A Boston correspondent refers to some articles that have recently appeared in scientific magazines, denying that the age of a tree can be told by its circles of wood, - insisting that trees often make several a year, and inquires if this does not invalidate the generally accepted view that the big trees of California are several thousand years old.

We have seen nothing that seriously invalidates the belief that trees make one conspicuous annual circle of wood each year. There are a number of brood circles of more or less distinctness in the annual growths of many trees, but the last circle of the annual growth, usually of small cells, and the first brood of cells at the growing season, usually the largest, make an easily seen annual division in most cases.

At any rate, when the Editor was among the "big trees," this particular question presented itself for solution. It was thought best to test the annual circle question by actual facts. Among pines and spruces, any practiced nurseryman can tell the age by the cycles of branches The branches that push out just below the terminal bud of each year's advance are very strong, - those above and below each of these cycles are weak. It is only necessary to look at the nearest white pine or Norway spruce, to see that the age of these trees can be readily told. Young coniferse, cut down in the Nevada mountains, of from twenty-five years and upwards, as calculated by these cycles of branches, invariably gave the same number of annual rings in the trunk. No opportunity occurred to test a young Sequoia this way, but a test was made by taking the girth of one that was certainly about 25 years old, and this growth about corresponded to the girth of the 25 circles of wood in the interior of a Sequoia stump. All these tests rendered it absolutely certain that the annual growth could be depended on for the age of the trees.

Looking at the circles, it was evident that the tree grew more rapidly in the earlier life than later. A narrow slab from the outside, 2.75 of an inch thick, gave 65 rings. The same space near the centre gave 30 rings. This gave for the average growth of 2.75 inches 47 rings. The stump was 28 feet in diameter. This gives 4855 lines across the stump, and two lines for each year, or measuring only from centre to circumference, instead of wholly across, the age of. the tree would be about 2427 years.

Without any regard to the articles that have recently appeared, the Editor is quite satisfied with his own judgments, as founded on the facts above given, and has not the remotest doubt of the correctness of the popular impression as to the great age of the big trees.