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the seat of John Walter, Esq., M.P., there is a large oak with a beech growing from its root. In Needwood Forest, there were, in 1806, many large hollies growing out of oaks; and nothing is more common in the New Forest, than to see oaks and thorns growing apparently from the same root. In Kinmel Park, Denbighshire, there is a sycamore, a large tree, growing out of a hollow oak : and at Ribbesford, near Bewdley in Worcestershire, there is a yew tree, with a trunk 2 ft. in diameter, completely cased in the trunk of a pollard oak ; the hollow cylinder of the oak being filled up with the body of the yew tree, to the height of 18 ft. or 20 ft.; after which the two trees entwine their branches in the most friendly manner possible. On the river Loddon, in Berkshire, not far from Forest Hill, there was, in 1818, a handsome oak tree growing out of a pollard willow. Elders growing out of decaying oaks, and also mountain ash, and other trees and shrubs which spring from berries eaten by birds, are common. Dr. Plot mentions a thorn enclosed in an oak at Drayton Basset, the branches of which seemed to pass through the trunk of the oak in several places.

Oaks of remarkable Origin. In Deene Park, Northamptonshire, the seat of the Earl of Cardigan, there is an oak growing in the pleasure-ground, which was produced from an acorn found in the middle of a large piece of oak timber, sawn in Woolwich dockyard; and which was planted here, in 1757, by the late Dowager Duchess of Buccleugh, when Lady Elizabeth Montague. This tree, though nearly 100 years old, is of small dimensions, in consequence of the very bad situation in which it is planted; being near a sheet of water, and on a sandy rock full of springs. Its extreme height is 55 ft., and the diameter of the trunk, at 3 ft. from the ground, is 1 ft. 4 in. The species is Q. sessilifòra.

Curious Circumstances connected with Oak Trees. Major Rooke mentions that, in cutting down some trees in the wood of Birkland, or Birchland, in Sherwood Forest, letters, &c., were found within the wood of several oaks, marking the king's reign. In one tree, cut down in 1786, were found J. R., supposed to signify James Rex; and in another, W. M., with a crown, for William and Mary; and in a third, Joh. Rex, with several marks something like the old crown in prints of King John; but Major Rooke observes that the crown is not sufficiently made out for him to insert it as a fact. The letters were about 1 ft. within the tree, and above 1 ft. from the centre. Crucifixes, images, &c., have been found in similar situations, enclosed in the like manner. Often dead branches of trees, when small, are thus enclosed, and grown over by the parent trunk. Professor Burnet observes that “ Queen Anne's and Queen Charlotte's Oaks in Windsor Forest, both of which have had brass plates, with commemorative inscriptions thereon, fixed to them, might be given as further illustrations. Over the edges of these plates the yearly increasing bark has already made considerable encroachments, and, in due course of time, will progressively enclose the whole. To this process do we owe that more noted and variegated texture of the central parts of planks, on which much of the beauty of heart wood depends ; for the small branches, knots, and nodes of young trees, which detruded themselves near the ground, being, in process of growth, broken off or destroyed, their relics or rudiments are in like manner enclosed, and thus buried in the heart of aged trees. Sir John Clarke mentions that the horn of a large deer was found embedded in the heart of an oak, which was discovered on cutting down the tree; and that it was found fixed in the timber by large iron cramps: it seems, therefore, that it had been first fastened on the outside of the tree, which, in growing afterwards, had enclosed the horn.” (Amæn. Quer.)

Raining Oak Trees. All trees, especially those of great height, in insulated situations, condense the watery vapour of the atmosphere; and, when this is very abundant, it falls from the leaves in drops like rain. The elm and the poplar (as already mentioned, p. 1667.), being tall trees, afford familiar illustrations of this; but the oak, also, occasionally exhibits the same phenomenon. White, in his Natural History of Selborne (see Brown's edit., p. 195.), mentions, in a letter to Mr. Pennant, an oak in Newton Lane, which, on a misty day in October, 1775, dropped so fast, that the cartway stood in puddles, and the ruts ran water, though the ground in general was dusty.

