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List of Trees.

It is very difficult to make a condensed list of trees suitable for New South Wales. Our State is a very large one, with many soils and climates, and I have, in another place, divided it into five portions. (1) The cold region, consisting of the north and south tablelands — here British trees flourish; (2) the coastal strip; (3) the Northern Rivers, a distinctly sub-tropical belt, forming the north-eastern portion of the State; (4) the Western Slopes and Riverina; (5) the Western Plains.

If I were to attempt an even simpler classification as regards trees, I would say- (a) Cool districts with (1) dry, or (2) damp localities; and (b) warm districts, with (1) dry, or (2) damp localities. Damp localities are often associated with shelter. Trees which grow in dry situations often do better in moister situations with improved soil. Then again we have light soils, stiff soils, limestone soils, and so on. It is obvious that I can only lightly touch upon our varied conditions and requirements on the present occasion.




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The two principal planting problems in New South Wales affect (a) the coastal sandy strip; (b) the Western Plains. Many special difficulties are involved in regard to plant-life in these areas, and the present does not afford an opportunity for discussion of them.

In forming an idea of the appearance of trees in the Sydney district the Botanic Gardens is full of lessons, but it must be remembered that the soil is, as a rule, very poor, but it possesses many very sheltered situations. Further, in many cases the trees are too crowded together to enable specimen trees to be formed, and so they often have to be severely cut back.

In the Domain, because of its rocky and exposed Character, there is but little opportunity for growing trees in variety. In the Centennial Park the conditions are very difficult, and successive Annual Reports show how many trees have been tested there.

Native Trees. — First let me earnestly recommend people to cultivate what is best in their districts; let them grow the native trees. I am not so foolish as to ask people to grow only native plants. Let us grow the best things available, but I feel sure that, in this regard, people often "go farther and fare worse." It may be news to some that in New South Wales we possess nearly six hundred different kinds of native trees, and in this State are some of the most beautiful trees I have seen in any part of the world. Some people do already propagate the native trees, and still more people preserve those already existing; but we want people to do mare in this direction. Many parts of New South Wales have special climatic conditions, and the native trees which have become acclimatised throughout the ages are the safest to rely upon in trying times. Tried friends are Tristania conferta, the Brush box; Grevillea robusta, the Silky oak; Castanospermum australe, the Moreton Bay Chestnut; various Eucalypts, such as the Yellow Box (melliodora), Black or Swamp Box (bicolor). Tallow-wood (microcorys), Narrow-leaved ironbark (crebra), Peppermint (amygdalina); various conifers such as the Cypress pines (Callitris) and the plum pine (Podocarpus elata.)

Let us never forget that in our Cypress pines (Callitris) we have beautiful trees which flourish in the coast districts, in the mountains, and far away into the western plains; the White Cedar (Melia azedarach), the She-Oaks (Casuarina); and I could run on. Visitors to Sydney often regale me with accounts of the native trees in their districts, and the way in which they respond to a little attention. Native trees are, on the average, just as easy to grow from seed as exotics, so that there is nothing specially difficult in the matter.

Let me offer special notes on Wattles, She-Oaks and Figs.

Wattles are unsuited to street planting, as they mature too quickly. They are peculiarly liable to attacks by beetles, and I suppose that the average life of a wattle as a symmetrical tree in a city is not above five years. In the smoke of a city such as Sydney the delicate grey, fine foliage of such a tree as Acacia Baileyana becomes a disgrace in two years.




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Certain Melbourne suburbs with wide streets and fairly good soil, had regrettable experience with wattle-planting. The trees never gave satisfaction, and the local councils lost much time, which would have been saved had more permanent trees been planted.

Imported Pines (Pinus) are dying out rapidly in the Sydney district, with the exception of the Maritime Pine, for they are very difficult to control, being liable to fatal diseases. I reiterate the opinion that in our She-Oaks, which are very free from disease, we have a class of trees reminiscent of the Pines, and which are destined to replace them in many districts in which the Pines are dying out. Pines give a character of their own to the landscape, but the She-Oaks do not replace them in regard to the delicious health-giving odours they exhale. Another drawback to Pines for park purposes is that they will not, as a general rule, stand cutting.

