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.
THE question of actual profit in dollars and cents, in planting ornamental trees and shrubbery, is not to be so exactly shown as it has been with fruit trees, yet there is a vast profit herein, not limited to the immediate advantage of the planter or purchaser of the property so embellished. Who can have failed to note that when a piece of real estate is offered for sale, its ornamental trees and plants (if well selected and in good culture), always add a charm, which finds recognized value in the increased price paid by the buyer? Is there not profit in planting and oaring for good trees and plants for ornament? Every farm and orchard, every street and highway, every public square, park or cemetery, needs its ornamental planting, and all property adjacent is increased in value where it is done. On the farm, near the orchard, and near the house, and on the highway, ornamental (not less than useful) screens of deciduous or evergreen trees, are more or less necessary (if nature has not provided in advance), as. protections from wind and storm. Any farm, orchard or vineyard so protected will yield a larger annual return, and will come earlier into ripening, and consequently the value of the property be increased.
A dwelling embowered in trees, is manifestly more comfortable in all seasons of the year, and must be more healthful in consequence of the equalized temperature produced thereby, and of course enhanced in value by this important aid.
It has become a common subject of remark and study - the influence of trees on climate and crops, as evinced by the destruction of our native forests by the woodman's axe. - On the Western prairies we now see forests and groves springing up, and carefully cultivated to protect farms and houses from the effect of storms and blighting, hot winds, and to furnish timber and fuel. Who can tell of the great increase of value to accure from these young groves, and from the vast lines of beautiful hedges now growing up in the West, to take place of unsightly fences?
Every homestead requires its arbor of vines, its screens of evergreen trees, and its beautiful hedge rows, for the seclusion they afford, and to keep out of view objects not proper to submit to the public eye. Every porch, and every approach to the home, claims the grateful shade of some over-arching tree, or the welcoming smiles of plants of beautiful foliage and fragrant flowers.
The healthful effects and profits of the various fruits of garden or field have their due importance, yet the sacred associations of home are by no means complete till the inviting shades of beautiful trees and the sweet scents of many tinted bushes and plants bespeak a regard for something beyond the pleasures of the palate or the profits of culture, and declare the bliss of contentment more precious than gold.
The importance of our subject is not limited to the planter or owner of the premises; it extends to the whole community. The constant, careful culture of good plants, whether for fruit or ornament, cannot fail to exercise a healthy influence on all in their vicinity as regards both taste and morals. It leads to gentle thoughts and good purposes. The soothing and refining influence of spreading trees, of flowering shrubs with delicate odors, of graceful climbers with drooping festoons and intertwining tendrils, betoken home affection, home comfort, contentment, and most bear profit in inspiring delicate thoughts, in invigorating good taste, in ameliorating manners, in cultivating virtue.
A beautiful custom obtains in the old countries which ought to be followed with us. The birth of a child, the return of a wanderer, a notable visit from old friends, or a distinguished personage, is often commemorated by the planting of a young tree near the family mansion, which is cared for by zealous hands, and continues to be ever regarded with tender interest, and called by the name of the person commemorated. Who will question its benefit, and the value of this custom to all concerned? - Dudley and Merrell, Geneva, N. Y.