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from American competition. A cheese factory has recently been established at Chippenham, with what results I know not.
One more questioni remains to be briefly alluded to—the application of the co-operative principle to the joint purchase of many things the farmer requires, such as seeds, manures, feeding stuffs, implements, &c. Mr. Plunkett refers in his Paper, recently read at our Institution, to a large saving effected by some of the local societies in Ireland in the purchase of artificial manures. How far this applies to England I am not aware, and, at all events, it opens too wide a field to be within the scope of this short Paper.
The whole question of agricultural co-operation is attended with much difficulty. Farmers are slow to move and require to be led by some one who has their entire confidence and who has the necessary time and energy to put the system in operation. Then some capital is required to establish factories and pay working expenses before profits can be realised. Perhaps the chambers of agriculture would afford the best means of promoting the system,
Put shortly, the conclusions I have arrived at are
Ist. That where there is a large local market like Bristol, co-operation in the making and sale of butter would be of little or no advantage to the farmer.
2nd. That for the London market there are great advantages attending the butter factory system, and that it is better for the farmers to secure these advantages by co-operation than to leave it to a public company to realise the profit.
Paper read at a meeting of the Sussex PROVINCIAL COMMITTEE of
THE SURVEYORS' INSTITUTION, or the 23rd April, 1897, by
When we consider that the number of trees dotted over the face of England has been estimated to be greater than that in close woods and forests, we must admit that the trees of our hedgerows should receive a portion of our attention as country surveyors.
I propose to deal with the advantages and disadvantages of trees round the confines of fields; then to consider the best principles of management, what trees should be planted and what are unsuitable, how both existing trees and trees to be planted should be managed, and to close my Paper with a few brief notes on some points of law related to the subject. I do not, however, propose to deal with fruit or ornamental trces in the hedgerows.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES.
In considering the advantages one's thonghts at once turn to the question of where would be the beauty of the scenery of a large portion of rural England if no trecs studded the fences or were scattered about the pastures ?
I am quite sure you will all agree with me that a certain qnantity of trees in the hedgerows is decidedly advantageous as shelter for the stock, and in some cases to the crops of a farm, particularly on such portions of it as are exposed and highlying. In the absence of shelter, not only pasture, but crops of every kind are recarded, especially in the spring when early steady growth is desired. As the year advances the unchecked winds damage the corn stems and later shed the grain. It is surprising how the force of the wind is broken by isolated trees.
When dealing with an estate, many of us know how in the eyes of most purchasers the value is increased by the presence of hedgerow treec to an extent far above tbe mere market value of the timber itself.
With regard to the disadvantages, in many districts farmers probably have just cause for grumbling at the large number of trees that encircle their fields, but during the last fifty years or more great alterations have taken place in the relation of trees to cultivated land, for Mr. Ralph Clutton, in his Paper entitled, I believe, “ The Oak Woods of Sussex," mentions that formerly the cultivated fields were surrounded by wide belts of timber stocked woodland.
Excess of shelter excludes the sun's rays, and the crops are rendered nearly worthless by being grown in the shade. If anyone doubts this, let him take some of the grain from ears of corn grown in the shade and compare them with grain grown where the sun has full power, and he will find that the latter is plumper and in far better condition. The soil also is impoverished by the large amouut of nourishment drawn out by the roots, and the wide, rough, dead or dying hedges which are generally found with an excessive quantity of hedgerow timber harbour vermin that levy heavy toll on the neighbouring crops
Having mentioned the advantages and disadvantages I will proceed to consider the cause of the evil, and what in hedgerow trees we should endeavour to avoid.
It is the general opinion of those who have studied forestry and have noticed the characteristics of the various trees, both with respect to their root-system and tree-form, that the evils of hedgerow trers are mainly caused by the wrong kinds having been planted or allowed to grow up. Either the trees have shallow feeding-roots or are entirely left to grow as nature wills, with the result that early ramifications take place and a short stem with spreading crown shading a wide circle of ground is produced, instead of being trained up with the view of doing good as shelter to the adjoining fields. In many cases they have been pollarded and otherwise mutilated and made to answer any purpose but that of benefit to the adjoining land.
In managing existing hedgerow trees or planting fresh ones the great aim to keep in view is to obtain the greatest amount of shelter with the minimum of shade and soil impoverishment, so the following rules must not be forgotten :
Avoid trees 1. With hungry surface running roots.
2. With far spreading heads and branches that kill out all vegetation beneath them, and
3. Train the trees to an apright growth and compact head.
TREES TO PLANT.
With the above in mind I will now mention which of our common British trees are permissible.
1. The English elm (Ulmus campestris) which has few equals for the purpose under consideration, the branch spread being narrow in proportion to the height of the tree, while the roots cannot be termed surface feeders. It is ornamental and thrives well even when growing singly on not too exposed situations. It is of rapid growth, provided the soil is suitable, with a straight and well-rounded stem, and thus furnishes a good deal of timber in a short space of time.
To the field or hedge in which it is planted it does little harm. The restricted branch spread and deep running roots which seek for nourishment, where possible, 2 feet to 3 feet under the surface, are in no way injurious to vegetation.
The one objection to the English elm is its habit of throwing up suckers on the south side of the tree, should the soil be shallow ; but this can be remedied by cutting the suckers as soon as they appear.
2. Several of the oaks (Quercus pedunculata, Quercus sessiliflora, and Quercus cerris) are suitable trees. The tap root strikes down into the subsoil, and the leaf buds are late in bursting, so that they do not intercept the influence of the sun's rays until later in the year.