And now let me turn to the maligned Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla). To hear some people talk, all Moreton Bay figs should be banished from the Sydney district, but it does not seem to be realised that it is one of the best trees ever introduced to Sydney. It will grow amongst rocks, where scarcely anything else will grow; and it will stand being blown upon by fierce winds and being hacked about and otherwise ill-used. I admit that it can be put in the wrong. place (it must not be planted near buildings or pavements), but a Moreton Bay Fig with plenty of room, so that it can live its life, is one of the most beautiful of trees, while its foliage and fruit are nutritious to stock, and its umbrageous head affords a grateful shade.

Then the Port Jackson Fig (Ficus rubiginosa) is a most beautiful object. It is far less rampant than the preceding, and takes on an umbrella or mushroom shape, which is very symmetrical. It is nearly an ideal tree for general shelter purposes and picturesqueness, and is hardy in many parts of the State. Amongst deciduous Figs, Ficus Cunninghamii and Ficus Henneana are two of the best.

We divide trees into two grand groups — evergreens and deciduous. Dependent on locality, there are few trees that are neither quite one nor the other. For example, the silky oak in some districts scarcely loses its leaves in winter.

Evergreen Trees. — We will now take some evergreen trees, and it may be mentioned that in alpbabetical order we have:— Alectryon excelsa, the New Zealand titoki, a handsome tree suitable for our cold districts.

The carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is one of those trees which succeed right from the coast to the western plains. It does best in calcareous soil. It is a beautiful, umbrageous tree, and its pods afford nutritious food for both man and beast.

The camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) grows best in our coastal districts; it will not flourish on the mountains or tablelands, but it is worthy of experiment in many parts of the State where the soil is not too stiff and the subsoil is moist. It is a beautiful, densely foliaged tree, and is interesting in that camphor is prepared from the wood, though we cannot compete with Japanese and Chinese labour in this industry under existing circumstances.




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The karaka, a New Zealand tree, a beautiful dark, glossy-leaved species with orange- coloured fruits, has proved very desirable for the coast districts at no great distance from the sea. Not that it is restricted to such situations by any means, for the New Zealand laurel, as it is often called, has shown itself very tolerant to various soils and climates in New South Wales. It will stand much cold. Its botanical name is Corynocarpus lævigatus.

The weeping fig (Ficus Benjaminea) is singled out as one of the most beautiful of all figs for the warmer coast strip.

The India-rubber fig (Ficus elastica) is a beautiful species, grows fairly in Sydney, but it does not grow as rampantly as it may be confidently expected to do on the. Lower Clarence, Richmond, and Tweed. It ought to be grown much more commonly than it is.

The larger white Magnolia (M. grandiflora) is as handsome as a fig with its rich polished leaves. Its glory is its very large white, sweetly perfumed flowers. It must have a damp situation and shelter, and given these is tolerant to a fair amount of cold. Of course, it simply revels in the coast districts.

The olive tree (Olea europea) I have less to say about, since it flourishes best in calcareous soils, which are an exception in this State. At the same time it does fairly well in our coast districts, and should be more planted. The olive is commonly propagated by thick, longish pieces of the stem, known as truncheons.

Of the evergreen oaks (Quercus) we may mention Q. ægilops; the Valonia Oak, which by the way, is semi-deciduous with us. It is a beautiful species, best known for the acorn cups, which yield the valuable tanning material called valonia. It flourishes in moist places cooler than Sydney, and every encouragement should be given it.

The holly oak (Q. ilex) of South Europe is known to us in more than one variety, and does well in many parts of New South Wales, especially near the coast. It is really very valuable, and can be thoroughly recommended. An allied tree is Q. virens, the live or evergreen oak of North America. It and Q. ilex are grand trees, and cannot be too much planted. They grow in much the same situation. If it be desired to see in what poor soil accompanied by trying winds it will grow and form a handsome tree, look at the large number of them in Centennial Park, Sydney, and how well they do. The valuable cork oak (Q. suber) of South Europe is a handsome tree, and flourishes in the coastal districts. Its bark, of course, yields the cork of commerce.

