisms whose fate has depended upon how it has fitted into the world of man. To the timberman in pursuit of white pine, it had no significance. To the settler it was, along with the hardwoods, a natural enemy -- its presence meant just that much more travail necessary to reach the goal of pastures and fields. To the tanner hemlock was the source of one of the mainstays of his industry, and hemlock trees in the forest meant a rich mine of bark to be exploited. When the white pine was gone, the presence of hemlock and the northern hardwoods provided a resource to keep the lumber man in business just as a miner turns to poorer grade ores after the rich veins have been exploited. Trees were more of an "ore" than a crop in the days of the greatest use of hemlock. Only after most of the old-growth timber of the US had been exploited did it become economically feasible to produce trees on a sustained-yield basis. Hemlock, however, with its inability to adapt to a man-made environment, and its low value as a natural resource, is no longer of any great concern to man. It has come to be, in Middle Michigan, very nearly the "neutral stuff" which it was in pre-settlement times.