Having, for the period of fifteen years, had
my attention almost entirely devoted to the rearing up and cutting down
of forest trees, I have during that time seen much to convince me that
arboriculture is not in that advanced state among us which its real
The present improved condition of agriculture is the natural result of
the great attention paid to that science by the landed proprietors and
farmers of Great Britain during the past twenty years; while, upon the
other hand, the proper management of plantations has been almost
entirely neglected, and this mainly because landed proprietors have not
had their attention and interest directed towards the subject.
Many of our home woods are rapidly dying out, as if by consumption ; yet
the cause does not appear to be known among those who have the
management of them: and, seeing this state of things, it appears to me
very evident, that until noblemen and gentlemen shall become as truly
practical foresters, as they now are practical farmers, we cannot
reasonably expect to see our home plantations exhibit the extent and
healthy development which it is most desirable should characterise them.
I am anxious that the spirit of improvement should be aroused among our
landed proprietors, relative to arboriculture: and at the same time I am
of opinion that it is necessary, in order to the gaining of this end,
that all proprietors should be made acquainted with practical forestry,
and that upon the most improved principles. It is with the hope of
promoting such knowledge that I am induced to publish the present work:
and I have been further encouraged in compiling it by the fact that many
extensive landed proprietors in Scotland have invited me to visit their
plantations, and report upon them for their future guidance ; and by my
having constantly found the gentlemen who have thus honoured me with
their patronage as a forester, most anxious to be made acquainted with
the practical details of arboriculture. I am therefore led to hope that
this little treatise may be both acceptable and of service to them.
Arniston, November 1847.
Value of Land under a Crop of Wood.—Laying out of Ground for New
Plantations.—Fencing and Inclosing of Ground for Young Trees.—Preparing
of Ground for Young Trees.—Draining of Ground for Young Trees.— Laying
out of Roads in New Plantations.
Season of the Year best adapted for Planting Operations— Distribution of
Young Trees, so as to suit the different Soils and Situations in a New
Plantation, and Habits and Peculiarities of the various
Species.—Different Methods of planting Young Trees, as practised by
Foresters.— How to choose young Forest Trees, when buying them from
Public Nurseries.—Utility of Proprietors having their own Home
Manner of proceeding with Planting Operations.—Expenses of laying down
Land under New Plantations. The Keeping of Trees in a Young Plantation
clear from Grass and Weeds.—The Nature and Necessity of thinning
Plantations.—The Nature and Practice of pruning Plantations.
System of thinning and rearing np of Fir Plantations.— System of
thinning and rearing up of Mixed Hard-Wood Plantations.—Rearing up and
thinning of Oak Plantations.
The Management of Oak Coppice-Wood.—Cause of Disease among Larch Fir
Plantations.—How to find the Value of young Plantations and of
full-grown Timber Trees.—A few practical Remarks relative to the Manner
in which "Wood ought to be prepared for Public Sale.