« AnteriorContinuar »
which it retains quite into winter, thus affording protection for a lengthened period.
A very beautiful hedge can be produced from the common English maple (Acer campestre.) This small tree is naturally compact in its habit of growth, and requires very little pruning to keep it in form. For a shelter belt, when a smoothly-trimmed hedge may not be desired, this will be found suitable. It has small foliage, and the whole plant is eminently neat, hardy, and free from insects. .
The European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is a good hedge plant. It has a very dense foliage, and the small ovate leaves are closely set on the branches. It is rather slow in growth, but, in consequence of not requiring to be shortened by pruning, as is the case with luxuriant growing plants, the growth is economized and a hedge soon formed. In ancient gardening, when topiary work was fashionable and plants were trained and pruned into forms of birds, vases, &c., the hornbeam was largely used and held in high esteem.
A pleasing variety of color may be introduced by forming a hedge of the purple-leaved berberry (Berberis vulgaris, var. purpuren.) This plant persistently retains its color throughout the summer, and with care can be kept in good shape as a hedge.
For rapid growth, easy propagation, and ample foliage of shining deep-green color, there is no plant superior to the Japan privet (Ligustrum Japonicum.) This must not be confounded with the common privet, (Ligustrum vulgare,j a small-leaved and much inferior plant. Cuttings of the Japan privet may be inserted at once where the hedge is to be formed. They will root quite as speedily as the easiest rooting willow twig. A splendid shelter or screen, eight feet in height and four feet in width, has been grown in five years from the time of inserting the cuttings. It is almost an evergreen, retaining its foliage even after severe frost. Twenty degrees of frost, in December, has no effect on the foliage, and for at least nine months of the year it is clothed with the richest verdure.
For sheltering orchards, vineyards, or fields, a free-growing plant, of compact habit, should be selected. Such are the Osage orange, white birch, English bird-cherry, honey locust, English maple, European larch, English alder, many of the willows, and the Lombardy poplar. Any of these will, in a few years, afford an efficient shelter. They may be planted from four to six feet apart, and allowed to take their natural habit of growth until they reach a height of ten or fifteen feet. If the tops are then removed or checked, so as to repress upward elongation, they will spread and interlace their lower branches, forming a thick shelter, without the trim, formal appearance of a regularly cut hedge.
It may be safely asserted that.no lengthened period of uniform success in fruit culture can be realized in exposed situations, unless a systematic plan of sheltering by belts or hedge rows is introduced; and the time is fast approaching when no person will think of planting fruit trees, or raising fine fruits of any kind, without first preparing for them a thoroughly protected situation.
PECULIARITIES AND ADAPTATION OF TREES.
· Trees for street planting.—The silver maple (Acer dasycarpum) has always been held in high repute as a shade tree; and although from its frequent use it has, in some sections, come to be considered as a common tree, its selection for this purpose is very appropriate. It possesses, in a high degree, the qualities usually sought for by those in treeless local. ities, being of rapid growth, easily transplanted, perfectly hardy, of an upright rather than a spreading habit of growth, and having foliage not so dense as to impede a tree circulation of air, a commendable quality, since a partial shade is more desirable near a building than an impenetrable mass of foliage, which retards evaporation and creates dampness. It is, moreover, a healthy tree, not subject to diseases; neither is it peculiarly preyed upon by insects. It also grows rapilly from the seed. The fruit ripens in June; and, if planted immediately, will produce, in good soil, plants two or three feet in height the same year; neither is it liable to produce suckers, an objectionable tendency peculiar to some free-growing trees.
The sugar maple (Acer saccharinum) is one of the most beautiful of all the inaples; indeed, few trees of any species can equal it in stateliness and graceful habit; and if to the oak is given the honor of being the king of the forest, we may claim for the sugar maple the title of the queen. No other tree supports an equally massive head of foliage by so slender a stem. It is more compact in its growth than the preceding species, with a greater density of foliage ; but its crowning beauty is the superb coloring of the leaves in autuinni. For promenades or street planting, it is one of the most desirable of ornamental trees. Large trees are impatient of removal; therefore small-sized plants are to be preferred for transplanting.
The black sugar maple (Acer saccharinum, var, nigrum) is in no way inferior to the preceding. The foliage is somewhat larger, and slightly downy beneath, changing to deep orange color in autumn.
The American lime or linden (Tilia Americana) is a lofty-growing tree, well adapted to planting wide avenues, where it will have ample room to spread. It does not thrive well in crowded cities, being more healthy in suburban localities. It is easily transplanted, and makes rapid growth in loamy soils.
The English linden (Tilia Europæa) is a conical-shaped tree, and therefore well fitted for street shade. The flowers are very sweet and attractive to insects, and it has been recommended as a tree of interest to bee keepers. This species of linden is, in some localities, subject to the attacks of borers; but, notwithstanding this objection, many fine specimens may be seen in cities.
The American elm (Ulmus Americana) has been in high repute as a street tree; but its liability to injury from insects, which destroy the foliage during summer, greatly diminishes its value, and it is not now so generally planted as formerly. The European elm (Ulmus campestris) is more upright in growth than the preceding, but neither of them can be recommended except for wide avenues and localities where they are exempt from the leaf insect.
