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Quercus Cérris Lucombedna, in its deciduous state, in the Exeter Nursery.
Height 75 ft. ; diameter of trunk 61. ; diameter of the head 65 ft. This variety is subevergreen: it was raised by Lucombe, nurseryman at Exeter, from seeds of the species, sown about 1762. The acorns had been saved from a tree of Mr. Lucombe's own growth; and, when the plants came up, he observed one amongst them that kept its leaves on throughout the winter, to which he paid particular attention, and propagated some thousa.,ds of it by grafting. In an account of this variety published in the 62d volume of the Philosophical Transactions, dated 1772, it is described as “a tree, growing as straight and handsome as a fir, with evergreen leaves, and wood in hardness and strength exceeding that of all other oaks. It makes but one shoot in the year, viz. in May; but this continues growing throughout the summer, not being interrupted, about midsummer, by the pause which occurs between the production of the first and the second shoots, in the case of the common oak. The tree grows so rapidly, that the original specimen, at 7 years old, measured 21 ft. high, and ift. 8 in. in circumference: at 6 years old, a grafted tree was 23 ft. high; and a tree 4 years grafted was 16 ft. high.” The shoots are, in general, from 4 ft. to 5 ft. in length;
and the tree, in Devonshire, Cornwall, and Somersetshire, where great numbers of it have been planted, attains the height of from 60 ft. to 80 ft., or upwards, in from 30 to 40 years. Hayes, in 1794, found, by an accurate measurement of a Lucombe oak, made in the 27th year of its growth from the graft, its height to be 60 ft. : its trunk, at 4 ft. from the ground, was 4 ft. 64 in. in circumference; and, at the place of grafting, 6 ft. in circumference. The “ fairness” of the growth of this tree, he says, and the verdure and long continuance of its leaves, are sufficient motives to induce every planter to wish for some plants of it on his demesne: "but the goodness of the timber yet remains to be proved.” (Prac. Treat., p. 172., note.) From a specimen of the wood sent to us by Mr. Pince, which we have compared with the wood of the British oak, and also of the Fulham oak, it appears decidedly closer-grained and heavier than that of either. On writing to Messrs. Lucombe and Pince of the Exeter Nursery for the history of the old Lucombe oak, we received the following answer. We may premise that the present Mr. Lucombe is in his 85th year, and that he perfectly recollects his father raising the Lucombe oak in his own nursery, as described above from the Philosoph. Transactions,
1714 . in 1772. “Quércus
Lucombeàna,” Mr. Pinceinformsus,“is a hybrid produced between Q.Sùberand Q. Cérris; the latter species being the female parent. It was raised by the late Mr. Lucombe, who was founder of the Exeter Nursery, from seeds gathered by him off a specimen tree of Q. Cér. ris, which grew in his nursery, near to one of Q. Sùber, which accounts for its hybrid origin; the blossom of the Turkey oak having doubtless been impregnated by the farina of the cork tree. Mr. Lucombe first noticed it about 75 years ago, and extensively propagated and sold it all over the kingdom. When the original tree had attained 20 years' growth, and was about 3 ft. in circumference, Mr. Lucombe, being then far advanced in years, had it cut down, for the purpose of making his coffin out of it. He, however, lived so much longer than he had anticipated, that several years before his death, he had another much larger and older tree cut down, sawn into planks, and carefully deposited under his bed, in readiness for the above purpose; and inside those planks, over which for many years he had reposed, he was at last put to rest, at the advanced age of 102 years. The largest and finest specimens of the old Lucombe oak now existing are growing at Killerton, the beautiful residence of Sir Thomas Ď. Acland, Bart., near Exeter, where, in 1834, a tree, 80 years planted, was 73 ft. high; diameter of the trunk 3ft. 5 in., and of the head 62 ft. At Castle Hill, the splendid demesne of Earl Fortescue, near South Molton; and at Carclew, the seat of Sir Charles Lemon, Bart., near Falmouth, in Cornwall; are other very fine trees : one at the latter place, in 1834, 70 years planted, being 82 ft. 4 in. high; diameter of the trunk 3 ft. 3 in., and of the head 40 ft. The old Lucombe oak differs most materially from the Fulham oak; more especially in the general outline of the tree, and its habit of growth, as will be seen by the accompanying sketches. (figs.1712. and 1713.). Its bark is also much more corky than that of the Fulham oak. The old Lucomhe oak cannot be propagated, with any degree of certainty (being strictly a hybrid), from acorns, although these are produced rather freely sometimes, and vegetate well; but the produce differs entirely from the parent; and we therefore perpetuate it by grafting it upon stocks of the Quércus Cérris, to which it freely unites, and flourishes amazingly; frequently making shoots from 5 ft. to 6 ft. high the first season from grafting. The wood is of a close texture, and beautiful grain. The growth of the tree is rapid, and its whole appearance extremely beautiful. Sketch No. 1., by Mr. Tucker (fig. 1712.), represents the old Lu
