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Title: Getting Acquainted with the Trees
Author: McFarland, J. Horace (John Horace), 1859-1948
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Getting Acquainted with the Trees

BY

J. HORACE McFARLAND


_Illustrated from Photographs by the Author_


NEW YORK THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1914

Copyright, 1904

By The Outlook Company

       *       *       *       *       *

Published April, 1904

Reprinted April, 1904

New edition September, 1906

Reprinted August, 1913 March, 1914.



Foreword


These sketches are, I fear, very unscientific and unsystematic. They
record the growth of my own interest and information, as I have recently
observed and enjoyed the trees among which I had walked unseeing far too
many years. To pass on, as well as I can, some of the benefit that has
come into my own life from this wakened interest in the trees provided
by the Creator for the resting of tired brains and the healing of
ruffled spirits, as well as for utility, is the reason for gathering
together and somewhat extending the papers that have brought me, as they
have appeared in the pages of "The Outlook," so many letters of
fellowship and appreciation from others who have often seen more clearly
and deeply into the woods than I may hope to.

Driven out from my desk by weariness sometimes--and as often, I confess,
by a rasped temper I would fain hide from display--I have never failed
to find rest, and peace, and much to see and to love, among the common
and familiar trees, to which I hope these mere hints of some of their
features not always seen may send others who also need their silent and
beneficent message.

  J. H. McF.

  _March 17, 1904_



Contents
                                                                    PAGE

  A STORY OF SOME MAPLES                                               1

  THE GROWTH OF THE OAK                                               25

  PINES                                                               49

  APPLES                                                              73

  WILLOWS AND POPLARS                                                 95

  THE ELM AND THE TULIP                                              131

  NUT-BEARING TREES                                                  157

  SOME OTHER TREES                                                   185

  INDEX                                                              235

  BOTANICAL NAMES                                                    239



List of Illustrations
                                                                    PAGE

  Silver maple flowers                                                 4

  Young leaves of the red maple                                        7

  "The Norway maple breaks into a wonderful bloom"                     9

  Samaras of the sugar maple                                          11

  A mature sycamore maple                                             13

  Sycamore maple blossoms                                             15

  Flowers of the ash-leaved maple                                     17

  Ash-leaved maples in bloom                                          19

  Striped maple                                                       21

  The swamp white oak in winter                                       29

  Flowers of the pin-oak                                              31

  The swamp white oak in early spring                                 36

  An old post-oak                                                     39

  A blooming twig of the swamp white oak                              41

  Acorns of the English oak                                           47

  A lone pine on the Indian river                                     53

  Hemlock Hill, Arnold Arboretum                                      56

  The long-leaved pines of the South                                  61

  Fountain-like effect of the young long-leaved pines                 62

  An avenue of white pines                                            67

  Cones of the white spruce                                           71

  An apple orchard in winter                                          78

  When the apple trees blossom                                        81

  The Spectabilis crab in bloom                                       84

  Fruits of the wild crab                                             87

  The beauty of a fruiting apple branch                               91

  Bloom of double-flowering apple                                     94

  A weeping willow in early spring                                   100

  The weeping willow in a storm                                      103

  A pussy-willow in a park                                           106

  Blooms of the white willow                                    108, 109

  A white willow in a characteristic position                        112

  Clump of young white willows                                       116

  White poplars in spring-time                                       119

  Carolina poplar as a street tree                                   123

  Winter aspect of the cottonwood                                    126

  Lombardy poplar                                                    129

  A mature American elm                                              136

  The delicate tracery of the American elm in winter                 139

  The English elm in winter                                          143

  Winter effect of tulip trees                                       148

  A great liriodendron in bloom                                      150

  Flowers of the liriodendron                                        153

  The wide-spreading black walnut                                    162

  The American sweet chestnut in winter                              165

  Sweet chestnut blooms                                              167

  The chinquapin                                                     170

  A shagbark hickory in bloom                                        173

  The true nut-eater                                                 178

  The American beech in winter                                       180

  The witch-hazel                                                    181

  Sweet birch in spring                                              191

  Yellow birches                                                     192

  Flowers of the spice-bush                                          194

  Leaves and berries of the American holly                           195

  American holly tree at Trenton                                     196

  Floral bracts or involucres of the dogwood                         199

  The red-bud in bloom                                               201

  Blooms of the shad-bush                                            206

  Flowers of the American linden                                     207

  The American linden                                                209

  Flowers of the black locust                                        211

  Young trees of the black locust                                    212

  The sycamore, or button-ball                                       215

  Button-balls--fruit of the sycamore                                217

  The liquidambar                                                    220

  The leaves and fruit of the liquidambar                            222

  The papaw in bloom                                                 226

  Flowers of the papaw                                               227

  The persimmon tree in fruiting time                                231

  Berries of the spice-bush                                          234


       *       *       *       *       *


A Story of Some Maples


This is not a botanical disquisition; it is not a complete account of
all the members of the important tree family of maples. I am not a
botanist, nor a true scientific observer, but only a plain tree-lover,
and I have been watching some trees bloom and bud and grow and fruit for
a few years, using a camera now and then to record what I see--and much
more than I see, usually!

In the sweet springtime, when the rising of the sap incites some to
poetry, some to making maple sugar, and some to watching for the first
flowers, it is well to look at a few tree-blooms, and to consider the
possibilities and the pleasures of a peaceful hunt that can be made with
profit in city street or park, as well as along country roadsides and in
the meadows and the woods.

Who does not know of the maples that are all around us? Yet who has
seen the commonest of them bloom in very early spring, or watched the
course of the peculiar winged seed-pods or "keys" that follow the
flowers? The white or "silver" maple of streets or roadsides, the soft
maple of the woods, is one of the most familiar of American trees. Its
rapid and vigorous growth endears it to the man who is in a hurry for
shade, and its sturdy limbs are the joy of the tree-butcher who "trims"
them short in later years.

[Illustration: Silver maple flowers]

Watch this maple in very early spring--even before spring is any more
than a calendar probability--and a singular bloom will be found along
the slender twigs. Like little loose-haired brushes these flowers are,
coming often bravely in sleet and snow, and seemingly able to "set" and
fertilize regardless of the weather. They hurry through the bloom-time,
as they must do to carry out the life-round, for the graceful
two-winged seeds that follow them are picked up and whirled about by
April winds, and, if they lodge in the warming earth, are fully able to
grow into fine little trees the same season. Examine these seed-pods,
keys, or samaras (this last is a scientific name with such euphony to it
that it might well become common!), and notice the delicate veining in
the translucent wings. See the graceful lines of the whole thing, and
realize what an abundant provision Dame Nature makes for
reproduction,--for a moderate-sized tree completes many thousands of
these finely formed, greenish yellow, winged samaras, and casts them
loose for the wind to distribute during enough days to secure the best
chances of the season.

This same silver maple is a bone of contention among tree-men, at times.
Some will tell you it is "coarse"; and so it is when planted in an
improper place upon a narrow street, allowed to flourish unrestrained
for years, and then ruthlessly cropped off to a headless trunk! But set
it on a broad lawn, or upon a roadside with generous room, and its noble
stature and grace need yield nothing to the most artistic elm of New
England. And in the deep woods it sometimes reaches a majesty and a
dignity that compel admiration. The great maple at Eagles Mere is the
king of the bit of primeval forest yet remaining to that mountain rest
spot. It towers high over mature hemlocks and beeches, and seems well
able to defy future centuries.

But there is another very early maple to watch for, and it is one widely
distributed in the Eastern States. The red or scarlet maple is well
named, for its flowers, not any more conspicuous in form than those of
its close relation, the silver maple, are usually bright red or yellow,
and they give a joyous color note in the very beginning of spring's
overture. Not long are these flowers with us; they fade, only to be
quickly succeeded by even more brilliant samaras, a little more delicate
and refined than those of the silver maple, as well as of the richest
and warmest hue. Particularly in New England does this maple provide a
notable spring color showing.

[Illustration: Young leaves of the red maple]

The leaves of the red maple--it is also the swamp maple of some
localities--as they open to the coaxing of April sun and April
showers, have a special charm. They are properly red, but mingled with
the characteristic color is a whole palette of tints of soft yellow,
bronze and apricot. As the little baby leaflets open, they are shiny and
crinkly, and altogether attractive. One thinks of the more aristocratic
and dwarfed Japanese maples, in looking at the opening of these
red-brown beauties, and it is no pleasure to see them smooth out into
sedate greenness. Again, in fall, a glory of color comes to the leaves
of the red maple; for they illumine the countryside with their scarlet
hue, and, as they drop, form a brilliant thread in the most beautiful of
all carpets--that of the autumn leaves. I think no walk in the really
happy days of the fall maturity of growing things is quite so pleasant
as that which leads one to shuffle through this deep forest floor
covering of oriental richness of hue.

As the ground warms and the sun searches into the hearts of the buds,
the Norway maple, familiar street tree of Eastern cities, breaks into a
wonderful bloom. Very deceptive it is, and taken for the opening foliage
by the casual observer; yet there is, when these flowers first open, no
hint of leaf on the tree, save that of the swelling bud. All that soft
haze of greenish yellow is bloom, and bloom of the utmost beauty. The
charm lies not in boldness of color or of contrast, but at the other
extreme--in the delicacy of differing tints, in the variety of subtle
shades and tones. There are charms of form and of fragrance, too, in
this Norway maple--the flowers are many-rayed stars, and they emit a
faint, spicy odor, noticeable only when several trees are together in
bloom. And these flowers last long, comparatively; so long that the
greenish yellow of the young leaves begins to combine with them before
they fall. The tints of flower and of leaf melt insensibly into each
other, so that, as I have remarked before, the casual observer says,
"The leaves are out on the Norway maples,"--not knowing of the great
mass of delightful flowers that have preceded the leaves above his
unseeing eyes. I emphasize this, for I hope some of my readers may be on
the outlook for a new pleasure in early spring--the blooming of this
maple, with flowers so thoroughly distinct and so entirely beautiful.

[Illustration: "The Norway maple breaks into a wonderful bloom"]

The samaras to follow on this Norway maple are smaller than those of the
other two maples mentioned, and they hang together at a different angle,
somewhat more graceful. I have often wondered how the designers, who
work to death the pansies, the roses and the violets, have managed to
miss a form or "motive" of such value, suggesting at once the near-by
street and far-away Egypt.

[Illustration: Samaras of the sugar maple]

A purely American species, and one of as much economic importance as any
leaf-dropping tree, is the sugar maple, known also as rock maple--one
designation because we can get sweetness from its sap, the other
because of the hardness of its wood. The sugar maples of New England, to
me, are more individual and almost more essentially beautiful than the
famed elms. No saccharine life-blood is drawn from the elm; therefore
its elegance is considered. I notice that we seldom think much of beauty
when it attaches to something we can eat! Who realizes that the common
corn, the American maize, is a stately and elegant plant, far more
beautiful than many a pampered pet of the greenhouse? But this is not a
corn story--I shall hope to be heard on the neglected beauty of many
common things, some day--and we can for the time overlook the syrup of
the sugar maple for its delicate blossoms, coming long after the red and
the silver are done with their flowers. These sugar-maple blooms hang on
slender stems; they come with the first leaves, and are very different
in appearance from the flowers of other maples. The observer will have
no trouble in recognizing them after the first successful attempt, even
though he may be baffled in comparing the maple leaves by the apparent
similarity of the foliage of the Norway, the sugar and the sycamore
maples at certain stages of growth.

[Illustration: A mature sycamore maple]

After all, it is the autumn time that brings this maple most strongly
before us, for it flaunts its banners of scarlet and yellow in the
woods, along the roads, with an insouciant swing of its own. The sugar
possibility is forgotten, and it is a pure autumn pleasure to appreciate
the richness of color, to be soon followed by the more sober cognizance
of the elegance of outline and form disclosed when all the delicate
tracery of twig and bough stands revealed against winter's frosty sky.
The sugar maple has a curious habit of ripening or reddening some of its
branches very early, as if it was hanging out a warning signal to the
squirrels and the chipmunks to hurry along with their storing of nuts
against the winter's need. I remember being puzzled one August morning
as I drove along one of Delaware's flat, flat roads, to know what could
possibly have produced the brilliant, blazing scarlet banner that hung
across a distant wood as if a dozen red flags were being there
displayed. Closer approach disclosed one rakish branch on a sugar maple,
all afire with color, while every other leaf on the tree yet held the
green of summer.

Again in the mountains, one late summer, half a lusty sugar maple set up
a conflagration which, I was informed, presaged its early death. But the
next summer it grew as freely as ever, and retained its sober green
until the cool days and nights; just as if the ebullition of the season
previous was but a breaking out of extra color life, rather than a
suggestion of weakness or death.

[Illustration: Sycamore maple blossoms]

The Norway maple is botanically _Acer platanoides_, really meaning
plane-like maple, from the similarity of its leaves to those of the
European plane. The sycamore maple is _Acer Pseudo-platanus_, which,
being translated, means that old Linnæus thought it a sort of false
plane-like maple. Both are European species, but both are far more
familiar, as street and lawn trees, to us dwellers in cities than are
many of our purely American species. There is a little difference in the
bark of the two, and the leaves of the sycamore, while almost identical
in form, are darker and thicker than those of the Norway, and they are
whitish underneath, instead of light green. The habit of the two is
twin-like; they can scarcely be distinguished when the leaves are off.
But the flowers are totally different, and one would hardly believe them
to be akin, judging only by appearances. The young leaves of the
sycamore maple are lush and vigorous when the long, grape-like
flower-clusters appear below the twigs. "Racemes" they are,
botanically--and that is another truly good scientific word--while the
beautiful Norway maple's flowers must stand the angular designation of
"corymbs." But don't miss looking for the sycamore maple's long,
pendulous racemes. They seem more grape-like than grape blossoms; and
they stay long, apparently, the transition from flower to fruit being
very gradual. I mind me of a sycamore I pass every winter day, with its
dead fruit-clusters, a reminiscence of the flower-racemes, swinging in
the frosty breeze, waiting until the spring push of the life within the
twigs shoves them off.

To be ready to recognize this maple at the right time, it is well to
observe and mark the difference between it and the Norway in the summer
time, noting the leaves and the bark as suggested above.

[Illustration: Flowers of the ash-leaved maple]

Another maple that is different is one variously known as box-elder,
ash-leaved maple, or negundo. Of rapid growth, it makes a lusty,
irregular tree. Its green-barked, withe-like limbs seem willing to grow
in any direction--down, up, sidewise--and the result is a peculiar
formlessness that has its own merit. I think of a fringe of box-elders
along Paxton Creek, decked in early spring with true maple flowers on
thread-like stems, each cluster surmounted by soft green foliage
apparently borrowed from the ash, and it seems that no other tree could
fit better into the place or the season. Then I remember another, a
single stately tree that has had a great field all to itself, and stands
up in superb dignity, dominating even the group of pin-oaks nearest to
it. 'Twas the surprising mist of bloom on this tree that took me up the
field on a run, one spring day, when the running was sweet in the air,
but sticky underfoot. The color effect of the flowers is most delicate,
and almost indescribable in ordinary chromatic terms. Don't miss the
acquaintance of the ash-leaved maple at its flowering time, in the very
flush of the springtime, my tree-loving friends!

I have not found a noticeable fragrance in the flowers of the box-elder,
such as is very apparent where there is a group of Norway maples in
bloom together. The red maples also give to the air a faint and
delightfully spicy odor, under favorable conditions. May I hint that the
lusty box-elder, when it is booming along its spring growth, furnishes
a loose-barked whistle stick about as good as those that come from the
willow? The generous growth that provides its loosening sap can also
spare a few twigs for the boys, and they will be all the better for a
melodious reason for the spring ramble.

[Illustration: The ash-leaved maples in bloom]

The striped maple of Pennsylvania, a comparatively rare and entirely
curious small tree or large shrub, is not well known, though growing
freely as "elkwood" and "moosewood" in the Alleghanies, because it is
rather hard to transplant, and thus offers no inducements to the
nurserymen. These good people, like the rest of us, move along the lines
of least resistance, wherefore many a fine tree or fruit is rare to us,
because shy or difficult of growth, or perhaps unsymmetrical. The fine
Rhode Island Greening apple is unpopular because the young tree is
crooked, while the leather-skinned and punk-fleshed Ben Davis is a model
of symmetry and rapidity of growth. Our glorious tulip tree of the
woods, because of its relative difficulty in transplanting, has had to
be insisted upon from the nurserymen by those who know its superb
beauty. For the same reason this small charming maple, with the large,
soft, comfortable leaves upon which the deer love to browse, is kept
from showing its delicate June bloom and its remarkable longitudinally
striped bark in our home grounds. I hope some maple friends will look
for it, and, finding, admire this, the aristocrat among our native
species.

[Illustration: Striped maple]

The mountain maple--the nurserymen call it _Acer spicatum_--is another
native of rather dwarf growth. It is bushy, and not remarkable in leaf,
its claim for distinction being in its flowers and samaras, which are
held saucily up, above the branches on which they grow, rather than
drooping modestly, as other maples gracefully bear their bloom and
fruit. These shiny seeds or keys are brightly scarlet, as well, and thus
very attractive in color. There is a reason for this, in nature's
economy; for while the loosely hung samaras of the other maples are
distributed by the breezes, the red pods of this mountain maple hold
stiffly upward to attract the birds upon whom it largely depends for
that sowing which must precede its reproduction.

Of the other maples of America--a score of them there are--I might write
pages, to weariness. The black maple of the Eastern woods, the
large-leaved maples of the West, these and many more are in this great
family, to say nothing of the many interesting cultivated forms and
variations introduced from European nurseries, and most serviceable in
formal ornamental planting. But I have told of those I know best and
those that any reader can know as well in one season, if he looks for
them with the necessary tree love which is but a fine form of true love
of God's creation. This love, once implanted, means surer protection for
the trees, otherwise so defenseless against the unthinking vandalism of
commercialism or incompetence--a vandalism that has not only devastated
our American forests, but mutilated shamefully many trees of priceless
value in and about our cities.

Of the Japanese maples--their leaves seemingly a showing of the
ingenuity of these Yankees of the Orient, in their twists of form and
depths of odd color--I could tell a tale, but it would be of the tree
nursery and not of the broad outdoors. Let us close the book and go
afield, in park or meadow, on street or lawn, and look to the maples for
an unsuspected feast of bloom, if it be spring, or for richness of
foliage in summer and autumn; and in coldest winter let us notice the
delicate twigs and yet sturdy structure of this tree family that is most
of all characteristic of the home, in city or country.



The Growth of the Oak


The old saw has it, "Great oaks from little acorns grow," and all of us
who remember the saying have thus some idea of what the beginning of an
oak is. But what of the beginning of the acorn? In a general way, one
inferentially supposes that there must be a flower somewhere in the
life-history of the towering white oak that has defied the storms of
centuries and seems a type of everything sturdy and strong and
masculine; but what sort of a flower could one imagine as the source of
so much majesty? We know of the great magnolias, with blooms befitting
the richness of the foliage that follows them. We see, and some of us
admire, the exquisitely delicate blossoms of that splendid American
tree, the tulip or whitewood. We inhale with delight the fragrance that
makes notable the time when the common locust sends forth its white
racemes of loveliness. But we miss, many of us, the flowering of the
oaks in early spring, and we do not realize that this family of trees,
most notable for rugged strength, has its bloom of beginning at the
other end of the scale, in flowers of delicate coloring and rather
diminutive size.

The reason I missed appreciating the flowers of the oak--they are quite
new to me--for some years of tree admiration was because of the
distracting accompaniment the tree gives to the blooms. Some trees--most
of the maples, for instance--send out their flowers boldly ahead of the
foliage, and it is thus easy to see what is happening above your head,
as you stroll along drinking in the spring's nectar of spicy air.
Others, again, have such showy blooms that the mass of foliage only
accentuates their attractiveness, and it is not possible to miss them.

[Illustration: The swamp white oak in winter]

But the oak is different; it is, as modest as it is strong, and its
bloom is nearly surrounded by the opening leaves in most seasons and in
most of the species I am just beginning to be acquainted with. Then,
too, these opening leaves are of such indescribable colors--if the
delicate chromatic tints they reflect to the eye may be so strongly
named--that they harmonize, and do not contrast, with the flowers. It is
with them almost as with a fearless chipmunk whose acquaintance I
cultivated one summer--he was gay with stripes of soft color, yet he so
fitted any surroundings he chose to be in that when he was quiet he
simply disappeared! The oak's flowers and its exquisite unfolding of
young foliage combine in one effect, and it is an effect so beautiful
that one easily fails to separate its parts, or to see which of the mass
of soft pink, gray, yellow and green is bloom and which of it is
leafage.

