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Early Growth of the Tree

— In its early stage it forms a tangled mass of long thin branches. These branches are not spinous or prickly, but form a hedge, so that while stock (chiefly sheep) prune the peripheral branches they cannot eat the whole of. them. As growth advances, a leading shoot shows itself and is pro- tected by the branchy entanglement which encircles the main stem for several feet. By degrees these tangled branches atrophy and leave more or less of the stout main stem with its characteristic blotchy or spotted bark. Sometimes the tangled branches persist for a considerable period near the ground, sometimes the stem is clean and the tangled mass is several feet up. In some cases the portion near the ground, in others that several feet above it, alone persists; in fact different trees show much variation.

The life history of the trees is excellently shown in the accompanying three photographs by Mr. W. S. Campbell, which are taken from the Agricultural Gazette for November, 1899, p. 1167.

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