Maine’s original white pine forest has been almost entirely cut away. In colonial times, shiploads of timber were sent to England to be made into spars, masts, and bowsprits for merchant and naval ships. Later the vast forests enabled Maine to launch its own shipbuilding industry. The first ship built in the New World by the English was constructed by early settlers of Maine in 1607. Until the age of steel, Maine was a leading builder of wooden ships.
Tree farming in Maine has replaced the careless exploitation of forest resources that took place in the past. Large paper companies own much of the forests, especially in north-central and northern Maine, and utilize scientific management methods to ensure a steady supply of wood. Many farmers who have 40 to 80 hectares (100 to 200 acres) of woodlot select a portion of their timber for harvesting each year. Some of them earn more from selling wood than from selling crops. The leading forested regions include Franklin, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, and western Aroostook counties. The principal industrial use of the forest resources is for the production of pulp and paper, industrial and domestic fuel wood, and saw timber. The major species harvested are spruce, balsam fir, a mix of hardwoods, and white pine. "Maine" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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