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 wonderful durability of the wood of the American Catalpa has long been known; but Mr. E. E. Barney, of Dayton, Ohio, has done an excellent work in collecting together several letters written by him at different times to the Railway Age in regard to the economical value, especially with reference to the employment, which can be made of it, for railway sleepers. To these letters are added satisfactory evidence of the astonishing durability of the wood of this tree, its adaptability to many useful purposes, besides some excellent suggestions as to the best methods for cultivating it. The whole forms a neatly printed pamphlet of 26 pages under the title of Facts and Information in Relation to the Catalpa Tree [Catalpa bignonoides), which can be procured from the author.
Mr. Barney calls attention to the fact, which has heretofore escaped our notice, that in some of our Western States a variety of the Catalpa is found in cultivation with very large white blos-soms,appearing two weeks earlier and much more abundantly than in the common form. Experiments, too, show that this early blooming variety is of more upright, rapid growth, and considerably hardier, and so more valuable for forest planting; a fact well worth bearing in mind. To all with whom the question of a supply of fence posts is getting to be a serious one, and especially to the managers and owners of railroads, Mr. Barney's pamphlet will be found useful and instructive reading.