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.
It is remarkable how, when a paragraph gets a start on the rounds of exchanges, it finally changes to a shape in which its own parent does not know it. Just now we meet with the following:
"Mr. Thomas Meehan believes that we have nearly reached the solution of the cause of the absence of trees from the prairie. 'It is not cli matic. It is not in conditions of soil. The real cause is probably to be found in the annual fires which have swept over the prairies from time immemorial, killing the young trees before they can grow large enough to resist the heat.' "
Thomas Meehan never said anything of the kind. There is no more reason why fire should kill trees or shrubs than grass or herbaceous plants. If burnt at the top they would sprout out from the root in most instances, and thus live on for ages, though not perhaps getting old enough to produce seeds.