Another valuable evergreen is the tree we know as pepper tree, (Schinus molle) a native of North and South America, from Mexico to Chili. It is a graceful umbrageous tree, and a very great merit is that it is hardy in most parts of the State, revelling in the coast districts, standing a good deal of cold, and even advancing far into the interior.

Deciduous Trees. — We now come to the deciduous trees, and the world is divided into two classes of people, the advocates of evergreens and of deciduous trees. There is much to be said for deciduous trees in towns. We have the beautiful spectacle of their unfolding leaf buds, then the abundance of their shady foliage, and finally we have the bare branches at a time when the sun has least power, and the streets require all the light they can obtain.




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Acer negundo, the box-elder of North America, is a maple, and Acer platanoides, the Norway maple, is another. They have beautiful leaves, and flourish in cold, damp situations. They will stand as much cold as we can give them in New South Wales.

Aesculus californica is the California buckeye or horse chestnut, dwarf in Sydney, but a large tree in moist rich soils in the cooler parts of the State. It has white flowers in trusses, and is one of the most lovely trees in the world. Therefore it is worth taking pains over. The true horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is also only for the cooler parts of this State, in low-lying localities. Those who have seen it in its best development in Europe recognise it as a beautiful object, and it is well worthy of cultivation, being especially, beautiful in the spring. In the summer with hot winds horse chestnuts are apt to be withered looking, but is not this a fault to which many deciduous trees are liable?

Ailanthus glandulosa is sometimes called the Tree of Heaven. It is a valuable tree, but liable to sucker, and hence should be kept away from cultivated ground, as it behaves like elms and poplars. It is very handsome, in a young state, and is one of the few trees well tested for dry situations, so that it is to be recommended for such trying situations in, many parts of the State; it will, however, grow almost anywhere. In Paris, where it is largely and successfully employed for avenue-planting, it is known as Vernix du Japon.

The Cape Chestnut (Calodendron capense) is hardy, and is such a specially handsome object when covered all over with its large mauve blossoms that it is worthy of abundant experiment. I believe it will grow in many parts of this State, and that it will stand a fair amount of dryness.

The pecan nut (Carya oliviformis) is a handsome tree which yields an excellent edible nut. It requires cool, damp situations.

The same localities are necessary for the proper development of the Spanish Chestnut (Castanea saliva), a handsome tree, yielding a nutritious nut which is specially acceptable when roasted. Australians are not a nut-eating people, but when they develop increased tendencies in this direction the Spanish or Sweet Chestnut tree will be very largely planted. At Mount Wilson the tree is perfectly at home.

Then we come to the Catalpas (bignonioides and speciosa), beautiful American trees which come to us with a great reputation. C. speciosa is a hardier and bigger tree than C. bignonioides, and they both should be further tested as rapid-growing trees in cold, clamp localities. Their reputation in New South Wales has so far come much below their American one, as it is found, so far, that they fail in dry weather, and will not stand our dry winds. Celtis australis, the lotus tree of South Europe, is a very dense. growing, handsome tree. It stands dry and cold as well as hot situations, like silky oaks, and I look upon it as one of the most generally useful trees as yet imported into New South Wales.




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Many people know the hardy coral trees which grow from large cuttings, and which shelter the cows and the homesteads on the South Coast when the people have carefully destroyed most of the original vegetation. The commonest one is Erythrina indica, and it will stand a considerable amount of cold. E. speciosa is very handsome, too, and is a smaller growing tree.

Then we come to the ashes (Fraxinus), most valuable trees for low, damp ground and river banks in the colder parts of the State. F. ornus, the manna ash, will stand fairly dry situations. The ashes are beautiful trees, and are noted for the toughness of their pale, handsome wood. The principal ashes that we grow in quantity in New South Wales are F. excelsior, the common ash of Europe; F. americana, the common American or white ash; F. pennsylvanica (sometimes known as pubescens), the red ash of the United States, F. nigra (sometimes known as sambucifolia), the black ash of the United States. The honey locust tree (Gleditschia triacanthos) of North America is very thorny. It may be recommended for exposed situations where nothing else will grow, and where it will never require to be interfered with. It should not be planted in choice situations where other trees will flourish. If planted closely it will form a hedge that a bull cannot find its way through.

