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Publication Information

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Title: Why hardwoods do not grow naturally in the west

Author: Larsen, J. A.;

Date: 1924


Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Unfortunately the beautiful hardwood trees which are native to the Eastern States do not grow naturally in the West. We have here only aspen, cottonwood, small birch, hawthorns, cherry, and alder. On the Pacific coast are oak and maple, but limited largely to lower moist sites such as streams bed and canyons. The general absence of broad leaf trees in the West is most likely due to the difference in precipitation and temperature between the East and West. To be sure, there are other factors which limit the distribution of trees, such as soil acidity, alkalinity, soil and atmospheric moisture, as well as inherent qualities in the plants themselves. Soil acidity and soil moisture or quality of the soil can at best be of significance only within a limited area, and since it has been shown, except for areas near the sea, that atmospheric moisture varies according to the precipitation, it is only a result and, as such, not a controlling factor. Internal structure of leaves and stems, ability to transport. much water, injuries by frost, etc., must he looked upon as direct results of the plant's environment rather than factors which control their distribution. There remains, therefore, the factors of temperature and precipitation and the variation and extremes of these worthy of consideration.

Keywords: hardwood trees, precipitation, temperature, distribution

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Larsen, J. A. 1924. Why hardwoods do not grow naturally in the west. Monthly Weather Review. 52(4): 218.


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