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EFFECT OF REPEATED FOREST FIRES   173

.are also occasional sand ridges and sand plains. The soil on the amphibolite is often deeper and is almost invariably of finer texture than on the granite, frequently approaching a loam in composition. The crystalline-limestone soils are nearly all light sandy loatns. While they are often very thin on the ridges and plains, as a whole, these areas are more deeply soil-covered than either the amphibolite or granite areas, because a larger percentage of the area is composed of broad, gentle slopes, where the soil accumulates, or where it has not been washed away as rapidly as on the steeper slopes of amphibolite and granite.

The soils of the depressions between the ridges are formed by the accumulated washings from the slopes. Only the finer material reaches them, the coarser being left above. Mixed with the decaying portions of a rank vegetation these soils become a very rich muck, usually three to four feet, or more, deep.

The only really good farm soils, with perhaps one or two exceptions, are to be found on the sedimentary limestones, in the south-eastern portion of Methuen township.

FOREST CONDITIONS

The total land area of Methuen township is 63,152 acres, and the portion of Burleigh township covered by this survey is 23,181 acres. This makes a total of 86,333 acres, of which approximately 2,000 acres have been cleared for farms. The remaining 84,333 acres are partially or completely under forest cover. Of the forested portion, 15,000 acres are covered with mature forest. Seventy-seven per cent of this is the hardwood forest characteristic of the Trent Valley region, in composition approximately one-half being sugar maple and one-quarter beech, the remaining quarter consisting of basswood, yellow birch, elm, hemlock, balsam, white ash, red oak, large-toothed aspen, white pine and cherry, in occurrence in the order named. The remaining 23 per cent of the mature forest is represented by swamps.* The swamps bearing mature forest are practically all of the mixed type. Several sample lines run through them reveal the trees to be mostly black ash, balsam, red maple and elm, these entering into the composition in the proportion of 30, 23, 15 and 6 per cent, respectively. There are relatively few swamps of the undrained peat bog type.

The remaining forested portion, some 69,333 acres, was originally dominated by pine. It is evident that the red pine was the more

*Only the larger swamp areas were mapped. Small swamps containing commercial trees, swamps covered with non-commercial trees and open marshes, compose at least one-quarter of the total area. Proper deductions are made for these in estimating the amount of material in the different types given below.


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