« 上一頁繼續 »
moved, it would so much stint the growth, as not to be recovered in several years ; nor would it ever arrive at the size of such as had all their branches left
upon them.'* But were this species of mutilation less directly injurious to vegetation than it certainly is, we ought to remember that the purpose of transplanting trees is chiefly or entirely ornamental; and if we render them, by decapitation and dismeniberment of every kind, disgusting and miserable spectres, we destroy the whole purpose and intention for which they were transplanted, and present the eye with a set of naked and mutilated posts and poles, resembling the unhealthy and maimed tenants of a military hospital, after a great battle, instead of the beautiful objects which it was the purpose of the improver to procure by anticipating the course of nature. It is true, good soil, and a tract of years, may restore such ill used subjects to form and beauty, but, considering the length of time that they must remain disgusting and unsightly, we would far rather trust to such plants as nature might rear on the spot-plants which would come to maturity as soon, and prove incomparably more thriving in their growth, and more beautiful in their form. But the Allanton system, by planting the subjects without mutilation, boasts to obtain the immediate effect of trees complete and perfect in all their parts, without loss of the time required to replace the havoc of axe and saw.
There is a third material point in which Sir Henry Steuart's system differs from general practice, not, indeed, absolutely, but in degree. The only absolute requisite which the old school of transplantation enjoined, was that the tree should be taken up with as large a ball of earth as could possibly be managed. In obeying this direction, there was considerable expense incurred by the additional weight, not to mention that the transplanter was often disappointed by the ball falling to pieces by the way. In short, the difficulty was so great, that the operation was often performed in severe weather, to secure the adhesion of the earth to the roots, at the risk of exposing the extremities of the fibres and rootlets to the highly unfavourable agency of frost.
The Allanton system limits the earth, which is, if possible, to be retained, to that lying immediately under the stem of the tree, where a ball of moderate extent is to be preserved : the roots extending from it are, as already explained, entirely denuded of earth by the pickmen, in their process of loosening the tree from the soil. When the tree is borne by the machine up to the spot where it is to be finally placed, it is carefully brought to a perpendicular posture by means of elevating the pole of the machine, and the centre of the stem is received, with the ball of earth adhering to it, into a cavity in the * Miller's Gardener's and Botanist's Dictionary, voc. · Planting.' z 2
middle of the pit, so shallow, however, that the trunk of the tree stands rather high, and the roots have a tendency downwards. The roots are then freed from the tyings which have bound them up for temporary preservation, and are divided into the tiers or ranks in which they diverge from the trunk. The lowest of these tiers is next arranged, as nearly as possible, in the manner in which it lay originally, each root, with its rootlets and fibres, being laid down and imbedded in the earth with the utmost precaution. They must be handled as a lover would dally with the curls of Neæra's hair, for tearing, crushing, or turning back these important fibres, is in the highest degree prejudicial to the growth of the tree. The earth is then laid over this the lowest tier of roots with much precaution; it is carefully worked in by the hand, and the aid of a sort of small rammer, with such attention to the safety of the fibres, as to encourage them immediately to resume their functions, as if they had never been disquieted. Additional earth is then gradually sifted in and kneaded down, till it forms a layer on which the second tier of roots is extended; and these are put in order, and disposed of in the same way as the lower tier. The same process of handling and arranging the roots then takes place with the third tier, and the fourth, if there is one. This attention to incorporating with the soil each root, nay, each fibre, as far as possible, answers a double purpose. It not only induces the roots to commence their usual and needful office of collecting the sap, but also secures them against the effect of storms of wind, which, blowing on trees transplanted in the ordinary way with a ball, makes them rock like a bowl in a socket, the ball, with the roots, having no communication with the pit except by adhesion. The sense of this great evil suggested to former transplanters the necessity of stakes, ropes, and other means of adventitious support, which were always ugly, and expensive, and generally inefficient. Whereas, according to the Allanton system, the tree reversed so as to present its weightier branches against the wind, and picketed to the firm earth by a thousand roots and rootlets, carefully incorporated with the soil, is not found to require any support, is seldom swayed to a side, and almost never blown down by the heaviest gales. Here, therefore, is a third and important difference between the Allanton system and all that have preceded it, occasioned by the stability which the mode of laying the roots imparts to the tree, and the power of dispensing with every other species of support, except what arises from well-balanced boughs and roots received in the ground. We have to add, that Sir Henry's own territory lies considerably exposed to those storms from the North, which are the heaviest and most prevailing gales of the Scottish climate.
When the soil has been placed about the roots, tier after tier, the rest of the earth is filled into the pit regularly, so that the depth around the stem shall be twelve or fourteen inches, and subjected to a gentle and uniform pressure, but by no means to severe ramming or treading in, leaving it to nature to produce that consolidation, which, if attempted by violence, is apt to injure the fine fibres of the roots. If there is turf, it is replaced around the stem in regular order. We ought not to have omitted, that the tree is subjected to a plentiful watering when the roots are fixed, and to another when the operations are completed.
