This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
A paper was read by Sir R. Christison at the last meeting of the Edinburgh Botanical Society upon the "Growth of Wood in 1880." In a former paper, he said, he endeavored to show that, in the unfavorable season of 1879, the growth of wood of all kinds of trees was materially less than in the comparatively favorable season of 1878. He had now to state results of measurements of the same trees for the recent favorable season of 1880. The previous autumn was unfavorable for the ripening of young wood, and the trees in an unprepared condition were exposed during a great part of December, 1879, to an asperity of climate unprecedented in this latitude. This might have led one to expect a falling off in the growth of wood, and it appeared, from comparison of measurements, that, with very few exceptions, the growth of wood last year was even more below the average of favorable years than that of the bad year, 1879. Thus, in fifteen leaf-shedding trees of various species, exclusive of the oak, the average growth of trunk girth in three successive years was: 1878, 8-10ths; 1879, 45-100ths; 1880, 3-10ths and a half. In four specimens of the oak tribe, the growth was: 1878, 8-10ths; 1879, 77-100ths; 1880, 54-100ths. In twenty specimens of the evergreen Pinaceae the growth was: 1878, 8-10ths; 1879, 7-10ths; 1880, 6-10ths and a half. After giving details in regard to particular trees, Sir Robert stated, as general deductions from his observations, that leaf-shedding trees, exclusive of the oak, suffered most; that the evergreen Pinaceae suffered least; and that there was some power of resistance on the part of the oak tribe which was remarkable, the power of resistance of the Hungary oak being particularly deserving of attention. In another communication on the "extent of the season of growth," Sir Robert stated, as the result of observations on five leaf-shedding and five evergreen trees, that in the case of the former, even in a fine year, the growth of wood was confined very nearly, if not entirely, to the months of June, July, and August; while in the case of the latter growth commenced a month sooner, terminating, however, about the same time. Mr. A. Buchan said it was proposed that the inquiry should be taken up more extensively over Scotland.