The English ash (Fraxinus excelsior) of all the fine trees of this family, is the best fitted for street planting. In very poor soils it forms a rounded head; but in those which are rather wet than dry it becomes erect and grows with considerable rapidity. It is easily transplanted, and retains its foliage until very late in autumn, but is among the latest to put forth in spring.
The tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) may be claimed to be one of the most unique and beautiful of deciduous trees. It is not surpassed in the beauty of its foliage and flowers, in the columnar massiveness and elegance of its stem, or the general symmetry of its development. In good soil it makes a very rapid growth, as much so as the silver maple; but it is rather difficult to transplant successfully. To insure success it should be prepared by frequent removal while young, so as to secure a
mass of fibrous roots near the stem; or it may be planted in the place desired for its permanent location while very small. In either case it is advisable to prune the branches close back at the time of removal. In transplanting trees from ten 'to twelve feet or more in height, which have not undergone removal from the seed rows, the only safe mode is to cut off the entire stem near the surface of the ground, lifting the roots with care. Trees treated in this manner have grown to a height of ten feet in four years after removal. When cut down as directed above, a great many shoots will proceed from the base. The most promising of these should be selected as the future stem, the others being cut away. This fine tree is not injured by insects. The foliage is of a bright green during summer, changing to a bright yellow in autumn.
In planting a line of trees in a street or an avenue only one variety should be used. A mixture of kinds in such positions is as much at variance with good taste as the mixture of orders in the columns of a building. As taste improves we may expect to see planting as much under the control of city authorities as the setting of curbstones and the paving of sidewalks are at the present time.
Round-headed trees.-Trees of this form are well adapted to planting private avenues, and short entrance roads through the usually limited lawns of suburban ornamental grounds, combining utility of shade with beauty of development. As single specimens also on lawns, where they will have ample space for growth, their individual features and characteristics will be shown to advantage.
The Norway maple (Acer platanoides) forms an extremely dense mass of foliage, of a very dark green during summer, changing to yellow in autumn. The racemes of flowers are ornamental, but should be removed from young trees newly transplanted, as their growth is greatly retarded when the towers are allowed to remain. The effect of removal frequently turows the plant into a fruiting state. The Norway maple is not of rapid growth, but its compact habit renders it very desirable for planting on small-sized lawns, or for shading walks in the pleasure garılen.
The red maple (Acer rubrum) is a well-known tree of great beauty, conspicuous for early flowering, enlivening the forest with scarlet and crimson blossoms at the earliest approach of spring. In the fall the leaves change to a bright scarlet, forming a pleasing contrast with the prevailing yellow colors in forest scenery at that season. On account of its pot rooting very freely when it is large, small plants should be selected; and, even with these it will be advantageous to prune back the branches closely at the time of removal.
The white ash (Fraxinus Americana) is a native species, and forms a noble looking tree, in general appearance resembling the white oak. As an isolated specimen, in rich soils it assumes a symmetrical though not a formal outline. To attain perfection it must not be crowded by other plants; this precaution, however, is applicable to all trees, when their individual habits and natural outline of growth are to be developed.
Yellow wood (Cladrastis tinctoria) is a western tree, not much planted in ornamental collections, although few plants are more attractive or so deserving of attention. It is one of the most unique trees for neatly. planted lawns of moderate extent. One of its most striking peculiarities is the regularly shaped protuberance formed at the point of junction of the branches with the main stem. The leaves are pinnated, and change to yellow in autumn. The towers are shaped like those of the pea, of a yellowish color, and in general aspect resembling the yellow locust.
The horse-chestnut (Asculus Hippocastanum) is a tree with heavy foli.
age and of symmetrical form. It puts forth its leaves early in spring, and is distinguished at that season by its vivid green hue, and superb pyramidal clusters of flowers. This is a poor tree in a poor soil, showing a feeble growth, and losing its foliage before the end of summer; but in a rich and loamy soil it is one of our best ornamental trees, forming a dense shade, and on that account should not be planted too near a lwelling.
The chestnut (Castanea vesca) is a well-known tree, famed alike for the value of its fruit and the beauty of its foliage. It is admissible only in extensive lawns. When the soil is deep and rich the foliage becomes large, and of fine, glossy-green appearance; but notwithstanding this, the fruit is produced earlier on poor or rocky soil. The Spanish chestnut closely resembles the native species. Both the foliage and fruit are larger, but the latter is not of so fine a flavor as that of the native plant.
The wild cherry (Prunus serotina) is a fine ornamental tree, of a somewhat conical shape when young, but usually becomes rounded as it attains age and size. Its fruit is eagerly sought by birds, and the plant is occasionally introduced into pleasure grounds for their especial gratification. Its merits with regard to foliage, blossoms, and fruit, are sufficient to recommend its introduction into any choice collection of trees.