[Illustration: Flowers of the pin-oak]

Take the pin-oak, for instance, and note the softness of the greenery
above its flowers. Hardly can we define the young leaves as green--they
are all tints, and all beautiful. This same pin-oak, by the way (I mean
the one the botanists call _Quercus palustris_), is a notable
contradiction of the accepted theory that an oak of size and dignity
cannot be reared in a lifetime. There are hundreds of lusty pin-oaks all
over the Eastern States that are shading the homes of the wise men who
planted them in youth, and they might well adorn our parks and avenues
in place of many far less beautiful and permanent trees. With ordinary
care, and in good soil, the pin-oak grows rapidly, and the
characteristic spreading habit and the slightly down-drooping branches
are always attractive. In its age it has not the ruggedness of its kin,
though it assumes a stately and somewhat formal habit, and, I must
confess, accumulates some ragged dead branches in its interior.

This raggedness is easily cared for, for the tree requires--and few
trees do--no "trimming" of its outer branches. The interior twigs that
the rapid growth of the tree has deprived of air and light can be
quickly and easily removed. In Washington, where street-tree planting
has been and is intelligently managed under central authority, the
avenues of pin-oaks are a splendid feature of the great boulevards which
are serving already as a model to the whole country. Let us plant oaks,
and relieve the monotony of too many maples, poplars and horse-chestnuts
along our city and village highways.

I like, too, to see the smooth little acorns of the pin-oak before the
leaves drop; they seem so finished and altogether pleasing, and with the
leaves make a classical decorative motive worth more attention from
designers.

While I am innocent of either ability or intent to write botanically of
the great oak family, I ought perhaps to transcribe the information that
the flowers we see--if we look just at the right time in the
spring--are known as "staminate catkins,"--which, being interpreted,
means that there are also pistillate flowers, much less conspicuous, but
exceedingly necessary if acorns are to result; and also the fact that
the familiar "pussy-willow" of our acquaintance is the same form of
bloom--the catkin, or ament. I ought to say, too, that some of the oaks
perfect acorns from blossoms in one year, while others must grow through
two seasons before they are mature. Botanically, the oak family is
nearly a world family, and we Americans, though possessed of many
species, have no monopoly of it. Indeed, if I may dare to refer the
reader to that great storehouse of words, the Encyclopædia Britannica, I
think he will find that the oak is there very British, and that the
English oak, surely a magnificent tree in England anyway, is
patriotically glorified to the writer.

But we want to talk of some of our own oaks. The one thoroughly
characteristic is surely the noble white oak, a tree most admirable in
every way, and most widely distributed over the Northern States. Its
majestic form, as it towers high above the ordinary works of man,
conveys the repose of conscious strength to the beholder. There is a
great oak in Connecticut to which I make pilgrimages, and from which I
always get a message of rest and peace. There it stands, strong,
full-powered, minding little the most furious storms, a benediction to
every one who will but lift his eyes. There it has stood in full majesty
for years unknown, for it was a great oak, so run the title-deeds, way
back in 1636, when first the white man began to own land in the
Connecticut Valley. At first sight it seems not large, for its perfect
symmetry conceals its great size; but its impression grows as one looks
at it, until it seems to fill the whole landscape. I have sat under it
in spring, when yet its leafy canopy was incomplete; I have looked into
its green depths in midsummer, when its grateful shadow refreshed the
highway; I have seen the sun set in redness beyond its bare limbs, the
snowy countryside emphasizing its noble lines; I have tried to fathom
the mystery in its sturdy heart overhead when the full moon rode in the
sky; and always that "great oak of Glastonbury" has soothed and cheered
and rested, and taken me nearer the Giver of all such good to restless
humanity.

Do I wonder at my friend who has built his home where he may look always
at this white oak, or that he raged in anger when a crabbed neighbor
ruthlessly cut down a superb tree of the same kind that was on his
property line, in order that he might run his barbed-wire fence
straight? No; I agree with him that this tree-murderer has probably a
barbed-wire heart, and we expect that his future existence will be
treeless, at least!

[Illustration: The swamp white oak in early spring]

Sometimes this same white oak adapts itself to the bank of a stream,
though its true character develops best in the drier ground. Its
strength has been its bane, for the value of its timber has caused many
a great isolated specimen to be cut down. It is fine to know that some
States--Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island also, I think--have
given to trees along highways, and in situations where they are part of
the highway landscape, the protection of a wise law. Under this law each
town appoints a tree-warden, serving without pay (and therefore with
love), who may seal to the town by his label such trees as are truly the
common possession, regardless of whose land they happen to be on. If the
owner desires to cut down a tree thus designated, he must first obtain
permission, after stating satisfactory reasons, of the annual
town-meeting, and this is not so easy as to make cutting very frequent.
The whole country should have such a law, and I should enjoy its
application right here in Pennsylvania, where oaks of a hundred years
have been cut down to make room for a whisky sign, and where a superb
pin-oak that I passed today is devoted to an ignominious use. If I may
venture to become hortatory, let me say that the responsibility for the
preservation of the all-too-few remaining great primeval trees, and of
their often notable progeny, in our Eastern States, rests with those who
care for trees, not alone with those who ought to care. To talk about
the greatness and beauty of a fine oak or maple or tulip, to call
attention to its shade value, and to appeal to the cupidity of the
ground owner by estimating how much less his property will be worth
when the trees are gone or have been mishandled, will aid to create the
necessary public sentiment. And to provide wise laws, as may be often
done with proper attention, is the plain duty and the high privilege of
the tree-loving citizen. The trees are defenseless, and they are often
unreplaceable; if you love them protect them as you would your children.

The white-oak leaf is the most familiar and characteristic, perhaps, of
the family; but other species, close to the white oak in habit, show
foliage of a very different appearance. The swamp white oak, for
instance, is a noble tree, and in winter particularly its irregular
branches give it an especial expression of rugged strength as it grows
along a brookside; but its leaves smooth up on the edges, giving only a
hint of the deep serrations that typify its upland brother. Deeply green
above are these leaves and softly white below, and in late summer there
appears, here and there, on a stout stem, a most attractive acorn of
large size. Its curious cup gives a hint, or more than a hint, as to the
special designating character of another oak, the mossy-cup or bur. This
latter species is beautiful in its habit, rich in its foliage, and the
fringed or mossed acorns are of a remarkable size.

[Illustration: An old post-oak]

Of all the oaks, the sturdy but not lofty post-oak spreads the richest
display of foliage. Its peculiar habit leads to the even placing of its
violoncello-shaped leaves, and its generous crop of acorns gives added
distinction in late summer. It is fine in the forest, and a notable
ornament anywhere.

It has been said that a proper penance for an offending botanist would
be a compulsory separation and description of the involved and
complicated goldenrod family; and I would suggest that a second edition
of the same penance might be a requirement to name off-hand the first
dozen oak trees the same poor botanist might meet. So much do the
foliage, the bark, and the habit of growth vary, and so considerable is
the difference between individuals of the same species, that the wisest
expert is likely to be the most conservative. An unbotanical observer,
who comes at the family just because he loves trees in general, and is
poking his eyes and his camera into unusual places, doesn't make close
determinations; he tells what he thinks he sees, and leaves exact work
to the scientists.

[Illustration: A blooming twig of the swamp white oak]

There are some oaks, however, that have borrowed the foliage of other
trees so cunningly that one at first scouts the possibility of the
Quercus parentage, until he sees an undeniable acorn thrusting itself
forward. Then he is sure that what seemed a rather peculiarly shaped
chestnut tree, with somewhat stumpy foliage, is none other than the
chestnut-oak. A fine tree it is, too, this same chestnut-oak, with its
masquerading foliage of deep green, its upright and substantial habit,
its rather long and aristocratic-looking acorns. The authorities tell
that its wood, too, is brownish and valuable; but we tree-lovers are not
enthusiastic over mere timber values, because that means the killing of
the trees.

The willow-oak will not deceive, because its habit is so oak-like and so
willow-less; but its foliage is surely borrowed from its graceful and
more rapidly growing neighbor. Not so large, by any means, as the white
oak or the chestnut-oak, it has somewhat rough and reddish bark, and its
acorns are perfected in the second year of their growth, close to the
twigs, in the way of the pin-oak. The general aspect of the tree is
upright, rather than spreading, and it partakes thus of the maple
character in its landscape effect. The willow-oak is one of the species
I would, if I were writing a tree-planting article, heartily commend to
those who wish to add adornment to the countryside that shall be
permanent and satisfactory. Just a hint here: nursery-grown oaks, now
obtainable from any modern establishment, have usually been frequently
moved or transplanted, as the trade term goes, and this means that they
have established a somewhat self-contained root system, which will give
them far greater vigor and cause them to take hold sooner when finally
placed in a situation where they are to be permanent features. The
reason is plain: the forest seedling, in the fierce struggle for
existence usually prevailing, must send its roots far and wide for food,
and when it is dug out their feeding capacity is so seriously curtailed
as to check the growth of the tree for many years. The nursery-grown
tree, on the contrary, has been brought up "by hand," and its food has
always been convenient to it, leading to more rapid growth and a more
compact root system. I only interject this prosaic fact here in the hope
that some of my tree-loving readers will undertake to plant some oaks
instead of only the soft-wooded and less permanent maples, poplars, and
the like.

Another simulative leaf is that of the laurel-oak, and it is color and
gloss as well as shape that have been borrowed from its humbler
neighbor in the forest. The shining green of the laurel is seen in these
oak leaves; they are also half evergreen, thus being one of the family
particularly belonging to our Southern States, and hardly enduring the
chill of the winters north of Virginia. It is one of the galaxy of oaks
I remember as providing a special interest in the Georgia forests, where
the long-leaved pine also gave a new tree sensation to the visitor from
the North, who at first could hardly imagine what those lovely little
green fountains of foliage were that he saw along the roadside and in
the woods. The Georgia oaks seem to me to have a richness of foliage, a
color and substance and shine, that compare only with the excellence of
two other products of the same State--the peach and the watermelon. The
long summer and the plenitude of sunshine seem to weave into these
products luxuriance found nowhere else; and when one sees for the first
time a happy, rollicking bunch of round-eyed negro children, innocent
alike of much clothing or any trouble, mixing up with the juicy Georgia
melon under the shade of a luxuriant oak, he gets a new conception of
at least one part of the race problem!

One of the things I wanted much to see when I first traveled South was
the famed live-oak, the majesty and the mournfulness of which had been
long sung into me. Perhaps I expected too much, as I did of the
palmetto, another part of my quest, but surely there was disappointment
when I was led, on the banks of the Manatee River in Florida, to see a
famous live-oak. It was tall and grand, but its adornment of long,
trailing gray Spanish moss, which was to have attached the sadness to
it, seemed merely to make it unkempt and uncomfortable. I was instantly
reminded of a tree at home in the far North that I had never thought
particularly beautiful, but which now, by comparison, took on an
attractiveness it has never since lost. Imagine a great spreading
weeping willow turned dingy gray, and you have a fair picture of a
moss-covered live-oak; but you will prefer it green, as is the willow, I
believe.

One day a walk about Savannah, which city has many splendid live-oaks
in its parks and squares, involved me in a sudden shower, when, presto!
the weeping willow of the North was reincarnated before my eyes, for the
falling rain turned the dingy moss pendants of the live-oak to the
whitish green that makes the willow such a delightful color-note in
early spring. I have been thankful often for that shower, for it gave a
better feeling about the live-oak, and made me admire the weeping
willow.

The live-oak, by the way, has a leaf very little like the typical
oak--it is elliptical in shape and smooth in outline. The curious
parasitic moss that so frequently covers the tree obscures the really
handsome foliage.

The English Oak, grand tree that it is, grows well in America, as
everything English should by right, and there are fine trees of this
_Quercus Robur_ on Long Island. The acorns are of unusual elegance, as
the photograph which shows them will prove.

The red oak, the black oak, the scarlet oak, all splendid forest trees
of the Northeast, are in the group of confusion that can be readily
separated only by the timber-cruiser, who knows every tree in the
forest for its economic value, or by the botanist, with his limp-bound
Gray's Manual in hand. I confess to bewilderment in five minutes after
the differences have been explained to me, and I enjoyed, not long ago,
the confusion of a skilful nurseryman who was endeavoring to show me his
young trees of red oak which the label proved to be scarlet! But the
splendidly effective trees themselves can be fully appreciated, and the
distinctions will appear as one studies carefully the features of these
living gifts of nature's greenness. The trees wait on one, and once the
habit of appreciation and investigation is formed, each walk afield, in
forest or park, leads to the acquirement of some new bit of tree-lore,
that becomes more precious and delightful as it is passed on and
commented upon in association with some other member of the happily
growing fraternity of nature-lovers.

[Illustration: Acorns of the English oak]

These oak notes are not intended to be complete, but only to suggest
some points for investigation and appreciation to my fellows in the
brotherhood. I have never walked between Trenton and New York, and
therefore never made the desired acquaintance with the scrub-oaks along
the way. Nor have I dipped as fully into the oak treasures of the Arnold
Arboretum as I want to some day. But my camera is yet available and the
trees are waiting; the tree love is growing and the tree friends are
inviting, and together we will add to the oak knowledge and to that
thankfulness for God and life and love and friends that the trees do
most constantly cause to flourish.



The Pines


In popular estimation, the pines seem to belong to the North, not quite
so exclusively as do the palms to the South. The ragged, picturesque old
pines, spruces and hemlocks of our remembrance carry with them the
thought of great endurance, long life and snowy forests. We think of
them, too, as belonging to the mountains, not to the plains; as clothing
steep slopes with their varied deep greens rather than as standing
against the sky-line of the sea. Yet I venture to think that the most of
us in the East see oftenest the pines peculiar to the lowlands, as we
flit from city to city over the steel highways of travel, and have most
to do, in an economical sense, with a pine that does not come north of
the Carolinas--the yellow pine which furnishes our familiar
house-flooring.

The pine family, as we discuss it, is not all pines, in exactitude--it
includes many diverse trees that the botanist describes as conifers.
These cone-bearing trees are nearly all evergreens--that is, the foliage
persists the year round, instead of being deciduous, as the
leaf-dropping maples, oaks, birches, and the like are scientifically
designated. Historically the pines are of hoary age, for they are
closely related to the growths that furnished the geologic coal measures
stored up in the foundations of the earth for our use now. Economically,
too, all the pine family together is of vast importance--"the most
important order of forest trees in the economy of civilized man," says
Dr. Fernow; for, as he adds, the cone-bearing trees "have furnished the
bulk of the material of which our civilization is built." As usual,
civilization has destroyed ruthlessly, thoughtlessly, almost viciously,
in using this material; wherefore the devastation of the forests, moving
them back from us farther and farther until in many regions they are but
a thin fringe, has left most of us totally unfamiliar with these trees,
of the utmost beauty as well as of the greatest value.

[Illustration: A lone pine on the Indian River]

To know anything at all of the spruces, pines and hemlocks is to love
them for the refreshment there is in their living presence, rather than
to consider them merely for the timber value. But the point of view
differs immensely with one's occupation. I remember finding in the
depths of an Alleghany forest a comparatively rare native orchid, then
new to me--the round-leaved _or orbicular habenaria_. While I was
gloating over it with my camera a gray-haired native of the neighborhood
joined me, and, to my surprise, assisted in the gloating--he, too, loved
the woods and the plants. Coming a little later to a group of
magnificent hemlocks, with great, clean, towering trunks reaching up a
hundred feet through the soft maples and yellow birches and beeches
which seemed dwarfed by these veterans, I exclaimed in admiration.
"Yes," he said, "them's mighty fine hemlocks. I calc'late thet one to
the left would bark near five dollars' wuth!" On the rare plant we had
joined in esthetic appreciation, but the hemlock was to the old
lumberman but a source of tan-bark.

This search for tannin, by the way, is to blame for much wanton
destruction. Young hemlocks, from four to six inches in diameter, are
felled, stripped of their bark, and left cumbering the ground, to invite
fire and to make of the woods an unkempt cemetery. The fall of a tree
from natural causes is followed by the interesting and beauty-making
process of its mossy decay and return to the forest floor, furnishing in
the process nourishment for countless seedlings and plants. A tree
felled in maturity under enlightened forest management is all removed
for its timber, and leaves the ground clear; but the operations of the
bark-hunter leave only hideous destruction and a "slash" that is most
difficult to clear in later years.

This same hemlock makes a most impressive forest. To walk among primeval
hemlocks brings healing to the mind and peace to the soul, as one
realizes fully that "the groves were God's first temples," and that God
is close to one in these beneficent solitudes, where petty things must
fall away, vexations cease, and man's spiritual nature absorb the
message of the forest.

[Illustration: Hemlock Hill, Arnold Arboretum (Boston)]

I wonder how many of my readers realize that an exquisite bit of real
hemlock forest lies not five miles from Boston Common? At the Arnold
Arboretum, that noble collection of trees and plants, "Hemlock Hill" is
assuming deeper majesty year after year as its trees gain age and size.
It presents exactly the pure forest conditions, and makes accessible to
thousands the full beauty and soothing that nothing but a coniferous
forest can provide for man. There is the great collateral advantage,
too, that to reach Hemlock Hill, the visitor must use a noble entrance,
and pass other trees and plants which, in the adequate setting here
given, cannot but do him much good, and prepare him for the deep sylvan
temple of the hemlocks he is seeking. To visit the Arboretum at the time
when the curious variety of the apple relatives--pyruses and the
like--bloom, is to secure a great benefit of sight and scent, and it is
almost certain to make one resolve to return when these blossoms shall,
by nature's perfect work, have become fruit. Here the fruit is grown for
its beauty only, and thus no gastronomic possibilities interfere with
the appreciation of color, and form, and situation! But again, to come
to the Arboretum some time during the reign of the lilacs is to
experience an even greater pleasure, perhaps, for here the old farm
garden "laylock" assumes a wonderful diversity of form and color, from
the palest wands of the Persian sorts to the deepest blue of some of the
French hybrids.

The pines themselves will well repay any investigation and appreciation.
Seven species are with us in the New England and Middle Atlantic States,
seven more are found South, while the great West, with its yet
magnificent forests, has twenty-five pines of distinct character. The
white pine is perhaps most familiar to us, because of its economic
importance, and it is as well the tallest and most notable of all those
we see in the East. From its first essay as a seedling, with its
original cluster of five delicate blue-green leaflets, to its lusty
youth, when it is spreading and broad, if given room to grow, it is a
fine object, and I have had some thrills of joy at finding this splendid
common thing planted in well-placed groups on the grounds of wealthy
men, instead of some Japanese upstart with a name a yard long and a
truly crooked Oriental disposition! In age the white pine dominates any
landscape, wearing even the scars of its long battle with the elements
with stately dignity. A noble pair of white pines on the shore of Lake
Champlain I remember especially--they were the monarchs of the lakeside
as they towered above all other trees. Ragged they were, their symmetry
gone long years ago through attacks of storms and through strife with
the neighboring trees that had succumbed while they only suffered and
stood firm. Yet they seemed all complete, of proved strength and staying
power, and their aspect was not of defiance or anger, but rather
indicative of beneficent strength, as if they said, "Here we stand;
somewhat crippled, it is true, but yet pointing upright to the heavens,
yet vigorous, yet seed-bearing and cheerful!"

Another group of these white pines that stood close to some only less
picturesque red pines on the shores of a pond deep in the Adirondacks
emphasized again for me one May day the majesty of this beneficent
friend of mankind; and yet another old pine monarch against the sunset
sky pointed the westward way from the picturesque Cornell campus, and
alas! also pointed the danger to even this one unreplaceable tree when
modern "enterprise" constructs a trolley line on a scenic route,
ruthlessly destroying the very features that make the route desirable,
rather than go to any mechanical trouble!

My readers will easily recall for themselves just the same sort of "old
pine" groups they have record of on memory's picture-gallery, and will,
I am sure, agree with me as to the informality, dignity and true beauty
of these survivors of the forest, all of which deserve to be
appreciatively cared for, against any encroachment of train, trolley or
lumberman.

I am ashamed to say I have not yet seen the blossoms of the white pine,
which the botanists tell us come in early spring, minute and light
brown, to be followed by the six-inch-long cones which mature the second
year. I promise my camera that another spring it shall be turned toward
these shy blossoms.

[Illustration: The long-leaved pines of the South]

[Illustration: The fountain-like effect of the young long-leaved pine]

Any one who has traveled south of Virginia, even by the Pullman way of
not seeing, cannot fail to have noted the lovely green leaf-fountains
springing up from the ground along the railroads. These are the young
trees of the long-leaved or Southern yellow pine. How beautiful they
are, these narrow leaves of vivid green, more than a foot long, drooping
gracefully from the center outward, with none of the stiffness of our
Northern species! In some places they seem to fairly bubble in green
from all the surface of the ground, so close are they. And the grand
long-leaved pine itself, maintained in lusty vigor above these
greeneries, is a tree of simple dignity, emphasized strongly when seen
at its best either in the uncut forest, or in a planted avenue. We of
the North are helping to ruin the next generation of Southern pines by
lavish use, for decorations, of the young trees of about two feet high,
crowded with the long drooping emerald needles. The little cut-off pine
lasts a week or two, in a parlor--it took four or five years to grow!

