Plantation, a term denoting, in general, a tracts of land assigned to a planter, or person who engages to settle in a new colony. It also signifies a particular spot of ground planted with young trees, in order to form a wood or forest.
Plantations may be established on moors, and other indifferent soils, after the ground has been drained, or otherwise prepared for the reception of trees, in the usual manner. If the land be fertile, it should previously be ploughed; a small portion of lime scattered; and a brake-harrow passed over the soil, with a view to destroy the couch-grass : by this easy management, the ground will not only be completely cleared, but considerable trouble will thus be avoided for the future.—When the soil is reduced to a proper state, it may be planted with trees, that ought to be from four to six feet in height, and to be placed about eight or ten feet asunder, in such situations as may be most congenial to their respective nature. The ground should be hoed three or four times in the year, and, during the interval, those plants which stand too closely together, may be advantageously removed to other situations, where they are sheltered. This practice cannot fail of being attended with the greatest success : for the plantation will, in the course of seven years, produce sufficient foliage to shade the ground ; and, as the dry couch-grass, or other weeds, will be prevented from causing any injury, the farther application of the hoe will become unnecessary.
Independently of the great value of plantations to posterity, they afford immediate advantages to their possessor. Where two or more trees interfere, and thus mutually obstruct their growth, the most thriving should be reserved, and the others felled for underwood; but, if such expedient should render the plantation too thin, it will be sufficient to pollard, or lop the tree of interior quality; and, if it be a larch, or spruce-fir, to trim the part that impedes the growth of its neighbour. This operation, how-ever, ought to be regularly performed at an early period, because there will otherwise be no underwood ; nor will the principal trees acquire a substance proportioned to their height; and, if the thinning be delayed, they will be unable to resist high winds. Such trimmings may be advantageously employed during severe winters, in feeding cattle, that will eat the leaves, together with the twigs, or small branches : the refuse, or poles, when barked, may be cut into billets for fire-wood, or they may be converted into rails, for fencing.