[Sca-cooks] Icelandic trees and wood

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Tue Oct 10 00:11:02 PDT 2006

Ana commented:
  <<< I live in Sweden and has been in Iceland several times. Has  
never seen
any cedar here, is'nt a tree from the South?
The most common tree here is the birch and Iceland was dense forested
at the beginning of the millenium. But they used all the trees to
build boats. >>>

I'm not sure what trees are common in Iceland, but I agree, I don't  
think cedar would be one of them. I think both the soil and the  
weather rule them out. Cedars/Junipers are common trees here, but I  
don't believe they are native here in central Texas.

I am curious though about what evidence you have that the trees of  
Iceland were cut down for boat building. The reading I've done on  
this says that the Norse that moved to Iceland quickly lost their  
shipbuilding arts and became dependent upon the ships coming from  
Denmark because the trees in Iceland were not suitable for building  
large boats. This was one reason that Iceland was so isolated for  
centuries, along with the problems due to the climate changing.

I think Iceland lost its trees to simple domestic use and perhaps the  
impact of imported grazing animals. I think Nanna covers this in her  
book. I'll try to dig out her book and look in it, if anyone is  
interested. Nanna, are you out there?

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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