The most desirable trees of all are the Oaks, the White, Red and Pin Oaks. They grow in time into enormous specimens and live for an indefinite period. When one plants an Oak tree one not only benefits his own grounds incalculably, but he also does a service for his neighbours and the adjoining countryside that is the best kind of charity. The most picturesque of the Oaks are the Red and White, which many people never dream of planting on account of their traditionally slow growth; but they forget that these trees begin to show their characteristics at a comparatively early age, and they also forget that the trees that are of slowest growth are of the greatest merit. The truth is that the Oaks are not any slower of growth than many trees that are more extensively planted. The Pin Oak, which is really a rapid grower, is particularly beautiful planted along an avenue or a road in double rows, and is interesting at every stage of its development. As a background for the garden it is unrivalled, for the foliage is dense and of an exquisite glossy green colour and shimmers in the sunlight and vibrates bewitchingly in every breeze that blows.
It is a good tree to have in the garden, for its appearance is ideally semi-formal. The Pin Oak carries its limbs close to the ground and the lower branches curve downward, giving it a luxuriant effect that one does not find in any other tree possessing so much character. The low-growing branches will be retained for many years if they are given plenty of light and air. Oak trees should be planted sixty feet apart, but in planting an avenue the intervals may be filled in by some quicker growing trees that in the course of years may be transplanted to make room for their more sturdy neighbours.
The leaves of the White Oak turn scarlet in Autumn and often cling to the branches until Spring, giving the tree a rather unique place in the landscape. The Oaks are free from disease and insect pests, which is a great recommendation for trees that are to be planted on small grounds where a good presence must be counted upon throughout the season. The Pin Oak is one of the easiest trees to transplant, and it is quite feasible to move specimens twenty-five to thirty-five feet in height from the forest to the lawn, the percentage of loss being small. Select well-branched specimens of good shape and move in December after the ground has become well frozen. When the tree is set, cover the ground about the trunk for a radius of six feet or so with six inches of coarse litter, and leave it until late in the Spring. When this is removed mulch with fine, well-rotted manure, which may with advantage be renewed from time to time during the Summer. It will not be necessary to cut back the tops, but the dead wood should be well cleaned out and the ends of the longer lower branches pruned for eighteen inches or so. Too much cannot be said in favour of the Oak trees which possess so many sterling qualities; beauty, dignity, distinguished appearance, fine colouring, extreme picturesqueness.
They are satisfactory to look upon every season of the year.
White Oak and Spruce.
White Oak in Winter.
White Oaks in Winter holding their Leaves.
Pin Oak in Winter.
Transplanted Pin Oaks.