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THERE is nothing more exalting than a great tree, and as Prof. Bristow Adams suggests: "The wonderful thing about the tree is that it keeps growing year after year and thus takes its place as the oldest living thing." As such we should revere it as a choice heritage, or if we find no trees growing on our land we should plant them for our posterity. A story indelible in the mind of the writer is that ,of a man called "Johnny Appleseed," who was very fond of Apples, and eating them as he walked he sowed the seed
by the wayside. Years later people gathered the fruit of his pleasant labor. His life stands a great lesson in this day of needed reforesting of our devastated and ill-cared for woodlands. Some of us can never plant a forest, but we can start the growth of several trees that may become perfect specimens.
Not only should we plant trees, but we should care for them properly, prune and spray them intelligently. Because we may be neglectful one year, an Elm which has grown for a hundred years may be destroyed by the Elm beetle. We owe it to the community to try to save it. Do not allow the removal of trees by telephone companies or when excavating, without careful thought.
The trees each of us would choose for our lawn decoration would most probably be those for which we have a personal liking. From childhood, we reverence a certain type of tree either because of fruits it bears, or its shape or its Fall colors. Nothing compares with the American Elm for restful beauty ; especially so are the forms which are vase shaped and with foliage to the soil
. The Tulip tree holds a strong appeal; the foliage is glossy, and the tight bark of the older trees is beautiful. What is more effective than a huge Red or Black Oak with its strong and often crooked branches? Such a tree is in mind which takes up as much room as the little Dutch house beneath it.
Specimen Beeches, which are branched to the soil, though usually very formal in shape, are yet graceful. All persons progressive enough to read garden
books, of course, would never spoil the beauty of the lawn trees
by removing the lower limbs. It is peculiar, but many persons have not realized that if they prune off the limbs of a young tree it is very difficult ever to get new branches to start out from below again. The white Birch is graceful and girlish, but it is being attacked by a borer to such an extent that it is best not to advise planting it.
Besides the large trees, there are a great number of very useful smaller growing trees. There are several Grab Apples which are most excellent; one ol the prettiest with double pink flowers
is Bechtel's Grab, and a very handsome variety of Japanese Grab has deep red buds which on opening become white or a blush pink. The beauty of this tree in bloom is overpowering. Many of the Thorn Apples are handsome. They require a great deal of water and should not be planted where they can rob the perennials
. A tree known but little and valued because of its very superior Autumn tints, is the Sorrel tree (Oxydendron). For Autumn effect, some Japanese Maples are excellent, as also is the Sweet Gum. One must avoid great spots of color in trees, for too great an abundance of purple Plums and Beeches, Japanese Maples and variegated yellow forms will destroy the dignified beauty of your garden.
[hide][top]Evergreen Trees in Landscaping
We have not spoken a word about the evergreens. They are ever beautiful and ever graceful as well as evergreen. To no other trees does the injunction to let the lower limbs grow apply so much as to the evergreens. How much different are our tastes I In the evergreens some of us enjoy the informal, look as though they were weather beaten sorts.
We enjoy Pines which have had some accident when young and have four or five trunks instead of one. We admire the Austrian Pine at any stage of its growth; the Pitch Pine when it becomes old and picturesque, with its sturdy short branches, and persistent globular cones, and the long, heavy foliage of the Red Pine. Others will much prefer the conical Firs and Spruces. The greatest beauty is seen in a perfect specimen of Norway or Oriental Spruce, branching to the soil and hiing with huge cones; or perhaps the blue-green or grayish-green foliage of the Silver Fir is a great attraction, for this is one of the best beautiful trees of this type which can be grown. The latter is prettier than the Colorado Blue Spruce, which is planted far too much; it is a trifle too bright and has such stiff foliage that, in the minds of many, it does not compare with the softer and more graceful foliage of the Silver Fir.
Evergreens are adapted for certain uses in landscaping
. They have the advantage of holding their foliage not only in Summer but also in Winter. On the other hand, they do not give any beautiful bloom. Evergreens are of rather slow growth, but if you are willing to wait, they will make good screens for shutting out undesirable views, also as a windbreak. We will sum up the matter of evergreens by saying that they can always be used in the landscape planting
, but they should be used in limited amounts. If too many evergreens are used they give a cold, stiff appearance.
Among the smaller growing evergreens we have the Japanese Cypresses or Retinisporas, the foliage of which is graceful and the habits charming. The Arborvitses, especially the Chinese species, are very handsome. For mass planting, the Hemlock is admirable; the foliage is most dainty; the trees merge into one another very nicely.
Recause of the handsome cones and the soft foliage, the Douglas Fir is to be admired. The Rocky Mountain forms are hardy, but the Coastal Plain form is not best for planting in the East. The Irish Juniper is most slender and vertical. Winter snows often get into this tree, spreading the branches and often breaking them. It would seem well to tie the trees up a little before Winter.
[hide][top]Shade Trees for the Garden
see Lawn trees
All trees are not adapted for street planting.
Some of them are too rapid growing, so that the wood is soft and the trees short lived. The Poplars well illustrate this class. They are miserable trees, for they break easily in storms; their roots enter the sewer pipes and they heave up sidewalks. Cities which have good forestry control are making the planting of this tree a misdemeanor.
The soft Maple, the Sycamore Maple, the European Ash, Rirches, Willows, Tulip Tree and the Rox Elder come in this class. Other trees are objectionable because their attractive fruits and flowers are apt to be picked. In this case, the form of the tree is usually spoiled. Examples of trees of this class are Chestnut, Hickory, Horse Chestnut,' Catalpa, black or common Locust, Magnolia, Dogwood, Mountain Ash. The Catalpa and Horse Chestnut are really objectionable because of their mussy habit of dropping flowers, young fruits or bud scales.
Good street trees stand adverse conditions, are more or less free from insects and diseases and furnish shade, but not too dense; they are long lived, and those which are arching are preferred by many to the more formal globular forms. Prof. Curtis of Cornell University advises the following trees for various widths of street.
For narrow streets (less than sixty feet between buildings), the trees should be planted alternately and spaced forty feet apart and the following may be used :
- Pin oak tree
- Green ash tree
- Honey locust tree