This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
If there is a person who doubts the extreme beauty and gracefulness of this tree, I will just ask him, has he ever seen one fair, healthy specimen, twenty, thirty, or forty feet in height? (Of these heights, and even higher, there are hundreds now to be seen in England.) If he has, methinks it will more than convince him, that though much has been said and written of its beauty, its true elegance and value were but faintly colored. If in a comparatively young state it should thus arrest the eye and admiration of the ordinary observer, what may we not expect of its beauty when seen on its native mountains, more matured by years? Hence we find travelers without distinction, whether botanists, civilians, or military men, enraptured with its airy elegance, gracefulness, and beauty. A late Governor General of India says: "I want to see them as I often have in India, shooting up their immense trunks to a great height, from whence the branches diverge horizontally, and droop in the most elegant manner." Dr. Hoffmeister describes it as "growing in dense and noble forest from Jhalla via.
Duralee (9,000), Bhyrooghatee (9,500), Gungatree 10,319 feet Captain Hodgson describes it as "flourishing most between 6,000 and 10,000 feet;" but adds that "it occurs above and below those limits." Dr. Gerard measured Deodars of 13 feet in circumference and 140 feet high above the level of 10,600 feet. Major E. Madden says: "Although the Deodar abounds and attains a great girth on mountains thirty miles from the plains, all the gigantic specimens occur near the snowy range. On Choor, not one exceeded 17 feet round at 5 feet high; but at Sildes, near Looloot, on the western side of the Changsheel Range, there exists a hollow, flat-crowned patriarch, 36 feet round at 4 from the ground; there is another of the same dimensions near the sacred fish tank below Cheenee, in Koonawur; and at Sheong, on the north face of the Boorun Ghatee, one of 33 feet. Dr. Hoffmeister mentions individual specimens above 40 feet in circumference." The Deodara occupies immense tracts of the Himalayas, about the elevations already noted, forming forest of great beauty.
As regards situation and soil, Major E. Madden says : " It seems very indifferent to site and substance, flourishing equally amongst the clefts of the most scarped rocks, gneiss, quartz, limestone, granite, clay, and mica slates, as in the black vegetable mould of the brae or glen, provided always the surface of the latter slope to an angle sufficient to ensure thorough drainage." What Major E. Madden describes as true of the Deodara in its native habitats, is equally true in cultivation; it will grow in almost any soil or situation, prefering, however, a sandy loam, and demanding good drainage. On its introduction into England it was found to graft freely on the Lebanon, and on it succeeds well; some of the finest specimens at Elvaston Castle are on this stock. Thousands have been also grafted on the Larch, on which it. takes freely, but is extremely perishable; on the latter stock I have seen them die off at every age, from two or three years grafted to twenty feet in height. This latter cause has, perhaps, led some to speak lightly of the Deodara. At present, few, if any, are worked, seed being procured in abundance, from which any quantity of plants are raised. It is needless to say how infinitely superior they are to the grafted plants.
Mr. Veitch, the eminent English nurseryman, has two varieties of this - one of a rich green foliage, nearly the color of Sinus insignis, the other a very robust, strong, growing variety.
* Concluded from June number.