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The Black walnut is one of the largest trees of our native forests. In good soils it often attains a stature of 60 or 70 feet, and a diameter of three or four feet in the trunk, with a corresponding amplitude of branches. The leaves, about a foot or eighteen inches in length, are composed of six or eight pairs of opposite leaflets, terminated by an odd one. They contain a very strong aromatic odour, which is emitted plentifully when they are bruised. The large nut, always borne on the extremity of the young shoots, is round, and covered with a thick husk; which, instead of separating into pieces, and falling off like those of the hickory, rots away and decays gradually. The kernel of the Black walnut, too well known to need any description here, is highly esteemed, and is even considered by some persons to possess a finer flavour than any other walnut.

The timber of this tree is very valuable: when well seasoned it is as durable as the White oak, and is less liable to the attacks of sea-worms, etc., than almost any other; it is therefore highly esteemed in naval architecture for certain purposes. But its great value is in cabinet-work. Its colour, when exposed to the air, is a fine, rich, dark brown, beautifully veined in certain parts; and as it takes a brilliant polish, it is coming into general use, in the United States, for furniture, as well as for the interior finishing of houses.

The Black walnut has strong claims upon the Landscape Gardener, as it is one of the grandest and most massive trees which he can employ. When full grown, it is scarcely inferior in the boldness of its ramification, or the amplitude of its head, to the oak or the chestnut; and what it lacks in spirited outline when compared with those trees, is fully compensated, in our estimation, by its superb and heavy masses

of foliage, which catch and throw off the broad lights and shadows in the finest manner. When the Black walnut stands alone on a deep fertile soil, it becomes a truly majestic tree; and its lower branches often sweep the ground in a graceful curve, which gives additional beauty to its whole expression. It is admirably adapted to extensive lawns, parks, or plantations, where there is no want of room for the attainment of its full size and fair proportions. Its rapid growth and umbrageous foliage also recommend it for wide public streets and avenues.

The European walnut (J. regia,) or as it is generally termed here, the Madeira nut, is one of the most common cultivated trees of Europe, where it was introduced originally from Persia. It differs from our Black walnut, (which, however, it much resembles,) in the smooth, gray bark of the stem, the leaves composed of three or four pair of leaflets, and in the very thin-shelled fruit, which, though not exceeding the Black walnut in size, yet contains a much larger kernel, which is generally considered more delicate in flavour. In the interior of France, orchards of the walnut are planted, and a considerable commerce is carried on in its products consisting chiefly of the fruit, of which large quantities are consumed in all parts of Europe. The wood is greatly used in the manufacture of gun-stocks, and in cabinet-making; (though it is much inferior to the American walnut wood for this purpose ;) and the oil extracted from the kernel, is in high estimation for mixing with delicate colours used in painting, and other purposes.

The European walnut is a noble tree in size, and thickly clad in foliage. It is much esteemed as a shade-tree by the Dutch; and Evelyn, who is an enthusiastic admirer of its beauties, mentions their fondness for this tree as in the high

est degree praiseworthy. "The Bergstras, [Bergstrasse] which extends from Heidelberg to Darmstadt, is all planted with walnuts; for as by an ancient law, the Borderers were obliged to nurse up and take care of them, and that chiefly for their ornament and shade, so as a man may ride for many miles about that country, under a continual arbour or close walk, the traveller both refreshed with the fruit and shade. How much such public plantations improve the glory and wealth of a nation! In several places betwixt Hanau and Frankfort in Germany, no young farmer is permitted to marry a wife till he bring proof that he hath planted, and is the father of a stated number of walnut trees."*

The nuts are imported into this country in great quantities; and as they are chiefly brought from Spain and the Madeiras, they are here almost entirely known by the name of the Madeira nut. The tree is but little cultivated among us, though highly deserving more extensive favour, both on account of its value and beauty. It grows well in the climate of the middle states, and bears freely; a specimen eighteen or twenty years old, in the garden of the author, has reached thirty-five feet in height, and bears two or three bushels of fine fruit annually; from which we have already propagated several hundred individuals. It is not perfectly hardy north of this.

As an ornamental tree, Gilpin remarks, that the warm russet hue of its young foliage makes a pleasing variety among the vivid green of other trees, about the end of May; and the same variety is maintained in summer, by the contrast of its yellowish hue, when mixed in any quantity with trees of a darker tint. It stands best alone, as the early loss of its

* Hunter's Evelyn, p. 168.

foliage is then of less consequence, and its ramification is generally beautiful.

The Butternut, (J. cathartica,) belongs to this section, and is chiefly esteemed for its fruit; which abounds in oil, and is very rich and sweet. The foliage somewhat resembles that of the Black walnut, though the leaflets are smaller and narrower. The form of the nut, however, is strikingly different, being oblong, oval, and narrowed to a point at the extremity. Unlike the walnut, the husk is covered with a sticky gum, and the surface of the nut is much rougher than any other of the walnut genus. The bark of the butternut is gray, and the tops of old trees generally have a flattened appearance. It is frequently an uncouth, ill-shapen, and ugly tree in form, though occasionally, also, quite striking and picturesque. And it is well worthy of a place for the excellence of its fruit.*


Nat. Ord. Juglandaceae. Lin. Syst. Monoecia, Polyandria.

The hickories are fine and lofty North American trees, highly valuable for their wood, and the excellent fruit borne by some of the species. The timber is extremely elastic, and very heavy, possessing great strength and tenacity. It is not

* Loudon errs greatly in his Arboretum, in supposing the butternut to be identical with the Black walnut: no trees in the whole American forest are more easily distinguished at first sight. He also states the fruit to be rancid and of little value; but no American lad of a dozen years will accord with him in this opinion.

much employed in architecture, as it is peculiarly liable to the attacks of worms, and decays quickly when exposed to moisture. But it is very extensively employed for all purposes requiring great elasticity and strength; as for axletrees, screws, the wooden rings used upon the rigging of vessels, whip-handles, and axe-handles; and an immense quantity of the young poles are employed in the manufacture of hoops, for which they are admirably adapted.

For fuel, no American wood is equal to this in the brilliancy with which it burns, or in the duration, or amount of heat given out by it: it therefore commands the highest price in market for that purpose.

The hickories are nearly allied to the walnuts; the chief botanical distinction consisting in the covering to the nut, or husk; which in the hickories separates into four valves, or pieces, when ripe, instead of adhering in a homogeneous coat, as upon the Black walnut and butternut. In size and appearance, the hickories rank with the first class of forest trees; most of them growing vigorously to the height of 60 or 80 feet, with fine straight trunks, well balanced and ample heads, and handsome, lively, pinnated foliage. When confined among other trees in the forest, they shoot up 50 or 60 feet without branches; but when standing singly, they expand into a fine head near the ground, and produce a noble, lofty pyramid of foliage, rather rounded at the top. They have all the qualities which are necessary to constitute fine, graceful, park trees, and are justly entitled to a place in every considerable plantation.

The most ornamental species are the Shellbark hickory, the Pignut and the Pecan-nut. The former and the latter produce delicious nuts, and are highly worthy of cultivation for their fruit alone; while all of them assume very hand

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