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partially evergreen in winter, remarkably luxuriant in their growth, attaining a height of seventy or eighty feet, and elegant in foliage and outline. The Lucombe and Fulham oaks grow from one to five feet in a season; the trees assume a beautiful pyramidal shape, and as they retain their fine glossy leaves till May, they would form a fine contrast to other deciduous trees.
We might here enumerate a great number of other fine foreign oaks; among which, the most interesting are the Holly or Holm oak, (Quercus Ilex ;) and the Cork oak, (Q. Suber,) of the south of France, which produces the cork of commerce; (both rather too tender for the north ;) the Kermes oak, (Q. coccifera,) from which a scarlet dye is obtained; and the Italian Esculent oak, (Q. Esculus,) with sweet nutritious acorns. Those, however, who wish to investigate them, will pursue this subject farther in European works; while that splendid treatise on our forest trees, the North American Sylva of Michaux, will be found to give full and accurate descriptions of all our numerous indigenous varieties, of which many are peculiar to the southern states.
The oak flourishes best on a strong loamy soil, rather moist than dry. Here at least the growth is most rapid, although, for timber, the wood is generally not so sound on a moist soil as a dry one, and the tree goes to decay more rapidly. Among the American kinds, however, some may be found adapted to every soil and situation, though those species which grow on upland soils, in stony, clayey, or loamy bottoms, attain the greatest size and longevity. When immense trees are desired, the oak should either be transplanted very young, or, which is preferable, raised from the acorn sown where it is finally to remain. This is necessary
on account of the very large tap roots of this genus of trees, which are either entirely destroyed or greatly injured by removal. Transplanting this genus of trees should be performed, either early in autumn, as soon as the leaves fall or become brown, or in spring before the abundant rains
THE ELM. Ulmus.
Nat. Ord. Ulmacea.
Lin. Syst. Pentandria, Digynia.
We have ascribed to the oak the character of pre-eminent dignity and majesty among the trees of the forest. Let us now claim for the elm the epithets graceful and elegant. This tree is one of the noblest in the size of its trunk, while the branches are comparatively tapering and slender, forming themselves, in most of the species, into long and graceful curves. The flowers are of a chocolate or purple colour, and appear in the month of April, before the leaves. The latter are light and airy, of a pleasing light green in the spring, growing darker, however, as the season advances. The elm is one of the most common trees in both continents, and has been well known for its beauty and usefulness since a remote period. In the south of Europe, particularly in Lombardy, elm trees are planted in vineyards, and the vines are trained in festoons from tree to tree, in the most picturesque manner. Tasso alludes to this in the following stanzas:
"Come olmo, a cui la pampinosa pianta
Se ferro il tronca, o fulmine lo schianta
Gerusalemme Liberata, 2. 326.
It is one of the most common trees for public walks and
avenues, along the highways in France and Germany, growing with great rapidity, and soon forming a widely extended shade. In Europe, the elm is much used for keels in shipbuilding, and is remarkably durable in water; more extensive use is made of it there than of the American kinds in this country, though the wood of the Red American elm is more valuable than any other in the United States for the blocks used in ship rigging.
For its graceful beauty, the elm is entitled to high regard. Standing alone as a single tree, or in a group of at most three or four in number, it developes itself in all its perfection. The White American elm we consider the most beautiful of the family, and to this we more particularly allude. In such situations as we have just mentioned, this tree developes its fine ample form in the most picturesque manner. Its branches first spring up, embracing the centre, then bend off in finely diverging lines, until, in old trees, they often sweep the ground with their loose pendant foliage. With all this lightness and peculiar gracefulness of form, it is by no means a meagre looking tree in the body of its foliage, as its thick tufted masses of leaves reflect the sun, and embosom the shadows as finely as almost any other tree, the oak excepted. We consider it peculiarly adapted for planting, in scenes where the expression of elegant or classical beauty is desired. In autumn the foliage assumes a lively yellow tint, contrasting well with the richer and more glowing colours of our naive woods. Even in winter it is a pleasing object, from the minute division of its spray, and the graceful droop of its branches. It is one of the most generally esteemed of our native trees for ornamental purposes, and is as great a favourite here as in Europe, for planting in public squares, and along the highways. Beau
tiful specimens may be seen in Cambridge, Mass., and very fine avenues of this tree are growing with great luxuriance in and about New Haven.* The charming villages of NewEngland, among which Northampton and Springfield are preeminent, borrow from the superb and wonderfully luxuriant elms, which decorate their fine streets and avenues, the greater portion of their peculiar loveliness. The elm should not be chosen where large groups and masses are required, as the similarity of its form in different individuals, might then create a monotony; but, as we have before observed, it is peculiarly well calculated for small groups, or as a single object. The roughness of the bark contrasting with the lightness of its foliage, and the easy sweep of its branches, adds much also to its effect as a whole.
We shall briefly describe the principal species of the elm.
The American White elm. (Ulmus Americana.) This is the best known, and most generally distributed, of our native species, growing in greater or less profusion, over the whole of the country included between Lower Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. It often reaches 80 feet in height in fine soils, with a diameter of 4 or 5 feet. The leaves are alternate, 3 or 4 inches long, unequal in size at the base, borne on petioles half an inch to an inch in length, oval, accuminate, and doubly denticulated. The seeds are contained in a flat, oval, winged seed-vessel, fringed with small hairs on the margin. The flowers, of a dull purple colour, are borne in small bunches on short footstalks, at the end of the branches, and appear very early in the spring. This tree prefers a deep rich soil, and grows with greater luxuriance if it be rather moist, often reaching, in such situations, an altitude
*The great elm of Boston Common is 22 feet in circumference.
of nearly 100 feet. It is found in the greatest perfection in the alluvial soils of the fertile valleys of the Connecticut, the Mississippi, and Ohio Rivers.
The Red or Slippery elm. (U. fulva.) A tree of lower size than the White elm, attaining generally only 40 or 50 feet. According to Michaux, it may be distinguished from the latter even in winter, by its buds, which are larger and rounder, and which are covered a fortnight before their development, with a russet down. The leaves are larger, rougher, and thicker than those of the White elm; the seedvessels larger, destitute of fringe; the stamens short, and of a pale rose colour. This tree bears a strong likeness to the Dutch elm, and the bark abounds in mucilage, whence the name of Slippery elm. The branches are less drooping than those of the White elm.
The Wahoo elm, (U. alata,) is not fouud north of Virginia. It may at once be known in every stage of its growth, by the fungous cork-like substance which lines the branches on both sides. It is a very singular and curious tree, of moderate stature, and grows rapidly and well when cultivated in the northern states.
The common European elm. (U. campestris.) This is the most commonly cultivated forest tree in Europe, next to the oak. It is a more upright growing tree than the White elm, though resembling it in the easy disposition and delicacy of its branches. The flowers, of a purple colour, are produced in round bunches, close to the stem. The leaves are rough, doubly serrated, and much more finely cut than those of our elms. It is a fine tree, 60 or 70 feet high, growing with rapidity, and is easily cultivated. The timber is more valuable than the American sort, though the tree is inferior to the White elm in beauty. There are some dozen or