This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The subject of Forest Culture is without doubt a momentous question, and one of vast importance, in view of the future wants of the whole country. While there is evidently a growing interest in the subject, there at the same time seems to be a great want of knowledge of just how to commence the growing of a forest, and be successful therein.
In view of these facts, and to encourage the planting and growing of trees in Southern Kansas, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, in the spring of 1873, established experimental stations at different points along the line of their road, extending from Hutchinson westward, for the purpose of testing the different varieties of trees, learning the kinds best adapted to our soil and climate, and the best mode of culture.
The results of these experiments, running through the past four years, justify the conclusion that forest trees for shade, wind-breaks, fuel, timber and ornament are easily, cheaply and quickly grown; and we are confident that, from a few acres of trees planted and attended to with a proper degree of intelligence and care, the farmer may, in four or five years, supply himself with fuel, and also with much material that will be of service to him about a farm, besides add many times the cost to the saleable value of his farm.
Among the several varieties that have proved successful with us, as far as tested, we would recommend the following as anions: the best for general planting: Ash, Black Walnut, Box Elder, Cottonwood, Honey Locust, Osage Orange, Silver Maple, and, for fuel and fruit, the Peach. The Ash is a beautiful, fast-growing tree, and makes valuable timber, being used extensively in" the. manufacture of farm implements. It grows along nearly all the streams in Kansas. The seed can be easily gathered from the trees, as it ripens in the Fall. It should be kept in damp sand till Spring, and then planted about one inch deep, dopping ten to twelve seed to the foot, in nursery rows, to be transplanted to the forest at one or two years old.