This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Observations communicated to the Academy of Sciences through the distinguished chemist M. Bertholet, show that all plants, large or small, grown on primitive rocks or on soils directly derived therefrom, contain copper diffused through their tissues in quantity sufficient to be detected when the ammonia test is applied to quantities as small as one gramme (15 grains) of their ashes. In 128 samples of white oak-wood from marly soil copper was found in like manner, but in a less proportion. In plants from magnesian limestone the results varied very much, and in those from highly calcareous soils no trace of copper was detected when quantities of 100 grammes were tested.
The Botanical Index gives the following dimensions of large trees growing in Indiana: A Chestnut 22 feet in circumference, two feet above the ground; a Sassafras 3 feet in diameter, and for more than sixty feet clear of limbs and knots. The giant is a Sycamore 48 feet in circumference. At 28 feet it branches into three or four limbs, one of which is more than 5 feet in diameter.
It is of interest to record that the grand Burn-ham Beeches, with an area of 120 acres, have been purchased by the Corporation of London. No one who has seen these grand trees can cease to remember them. They are in the vicinity of Windsor, but nearer State Park, the residence of John Penn. A recent writer even points out the tree alluded to by Gray in his immortal poem. The heads cut off by successive generations, the trees have grown at the butts and roots, which latter cast their fantastic limbs so high. The place is to be preserved for the Londoners, who may wish it was nearer, being twenty miles distant.
It is a singular fad that the Island of Corsica has some sixty species of flowering plants peculiar to it, while the British Isles possess no single kind which is not also found elsewhere. Yet the climate and soil of Corsica have no corresponding singularity.
The Woodbine is only another name for Honeysuckle, but the Eglantine is the Sweetbriar. The bank on which Titania slept was " Quite over-canopied with high Woodbine, with sweet Musk-Roses and with eglantine." Tennyson, in the Talking Oak, speaks of "The pressure thrice as sweet As Woodbine's fragile hold".
The vine trains round the wood with little flexibility.
The following is curious, and too good not to record: " The Marquis of Bute Colonization Scheme has been very successful. He introduced a small colony of beavers into an isolated pine wood near Rothesay, Isle of Bute. The place was walled round, so that they could not escape, and through what is known as the beavers' park there runs a roaring mountain stream. This they soon dammed up, completely altering the appearance of the place. The Duke of Portland is about to make a similar experiment on one of his Scotch estates The Rothesay beavers, on being transferred to their new quarters, at once began sawing or gnawing down the trees in the wood. This operation they rapidly effected by the diligent exercise of their keen, chisel-like teeth, which cut out a wedge-shaped gap, causing the tree to eventually topple over by its own weight. These trees they use for damming, standing as they did close beside the river, and the remarkable intelligence of the animal is shown by the fact that they always caused them to fall just in the right spot, requiring no further shifting".
A material of great interest to the public not yet utilized among us, is the Bamber. Its merits are very striking; light, strong and cheap, it is adapted to many uses not yet thought of; for instance, it is light beyond any other substance that is so strong. It might be made into carriages for summer travel, and probably is well adapted to many parts of railroad cars, but especially for street roads. Gigs, etc, made partly of it would be light beyond precedent. We commend the subject to those interested in cars and other vehicles. There may be millions in it. Who will be the first to avail of this wonderful, light and cheap material?