USGS Logo Geological Survey Professional Paper 17
Preliminary Report on the Geology and Water Resources of Nebraska West of the One Hundred and Third Meridian


The occurrence of timber in this region is restricted to certain localities of relatively limited extent. In the greater part of the plains area there is no timber at all, and the valleys of the Platte and upper Niobrara rivers and Lodgepole Creek do not contain trees. Along the northern escarpment of Pine Ridge, on the slopes of the White River and Hat Creek basins, there is a moderately wide zone of scattered pine forest. It extends from the crest of the ridge down nearly to the foot of the steeper slopes, and the aggregate amount of timber is fairly large. Along the ridge south of North Platte River there was formerly considerable pine, and many of the slopes north of Platte River and south of Pumpkinseed Valley maintained a scattered growth of pine. Some of the canyons in this region contain deciduous trees in small groves, and this is also the case in the many canyons in the northern slopes of Pine Ridge and at intervals along the banks of White River. The extent of the timber in this region is shown in Pl. XLIII. The principal tree is the Rocky Mountain pine (Pinus ponderosa). It attains a diameter of from 1 to 2 feet where the conditions are most favorable, but its growth is somewhat scattering, and deep inroads have been made on the supply by woodcutters. The young pines appear to be thrifty, as they spring up abundantly on most of the slopes, and are growing vigorously. Some features of the pine growth are shown in Pls. VIII and XXI.


In the region adjoining North Platte River the growth of pines is rather scanty, and nearly all of the larger trees have been or are being cut. This is also the case along the edge of the table-land south of Pumpkinseed Creek.

The deciduous trees of the region comprise mainly cottonwood (Populus monilifera), with a moderate proportion of box elder (Negundium americanum), and a small variety of other similar trees.

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Last Updated: 24-Aug-2009