This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We find that water rather than fire is the most destructive element in obliterating our forests. In a new valley among our mountains, a beaver dam obstructed the flow of a stream and made a large swamp or meadow quite surrounded with a dense growth of pine and hemlock. When the same creek was again dammed back by coal dirt, it ruined quite a large area of large timber; the same thing occurred on a branch of the Swatara as well as the above instances on the Mahoney. We find when the fires destroy our forests we soon have a new growth of a different species of trees, but none where water destroys the forest. May not the same element have caused the treeless prairies? We are much interested in your treatment of this question, as we need tree planting in the coal regions, more, perhaps than in any portion of the United States, or else how can we find cheap support for the roof and roads in the mines, if we have not wooden props, especially pitch pine, (Pinus rigida) our favorite tree for strength and durability.