The ash-leaved maple (Negundo aceroides) is one of the finest formed ornamental trees where it has space to develop its natural outline. It is also of very rapid growth, and therefore valuable as a shelter to trees which mature more slowly. Where a sheltering belt of deciduous trees is speedily desired, the negundo may be largely planted, as being of the most rapid growth.
The Osage orange (Maclura aurantiaca) has of late years become so widely known as a hedge plant that its merits, as a specimen tree, have been partly overlooked. It is, however, one of the most graceful of the round-headed trees that can be planted on a lawn. The foliage becomes large, and the smooth, hard bark, the outward drooping branches, and the large fruit, combine to render it a desideratum for suburban lawns or ornamental groups.
The Willow oak (Quercus phellos) and the Laurel oak (Quercus imbricaria) are two desirable lawn trees, not often seen in such situations. When growing isolated in favorable soil, they form dense heads, and their peculiarly narrow, willow-shaped leaves gives pleasing variety in contrast with trees having broad and expansive foliage.
Large-leaved trees.-The great-leaved magnolia (Magnolia macrophyllu) is a superb tree of tropical appearance, with leaves from eighteen inches to two feet in length, bright green on their upper surface, and sil. very beneath. The flowers are barge-often eight inches across—and fragrant. This choice ornamental tree, like others of its family, is difficult to transplant, therefore small, healthy trees should invariably be selected.
The catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) is a well-known tree, with ample and rounded foliage, and large panicles of showy white flowers, followed by long pendant pods. A spreading tree, with horizontally twisted branches, it is most effective when planted in groups of four or more trees.
The Paulownia imperialis is a rapid-growing tree, somewhat resembling the preceding in general appearance, but its foliage is larger, and the flowers are lilac-colored. In the north, and also in the warmer climates, during severe winters the flower buds are generally destroyed.
Trees with pinnated or finely divided foliage.-The Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus Canadensis) is tall and of close habit, with head somewhat spreading in old specimens. The doubly-pinnate leaves have a fine effect when viewed against a clear sky, having the appearance of delicate net-work. When in a young state it is not very attractive, but as it increases in size the lateral branches become smaller and more numerous in proportion; the leaves also are slightly diminished in size, which improves their appearance.
Honey locust (Gleditschia triacanthos,) in consequence of the formidable spines which cover the main stem and branches, presents an aspect somewhat repulsive; but its airy, acacia-like foliage, hanging gracefully on the young shoots, renders it one of the most attractive plants in early summer.
The tree of heaven (Ailanthus glandulosa) is a tree with some good and many bad qualities, according to public opinion. It certainly can claim great rapidity of growth, and when fully grown, its heavy pinnated foliage strongly reflects its oriental origin. The female plant is free from the noisome fragrance of the male, and produces fruit which is frequently very ornamental.
The black walnut (Juglans nigra) is a well-known and useful tree of the largest size, with large, fragrant, pinnated foliage. The European walnut is well worthy of attention on account of the value of its fruit. It is sufficiently hardy, although young plants in vigorous growth occasionally lose the points of their succulent shoots during a severe winter.
The Japan Kolreuteria (Kolreuteria paniculata) is a tree of medium size, particularly adapted to lawns, producing large pannicles of yellow flowers, succeeded by ornamental capsules. The foliage turns to yellow in autumn, and at all seasons the plant is attractive.
The silk tree.(Albizzia julibrissin) is a low-headed spreading tree, possessed of the most graceful foliage. In northern latitudes it is generally killed to the ground by frost; but when spring returns it sends up branches profuse with tropical-looking foliage. It flowers freely in the latitude of Washington, D. C.
The Japan sophora (Sophora Japonica,) yellow locust (Robinia pseudacacia,) yellow wood (Cladrastis tinctoria,) stag-horn sumach (Rhus typhina,) and the whole of the family of ashes, may be placed in the list of pinnate-foliaged plants. This form of leaf creates a pleasing variety, and contrasts advantageously with the heavy masses of entire-leaved trees in ornamental grouping. The preceding list embraces some of the most noteworthy ornamental plants of the class. There are many shrubs with leaves of this description, although not individually worthy of particular notice.
Trees with variegated foliage.—These are mainly varieties of species, and are more or less liable, under a bright sun and dry atmosphere, to revert to their original condition. A sheltered and shady locality will be favorable to the permanence of their colors. The following list embraces some of the most available and distinctly marked: The English maple (Acer campestre, var, variegata;) sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus, rar. tariegata ;) red maple (Acer rubrum, var. cariegata ;) horse-chestnut (Æsculus Hippocastanum, var, variegata ;) white birch (Betula alba, var. rariegata ;) European chestnut (Castanea resca, var. rariegata ;) English ash (Fraxinus excelsior, var. variegata ;) European beech (Fagus sylvatica, var, variegata ;) European mountain ash (Pyrus aucuparia, var. variegata ;) European oak (Quercus pedunculata, var. variegata ;) European linden (Tilia Europea, var. variegata ;) English elm (Ulmus campestris, var. variegata ;) European red-bud (Cercis siliquastrum, var. tariegata ;) English bird-cherry (Prunus padus, var.