All pine-cones are interesting, and there is a great variation between
the different species. The scrub-pine one sees along the railroads
between New York and Philadelphia has rather stubby cones, while the
pitch-pine, beloved of the fireplace for its "light-knots," has a
somewhat pear-shaped and gracefully disposed cone. A most peculiar cone
is that of a variety of the Norway pine, which, among other species
brought from Europe, is valued for ornament. The common jack-pine of the
Middle States hillsides wears symmetrical and handsome cones with
dignity. Cones are, of course, the fruits or seed-holders of the pine,
but the seeds themselves are found at the base of the scales, or parts
of the cones, attached in pairs. Each cone, like an apple, has in its
care a number of seeds, which it guards against various dangers until a
kindly soil encourages the rather slow germination characteristic of the
order.

The nurserymen have imported many pines from Europe, which give pleasing
variety to our ornamental plantings, and aid in enriching the winter
coloring. The Austrian pine and the Scotch pine are welcome additions to
our own pine family. In these days of economic chemistry and a
deficient rag supply, every reader of these words is probably in close
proximity to an important spruce product--paper. The manufacturers say,
with hand on heart, that they do not use _much_ wood pulp, but when one
has passed a great paper-mill flanked on all sides by piles of spruce
logs, with no bales of rags in sight anywhere, he is tempted to think
otherwise! Modern forestry is now planting trees on waste lands for the
pulp "crop," and the common poplar is coming in to relieve the spruces.

Beautiful trees are these spruces and firs, either in the forest or when
brought by the planter to his home grounds. The leaves are much shorter
than those of most pines, and clothe the twigs closely. There is a vast
variety in color, too, from the wonderful whitish or "glaucous" blue of
the Colorado blue spruce, to the deep shining green of Nordmann's fir, a
splendid introduction from the Caucasus. Look at them, glistening in the
winter sun, or drooping with the clinging snow; walk in a spruce wood,
inhaling the bracing balsamic fragrance which seems so kindly to the
lungs; hark to the music of the wind in their tops, telling of health
and purity, of God's love and provision for man's mind and heart, and
you will begin to know the song of the firs. To really hear this grand
symphony, for such it then becomes, you must listen to the wind playing
on the tops of a great primeval coniferous forest, of scores and
hundreds of acres or miles in extent. And even then, many visits are
needed, for there are movements to this symphony--the allegro of the
gale, the scherzo of the easy morning breeze, the deep adagio of a
rain-storm, and the andante of warm days and summer breezes, when you
may repose prone upon a soft carpet of pine needles, every sense made
alert, yet soothed, by the master-theme you are hearing.

There is a little wood of thick young pines, interspersed with hard
maple and an occasional birch, close by the lake of the Eagles, where my
summers are made happy. The closeness of the pines has caused their
lower branches to die, as always in the deep forest, and the falling
needles, year by year, have deepened the soft brown carpet that covers
the forest floor. Some one, years ago, struck by the aisles that the
straight trunks mark out so clearly, called this the "Cathedral Woods."
The name seems appropriate at all times, but especially when, on a warm
Sunday afternoon, I lie at ease on the aromatic carpet, hearing the soft
organ tones in the pine tops, and drinking in God's forest message.

[Illustration: An avenue of white pines]

I have visited these pine woods at midnight, when a full moon, making
brilliant the near-by lake, gave but a ghostly gloom in the deep, deep
silence of the Cathedral; but, more impressive, I have often trodden
through in a white fog, when the distance was misty and dim, and the
aisles seemed longer and higher, and to lead one further away from the
trifles of temper and trial. Indeed, I do not believe that any one who
has but once fully received from the deep forest that which it gives out
so freely and constantly can ever think of things trivial, or of minor
annoyances, while again within its soothing portals.

But of the trees of the forest of pine and spruce it must be noted that
sometimes the deepest, glossiest green of the leaves as presented to
the eye only hides the dainty, white-lined interior surface of those
same leaves. To the outside, a somber dignity, unassailable, untouched
by frost or sun, protective, defenseful, as nature often appears to the
careless observer; but inside is light, softly reflected, revealing
unsuspected delicacies of structure and finish.

To us who are not woodsmen or "timber-cruisers" the most familiar of all
the spruces is the introduced form from Norway. Its yellowish green
twigs are bright and cheerful, and in specimens that have reached the
fruiting age the crown of cones, high up in the tree, is an additional
charm, for these soft brown "strobiles," as the botanist calls them, are
smooth and regular, and very different from those of the rugged pines. I
have often been told that the Norway spruce was short-lived, and that it
became unkempt in age; but now that I have lived for ten years and more
beside a noble specimen, I know that the change from the upreaching push
of youth to the semi-drooping sedateness of maturity is only a taking on
of dignity. There stands on the home grounds of a true tree-lover in
Pennsylvania a Norway spruce that has been untouched by knife or
disaster since its planting many years ago. No pruning has shortened in
its "leader" or top, no foolish idea of "trimming it up" has been
allowed to deprive it of the very lowest branches, which, in
consequence, now sweep the ground in full perfection, while the
unchecked point of the tree still aspires upward forty feet above. A
beautiful object is this tree--perhaps the most beautiful of all the
conifers in my friend's great "pinetum," with its scores of rare
species. Let me ask, then, those who would set this or any other tree of
evergreen about the home, to see to it that the young tree from the
nursery has all its lower branches intact, and that its top has never
been mutilated. With care, such specimens may be obtained and
successfully transplanted, and will grow in time to a lovely old age of
steady greenness.

The balsam fir is almost indistinguishable from the Norway spruce when
young, but soon grows apart from it in habit, and is hardly as
desirable, even though a native. It is rich in the true balsamic odor;
and this, again, is its destruction; for one "spruce pillow" may
destroy a half dozen trees!

[Illustration: Cones of the white spruce]

The white cedar, our common juniper, with its aromatic blue berries or
fruits, is perhaps the most familiar of all the native evergreens. It
comes to us of Pennsylvania all too freely at Christmas time, when the
tree of joy and gifts may mean, in the wholesale, sad forest
destruction. This juniper I have associated particularly with the
dogwood and the red-bud, to the bloom of which it supplies a most
perfect background in the favorite Conewago park, a purely natural
reservation of things beautiful along the Pennsylvania railroad. Its
lead-pencil sister, the red cedar, reaches our literary senses as
closely as does the pulp-making spruce!

I might write much of the rare introduced cypresses from Japan and
China, and of the peculiar variations that have been worked out by the
nurserymen among the native pines and firs; yet this would not be talk
of the trees of the open ground, but rather of the nursery and the park.
Also, if I had but seen them, there would be much to say about the
magnificent conifers of the great West, from the giant red-woods, or
sequoias, of the Mariposa grove in California to the richly varied pines
of the Rockies. But I can only suggest to my readers the intimate
consideration of all this great pine family, so peculiarly valuable to
mankind, and the use of some of the pines and spruces about the home for
the steady cheer of green they so fully provide.



Apples


Well do I remember one of the admonitions of my youth, brought upon me
by an attempt to take apple-blossoms from a tree in bloom because they
were beautiful. I was told that it was wrong to pluck for any purpose
the flowers of fruit trees, because the possible fruitage might thereby
be reduced. That is, feeding the eye was improper, but it was always in
order to conserve all the possibilities for another organ of the body.
In those days we had not learned that nature provides against
contingencies, and that not one-tenth of all the blossoms would be
needed to "set" as much fruit as the tree could possibly mature.

The apple, well called the king of fruits, is worthy of all admiration
as a fruit; but I do not see why that need interfere in the least with
its consideration as an object of beauty. On the contrary, such
consideration is all the better for the apple, which is not only most
desirable and pleasing in its relation to the dessert, the truly
celebrated American pie, the luscious dumpling of the housewife, and the
Italian's fruit-stand of our cities, but is at the same time a
benefaction to the eye and the sense of beauty, in tree, in blossom, and
in fruit.

It is of the esthetic value of the apple I would write, leaving its
supreme place in pomology unassailed. Look at the young apple tree in
the "nursery row," where it has been growing a year since it was
"budded"--that is, mysteriously changed from the wild and untamed fruit
of nature to the special variety designed by the nurseryman. It is a
straight, shapely wand, in most varieties, though it is curious to find
that some apples, notably the favorite Rhode Island Greening, start in
promptly to be picturesquely crooked and twisty. As it grows and
branches under the cultivation and guidance of the orchardist, it
maintains a lusty, hearty aspect, its yellowish, reddish or brownish
twigs--again according to variety--spreading out to the sun and the air
freely. A decade passes, and the sparse showing of bloom that has
decorated it each spring gradually gives place to a great glory of
flowers. The tree is about to bear, and it assumes the character of
maturity; for while it grows on soberly for many years, there is now a
spreading, a sort of relaxation, very different from the vigorous
upshooting of its early youth. After a crop or two, the tree has become,
to the eye, the familiar orchard member, and it leans a little from the
blasts of winter, twists aside from the perpendicular, spreads
comfortably over a great expanse of ground, and settles down to its
long, useful, and truly beautiful life.

While the young orchard is trim and handsome, I confess to a greater
liking for the rugged old trees that have followed blossom with fruit in
unstinted profusion for a generation. There is a certain character of
sturdy good-will about these substantial stems that the clinging snows
only accentuate in winter. The framework of limb and twig is very
different from that of the other trees, and the twisty lines seem to
mean warmth and cheer, even against a frosty sky. And these old
veterans are house trees, too--they do not suggest the forest or the
broad expanse of nature, but, instead, the proximity of man and the
home, the comfortable summer afternoon under their copious leafage, the
great piles of ruddy-cheeked fruit in autumn.

[Illustration: An apple orchard in winter]

I need hardly say anything of the apple-blossoms, for those who read
these words are almost certain to have long appreciated their delicately
fragrant blush and white loveliness. The apricot and the cherry are the
first of the fruit trees to sing the spring song, and they cover
themselves with white, in advance of any sign of green leaves on their
twigs. The apple has an advantage; coming more deliberately, the little
pink buds are set amidst the soft greens of the opening foliage, and the
leaves and flowers expand together in their symphony of color and
fragrance. The grass has grown lush by this time, the dandelions are
punctuating it with gold, and everything is in the full riot of
exuberant springtime.

But there are apples and apples and apples. Even the plain orchard
gives us a difference in flowers, as well as in tree aspect. Notice the
trees this coming May; mark the flat, white flowers on one tree, the
cup-shaped, pink-veined blooms on another. Follow both through the
fruiting, and see whether the sweeter flower brings the more sugary
fruit. This fact ascertained, perhaps it may be followed up by
observation of the distinctive color of the twigs and young
branches--for there are wide differences in this respect, and the canny
tree-grower knows his pets afar.

Perhaps there is a "crab" in the old orchard, ready to give the greatest
burst of bloom--for the crab-apple flower is usually finer and more
fragrant than any other of the cultivated forms. It is an especial
refuge of the birds and the bees, you will find, and it invites them
with its rare fragrance and deeper blush, so that they may work all the
more earnestly at the pollination without which all this richness of
bloom would be ineffective in nature's reproductive scheme.

[Illustration: When the apple trees blossom]

This same crab-apple is soon to be, as its brilliant fruit matures, a
notable object of beauty, for few ornamental trees can vie with its
display of shining color. There was a great old crab right in the flower
garden of my boyhood home, amid quaint box-trees, snowballs and lilacs.
Lilies-of-the-valley flourished in its shadow, the delicate
bleeding-heart mingled with old-fashioned irises and peonies at its
feet. From early spring until mid-August the crab-apple held court of
beauty there--and an always hungry boy often found something in addition
to beauty in the red and yellow fruits that were acid but aromatic.

With a little attention, if one would plant crab-apples for their
loveliness of fruit hue and form, a fine contrast of color may be had;
for some varieties are perfect in clear yellow, against others in
deepest scarlet, bloom-covered with blue haze, and yet others which
carry all the colors from cream to crimson--the latter as the warm sun
paints deeper.

Why do we not plant more fruit trees for beauty? Not one of our familiar
fruits will fail us in this respect, if so considered. The apricot will
often have its white flowers open to match the purity of the last snow,
the cherry will follow with a burst of bloom, the apples and crab-apples
will continue the show, aided by plum and pear and peach, and the
quince--ah, there's a flower in a green enamel setting!--will close the
blooming-time. But the cherry fruits now redden in shining roundness,
the earlier apples throw rich gleams of color to the eye, and there is
chromatic beauty until frost bids the last russets leave their stems,
leaving bare the framework of the trees, to teach us in lines of
symmetry and efficiency how strength and elegance are combined in
nature's handiwork. Do you fear that some of the fruit may be taken?
What of it? Plant for beauty, and the fruit is all extra--give it away
freely, and pass on to others some of God's good gifts, to your own true
happiness!

There is another crab-apple that is distinctive in its elegance, color
and fragrance. It is the true "wild crab" of Eastern North America, and
one who makes its acquaintance in blooming time will never forget it.
The tree is not large, and it is likely to be set with crooked, thorny
branches; but the flowers! Deep pink or rosy red chalices, rather longer
than the commonplace apple-blossom, and hanging on long and slender
stems in a certain picturesquely stiff disposition, they are a joy for
the senses of sight and fragrance. This notable native may be found on
rich slopes and in dry glades--it is not fond of swamps. It is grown
by some enlightened nurserymen, too, and can well be planted in the home
grounds to their true adornment. The blossoms give way to form handsome
yellow fruits, about an inch in diameter, which are themselves much more
ornamental than edible, for even the small boy will not investigate a
second time the bitter flesh. I have heard that a cider of peculiar
"hardness" and potency, guaranteed to unsettle the firmest head, is made
from these acid fruits--but I have not found it necessary to extend my
tree studies in that direction.

[Illustration: The Spectabilis crab in bloom]

The states west of Kansas do not know this lovely wild crab, to which
the botanists give a really euphonious designation as _Pyrus coronaria_.
There is a prairie-states crab-apple, which I have never seen, but
which, I am told, has nothing like the beauty of our exquisite Eastern
native. This Western species lacks the long stem and the bright color of
the flowers of our favorite, and its fruits, while quite as viciously
sour, are a dull and greasy green. The great West has many other things,
but we have the wild crab-apple.

Rather between, as to beauty, is the native crab-apple of the Southland,
which is known as the Soulard crab. It is not as attractive as our own
Eastern gem, a pure native possession, and one which our foreign friends
envy us.

Curiously enough, our own fruiting apple is not a native of America. It
was at a meeting of a New England pomological association that I heard,
several years ago, an old man of marvelous memory and power of
observation tell of his recollections of seventy years, notable among
which was his account of seeing the first good apples, as a boy, during
a visit in the state of New York. Think of it! the most widely grown and
beautiful of all our fruits hardly older than the railroad in America!
We owe the apples we eat to Europe, for the start, the species being
probably of Himalayan origin. America has greatly developed the apple,
however, as one who has looked over the fruit tables at any great
exposition will promptly testify, and nearly all our really good
varieties are of American origin. Moreover, we are the greatest
apple-growers in the world, and the yearly production probably exceeds
a hundred millions of barrels.

[Illustration: Fruits of the wild crab]

The curious story of "Johnny Appleseed" is given us by historians, who
tell us of this semi-religious enthusiast who roamed barefoot over the
wilds of Ohio and Indiana a century ago, sowing apple-seeds in the
scattered clearings, and living to see the trees bearing fruit,
selections from which probably are interwoven among the varieties of
today. New varieties of apples, by the way, come from seeds sown, and
trees grown from them, with a bare chance that one in ten thousand may
be worth keeping. When a variety seems thus worthy, "buds" or "scions"
from the original tree are "budded" or "grafted" by the nurseryman into
young seedling trees, which are thus changed into the selected sort. To
sow the seeds of your favorite Baldwin does not imply that you will get
Baldwin trees, by any means; you will more likely have a partial
reversion to the acid and bitter original species.

It is not only for the fruit that we are indebted to the Old World, but
also for some distinctively beautiful and most ornamental varieties of
the apple, not by any means as well known among us as they ought to be.
The nurserymen sell as an ornamental small tree a form known as
"Parkman's double-flowering crab," which produces blooms of much beauty,
like delicate little roses. Few of them, however, know of the glorious
show that the spring brings where there is a proper planting of the
Chinese and Japanese crab-apples, with some other hybrids and varieties.
To readers in New England a pilgrimage to Boston is always in order. In
the Public Gardens are superb specimens of these crab-apples from the
Orient, as well as those native to this continent, and for several weeks
in May they may be enjoyed. They _are_ enjoyed by the Bostonians, who
are in this, as in many things, better served by their authorities than
is any other American city. What other city, for instance, gives its
people such a magnificent spring show of hyacinths, tulips, daffodils
and the like?

It is at the wonderful Arnold Arboretum, that Mecca of tree-lovers just
outside of Boston and really within its superbly managed park system,
that the greatest show of the "pyrus family," as the apples and pears
are botanically called, may be found. Here have been gathered the lovely
blooming trees of all the hardy world, to the delight of the eye and the
nose, and the education of the mind. To me the most impressive of all
was a wonderful Siberian crab (one must look for _Pyrus baccata_ on the
label, as the Arboretum folks are not in love with "common" names) close
by the little greenhouses. Its round head was purely white, with no
hint of pink, and the mass of bloom that covered it was only punctuated
by the green of the expanding leaves. The especial elegance of this crab
was in its whiteness, and that elegance was not diminished by the later
masses of little yellow and red, almost translucent, fruits.

A somewhat smaller tree is commonly called the Chinese flowering apple,
and its early flowers remind one strongly of the beauty of our own wild
crab, as they are deeper in color than most of the crabs, being almost
coral-red in bud. This "spectabilis," as it is familiarly called, is a
gem, as it opens the season of the apple blooms with its burst of pink
richness.

The beauty-loving Japanese have a festival at the time of the
cherry-blooming--and it is altogether a festival of beauty, not
connected with the food that follows the flowers. They actually dare to
cut the blossoms, too, for adornment, and all the populace take time to
drink in the message of the spring. Will we workaday Americans ever dare
to "waste" so much time, and go afield to absorb God's provision of soul
and sense refreshment in the spring, forgetting for the time our shops
and desks, our stores and marts?

[Illustration: The beauty of a fruiting apple branch]

Professor Sargent, that deep student of trees who has built himself a
monument, which is also a beneficence to all mankind, in the great
volumes of his "Silva of North America," lives not far from Boston, and
he loves especially that jewel of the apple family which, for want of a
common name, I must designate scientifically as _Pyrus floribunda_. On
his own magnificent estate, as well as at the Arboretum, this superb
shrub or small tree riots in rosy beauty in early spring. While the
leaves do come with these flowers, they are actually crowded back out of
apparent sight by the straight wands of rose-red blooms, held by the
twisty little tree at every angle and in indescribable beauty. If the
visitor saw nothing but this Floribunda apple--"abundant flowering" sure
enough--on his pilgrimage, he might well be satisfied, especially if he
then and there resolved to see it again, either as he planted it at home
or journeyed hither another spring for the enlargement of his soul.

There are other of these delightful crabs or apples to be
enjoyed--Ringo, Kaido, Toringo--nearly all of Japanese origin, all of
distinct beauty, and all continuing that beauty in handsome but inedible
fruits that hang most of the summer. My tree-loving friends can well
study these, and, I hope, plant them, instead of repeating continually
the monotonously familiar shrubs and trees of ordinary commerce.

But I have not spoken enough of one notable feature of the every-day
apple tree that we may see without a journey to the East. The fully set
fruiting branch of an apple tree in health and vigor, properly nurtured
and protected against fungous disease by modern "spraying," is a thing
of beauty in its form and color. See those deep red Baldwins shine
overhead in the frosty air of early fall; note the elegance of form and
striping on the leathery-skinned Ben Davis; appreciate true apples of
gold set in green enamel on a tree of the sunny Bellefleur! These in the
fall; but it is hardly full summer before the closely set branches of
Early Harvest are as beautiful as any orange-tree, or the more upright
Red Astrachan is ablaze with fruit of red and yellow. Truly, an apple
orchard might be arranged to give a series of pictures of changing
beauty of color and growth from early spring until fall frost, and then
to follow with a daily panorama of form and line against snow and sky
until the blossoms peeped forth again. Let us learn, if we do not
already love the apple tree, to love it for its beauty all the year!


[Illustration]



Willows and Poplars


"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we
remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged our
harps." Thus sang the Psalmist of the sorrows of the exiles in Babylon,
and his song has fastened the name of the great and wicked city upon one
of the most familiar willows, while also making it "weep"; for the
common weeping willow is botanically named _Salix Babylonica_.

It may be that the forlorn Jews did hang their harps upon the tree we
know as the weeping willow, that species being credited to Asia as a
place of origin; but it is open to doubt, for the very obvious reason
that the weeping willow is distinctly unadapted to use as a harp-rack,
and one is at a loss to know just how the instruments in question would
have been hung thereon. It is probable that the willows along the rivers
of Babylon were of other species, and that the connection of the city
of the captivity and the tears of the exiles with the long, drooping
branches of the noble tree which has thus been sorrowfully named was a
purely sentimental one. Indeed, the weeping willow is also called
Napoleon's willow, because the great Corsican found much pleasure in a
superb willow of the same species which stood on the lonely prison isle
of St. Helena, and from twigs of which many trees in the United States
have been grown.