Progress of Oaks from the Acorn. An oak, sprung from an acorn set by Robert Marsham, Esq., at Stratton Strawless, near Norwich, A. D. 1719, measured, in the spring of 1743, when 24 years old, 1 ft. 7 in. in girt at 5 ft. from the ground; and in 1758, when 41 years old, its girt at the same height was 2 ft. 84 in.; having increased 1 ft. 14 in. in girt, and something more than 2 ft. 3 in. in solid contents, during 15 years. This oak,we are informed by Robert Marsham, Esq., the grandson of the planter of the tree, was, in December, 1836, 13 ft. in circumference at 5 ft. from the ground, and 17 ft. at 1 ft. ; with a trunk 19 ft. long clear of branches, and a remarkably handsome head ; it was 64 ft. high. Two oaks, planted by Mr. Marsham in 1720 and 1721, in 1743 measured 2 ff. 99 in., and 2ft. 114 in. in circumference at 5 ft. high ; and had increased 1 ft. 11; in. and 2 ft. 2 in. respectively in girt, and 9 ft. 1 in. and 10 ft. 3 in. in solid contents, during 15 years; while two oaks, about 60 or 80 years of age, which, in 1743, girted 6 ft. 3. in. and 9 ft. 44 in., measured, in the autumn of 1758, 7 ft. 8. in., and 10 ft. 1 in. ; having increased only 1 ft. 5 in. and 8} in., in their respective circumferences, in 15 years ; although their solid contents exceeded in increase the younger trees, being, in the sixty-year oak, 12 ft. 1 in., and in the eightyyear oak, 16 ft. lin. and upwards; the height of this tree in February, 1837, Mr. Marsham inform us, was exactly 92 ft. An acorn, writes Dr. Plot, which was set in a hedgerow, between Colton and Blithfield, by Ralph Bates, grew to a stout oak, being 2 ft. square at the but end, within the life of its planter, who outlived its felling. The first 10 ft. were sawn into boards, and used for building: it contained nearly a ton of timber. An oak which was planted at Denham Rectory, Bucks, in 1750, girted, at its smallest part, 8 ft. in 1817, being then but 67 years of age: the total height was 50 ft., and the diameter of its head about 70 ft. In the garden at Sheffield Place, Sussex, stands a fine oak, which was set in the year 1745; and in 1815, when 70 years old, its trunk was 12 ft. in circumference, its clear bole 10 ft.; at which height it divided into branches that overspread an area of 75 ft. in diameter. An acorn was sown at Rickett, the seat of Lord Barrington, on the day of his birth in 1717. In November, 1790, it contained 95 ft. of timber, which, at 2s. per foot, would sell for 91. 10s. The top was valued at about 1l. 158. The girt, at 5 ft. from the ground, was about half an inch more than 8 ft. The increase of the girt, in the two last years, was 4} in. It grows in rich land, worth 1l. 5s. an acre. (Bath. Soc. Pap., &c.)

Rate of Growth of the Oak. An oak, in a good soil and situation, will, in 75 years from the acorn, contain a ton of timber. (South in Bath Soc. Pap., vi. p. 37.) The same oak, at 150 years of age, will contain upwards of 8 tons of timber, or about 12 loads of square timber. (Id., p. 38.) An oak, planted by Mr. Marsham in 1720, was, in 1794, 74 years afterwards, about 8 ft. in circumference at 14 ft. from the ground. The soil had been prepared and manured. In the first 36 years of its growth, this tree gained 14 in. in circumference yearly. The growth of a middle-aged oak is generally from lz in. to 1 in. in circumference yearly; between its twentieth and its hundredth year, it sometimes exceeds this measure, and, in its second century, falls within it; but, as the solidity of the shaft consists less in its length than in the square of diameter in the girting place, a small addition to the diameter there enlarges the square abundantly. Wherefore, though the circumference from the 100th to the 150th year may not increase so fast as it did to the 100th, the solid contents will be increasing faster; for, as the square of the diameter (40=1600) exceeds the square of 24=576, so will the contents in the 150th year exceed the contents in the 100th, when its annual enlargement was in. greater. (Id., p. 50.). According to the Rev. Richard Yates, writing after

a sedulous and active experience of 50 years,” by choosing a deep loamy soil for the oak, by deeply trenching it, by planting acorns, and not plants ; and by keeping them pruned till they arrive at a proper height, double the quantity of timber may be obtained in about 50 years, that is now produced in 100. Mr. Yates's mode of cultivation (for an account of which he received a premium from the Society of Arts) will be found in a succeeding paragraph. (See Gent. Mag., vol. Ixxiv., for 1804, p. 626.)

The following table of the progressive growth of nine oaks in the New Forest, was communicated by T. Davies, Esq., of Portway House, Wiltshire :

The circumference taken in inches at 6 ft. from the ground.

