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.
Ed. G. M.:
"A nursery of hard wood trees is always on hand ready for use, and the cones, or burrs of the Scotch fir tree, which there takes the place of our pine, are gathered, and the seed extracted; thus the forester is always prepared. The superintendent of the estate has a strip or piece of ground almost worthless for agriculture, and decides to have it planted to forest. It is turned to the forester, who on inspection finds it a light sandy soil and well adapted to the growth of the fir; the seed is then sown on the rough surface, a temporary fence erected around the paddock, and the shepherd instructed to hold his sheep thereon for a month, driving them several times over each day, and the work is done. This is left to care for itself, and the plants are so thick that they will average one to every two feet square, growing one foot per year. At the end of fifteen years one-half of the trees are cut and sold; and this thinning process is repeated at shorter intervals, always preserving the straightest and largest trees".
We doubt whether these slovenly methods of procedure will be the best paying way for Americans to adopt. The great prejudice against forest planting here is from the supposed long time it takes for a forest to come into profit. Trees left to struggle together two feet apart for fifteen years would be no larger than hop poles, and in our country would not do more than pay for the thinning; while if the trees were eight feet apart from the start, in fifteen years they would be almost large enough for timber, and would at least be large enough for valuable firewood. Americans by a choice of good land, good varieties, and good culture, may have profitable timber trees in twenty-five years. It is no wonder on the old world methods the old world people have come to look on the work of forest raising to require centuries, and those who read foreign works and then write to the daily papers, seem in such agonies over the "destruction of American forests." The planting of new forests is of much more national importance than the miserly care of the old ones.