The willow family presents great contrasts, both physical and
sentimental. It is a symbol both of grief and of grace. The former
characterization is undoubtedly because of the allusion of the one
hundred and thirty-seventh Psalm, as quoted above, thoughtlessly
extended through the centuries; and the latter, as when a beautiful and
slender woman is said to be of "willowy" form, obviously because of the
real grace of the long, swinging wands of the same tree. I might hint
that a better reason for making the willow symbolize grief is because
charcoal made from its twigs and branches is an important and almost
essential ingredient of gunpowder, through which a sufficiency of grief
has undoubtedly entered the world!

Willow twigs seem the very essence of fragility, as they break from the
parent tree at a touch; and yet one of the willows furnishes the tough,
pliable and enduring withes from which are woven the baskets of the
world. The willows, usually thin in branch, sparse of somewhat pale
foliage, of so-called mournful mien, are yet bursting with vigor and
life; indeed, the spread and the value of the family is by reason of
this tenacity and virility, which makes a broken twig, floating on the
surface of a turbid stream, take root and grow on a sandy bank where
nothing else can maintain itself, wresting existence and drawing
strength and beauty from the very element whose ravages of flood and
current it bravely withstands.

Apparently ephemeral in wood, growing quickly and perishing as quickly,
the willows nevertheless supply us with an important preservative
element, extracted from their bitter juices. Salicylic acid, made from
willow bark, prevents change and arrests decay, and it is an important
medical agent as well.

[Illustration: A weeping willow in early spring]

Flexible and seemingly delicate as the little tree is when but just
established, there is small promise of the rugged and sturdy trunk that
in a few years may stand where the chance twig lodged. And the color of
the willows--ah! there's a point for full enthusiasm, for this family of
grief furnishes a cheerful note for every month in the year, and runs
the whole scale of greens, grays, yellows and browns, and even adds to
the winter landscape touches of blazing orange and bright red across the
snow. Before ever one has thought seriously of the coming of spring, the
long branchlets of the weeping willow have quickened into a hint of
lovely yellowish green, and those same branchlets will be holding their
green leaves against a wintry blast when most other trees have given up
their foliage under the frost's urgency. Often have the orange-yellow
twigs of the golden osier illumined a somber countryside for me as I
looked from the car window; and close by may be seen other willow bushes
of brown, green, gray, and even purple, to add to the color compensation
of the season. Then may come into the view, as one flies past, a great
old weeping willow rattling its bare twigs in the wind; and, if a stream
is passed, there are sure to be seen on its banks the sturdy trunks of
the white and the black willows at least. Think of an average landscape
with the willows eliminated, and there will appear a great vacancy not
readily filled by another tree.

The weeping willow has always made a strong appeal to me, but never one
of simple grief or sorrow. Its expression is rather of great dignity,
and I remember watching in somewhat of awe one which grew near my
childhood's home, as its branches writhed and twisted in a violent
rain-storm, seeming then fairly to agonize, so tossed and buffeted were
they by the wind. But soon the storm ceased, the sun shone on the
rounded head of the willow, turning the raindrops to quickly vanishing
diamonds, and the great tree breathed only a gentle and benignant peace.
When, in later years, I came to know the moss-hung live-oak of the
Southland, the weeping willow assumed to me a new dignity and value in
the northern landscape, and I have strongly resented the attitude of a
noted writer on "Art Out of Doors" who says of it: "I never once have
seen it where it did not hurt the effect of its surroundings, or at
least, if it stood apart from other trees, where some tree of another
species would not have looked far better." One of the great merits of
the tree, its difference of habit, its variation from the ordinary, is
thus urged against it.

[Illustration: The weeping willow in a storm]

I have spoken of the basket willow, which is scientifically _Salix
viminalis_, and an introduction from Europe, as indeed are many of the
family. In my father's nursery grew a great patch of basket willows,
annually cut to the ground to make a profusion of "sprouts," from which
were cut the "tying willows" used to bind firmly together for shipment
bundles of young trees. It was an achievement to be able to take a
six-foot withe, and, deftly twisting the tip of it under the heel to a
mass of flexible fiber, tie this twisted portion into a substantial
loop; and to have this novel wooden rope then endure the utmost pull of
a vigorous man, as he braced his feet against the bundle of trees in
binding the withe upon it, gave an impression of anything but weakness
on the part of the willow.

Who has not admired the soft gray silky buds of the "pussy" willow,
swelling with the spring's impulse, and ripening quickly into a "catkin"
loaded with golden pollen? Nowadays the shoots of this willow are
"forced" into bud by the florists, and sold in the cities in great
quantities; but really to see it one must find the low tree or bush by a
stream in the woods, or along the roadside, with a chance to note its
fullness of blossom. It is finest just when the hepaticas are at their
bluest on the warm hillsides; and, one sunny afternoon of a spring
journey along the north branch of the Susquehanna river, I did not know
which of the two conspicuous ornaments of the deeply wooded bank made me
most anxious to jump from the too swiftly moving train.

This pussy-willow has pleasing leaves, and is a truly ornamental shrub
or small tree which will flourish quite well in a dry back yard, as I
have reason to know. One bright day in February I found a pussy-willow
tree, with its deep purple buds showing not a hint of the life within.
The few twigs brought home quickly expanded when placed in water, and
gave us their forecast of the spring. One twig was, out of curiosity,
left in the water after the catkins had faded, merely to see what would
happen. It bravely sent forth leaves, while at the base little white
rootlets appeared. Its vigor appealing to us, it was planted in an arid
spot in our back yard, and it is now, after a year and a half, a
handsome, slender young tree that will give us a whole family of silken
pussy-buds to stroke and admire another spring.

[Illustration: A pussy-willow in a park]

This same little tree is called also the glaucous willow, and it is
botanically _Salix discolor_. It is more distinct than some others of
the family, for the willow is a great mixer. The tree expert who will
unerringly distinguish between the red oak and the scarlet oak by the
precise angle of the spinose margins of the leaves (how I admire an
accuracy I do not possess!) will balk at which is crack willow, or white
willow, or yellow or blue willow. The abundant vigor and vitality and
freedom of the family, and the fact that it is of what is known as the
dioecious habit--that is, the flowers are not complete, fertile and
infertile flowers being borne on separate trees--make it most ready to
hybridize. The pollen of the black willow may fertilize the flower of
the white willow, with a result that certainly tends to grayness on the
worrying head of the botanist who, in after years, is trying to locate
the result of the cross!

[Illustration: Blossoms of the white willow]

There is much variety in the willow flowers--and I wonder how many
observers really notice any other willow "blossoms" than those of the
showy pussy? A superb spring day afield took me along a fascinatingly
crooked stream, the Conodoguinet, whose banks furnish a congenial and as
yet protected (because concealed from the flower-hunting vandal) home
for wild flowers innumerable and most beautiful, as well as trees that
have ripened into maturity. An earlier visit at the time the bluebells
were ringing out their silent message on the hillside, in exquisite
beauty, with the lavender phlox fairly carpeting the woods, gave a
glimpse of some promising willows on the other side of the stream.
Twilight and letters to sign--how hateful the desk and its work seem in
these days of springing life outside!--made a closer inspection
impossible then, but a golden Saturday afternoon found three of us, of
like ideals, hastening to this tree and plant paradise. A mass of soft
yellow drew us from the highway across a field carpeted thickly with
bluet or "quaker lady," to the edge of the stream, where a continuous
hum showed that the bees were also attracted. It was one splendid willow
in full bloom, and I could not and as yet cannot safely say whether it
is the crack willow or the white willow; but I can affirm of a certainty
that it was a delight to the eye, the mind and the nostrils. The extreme
fragility of the smaller twigs, which broke away from the larger limbs
at the lightest shake or jar, gave evidence of one of Nature's ways of
distributing plant life; for it seems that these twigs, as I have
previously said, part company with the parent tree most readily, float
away on the stream, and easily establish themselves on banks and bars,
where their tough, interlacing roots soon form an almost impregnable
barrier to the onslaught of the flood. Only a stone's throw away there
stood a great old black willow, with a sturdy trunk of ebon hue, crowned
with a mass of soft green leafage, lighter where the breeze lifted up
the under side to the sunlight. Many times, doubtless, the winds had
shorn and the sleet had rudely trimmed this old veteran, but there
remained full life and vigor, even more attractive than that of youth.

Most of the willows are shrubs rather than trees, and there are endless
variations, as I have before remarked. Further, the species belonging at
first in the Eastern Hemisphere have spread well over our own side of
the globe, so that it seems odd to regard the white willow and the
weeping willow as foreigners. At Niagara Falls, in the beautiful park on
the American side, on the islands amid the toss of the waters, there are
many willows, and those planted by man are no less beautiful than those
resulting from Nature's gardening. In spring I have had pleasure in some
splendid clumps of a form with lovely golden leaves and a small, furry
catkin, found along the edge of the American rapids. I wonder, by the
way, how many visitors to Niagara take note of the superb collection of
plants and trees there to be seen, and which it is a grateful relief to
consider when the mind is wearied with the majesty and the vastness of
Nature's forces shown in the cataract? The birds are visitors to Goat
Island and the other islets that divide the Niagara River, and they have
brought there the plants of America in wonderful variety.

[Illustration: A white willow in a characteristic position]

There is one willow that has been used by the nurserymen to produce a
so-called weeping form, which, like most of these monstrosities, is not
commendable. The goat willow is a vigorous tree introduced from Europe,
having large and rather broad and coarse leaves, dark green above and
whitish underneath. It is taken as a "stock," upon which, at a
convenient height, the skilled juggler with trees grafts a drooping or
pendulous form known as the Kilmarnock willow, thus changing the habit
of the tree so that it then "weeps" to the ground. Fortunately, the
original tree sometimes triumphs, the graft dies, and a lusty goat
willow rears a rather shapely head to the sky.

This Kilmarnock willow is a favorite of the peripatetic tree agent, and
I have enjoyed hugely one notable evidence of his persuasive eloquence
to be seen in a Lebanon Valley town, inhabited by the quaint folk known
as Pennsylvania Germans. All along the line of the railroad traversing
this valley may be seen these distorted willows decorating the prim
front yards, and they are not so offensive when used with other shrubs
and trees. In this one instance, however, the tree agent evidently found
a customer who was persuaded that if one Kilmarnock willow was a good
thing to have, a dozen of them was twelve times better; wherefore his
dooryard is grotesquely adorned with that many flourishing weepers,
giving an aspect that is anything but decorous or solemn. Some time the
vigilance of the citizen will be relaxed, it may be hoped; he will
neglect to cut away the recurring shoots of the parent trees, and they
will escape and destroy the weeping form which provides so much
sarcastic hilarity for the passers-by.

The willow, with its blood relation, the poplar, is often "pollarded,"
or trimmed for wood, and its abundant vigor enables it to recover from
this process of violent abbreviation more satisfactorily than do most
trees. The result is usually a disproportionately large stem or bole,
for the lopping off of great branches always tends to a thickening of
the main stem. The abundant leafage of both willow and poplar soon
covers the scars, and there is less cause to mourn than in the case of
maples or other "hard-wooded" trees.

If my readers will only add a willow section to their mental observation
outfit, there will be much more to see and appreciate. Look for and
enjoy in the winter the variation in twig color and bark hue; notice how
smoothly lies the covering on one stem, all rugged and marked on
another. In the earliest spring examine the swelling buds, of widely
differing color and character, from which shortly will spring forth the
catkins or aments of bloom, followed by the leaves of varied colors in
the varied species, and with shapes as varied. Vivid green, soft gray,
greenish yellow; dull surface and shining surface above, pale green to
almost pure white beneath; from the long and stringy leaf of the weeping
willow to the comparatively broad and thick leaf of the
pussy-willow--there is variety and interest in the foliage well worth
the attention of the tree-lover. When winter comes, there will be
another set of contrasts to see in the way the various species lose
their leaves and get ready for the rest time during which the buds
mature and ripen, and the winter colors again shine forth.

[Illustration: Clump of young white willows]

These observations may be made anywhere in America, practically, for the
willow is almost indifferent to locality, growing everywhere that its
far-reaching roots can find the moisture which it loves, and which it
rapidly transpires to the thirsty air. As Miss Keeler well remarks, "The
genus Salix is admirably fitted to go forth and inhabit the earth, for
it is tolerant of all soils and asks only water. It creeps nearer to the
North Pole than any other woody plant except its companion the birch. It
trails upon the ground or rises one hundred feet in the air. In North
America it follows the water-courses to the limit of the temperate zone,
enters the tropics, crosses the equator, and appears in the mountains of
Peru and Chili.... The books record one hundred and sixty species in the
world, and these sport and hybridize to their own content and to the
despair of botanists. Then, too, it comes of an ancient line; for
impressions of leaves in the cretaceous rocks show that it is one of the
oldest of plants."

Common it is, and therefore overlooked; but the reader may well resolve
to watch the willow in spring and summer, with its bloom and fruit; to
follow its refreshing color through winter's chill; to observe its cheer
and dignity; and to see the wind toss its slender wands and turn its
graceful leaves.

The poplars and the willows are properly considered together, for
together they form the botanical world family of the _Salicaceæ_. Many
characteristics of bloom and growth, of sap and bark, unite the two, and
surely both, though alike common to the world, are common and familiar
trees to the dwellers in North America.

[Illustration: White poplars in spring-time]

One of my earliest tree remembrances has to do with a spreading
light-leaved growth passed under every day on the way to school--and,
like most school-boys, I was not unwilling to stop for anything of
interest that might put off arrival at the seat of learning. This great
tree had large and peculiar winter buds, that always seemed to have
advance information as to the coming of spring, for they would swell out
and become exceedingly shiny at the first touch of warm sun. Soon the
sun-caressing would be responded to by the bursting of the buds, or the
falling away of their ingenious outer protecting scales, which dropped
to the ground, where, sticky and shining, and extraordinarily aromatic
in odor, they were just what a curious school-boy enjoyed investigating.
"Balm of Gilead" was the name that inquiry brought for this tree, and
the resinous and sweet-smelling buds which preceded the rather
inconspicuous catkins or aments of bloom seemed to justify the Biblical
designation.

Nearly a world tree is this poplar, which in some one of its variable
forms is called also tacamahac, and balsam poplar as well. Its cheerful
upright habit, really fine leaves and generally pleasing air commend it,
but there is one trouble--it is almost too vigorous and anxious to
spread, which it does by means of shoots or "suckers," upspringing from
its wide area of root-growth, thus starting a little forest of its own
that gives other trees but small chance. But on a street, where the
repression of pavements and sidewalks interferes with this exuberance,
the balsam poplar is well worth planting.

The poplars as a family are pushing and energetic growers, and serve a
great purpose in the reforestation of American acres that have been
carelessly denuded of their tree cover. Here the trembling aspen
particularly, as the commonest form of all is named, comes in to quickly
cover and shade the ground, and give aid to the hard woods and the
conifers that form the value of the forest growth.

This same American aspen, a consideration of the lightly hung leaves of
which has been useful to many poets, is a well-known tree of graceful
habit, particularly abundant in the forests north of Pennsylvania and
New Jersey, and occupying clearings plentifully and quickly. Its flowers
are in catkins, as with the rest of the family, and, like other poplars,
they are in two kinds, male and female, or staminate and pistillate,
which accounts for some troubles the inexperienced investigator has in
locating them.

There is another aspen, the large-toothed form, that is a distinct
botanical species; but I have never been able to separate it, wherefore
I do not try to tell of it here, lest I fall under condemnation as a
blind leader, not of the blind, but of those who would see!

In many cities, especially in cities that have experienced real-estate
booms, and have had "extensions" laid out "complete with all
improvements," there is to be seen a poplar that has the merit of quick
and pleasing growth and considerable elegance as well. Alas, it is like
the children of the tropics in quick beauty and quick decadence! The
Carolina poplar, it is called, being a variety of the wide-spread
cottonwood. Grow? All that is needed is to cut a lusty branch of it,
point it, and drive it into the earth--it will do the rest!

This means cheap trees and quick growth, and that is why whole new
streets in West Philadelphia, for instance, are given up to the Carolina
poplar. Its clear, green, shining leaves, of good size, coming early in
spring; its easily guided habit, either upright or spreading; its very
rapid growth, all commend it. But its coarseness and lack of real
strength, and its continual invitation to the tree-butcher and the
electric lineman, indicate the undesirability of giving it more than a
temporary position, to shade while better trees are growing.

[Illustration: The Carolina poplar as a street tree]

But I must not get into the economics of street-tree planting. I started
to tell of the blossoms of this same Carolina poplar, which are
decidedly interesting. Just when the sun has thoroughly warmed up the
air of spring there is a sudden, rapid thickening of buds over one's
head on this poplar. One year the tree under my observation swelled and
swelled its buds, which were shining more and more in the sun, until I
was sure the next day would bring a burst of leaves. But the weather was
dry, and it was not until that wonderful solvent and accelerator of
growing things, a warm spring rain, fell softly upon the tree, that the
pent-up life force was given vent. Then came, not leaves, but these long
catkins, springing out with great rapidity, until in a few hours the
tree glowed with their redness. A second edition of the shower, falling
sharply, brought many of the catkins to the ground, where they lay about
like large caterpillars.

The whole process of this blooming was interesting, curious, but hardly
beautiful, and it seemed to fit in with the restless character of the
poplar family--a family of trees with more vigor than dignity, more
sprightliness than grace. As Professor Bailey says of the cottonwood,
"It is cheerful and restive. One is not moved to lie under it as he is
under a maple or an oak." Yet there are not wanting some poplars of
impressive character.

One occurs to me, growing on a wide street of my home town, opposite a
church with a graceful spire. This white or silver-leaved poplar has for
many years been a regular prey of the gang of tree-trimmers, utterly
without knowledge of or regard for trees, that infests this town. They
hack it shamefully, and I look at it and say, "Well, the old poplar is
ruined now, surely!" But a season passes, and I look again, to see that
the tremendous vigor of the tree has triumphed over the butchers; its
sores have been concealed, new limbs have pushed out, and it has again,
in its unusual height, assumed a dignity not a whit inferior to that of
the church spire opposite.

[Illustration: Winter aspect of the cottonwood tree]

This white poplar is at its best on the bank of a stream, where its
small forest of "suckers" most efficiently protects the slope against
the destructive action of floods. One such tree with its family and
friends I saw in full bloom along the Susquehanna, and it gave an
impression of solidity and size, as well as of lusty vigor, and I have
always liked it since. The cheerful bark is not the least of its
attractions--but it is a tree for its own place, and not for every
place, by reason of the tremendous colonizing power of its root-sprouts.

I wonder, by the way, if many realize the persistence and vigor of the
roots of a tree of the "suckering" habit? Some years ago an ailanthus, a
tree of vigor and beauty of foliage but nastiness of flower odor, was
cut away from its home when excavation was being made for a building,
which gave me opportunity to follow a few of its roots. One of them
traveled in search of food, and toward the opportunity of sending up a
shoot, over a hundred feet!

The impending scarcity of spruce logs to feed the hungry maws of the
machines that make paper for our daily journals has turned attention to
several forms of the rapid-growing poplar for this use. The aspen is
acceptable, and also the Carolina poplar, and these trees are being
planted in large quantities for the eventual making of wood-pulp. Even
today, many newspapers are printed on poplar, and exposure to the rays
of the truth-searching sun for a few hours will disclose the yellowness
of the paper, if not of the tree from which it has been ground.

[Illustration: Lombardy poplar]

Few whose eyes are turned upward toward the trees have failed to note
that exclamation-point of growth, the Lombardy poplar. Originating in
that portion of Europe indicated by its common name, and, indeed, a
botanical form of the European black poplar, it is nevertheless widely
distributed in America. When it has been properly placed, it introduces
truly a note of distinction into the landscape. Towering high in the
air, and carrying the eye along its narrowly oval contour to a skyward
point, it is lofty and pleasing in a park. It agreeably breaks the
sky-line in many places, and is emphatic in dignified groups. To plant
it in rows is wrong; and I say this as an innocent offender myself. In
boyhood I lived along the banks of the broad but shallow Susquehanna,
and enjoyed the boating possible upon that stream when it was not
reduced, as graphically described by a disgusted riverman, to merely a
heavy dew. Many times I lost my way returning to the steep bluff near my
home after the sun had gone to rest, and a hard pull against the swift
current would ensue as I skirted the bank, straining eyes for landmarks
in the dusk. It occurred to me to plant six Lombardy poplars on the top
of the bluff, which might serve as easily recognized landmarks. Four of
them grew, and are now large trees, somewhat offensive to a quickened
sense of appropriateness. Long since the old home has been swallowed up
by the city's advance, and I suppose none who now see those four spires
of green on the river-bank even guess at the reason for their existence.

