Unalaska, Alaska: Revisiting North America's Oldest Afforestation Effort

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The first North American attempt to grow a stand in a treeless area was an 1805 Russian planting of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) in Unalaska Bay in the Aleutian Islands. Although the Russians envisioned a future timber supply for fur traders and other settlers, the trees grew slowly, regeneration was absent until after 1950, and over the years many trees died. Several other afforestation efforts have been made in the area, but because the challenges of latitude and climate dictate careful selection of seedlings and site, results have been mixed. Today the 1805 planting, with its three surviving trees and their offspring, is a national historic landmark.

Keywords: History; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Senior Research Associate Environment and Natural Resources Institute, University of Alaska–Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, 99501, jimlabau2@cs.com 2: Affiliate Associate Professor Department of Forest Science, University of Alaska–Fairbanks

Publication date: November 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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