First and best of all, though not of so rapid growth as other trees, are the white oak and the pin oak. These two trees must be severely pruned upon transplanting.
Next perhaps in value are maples. The sugar maple is a beautiful tree whose foliage makes a dense shade in Summer and becomes a glory of color when touched by frost in the Autumn. The Norway maple, fine in shape and quick growing, and the cut-leaved maple, of rapid growth, with drooping branches and delicate foliage, are especially valuable varieties.
Ailanthus is one of the fastest growing trees and will thrive in any soil. The foliage is almost tropical; but the female tree should always be planted to avoid the blossoms, which have a disagreeable odor.
The American ash and the beech tree of our own woods make grand trees. Both of them require severe pruning when transplanted. The rarer varieties of copper and purple beech have beautiful foliage and a well-grown specimen of either of these trees is always greatly admired.
The cut-leaved weeping birch and also the white birch, which is found in many woodlands, are of rapid growth and have a white bark which makes them objects of particular beauty.
Chestnut, hickory, and black walnut are all fine trees, the black walnut perhaps the best of the three.
The European bird cherry, known to us as the wild cherry, and the black cherry, which also grows in fields and woodlands, are both desirable trees.
Dogwoods are to be found in many woodlands. Mark the spot in the Spring where they blossom and transplant them in the Autumn.
The catalpa, with its immense leaves, orchid-like blossoms, and rapid growth, is invaluable for effect. I had always supposed this tree to be perfectly hardy, but the only two on our place, which were set out eight years ago and had grown trunks over two feet in circumference, were killed from the top half way down by the severe cold of last Winter. I waited until the end of June and then had the dead tops cut off and the remaining branches pruned to give proportion to the height, and though at present they appear somewhat stunted, a couple of years will probably bring them into shape again.
Catalpa Bungii and the pyramidal evergreen are about the only trees that should be grown directly in a flower garden, as flowers will not thrive in a shade.
Catalpa Bungii are small trees with the large leaves of the catalpa. They are catalpas grafted on straight stems or standards of from five and a half to six feet tall, to give good effect. They should be set out in the Spring and kept carefully tied to stakes and well mulched. Every year, in March, they should be trimmed back to what the gardeners call "two eyes," in order that they may form large heads. Thus trimmed they are similar in form to the bay tree and give the same formal effect, when planted singly at the top of a flight of steps, on either side of the end of a path, in rows on a terrace, or at equal distances on both sides of a walk.
Catalpa Bungii are hardy as far north as New York, or have always been considered so, but last Winter over forty of ours, old, well-rooted trees, were killed, although others in the same latitude, but nearer New York City, endured the severe Winter without harm. It seems, however, to be only the graft that dies, as the stems were in every case alive. In future, I shall have the grafted tops protected by wrapping in straw or other suitable covering.
There is no hardier and more beautiful tree than the American elm, but it is so often the victim of the beetle and caterpillar that its beauty becomes greatly impaired.
The horse chestnut is a perfectly hardy, rapidly-growing tree, with beautiful foliage, and is covered with blossoms in May.
The form of the larch, with its feathery foliage and its hardiness (in Europe it grows on mountain slopes almost to the eternal snow), makes it a most desirable tree.
The tilia, or linden, is a rapid-growing tree attaining large size. The most satisfactory varieties are the American linden, to be found in many woods, and the European, or silver-leaved linden. These trees seem to be hardy and thrive in any situation.
The locust is another tree of rapid growth which attains great height. From the end of May, for about two weeks, they are covered with white blossoms of delicious odor, which attract the bees for miles around. The early settlers on Long Island must have had great fondness for this tree, as so many of the old homesteads there are em bowered in them.
The Magnolia conspicua and Magnolia Soulangiana can be grown either as small trees or large shrubs. In intensely cold localities they are somewhat difficult to bring through the first two or three Winters, but if given some protection by driving evergreen branches into the ground about them, they will generally survive. They grow rapidly when once well established.
Everyone knows the value of the Lom-bardy poplar in giving emphasis to the landscape; when properly planted they are very effective.
I have been told by landscape gardeners, that the Lombardy poplar no longer flourishes to great age in this country as formerly, and as it still flourishes abroad, one man of great experience saying to me that he did not know of a single perfect row of these trees that had been planted within the last twenty years, in every case some having died and others having begun to die at the top. When a branch dies it should be sawed off immediately and the place given a coat of thick paint; the tree is then likely to put forth a new branch. But the Lombardy poplar grows so tall and slender that should a branch die near the top ten years after planting, it would be difficult to get at it to cut it away. On our own place, settled by a Huguenot some hundred and fifty years ago, there are magnificent Lombardy poplars growing about an old family bury-ing ground, and it is a fancy of mine, that they were planted by the original settler in memory of the poplars of the France he had left in his youth. These trees are only now beginning to die. To continue the old Huguenot love for the trees, I have recently set out a row ten feet apart and three hun-dren and fifty feet long on the upper side of the gardens, and hope they may be exempt from the fate of the modern poplar and as long-lived as their predecessors on the farm.
Catalpa Bungii, four years old July seventeenth.
The growth of the Carolina poplar is so rapid that it is most valuable as a screen. Many poplars are native in our woods and bear transplanting easily.
The sycamore, or plane tree, growing straight and tall, is beautiful in appearance, but untidy from the continually peeling bark, which makes a litter all about it.
No tree is handsomer than the native tulip, which grows to a great height, has large, glossy leaves, and bears lovely yellow-orange tulip-shaped flowers at the end of May.
Purple and copper beech, tulips, catalpas, birch, magnolias, and Lombardy poplars should be set out in early Spring, so as to become well established before Winter. Dogwood and larch start so early, that it is better to transplant them in the Fall; the other varieties mentioned may be transplanted equally well in Spring or Autumn.
Trees of hardwood, such as oak, ash, and hickory, need more pruning when transplanted than soft-wooded trees. Pruning requires knowledge and skill, and those who plant should inform themselves upon the subject.
Three Evergreen trees dug from the woods July twenty-third.
Unsightly caterpillar nests that often appear on certain trees and shrubs can be easily destroyed by taking pieces of old cotton material, binding them with wire around the end of a long pole, saturating thoroughly with kerosene, then lighting, and with this gigantic torch burning the nests and the caterpillars.