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It is sometimes alleged against the scientist that he is a hardhearted, uncompromising individual. Assuredly he is no respecter of persons or of persons' "fads and fancies." Old traditions, fondled by ordinary folk, are to him as nothing, mere myths to be brushed aside as the musty cobwebs of a superstitious past. The man of science hunts for hard facts, plays games with algebraic signs, communes familiarly with the faithful units of the atomic theory. He is wary of wise saws, impatient of old men's proverbs, conceding little which cannot be demonstrated. There is reason to fear that the Scientific Forester, one of the latest recruits to the ranks of industrial scientists, may not be unlike his learned brethren.
Common people have been accustomed to regard the Laird of Dumbiedikes as a prudent man, as a man before his day in wisdom and enterprise. "Jock," said he to his son, "when ye hae naething else to do, ye may aye be sticking in a tree; it will be growing, Jock, when ye're sleeping." That fatherly advice has long been accounted the very essence of sound economy, an admirable example of frugal industry. Now, however, the Scientific Forester has dispelled the illusionshowing that it is all wrong, a fundamental error arising from the want of a scientific knowledge of the laws of plant-growth. If the Laird of Dumbiedikes had been a scientific Forester, he would have known that trees as well as their planters have a habit of going to sleep at stated timesthat, in fact, assuming that his son Jock was an orderly young man,
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the trees planted by Jock would be sleeping when Jock slept. It is only under the influence of sunshine that the chlorophyll of the foliage can actively perform its function in plant-growth; and so, when the sun goes down, the tree goes to sleep.
Now we have not a word to say against this action on the part of the Scientific Forester. We dare not challenge him, for he has truth on his side. But while the Laird of Dumbiedikes's advice may have been "all wrong" scientifically, it was both sound and good from a practical point of view. If those quaint words addressed to Jock had become the motto of every owner of forest-land in this country, and if that motto had been faithfully carried into practice, such fabulous additions would have been made to the material wealth of the British Isles as could hardly now be calculated. The whole aspect of the countryside would have been changed. Millions of money going abroad every year would have been kept at home. 'Aye be sticking in a tree"-why, a better bit of advice never passed from father to son.
Tree-planting is an old art. Strange as at first glimpse it may appear, tree-clearing is still older. "A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees," we are told in the seventy-fourth psalm; and the same enterprise the cutting down of trees-has been in all countries and in all ages the forerunner of both forestry and agriculture. The Romans were the first as a nation to perceive that persistent tree-cutting, unaccompanied by methodical tree-planting,
would be disastrous to the industrial interests of a country. We have to thank the Romans for introducing the art of Forestry into Britain. It is acknowledged that, if tree-culture was pursued at all in this country before the Roman invasion, it was not practised to any important extent until after that event. Both Pliny and Horace tell us that the Romans were eminent as foresters at an
early date. They planted and reared coppice-woods for poles to support their vines and for other purposes, planted willows for wicker-work, and on their hills cultivated forests from which they cut timber for building purposes. There is hardly any doubt that they were the first to introduce exotic trees into Britain. Many species brought over by the Romans have remained in this country ever since, becoming thoroughly acclimatised, and adding greatly to the forest-wealth of the British Isles. Other varieties would seem to have succumbed to the rigours of the British climate when first tried; but most, if not all, of them have since been reintroduced and successfully established. We have to thank the Roman invaders for the English elm, the lime, the sweetchestnut, poplar, and other trees, which have been a boon of no small value to the country.
