has played an important role all around this otherwise woodless country
ever since it was settled.
The volume of this natural resource has been great during the
centuries, but somewhat different between the years.
It probably extended the inhabitancy of many remote areas, which
were abandoned gradually during the first half of the 20th
The wood was exploited for the building of abodes, boats,
furniture, boat winches, food bowls, barrels and boxes and also for
The cortex was dried and rolled up to light the fire in the
The people in the Northwest burned most of the sorcerers and
witches of this country during the late Middle Ages, because they did
not suffer from lack of wood.
driftwood as everything else, which drifts ashore, belongs to the
landowners, who went to great lengths to protect these rights in the
they could not immediately move the wood they wanted to use, they marked
the trunks or logs to prevent others from picking them up.
The longer the trunks stay in the sea, the more saturated they
get with salt and grow very hard and enduring as a construction
Nowadays this wood is mainly exploited for fence poles and rough
northern coastline is “white” with driftwood, which originally is
carried down the rivers of Siberia (Ob, Jenisej, Katanga, Lena and
others) to the sea, where the northeastern currents carry it to the pack
Then it is carried around the North Pole and some of it is released
of Iceland and carried there with the East Greenland Stream.
In 1971, oceanographers deemed the speed of the drift 400-1000 km
per year and thus it would take 4-5 years for the trunks to be carried
The main tree species brought to the country this way are fur,
larch and some spruce and poplar.
The oldest trunks found on the northern coastline date back about
has probably never been as common in the South, but more wood drifted up
here in the past with the Gulf Stream from the Gulf of Mexico, delivered
by the rivers spilling into it.
The people in south Iceland had another wood resource, i.e. the many
wooden vessels, which ran aground on the flat South Coast.
is scarcer along the western and eastern coastlines of the country.