Presentation on theme: "Square Timber Trade. Wood was the staple of Canadian trade for much of the 19th century. Fueled by European demand, the timber trade brought investment."— Presentation transcript:
Wood was the staple of Canadian trade for much of the 19th century. Fueled by European demand, the timber trade brought investment and immigration to eastern Canada, fostered economic development, and transformed the regional environment far more radically than the earlier exploitation of fish and fur. It encouraged exploration, the building of towns and villages, and the opening of roads.
While a great resource for Canada, timber also contributed at times to economic instability. Over the course of the industry’s history, weather conditions, commercial uncertainties and imperfect market intelligence produced wide fluctuations in the demand for—and the price of—wood.
Logging was essentially a winter occupation, beginning with the first snowfall. Not only did cheap labour abound during this season, but it was easier to fell trees when the sap was not running, as well as drag the logs through the snow.
In the fall, loggers would build camps (shanty) and clear rough roads for hauling hay and provisions, and for moving logs or timber to the streams. The industry depended heavily on the muscles of men and beasts, as manual logging techniques were used until about 1912.
A shanty is a winter lumber camp. The term is derived from the French Canadian word for lumber camp, "chantier." Early camps were simple, made of notched PINE or SPRUCE logs with a flat roof of rough shingles or bark and poles. By the 1840s larger "camboose" shanties could accommodate over 40 men in their 110 or 140 m 2. The central fire, with its large open chimney for light and ventilation was not replaced by the stove until late in the century. Men slept fully clothed in bunk beds of hay or boughs. Cooking facilities, the foreman's office, barrels of wash water and grindstones occupied much of the remaining space.
The industry depended heavily on the muscles of men and beasts, as manual logging techniques were used until about 1912. Originally, men enlisted the help of oxen, later switching to horses and continuing with their use until the 1920s.
Trees were normally felled with various types of timber axes (until the 1870s, when the crosscut saw became more common), and "bucked” (i.e., sawed) to stick length. Timber was squared by axemen, because square logs were easier than round logs to store and transport on Europe-bound ships.
The more common poll axe had a single, fan-shaped cutting edge, a narrow head weighing 1.5-2.5 kg, and a hickory or maple handle. It was used for felling, scoring and lopping branches off fallen trees.
Loading of square timbers on to a ship in Quebec
Originally, men enlisted the help of oxen, later switching to horses and continuing with their use until the 1920s.
A snow road eased the hauling of logs and baulks to riverbanks by oxen or horses. With the coming of the thaw, the timber drive began. The last Spring log drive occurred in 1982, in Quebec, in the 1950 for NS.
Times have changed and so has the way we harvest and ship timber. Note the cross cut saw in the picture.
Hand-held chainsaws are commonly used for felling (or falling) trees. Mechanical felling machines using chainsaws or circular saws mounted on tractors or excavators are used to fell trees up to 80 cm in diameter.
Skidding involves dragging logs or trees to the roadside with a horse, wheel skidder or tractor.
Yarding is the dragging of logs from stump to roadside using cables and yarders (winches).
Processing and sorting involves removing the limbs and tops from the trees, cutting them into merchantable log lengths and sorting them by grade and species so that each log goes to the particular mill that can recover the maximum value from it.