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.
This beautiful shade tree is more commonly known in this country by the name of Basswood. It is a lofty, rapidly-growing, handsome, upright, and regular-shaped tree; much esteemed, and well suited for planting in avenues, lawns, and parks; and is to be recommended where the object is to obtain a great mass of foliage and a deep shade. No other native tree surpasses it in the abundance of its foliage. Its head forms a fine pyramid of verdure, while its lower branches, when planted singly on a lawn, and allowed to develop itself on every side, sweep the ground, and curve upward in the most pleasing form. The pleasant odor of its flowers is an additional recommendation, as well as its free-growing and handsome leaves. The flowers are brown on long stalks, and are pendulous from the branches. It has the advantage of being easily transplanted, and growing readily in almost any soil, though it flourishes best on a rich, rather moist loam.
As an ornamental tree in picturesque gardening, the Linden is worth cultivating, as it ranks in the first class in point of magnitude, frequently attaining a height of eighty or ninety feet, and a trunk corresponding in circumference to such an altitude.
These qualities adapt it admirably for being used as a screen or as a shelter to protect tender trees against the wind. Its growth is very rapid; it bears pruning almost to any extent, and may be trained to grow as tall, or as low and bushy, as may be required.
The Hickory is also a very fine ornamental tree, that should be much more often seen about our houses and public grounds. The difficulty of transplanting it is probably the principal reason why it is not more often used for such purposes. It grows very rapidly from the seed, and a supply could very soon be obtained by planting the nuts at the places where the trees are to grow.
The Oak, the monarch and glory of our forest trees, as an ornamental tree, standing alone in a park or lawn, has few superiors. As an ornamental object we consider the oak the most varied in expression, the most beautiful, grand, majestic, and picturesque of all deciduous trees. Its beauty consists in the abundance and luxuriance of its foliage. It is beautiful in every stage of its growth; at first light, slender, delicate, and waving; at last broad, massive, and grand, but always graceful. The enormous size and the extreme old age to which it attains in a favorable situation, the great space of ground that it covers with its branches, and the strength and hardihood of the tree, all contribute to stamp it with the character of dignity and grandeur beyond any other compeer of the forest. When young, its fine foliage and its thrifty form render it a beautiful tree. But it is not until the Oak has attained considerable size that it displays its true character, and only when at an age that would terminate the existence of most other trees that it exhibits all its magnificence.
When standing in a situation* where it is somewhat protected, and has room freely to expand its limbs, it will in every year improve in beauty and magnificence, for a time equal at least to five of the generations of man. There are Oaks in Britain which are believed to have been old trees at the time of William the Conqueror. The famous Charter Oak, the valued relic of the original forests, so noted in song and history, but more especially interesting as the tree in which the old British Charter of Connecticut was secreted, was supposed, at the time it was prostrated, in a storm, a few years since, to be over 2,000 years old. Proudly it stood, and, when tottering with age, and reduced to a mere shell of a few inches by the steady inroads of time itself, it still clung with fondness to the lovely spot on which it had witnessed the decay and downfall of many of its associates - the path and the bloody wars of the red man, and the red man's decay.