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old." Half of them may then be cut down, one half of the remaining 1000 at 25 years old, and the remaining 500 at from 30 to 35 years old. "To plant nurses, therefore, is attended with very great pecuniary advantage. It will not only return the whole expense laid out in making the plantation, but produce a very high rent for the land during the first 30 or 35 years; whereas, if oaks alone were planted, nothing could be gained during this period, except by cutting them down when between 20 and 25 years old, for the sake of their bark." (Pract. Plant., p. 225.) The most valuable part of this writer's observations is what relates to the nature of the benefit to be derived from the nurses in such a climate as that of Aberdeenshire; which is, by preventing the first rays of the sun from suddenly thawing the frosts which have fallen perpendicularly on the young oaks. "The deleterious effects of spring and autumnal frosts arise chiefly from the leaves being subjected to a sudden change of temperature, from the chills of the night to the strong rays of the morning sun. When the thaw takes place gradually, the injury done is comparatively insignificant." (p. 222.) ̧ "If we wish, then, to preserve oaks from frost, we can do nothing better than to shade them from the morning sun. This we cannot do more effectually than by planting them, as above directed, among trees that have already made some progress. By such management the rays of the sun will not touch them till it has risen to a considerable height above the horizon; and thus time will be allowed for the frost to dissipate, and the night dews to evaporate, by a slow and gradual process; so that the pernicious consequences arising to the young oaks from a sudden change of temperature will be entirely prevented. It is not too much to say that a plantation of young oaks, thus sheltered from the outset, will make more progress in 5, than an unsheltered one will do in 10, years." These observations may be considered as principally applicable to cold districts, whether from elevation or latitude; but they are also judicious even with reference to plantations in the comparatively warm climate of the south of England, as is evident by the practice of sheltering with Scotch pines in the plantations made in the New Forest, where the oak is indigenous, and where the soil is particularly well adapted to it.

Cobbett would plant oaks in rows 25 ft. apart, and 25 ft. apart in the row; placing the plants of one row opposite the middle of the intervals between the plants in the next row. Then, he says, "I would have four rows of hazel at 5 ft. apart, and at 5 ft. apart in the row, between every two rows of oaks; and four hazel plants between every two oaks in the row itself. The hazel would rather, perhaps, outgrow the oaks; but it would shelter them at the same time; and where the hazel interfered too much with the oaks, it might be cut away with the hook. By the time that the hazel coppices were fit to cut for the first time, the oaks would have attained a considerable height; perhaps 8 ft. or 10ft. This would give them the mastership of the hazel; and, after the second cutting of the hazel, there would begin to be an oak wood, with a hazel coppice beneath; and in the meanwhile the coppice would have produced very nearly as much as it would have produced if there had been no oaks growing among it. By the time that four cuttings of the hazel would have taken place, the coppice would be completely subdued by the oaks. It would produce no more hoops or hurdles; but then the oaks would be ready to afford a profit.” (Woodlands, p. 434.)

Mr. Yates, a planter who received a premium from the Society of Arts, having fixed on a proper soil and situation for a plantation of oaks, trenches strips of 3 ft. in width, and 30 ft. apart centre from centre, from 3 ft. to 6 ft. in depth; it being his opinion that the oak derives its chief nutriment and strength from the taproot. The intermediate space between the trenches may either be employed for the growth of sheltering trees, pines or firs, or for hazel, or other underwood, or kept in grass. A row of acorns, 2 in. apart, is dibbled in along the centre of each trench; the plants produced by which are thinned out in the autumn of the year in which they come up, and every year afterwards, till they stand at 30 ft. apart. Pruning goes on every year, by removing, "close to the

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main stem, one year's growth of side branches, till the plants are arrived at a stem of 40 ft., 50 ft., or 60 ft.; and they may then be permitted to run to head without further pruning." The thinnings, till the plants attain the height of 5 ft. or 6 ft., may be used for transplanting; after that they may be sold for walkingsticks, hoops, or crate-ware; at the next thinning, they may be cut down in spring, and barked, and sold as poles and for fence-wood; and, lastly, they may be cut down in spring, and barked, and sold as small timber for making posts and rails, for gates, and for various country purposes.