Jacaranda mimosæfolia is a tree with fern-like foliage and beautiful tubular purple blossoms. It is one of the handsomest trees in cultivation. It is semi-deciduous like the silky oak. It is hardy in the coast districts and, foothills. It requires shelter.

The walnuts are well-known trees, Juglans regia being the common edible walnut of Europe. But the black walnut (J. nigra) of the Eastern United States is the most generally useful Juglans for New South Wales. It will stand more exposed situations and drier atmosphere than the others, which revel in low-lying, cold situations, with good soil.

J. cinerea is the butternut tree of the United States, and is a good fast grower near the coast in New South Wales. J. californica is a western species. All of them are handsome trees, and are worthy of more persistent experiment them has been, accorded to them so far.

Koelreuteria paniculata is a small Chinese tree after the fashion of Robinia. It. is well suited for dry climates, and should be well tested on the western slopes. It has large pinnate leaves, with large hanging panicles of yellow flowers.

Liquidambar styraciflua is the sweet gum tree of the United States. It is a beautiful tree, with maple-like leaves, and is one of the few trees which produce lovely autumnal foliage in Sydney. It requires much. the same treatment as Juglans, and I believe it is destined to be a valuable acquisition in many parts of the State in damp, sheltered situations.

The tulip tree of North America (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a very large tree. It also requires damp, deep soil and cold situations. It has large, handsome foliage, and large flowers of a yellowish red colour, from which bees extract much honey. It should be borne in mind that trees are most valuable to the bee-keeper, and axe specially worthy of consideration on that account alone.




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Most of us know the white mulberry (Morus alba) whose leaves ate so useful as food for silkworms. It will stand much drought, and hence is specially valuable on that account. Morus nigra, the black mulberry tree, the species which yields the luscious fruit, has large coarse foliage, and prefers damp situations. If it gets moisture it is tolerant to both heat and cold. Both mulberry trees should be grown far more extensively than they are.

Paulownia imperialis is one of the gorgeous flowering trees. It bears immense masses of large purple flowers. It comes from Japan, and is intolerant of the heat of Sydney, but is very fond of cold, damp localities.

Then we have the planes, of which we have two principal ones — Platanus orientalis, the ordinary or eastern plane, and P. occidentalis, the western plane. The one commonly grown in New South Wales is orientalis, and it is more generally hardy with us than occidentalis. The latter requires damper situations and better soil for its development. Both are, however, when well grown much alike, their differences being chiefly of a botanical character. The planes are very handsome trees, and to be recommended, but like most other trees, are apt to be withered looking after the hot winds of summer and early autumn.

The poplars are deservedly esteemed. They all love damp, cold situations, yet nevertheless, all do fairly well in Sydney. The principal ones are Populus fastigiata, the upright or Lombardy poplar; P. alba, the white poplar, which has the bad quality of producing a plentiful crop of suckers; P. angulata, the Water or Carolina poplar of the United States; P. betulifolia and P. nigra. The timber of poplars is used for wheelbrakes, and it is tough and will not split. The upright poplar perhaps stands most drought of them all. P. Bolleana, the Bollé poplar, is one of the numerous forms of P. alba, the White or Silver Poplar, and it is the best of the silvers for our State, as it suckers least. Here I may say that a great many plants and animals are most estimable, but have perhaps one serious drawback. The perfect man, horse, or tree requires to be discovered. For example, the White poplar is, in my estimation, a charming tree, but it suckers abominably, devastating lawns and flower borders a considerable distance away. Consequently the situation sometimes becomes intolerable, and it may be that the death-warrant of the White Poplar is occasionally signed simply because of its one bad habit.