combe oak in the Exeter Nursery, as it appears in its deciduous state, from January to May; showing faithfully the stately erect growth of the bole, and the graceful disposition of the branches. This tree has been only 35 years planted: its height is 50 ft.; the circumference of the trunk, at 1 ft. from the ground, is 8 ft. 6 in., and the diameter of the head is 38 ft. Sketch No. 2. (our fig. 1713.) represents the same tree in full foliage, as it appears from May to January.-Robert T. Pince. Exeter, April 4. 1837.”
Statistics. Q. C. Lucombeana. In the environs of London, in the Fulham Nursery, it is 60 ft. 6 in, high; at Syon, it is 65 ft. high, diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 7 in., and of the head 37ft; in the Mile End Nursery, it is 45it. high, with a trunk 5 ft 6 in. in girt.-South of London. In Cornwall, at Carclew, near Penryn, it is 82 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 3ft., and of the head 40 ft. In Devonshire, at Killerton, 80 years planted, it is 73 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 3 ft. 6 in., and of the head 62 ft. ; at Bysiock Park, 24 years planted, it is 40 ft. high ; in the Exeter Nursery, 52 years planted, it is 60 ft. high, diameter of the trunk 3 ft 6 in., and of the head 40 ft." In Dorsetshire, at Melbury Park, 35 years planted, it is 55 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 3 ft., and of the head 25 ft. In Somersetshire, at Leigh Court, 50 years planted, and 80 ft. high ; 14 years planted, it is no less than 50 ft. high, circumference of the trunk 3 ft. 6 in., and diameter of the head 20 ft. : at Nettlecombe, 80 years planted, it is 59 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 3th, and of the head 461 : at Hestercombe, it is 56 ft. high, and the trunk 6 ft. 10 in, in circumference. In Wiltshire, at Wardour Castle, 40 years planted, it is 50 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 6 in., and of the head 54 ft. - North of London. In Berkshire, at White Knights, 26 years planted, it is 27 ft. high, with a trunk 5 ft. in circumference. Cheshire, at Eaton Hall, 13 years planted, it is 20 ft. high. In Essex, at Audley End, 68 years planted, it is 40 feet high, the circumference of the trunk 6 ft. 6 in., and diameter of the head 51 ft. In Lancashire, at Latham House, 27 years planted, it is 43 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 13 in., and of the head 32 ft. "In Nottinghamshire, at Clumber Park, it is 50 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk ift. 10 in., and that of the head 50 it. In Oxfordshire, in the Oxford Botanic Garden, 30 years planted, it is 30 ft. high. In Norfolk, at Merton Hall, it is 66 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 1 ft., and that of the head 46 ft. In Pembrokeshire, at Stackpole Court, 30 years planted, it is 48 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 1 ft. 6 in., and that of the space covered by the branches 30 il. In Warwickshire, at Berkswell, 50 years planted, it is 48 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk sit, 9 in., and of the head 92 it. In Worcestershire, at Croome, 55 years planted, it is 79ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft., and of the head 50 ft., another tree, so years planted, is 45 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk is 2 ft., and of the head 30 ft.-In Scot. land. In Ayrshire, at Doonside, 40 years planted, it is 40 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft., and of the head 39 ft. In the Stewartry of Kircudbright,
at St. Mary's Isle, it is 49 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft., and of the head 36 ft. In Renfrewshire, at Erskine House, 23 years planted, it is 28 ft, high, the diameter of the trunk 7 in. In Cromarty, at Coul, 20 years planted, it is 32 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 13 in., and of the head 18 ft. In Forfarshire, at Kinnaird Castle, 55 years old, it is 45 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 6in., and of the head 36 ft. În Perthshire, in Dick. son and Turnbull's Nursery, 40 years old, it is 54 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft., and that of the head 26 ft.-In Ireland. In the environs of Publin, at Castletown, 50 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 6 in., and that of the head 38 ft. In the county of Cork, at Castle Freke, it is 39 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft., and of the head 30 ft." In Fermanagh, at Castle Coole, it is 46 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 6 in., and that of the head 57 ft. In Louth, at Oriel Temple, 60 years planted, it is 67 ft.
