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What you choose to do in a game is up to you but facts are facts...
As for cutting all of the trees in a war, hell yes... in history, armies did laid waste to an entire forest. Look it up in some various wars where mass tree cuttings were done.
Reseeding don't happen overnight, it takes well more than 10 years to get a significant amount of tree growth to occur in nature IF the conditions are favorable. Sometimes it isn't, so the trees either takes even longer to grow up or don't grow back at all.
Even if the conditions are great for growing, 10 year old trees are pretty slim and puny in comparison to the old growth.
Also check out the secondary forest growth vs original forest growth. The biodiversity goes down HARD, with extremely limited number of species making a successful inroad back into the area while the rest doesn't come back.
Let me guess, you haven't been to a place that is growing back after a large harvest of lumber occurred at a specified time in the past.
I promise you... This aspect of trees disappearing in the RTS is very much realistic and does correspond with the history of real life AND does reflect the fact that trees and undergrowth do not simply spring back into existence automatically. Even forests that was specifically replanted might or might not flourish and takes a lot of seasons to get on track back to being an actual forest.