As the Ultimatum on the Subject of planting and sheltering Oaks, we give the following abstract of the practice adopted by the government officers in the national forests, and more especially in the New Forest, where, as we have already observed, it was introduced by Mr. Turner. This abstract was prepared by Alexander Milne, Esq., in answer to a question by Lord Hatherton, who intended to plant oaks extensively, as to the best mode of proceeding; and a copy of it was kindly presented to us by Mr. Milne :- "When the new plantations in the royal forests (now exceeding 40,000 acres) were first undertaken, the opinions of the most extensive owners and growers of oak timber, and of the most experienced nurserymen in various parts of the kingdom, were resorted to, as to the most advisable methods of planting, and especially as to the expediency of mixing Scotch pines in plantations the ultimate object of which was oak; and it is rather extraordinary, that the majority of the opinions received were against such mixture. Accordingly, in the most favourable soils and situations, oaks only were planted at first: but in spots where it was thought doubtful if oaks would grow, Scotch pines were planted with a small proportion of oaks intermixed; and it was soon found that in many of those spots, even under the disadvantages of inferior soil and greater exposure, such was the benefit derived from the warmth and shelter of the pines, that the oaks far outgrew their neighbours planted in more favourable soils, but without the same protection. After this, the use of Scotch pines became more general: strong belts were planted on the most exposed outsides of the plantations, and also across, at intervals, in lines, towards the most prevailing winds, and from these great benefit was found; but in all cases where oaks were planted actually amongst the pines, and surrounded by them, the oaks were found to be much the best. The plan next pursued was to plant an equal quantity of oaks and pines, planting both at the same time: the consequence of which was, that the pines got on immediately, but the oaks remained stationary for a few years, until the pines got sufficiently advanced to afford them shelter; and, in the intermediate time, a portion of the oaks died, and some were choked by the high grass, briars, &c., with which they might happen to be surrounded. For several years past, the plan pursued has been, to plant the enclosures with Scotch pines only, as soon as they are fenced in and drained (if draining is required); and when the pines have got to the height of 5 ft. or 6 ft., which they will do in as many years, then to put in good strong oak plants of about 4 or 5 years' growth, among the pines, not cutting away any pines at first, unless they happen to be so strong and thick as to overshadow the oaks. In about 2 years it becomes necessary to shred the branches of the pines, to give light and air to the oaks; and, in about 2 or 3 more years to begin gradually to remove the pines altogether, taking out a certain number each year, so that, at the end of 20 or 25 years, not a single Scotch pine shall be left; although, for the first 10 or 12 years, the plantation may have appeared to contain nothing else but pines. The advantage of this mode of planting has been found to be, that the pines dry and ameliorate the soil, destroying the coarse grass and brambles which frequently choke and injure oaks; and that no mending over is necessary, as scarcely an oak so planted is found to fail. It is not an expensive method of planting, especially if the plants are raised on the spot. The pines are planted by raising the turf with a Scotch planting spade. [See Part IV.] A man and boy may plant 500 in a day. For the oaks, good-sized holes must be made, and the making of these will cost from Is. to 1s. 6d. a hundred, according to the soil.-Office of

Woods, &c., Dec. 1836." (See also the Bath Society's Papers, vol. xv. p. 41-67.; and an article entitled "Minutes on the Method adopted by Mr. Robert Turner of raising Oaks, &c.," by T. Davis of Warminster, and G. Sturge of Bristol, in the 13th volume of the Gardener's Magazine.)

Whether Oak Plants or Acorns ought to be used in forming Oak Plantations is a question, respecting the answer to which planters are not fully agreed; though, upon the whole, we believe, plants are preferred. A doubt, it is probable, would never have been raised on the subject, had it not been found that, under ordinary circumstances, the oak suffers more by transplanting than the elm, the ash, the beech, and other similar trees; which is partly owing to its natural delicacy, and partly to its depending, when young, chiefly on its taproot, and from its not producing, for some years, many lateral roots, unless forced to do so by art. When, however, the oak has been two or three times transplanted in the nursery before its final removal, it will produce a sufficient number of lateral roots to insure its growth, if carefully removed; and, for this reason, we should, in almost every case, prefer using strong transplanted plants to acorns. We have already remarked that oaks, after they have attained a certain size, are more successfully transplanted than seedlings of one or two years; a fact which will be found to hold good with all trees whatever which have taproots of extraordinary dimensions when young. One reason which some give for preferring acorns is, the alleged injury which oak plants sustain by the loss of the taproot, which, it is said, they never regain. This opinion, however, is well known to be erroneous; it being as natural, in the case of seedling oaks, for that part of the plant which is under ground to reproduce a leading or tap root when that has been cut off, as it is for the part above ground to reproduce a leading shoot after that has been removed. It is also equally well known, that the taproot is only found, in oak and other trees, when in a young state; and that no oak or other tree, when cut down, was ever found to have anything like a perpendicularly descending main root in any way comparable to the perpendicularly ascending trunk of the tree above ground. The consequence of sowing an acorn where it is to remain, and not cutting through the taproot, is, that it remains a longer period before putting out any lateral roots; but whether these lateral roots are put out sooner or later, can have very little influence on the growth of the tree under ordinary circumstances, and certainly none on the value of the timber which it produces. It is easy to conceive that, if the surface soil on which an acorn is planted is much richer than the subsoil, something in rapidity of growth will be gained by cutting off the taproot, so as to force the plant to send out lateral roots sooner than it otherwise would do; but, though something is gained by this, something, also, will be lost; because the supply of water, so essential to all plants which have naturally taproots, in a very young state, will be considerably diminished. In warm climates, therefore, and in all cases where a saving of first cost is an object, we should prefer acorns to plants; but in tolerably moist climates, and in deep alluvial or marly soils, or where the surface soil is rich, and where the object is to produce oak trees as soon as possible, we should recommend strong plants.

