Western Washington’s forests are one of the main attractions for residents and visitors looking to escape the grind of the city, but the expanse of rolling trees are facing increasing challenges.
Western Washington and especially Puget Sound have a variety of forests and conditions which affect them. Some areas like Vashon Island were extensively logged during and after World War II, and much of the region has a history of intensive commercial farming. One of the legacies of this are dense stands of tree plantation forests, where the trees are close together and often hardwood varieties that wouldn’t naturally occur.
On Vashon, in particular, much of the island was logged around 80 years ago and saw farmland built out. Much of the farm economy has since disappeared, and alder trees began filling in the island.