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 success of national legislation in behalf of general tree planting, has never been so well illustrated as in Egypt and Algiers.
Egypt, well known for its dry climate after the destruction of its forests, olive and other plantations, had about six rainy days every year on an average; but so many millions of useful trees have again been planted there are now about twenty-four rainy days per year recorded.
There is a man who deserves the greatest esteem from all civilized nations - Napoleon III; who, with all his faults, has given the world an example which, at least, in France, will render his name forever immortal. Convinced of the great benefit the barren and swampy districts would derive if planted with trees, by his command many millions have been planted in vast districts of the country. By his command thousands of acres of the desert in Algiers have been transformed into forests, with trees suitable to the climate, and with surprising results. By their rapid growth a great change of the climate is observable, and twice more rain and dew has fallen in the neighborhood of the young forests than before. By his command, more than sixteen geographical square miles of the swampy and unhealthy country along the coast of the Bay of Biscay, in the Department of the Landes, where swamp fever was prevalent, have been planted with millions of trees, especially the cork-oak and swamp-pine, with surprisingly beneficial results. Not only have these trees drained the land, but they have changed it into a healthy country with fine forests. In Japan a law exists that whoever cuts down a tree is obliged to plant another instead.
In Biscay every proprietor plants two for one which he cuts down, and the law compelling this is severely executed.