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between the Alleghany Mountains and the Ohio, in a yellow soil, composed of clay with a mixture of calcareous stones, which produces excellent wheat.
History. The white oak, according to the elder Michaux (Hist. des Chênes), was the first American oak known in Europe; and it is not only mentioned, but a figure of a single leaf of it is given, in Parkinson's Herbal, printed in 1640. Parkinson having just described Q. Eʻsculus, adds, “ They have in Virginia, a goodly tall oke, which they calle the white oke, because the barke is whiter then others; whose leafe, because it so neerely resembleth this sweet oke, I have joyned with it. The ackorne, likewise, is not only sweeter then others, but, by boyling it long, it giveth out an oyle, with which they keep supple their joynts.” (p. 1387.) The leaf figured bears a very close resemblance to those of the Q. álba given by the two Michaux. Catesby, writing, probably, about 1728, says that the Q. álba virginiana of Parkinson closely resembles the common British oak. He adds that the bark is white, and that the grain of the wood is very fine; also, that there is a variety of it called the scaly white oak, which is found in Virginia. (Catesb. Carol., i. p. 21.) Kalm, in his Travels, about the year 1740, says that the white oak is the kind of tree which is found in greatest abundance in good ground near Philadelphia. It is stated in the Hortus Kewensis to have been introduced in 1724; and it is not only included in the list published by the Society of Gardeners, in 1730 (see p. 77.), but is one of the oaks enumerated by Catesby, as being “ then growing at Mr. Fairchild's." (Catesb. Carol., p. 22.) The tree has never been much planted in Britain, from the difficulty of bringing over the acorns. About the year 1820, when Cobbett returned from America, and commenced nurseryman, he strongly recommended the tree, and raised and sold several thousand plants of it, though he acknowledged that he had great difficulty in bringing the acorns in a sound state to England.
Properties and Uses. Pursh calls the white oak one of the most abundant and useful of its genus in America. The elder Michaux states that it is preferred to all other oaks, both for house and ship building, in that country; and Michaux the younger informs us that, in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and nearly all the towns in the middle states, the framework of all the well-built houses, whether of wood or brick, is of the timber of this tree. It is seldom, however, he adds, used for the floors or outer covering of wooden houses, from its liability to warp and split. The wood of young trees is very elastic, and capable of such minute division, that it is used for many of the purposes of the willow or the bamboo, or even whalebone; such as basket-making, carpet-brooms, seats and backs for chairs, the rims of sieves, the bottoms of riddles, and carter's whips, which are made in the following manner :-“ A tapering piece of the wood is cleft in nine, from the small end to within 1 ft. of the other end, which is left solid for the hand. These nine spleets are then twisted by threes, and the threes again twisted together; the whole is then sewed in a case of black leather, and a silken thong added, which completes the whip.” (Birkbeck's Notes, &c., p. 71.) The wood is also used, in America, for milk-pails, the handles of axes, and numerous other rural purposes. .“. Of all the species,” says the younger Michaux," that grow east of the Mississippi, the white oak alone furnishes staves for casks, proper for containing wines and spirituous liquors. The domestic consumption for this purpose is immense; and vast quantities are exported to the West Indies, Great Britain, and the Islands of Madeira and Teneriffe.” (N. Amer. Syl., i. p. 22.) The bark is employed for tanning the leather for saddles, and other articles which require to be of a fine texture; but the bark of the white oak is so much thinner than that of the red, that it is rarely used for the purposes of ordinary tanning. The acorns are sweet, and are eaten by the Indians.
Propagation and Culture. (See p. 1727.) We may here repeat, as applicable to all the oaks of this and the succeeding sections, that the acorns may be brought over with perfect safety, if bedded in moist live moss (Sphágnum). They will require no attention during the voyage; but, as they will have germinated by the time of their arrival in Britain, they should be immediately planted, with or without pinching off the extremities of such of the radicles as may have pushed above 1 in. in length. Cobbett recommends gathering the acorns before they are quite ripe, drying in the sun, and packing in dry sand; but by this mode, we think, the vital principle would not be so well preserved as by packing them in Sphagnum. Insects. În America, the
white oak is infested with numerous insects, some of which are figured in Abbott and Smith's Insects of Georgia. Phalæ'na (? Pyge'ra) albifrons (t.80.,
1728 and our fig. 1728.), the whitetip moth, is by no means a common kind. The cater. pillar, which is of a pinkish colour, striped with yellow, white, and black, has a fine polish, as if glazed or varnished. The whole brood feeds together, especially when small. One observed by Abbott spun itself a thin white web,between the leaves of the oak, on October 28th, and came out on the 18th of February. The chrysalis is of a reddish brown, and the perfect insect of a dull brown, tinged with yellow. Phalæ'na (Notodonta) Aurora (Abb. and Smith, t. 87., and our fig. 1729.), the pink and yellow prominent moth, was taken by Abbott on the white oak. “ The caterpillar went into the ground, and enclosed itself in a thin case of dirt, on July 15th, appearing on the wing on August 7th. Sometimes this species buries itself in the autumn, and remains
1729 till spring, at which season the moth may now and then be observed sitting on the oak branches."