The poplar family, as a whole, is exuberant with vigor, and interesting
more on that account than by reason of its general dignity or strength
or elegance. It is well worth a little attention and study, and the
consideration particularly of its bloom periods, to which I commend the
tree-sense of my readers as they take the tree walks that ought to
punctuate these chapters.



The Elm and the Tulip


America has much that is unique in plant and tree growth, as one learns
who sees first the collections of American plants shown with pride by
acute gardeners and estate owners in England and on the European
Continent. Many a citizen of our country must needs confess with some
shame that his first estimation of the singular beauty of the American
laurel has been born in England, where the imported plants are carefully
nurtured; and the European to whom the rhododendrons of his own country
and of the Himalayas are familiar is ready to exclaim in rapture at the
superb effect and tropical richness of our American species, far more
lusty and more truly beautiful here than the introductions which must be
heavily paid for and constantly coddled.

For no trees, however, may Americans feel more pride than for our
American elms and our no less American tulip, the latter miscalled
tulip "poplar." Both are trees practically unique to the country, both
are widespread over Eastern North America, both are thoroughly trees of
the people, both attain majestic proportions, both are long-lived and
able to endure much hardship without a full giving up of either beauty
or dignity.

The American elm--how shall I properly speak of its exceeding grace and
beauty! In any landscape it introduces an element of distinction and
elegance not given by any other tree. Looking across a field at a
cluster of trees, there may be a doubt as to the identity of an oak, a
chestnut, a maple, an ash, but no mistake can be made in regard to an
elm--it stands alone in the simple elegance of its vase-like form, while
its feathery branchlets, waving in the lightest breeze, add to the
refined and classic effect. I use the word "classic" advisedly, because,
although apparently out of place in describing a tree, it nevertheless
seems needed for the form of the American elm.

The elm is never rugged as is the oak, but it gives no impression of
effeminacy or weakness. Its uprightness is forceful and strong, and its
clean and shapely bole impresses the beholder as a joining of gently
outcurving columns, ample in strength and of an elegance belonging to
itself alone. If I may dare to compare man-made architectural forms with
the trees that graced the garden of Eden, I would liken the American elm
(it is also the water elm and the white elm, and botanically _Ulmus
Americana_) to the Grecian types, combining stability with elegance,
rather than to the more rugged works of the Goths. Yet the free swing of
the elm's wide-spreading branches inevitably suggests the pointed Gothic
arch in simplicity and obvious strength.

It is difficult to say when the American elm is most worthy of
admiration. In summer those same arching branches are clothed and tipped
with foliage of such elegance and delicacy as the form of the tree would
seem to predicate. The leaf itself is ornate, its straight ribs making
up a serrated and pointed oval form of the most interesting character.
These leaves hang by slender stems, inviting the gentlest zephyr to
start them to singing of comfort in days of summer heat. The elm is
fully clothed down to the drooping tips of the branchlets with foliage,
which, though deepest green above, reflects, under its dense shade, a
soft light from the paler green of the lower side. It is no wonder that
New England claims fame for her elms, which, loved and cared for, arch
over the long village streets that give character to the homes of the
descendants of the Puritan fathers. The fully grown elm presents to the
sun a darkly absorbent hue, and to the passer-by who rests beneath its
shade the most grateful and restful color in all the rainbow's palette.

[Illustration: A mature American elm]

Then, too, the evaporative power of these same leaves is simply
enormous, and generally undreamed of. Who would think that a great,
spreading elm, reaching into the air of August a hundred feet, and
shading a circle of nearly as great diameter, was daily cooling the
atmosphere with tons of water, silently drawn from the bosom of Mother
Earth!

Like many other common trees, the American elm blooms almost unnoticed.
When the silver maple bravely pushes out its hardy buds in earliest
spring--or often in what might be called latest winter--the elm is
ready, and the sudden swelling of the twigs, away above our heads in
March or April, is not caused by the springing leaves, but is the
flowering effort of this noble tree. The bloom sets curiously about the
yet bare branches, and the little brownish yellow or reddish flowers are
seemingly only a bunch of stamens. They do their work promptly, and the
little flat fruits, or "samaras," are ripened and dropped before most of
us realize that the spring is fully upon us. These seeds germinate
readily, and I recall the great pleasure with which a noted
horticultural professor showed me what he called his "elm lawn," one
summer. It seemed that almost every one of the thousands of seeds that,
just about the time his preparations for sowing a lawn were completed,
had softly fallen from the great elm which guards and shades his
dooryard, had found good ground, and the result was a miniature forest
of tiny trees, giving an effect of solid green which was truly a tree
lawn.

[Illustration: The delicate tracery of the American elm in winter]

But, after all, I think it is in winter that the American elm is at its
finest, for then stand forth most fully revealed the wonderful symmetry
of its structure and the elegance of its lines. It has one advantage in
its great size, which is well above the average, for it lifts its
graceful head a hundred feet or more above the earth. The stem is
usually clean and regular, and the branches spread out in closely
symmetrical relation, so that, as seen against the cold sky of winter,
leafless and bare, they seem all related parts of a most harmonious
whole. Other great trees are notable for the general effect of strength
or massiveness, individual branches departing much from the average line
of the whole structure; but the American elm is regular in all its
parts, as well as of general stateliness.

As I have noted, the people of the New England States value and cherish
their great elms, and they are accustomed to think themselves the only
possessors of this unique tree. We have, however, as good elms in
Pennsylvania as there are in New England, and I hope the day is not far
distant when we shall esteem them as highly. The old elm monarch which
stands at the gingerbread brownstone entrance of the Capitol Park in
Pennsylvania's seat of government has had a hard battle, defenseless as
it is, against the indifference of those whom it has shaded for
generations, and who carelessly permitted the telegraph and telephone
linemen to use it or chop it at their will. But latterly there has been
an awakening which means protection, I think, for this fine old
landmark.

The two superb elms, known as "Paul and Virginia," that make notable the
north shore of the Susquehanna at Wilkesbarre, are subjects of local
pride; which seems, however, not strong enough to prevent the erection
of a couple of nasty little shanties against their great trunks. There
can be no doubt, however, that the sentiment of reverence for great
trees, and of justice to them for their beneficent influence, is
spreading westward and southward from New England. It gives me keen
pleasure to learn of instances where paths, pavements or roadways have
been changed, to avoid doing violence to good trees; and a recent
account of the creation of a trust fund for the care of a great oak, as
well as a unique instance in Georgia, where a deed has been recorded
giving a fine elm a quasi-legal title to its own ground, show that the
rights of trees are coming to be recognized.

I have said little of the habitat, as the botanist puts it, of the
American elm. It graces all North America east of the Rockies, and the
specimens one sees in Michigan or Canada are as happy, apparently, as if
they grew in Connecticut or in Virginia. Our increasingly beautiful
national Capital, the one city with an intelligent and controlled system
of tree-planting, shows magnificent avenues of flourishing elms.

But I must not forget some other elms, beautiful and satisfactory in
many places. It is no discredit to our own American elm to say that the
English elm is a superb tree in America. It seems to be
characteristically British in its sturdy habit, and forms a grand trunk.

[Illustration: The English elm in winter]

The juicy inner bark of the red or "slippery" elm was always acceptable,
in lieu of the chewing-gum which had not then become so common, to a
certain ever-hungry boy who used to think as much of what a tree would
furnish that was eatable as he now does of its beauty. Later, the other
uses of the bark of this tree became known to the same boy, but it was
many years before he came really to know the slippery elm. One day a
tree branch overhead showed what seemed to be remarkable little green
flowers, which on examination proved to be, instead, the very
interesting fruit of this elm, each little seed securely held inside a
very neat and small flat bag. Looking at it earlier the next spring, the
conspicuous reddish brown color of the bud-scales was noted.

I have never seen the "wahoo," or winged elm of the South, and there are
several other native elms, as well as a number of introductions from the
Eastern Hemisphere, with which acquaintance is yet to be made. All of
them together, I will maintain with the quixotic enthusiasm of lack of
knowledge, are not worth as much as one-half hour spent in looking up
under the leafy canopy of our own preëminent American elm--a tree
surely among those given by the Creator for the healing of the nations.

The tulip-tree, so called obviously because of the shape of its flowers,
has a most mellifluous and pleasing botanical name, _Liriodendron
Tulipifera_--is not that euphonious? Just plain "liriodendron"--how much
better that sounds as a designation for one of the noblest of American
forest trees than the misleading "common" names! "Tulip-tree," for a
resemblance of the form only of its extraordinary blooms; "yellow
poplar," probably because it is not yellow, and is in no way related to
the poplars; and "whitewood," the Western name, because its wood is
whiter than that of some other native trees. "Liriodendron" translated
means "lily-tree," says my learned friend who knows Greek, and that is a
fitting designation for this tree, which proudly holds forth its
flowers, as notable and beautiful as any lily, and far more dignified
and refined than the gaudy tulip. I like to repeat this smooth-sounding,
truly descriptive and dignified name for a tree worthy all admiration.
Liriodendron! Away with the "common" names, when there is such a
pleasing scientific cognomen available!

By the way, why should people who will twist their American tongues all
awry in an attempt to pronounce French words in which the necessary
snort is unexpressed visually and half the characters are "silent,"
mostly exclaim at the alleged difficulty of calling trees and plants by
their world names, current among educated people everywhere, while
preferring some misleading "common" name? Very few scientific plant
names are as difficult to pronounce as is the word "chrysanthemum," and
yet the latter comes as glibly from the tongue as do "geranium,"
"rhododendron," and the like. Let us, then, at least when we have as
good a name as liriodendron for so good a tree, use it in preference to
the most decidedly "common" names that belie and mislead.

I have said that this same tulip-tree--which I will call liriodendron
hereafter, at a venture--is a notable American tree, peculiar to this
country. So believed the botanists for many years, until an inquiring
investigator found that China, too, had the same tree, in a limited
way. We will still claim it as an American native, and tell the Chinamen
they are fortunate to have such a superb tree in their little-known
forests. They have undoubtedly taken advantage, in their art forms, of
its peculiarly shaped leaves, if not of the flowers and the curious
"candlesticks" that succeed them.

[Illustration: Winter effect of tulip trees]

Let us consider this liriodendron first as a forest tree, as an
inhabitant of the "great woods" that awed the first intelligent
observers from Europe, many generations back. Few of our native trees
reach such a majestic height, here on the eastern side of the continent,
its habitat. Ordinarily it builds its harmonious structure to a height
of seventy or a hundred feet; but occasional individuals double this
altitude, and reach a trunk diameter of ten feet. While in the close
forest it towers up with a smooth, clean bole, in open places it assumes
its naturally somewhat conical form very promptly. Utterly dissimilar in
form from the American elm, it seems to stand for dignity, solidity and
vigor, and yet to yield nothing in the way of true elegance. The
botanists tell us it prefers deep and moist soil, but I know that it
lives and seems happy in many soils and in many places. Always and
everywhere it shows a clean, distinct trunk, its brown bark uniformly
furrowed, but in such a manner as to give a nearly smooth appearance at
a little distance. The branches do not leave the stem so imperceptibly
as do those which give the elm its very distinct form, but rather start
at a right angle, leaving the distinct central column of solid strength
unimpaired. The winter tracery of these branches, and the whole effect
of the liriodendron without foliage, is extremely distinct and pleasing.
I have in mind a noble group of great liriodendrons which I first saw
against an early April sky of blue and white. The trees had grown close,
and had interlaced their somewhat twisty branches, so that the general
impression was that of one great tree supported on several stems. The
pure beauty of these very tall and very stately trees, thus grouped and
with every twig sharply outlined, I shall always remember.

The liriodendron is more fortunate than some other trees, for it has
several points of attractiveness. Its stature and its structure are
alike notable, its foliage entirely unique, and its flowers and
seed-pods even more interesting. The leaf is very easily recognized when
once known. It is large, but not in any way coarse, and is thrust forth
as the tree grows, in a peculiarly pleasing way. Sheathed in the manner
characteristic of the magnolia family, of which the liriodendron is a
notable member, the leaves come to the light practically folded back on
themselves, between the two protecting envelopes, which remain until
the leaf has stretched out smoothly. Yellowish green at first, they
rapidly take on the bright, strong green of maturity. The texture is
singularly refined, and it is a pleasure to handle these smooth leaves,
of a shape which stamps them at once on the memory, and of a coloring,
both above and below, that is most attractive. They are maintained on
long, slender stems, or "petioles," and these stems give a great range
of flexibility, so that the leaves of the liriodendron are, as Henry
Ward Beecher puts it, "intensely individual, each one moving to suit
himself."

[Illustration: A great liriodendron in bloom]

Of course all this moving, and this out-breaking of the leaves from
their envelopes, take place far above one's head, on mature trees. It
will be found well worth while, however, for the tree-lover to look in
the woods for the rather numerous young trees of the tulip, and to
observe the very interesting way in which the growth proceeds. The
beautiful form and color of the leaves may also be thus conveniently
noted, as also in the autumn the soft, clear yellow early assumed.

It is the height and spread of the liriodendron that keep its truly
wonderful flowers out of the public eye. If they were produced on a
small tree like the familiar dogwood, for instance, so that they might
be nearer to the ground, they would receive more of the admiration so
fully their due. In Washington, where, as I have said, trees are planted
by design and not at random, there are whole avenues of liriodendrons,
and it was my good fortune one May to drive between these lines of
strong and shapely young trees just when they were in full bloom. The
appearance of these beautiful cups, each one held upright, not drooping,
was most striking and elegant. Some time, other municipalities will
learn wisdom from the example set in Washington, and we may expect to
see some variety in our street trees, now monotonously confined for the
most part to the maples, poplars, and a few good trees that would be
more valued if interspersed with other equally good trees of different
character. The pin-oak, the elm, the sweet-gum, or liquidambar, the
ginkgo, and a half-dozen or more beautiful and sturdy trees, do
admirably for street planting, and ought to be better known and much
more freely used.

[Illustration: Flowers of the liriodendron]

I have seen many rare orchids brought thousands of miles and petted into
a curious bloom--indeed, often more curious than beautiful. If the bloom
of the liriodendron, in all its delicate and daring mingling of green
and yellow, cream and orange, with its exquisite interior filaments,
could be labeled as a ten-thousand-dollar orchid beauty from Borneo, its
delicious perfume would hardly be needed to complete the raptures with
which it would be received into fashionable flower society. But these
lovely cups stand every spring above our heads by millions, their
fragrance and form, their color and beauty, unnoticed by the throng. As
they mature into the brown fruit-cones that hold the seeds, and these in
turn fall to the ground, to fulfil their purpose of reproduction, there
is no week in which the tree is not worthy of attention; and, when the
last golden leaf has been plucked by the fingers of the winter's frost,
there yet remain on the bare branches the curious and interesting
candlestick-like outer envelopes of the fruit-cones, to remind us in
form of the wonderful flower, unique in its color and attractiveness,
that gave its sweetness to the air of May and June.

These two trees--the elm and the liriodendron--stand out strongly as
individuals in the wealth of our American trees. Let all who read and
agree in my estimate, even in part, also agree to try, when opportunity
offers, to preserve these trees from vandalism or neglect, realizing
that the great forest trees of our country are impossible of
replacement, and that their strength, majesty and beauty are for the
good of all.



Nut-Bearing Trees


What memories of chestnutting parties, of fingers stained with the dye
of walnut hulls, and of joyous tramps afield in the very heart of the
year, come to many of us when we think of the nuts of familiar
knowledge! Hickory-nuts and butternuts, too, perhaps hazelnuts and even
beechnuts--all these American boys and girls of the real country know.
In the far South, and, indeed, reaching well up into the Middle West,
the pecan holds sway, and a majestic sway at that, for its size makes it
the fellow of the great trees of the forest, worthy to be compared with
the chestnut, the walnut, and the hickory.

But it has usually been of nuts to eat that we have thought, and the
chance for palatable food has, just as with some of the best of the
so-called "fruit" trees--all trees bear fruit!--partially closed our
eyes to the interest and beauty of some of these nut-bearers.

My own tree acquaintance has proceeded none too rapidly, and I have
been--and am yet--as fond of the toothsome nuts as any one can be who is
not a devotee of the new fad that attempts to make human squirrels of us
all by a nearly exclusive nut diet. I think that my regard for a nut
tree as something else than a source of things to eat began when I came,
one hot summer day, under the shade of the great walnut at Paxtang. Huge
was its trunk and wide the spread of its branches, while the richness of
its foliage held at bay the strongest rays of the great luminary. How
could I help admiring the venerable yet lusty old tree, conferring a
present benefit, giving an instant and restful impression of strength,
solidity, and elegance, while promising as well, as its rounded green
clusters hung far above my head, a great crop of delicious nut-fruit
when the summer's sun it was so fully absorbing should have done its
perfect work!

Alas for the great black walnut of Paxtang! It went the way of many
another tree monarch whose beauty and living usefulness were no defense
against sordid vandalism. In the course of time a suburb was laid out,
including along its principal street, and certainly as its principal
natural ornament, this massive tree, around which the Indians who roamed
the "great vale of Pennsylvania" had probably gathered in council. The
sixty-foot "lot," the front of which the tree graced, fell to the
ownership of a man who, erecting a house under its beneficent
protection, soon complained of its shade. Then came a lumber prospector,
who saw only furniture in the still flourishing old black walnut. His
offer of forty dollars for the tree was eagerly accepted by the
Philistine who had the title to the land, and although there were not
wanting such remonstrances as almost came to a breaking of the peace,
the grand walnut ended its hundreds of years of life to become mere
lumber for its destroyers! The real estate man who sold the land greatly
admired the tree himself, realizing also its great value to the suburb,
and had never for one moment dreamed that the potential vandal who
bought the tree-graced parcel of ground would not respect the inherent
rights of all his neighbors. He told me of the loss with tears in his
eyes and rage in his language; and I have never looked since at the
fellow who did the deed without reprobation. More than that, he has
proven a theory I hold--that no really good man would do such a thing
after he had been shown the wrong of it--by showing himself as dishonest
in business as he was disregardful of the rights of the tree and of his
neighbors.

[Illustration: The wide-spreading black walnut]

The black walnut is a grand tree from any point of view, even though it
so fully absorbs all water and fertility as to check other growth under
its great reach of branches. The lines it presents to the winter sky are
as rugged as those of the oak, but there is a great difference. And this
ruggedness is held far into the spring, for the black walnut makes no
slightest apparent effort at growth until all the other trees are
greening the countryside. Then with a rush come the luxuriant and
tropical compound leaves, soon attaining their full dignity, and adding
to it also a smooth polish on the upper surface. The walnut's flowers I
have missed seeing, I am sorry to say, while registering a mental
promise not to permit another season to pass without having that
pleasure.

Late in the year the foliage has become scanty, and the nut-clusters
hang fascinatingly clear, far above one's head, to tempt the climb and
the club. The black walnut is a tree that needs our care; for furniture
fashion long used its close-grained, heavy, handsome wood as cruelly as
the milliners did the herons of Florida from which were torn the
"aigrets," now happily "out of style." Though walnut furniture is no
longer the most popular, the deadly work has been done, for the most
part, and but few of these wide-spread old forest monarchs yet remain.
Scientific forestry is now providing, in many plantings, and in many
places, another "crop" of walnut timber, grown to order, and using waste
land. It is to such really beneficent, though entirely commercial work,
that we must look for the future of many of our best trees.

The butternut, or white walnut, has never seemed so interesting to me,
nor its fruit so palatable, probably because I have seen less of it. The
so-called "English" walnut, which is really the Persian walnut, is not
hardy in the eastern part of the United States, and, while a tree of
vast commercial importance in the far West, does not come much into the
view of a lover of the purely American trees.

[Illustration: The American sweet chestnut]

Of the American sweet chestnut as a delightful nut-fruit I need say
nothing more than that it fully holds its place against "foreign
intervention" from the East; even though these European and Japanese
chestnuts with their California-bred progeny give us fruit that is much
larger, and borne on trees of very graceful habit. No one with
discrimination will for a moment hesitate, after eating a nut of both,
to cheerfully choose the American native as best worth his commendation,
though he may come to understand the food value, after cooking, of the
chestnuts used so freely in parts of Europe.

[Illustration: Sweet chestnut blossoms]

As a forest tree, however, our American sweet chestnut has a place of
its own. Naturally spreading in habit when growing where there is room
to expand, it easily accommodates itself to the more cramped conditions
of our great woodlands, and shoots upward to light and air, making
rapidly a clean and sturdy stem. What a beautiful and stately tree it
is! And when, late in the spring, or indeed right on the threshold of
summer, its blooming time comes, it stands out distinctly, having then
few rivals in the eye of the tree-lover. The locust and the tulip are
just about done with their floral offering upon the altar of the year
when the long creamy catkins of the sweet chestnut spring out from the
fully perfected dark green leaf-clusters. Peculiarly graceful are these
great bloom heads, high in the air, and standing nearly erect, instead
of hanging down as do the catkins of the poplars and the birches. The
odor of the chestnut flower is heavy, and is best appreciated far above
in the great tree, where it may mingle with the warm air of June,
already bearing a hundred sweet scents.

