This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I recently read an article in some agricultural publication, the name of which has slipped my memory, where it was stated that while the Sassafras attained to the size of a tree in the South, in New England, owing to an unfavorable climate, it was so dwarf in its proportions as not to deserve the name of a tree. This is a mistake. One of my neighbors a few years ago cut down several trees which were twenty-five feet in height, and my next neighbor has now one or more on his premises which is from twenty-five to thirty feet in height, and nearly three feet in circumference at its base. On one of my farms in Middleton, in the eastern part of Massachusetts, there stand three Sassafras trees, two of them about thirty feet in height, while the third measures over fifty feet in height, with a circumference of five feet four inches at its base. The tallest tree, standing alone near a wall, on a hill-side, is yet healthy and in good vigor, though a few years ago while burying cabbage near its base, some large roots were severely pruned. It is evident, therefore, if the Sassafras is scarce as a tree in New England, it is not by reason of an unfavorable climate.
I will hazard the guess that the restless fingers and knives of Yankee boys after its fragrant twigs and roots have proved a hindrance to its tree development far greater than the climate.