Graphs showing timber imports to UK from Canada 1799 - 1815              Total imports to the UK = -------------------  
 
Imports from Canada to UK  = -------------------
In 1804 a 74 gun warship with a life expectancy of 15 years consumed the equivalent of 3,700 trees and cost 60,000 (2.85m today) to build.


The sort of oak pieces that fetched a premium 
price for ship building
  Loads/year               Oak        A load = 1 tons

Year   1799           1805         1810        1815
The Navy board demanded quality and were prepared to pay for it. English oak was always regarded as the best and oak from Sussex the best of all.  By 1804 the shortage of supply had become a crisis and merchants were asked to quote for oak from Canada. This was generally White Oak (Quercus Alba) and under huge pressure to build more ships was used improperly seasoned. The result was often dry rot so severe that ships could be half rotted on launching. Price paid for Oak in 1804:     ( A load = 1 tons)
(The pound in 1800 was worth roughly 40 today.)

Straight oak of average dimension: 7 per load.
Futtock: 12.50 per load; 
Knees & Stem pieces: 13.50 per load. 
Wing Transom knees: 15.50 per load  etc. etc.

By 1808 the price had doubled
Masts:  
Timber suitable for masts was Fir, Pine and Spruce. A large warship (i.e.120 guns) required a tree 40 inches in diameter and 40 yards long. Such perfect specimens were "a tree in a thousand" weighing 18 tons. 
A 36 yard tree in 1804 fetched 110 (5,200 today); 35 yds 88; 34 yds 72; 33yds 56; 25 yds 48 etc.
Smaller trees were required for Main Yard, Mizenmast, Maintopsail yard, Jib Boom etc.
Whereas Oak was preferred seasoned, masts lasted longer when full of sap. In the dockyards they were stored in "mast ponds". Their life expectancy was no more than 12 years after which they lost resilience and strength as the resin dried up.
Loads/year               Masts      A load = 1 tons 

Year  1799           1805         1810        1815

Pine:
Pinus Rubia (Red Pine) and Pinus Strobus (White Pine) were were valued and available in Canada. They were used for planking and small spars.




Source: Forests and Seapower by Robert Albion.
(Interpreted by J.U.)

 Loads/year                Pine      A load = 1 tons

Year  1799           1805         1810        1815