Although the demand for hedgerow oak timber is not now so great as in the past, still for many purposes where a long length of straight-grained timber is not necessary, the slowly-grown and often finely-marked wood and natural curves of the hedgerow are preferred to that of the plantation.
3. The sycamore (Acer pseudo-platanus) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides) can with little attention, especially in their pole stage, be made to assume an upright growth with a compact head that will cast little shade. The roots seek deep for food.
4. The birch (Betula alba) and crackling willow (Salix fragilis) are trees of light foliage, and although the roots often run near the surface, still, round pastures in some districts, these trees might with advantage be planted.
5. In more exposed situations the mountain ash (Pyrus aucuparia), service tree (Pyrus aria), and the Scotch elm (Ulmus montana), should find a place.
Many authorities consider that no conifers should be admitted into the hedgerow; but, in my opinion, an exception should be made in favour of the larch (Larix Europea), the main roots of which strike deep into the soil, and which is of light decidious foliage and upright growth. It also forms an agreeable variety, and breaks the monotonous appearance of some districts.
This tree, however, must not be planted in situations exposed especially to the south and south-west, as it is apt to be bent by prevailing winds and to become unsightly. In our climate it is not so subject to disease in isolated positions as in masses. The falling needle-leaves enrich the soil and are not injurious to green crops.
I trust I have made it clear why the above trees are permissible in hedgerows, and will now pass on to mention why certain trees should be banished from the neighbourhood of fields, having naturally when grown alone a low umbrageous habit which is difficult to counteract.
1. “That every foot of timber costs 5s. to grow" is an old saying with regard to the ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in the hedgerow, and very true it is, for the ash is ruinous to all crops within the drip of its branches and the exhausting influence of its surface-feeding roots.
The right place for the ash is the plantation, where it rapidly increases in size, for the wood of young quickly grown trees is more esteemed than that of old ones.
2. The beech (Fagus sylvatica) is one of the worst of all trees for hedgerows, not only injuring the hedge and adjoining crops by the density of its shade, but by its far-reaching roots, which are gross feeders. The beech trunk when grown in this situation being neither long, clean, nor straight, is of little value except for fuel. This tree also is inclined to be bare of branches on the side of the prevailing wind and to spread to a greater extent on the sheltered side, and so has an unbalanced and unsightly appearanco.
3. The Spanish chestnut ( Castanca resca), with its deeply striking roots, would make a good hedgerow tree but for the habit of the trunk of single planted trees early subdividing into several stems of equal strength which spread out and produce a crown of branches out of proportion to its length of trunk. Even if this unsuitable tendency could be corrected, the hedgerow is not the place for the chestnut, as, like the ash, its timber should be quickly grown, and it has the remarkable property of being more durable when cut from young trees than when cut from trees of much over fifty years.
4. Several of the poplars have a suitable tree form for the hedgerow, but their shallow root-system makes them undesirable.
The present condition of hedgerow trees in many localities is badthose who bave the manage nt of the land do not appear to devote the least attention to the trees; but on some estates I notice signs that careful
thought is being given to the subject, both with regard to the established trees and to those trees that have been more recently planted.
Much might be done by thinning the trees where standing too close, and by properly pruping and training those that have not yet reached too great an age.
When pruning well-established trees that have developed spreading branches, it is not advisable to cut off close to the trunk branches that would leave a scar of over 4 inches in diameter, as it would take many years for such a wound to heal by occlusion, during which time the exposed woody tissue is nearly certain to be attacked by one of the many fungoid diseases that trees are liable to, and the timber of the tree would depreciated 25 per cent. if not 50 per cent. The large branches should be pruned back to a secondary branch, the leaves of which would cause the sap circulation to continue up to the shortened branch, and keep it from decaying.
As to the planting of yonng trees in an already existing hedge, or in one newly laid out, the young trees should not be put less than 12 yards apart, and selected plants from 6 feet to 8 feet high, that have been several times transplanted, and trained with a single leader in the nursery for an upright growth, should be used.
After planting, care must be taken to prune back all branches that are inclined to spread, and by the time the trees forty years old, they should have a clean bole of 15 feet high and upwards, and there will then be plenty of space for the air to circulate between the hedge and the boughs. The side branches should extend only a few feet on each side of the hedge, and to keep them in this state the branches should be pruned every two or three years.
If the head is thus carefully kept from spreading over the adjoining land the shelter it gives will more than compensate for a little shade.
To gain the full advantages these points must be attended to, and the trees in consequence of their side branches being kept in and not allowed to compete with the leader will soon become tall and form fine trunks of timber.
In some districts there is a very bad practice, when repairing fences, of nailing rails and wire to the growing trees instead of driving in stakes for that purpose. As time goes on the nails, &c., become embedded in the new wood, and are forgotten until the tree is cut down, sold, or passed into the estate timber yard, when, in converting the tree into boards, rails, &c., great damage is done to saw or plane. Should these foreign substances often occur in the timber of any estate you will find the merchants are not anxious to buy the hedgerow timber except at a price that allows a sufficient margin to compensate them for any tools that may be damaged.
Having dealt with the practical side of the subject, I will now pass on to the law with regard to trees on the confines of two properties or adjoin. ing the highway.
I do not consider that the law of boundaries and hedges comes within the scope of my Paper, therefore I will confine my remarks on this point