Statistics. In the environs of London, at Fulham Palace, a tree bearing this name, between 100 and 120 years old, is 60 ft. high, but it appears to us to be nothing more than Q. pedunculata ; at York House, Twickenham, it is 50 ft. high; at Muswell Hill, 72 years old, it is 61 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 6 ft. 6 in., and of the head 70 ft. In France, in Brittany, at Barres, 8 years planted, it is 9 ft. high. In Austria, at Vienna, in the park at Laxenburg, 10 years planted, it is 20 ft. high. In Bavaria, at Munich, in the English Garden, 10 years old, it is 7 ft. high. In Italy, in Lombardy, at Monza, 24 years planted, it is 30 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 8 in., and of the head 10 ft.
Commercial Statistics. The name of the white oak does not occur in any of the London nursery catalogues of the present day, with the exception of that of Messrs. Loddiges ; neither is it in the Bollwyller catalogue. ' In that
of Prince, of New York, for 1829, Fox's white oak (a variety of which we know nothing) is mentioned as being 374 cents a plant.
1 9. Q. OLIVEFO'RMIS Michx. The Olive-shape-fruited American Oak. Identification. Michx. Arb., 2. p. 32.; N. Amer. Syl., 1. p. 32. ; Pursh Fl. Amer. Sept., 2. p. 632.
N. Du Ham., 7. p. 181.; Smith in Rees's Cycl., No. 81.
equally pinnatifid. Fruit elliptic ovate, on short footstalks. Calyx cup-
It was introduced into England in 1811, but is seldom found in plantations, or even in the nurseries. There are seedling plants of it in the Horticultural Society's Garden; and in some private collections.
10. Q. MACROCA'RPA Willd. The large-fruited American Oak. Identification. Willd. Sp. Pl., 4. p. 433.; Pursh, 2. p. 632. ; Michx. Quer., No. 2; N. Du Ham., 7.
p. 182. ; Smith in Rees's Cycl., No. 80. Synonymes. The over-Cup white Oak, Bur Oak, Amer. ; Chène à gros Glands, Chene frisé, Fr.;
gross-fruchtige Eiche, Ger. Engravings. Michx. Quer., No. 2. t. 2, 3.; N. Amer. Syl., 1. 1. 4.; our fig. 1731.; and the plate
of this tree in our last Volume. Spec. Char., 8c. Leaves downy beneath, lyrate, deeply and sinuately lobed; the lobes obtuse and spreading, and the upper one much dilated. The calyx deep, cup-shaped, scaly, and fringed with bristles. Acorns thick and ovate. (Willd.) This, according to Michaux, is a beautiful tree, more than 60 ft. high, laden with dark tufted foliage. The leaves are larger than those of any other oak in the United States, being frequently 15 in. long, and 8 in. broad: they are notched near the summit, and deeply laciniated below. The acorns, which are also larger than those of any other American species, are oval, and enclosed for two thirds of their length in a thick rugged cup, which is generally bordered along its upper edge with fine, long, flexible filaments. The bark
of the young branches is frequently covered with a yellowish corky substance, like that which is found on the liquidambar, and some kinds of elm.” This oak is found, according to Michaux, in the greatest abundance beyond the Alleghanies, in the fertile districts of Kentucky and West Tennessee; and in Upper Louisana, near the Missouri. According to Pursh, it is found within the mountains, on dry slate or limestone hills; and in Kentucky, Tennessee, and the country of the Illinois; and also on the banks of the Mississippi and the
1731 Missouri. The wood, according to Michaux, is inferior to that of the white oak, and is little esteemed in the United States; but, according to Pursh, the wood is excellent.
There are trees in the Horticultural Society's Garden, and at Messrs. Loddiges's. The portrait in our last Volume is from the latter.
+ 11. Q. OBTUSIʼLOBA Michx. The blunt-lobed-leaved, or Post, Oak. Identification. Michx. Quer., No. 1. t. 1. ; Pursh, 2 p. 632. ; Michx. Arb. Am., 2. p. 36.;
in Rees's Cycl., No. 78. Synonymes. Q. stellàta Willd. Sp. Pl., 4. p. 452., Ait., No. 26., Wangh. Amer., 78. L. 6. f. 15., N.