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Relative Growth of Oak Wood, as compared with that of other Trees. The result of observations by Vancouver in Hampshire, as to the relative growth of wood in that county, was, taking the trees at 10 years' growth, and fixing the oak as a standard, as follows :- Oak, 10; elm, 16; ash, 18; beech, 20 ; white poplar (P. álba), 30. It will thus appear that the oak, which is the slowestgrowing forest tree indigenous to Britain, increases only at the rate of one third part of the white poplar, which is the most rapid-growing indigenous forest tree in Britain.

The growth of the oak, as compared with that of the larch, is exemplified in a tree of each growing at Wimbush, in Essex. In 1792, the oak, which is called Young's Oak, at 5 ft. from the ground, was 8 ft. 51 in. in girt; and a larch, at the same place, only 12 years old, at the same height from the ground, girted 2 ft. 4 in. In 1805, 13 years afterwards, the oak had increased only 44 in. in girt, while the larch had increased 2 ft. 9 in. (Young's Essex, ii. p. 151.)

Poetical Allusions. The most celebrated poetical description of the oak, as well as, perhaps, one of the oldest, is that of Virgil in the second Georgic, which has been thus rendered by Dryden :

“ Jove's own tree,
That holds the woods in awful sovereignty,
Requires a depth of lodging in the ground,
And, next the lower skies, a bed profound.
High as his topmost boughs to heaven ascend,
So low his roots to hell's dominion tend;
Therefore nor winds, nor winter's rage, oʻerthrows
His bulky body, but unmoved he grows.
For length of ages lasts his happy reign,
And lives of mortal men contend in vain.
Full in the midst of his own strength he stands,
Stretching his brawny arms, and leafy hands :

His shade protects the plains, his head the hills commands."
The following lines are from the Æneid :-

“As when the winds their airy quarrel try,

Jostling from every quarter of the sky,
This way and that, the mountain oak they bend,
His boughs they shatter, and his branches rend;
With leaves and falling mast they spread the ground;
'The hollow valleys echo to
Unmoved the royal plant their fury mocks,
Or, shaken, clings more closely to the rocks;
For as he shoots his towering head on high,
So deep in earth his fixed foundations lie.'

VIRGIL. Æn., Dryden's trans.


So many British poets have celebrated the oak; and its beauty, dignity, and strength have afforded so many fine similes; that we are compelled to make a selection, and shall first give extracts from three of our oldest and most popular poets; viz. Chaucer, Spencer, and Shakspeare. “And to a pleasant grove l 'gan to

Long er the bright sunne uprise was;
In which were okes great, straight as a line,
Under the which the grasse, so fresh of hew,
Was newly sprong, and an eight foot, or nine,
Every tree well fro his fellow grew,
With branches brode, laden with leves new,
That sprongen out agen the sunne shine;
Some very red, and some a glad bright green."

CHAUCER, “ There grew an aged tree on the green ;

A goodly oak some time had it been,
With arms full strong, and largely display'd,
But of their leaves they were disarray'd:
His body big, and mightily pright,
Thoroughly rooted, and of wondrous height:
Whilome had been the king of the field,
And mochel masts to the husband did yield,
And with his nuts larded many swine;
But now the grey moss marr'd his rine;
His bared boughs were beaten with storms,
His top was bald, and wasted with worms.
For it had been an ancient tree,
Sacred with many a mystery."

SPENSER's Shepherd's Calendar. “ Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out

Upon the brook that brawls along this wood;

Whose boughs were moss'd with age,
And high top bald with dry antiquity."

To these we add extracts, relating to trees we have already described, from
Cowper's Yardley Chase, Mundy's Needwood Forest, and Carrington's Dart-
moor. For the Yardley Oak, see p. 1764.

“ Thou wert a bauble once, a cup and ball,

Which babes might play with, and the thievish jay
Seeking her food, with ease might have purloin'd
The auburn nut that held thee, swallowing down
Thy yet close-folded latitude of boughs,
And all thy embryo vastness, at a gulp.

Time made thee what thou wert king of the woods !
And time hath made thee what thou art - a cave
For owls to roost in! Once thy spreading boughs
O'erbung the champaign, and the numerous fock
That grazed it stood beneath that ample cope
Uncrowded, yet safe-shelter'd from the storm.
No flock frequents thee now: thou hast outlived
Thy popularity, and art become
(Unless verse rescue thee awhile) a thing
Forgotten, as the foliage of thy youth! !