The following judicious observations on the subject of the taproot were communicated to the Bath and West of England Society by a planter and manager of timber of very great experience, Thomas Davis, Esq., of Portway, near Warminster. The taproots of young oak trees, Mr. Davis says, support the trees during a given period, which may vary in the number of years from various circumstances, soil, situation, &c., but is limited in effect by the necessities of the plant; and so soon as as the lateral roots take firm hold of the land, and are enabled to undertake the duty of support, from that time the taproot ceases to be useful, and at no distant subsequent period ceases to increase, and is very soon not distinguishable from the other roots. Mr. Davis therefore concludes," 1st, That an oak seedling, or sapling, from 3 to 5 years old, planted out with the taproot cut off, will again root downwards; sometimes singly, sometimes forked. 2dly, That the practice of cutting off the

taproot gives the plant new vigour, and enables it, after a few years, to exceed in growth the native tree. And, 3dly, That large oak trees, whether native or transplanted, do, long before they become fit for naval purposes (I may say before they are proper for carpenter's uses), lose their taproots altogether. In short, I would contend that all small oak trees have taproots, and all large oaks have no taproots. I must, of course, be understood to speak in general terms." (Bath Soc. Papers, vol. xv. p. 51.)

Sowing the Acorns where the Plants are finally to remain. Several writers recommend sowing acorns broadcast, and along with them hazel nuts, haws, &c., and allowing the whole to grow up together. The undergrowths, in this case, shelter the young oaks during the requisite period; after which they cease to increase in height, and are by degrees gradually choked and destroyed by the shade of the oaks. This, however, is merely growing oaks among weeds of a larger and more permanent kind, and cannot be recommended as a scientific mode of raising oak woods, or woods of any other kind; though it may be advisable to resort to it under circumstances where plantations of any kind are better than none, and where there may be capital enough for procuring the seeds, and committing them to the soil, though not enough for doing so in a proper manner. This mode was also recommended by Sir Uvedale Price, because, if no more oaks were sown than can stand on the ground as full-grown trees, no thinning or future care of the plantation will ever be required by the planter. With a view to picturesque effect, such a mode is judicious; but it is not so when either rapid growth or profit is the main object.

Nichols, writing in 1793, says he finds by experience that bushes of white and black thorns, holly, and brambles, are the best nurses and protectors of young timber trees, especially oaks. He, therefore, invented a dibble, which will be found described in the Encyclopædia of Arboriculture, in the chapter on implements for dibbling acorns and other seeds into the heart of bushes, and among underwood. He planted many acorns with this instrument, he says, with the greatest success; and he strongly recommends this mode as better than any other for raising oak woods in the New Forest. (Methods, &c., p. 64.)

Marshall gives directions for raising oak woods; "oak," as he justly observes, "being the only tree admissible in a wood, because no other tree will allow copse to grow under it on land sufficiently sound and sufficiently level to be cultivated conveniently with the common plough." (Planting and Rur. Or., 2d ed., p. 128.) He prepares the ground by a naked or a turnip fallow, as for wheat. At the proper season, he sows over the whole surface of the future wood with corn or pulse broadcast, but rather thinner than usual. The acorns he sows in drills across the lands, with intervening drills of temporary trees and shrubs, to be removed as they advance in size, so as ultimately to leave the oak trees 33 ft. apart every way. The details of this mode, being applicable to the chestnut and other trees, as well as the oak, will be given in the Encyclopædia of Arboriculture.

