I hear what you're saying about trees being cut down in the distant
past for ships but trees should have started again "naturally." The
travelogues do not show farming or livestock activity that would
prevent this from happening. Look e.g., at the British series, "Last
Of The Summer Wine" from Yorkshire.
In 1972, I bought a (mid-Atlantic) cow pasture and let a 3-acre chunk
of it "go natural." It's a veritable forest today with some of the
faster-growing species 60-90 ft. tall, e.g.,tulip tree, black cherry,
black walnut, Norway maple, and red oak varieties. Eastern white
pines were separated and planted elsewhere and they too are 60-90'.
Even Bartlett pears started from seed are 40 ft.