Du Ham., 7. p. 180., Lodd. Cat., ed. 1836; Iron Oak, Box white Oak, American Turkey Oak (so called, because the acorns, which are sweet, are eaten by the wild turkeys), upland white Oak, Engravings. Michx. Quer., No: 1. t. 1. ; Arb. Amer., 2. t. 4.; N. Amer. Syl., 1. t 9.; Wangh. Amer.,
t. 6. f. 15. ; our fig. 1732. ; and the plate of this tree in our last Volume. Spec. Char., 8c. Leaves oblong, slightly pubescent beneath, sharply wedge
shaped at the base; lobes obtuse, the lower ones deeply sinuated, and the upper ones dilated, and slightly bilobed. Calyx hemispherical. Fruit oval, and rather small. (Michx., adapted The height of this tree, according to Michaux, rarely exceeds 40 ft., with a trunk not more than 15 in. in dia
1732 meter, and a head disproportionately large; owing to the “ early division of the trunk into limbs, with which the secondary branches form more acute angles than is usual with other trees. The branches are, also, bent into elbows at certain distances, which renders the tree easily distinguishable, even when the branches have fallen." The bark is thin, and of a greyish white. The wood is yellowish, and with no tinge of red. The leaves are on short petioles, and so deeply lobed as to have almost a star-like shape, whence Wangenheim called it Q. stellàta. The upper lobes are much broader than the lower ones ; and the leaf is attenuated at its base. The texture is coriaceous, and the colour is a dusky green above, and greyish beneath. In autumn, the ribs assume a rosy tint, but never that purplish red which is observable in those of the scarlet oak. The acorns, which are produced in abundance, are small, oval, and three parts covered with a slightly rugged greyish cup: they are very sweet, and form a delicious food for squirrels and wild turkeys; whence the tree is, in America, often called the turkey oak. “ In New Jersey, near the sea, and in the vicinity of Philadelphia,”
says Michaux, “ this species is thinly disseminated in the forests, and has hitherto been considered as a variety of the white oak. In Maryland, and a great part of Virginia, where it abounds, it is called the box white oak, and sometimes the iron oak, and the post oak. The last denomination only is used in the Carolinas, Georgia, and East Tennessee.” The steep banks of the Hudson, near New York, form its most northern boundary; and even here, Michaux observes, it is only preserved by the influence of the sea air, which somewhat moderates the severity of the winters. It thrives but in a dry, sandy, or gravelly soil, not far from the sea; but it attains its largest size near Baltimore. The farthest point at which it was found to the west, was about 150 miles from Philadelphia, on the road to Pittsburg. It is most abundant in Virginia and Maryland, between the Alleghanies and the sea. “ Growing in a less humid soil
, its timber is less elastic, but finer grained, stronger, and more durable, than that of the white oak : hence it is preferred, in America, for posts, and is used with advantage by wheelwrights and coopers.” (Michx.). In ship-building, it is employed principally for the knees, as it seldom produces planks large enough for the sides. The preference given, in the West Indies, to the staves for casks procured from Baltimore and Norfolk is due, in a great measure, to their being made, in those districts, of the post oak. (Michx.) Pursh calls this species the upland white, or iron, oak; and says that it is a spreading tree, from 50 ft. to 60 ft. high, the timber of which is of great value in ship-building. It was introduced into England in 1819; and there are plants of it in the Horticultural Society's Garden, and at Messrs. Loddiges's.
* 12. Q. LYRATA Walt. The lyrate, or over-Cup, Oak. Identification. Walt. Carol., 235. ; Willd., No. 72.; Ait., No. 27.; Pursh, 2. p. 632. ; Michx. Quer.,
No. 3. t. 4. ; N. Du Ham., 7. p. 181. ; Smith in Rees's Cycl., No. 79.
rately sinuated; much contracted in the middle,
1733 circumference. The elder Michaux, however, states its ordinary height to be between 50 ft. and 60 ft. The leaves are from 6 in. to 8 in. long, smooth, narrow, lyre-shaped, deeply sinuated, and borne on short petioles. The lobes, especially the upper ones, are somewhat truncated; and, from the resemblance in this respect to those of the post oak, this species has obtained the name of the swamp post oak. The foliage is thick, and of a light agreeable tint; and the bark is white. The acorns are broad, round, and depressed; and the cups, which are nearly closed over them, are thin and scaly, each scale being terminated by a short firm point, or bristle. (Michx.) Pursh, speaking of this tree, says that it is only from 8 ft. to 15 ft. high; but, as all the other writers who have mentioned it describe it as a large tree, with a majestic appearance, and
1734 most luxuriant vegetation, Pursh's account of its height is probably a mis