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.
A pleasant visit of an hour or two was afforded us lately at the farm and nursery grounds of Robert Douglass & Sons, Waukegan, Illinois. Mr. Douglass' residence is surrounded on all sides by evergreens, and windbreaks of various descriptions, and the contrast betwixt the roaring piercing wind without, and the calm mild air within the charmed hall, gave a feeling of great comfort. We see here specimens of the Larch, Norway Spruce, and numerous Pines as ornamental trees. Some of them are of remarkable growth. The Larch is particularly noticeable for the circumference of its trunk close to the ground, and the Norway Spruce for its stateliness and graceful drooping habit.
The firm occupy four farms of twenty-three acres each, in their nursery operations, of which sixteen acres are under shade, covered over with evergreen boughs suspended by cross bars and timbers nailed to posts set fifteen feet apart over the entire seed bed. Here were seen young trees one year old of Norway Spruce, Scotch Pine, Austrian Pine, Larch, etc, in great profusion. The firm raise 10,000,000 plants of the European Larch every year, and other plants by the millions also not to be counted. The largeness of their trade may be estimated from the fact that they import and plant yearly 2,700 pounds of tree seeds.
One peculiarity of the tree trade, which is now assuming vast proportion, is that so much trade is sought for from the East. One lot of 50,000 plants of the Mountain Ash was ordered as far east as Lowell, Mass., while shipments are frequent as far as Geneva and Central New York.
This looks as though our Eastern people must have skipped beyond our Eastern nurseries and found it more advantageous as well as economical to send to the distant West for their supplies. It indicates, however, a growing taste for tree planting all over the country, which is very encouraging.
Still another peculiarity we learned, and that is, Pear seed can be imported from Europe, planted on the Western prairies, and plants raised and sold at about one-third cheaper than the same can be done in the East.
This nursery of Messrs. Douglass & Sons is the largest in the country, and they inform us that the trade develops with astonishing rapidity every year.
Western farmers seem to have settled quietly down to the conviction that fruit trees cannot be successfully and profitably grown without first planting a cordon of timber trees, belts and screens to protect them, while others seem to recognize the money value of trees, and enhance the worth of the property a hundred fold, by the free planting of ornamental as well as useful trees.
The Messrs. Douglass are doing an excellent work.