There stands bright in my remembrance one golden June day when I came
through a gateway into a wonderful American garden of purely native
plants maintained near Philadelphia, the rock-bound drive guarded by two
clumps of tall chestnuts, one on either side, and both in full glory of
bloom. There could not have been a more beautiful, natural, or dignified
entrance; and it was just as beautiful in the early fall, when the deep
green of the oblong-toothed leaves had changed to clear and glowing
yellow, while the flowers had left their perfect work in the swelling
and prickly green burs which hid nuts of a brown as rich as the flesh
was sweet.

Did you, gentle reader, ever saunter through a chestnut grove in the
later fall, when the yellow had been browned by the frosts which brought
to the ground alike leaves and remaining burs? There is something
especially pleasant in the warmth of color and the crackle of sound on
the forest floor, as one really shuffles through chestnut leaves in the
bracing November air, stooping now and then for a nut perchance
remaining in the warm and velvety corner of an opened bur.

Here in Pennsylvania, and south of Mason and Dixon's line, there grows a
delightful small tree, brother to the chestnut, bearing especially sweet
little nuts which we know as chinquapins. They are darker brown, and the
flesh is very white, and rich in flavor. I could wish that the
chinquapin, as well as the chestnut, was included among the trees that
enlightened Americans would plant along roadsides and lanes, with other
fruit trees; the specific secondary purpose, after the primary enjoyment
of form, foliage and flower, being to let the future passer-by eat
freely of that fruit provided by the Creator for food and pleasure, and
costing no more trouble or expense than the purely ornamental trees more
frequently planted.

Both chestnut and chinquapin are beautiful ornamental trees; and some of
the newer chestnut hybrids, of parentage between the American and the
European species, are as graceful as the most highly petted lawn trees
of the nurserymen. Indeed, the very same claim may be made for a score
or more of the standard fruit trees, alike beautiful in limb tracery, in
bloom, and in the seed-coverings that we are glad to eat; and some time
we shall be ashamed not to plant the fruit trees in public places, for
the pleasure and the refreshing of all who care.

[Illustration: The chinquapin]

One of the commonest nut trees, and certainly one of the most pleasing,
is the hickory. There are hickories and hickories, and some are
shellbarks, while others are bitternuts or pignuts. The form most
familiar to the Eastern States is the shagbark hickory, and its
characteristic upright trees, tall and finely shaped, never
wide-spreading as is the chestnut under the encouragement of plenty of
room and food, are admirable from any standpoint. There is a lusty old
shagbark in Wetzel's Swamp that has given me many a pleasant
quarter-hour, as I have stood at attention before its symmetrical stem,
hung with slabs of brown bark that seem always just ready to separate
from the trunk.

The aspect of this tree is reflected in its very useful timber, which is
pliant but tough, requiring less "heft" for a given strength, and
bending with a load easily, only to instantly snap back to its position
when the stress slackens. Good hickory is said to be stronger than
wrought iron, weight for weight; and I will answer for it that no
structure of iron can ever have half the grace, as well as strength,
freely displayed by this same old shagbark of the lowlands near my home.

Curious as I am to see the blooms of the trees I am getting acquainted
with, there are many disappointments to be endured--as when the favorite
tree under study is reached a day too late, and I must wait a year for
another opportunity. It was, therefore, with much joy that I found that
a trip carefully timed for another fine old hickory along the
Conodoguinet--an Indian-named stream of angles, curves, many trees and
much beauty--had brought me to the quickly passing bloom feast of this
noble American tree. The leaves were about half-grown and half-colored,
which means that they displayed an elegance of texture and hue most
pleasing to see. And the flowers--there they were, hanging under the
twigs in long clusters of what I might describe as ends of chenille, if
it were not irreverent to compare these delicate greenish catkins with
anything man-made!

[Illustration: A shagbark hickory in bloom]

This fine shagbark was kind to the cameraman, for some of its lower
branches drooped and hung down close enough to the "bars" of the rail
fence to permit the photographic eye to be turned on them. Then came the
tantalizing wait for stillness! I have frequently found that a wind,
absolutely unnoticeable before, became obtrusively strong just when the
critical moment arrived, and I have fancied that the lightly hung
leaflets I have waited upon fairly shook with merriment as they received
the gentle zephyr, imperceptible to my heated brow, but vigorous enough
to keep them moving. Often, too--indeed nearly always--I have found that
after exhausting my all too scanty stock of patience, and making an
"exposure" in despair, the errant blossoms and leaflets would settle
down into perfect immobility, as if to say, "There! don't be
cross--we'll behave," when it was too late.

But the shagbark at last was good to me, and I could leave with the
comfortable feeling that I was carrying away a little bit of nature's
special work, a memorandum of her rather private processes of
fruit-making, without injuring any part of the inspected trees. It has
been a sorrow to me that I have not seen that great hickory later in the
year, when the clusters of tassels have become bunches of husk-covered
nuts. To get really acquainted with any tree, it should be visited many
times in a year. Starting with the winter view, one observes the bark,
the trend and character of the limbs, the condition of the buds. The
spring opening of growth brings rapid changes, of both interest and
beauty, to be succeeded by the maturity of summer, when, with the
ripened foliage overhead, everything is different. Again, when the fruit
is on, and the touch of Jack Frost is baring the tree for the smoother
passing of the winds of winter, there is another aspect. I have great
respect for the tree-lover who knows unerringly his favorites at any
time of the year, for have I not myself made many mistakes, especially
when no leaves are at hand as pointers? The snow leaves nothing to be
seen but the cunning framework of the tree--tell me, then, is it ash, or
elm, or beech? Which is sugar-maple, and which red, or sycamore?

One summer walk in the deep forest, my friend the doctor, who knows many
things besides the human frame, was puzzled at a sturdy tree bole, whose
leaves far overhead mingled so closely with the neighboring greenery of
beech and birch that in the dim light they gave no help. First driving
the small blade of his pocket-knife deep into the rugged bark of the
tree in question, he withdrew it, and then smelled and tasted,
exclaiming, "Ah, I thought so; it _is_ the wild cherry!" And, truly, the
characteristic prussic-acid odor, the bitter taste, belonging to the
peach and cherry families, were readily noted; and another Sherlock
Holmes tree fact came to me!

Of other hickories I know little, for the false shagbark, the mockernut,
the pignut, and the rest of the family have not been disclosed to me
often enough to put me at ease with them. There are to be more tree
friends, both human and arborescent, and more walks with the doctor and
the camera, I hope!

We of the cold North, as we crack the toothsome pecan, hardly realize
its kinship with the hickory. It is full brother to our shellbark,
which is, according to botany, _Hicoria ovata_, while the Southern tree
is _Hicoria pecan_. A superb tree it is, too, reaching up amid its
vigorous associates of the forests of Georgia, Alabama and Texas to a
height exceeding one hundred and fifty feet. Its upright and elegant
form, of a grace that conceals its great height, its remarkable
usefulness, and its rather rapid growth, commend it highly. The
nut-clusters are striking, having not only an interesting outline, but
much richness of color, in greens and russets.

[Illustration: The American beech in winter]

It may seem odd to include the beech under the nut-bearing trees, to
those of us who know only the nursery-grown forms of the European beech,
"weeping" and twisted, with leaves of copper and blood, as seen in parks
and pleasure-grounds. But the squirrels would agree; they know well the
sweet little triangular nuts that ripen early in fall.

The pure American beech, uncontaminated and untwisted with the abnormal
forms just mentioned, is a tree that keeps itself well in the eye of the
woods rambler; and that eye is always pleasured by it, also. Late in
winter, the light gray branches of a beech thicket on a dry hillside on
the edge of my home city called attention to their clean elegance amid
sordid and forbidding surroundings, and it was with anger which I dare
call righteous that I saw a hideous bill-board erected along the
hillside, to shut out the always beautiful beeches from sight as I
frequently passed on a trolley car! I have carefully avoided buying
anything of the merchants who have thus set up their announcements where
they are an insult; and it might be noted that these and other offensive
bill-boards are to others of like mind a sort of reverse
advertising--they tell us what _not_ to purchase.

[Illustration: The true nut-eater]

Years ago I chanced to be present at a birth of beech leaves, up along
Paxton Creek. It was late in the afternoon, and our reluctant feet were
turning homeward, after the camera had seen the windings of the creek
against the softening light, when the beeches over-arching the little
stream showed us this spring marvel. The little but perfectly formed
leaves had just opened, in pairs, with a wonderful covering of silvery
green, as they hung downward toward the water, yet too weak to stand out
and up to the passing breeze. The exquisite delicacy of these trembling
little leaves, the arching elegance of the branches that had just opened
them to the light, made it seem almost sacrilegious to turn the lens
upon them.

Often since have I visited the same spot, in hope to see again this
awakening, but without avail. The leaves show me their silky
completeness, rustling above the stream in softest tree talk; the
curious staminate flower-clusters hang like bunches of inverted commas;
the neat little burs, with their inoffensive prickles, mature and
discharge the angular nuts--but I am not again, I fear, to be present at
the hour of the leaf-birth of the beech's year.

The beech, by the way, is tenacious of its handsome foliage. Long after
most trees have yielded their leaves to the frost, the beech keeps its
clothing, turning from the clear yellow of fall to lightest fawn, and
hanging out in the forest a sign of whiteness that is cheering in the
winter and earliest spring. These bleached-out leaves will often remain
until fairly pushed off by the opening buds of another year.

[Illustration: The witch-hazel]

Of the hazelnut or filbert, I know nothing from the tree side, but I
cannot avoid mentioning another botanically unrelated so-called
hazel--the witch-hazel. This small tree is known to most of us only as
giving name to a certain soothing extract. It is worthy of more
attention, for its curious and delicately sweet yellow flowers,
seemingly clusters of lemon-colored threads, are the very last to bloom,
opening bravely in the very teeth of Jack Frost. They are a delight to
find, on the late fall rambles; and the next season they are followed by
the still more curious fruits, which have a habit of suddenly opening
and fairly ejaculating their seeds. A plucked branch of these fruits,
kept in a warm place a few hours, will show this--another of nature's
efficient methods for spreading seeds, in full operation--if one watches
closely enough. The flowers and the fruits are on the tree at the same
time, just as with the orange of the tropics.

Speaking of a tropical fruit, I am reminded that the greatest nut of
all, though certainly not an American native, is nevertheless now grown
on American soil. Some years ago a grove of lofty cocoanut palms in
Yucatan fascinated me, and the opportunity to drink the clear and
refreshing milk (not milky at all, and utterly different from the
familiar contents of the ripened nut of commerce) was gladly taken. Now
the bearing trees are within the bounds of the United States proper, and
the grand trees in Southern Florida give plenty of fruit. The African
citizens of that neighborhood are well aware of the refreshing character
of the "juice" of the green cocoanut, and a friend who sees things for
me with a camera tells with glee how a "darky" at Palm Beach left him in
his wheel-chair to run with simian feet up a sloping trunk, there to
pull, break open, and absorb the contents of a nut, quite as a matter of
course. I have myself seen the Africans of the Bahamas in the West
Indies climbing the glorious cocoa palms of the coral keys, throwing
down the mature nuts, and then, with strong teeth, stripping the tough
outer covering to get at the refreshing interior.

All these nut trees are only members of the great family of trees given
by God for man's good, I firmly believe; for man first comes into
Biblical view in a garden of trees, and the city and the plain are but
penances for sin!



Some Other Trees


In preceding chapters of this series I have treated of trees in a
relationship of family, or according to some noted similarity. There
are, however, some trees of my acquaintance of which the family
connections are remote or unimportant, and there are some other trees of
individual merit with the families of which I am not sufficiently well
acquainted to speak familiarly as a whole. Yet many of these trees,
looked at by themselves, are as beautiful, interesting, and altogether
worthy as any of which I have written, and they are also among the
familiar trees of America. Therefore I present a few of them apart from
the class treatment.

       *       *       *       *       *

One day in very early spring--or was it very late in winter?--I walked
along the old canal road, looking for some evidence in tree growth that
spring was really at hand. Buds were swelling, and here and there a
brave robin could be heard telling about it in song to his mate (I think
that settled the season as earliest spring!); but beyond the bud
evidences the trees seemed to be silent on the subject. Various herbs
showed lusty beginnings, and the skunk-cabbage, of course, had pushed up
its tropical richness in defiance of any late frost, pointing the way to
its peculiar red-purple flowers, long since fertilized and turning
toward maturity.

The search seemed vain, until a glint of yellow just ahead, too deep to
proceed from the spice-bush I was expecting to find, drew me to the very
edge of the water, there to see hanging over and reflected in the stream
a mass of golden catkins. Looking closely, and touching the little tree,
I disengaged a cloud of pollen and a score of courageous bees, evidently
much more pleased with the sweet birch than with the near-by
skunk-cabbage flowers. Sweet birch it was; the stiff catkins, that had
all winter held themselves in readiness, had just burst into bloom with
the sun's first warmth, introducing a glint of bright color into the
landscape, and starting the active double work of the bees, in
fertilizing flowers while gathering honey, that was not to be
intermitted for a single sunshine hour all through the season.

A little later, along the great Susquehanna, I found in full bloom other
trees of this same birch, beloved of boys--and of girls--for its
aromatic bark. Certainly picturesque and bright, the little trees were a
delight to the winter-wearied eye, the mahogany twigs and the golden
catkins, held at poise over the water, being full of spring suggestion.

All of the birches--I wish I knew them better!--are good to look at, and
I think the bees, the woodpeckers, the humming-birds and other wood folk
must find some of them good otherwise. At Eagles Mere there was a yellow
birch in the bark of which scores of holes had been drilled by the
woodpeckers or the bees, at regularly spaced intervals, to let the
forest life drink at will of the sweet sap. I remember also that my
attempt to photograph a score of bees, two large brown butterflies and
one humming-bird, all in attendance upon this birch feast, was a
surprising failure. I secured a picture of the holes in the bark, to be
sure, but the rapidly moving insect and bird life was too quick for an
exposure of even a fraction of a second, and my negative was lifeless.
These same yellow birches, picturesque in form, ragged in light-colored
bark, give a brightness all their own to the deep forest, mostly of
trees with rather somber bark.

A woodsman told me one summer of the use of old birch bark for starting
a fire in the wet woods, and I have since enjoyed collecting the bark
from fallen trees in the forest. It strips easily, in large pieces, from
decayed stems, and when thrown on an open fire, produces a cheery and
beautiful blaze, as well as much heat; while, if cunningly handled, by
its aid a fire can be kindled even in a heavy rain.

[Illustration: Sweet birch in early spring]

The great North Woods show us wonderful birches. Paddling through one of
the Spectacle ponds, along the Racquette river, one early spring day, I
came upon a combination of white pine, red pine, and paper-birch that
was simply dazzling in effect. This birch has bark, as every one knows,
of a shining creamy white. Not only its color, but its tenacity,
resistance to decay, and wonderful divisibility, make this bark one of
the most remarkable of nature's fabrics. To the Indian and the trapper
it has long been as indispensable as is the palm to the native of the
tropics.

[Illustration: Yellow birches]

There are other good native birches, and one foreigner--the true white
birch--whose cut-leaved form, a familiar lawn tree of drooping habit, is
worth watching and liking. The name some of the nurserymen have given
it, of "nine-bark," is significantly accurate, for at least nine layers
may be peeled from the glossy whiteness of the bark of a mature tree.

I intend to know more of the birches, and to see how the two kinds of
flowers act to produce the little fruits, which are nuts, though they
hardly look so. And I would urge my tree-loving friends to plant about
their homes these cheery and most elegantly garbed trees.

The spice-bush, of which I spoke above, is really a large shrub, and is
especially notable for two things--the way it begins the spring, and
the way it ends the fall. About my home, it is the first of wild woods
trees to bloom, except perhaps the silver maple, which has a way of
getting through with its flowers unnoticed before spring is thought of.
One finds the delicate little bright yellow flowers of the spice-bush
clustered thickly along the twigs long before the leaves are ready to
brave the chill air. After the leaves have fallen in the autumn, these
flowers stand out in a reincarnation of scarlet and spicy berries, which
masquerade continually as holly berries when cunningly introduced amid
the foliage of the latter. Between spring and fall the spice-bush is
apparently invisible.

[Illustration: Flowers of the spice-bush]

[Illustration: Leaves and berries of the American holly]

How many of us, perfectly familiar with "the holly berry's glow" about
Christmas time, have ever seen a whole tree of holly, set with berries?
Yet the trees, sometimes fifty feet high, of American holly--and this is
very different from the English holly in leaf--grow all along the
Atlantic sea-board, from Maine to Florida, and are especially plenty
south of Maryland and Delaware. There is one superb specimen in Trenton,
New Jersey's capital, which is of the typical form, and when crowded
with scarlet berries it is an object of great beauty. One reason why
many of us have not seen holly growing in the wild is that it seems to
prefer the roughest and most inaccessible locations. Years ago I was
told that I might see plenty of holly growing freely in the Pennsylvania
county of my home. "But," my informant added, "you will need to wear
heavy leather trousers to get to it!" The nurserymen are removing this
difficulty by growing plants of all the hollies--American, Japanese,
English and Himalayan--so that they may easily be set in the home
grounds, with their handsome evergreen foliage and their berries of
red or black.

[Illustration: American holly tree at Trenton, N. J.]

One spring, the season and my opportunities combined to provide a most
pleasing feast of color in the tree quest. It was afforded by the
juxtaposition at Conewago of the bloom-time of the deep pink red-bud,
miscalled "Judas tree," and the large white dogwood,--both set against
the deep, almost black green of the American cedar, or juniper. These
two small trees, the red-bud and the dogwood, are of the class of
admirable American natives that are notable rather for beauty and
brightness of bloom than for tree form or size.

The common dogwood--_Cornus florida_ of the botany--appears in bloom
insidiously, one might say; for the so-called flowers open slowly, and
they are green in color, and easily mistaken for leaves, after they have
attained considerable size. Gradually the green pales to purest white,
and the four broad bracts, with the peculiar little pucker at the end of
each, swell out from the real flowers, which look like stamens, to a
diameter of often four inches. With these flowers clustered thickly on
the usually flat, straight branches, the effect against the green or
brown of near-by trees is startling. The dogwood's horizontal branching
habit makes every scrap of its lovely white blooms effective to the
beholder on the ground below, but far more striking if one may see it
from above, as looking down a hillside.

Though the dogwood blooms before its leaves are put forth, the foliage
sometimes catches up with the flowers; and this foliage is itself a
pleasure, because of its fineness and its regular venation, or marking
with ribs. In the fall, when the flowers of purest white have been
succeeded by oblong berries of brightest scarlet, the foliage remains
awhile to contrast with the brilliance of the fruit. The frosts soon
drop the leaves, and then the berries stand out in all their
attractiveness, offering food to every passing bird, and thus carrying
out another of nature's cunning provisions for the reproduction of the
species. Seeds in the crops of birds travel free and far, and some fall
on good ground!

Is it not sad to know that the brave, bold dogwood, holding out its
spring flag of truce from arduous weather, and its autumn store of
sustenance for our feathered friends, is in danger of extinction from
the forest because its hardy, smooth, even-grained white wood has been
found to be especially available in the "arts"? I feel like begging for
the life of every dogwood, as too beautiful to be destroyed for any mere
utility.

[Illustration: Floral bracts or involucres of the dogwood]

I have been wondering as to the reason for the naming of the cornuses as
dogwoods, and find in Bailey's great Cyclopedia of Horticulture the
definite statement that the name was attached to an English red-branched
species because a decoction of the bark was used to wash mangy dogs!
This is but another illustration of the inadequacy and inappropriateness
of "common" names.

There are many good dogwoods--the Cornus family is admirable, both in
its American and its foreign members--but I must not become encyclopedic
in these sketches of just a few tree favorites. I will venture to
mention one shrub dogwood--I never heard its common name, but it has
three botanical names (_Cornus sericea_, or _coerulea_, or _Amomum_,
the latter preferred) to make up for the lack. It ought to be called
the blue-berried dogwood, by reason of its extremely beautiful fruit,
which formed a singular and delightful contrast to the profusion of red
and scarlet fruits so much in evidence, one September day, in Boston's
berry-full Franklin Park.

[Illustration: The red-bud in bloom]

The red-bud, as I have said, is miscalled Judas-tree, the tradition
being that it was on a tree of this family, but not of the American
branch, happily and obviously, that the faithless disciple hanged
himself after his final interview with the priests who had played upon
his cupidity. Indeed, tradition is able to tell even now marvelous
stories to travelers, and not long ago I was more amused than edified to
hear an eloquent clergyman just returned from abroad tell how he had
been shown the fruits of the Judas-tree, "in form like beautiful apples,
fair to the eye, but within bitter and disappointing;" and he moralized
just as vigorously on this fable as if it had been true, as he thought
it. He didn't particularly relish the suggestion that the pulpit ought
to be fairly certain of its facts, whether of theology or of science, in
these days; but he succumbed to the submission of authority for the
statement that the Eastern so-called Judas-tree, _Cercis siliquastrum_,
bore a small pod, like a bean, and was not unpleasant, any more than the
pod was attractive.

