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Encouragement Of Timber Culture

Encouragement Of Timber Culture image
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There probably never was a time when the people of this country were so favorably inipressed with the necessity of eucouraging timber-culture as they are at the present time. Unfortunately those who have succeeded in attracting the public attention to this laudable object, seem to be unable to lead or direct the attentiou they have raised. Instead of plaeiïig timber-culture on the grounds wher should be laid- a positive beneüt to the parties planting - the posición seems to have been assumed that it is one in which the individual directly has li:tle interest, and heuce it is necessary to invoke all sorts of "laws" to make hiña do what otherwise would not be done. The men who make these laws have no idea of timber or timberculture; they imagine that their stituents want something done, and "8i nietliiug" follows, but people are surprised to find tbat nothing is ';'ne. With rare exceptions the whole foresttree legisíation of this country, both State aud National, has been of the most farcical description. These legislativo attercjjts, enactments, repeals and amemíruenls, have been so numerous of vears, tbat no newspaper-man knows exactly what is the precise condition of things. Not long since there was an act passed by the National Legislatura, by which any person importing trees trom Eu rope for his own planting and not for sale, could have tliem freeof duty ; but; if the nurseryman imported theui for his planting he was to pay 80 per cent. No one ever knew why this effoit was made to crush out the Americau treeraiser, It was probably a blunder and not intentional. Later some effort was made to introduce tropical fruit-plants for culture in the South. The trees were to be duty tree to "encourage" ihe enterprise. But no one ever heard that one more "plant" was set out in consequence; but "tropical fruits" came in duty free to tlie tune of millions of dollars. This is a sample of the w hole of this class of legislation. Smething was done by Congress to aid the tree-planting interest in the West, Some forty acres we believe had to be set out before any one could claim any "advantages" under this act; and there were some other nearly impossiblethings, so much so that the Western papers usually spoke of rhe act as one to "discourage tree-planting." Some of our eastern States have tried their hands with similar success. ïsew-York passed oue to encourage roadside trees ; and a few years ago Pennsylvania followed snit. But not a tree has been set out so i'ar as known under theinfluenceof this law in either state. We do not know but here the people are wiser than any law. Roadside trees may add to the lieautv of Uie country - in built-up )i!,ii:rs, in towns and cities they are positiva luxuries; but country districts, by long Unes of farm property, it is hard to see what Xatioual or State benefit would be de-rived f rom road-trees. IÍ there is any benefit trom the encouragement of live-fences road-trees are a disadvantage. Hedge-plants will not grow undtr their shade ; and then where good roads are an object good dit ches are essential, and these the falling leaves from trees inteifere with. Besides - as we have often alluded to it- roadsidt trees for tour or üve months in theear keep the roads coustantly muddy, with mts so deep as to make them very difflcull to travel with half a load. Even turnpikes requlxe doublé the expense in keeping them In good order where they are boidered by trees. Any one can see this. Surely there is enough inerit in treeplancing for its own sake to make it attractive. Our Meada wou!d do much more for the cause by d welling more on this, and letting bluildering


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat