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Les Français face à l'enrésinement. XVIe-XXe siècles.

Abstract : Writing a history of the French coniferous forest is a challenge. It is, however, necessary to know the status of conifers in France over the centuries in order to understand why they are so strongly rejected now - more strongly, it seems, than in other European countries. In Germany, for example, production forestry is condemned for its excesses but the choice of conifers as the dominant species (71.3% of trees planted as against 36% in France) is not contested. French people seem to condemn conifers more because of the trees themselves than because they represent a certain kind of forestry that is no longer highly regarded. We have already tried to explain this rejection by the power of the imagination: the dark coniferous forest reflecting a vision of the Germanic forest which is incompatible with the vision - no doubt equally imaginary - of the Gallic forest, which is probably seen as more 'hirsute' (or broadleaved). An historical analysis demonstrates that the rejection of conifers by French people also comes from the fact that the expansion of conifers in France is recent and quite sudden. Isolated in the mountainous areas by competition after the ice age, the few conifers that would have survived in the plains mixed with deciduous trees lost a lot of ground during the Middle Ages due to their low utility value. Interest in these trees goes back to the Renaissance, but their return to prominence is recent. It is shown, using unpublished documents from the French Academy of Agriculture, that the first private forest plantations in the 19th century gave rise to grounds for complaints that are sometimes very close to today's discourse.
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Contributor : Vincent Moriniaux Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 8:24:15 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 11:18:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 11:05:00 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-01340099, version 1


Vincent Moriniaux. Les Français face à l'enrésinement. XVIe-XXe siècles.. Géographie. Université Paris-Sorbonne, 1999. Français. ⟨tel-01340099⟩



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