- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
169

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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DUDINKA TO THE KUREIKA
169
on a frozen soil, too ? Admitting that the soil is good,
deep and rich in mould, that is not sufficient to explain
the rapid regrowth of the forest, even where large tracts
have been burnt. One is reminded of many places
among our mountains, where the climatic conditions
may seem to be at least as favourable as here, but where
it is extraordinarily difficult to get the forest to grow
again when once it has been cut down, even though
the soil may be quite good.
I can only suppose that it may have something to
do with the description of tree. These trees here, the
Siberian larch, the Siberian spruce and the Siberian
cedar, must in many respects be capable of greater
resistance than our kinds of tree. It does not seem
likely that our spruce or our fir would thrive here.
But if this is so, it seems to me that it would pay to
make the experiment of introducing trees from here
on our soil, especially where the climatic conditions are
difficult for our own kinds, as they are up in the moun
tains, where the forest is now dying out. I cannot help
thinking that this Siberian larch, for instance, would
get on well, even where our spruce succumbs ; and there
is the additional advantage that under fairly favourable
conditions it grows uncommonly fast. Larch-wood has
the property of resisting decay remarkably well, being,
as far as I can judge, something like juniper in this
respect ; but larch-timber is said to float badly and be
liable to sink.
It may well be imagined that precipitation and the
snow conditions in winter may have something to do
with the growth of the larch. Here the winter is un
usually cold, with little and dry snow, so that the trees
are not broken down much. In Norway we may have
heavy falls of wet snow, which are very bad for the trees.
But I see no cogent reason for supposing that it would

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