high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft., and of the head 46 ft. *** Foliage evergreen, or very nearly so. Leaves varying from dentate
to sinuate. Cups of the Acorns bristly. This section consists entirely of subvarieties of the Lucombe oak, which differ from the parent in being nearly evergreen; and respecting which the following observations have been obligingly sent to us by Mr. Pince :-" These subvarieties were all raised by the present Mr. Lucombe, from acorns gathered from the old Lucombe oak, about 45 years ago (1792). Of the first three of these, there are large specimens in the Exeter Nursery; being the original trees selected by Mr. Lucombe, and from which the plants exposed for sale are propagated. These fine trees,” Mr. Pince continues, “ which are the admiration of all who visit the Exeter Nursery, differ in many very material respects from their parent, but in nothing so much as being evergreen. There is a peculiarity in these trees, however, as evergreens, which deserves to be noticed. It is, that in the month of May, when the young leaves burst forth, the old ones, which are still quite fresh and green, are entirely and simultaneously cast off, so that the tree appears bare ; but so rapid is the change, that a few days suffice to clothe it afresh in full verdure.
Therefore, although these varieties are, to a great extent, decidedly evergreen, they cannot strictly come under that denomination. The bark is very corky, and the leaves are of a glossy blackish green
colour. The new evergreen Lucombe oaks are exceedingly rapid in their growth, and very hardy: they are most ornamental trees; and, for producing an iminediate and permanent effect in parks, and on lawns, &c., they have no equal. I I have seen several instances of their growing vigorously in bleak exposed situations, where the common oak and elm will not succeed: in the vicinity of the sea they grow with great luxuriance; and, in such situations, are equally valuable with the Q. Flex. I send you dimensions and specimens of our large trees of each of the three varieties. We propagate them by grafting, in the same manner as we do the old Lucombe oak. – Robert T. Pince. Exeter Nursery, April 4. 1837.”
Mr. Pince remarks, in a subsequent letter, which accompanied some specimens of bark of all these varieties :—"I wish particularly to call your attention to the specimens of bark of the varieties of the new evergreen Lucombe oaks, which I send you herewith. You will observe that they are very corky. The produce of hybrids often assimilates to one parent more than to another: and thus, in the varieties of the new Lucombe oak alluded to, there is a great assimilation to the male parent, Q. Sùber, in the thickness and texture of the bark, the density of the wood, and the dark green, almost black, evergreen foliage; whilst, in the conical shape of the tree, and its rapid growth, the habits of the female parent are retained. - Id. April 20.” 1 Q. C. 10 L. crispa, Q. Lucombeana
crispa Hort., the new Lucombe Oak, (fig. 1715.) has the leaves somewhat curled at the edges, and the bark
corky. Fig. 1717.c shows the form
that of the cork tree, and is above lin. thick. · Q. C. 11 L. suberòsa, Q. L. suberosa Hort., (fig. 1717.a) has the leaves
somewhat longer, and the bark double the thickness of the preceding variety; the specimen sent us measuring 2 in. in thickness. The