The love of the chase was, no doubt, the motive which first induced the early kings of England and Scotland to preserve certain stretches of woodlands as forests. These forests, indeed, were known as the royal hunting-grounds. They were numerous in England at the time of the Norman Conquest; and we are told that a great impetus was given in this direction by William I. and his immediate successors, amongst other new forests formed being the New Forest
in Hampshire, which has ever since been an interesting feature in British woodlands. But forest-forming for the purpose of the chase is one thing, tree-culture for direct profit is quite another. The latter, which constitutes the modern art of Sylviculture, came long after the creation of the ancient royal huntinggrounds. And the mention of the word Sylviculture brings to mind the confusion which exists as to the use and the meaning of the terms Sylviculture and Arboriculture. The treatment of woods on sound, rational, scientific, and financial principles, with timber production as the one main object, is properly described as Sylviculture. On the other hand, by Arboriculture is meant the cultivation of individual trees, or small groups or patches of trees, intended more for ornament, shelter, or gamerearing than as a source of income from the produce of the trees themselves. When one speaks of Forestry it is Sylviculture rather than Arboriculture that is usually meant, but it may be doubted if in this country the distinction between the two arts is as well understood as it ought to be. Indeed, it is alleged that the woods in this country have hitherto been treated too much from an arboricultural point of view, and that the true art of Sylviculture is but in its merest infancy in the British Isles. It cannot be denied that there are grounds for these statements, yet it seems to us they are stronger than the circumstances really warrant. liarities of large parts of this country lend themselves more readily to arboricultural than to sylvicultural treatment, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that they suggest the former rather than the latter. To provide shelter in exposed situations, and to
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beautify a landscape that sorely needed something of the kind, have been the chief motives which have led many British landowners into tree-planting. It is thus by design more than through neglect or want of knowledge that the minor art of Arboriculture has become so largely characteristic of British Forestry.
The art of Forestry in this country cannot now be traced to the precise date at which it began. Holinshed in his 'Description of Britaine' states that, in the reign of Henry VIII., "plantations of trees began to be made for purposes of utility," and it is known that the cultivation of the trees and woods of the New Forest in Hampshire was undertaken prior to the reign of Edward IV. Fitzherbert's book on planting, the first work of the kind in the English language, was published in 1523. It is stated on reliable authority (Brit. Topo., p. 61) that before the end of the sixteenth century Gerard had 1100 different plants and trees in cultivation. During the first half of the seventeenth century considerable progress was made in Forestry, several important trees, such as the silver fir, maple, larch, and others, having then been introduced into England. In 1664 there appeared a work which for its day was a treatise of remarkable intelligence and ability, and which was destined to exercise no little influence upon the art of Forestry in Britain. We refer to Evelyn's 'Silva.' In little more than forty years the third edition was called for, and a work which in those days attained that distinction must have made a marked impression upon the public mind. Evelyn describes fully the modes of planting, pruning, thinning, and general treatment of trees and plants which were pur
sued by him, and no doubt by means of his writings he was able to induce many others to follow his example. Evelyn was distressed by the wholesale tree-cutting which was then taking place, and in the third edition of his work, published in 1706, he gives forcible expression to his regret at "the impolitic diminution of our timber caused through the prodigious havoc" by those who were tempted, not only to fell and cut down, but utterly to extirpate, demolish, and raze, as it were, all the many goodly woods and forests which our prudent ancestors left standing, for the Ornament and Service of their country.'
Another event of perhaps still greater importance-one in which Scotchmen may well have some pride and interest followed quickly the publication of Evelyn's Silva.' In the year 1670 the Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh were founded by Dr Balfour exactly ninety years before the establishment of the celebrated Gardens at Kew. Scotland thus took the lead at a comparatively early date in the promotion of tree-planting; and it is interesting to note that the oldest Botanic Gardens in the United Kingdom have in our own day been the first to establish a systematic course of instruction in the science and practice of Forestry tice of Forestry-a step which will call for mention later on. is known that during the last thirty years of the seventeenth and the earlier years of the eighteenth century great activity in tree-planting was displayed in different parts of Scotland. Not only were plantations formed of native trees, but other species were introduced and planted on a tolerably extensive scale. The limetree was planted at Taymouth in
664, the silver and spruce firs at Inverary in 1682, the black poplar t Hamilton in 1696, the horsechestnut at New Posso in 1709, he Weymouth pine at Dunkeld in 1725, the larch at the same place n 1741, the cedar of Lebanon which had been brought to the Edinburgh Botanic Garden in 1683) at Hopetoun in 1743, and the English elm at Dalmahoy in 1763.