To raise a grove of oaks, Marshall proposes to sow drills of acorns alternately with ash keys, treating the plants produced by the latter as undergrowths, till the oaks have attained a sufficient size, when the ash trees are to be grubbed up.

Billington's opinion on this subject is decidedly in favour of using plants rather than acorns. He says, the raising of oak woods from sowing the acorn in the place it is to remain till the tree comes to maturity has been a favourite theory with speculative men for ages. The plan has been tried upon an extensive scale in the Forest of Dean, and in the New Forest in Hampshire, and in some other smaller forests belonging to government in different parts of the kingdom. As the experiment was made upon an extensive scale in these two principal forests, and was found impracticable, it may be useful to those persons who still think that the oak will make a tree sooner or better from the acorn than from a transplanted plant, to point out the reasons of the failure

of that method; and the probability, or rather certainty, of a transplanted oak making a tree as large or larger, and in less time, than a tree from the acorn sown or planted in the place where it is intended finally to remain. In the forests mentioned, the short-tailed, or field, mouse, the rooks, and various vermin, took the acorns out of the holes, and caused a great deficiency in the plants at first coming up; but the destructive ravages of that little animal the field mouse were not fully known till the third year from the commencement of planting the acorns. Great quantities of the small oak plants from the acorn were then found barked and bitten off, particularly where the grass was thick; and nearly all the ash that had been planted in the wet and moist grounds were barked all round the stem in the same manner as the oaks; only more so, as the mice seemed to be fonder of the ash than of the oak bark. The hares were first supposed to have done the mischief; but, on examining the plants more minutely, quantities of the excrement of the field mouse were found near every plant that had been barked or nibbled, except in the case of those plants which were not surrounded by grass or herbage of any kind. All such plants remained untouched by the mice; and the reason is, that, where the mice had not the shelter of grass and herbage, they were exposed to their natural enemies, the hawk, the owl, &c. Attempts were made to catch the mice by cats, dogs, owls, poison, traps, baits," &c., but with very little success; till at length it was discovered by accident that, when a mouse had got into a hole in the ground with perpendicular sides, it could not get out again. In conquence of this discovery, holes about 18 in. deep, and somewhat wider at bottom than at top, were dug, at 20 yards apart each way, over a surface of about 3200 acres. "The holes were made from 18 in. to 2 ft. long, 16 in. or 18 in. deep, about 10 in., or the breadth of a spade, wide at the top, 14 in. or 15 in. wide at the bottom, and 3 in. or 4 in. longer at the bottom than the top: if the ground was firm, so much the better. Some holes were made in a circular form; but this was only a work of fancy, which cost more trouble than the oblong holes, as either sort answered, provided they were well made, the sides firm and even, and that they were 3 in. or 4 in. wider every way at the bottom than at the top; otherwise the mice would run up the sides, and get out again, if they could find any footing. But, if the holes were well made, when the mice were once in, they could not get out again; and, what is very extraordinary, they would really eat each other when left long in the holes." (Facts, &c., p. 42.) In wet or stormy nights, the mice got into the holes in the greatest numbers; but in calm, dry, or frosty nights, very few entered them. New holes were more attractive to the vermin than old ones. Baits of various kinds were put into them; but the baited holes were never found to contain more mice than the unbaited ones. Fifteen mice have been taken in a hole in one night. "Sometimes the holes were made in the bottoms of the drains, where there was not a constant run of water, as the mice appeared to run along the drains; and a great many were caught in these holes. The people who made the holes, of course, looked after the mice, and were paid for them by the dozen. They were obliged to attend to the holes to take the mice out very early in the mornings, otherwise the crows, magpies, hawks, owls, weasels, and other vermin, attended very regularly, and made the first seizure. Several of these depredators were caught in the fact, by the men dropping on them suddenly. We soon caught upwards of 30,000, that were paid for by number, as two persons were appointed to take an account of them, and see them buried or made away with, to prevent imposition." (p. 43.) Mr. Billington found oak trees cut down by the mice of 7 ft. and 8 ft. high, and 1 in. in diameter at the place bitten off, which was just at the root, within the ground, and, as it were, between the root and the stem: in short, at what botanists call the collar. "When examining for the thick part of the root, below where it was bitten off," he says, "I never could find any part of it left; so that it is very probable it must have been eaten by them." (p. 45.) Mr. Billington also found the mice pretty numerous, and very troublesome, in the royal forest at Chopwell; more especially before the great snow in 1823, which destroyed many of them, and

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