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The Development of Forests and the Formation of Policy for Cultivating Pine Trees in the Period from Taejo to Sejong of Joseon

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2013, (111), pp.41-82
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Jung-Soo Han 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to search the increasing consumption of woods, the aspects of the development of forests and the policy for cultivating pine trees in the period from Taejo to Sejong of Joseon and examine the meaning of them. This period was organizing time for the system of managing state for Joseon dynasty. So many buildings as palaces, governmental offices, royal ancestral shrine and houses of city were constructed in the time of founding Joseon dynasty. Warships should be constructed and managed for protecting country against Japanese raiders. The consumption of woods for industry, living and heating was greatly increased. Pine trees were mainly consumed. As the result of measures for encouraging agriculture, land-reclamation was increased. At the same time, Hunting grounds for the Great Hunting Ceremony (Gangmujang) and stock farms were settled and developed. These measures were necessary, but might lead to the destruction of forests. Solution to this problem was the policy for cultivating pine trees which was formed in the period from Taejo to Sejong. It was for the protection of pine trees, too. The value of pine trees was received more attention due to the geomantic theory. However, it brought pure forests which were mainly consisted of pine trees. They were vulnerable to pine caterpillars. By the way, the damage of pine trees by pine caterpillars was decreased from the late era of Sejong and the early era of Munjong. It means that the policy for cultivating pine trees changed greatly. Policies to prohibit from lodging and install seedbed areas for pine trees in coastal regions were effective. Pure forests which were consisted of pine trees were decreased due to these policies. As was stated above, forests in the early Joseon era could not completely overcome damage caused by increasing consumption of woods, mainly pine trees. However, Taejong and Sejong suggested policies for cultivating pine trees and to prohibit from lodging, mainly pine trees. They also suggested methods to encourage and manage the consumption of another kinds of trees. Thanks to these efforts, forests in the early Joseon era could maintain their vitality, avoiding the formation of pure forests, mainly consisted of pine trees.

Citation status

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