Let no person, therefore, delay planting shade trees himself, or persuading his neighbors to do the same. Wherever a village contains half a dozen persons zealous in this excellent work of adorning the country at large, let them form a society and make proselytes of those who are slow to be moved otherwise. A public spirited man in Boston does a great service to the community and earns the thanks of his countrymen by giving fifty thousand dollars to endow a professorship in a college; let the public spirited man of the more humble village in the interior also establish his claim to public gratitude by planting fifty trees annually along its public streets in quarters where there is the least ability or the least taste to be awakened in this way, or where the poverty of the houses most needs something to hide them, and give an aspect of shelter and beauty. Hundreds of public meetings are called, on subjects not half so important to the welfare of the place as this, whose object would be to direct the attention of all the householders to the nakedness of their estates, in the eyes of those who most love our country, and would see her rural towns and village homes made as attractive and pleasant as they are free and prosperous.
* We now have these duties delegated, in many cities and towns, to tree wardens, city foresters, park superintendents, town planning boards or other responsible - and sometimes competent - persons. - F. A. W.
* It is a matter of general regret that the famous New Haven green should have lost its elms in recent years. It will be many a long summer before that remarkable town common resumes its former glory. - F. A. W.
We pointed out in a former article the principle that should guide those who are about to select trees for streets of rural towns - that of choosing that tree which the soil of the place will bring to the highest perfection. There are two trees, however, which are so eminently adapted to this purpose in the Northern States, that they may be universally employed. These are the American weeping elm and the silver maple. They have, to recommend them, in the first place, great rapidity of growth; in the second place, the graceful forms which they assume; in the third place, abundance of fine foliage; and lastly, the capacity of adapting themselves to almost every soil where trees will thrive at all.*
These two trees have broad and spreading heads, fit for wide streets and avenues. That fine tree, the Dutch elm,* of exceedingly rapid growth and thick dark green foliage, makes a narrower and more upright head than our native sort, and, as well as the sugar maple, may be planted in streets and avenues, where there is but little room for the expansion of wide spreading tops.
* The weeping elm has not fulfilled Mr. Downing's expectations; the silver maple has more than done so. It is now planted by hundreds of thousands along the streets of middle western cities and towns. - F. A. W.
* The Dutch elm has almost disappeared from American nurseries and from American landscape practice, but it is still a good sort of tree. - F. A. W.
No town where any of these trees are extensively planted can be otherwise than agreeable to the eye, whatever may be its situation or the style of its dwellings. To villages prettily built they will give a character of positive beauty that will both add to the value of property and increase the comfort and patriotism of the inhabitants.