This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The annual report of the director, Prof. C. S. Sargent, is full of interest. It shows the progress which has been made in the work to the 31st of August, 1877. We make the following extract as of a matter of interest to all of us as well as to the Harvard University, to which the report is addressed:
"Judging from the immense number of letters which are annually sent me in regard to trees and tree-planting, it seems evident that there is a steadily increasing interest felt in arboriculture, which it should be the duty of the arboretum to foster in every possible manner. The mere answering of the letters, communications and inquiries received from nearly every State in the Union, and from almost all the countries of Europe, would have more than occupied my whole time; and they must have been neglected, had not Mr. Francis Skinner voluntarily assumed charge of this department, and relieved me of all correspondence of a merely routine description.
It is but five years since the first establishment of the arboretum, but its influence and usefulness are already evident. To its establishment can be directly traced the planting during the past season of nearly half a million trees in the New England States alone. Through its influence attention has been called to the necessity of the more general cultivation of the American White ash, a tree of the first economic value, and now rapidly disappearing from all but the more recently settled portions of the country. Up to the present year young ash for general planting could not be procured either at home or abroad. They are now raised in such numbers as to be within reach of all. I have been able to demonstrate, also, that seedling forest trees, for which the Eastern States, at least, have largely depended on foreign nurseries, can be produced equally well and at cheaper rates than abroad. So that in the future, this business, which promises an immense development, will be a source of profit to American industry, while planters will be saved the risks and expenses which necessarily attend the importation of such perishable goods as living plants".
The work which Prof. Sargent is doing is really a national one, and he deserves the hearty thanks of all who desire to see American arboriculture' prosper.