It is noted for the fine boxwood grown in the vicinity, is a port of call for Black Sea coasting steamers and carries on a considerable trade with Constantinople which might be increased were it not for the obstruction of the harbour by a bar.
The montes, by which are understood plantations as well as native thickets, produce among other woods the algarrobo, a poor imitation of oak; the guayabo, a substitute for boxwood; the quebracho, of which the red kind is compared to sandalwood; and the urunday, black and white, not unlike rosewood.
The annual average value maybe put at not quite £2,000,000, machinery and tin-plate being a long way the most important items. There is further a small transit trade through Transcaucasia from Persia to the value of less than half a million sterling annually, and chiefly in carpets, cocoons and silk, wool, rice and boxwood; and further a sea-borne trade between Persia and Caucasian.
The mountains are clothed with dense forests, which are conspicuous for the quantity of boxwood which they furnish.
Forests and Timber.Timber from the forests of Mazandaran and Gilan has been a valuable article of export for many years, and since about 1870 large quantities of boxwood have also been exported thence; in some years the value of the timber and boxwood exported has exceeded 50,000.