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Seaside Planting of Trees., Issue 7905, 13 May 1889
Seaside Planting of Trees.
For seaside planting, either to act as a breakwind, or to stop the encroachment of sand, no trees have been found so suitable as pines, and notably the pinaster or maritima. These trees, as their name indicates, are the ones for the sea coast; they will adapt themselves to sandy soil, and withstand the effects of wind that may be laden with saline particles, better than any other trees. This is the universal experience of forest experts ; and there is the advantage that in course of time, when sufficiently grown, they can be tapped for resin, or the wood can be utilised for various purposes. The pinaster has been planted over a large area on the coast of France, but it does not suit every part, other pines flourishing better. It seems that north of the Loire the maritima is not generally sown, as in that region it does not yield a sufficient quantity of resin to repay the cost of planting; grasses are therefore substituted for trees. And an English authority states that tamarisks and Austrian pines do thoroughly well on the Kentish coast, but the. pinaster cannot be recommended, its gaunt, straggling branches being suggestive of nightmare or other horrors rather than of shelter or elegance such as one looks for in a tree. However, although the pinaster may not suit every locality, it has proved to be the variety of pine eminently adapted to the sea coast in various countries. A Southern writer thus dilates on the pinaster:—" The cluster pine (Pinus pinaster), formerly so much planted about Christchurch, has fallen into undeserved neglect, and should receive more attention from planters. Though not so ornamental as P. insignis, it is decidedly a more useful tree, growing rapidly on the poorest soils, especially those of a sandy nature, and attaining a height of 100 ft in thirty or forty years. For seaside planting, no plant can equal the pinaster, millions of which have been planted on the shifting sands of the French coast with the most astonishing results. From the wood the finest Bordeaux turpentine is made."
But, in addition to pines, there are many other trees and shrubs that can be grown to advantage near the sea; for instance, the ailanthus, which was found the most serviceable of all trees tried some years ago near Odessa, on the Black Sea, where blowing sands have been a great annoyance for ages past. Large tracts of such land were planted with complete success, the trees not only living but flourishing in the sands, enduring the sea air, and preparing the way for the planting of other varieties of trees. Willows, elders, and poplars will also grow well by the sea, the sandy, damp ground being suited to thsm as a rule. Amongst the willows may be mentioned Salix Russdliana, S. Alba, andS. Caprea, which are amongst the quickest growers of the willow family. Some of the poplars and elders may be also advantageously utilised for seaside planting. Then there are several shrubs suitable for the sea coast. In an English horticultural journal a party recently wrote as follows:—"For a genuine evergreen with silver and golden varieties (the variegation being either temporary or permanent), commend us to the Japan spindle tree, Euonymus japonicm; but, if variety be needed, Lic/uUrum ovalifolium may be introduced. It is all but evergreen, and bears the sea blast with impunity." Of smaller plants may be mentioned Lycium barbarum, concerning which one authority says:—" For holding up slipping banks there are few plants to surpass this. It forms a profusion of long, thin, underground runners, which interlace, and from which are sent up a profusion of leafbuds, which form new plants. This is another instance of a plant, native of a warm, temperate, or even sub-tropical country, which is nevertheless hardy in Britain like the blue passion flower of Brazil or the tritomas of South Africa."
Besides these there are the brooms, gorse, and similar shrubs; and it has been asserted that Cupressus macrocarpa and Pinus insignia are quite at home in some seaside localities,
The incalculable benefits that would! follow the judicious planting of trees by the seaside may be thus summarised:—The prevention of sand drifts, now so prevalent and dangerous; the reclamation of vast tracts of sandy wastes, of no earthly good at the present time; th 6 raising of shelter from furious storms that prevail at certain seasons, and in addition to furnishing the line with a fringe of woodland that would materially assist in beautifying the landscape, the shelter afforded would tend to temper the blasts from the ocean, ameliorating the climate in the places contiguous, rendering the lands near the coasts more valuable for agricultural purposes, and so proving a general and invaluable boon. i.n raising plantations of trees and shrubs on the sea coast, especially where shifting sands prevail, it is always necessary to start with some kind of rough break wind, in the shape of wattled stakes, brushwood, or palisading, the structure, whatever its character, being put up a short distance above high water mark. Such a breakwind would arrest the sand, promote the formation of an artificial dune, under the temporary shelter of which seeds could be sown or young trees transplanted. Without entering into any particular details about planting, and so on, I may call attention to the importance of raising, first of all, a belt of pinasters. And here I shall quote what a writer in the • Gardeners' Magazine' had to say when laying down the system that should be followed by the planters in the counties of Devon and Cornwall! in Eng-
land. Ho says:—"To raise a deep plantation of forest trees on the coast in the above counties, in fully-exposed situations, I would recommend that the whole of the ground intended for the plantation be ploughed (as, indeed, it should befor every plantation in whatever situation) to the depth of at least 9in; that the whole be planted with pinasters at about sft apart; and that these be allowed to have not less than three years' growth before the forest trees are introduced, so that they may be capable of affording the latter immediate protection. This I have observed to be of the utmost importance, as, if the forest trees are planted at the same time with the pinasters, many of the former will become stunted, and will remain so until the pinasters afford them the necessary protection ; snstaiuing by this means an injury from which they will never properly recover, and to hide the effects of which a partial replanting must be made. If ploughing the ground be dispensed with on account of the expense, or for any other reason, let holes be made of Isin in diameter at the above distances, two or three months before the pinasters are to be Elanted ; the earth from these holes should e laid up in hillocks to be pulverised, and the turf be placed on one side. On proceeding to plant, let the turf, if any, be chopped small, and put into the bottom of the holes, as this, during its decomposition, will considerably assist the growth of the young plants. If the ground is naturally inclined to grass or other herbage, great care must be taken to clear the young pinasters, and not to suffer them to be overshaded, particularly in a wet season, as have occurrod where, for want of attention to this, nearly half the crop has been lost by the plants damping off near the bottom. With regard to the age of the plants to be inserted, those of two years' growth, and having been once transplanted from the seed bed, are generally adopted.—"Agricola," in the Auckland * Herald.'
Seaside Planting of Trees., Issue 7905, 13 May 1889
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