This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
South Australia sees, as other portions of the earth see, the absolute necessity of looking forward to its forest interest. It has not yet been shown that a forest planted to-day will prove profitable to the owner within a reasonable time, neither is it always made manifest that one who plants a forest is investing safely for his children. Yet it is a national interest that there should be forests. Thousands of interests depend on timber, and it therefore becomes the duty of governments to encourage that planting which it will not pay an individual to do for himself. Our American State governments have recognized this principle in various ways, though their manner of doing it has often been puerile and sometimes ridiculous. In Pennsylvania, for instance, one dollar is deducted from the road tax of the person who plants four trees along the road-side ! In other words the whole community is to wallow in slush, and wade through a quagmire to pay a dollar for every four trees, which, after all the planter may cut down for bean poles a few years afterwards, for all the law, as it is written, prevents him.
The only good of such a simple law as this is that it virtually acknowledges the duty of a State to enact protective laws in the fostering of forestry.
South Australia, as we find by Mr. Brown's work, acknowledges its duty in a more sensible manner. It first looks about to see where forests may be needed. It does not like the Pennsylvania law, pay a man twenty-five dollars for a hundred trees planted in front, perhaps, of a huge forest which is so inaccessible that it would not pay for firewood; but it decides first on what part of the colony shall be a "Forest district." In such district, and on his own actually-occupied land he must plant five acres, the kinds prescribed by the government forester as fit for that district. The tract must be securely fenced from cattle. The trees are to be set in accordance with good rules provided, and at the end of five years, " if the trees are in a vigorous, healthy condition," and " at least ten feet high," he is entitled to two pounds sterling ($10.00) for every acre so planted. There are some other minor details, but this is the main feature of this intelligently practical law.
This work of Mr. Brown is intended to teach farmers how to plant and care for the forests, and all they are likely to want to know in order to make their plantings successful. It seems an admirable plan all through.