Oak. The uses to which oak is applied are numerous. It will endure all weathers and seasons; hence it is used for purposes that are liable to such exposures, as posts, rails, boards, pales, wheel spokes, hoops, building, etc. For water-works it is second to none, or where exposed to both wind and water, as shipbuilding, etc. The bark and sawdust are useful to the tanner and dyer ; and in washing, the ashes or lees are useful.
Elm is of use in water-works for pipes, pumps, and ship planks. It makes good chopping-blocks, not being liable to break and fly in chips. It is used for axletrees by •wheelwrights. Carvers use it for foliage and curious works; and it is made into coffins, as being very difficult to corrupt. A decoction of the inner bark of the common elm has been recommended in scorbutic, scrofulous, and rephnitic complaints.
Ash is of almost universal use, particularly where it may lie dry, though often used in other situations, It serves the builder, carpenter, cooper, turner, wheelwright, &:c., but more especially the plough-Wright; and at sea it is used for oars and handspikes.
Beech is used among turners, joiners, and upholsterers. For uses under water it is said to outlast the oak. Of the bark, floats are made for fishing nets, instead of cork.
It also serves for a variety of domestic purposes, and was in great estimation among the ancients. The leaves of the beech continue long sweet, and make good mattresses. An oil may be extracted from the bark. The wood is of a clean fine grain, and can be cut so thin that it makes bandboxes, hat cases, and even book-covers and scabbards for swords.
Walnut is of general use in France. It is not so proper for the outside of buildings, but there is no wood better for the joiners. It is less subject to the worms than beech, and is of a more curious browd. The hickory nut, or white Virginian walnut, is very common in various parts of our America.
Chesnut-Tree is very lasting, "and is much sought after by carpenters and joiners. It is esteemed next after the oak, but while it appears fair without, it will decay inwardly. Great part of London was anciently built with chesnut. Excellent starch may be made from horse-chesnuts.
Poplar, Abele, And Aspen, differ little from each other. The timber is excellent for all sorts of white wooden vessels. It is tougher and harder than fir, and is frequently used instead of it. It has something of the nature of cork, and is used by some countrymen as soles for shoes.
Alder is used for water-pipes and sluices; anciently boats were made with it, and large vessels. It is useful for trays, trenchers, and wooden reels. The dyers make the bark useful. Alder endures water, and if always wet, it becomes hard like a stone; though if it be wet and dry alternately, it rots presently.