Deforestation by the timber industry at the turn of the century and the suppression of fire gave cedars a head start. Cleared "balds" and fallow fields provided ample space for robins and other birds to deliver their used cedar berries without a lot of growth competition. By 1900, cedars were becoming well established as a predominate tree.
|Cedar Berries- MDC|
Cedar pollen is distributed by the wind and doesn't seem to care if it lands on a receptive female branch or a human nostril. When on a cedar it develops into a berry over months. When it hits our noses, the reaction is rapid and produces symptoms over several days.
Abandoned fields and glades now are covered with cedars, creating an expense of clearing them to the landowner. There is still a market for cedar, but a large number of mature trees are needed to make the harvest worthwhile. There was a time around 1908 when the pencil industry developed an appetite for cedar as told in another News-Leader article.
"Ozarkers had other uses for their timber, though. In 1908 the American Pencil Company of New York built a pencil factory in Branson. The pencils were made from cedar logs. Cedar was another locally abundant tree. Thousands of cedar logs were cut into rectangular slats measuring 3" x 3" x 8". The slats were then shipped across the country to factories to be made into pencils. Eventually, the supply of cedar trees was exhausted and the American Pencil Company Factory was moved to California." -ProjectTaney.org
|American Pencil Company- George E.Hall|
The timber industry was virtually wiped out by deforestation and the Depression, but American Pencil Company continued to operate in Branson well into the 1930s. With the rollerball pens, email and Facebook, a comeback seems unlikely. Too bad, as I have a few cedars I would gladly give someone.