This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Statistics, such as they are, show that thirty years ago Pennsylvania had about 25 per cent, of its area in timber trees. In an address at Harrisburg, Mr. Meehan remarked in reference to this, that there was probably as much as that to-day, and that there had been no material change in the forest area since that time. A very extensive travel through the State confirms this view. Though thousands of feet of timber in the mountain regions are annually cut down, the land is not cleared, but grows up again. In the Schuylkill coal regions especially, last fall, the writer stood on one of the highest points, and could see nothing but timber lands in every direction as far as the eye could reach. Most of it had been cut over, but it was growing up again. However, in a pamphlet before us, Mr. S. P. Eby, of Lancaster, takes strong exception to this statement of the forest area, and yet he furnishes figures himself which show that Mr. Meenan was not far wrong in his 25 per cent, estimate for the whole State. He says that in 1877, carefully prepared estimates gave the following figures: - Lancaster County, 12.1 per cent, of forest; Chester, 14; Berks, 15; Lebanon, 21.2; York, 18.7; Dauphin, 24.7. Now it must be remembered that these counties are among the richest agricultural counties in the State. They are in a great measure valley counties, and in which there is always a greater temptation to clear off and cultivate, than in the higher mountain and rocky regions.
Yet Mr. Eby's own figures show an average of 17.6 of timber areas for these counties, or two-thirds as much as Mr. Meehan claimed for the whole State; so much of the mountain region of which is just as nature left it. Twenty-five per cent, ought not to shock Mr. Eby with his own figures before him.