At the pressing instigation of is mother, Thomas, sixth Earl of Haddington, began his great plantations at Tynninghame, East Lothian, in 1705. He became an enthusiast in the work, and planted not only upon an extensive scale, out with skill and good judgment. There is no need to point out what East Lothian in general, and Tynninghame in parcicular, have gained from the forehought and enterprise of that nobleman. His example no doubt exerted influence far beyond his own country, for in 1733 he wrote and published a treatise on foresttrees. In that treatise he tells us chat planting was not well understood in this country till the beginning of the eighteenth century. He believed that the Earl of Mar was the first to introduce amongst them what was called the wilderness way of planting - planting Large masses with openings left through them, as vistas from given points, which method was in vogue in England at the time. The Earl of Mar's example "very much improved the taste of our gentlemen, who very soon followed his example." A natural result of the growing taste for planting was the formation of nurseries for the rearing of young forest - trees. Soon these nurseries became so plentiful that landowners were able to obtain supplies of trees at moderate prices. From this circumstance
planting received a great impetus, and the extent to which planting was carried on is evidenced by the fact that a very large portion of the existing woodlands throughout Britain had been planted in the latter part of the last and the earlier years of the present century. The most extensive planters in the kingdom at that time were the Duke of Athole, Lord Breadalbane, and Sir J. Grant of Strathspey, whose noble forests have been the admiration of all countries.
For some time after 1830 there would seem to have been a lull in tree-planting. This has been attributed partly to the fact that the great prosperity which was attending agriculture was diverting attention from the woodlands, and partly also to the demands which the promotion of railways was at that time making upon the capital of landowners. It was no doubt, however, in a very large measure accounted for by the comparatively poor returns which were then being realised, or were likely to be obtained, from plantations that had been formed in the preceding century. It has to be acknowledged that the financial returns from most of the earlier plantations were far from satisfactory. Little wonder, indeed, that this was so, for it was not until after the year 1845 that the draining of forestland was practised to any considerable extent. The systematic thinning of the young plantations had been pursued to some extent in earlier years; but even in that allimportant work, as in other matters affecting the healthy and profitable formation of the woodlands, there was need for improved methods. A new era in planting dates from about 1845. Mr Robert Monteath's 'Forester's Guide and Profitable Planter,' which brought
out Sir Walter Scott's famous essay in The Quarterly Review,' was followed by Sir Henry Steuart's work, 'The Planter's Guide,' which was published by Messrs Blackwood. By these and later works, and by other means, a new light has been thrown upon the art of Forestry. The function of drainage is now thoroughly understood. Much that was before unknown as to the thinning, pruning, and the general tending of woodlands, has been learned and turned to good purpose both in the management of existing and in the formation of new plantations. There is no doubt much to be learned still. It is not pretended that all that has been taught as to the art of Forestry since the dawn of the new era has been unassailably sound; the systematic study of the science of Forestry may show the old teaching to be astray on various points. Be this as it may, it is undeniable that an improvement of a very marked character in the management of British woodlands took place soon after 1845.
Various agencies have been active in promoting this improvement in Forestry. None has been more effective than that standard work known as Brown's 'Forester.' The first edition of 'The Forester' was published in 1847, the second in 1851, and the sixth has just made its appearance. The Forester' has from the very outset of its useful career ranked as a standard work. It has been the guide, philosopher, and friend of the best foresters in the country. It was the product of a master
mind, the work of a man far above most of his compeers in intelligence and ability. Brown's experience of practical Forestry was extensive and thorough. It was his misfortune, not his fault, that the scientific principles regulating plant growth were but imperfectly known to him. Viewed in the light of his own day, his work was from beginning to end sound and consistent. The fuller knowledge of the science of Forestry, which, thanks mainly to Continental effort, is now available, shows that at several points Brown's teaching is capable of advantageous modification. In the new edition before us it has received this and a good deal more. The work of revision has been planned judiciously. Brown's book it is still. The outstanding features of the old work are all there. Where its teaching is at variance with the newer school of Forestry, the editor comes in with appropriate guidance to the reader. The reasons for the modifications are always given, so that the line of transition from the old methods to the new may be readily followed. The work has been brought up to date in the most thorough manner; and the fact that, notwithstanding the great advance which the study of scientific Forestry has lately made, this has been done without any serious disfigurement of the old book, says not a little for the character of the work in its original form. The new matter added is of great value in itself, and will much increase the practical usefulness of the work, alike to the landowner,
1 The Forester: A Practical Treatise on the Planting and Tending of Forest Trees and the General Management of Woodlands. By James Brown, LL.D. New edition. Thoroughly revised, emended, and amplified by John Nisbet, D. Ec., Author of 'British Forest Trees,' &c. In 2 vols. royal 8vo. William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London.