This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
For some years past the supply of this important wood has diminished in quantity and risen in price. It is derived from the forests of the Caucasus, Armenia, and the Caspian shores. The wood of best quality comes from the Black Sea forests, and is principally shipped from the port of Poti. The produce of the Caspian forests, known in the trade as "Persian" wood, until last year was also exported through the Black Sea from Taganrog. This found its way after the commencement of the war via the Volga Canal to St. Petersburg. The produce of the Caspian forests is softer and inferior in quality to that of the Black Sea. It is a matter of interest to know whether one result of the war will be to open those Black Sea forests which the Russian Government has hitherto kept rigorously closed. The falling-off of the supply has led meanwhile to various attempts to find substitutes for boxwood for many purposes. Messrs. Joseph Gardner & Sons of Liverpool have introduced with some success, Cornel (Cornus florida) and Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) for shuttle-making, for which purpose hitherto box has been in great demand.
The diminished supply has also drawn attention to the Himalayas as a source of supply. Dr. Brandis, the Inspector General of forests in India, has corresponded with Messrs. Gardner on the subject. I am informed, however, by Mr. Godfrey Saunders of this firm that "the difficulty of transit from the mountains to the seaboard appears to be the great obstacle, and in addition the possible supply appears to be much smaller than is furnished from existing sources".
Mr. Robson J. Scott has presented to our museums blocks prepared for wood engraving of Hawthorn, which he states "is by far the best wood, after box, that I have had the opportunity of testing." - Kew Report.