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.
A few years ago there was much interest taken in the Larch as a timber tree in the West. Of late years we have not heard much. Can any of our readers tell as to its final success? Here in the East the impression gains ground that the tree is not as valuable for timber as it is found in some parts of Europe. Facts from experience would be valuable.
In your July number is an inquiry about the Larch in the West. In a work just issued, "Forests and Orchards in Nebraska," the author says: "Both the American and European varieties have grown well when planted and cultivated right. The late Dr. Warder after seeing it planted on the hills of Europe expressed the fullest confidence in its success in Western Nebraska. The profit of growing this tree is not yet understood nor its value for fence posts, grape stakes, etc, after seasoning one summer. It does best when planted closely in rows four feet apart and three feet in the row. Planters should procure small plants from the large growers. Keep them in nursery rows two years, and, most important of all, set them where they are to remain at the earliest possible moment in the spring." Hon. J. H. Masters, one of the largest planters in the State, says: " Plant in rows four feet by two, which will give a large profit in posts and poles." He urges very early planting. Mr. Samuel Barnard, President of the State Horticultural Society, is quoted in this book and he says: "The larch which I think will prove of great value on rough and broken lands where they are found on a farm and on the hills of western Nebraska, has done well with me.
Trees planted ten years are twenty feet in hight and measure nine to fifteen inches one foot from the ground. It does best when planted in rows four feet apart and eighteen inches in the row, 8700 to the acre. Its own leaves will soon cover the ground, keeping it moist and entirely prevent weed growth".
The much abused cottonwood has been a blessing to the poor settler whose means would only allow his planting the cuttings or seedlings pulled upon the sand bars of the rivers. These soon gave protection from the fierce winter storms which sweep over the treeless prairies, and an early supply of fuel. As soon as he is able to secure the plants or nuts, the cottonwoods are only left to protect the second planting of walnut, ash, catalpa and the better kinds. The Catalpa speciosa promises to be the leading tree for forest planting. One man the past spring planted 80,000 on lands of his own 250 miles west of the Missouri river. The apple crop will be largest ever gathered in the State. Fruit very perfect and but little show of the codling moth. Omaha, Nebraska.