The 1928 Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide Page: 79
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THE TEXAS ALMANAC.
Texas Forest Resources-Lumber Production.
Texas is usually the seventh or eighth ranking State on a basis of value of lumber
produced. The production of sawed lumber will average about 1,500,000,000 board-feet
annually, and the value is placed at about $55,000,000 annually. In addition there is an
estimated 400,000,000 board-feet equivalent taken from Texas forests for hewn ties,
telephone and telegraph poles and fence posts and similar purposes. There was at one
time a large production of firewood for domestic use, but the spread of the gas pipe
line system to most of the cities and large
towns of the State has eliminated a large
part of the firewood demand.
Like the rainfall, the timber is heaviest
in Eastern Texas along the Louisiana
border, and gradually diminishes as it
extends westward. Heavy pine and hard-
wood forests in the east are followed
successively by postoak woods, cedar
breaks, mesquite covered pastures, and
finally open prairies. There is some na-
tive growth of trees to the base of the
Great Plains in Northwest Texas and to
the western edge of the Edwards Pla-
teau The Great Plains except for the
breaks of the Canadian, the Palo Duro
and a few other streams, and the Trans-
Pecos except for the higher mountain re-
gions, are without native tree growth.
Production From East Texas.
Practically all of the commercial pro-
duction of timber comes from the eastern
twenty-five or thirty counties. Eighty-
five or 90 per cent of the Texas commer-
cial production is yellow pine. However,
there are fifteen or twenty kinds of lum-
ber turned out by the Texas sawmills, in-
cluding cypress, cedar,'a variety of oaks,
especially white oak, gum, maple, birch,
tupelo, walnut, elm, basswood, beech, cot-
tonwood, hickory and sycamore.
The Lumber Industry.
This large forest area supports and has
for many years supported a large manu-
facturing industry in Texas, including
sawmilling, planing and manufacture of
pine and hardwood products. There are
about 250 or 300 sawmills included in the
late census reports, but it is estimated
that there are probably Several hundred
more small portable mills which operate
intermittently. Most of the lumber is
produced by comparatively few very large
However, it is believed that the forest
resources of Texas are diminishing rapid-
ly. It is even estimated by some authori-
ties that the merchantable pine will be
cut from the forests of Texas within ten
or twelve years.
Texas' Original and Present Pine
E. O. Siecke, Texas State Forester, at
the beginning of 1928, summed up the
timber resources of Texas as follows:
Original area of Texas virgin
pine ................ ........ 14,000,000
Present area of Texas virgin
pine stand .................... 1,100,000
Area covered with second growth
pine ......................... 2,200,000
Culled areas with scant growth. 1,500,000
Cut-over areas with practically
no forest renewal............. 3,000,000
Area converted to agricultural
purposes ..................... 6,200,000
Present Timber Stand.
Surveys with reference to actual pres-
ent timber stand show as follows.
Present stand of pine timber.17,000,000,000
Present stand of hardwood
timber ................ 7,500,000,000
Annual lumber cut, about.... 1,500,000,000
Cut for ties, poles, etc...... 400,000,000
Some steps have been taken toward
forest conservation in Texas, but com-
paratively little. First State recognition
of a forest conservation problem came in
1915 with the creation of a State Forestry
Department. In 1923 the Thirty-Eighth
Legislature appropriated money for the
purchase of about 4,000 acres of land to
be used in experimental work under the
direction of the State Foiester. These
tracts are located in Jasper and Angelina
Counties. A portion of the more heavily
forested area has a fire patrol maintained
through co-operation of State and Fed-
eral Governments and land owners.
A number of leading citizens of the
State have worked ceaselessly through
the Texas Forestry Association for the
inauguration of more decisive forest con-
servation and reforestation efforts. This
association has recommended (1) the
purchase of a much larger experimental
area for reforestation, 100,000 acres or
more, (2) a constitutional amendment re-
vising the system of taxation as applied
to growing timber, and (3) the adoption
by the State of a forestry code for the
registration, policing and protection of
the forest lands of the State.
It is held by authorities on forestry
that the Texas virgin timber area is being
cut much more rapidly than it could be
replaced by natural unhampered growth,
and, in the second place, that the cutover
lands are not given an opportunity to
produce second growth at a normal rate
of speed, for a number of reasons, but
primarily because of fires carelessly
started, because of the practice of rang-
ing swine and cattle in the cutover areas,
and, in some sections, the use of the re-
haul skidder for bringing logs to the
railroad cars. To some degree, insect in-
festation also is holding reforestation in
TIMBER BELTS OF TEXAS.
The Pine Belt.
The pine belt is the most noteworthy
and most valuable of Texas forest assets.
As indicated on the map, the pine belt
enters the State from Arkansas and
Louisiana on the east and extends west-
ward to a line drawn approximately from
the eastern part of Lamar County south
through Hopkins, Wood, Smith, extreme
eastern part of Henderson, Anderson,
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The 1928 Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, book, 1928~; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123786/m1/82/?rotate=90: accessed May 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.