To have a forest you need trees.

Nederlands talige teksten

In the past Crete used to be a large forest, but the wood was needed to build ships, palaces and houses.
Throughout the centuries a lot of trees were chopped to meet with the great demand for wood. In the Minoan age wood was exported to Egypt in exchange for gold and ivory. This was done in vessels, also made of wood.

The pillars of the Minoan palaces were made of wood from the cypress tree because they were so big, while the wood from the olive tree was used as fuel. This wood was not only used to create warmth, but also for cooking. After the Minoans came the Romans, the Arabs, the Byzantines and the Venetians that all chopped trees for their own needs. And then there were the Turks who set everything on fire to chase the population out of their shelters. Eventually there was not much left of the cypress trees, pine-trees, oaks and cedar trees.

The eucalyptus tree only came to the island much later. This tall tree with its flaked off trunk originally comes from Australia. It is thought they were imported here as a detergent against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes do not like the smell of the leaves, but this does not mean they will stay away for good.