From our own experience, we should consider this last requisite as of the highest consequence. Count Rumford, in his various experiments upon the food of the poor, arrived at the economical discovery, that water alone contained a great deal of nutritive aliment. Without extending our averment as far as that practical philosopher, we are much of his opinion, in so far as transplanted trees are considered; for we have seen hollies of ten and twelve feet high removed from the centre of a forest, and planted in a light and sandy soil, without any other precaution than placing them in a pit half-filled with earth, mingled with such a quantity of water, that it had the consistence of thin porridge. Every forester knows the shyness of the holly, yet, set in soil thus prepared, and refreshed by copious watering during the season, they throve admirably well. Accordingly, we observe that Sir Henry recommends watering as one of the principal points respecting the subsequent treatment of the transplanted tree. When the trees stand snugly, or in loose and open disposition, he recommends that the earth around them shall be finally beat down by a machine resembling that of a pavior, but heavier, about the month of April or May, when the natural consolidation shall have, in a great measure, taken place. To exclude the drought, he then recommends that the ground immediately under the stem of the oak, birch, and other trees which demand most attention, shall be covered with a substance called shews, being the refuse of a flax-mill, which of course serves to exclude the drought, like the process which gardeners call mulching. Lastly, in the case of such transplanted trees as do not seem disposed to thrive equal to the others, we are instructed to lay around the stem four cart-loads of earth, with a cart-load of coal-ashes carefully sifted: this composition is spread round the tree, in a proportion of nine inches depth, around the stem or centre, and five inches at the extremity of the roots.
It is most important to observe, that the success of the whole operation seems to depend as much upon this species of treatment, which takes place after the transplantation, as on obser
vation of the rules laid down as to preparing the tree for its removal, and as to the method of the transplantation itself. We have already mentioned the efficacy of frequent watering ; the excluding drought from the roots of the transplanted tree by the intervention of shews, or some equivalent subject, (leaves, perhaps, or a layer of wet straw,) is of the last consequence; and not less so is the application of manure to the roots of such trees as seem, in the language of planters, to fail or go back. When these things are attended to, the tree seldom or never fails. It is surrounded with a very neat species of defence against the deer, sheep, or other animals with which the park may be stocked, and which is more handsome as well as less expensive than the ugly tubs in which transplanted trees seem usually to be set out in the ground which they are designed to occupy. Taking the medium degree of thriving, a tree thus transplanted may be expected to suffer in its growth of leaves for the first year or two. In the second particularly, it has less the air of general health than at any future time. In the third, if regularly attended to in its after-treatment, it shows little sign of suffering anything. In two or three seasons more, it begins to show growth, and resume the progress of active vegetation.
We have thus gone hastily through the general requisites of the Allanton system of transplantation, for the details of which we must refer to the work itself. The merit to be assigned to the ingenious baronet is exalted by the character of his discovery, relating to such a fascinating branch of the fine arts as that of improving the actual landscape. He has taught a short road to an end which almost all landed proprietors, possessed of the slightest degree of taste, must be desirous of attaining. In a word, the immediate effect of wood is obtained—an entire park may, as in the case of Allanton, be covered with wood of every description : trees, arranged singly in scattered groups, or in close masses, intermixed with copse of every description, and boasting, in the course of four or five years, all the beauty which the improver, in the ordinary case, can expect, after the lapse of thirty or forty. Even in the first year, indeed, a great general effect is produced ; but as, upon close inspection, the trees will for some time show a thinness of leaves and check of vegetation, we have taken that period at which the transplanted wood may, with ordinary management, be expected to have lost all appearance of the operation which it has sustained.
It is now time to attend to a formidable consideration, the expense, namely, at which a victory over nature, so complete as that which we have described, is to be attained. Sir Henry Steuart complains, with justice, of reports, which assigning the
price of ten or twelve pounds to the removal of each tree, and circulated by envy or ignorance, have represented his system as beyond the reach of any, excepting the most opulent individuals ; whereas he himself contends, that the art which he has disclosed has the opposite merit of being within the easy compass of any person of moderate fortune. As the practical utility of this ingenious system depends entirely on this point, we feel it our duty to notice the evidence on the subject.
The days of Orpheus are no more, and no man can now pretend to make the rooted denizens of the forest shift their places at the simple expense of an old song. It must be held sufficient if the expenditure does not so far exceed the object to be obtained, as to cause the alterations produced to rank with the extravagant freaks of Nero, who was the first of landscape-gardeners, and his successors in the school of gigantic embellishment. But the country-gentleman, of easy fortune, who does not hesitate to lay out two or three hundred pounds for a tolerable picture or two to adorn the inside of his house, should not surely be induced to grudge a similar expenditure to form the park, by which it is surrounded, into a natural landscape, which will more than rival the best efforts of the pencil. The power of adorning nature is a luxury of the highest kind, and must, to a certain extent, be paid for; but the following pieces of evidence serve to show, that the price is uncommonly moderate, if contrasted with the effects produced.
The committee of the Highland Society remark, that the transplantation of grown trees belongs to the fine arts rather than those which have had direct and simple utility for their object, and that the return is to be expected rather in pleasure than in actual profit :
• Value, no doubt, every proprietor acquires, when he converts a bare and unsightly common into a clothed, sheltered, and richly ornamented park. But, excepting in the article of shelter, he has no more immediate value than the purchaser of a picture.' But this apologetical introduction is so far short of the truth, since it omits to notice that the improver has created a valueunproductive, indeed, while he continues to retain possession of his estate, but which can be converted into actual productive capital so soon as he chooses to part with it. The difference between Allanton, with its ornamented park, and Allanton as it was twenty years since, would soon be ascertained were the
proprietor disposed to bring his ancient heritage into the market.The committee proceed to state, that the formation of the two acres of copse, intermingled with standard trees, already mentioned, appears to have amounted to 30l. per acre; and they ex