This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Observing that the "Forestry Department" of Gardeners' Monthly is open for the entry of big trees, I would like to have permanently preserved there this record of one - or, rather, the remaining lower portion of one - seen by me last autumn in southwestern Indiana. The tree in question is a sycamore, growing within a few rods of the bank of the Wabash, upon a well-wooded tract (which for quite a number of years has belonged to the family of the writer) known as the " Mussel Mound tract," ten miles due west of Princeton, in Gibson county. Most of the trunk has fallen, but the hollow portion remaining and growing, is some 12 to 15 feet in height along a part of its periphery, though a portion of the latter is but about a foot above the ground. Eleven strides (33 feet) is the distance around the tree, and eleven feet its diameter, as measured a foot above the ground. From the side of this shell, a lew feet from the ground, a new tree, eighteen inches in diameter, is growing. This would scarcely be called a branch, inasmuch as it is not likely that it started to grow until after the main body of the tree - part of which, in a decaying state, is near by - had fallen. So much for the monarch of Mussel Mound woods.
I may add that close by are a dozen fine sycamores, each about the size, of the well-known tree of the same species which shadows the pave of the Main street of Germantown, above Manheim street. The only one of them which I-measured I found to be 18 1/2 feet in circumference at four feet from the ground. The master woodman who was engaged in cutting off some of the timber of the tract, expressed himself as being much relieved when told that he was to "spare" those trees.
Of chestnut trees, the largest I have seen is one standing near the dwelling of Joseph Rhoads, Marple, Delaware county, Penn. When measured by me nearly four years ago, it was found to be 27 feet in circumference, at three feet from the ground. The soil, I think, is not limestone.
The Balm of Gilead tree which honors the several houses comprising Balmville, a mile or more north of the residence of the late A. J. Downing, at Newburg, New York, was also measured in 1880, being then 19 feet in girth, at the height from the ground of the low stone wall near by.