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.
I am much pleased with the Horticulturist, and particularly the suggestions in relation to water for ornamental purposes, and the planting of ornamental trees. In regard to both, we as a nation are in our infancy, and anything which will work a revolution I shall hail with pleasure. With your leave I will make a few additional suggestions in relation to trees for streets and avenues, and likewise recommend a few favorites in addition to your list.
In planting trees on the road, one important idea seems to be generally overlooked, and that is adaptation to situation and soil. My first attempt at transplanting forest trees was to set a row of sugar maples each side of the road, 2 rods apart, making in all 140 trees, anticipating a fine avenue in a few years; but what was my disappointment to find invariably, that where the land was too moist for wheat, and much of it was, the trees died. The rest grew finely. Now we need some tree adapted to these moist spots which occur so frequently on most of our roads, and I know of no tree better for the wettest spots than the yellow or golden willow.* It is easily propagated by cuttings, and grows the most rapid of any tree that I know of I have one which has been set some fourteen years, which is five feqt three inches in circumference, forty feet high, and the top forty feet in diameter. It has a lively and pleasant appearance, especially in early spring, and contrasts finely with the red or soft maple which is likewise a good tree for moist soils.
I am surprised that the black walnut has been overlooked as a street tree,! easily propagated from the seed, very rapid in its growth, with a spacious head and beautiful foliage; and I never saw a more splendid tree than one of these on the Chemung river, loaded with fruit resembling the pear.
The white walnut or butternut, is also a fine tree, and the nuts of both are excellent The wild red, or pigeon cherry, is a fine tree, grows rapidly, very beautiful flowers, is not infested with caterpillars like the wild black cherry. Beautiful in winter on account of its reddish brown bark. It would make a fine tree for lawns, were it not for its disposition to throw up suckers, which it does not seem to have when planted in the street I set some fourteen years since, one of which is three feet four inches in circumference, and oyer thirty feet high.
• Very well for a country road-side, but unsuitable for side-walks near boom. We prefer the soft maplo-ED. All fruit bearing trees are objectionable at street trees, unless perhaps in the country. - Ed.