Embowell’d now, and of thy ancient self
Possessing nought but the scooped rind, that seems
A huge throat calling to the clouds for drink,
Which it would give in rivulets to thy roots :
Thou temptest none, but rather much forbid'st
The feller's toil, which thou couldst ill requite.
Yet is thy root sincere, sound as the rock :
A quarry of stout spurs and knotted fangs,
Which, crook'd into a thousand whimsies, clasp
The stubborn soil, and hold thee still erect.
Thine arms have left thee-winds have rent them off
Long since; and rovers of the forest wild
With bow and shaft have burnt them. Some have left
A splinter'd stump, bleach'd to a snowy white;
And some, memorial none where once they grew.
Yet life still lingers in thee, and puts forth
Proof not contemptible of what she can,
Even where death predominates. The spring
Finds thee not less alive to her sweet form,
Than yonder upstarts of the neighbouring wood,
So much thy juniors, who their birth received
Half a millennium since the date of thine." Cowper's Yardley Chase.

The lines from Needwood Forest allude to the Swilcar Oak. (p. 1769.)

" First blush the hills with orient light,

And pierce the sable veil of night;
Green bends the waving shade above,
And glittering dew drops gem the grove :
Next shine the shelving lawns around,
Bright threads of silver net the ground;
And down, the entangled brakes among,
The white rill sparkling winds along:
Then as the panting zephyrs breathe
The billowy mist recedes beneath ;
Slow, as it rolls away, unfold
The vale's fresh glories, green and gold;
Dove laughs, and shakes his tresses bright,
And trails afar a line of light :
High midst the trees, with many a frown,
Huge Swilcar shakes his tresses brown;
Outspreads his bare arms to the skies,
The ruins of six centuries."

MUNDY's Needwood Forest. The following lines are descriptive of Wistman's Wood. See p. 1757.

“ How heavily
That old wood sleeps in the sunshine - not a leaf
Is twinkling - not a wing is seen to move
Within it; but below, a mountain stream,
Conflicting with the rocks, is ever heard,
Cheering the drowsy noon. Thy guardian oaks,
My country, are thy boast - a giant race,
And undegenerate still; but of this grove,
This pygmy grove, not one has climb'd the air
So emulously that its loftiest branch
May brush the traveller's brow. The twisted roots
Have clasp'd in search of nourishment the rocks,
And straggled wide, and pierced the stony soil
In vain : denied maternal succour, here
A dwarfish race has risen. Round the boughs
Hoary and feeble, and around the trunks,
With grasp destructive, feeding on the life
That lingers yet, the ivy winds, and moss
Or growth enormous. E'en the dull vile weed
Has fix'd itself upon the very crown
Of many an ancient oak; and thus, refused
By nature kindly aid - dishonoured - old -
Dreary in aspect - silently decays
The lonely wood of Wistman."

CARRINGTON's Dartmoor, p. 56. Through the kindness of His Grace the Duke of Bedford, we have received the following additional information respecting this remarkable wood, from Archdeacon Froude, vicar of Darlington, near Totness :-“ I have been told that there is an ancient record in the Duchy Office, which probably refers to their existence, not long after the Conquest. On the bottom stock of one of them, cut down partly for the purpose, I counted upwards of 250 concentric rings, when the farther evidence of annual formations in the exterior circumference was too indistinct to be noticed. When first felled, the specific gravity of the wood was more like that of tropical than English growth. The extent of Wistman's Wood is about two acres."

Properties and Uses. In comparing the wood of Q. pedunculàta and Q. sessilifòra, the former is found the most easy to split, and the stiffest and the easiest to break, and yet the most difficult to bend ; while the latter has the advantage over the other in toughness and weight. The following comparative view is from Hartig, as quoted in the Dictionnaire des Eaux et Forêts. Q. PEDUNCULAS

Q. SESSILIFLO‘RA. The wood, when green, weighs 76 13 The wood, when green, weighs

5 half-dry 65 9


67 19 perfectly dry 52 13

perfectly dry

51 10 Its heating properties are, to the

Its heating properties are, to the beech, as • 1440 is to 1540 beech, as

- 1497 is to 1540 Its heating properties, compared

Its heating properties, compared with those of the Q. sessilifidra,

with those of the Q. peduncu. 1440 is to 1497 làta, are as

- 1497 is to 1440 Its charcoal is, to that of the beech, as

1459 is to 1600 It thus appears that the wood of both species loses above a third of its weight in drying; but, as in the case of every other wood, that of the oak is


Ib. oz.

Ib. Oz.


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