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.
Mr. Siler, of Ranch, Utah, writes : I send a few cones of Pinus Balfouriana. I also send in saeparate bundle limbs of Pinus Balfouriana, which I hope will prove very acceptable to you. I would like for you to present limbs and cones of those I send to the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. Pinus Balfouriana is a low-growing tree, very scrubby, presenting a very beautiful appearance when loaded with cones, as they cause the limbs to hang down, when they look like a cat's tail when angered; hence the local name of Cat Tail Pine. It is found growing on high, dry points of Tricito, where there appears to be no soil, the roots penetrating the crevices of the rock. This Pine I have never found at an altitude lower than 6,000 feet above sea level. It is very local, growing only, as far as I have been able to trace it, about the rim of the basin in Southern Utah, about the head waters of the Sauvro river. It is a solitary tree. You will seldom find two of them growing near together. A peculiarity of the species is its growth. I found a dead tree last August, 18 feet high, 20 inches in diameter 2 feet from the ground. The grain of the wood, instead of running up and down the tree, runs around it, and resemble large hoops driven on a barrel.
About 5 feet from the ground there was a swell of at least 2 inches, about 6 inches long up and down the tree. I have noticed several other trees and parts of trees. All bear the same character.
[These were beautiful specimens, with the cones rather more slender than the cones of the P. aristata from Colorado, but still not so slender as the form from California, figured by Mr-Murray as P. Balfouriana. It is proper here to say that for a long time American botanists believed that the Colorado and California forms were both the same, and were willing to drop their own name and adopt Mr. Murray's by right of priority. Mr. Murray, however, always contended for their distinctness, and the writer of this promised him to investigate the matter further. The result has been so far toward showing that Mr. Murray was right, and we are sorry he is not alive now to receive this acknowledgment. We believe this of Mr. Siler is P. aristata, and not P. Balfouriana, which is confined to California. - Ed].