I mention this only in reprobation of the unpleasant name that really
hurts the estimation of one of the most desirable and beautiful of
America's smaller trees. The American red-bud is a joy in the spring
about dogwood time, for it is all bloom, and of a most striking color.
Deep pink, or purplish light red, or clear bright magenta--all these
color names fit it approximately only. One is conscious of a warm glow
in looking toward the little trees, with every branch clear down to the
main stem not only outlined but covered with richest color.

There is among the accompanying illustrations (page 201) a photograph of
a small but characteristic red-bud in bloom, looking at which reminds me
of one of the pleasantest experiences of my outdoor life. With a
cameristic associate, I was in a favorite haunt, seeing dogwoods and
red-buds and other things of spring beauty, when a sudden warm thunder
shower overtook us. Somewhat protected in our carriage--and it would
have been more fun if we had stood out to take the rain as comfortably
as did the horse--we saw the wonder of the reception of a spring shower
by the exuberant plant life we were there to enjoy. When the clouds
suddenly obscured the sky, and the first drops began to fall, the soft
new umbrellas of the May-apples, raised to shield the delicate white
flowers hidden under them from the too ardent sunshine, reversed the
usual method by closing tightly and smoothly over the blooms, thus
protecting perfectly their pollen hearts, and offering little resistance
to the sharp wind that brought the rain. At our very feet we could see
the open petals of the spring beauty coil up into tight little spirals,
the young leaves on the pin-oaks draw in toward the stems from which
they had been expanding. Over the low fence, the blue phlox, that dainty
carpeting of the May woods, shut its starry flowers, and lay close to
the ground. Quiet as we were, we could see the birds find sheltered
nooks in the trees about us.

But soon the rain ceased, the clouds passed away, and the sun shone
again, giving us a rainbow promise on the passing drops. Everything woke
up! The birds were first to rejoice, and a veritable oratorio of praise
and joyfulness sounded about our ears. The leaves quickly expanded,
fresher than ever; the flowers uncurled and unfolded, the May-apple
umbrellas raised again; and all seemed singing a song as joyous as that
of the birds, though audible only to the nerves of eye and brain of the
human beings who had thus witnessed another of nature's interior
entertainments.

How much we miss by reason of fear of a little wetting! Many of the
finest pictures painted by the Master of all art are visible only in
rain and in mist; and the subtlest coloring of tree leaf and tree stem
is that seen only when the dust is all washed away by the shower that
should have no terrors for those who care for the truths of nature. In
these days of rain-proof clothing, seeing outdoors in the rain is not
even attended by the slightest discomfort, and I have found my camera
quite able to stand a shower!

Another of the early spring-flowering small trees--indeed, the earliest
one that blooms in white--is the shad-bush, or service-berry. Again the
"common" names are trifling and inadequate; shad-bush because the
flowers come when the shad are ascending the rivers along which the
trees grow, and service-berry because the pleasant fruits are of
service, perhaps! June-berry, another name, is better; but the genus
owns the mellifluous name of Amelanchier, and the term Canadensis
belongs to the species with the clouds of little white flowers shaped
like a thin-petaled star. The shad-bush blooms with the trilliums--but I
may not allow the spring flowers to set me spinning on another hank!

[Illustration: Blooms of the shad-bush]

Searching for early recollections of trees, I remember, when a boy of
six or seven, finding some little green berries or fruits, each with its
long stem, on the pavement under some great trees in the Capitol Park of
my home town. I could eat these; and thus they pleased the boy as much
as the honey-sweet flowers that gave rise to them now please the man.
The noble American linden, one of the really great trees of our forests,
bears these delicate whitish flowers, held in rich clusters from a
single stem which is attached for part of its length to a curious long
green bract. If these flowers came naked on the tree, as do those of the
Norway maple, for instance, they would be easily seen and admired of
men, but being withheld until the splendid heart-shaped foliage is well
out, the blooms miss the casual eye. But the bees see them; they know
the linden for their own, and great stores of sweetest honey follow a
year when abundant pasture of these flowers is available.

[Illustration: Flowers of the American linden]

A kindly tree is this linden, or lime, or basswood, to give it all its
common names. Kindly as well as stately, but never rugged as the oak, or
of obvious pliant strength as the hickory. The old tree invites to shade
under its limbs crowded with broad leaves; the young tree is lusty of
growth and clean of bark, a model of rounded beauty and a fine variant
from the overworked maples of our streets.

Again, the tale of woe! for the great lindens of our forests are nearly
all gone. Too useful for timber; too easy to fell; its soft, smooth,
even wood too adaptable to many uses! Cut them all; strip the bark for
"bast," or tying material; America is widening; the sawmills cannot be
idle; scientific and decent forestry, so successful and so usual in
Europe, is yet but a dream for future generations here in America!

But other lindens, those of Europe especially, are loved of the
landscape architect and the Germans. "Unter den Linden," Berlin's famous
street, owes its name, fame and shade to the handsome European species,
the white-lined leaves of which turn up in the faintest breeze, to show
silvery against the deep green of their upper surfaces. Very many of
these fine lindens are being planted now in America by landscape
architects, and there are some lindens on Long Island just as prim and
trim as any in Berlin. Indeed, there is a sort of German "offiziere"
waxed-mustache air of superiority about them, anyway!

[Illustration: The American linden]

There is an all-pervading Middle States tree that I might give a common
name to as the "fence-post tree," because it is so often grown for that
use only, by reason of its enduring timber and its exceeding vigor under
hard usage. Yet the common black locust is one of the most distinct and
pleasing American trees of moderate height. Distinct it is in its
framework in winter, mayhap with the twisted pods of last season's
fruits hanging free; distinct again in its long-delayed late-coming
acacia-like foliage; but fragrant, elegant and beautiful, as well as
distinct, when in June it sets forth its long, drooping racemes of
whitest and sweetest flowers. These come only when warm weather is an
assured fact, and the wise Pennsylvania Germans feel justified in
awaiting the blooming of the locust before finally discarding their
winter underclothing!

For years a family of my knowledge has held it necessary, for its proper
conduct, to have in order certain floral drives. First the apple
blossom drive introduces the spring, and the lilac drive confirms the
impression that really the season is advancing; but the locust drive is
the sweetest of all, taking these nature lovers along some shady lanes,
beside the east bank of a great river, and in places where, the trees
planted only for the fence utility of the hard yellow wood, these
fragrant flowers, hanging in grace and elegance far above the highway,
have redeemed surroundings otherwise sordid and mean.

[Illustration: Flowers of the black locust]

I want Americans to prize the American locust for its real beauty. The
French know it, and show with pride their trifling imported specimens.
We cannot exterminate the trees, and there will be plenty for posts,
too; but let us realize its sweetness and elegance, as well as the
durability of its structure.

[Illustration: Young trees of the black locust]

There are fashions in trees, if you please, and the nurserymen set them.
Suddenly they discover the merits of some long-forgotten tree, and it
jumps into prominence. Thus, only a few years ago, the pin-oak came into
vogue, to the lasting benefit of some parks, avenues and home grounds.
Then followed the sycamore, but it had to be the European variety, for
our own native "plane tree," or "button-ball," is too plentiful and easy
to sing much of a tree-seller's song about. This Oriental plane is a
fine tree, however, and the avenue in Fairmount Park that one may see
from trains passing over the Schuylkill river is admirable. The bark is
mottled in green, and especially bright when wet with rain. As the
species is free from the attacks of a nasty European "bug," or fungus,
which is bothering the American plane, it is much safer to handle,
commercially.

But our stately American sycamore is in a different class. One never
thinks of it as a lawn tree, or as bordering a fashionable roadway;
rather the expectation is to find it along a brook, in a meadow, or in
some rather wild and unkempt spot. As one of the scientific books begins
of it, "it is a tree of the first magnitude." I like that expression;
for the sycamore gives an impression of magnitude and breadth; it
spreads out serenely and comfortably.

My friend Professor Bailey says _Platanus occidentalis_, which is the
truly right name of this tree, has no title to the term sycamore; it is
properly, as his Cyclopedia gives it, Buttonwood, or Plane. Hunting
about a little among tree books, I find the reason for this, and that it
explains another name I have never understood. The sycamore of the
Bible, referred to frequently in the Old Testament, traditionally
mentioned as the tree under which Joseph rested with Mary and the young
child on the way to Egypt, and into which Zaccheus climbed to see what
was going on, was a sort of fig tree--"Pharaoh's Fig," in fact. When
the mystery-plays of the centuries gone by were produced in Europe, the
tree most like to what these good people thought was the real sycamore
furnished the branches used in the scene-setting--and it was either the
oriental plane, or the sycamore-leaved maple that was chosen, as
convenient. The name soon attached itself to the trees; and when
homesick immigrants looked about the new world of America for some
familiar tree, it was easy enough to see a great similarity in our
buttonwood, which thus soon became sycamore.

[Illustration: The sycamore, or button-ball]

So much for information, more or less legendary, I confess; but the
great tree we are discussing is very tangible. Indeed, it is always in
the public eye; for it carries on a sort of continuous disrobing
performance! The snake sheds his skin rather privately, and comes forth
in his new spring suit all at once; the oak and the maple, and all the
rest of them continually but invisibly add new bark between the
splitting or stretching ridges of the old; but our wholesome friend the
sycamore is quite shamelessly open about it, dropping off a plate or a
patch here and there as he grows and swells, to show us his underwear,
which thus at once becomes overcoat, as he goes on. At first greenish,
the under bark thus exposed becomes creamy white, mostly; and I have had
a conceit that the colder the winter, the whiter would be those portions
of Mr. Buttonball's pajamas he cared to expose to us the next spring!

[Illustration: Button-balls--fruit of the sycamore]

The leaves of the sycamore are good to look at, and efficient against
the sun. The color above is not as clear and sharp as that of the maple;
underneath the leaves are whitish, and soft, or "pubescent," as the
botanical term goes. Quite rakishly pointed are the tips, and the whole
effect, in connection with the balls,--which are first crowded clusters
of flowers, and then just as crowded clusters of seeds--is that of a
gentleman of the old school, dignified in his knee-breeches and cocked
hat, fully aware that he is of comfortable importance!

Those little button-balls that give name to this good American tree
follow the flower clusters without much change of form--they _were_
flowers, they _are_ seeds--and they stay by the tree persistently all
winter, blowing about in the sharp winds. After a while one is banged
often enough to open its structure, and then the carrying wind takes on
its wings the neat little cone-shaped seeds, each possessed of its own
silky hairs to help float it gently toward the ground--and thus is
another of nature's curious rounds of distribution completed.

A tree is never without interest to those whose eyes have been opened to
some of the wonders and perfections of nature. Nevertheless, there is a
time in the year's round when each tree makes its special appeal. It may
be in the winter, when every twig is outlined sharply against the cold
sky, and the snow reflects light into the innermost crevices of its
structure, that the elm is most admirable. When the dogwood has on its
white robe in May and June, it then sings its song of the year. The
laden apple tree has a pure glory of the blossoms, and another warmer,
riper glory of the burden of fruit, but we think most kindly of its
flowering time. Some trees maintain such a continuous show of interest
and beauty that it is difficult to say on any day, "_Now_ is this tulip
or this oak at its very finest!" Again, the spring redness of the swamp
maple is hardly less vivid than its mature coloring of the fall.

But as to the liquidambar, or sweet-gum, there can be no question.
Interesting and elegant the year round, its autumn covering of polished
deep crimson starry leaves is so startlingly beautiful and distinct as
to almost take it out of comparison with any other tree. Others have
nearly the richness of color, others again show nearly the elegance of
leaf form, but no one tree rivals completely the sweet-gum at the time
when the autumn chill has driven out all the paleness in its leaf
spectrum, leaving only the warm crimson that seems for awhile to defy
further attacks of frost.

As to shape, the locality settles that; for, a very symmetrical small to
maximum-sized tree in the North and on high dry places, in the South
and in wet places north it becomes another "tree of the first
magnitude," wide-spreading and heavy. A stellar comparison seems to fit,
because of these wonderful leaves. They struck me at first, hunting
photographs one day, as some sort of a maple; but what maple could have
such perfection of star form? A maple refined, perfected, and indeed
polished, one might well think, for while other trees have shining
leaves, they are dull in comparison with the deep-textured gloss of
these of the sweet-gum.

[Illustration: The liquidambar]

Here, too, is a tree for many places; an adaptable, cosmopolitan sort of
arboreal growth. At its full strength of hard, solid, time-defying
wooded body on the edge of some almost inaccessible swamp of the South,
where its spread-out roots and ridgy branches earn for it another common
name as the "alligator tree," it is in a park or along a private
driveway at the North quite the acme of refined tree elegance, all the
summer and fall. It takes on a rather narrow, pyramidal head, broadening
as it ages, but never betraying kin with its fellow of the swamp, save
perhaps when winter has bared its peculiar winged and strangely "corky"
branches.

[Illustration: The star-shaped leaves and curious fruits of the
liquidambar, late in the summer.]

These odd branches bear, on some trees particularly, a noticeable ridge,
made up of the same substance which in the cork-oak of Europe furnishes
the bottle-stoppers of commerce. It makes the winter structure of the
sweet-gum most distinct and picturesque, which appearance is accentuated
by the interesting little seed-balls, or fruits, rounded and spiny, that
hang long from the twigs. These fruits follow quickly an inconspicuous
flower that in April or May has made its brief appearance, and they add
greatly to the general attractiveness of the tree on the lawn, to my
mind. Years ago I first made acquaintance with the liquidambar, as it
ought always to be called, one wet September day, when an old
tree-lover took me out on his lawn to see the rain accentuate the polish
on the starry leaves and drip from the little many-pointed balls. I
found that day that a camera would work quite well under an umbrella,
and I obtained also a mind-negative that will last, I believe, as long
as I can think of trees.

The next experience was in another state, where a quaint character,
visited on business, struck hands with me on tree-love, and took me to
see his pet liquidambar at the edge of a mill-pond. That one was taller,
and quite stately; it made an impression, deepened again when the third
special showing came, this time on a college campus, the young tree
being naked and corky, and displayed with pride by the college professor
who had gotten out of his books into real life for a joyous half day.

He wasn't the botany professor, if you please; that dry-as-dust
gentleman told me, when I inquired as to what I might find in early
bloom, or see with the eyes of an ignorant plant-lover, that there was
"nothing blooming, and nothing of interest." He added that he had a
fine herbarium where I might see all the plants I wanted, nicely dried
and spread out with pins and pasters, their roots and all!

Look at _dead_ plants, their roots indecently exposed to mere curiosity,
on a bright, living early April day? Not much! I told my trouble to the
professor of agriculture, whose eyes brightened, as he informed me he
had no classes for that morning, and--"We would see!" We _did_ see a
whole host of living things outdoors,--flowers peeping out; leaves of
the willows, just breaking; buds ready to burst; all nature waiting for
the sun's call of the "grand entrée." It was a good day; but I pitied
that poor old dull-eyed herbarium specimen of a botanical professor, in
whose veins the blood was congealing, when everything about called on
him to get out under the rays of God's sun, and study, book in hand if
he wanted, the bursting, hurrying facts of the imminent spring.

But a word more about the liquidambar--the name by which I hope the tree
we are discussing may be talked of and thought of. Old Linnæus gave it
that name, because it described euphoniously as well as scientifically
the fact that the sap which exudes from this fine American tree _is_
liquid amber. Now isn't that better than "gum" tree?

With trees in general as objects of interest, I have always felt a
special leaning toward tropical trees, probably because they were rare,
and indeed not to be seen outside of the conservatory in our Middle
States. My first visit to Florida was made particularly enjoyable by
reason of the palms and bananas there to be seen, and I have by no means
lost the feeling of admiration for the latter especially. In Yucatan
there were to be seen other and stranger growths and fruits, and the
novelty of a great cocoanut grove is yet a memory not eclipsed by the
present-day Floridian and Bahamian productions of the same sort.

It was, therefore, with some astonishment that I came to know, a few
years ago, more of a little tree bearing a fruit that had been familiar
from my boyhood, but which I was then informed was the sole northern
representative of a great family of tropical fruits, and which was
fairly called the American banana. The papaw it was; a fruit all too
luscious and sweet, when fully ripe in the fall, for most tastes, but
appealing strongly to the omnivorous small boy. I suppose most of my
readers know its banana-like fruits, four or five inches long, green
outside, but filled with soft and sweet aromatic yellow pulp, punctuated
by several fat bean-like seeds.

[Illustration: The papaw in bloom]

But it is the very handsome and distinct little tree, with its decidedly
odd flowers, I would celebrate, rather than the fruits. This tree,
rather common to shady places in eastern America as far north as New
York, is worth much attention, and worth planting for its spreading
richness of foliage. The leaves are large, and seem to carry into the
cold North a hint of warmth and of luxuriant growth not common, by any
means--I know of only one other hardy tree, the cucumber magnolia, with
an approaching character. The arrangement of these handsome papaw leaves
on the branches, too, makes the complete mass of regularly shaped
greenery that is the special characteristic of this escape from the
tropics; and, since I have seen the real papaw of the West Indies in
full glory, I am more than ever glad for the handsomer tree that belongs
to the regions of cold and vigor.

[Illustration: Flowers of the papaw]

The form of our papaw, or _Asimina triloba_--the botanical name is
rather pleasing--is noticeable, and as characteristic as its leafage.
See these side branches, leaving the slender central stem with a
graceful up-curve, but almost at once swinging down, only to again curve
upward at the ends! Are they not graceful? Such branches as these point
nature's marvelous engineering, to appreciate which one needs only to
try to imagine a structure of equal grace and efficiency, made with any
material of the arts. How awkward and clumsy steel would be, or other
metal!

Along these swinging curved branches, as we see them in the April winds,
there appear hints of the leaf richness that is to come--but something
else as well. These darkest purple-red petals, almost black, as they
change from the green of their opening hue, make up the peculiar flowers
of the papaw. There is gold in the heart of the flower, not hid from the
bees, and there is much of interest for the seeker for spring knowledge
as well; though I advise him not to smell the flowers. Almost the exact
antithesis of the dogwood is the bloom of this tree; for, both starting
green when first unfolded from the buds, the papaw's flowers advance
through browns and yellows, dully mingled, to the deep vinous red of
maturity. The dogwood's final banner of white is unfolded through its
progress of greens, about the same time or a little later.

A pleasant and peculiar small tree is this papaw, not nearly so well
known or so highly esteemed as it ought to be.

Another tree with edible fruits--but here there will be a dispute,
perhaps!--is the persimmon. I mean the American persimmon, indissolubly
associated in our own Southland with the darky and the 'possum, but also
well distributed over Eastern North America as far north as Connecticut.
The botanical name of the genus is Diospyros, liberally translated as
"fruit of the gods," or "Jove's fruit." If his highness of Olympus was,
by any chance, well acquainted with our 'simmon just before frost, he
must have had a copper-lined mouth, to choose it as his peculiar fruit!

Making a moderate-sized tree of peculiar and pleasing form, its branches
twisting regardless of symmetry, the persimmon in Pennsylvania likes
the country roadsides, especially along loamy banks. Here it has
unequaled opportunity for hanging out its attractively colored fruits.
As one drives along in early fall, just before hard frost, these
fine-looking little tomato-like globes of orange and red are advertised
in the wind by the absence of the early dropping foliage. They look
luscious and tempting; indeed, they _are_ tempting! Past experience--you
need but one--had prepared me for this "bunko" fruit; but my friend
would not believe me, one day in early October--he must taste for
himself. Taste he did, and generously, for the first bite is pleasing,
and does not alarm, wherefore he had time, before his insulted nerves of
mouth and tongue gave full warning, to absorb two of the 'simmons. Whew!
What a face he made when the puckering juice got to work, and convinced
him that he had been sucking a disguised lump of alum. Choking and
gasping, he called for the water we were far from; and _he_ won't try an
unfrosted persimmon again!

My clerical friend who brought home the fairy tale about the red-bud,
or Judas-tree, might well have based his story on the American
persimmon, but for the fact that this puckery little globe, so brilliant
and so deceptive before frost, loses both its beauty and its astringency
when slightly frozen. Then its tender flesh is suave and delicious, and
old Jove might well choose it for his own.

[Illustration: The persimmon tree in fruiting time]

But the tree--that is a beauty all summer, with its shining leaves,
oblong, pointed and almost of the magnolia shape. It will grace any
situation, and is particularly one of the trees worth planting along
highways, to relieve the monotony of too many maples, ashes,
horse-chestnuts and the like, and to offer to the passer-by a tempting
fruit of which he will surely not partake too freely when it is most
attractive. I read that toward the Western limit of its range the
persimmon, in Louisiana, Eastern Kansas and the Indian Territory,
becomes another tree of the first magnitude, towering above a hundred
feet. This would be well worth seeing!

