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Chittenden, Alfred K. (Alfred Knight), 1879-1930 / The taxation of forest lands in Wisconsin
(1911)

Tree belt and forest plantation laws,   pp. 53-55 PDF (832.3 KB)


Page 53


THE TAXATION OF FOREST LANDS IN WISCONSIN.
              TREE BELT AND FOREST PLANTATION LAWS.
   For many years there was a laws in force in Wisconsin which ap-
parently was designed to encourage the growing of windbreaks.     Bv
this law every owner of five or more acres of land who successfully
grew forest trees of certain species in tree belts of a specific charac-
ter, should Le entitled to have the land on which such tree belts grew
exempted from taxation from the time the trees commenced to grow
until they reached a height of 12 feet, after which time the owner
was to be allowed an annual bounty of $2 for each acre grown.
  It is not doubted that the framers of this law were well-meaning
but it is not clear why they thought it necessary to be so exacting in
regard to the species to be planted, the height the tree should attain
before the exemption period ceased and the bounty period began, and
the height to which it should eventually grow. Also, why they
should be so exacting with regard to the relative location of the tree
belt. Although the law was in force for many years, it is doubtful
whether any persons ever attempted to comply with its provisions.
If they did, there is every reason to believe they were not successful,
for the 35 replies received from inquiries addressed to 60 counties
  * In order to show the particularities to which an applicant had to conform
before becoming entitled to such exemption and bounty, the law is quoted
in
full:
     "(Sec. 1469. Statutes of 1898.) Every owner or possessor of five
acres
   of land or more who shall successfully grow by planting with forest trees,
   consisting of the following kinds of such species thereof as will grow
to
   the height of 50 feet or more, viz.: arbor vitae, ash, balsam fir, basswood,
   beech, birch, butternut, cedar, blacK cherry, chestnut, coffee tree, cucumber
   tree, elm, hackberry, hemlock, hickory, larch, locust, maple, oak, pine,
   spruce, tulip tree, and walnut, tree belts in the manner and form pre-
   scribed in the next section shall be entitled to have the land on which
such
   tree belts grow exempted from taxation from the time the trees commence
   to grow until they shall reach the height of 12 feet, and after they shall
   have attained that height to receive an annual bounty of $2 per acre for
   each acre so grown.
     "(Sec. 1470. Statutes of 1898.) Such tree belts shall be planted
on the
   west or south sides of each tract of land, be of uniform width throughout
   their entire length, contain not less than eight trees, at nearly equidis-
   dance, on each square rod of land, and be at least 30 feet wide for each
   5-acre tiuct, 60 feet wide for each 10-acre tract, and 100 feet wide for
each
   square 40-acre tract, and upon all square tracts of land upon two sides
   thereof. All tree belts owned by the same land owner must be planted not
   to exceed a fourth of a mile apart and on the west and south sides of
every
   square forty acres, and shall not exceed one-fifth of the entire tract
of
   land on which the same are planted; provided, that when the east and
   north sides, or either, of any tract of land is bounded by a public highway,
   a tree belt one rod wide may be planted next to said highway, although
   it, with the others on the west and south sides, shall exceed one-fifth
of
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