There is another persimmon in the South, introduced from Japan, the
fruits of which are sold on the fruit-stands of Philadelphia, Boston
and New York. This, the "kaki" of Japan, is a small but business-like
tree, not substantially hardy north of Georgia, which provides great
quantities of its beautiful fruits, rich in coloring and sweet to the
taste, and varying greatly in size and form in its different varieties.
These 'simmons do not need the touch of frost, nor do they ever attain
the fine, wild, high flavor of the frost-bitten Virginian fruits; the
tree that bears them has none of the irregular beauty of our native
persimmon, nor does it approach in size to that ornament of the
countryside.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, in closing these sketches, I become most keenly sensible of
their deficiencies. Purely random bits they are, coming from a busy man,
and possessing the one merit of frankness. Deeply interested in trees,
but lacking the time for continuous study, I have been turning my camera
and my eyes upon the growths about me, asking questions, mentally
recording what I could see, and, while thankful for the rest and the
pleasure of the pursuit, always sorry not to go more fully into proper
and scientific tree knowledge. At times my lack in this respect has made
me ashamed to have written at all upon trees; but with full gratitude to
the botanical explorers whose labors have made such superficial
observations as mine possible, I venture to send forth these sketches,
without pretension as to the statement of any new facts or features.

[Illustration: Berries of the spice-bush]

If anything I have here set down shall induce among those who have
looked and read with me from nature's open book the desire to go more
deeply into the fascinating tree lore that always awaits and inevitably
rewards the effort, I shall cry heartily, "God-speed!"



Index


Illustrations are indicated by a prefixed asterisk (*). For botanical
names, see page 239.

  Acorn, beginning of, 27.

  Alligator tree, 221.

  Amelanchier, 205.

  American trees in Europe, 133.

  Apple blossoms, 75, 80.

  Apple, beauty of fruiting branch, 91

  Apple, Chinese flowering, 90.

  Apple, Crab, 80.

  Apple trees, fruiting, 93; in blossom, *81.

  Apples, 73.

  Apples, Ben Davis, Bellefleur, Baldwin, Early Harvest, Red Astrachan, 93;
    Rhode Island Greening, 76;
    Winesap, fruit, *75.

  Apple orchard in winter, *78.

  Apples, Crab, fruit-cluster, *73.

  Apples, propagation of, 88.

  Arnold Arboretum, 57, 89.

  Aspen, American, 121.

  Aspen, Large-toothed, 121.

  Aspen, Trembling (poplar), 121.


  Bailey, Prof. L. H., quoted, 125.

  Balm of Gilead, 118.

  Beech, American, *177, 178.

  Beech, birth of leaves, 179.

  Bill-boards, 179.

  Birch-bark for fuel, 190.

  Birch, Paper, 190.

  Birch, Sweet, 188, *185, *191.

  Birch, White, 193.

  Birch, Yellow, 189, *192.

  Butternut, 164.

  Buttonball, *215.

  Buttonwood, 214.


  Cathedral Woods (pines), 68.

  Cedar, White, 71.

  Cherry, Wild, 176.

  Chestnut, American Sweet, 166, *165.

  Chestnut burs, *157.

  Chestnut grove in fall, 168.

  Chestnut, Sweet, blossoms, *167.

  Chinquapin, 169, *170.

  Cocoanut, 182.

  Common names, 146.

  Cones of the pines, 64.

  Cornus sericea, 200.

  Cottonwood (poplar), 125.

  Crab-apple, 80; Floribunda, 92;
    Parkman's, 88;
    Siberian, 89;
    Spectabilis, *84.

  Crab-apple, Wild, 85.

  Crab-apples, Chinese and Japanese, 88;
    Ringo, Kaido, Toringo, 93.

  Crab, Wild, 83.

  Crab, Soulard, 86.

  Crab, Wild, fruit, *87.

  Cypress, 72.


  Diospyros, 229.

  Dogwood berries, *187.

  Dogwood, Blue-berried, 200.

  Dogwood, White, 197, *199.


  Elkwood, 20.

  Elm and the Tulip, 131.

  Elm, American, *ix, 134, *136, 137, 139.

  Elm at Capitol Park, 141.

  Elm, English, 142; *143.

  Elm lawn, 138.

  Elm, Slippery, 142; seed-pods, *131.

  Elm, Wahoo or Winged, 144.

  Elms, Paul and Virginia, 141.


  Fence-post tree (locust), 210.

  Fernow, Dr., on pines, 52.

  Filbert, 181.

  Fir, Balsam, 70.

  Fir, Nordmann's, 65.

  Firs, 65.

  Fruit trees for beauty, 82.


  Goat Island, plants on, 113.


  Habenaria, Round-leaved, 54.

  Hazelnut, 181.

  Hemlock, 55.

  Hemlock Hill, *56.

  Hickory, False Shagbark, 176.

  Hickory, Mockernut, 176.

  Hickory, Pignut, 176.

  Hickory, Shagbark, 171, *173.

  Hollies, Japanese, English, Himalayan, 195.

  Holly, American, 194, *196.

  Holly, leaves and berries, *195.


  Johnny Appleseed, 87.

  Judas-tree, 201.

  Judas-tree, Eastern, 202.

  June-berry, 205.

  Juniper, Common, 71.


  Kaki, 233.

  Keeler, Miss, quoted, 117.


  Linden, American, 206; flowers, *207, *209.

  Linden, European, 208.

  Liquidambar, 219, *220; fruits, *222.

  Liriodendron, 145;
    candlesticks, 147;
    buds opening, 149;
    flowers of, *150, 153.

  Liriodendrons in Washington, 152.

  Locust, Black, 210; flowers, *211.

  Locust, young trees, *212.

  Maple, Ash-leaved, Box-elder, or Negundo, 17;
    flowers, *17;
    in bloom, *19.

  Maple, Black, 22.

  Maple, Japanese, 23.

  Maple, Large-leaved, 22.

  Maple, Mountain, 21.

  Maple, Norway, 8; bloom, *9;
    samaras, *1.

  Maple, Red, Scarlet or Swamp, 6;
    young leaves, *7.

  Maple, Silver, 4; flowers, *4;
    samaras, *3.

  Maple, Striped, 20, *21.

  Maple, Sugar, 10;
    samaras, *11.

  Maple, Sycamore, *13, 15;
    blossoms, *15.

  Maples, A Story of Some, 1.

  Moosewood, 20.


  Niagara, plants and trees, 111.

  Nut-bearing Trees, 157.


  Oak, Chestnut, 42;
    flowers, *25.

  Oak, English, 33, 46;
    acorns, *47.

  Oak, The Growth of the, 25.

  Oak, Laurel, 43.

  Oak, Live, 45.

  Oak, Mossy Cup or Bur, 38.

  Oak, Pin, 30; acorns, *27;
    flowers, *31.

  Oak, Post, *39, 40.

  Oak, Swamp White, 38;
    flowers, *41;
    in early spring, *36;
    in winter, *29.

  Oak, White, 33.

  Oak, Willow, 42.

  Oaks, blooming of, 28.

  Oaks in Georgia, 44.

  Oaks, Red, Black, Scarlet, 46.

  Orchard, apple, 77.


  Papaw, 225; flowers, *227;
    in bloom, *226.

  Paxtang walnut, 160.

  Pecan, 176; nuts, *159.

  Persimmons, American, 229.

  Persimmon, Japanese, *v, 232.

  Persimmon tree in fruit, *231.

  Pine, Austrian, 64.

  Pine, Jack, 64.

  Pine, Long-leaved or Southern, 63;
    forest, *61;
    young trees, *62.

  Pine on Indian River, *53.

  Pine, Pitch, 64.

  Pine, Red, 59.

  Pine, Scrub, 64.

  Pine, White, *vii, 59; cone, *51.

  Pines of America, 58.

  Pines, The, 49.

  Pines, White, avenue of, *67.

  Plane, Oriental, 213.

  Plane-tree, 213.

  Poplar, Aspen, 121.

  Poplar, Balsam, or Balm of Gilead, 118.

  Poplar, Carolina, 122;
    as street tree, *123;
    blooming of, 124;
    flowers, *95.

  Poplar, Cottonwood, 125; in winter, *126.

  Poplar, Lombardy, 128, *129.

  Poplar, White or Silver-leaved, 125.

  Poplar, Yellow, 145.

  Poplars (and Willows), 95, 118.

  Poplars for pulp-making, 128.

  Poplars, White, in spring, *119.

  Pyrus family, 89.


  Rain, flowers in, 203.

  Red-bud, 201; in bloom, *201.

  Red-woods, 72.


  Salicylic acid from willows, 99.

  Salix, genus (Willows), 117.

  Sargent, Prof. Charles S., 92.

  Sequoias, 72.

  Service-berry, 205.

  Shad-bush, 205;
    flowers, *206.

  Skunk-cabbage, 188.

  Some Other Trees, 185.

  Spice-bush, 193; flowers, *194;
    berries, 234.

  Spruce, Colorado Blue, 65.

  Spruce, Norway, 69;
    cones, *49.

  Spruce, White, cones, *71.

  Spruces, 65.

  Squirrels as nut-eaters, *179.

  Strobiles (cones) of spruce, 69.

  Sweet-gum, 219.

  Sycamore, 214, *215;
    fruits, *217.


  Tree-warden law, 35.

  Tropical trees, 225.

  Tulip (and Elm), 131, 145.

  Tulip flowers, *133;
    structure of, 148.

  Tulip tree in winter, *148.


  Walnut, Black, 160;
    in winter, *162.

  Walnut, English or Persian, 164.

  Walnut, White, 164.

  Washington, tree planting in, 32.

  Whitewood, 145.

  Willow, Basket, 104.

  Willow, Black, 110.

  Willow family, contrasts of, 98.

  Willow, glaucous (pussy), 107.

  Willow, Goat, 113.

  Willow, Golden, 111.

  Willow, Kilmarnock, 113.

  Willow, Napoleon's, 98.

  Willow, Pussy, 105; blooms, *97;
    in park, *106.

  Willow, Weeping, 102;
    in early spring, *100;
    in storm, *103.

  Willow, White, 108;
    blossoms, *108, 109;
    clump, *116;
    tree by stream, *112.

  Willows and Poplars, 95.

  Willows, colors of, 101.

  Willows, Crack, Yellow, Blue, 107.

  Willows of Babylon, 97.

  Witch-hazel, 181; flowers, *181.



Botanical Names


The standard used in determining the botanical names is Bailey's
"Cyclopedia of American Horticulture."

  COMMON NAME               BOTANICAL NAME                          PAGE

  Amelanchier               Amelanchier Canadensis                   205

  Aspen, American           Populus tremuloides                      121

  Aspen, Large-toothed      Populus grandidentata                    121

  Beech, American           Fagus ferruginea                         178

  Birch, Paper              Betula papyrifera                        190

  Birch, Sweet              Betula lenta                             188

  Birch, White              Betula populifolia                       193

  Birch, Yellow             Betula lutea                             189

  Butternut                 Juglans cinerea                          164

  Buttonball               }                                       { 215
  Buttonwood               }Platanus occidentalis                  { 214

  Chestnut, American Sweet  Castanea Americana                       166

  Chinquapin                Castanea pumila                          169

  Cocoanut                  Cocos nucifera                           182

  Cottonwood (poplar)       Populus deltoides                        125

  Crab-apple, Siberian      Pyrus baccata                             89

  Crab-apple, Wild          Pyrus coronaria                           85

  Crab, Soulard             Pyrus Soulardi                            86

  Dogwood, Blue-berried     Cornus sericea                           200

  Dogwood, White            Cornus florida                           197

  Elm, American             Ulmus Americana                          134

  Elm, English              Ulmus campestris                         142

  Elm, Slippery or Red      Ulmus fulva                              142

  Elm, Wahoo or Winged      Ulmus alata                              144

  Filbert  Corylus          Americana                                181

  Fir, Balsam               Abies balsamea                            70

  Fir, Nordmann's           Abies Nordmanniana                        65

  Habenaria, Round-leaved   Habenaria orbiculata                      54

  Hazelnut                  Corylus Americana                        181

  Hemlock                   Tsuga Canadensis                          55

  Hickory, False Shagbark   Hicoria glabra, var.                     176
                            microcarpa

  Hickory, Mockernut        Hicoria alba                             176

  Hickory, Pignut           Hicoria glabra                           176

  Hickory, Shagbark         Hicoria ovata                            171

  Holly, American           Ilex opaca                               194

  Judas-tree                Cercis Canadensis                        201

  Judas-tree, Eastern       Cercis Siliquastrum                      202

  June-berry                Amelanchier Botryapium                   205

  Juniper, Common           Juniperus communis                        71

  Kaki                      Diospyros Kaki                           233

  Linden, American          Tilia Americana                          206

  Linden, European          Tilia tomentosa                          208

  Liquidambar               Liquidambar styraciflua                  219

  Liriodendron              Liriodendron Tulipifera                  145

  Locust, Black             Robinia Pseudacacia                      210

  Maple, Ash-leaved,
  Box-elder or Negundo      Acer Negundo                              17

  Maple, Black              Acer nigrum                               22

  Maple, Japanese           Acer palmatum                             23

  Maple, Large-leaved       Acer macrophyllum                         22

  Maple, Mountain           Acer spicatum                             21

  Maple, Norway             Acer platanoides                           8

  Maple, Red, Scarlet       Acer rubrum                                6
  or Swamp

  Maple, Silver, White      Acer saccharinum                           4
  or Soft

  Maple, Striped,           Acer Pennsylvanicum                       20
  of Pennsylvania

  Maple, Sugar              Acer saccharum                            10

  Maple, Sycamore           Acer Pseudo-platanus                      15

  Oak, Chestnut             Quercus Prinus                            42

  Oak, English              Quercus pedunculata                   33, 46

  Oak, Laurel               Quercus laurifolia                        43

  Oak, Live                 Quercus Virginiana                        45

  Oak, Mossy Cup or Bur     Quercus macrocarpa                        38

  Oak, Pin                  Quercus palustris                         30

  Oak, Post                 Quercus stellata                          40

  Oak, Swamp White          Quercus bicolor                           38

  Oak, White                Quercus alba                              33

  Oak, Willow               Quercus Phellos                           42

  Papaw                     Asimina triloba                          225

  Pecan                     Hicoria Pecan                            176

  Persimmon, American       Diospyros Virginiana                     229

  Persimmon, Japanese       Diospyros Kaki                           232

  Pine, Austrian            Pinus Laricio, var.                       64
                            Austriaca

  Pine, Long-leaved or      Pinus palustris                           63
  Southern

  Pine, Pitch               Pinus rigida                              64

  Pine, Red                 Pinus resinosa                            59

  Pine, Scrub               Pinus Virginiana                          64

  Pine, White               Pinus Strobus                             59

  Plane, Oriental           Platanus orientalis                      213

  Plane-tree                Platanus occidentalis                    213

  Poplar, Aspen             Populus tremuloides                      121

  Poplar, Balsam, or        Populus balsamifera                      118
  Balm of Gilead

  Poplar, Carolina          Populus deltoides,                       122
                            var. Caroliniana

  Poplar, Cottonwood        Populus deltoides                        125

  Poplar, Lombardy          Populus nigra,                     128, *129
                            var. Italica

  Poplar, White or          Populus alba                             125
  Silver-leaved

  Poplar, Yellow            Liriodendron                             145
                            Tulipifera

  Red-bud                   Cercis Canadensis                        201

  Service-berry             Amelanchier vulgaris                     205

  Shad-bush                 Amelanchier                              205
                            Canadensis

  Skunk-cabbage             Spathyema foeetida                       188

  Spice-bush                Benzoin oderiferum                       193

  Spruce, Colorado Blue     Picea pungens                             65

  Spruce, Norway            Picea excelsa                             69

  Sweet-gum                 Liquidambar                              219
                            styraciflua

  Sycamore                  Platanus occidentalis 214

  Walnut, Black             Juglans nigra                            160

  Walnut, English or        Juglans regia                            164
  Persian
  Walnut, White             Juglans cinerea                          164

  Whitewood                 Liriodendron                             145
  Tulipifera

  Willow, Basket            Salix viminalis                          104

  Willow, Black             Salix nigra                              110

  Willow, Goat              Salix Caprea                             113

  Willow, Golden            Salix vitellina                          111

  Willow, Kilmarnock.       Salix Caprea, var.                       113
                            pendula

  Willow, Pussy             Salix discolor                           105

  Willow, Weeping           Salix Babylonica                         102

  Willow, White             Salix alba                               108

  Witch-hazel               Hamamelis Virginiana                     181

       *       *       *       *       *

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human nature, could have given us a book as this."--_Boston Herald._

Carroll--Alice's Adventures, and Through the Looking Glass

BY LEWIS CARROLL

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Dix--A Little Captive Lad

BY MARIE BEULAH DIX

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Lucas--Slowcoach

BY E. V. LUCAS

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Mabie--Book of Christmas

BY H. W. MABIE

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old favorites will be found in an artistic setting."--_The St. Louis
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Major--The Bears of Blue River

BY CHARLES MAJOR

"An exciting story with all the thrills the title implies."

Major--Uncle Tom Andy Bill

BY CHARLES MAJOR

"A stirring story full of bears, Indians, and hidden
treasures."-_Cleveland Leader._

Nesbit--The Railway Children

BY E. NESBIT

"A delightful story revealing the author's intimate knowledge of
juvenile ways."--_The Nation._

Whyte--The Story Book Girls

BY CHRISTINA G. WHYTE

"A book that all girls will read with delight--a sweet, wholesome story
of girl life."

Wright--Dream Fox Story Book

BY MABEL OSGOOD WRIGHT

"The whole book is delicious with its wise and kindly humor, its just
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Wright--Aunt Jimmy's Will

BY MABEL OSGOOD WRIGHT

"Barbara has written no more delightful book than this."


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  CLARK--The Care of a House.
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  EARLE--Home Life in Colonial Days.
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  FRENCH--How to Grow Vegetables.
  GOODYEAR--Renaissance and Modern Art.
  HAPGOOD--Lincoln, Abraham, The Man of the People.
  HAULTAIN--The Mystery of Golf.
  HEARN--Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation.
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  HILLQUIT--Socialism in Theory and Practice.
  HODGES--Everyman's Religion.
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  JEFFERSON--The Building of the Church.
  KING--The Ethics of Jesus.
  KING--Rational Living
  LONDON--The War of the Classes.
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  LYON--How to Keep Bees for Profit.
  MCLENNAN--A Manual of Practical Farming.
  MABIE--William Shakespeare: Poet, Dramatist, and Man.
  MAHAFFY--Rambles and Studies in Greece.
  MATHEWS--The Church and the Changing Order.
  MATHEWS--The Gospel and the Modern Man.
  PATTEN--The Social Basis of Religion.
  PEABODY--The Approach to the Social Question.
  PIERCE--The Tariff and the Trusts.
  RAUSCHENBUSCH--Christianity and the Social Crisis.
  RIIS--The Making of an American Citizen.
  RIIS--Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.
  RYAN--A Living Wage: Its Ethical and Economic Aspects.
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  VAN DYKE--The Spirit of America.
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  WELLS--New Worlds for Old.
  WHITE--The Old Order Changeth.


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  ALLEN--A Kentucky Cardinal.
  ALLEN--The Reign of Law.
  ATHERTON--Patience Sparhawk.
  CHILD--Jim Hands.
  CRAWFORD--The Heart of Rome.
  CRAWFORD--Fair Margaret: A Portrait
  DAVIS--A Friend of Cæsar.
  DRUMMOND--The Justice of the King.
  ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN.
  GALE--Loves of Pelleas and Etarre.
  HERRICK--The Common Lot.
  LONDON--Adventure.
  LONDON--Burning Daylight
  LOTI--Disenchanted.
  LUCAS--Mr. Ingleside.
  MASON---The Four Feathers.
  NORRIS--Mother.
  OXENHAM--The Long Road.
  PRYOR---The Colonel's Story.
  REMINGTON--Ermine of the Yellowstone.
  ROBERTS--Kings in Exile.
  ROBINS---The Convert.
  ROBINS--A Dark Lantern.
  WARD--David Grieve.
  WELLS--The Wheels of Chance.


THE MACMILLAN JUVENILE LIBRARY

  ALTSHELER--The Horsemen of the Plains.
  BACON--While Caroline Was Growing.
  CARROLL--Alice's Adventures and Through the Looking Glass.
  DIX--A Little Captive Lad.
  GREENE--Pickett's Gap.
  LUCAS--Slow Coach.
  MABIE--Book of Christmas.
  MAJOR--The Bears of Blue River.
  MAJOR--Uncle Tom Andy Bill.
  NESBIT--The Railway Children.
  WHYTE--The Story Book Girls.
  WRIGHT--Dream Fox Story Book.
  WRIGHT--Aunt Jimmy's Will.





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