The Rowan or Mountain Ash (Pyrus aucuparia), with its beautiful pinnate foliage and lovely masses of highly-coloured graceful small fruits, will flourish in the coldest localities and is a choice tree.

The deciduous oaks are many, and we can only refer to a few of them. Quercus bicolor, the Southern White Oak of the United States, is a useful species which grows fairly well in Sydney, but requires deep rich soil and a cooler situation.




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The Turkey Oak (Q. cerris) is one of the most distinct of the oaks; it is a shapely, umbrageous tree, with handsome, shiny foliage. It does remarkably well in Sydney, and will flourish in many parts of New South Wales. The Pin or Marsh Oak (Q. palustris) of the United States loves swampy localities, as its name denotes. Its autumnal foliage is beautiful. It prefers cooler localities than Sydney. Q. rubra, the red oak of the United States, so called because of the splendour of its autumnal foliage, requires similar treatment.

No park should be complete without a specimen of the so-called British Oak (Q. robur), which is widely diffused in Europe. Everyone knows it, and it has proved itself remarkably adjustable to circumstances in New South Wales.

The so-called Acacia (Robinia pseud-acacia) of North America is one of the most valuable trees imported into New South Wales. It has beautiful pinnate foliage, is umbrageous, and a very great merit consists in the fact that it is one of the most accommodating trees in the States, flourishing in heat and cold, moist and dry places.

We must never forget the willows, so graceful are they for river and lagoon banks and swampy situations. There are very many of them, of which the Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) is best known. The readiness with which they strike from cuttings is proverbial. The Bedford willow (S. Russelliana) is more erect than the Weeping one, but it is a good companion for it. It is a large rapid grower, and it furnishes material for basket-work. The Huntingdon willow (S. alba) is a valuable species, one of those whose wood is useful for cricket-bats, brake-blocks, and similar purposes, where a light tough wood is required. Some day Australians, will make their own cricket-bats, and they use a great many of them. The common Osier (S. viminalis) is but a small tree, but it is one of the most valuable of all willows for economic purposes, and the time will come when the cutting and peeling and preparation of Osiers for the making of baskets and trays will be a recognised Australian industry.

The common lime or linden of Europe (Tilia europea) is suited for our coldest districts, where damp deep soil is available. It requires precisely the same treatment as the marsh-loving alder (Alnus glutinosa), which, by the way, I have omitted to notice in its proper alphabetical order. Both are handsome umbrageous trees.

Just a few words in regard to the elms (Ulmus). U. campestris, the common elm, is our great standby. It requires deep moist soil for its proper development, and although it will grow in Sydney, it requires much greater winter cold for its proper development. The cork elm is a handsome variety, and so is the Wych elm, though considered a species (U. montana) by some. The Wych elm is the fastest grower in Sydney, except the variety known as the Canadian giant, which is a really valuable tree; it is rather more spreading than the common elm. The Huntingdon elm is another useful variety (of montana). U. chinensis, the Chinese elm, is a beautiful species that should be included in every collection. Elms require cool winters for their best development. I am sorry to hear that many fine elms in New South Wales are loomed. Beautiful to look at, they are becoming a prey to boring beetles. The


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summer heat and warm nights appear to induce in these trees debility which renders them a prey to insects. Like so many of the trees mentioned in this article, they require, for healthy development, a fairly hard winter.

Amongst the coniferæ, the pines at once occur to us, and I am sorry that the scope of this article does not allow me to deal with them fully. But no collection of trees is complete without some of these beautiful and deliciously aromatic trees. I have already referred to them in speaking of the She-Oaks. The best of the pines are the heritage of the cold districts, but Araucaria and Agathis (otherwise Dammara) are ant their best only in the warmer coast districts. The coniferæ include the cypresses, some of the most lovely members of the vegetable kingdom; Cryptomeria japonica and Sequoia, also Abies and Picea, must be selected for special mention.

In a strict scientific classification the Taxaceæ are kept apart from the true coniferæ, and they include the beautiful maiden-hair tree (Ginkgo), Phyllocladus and Dracrydium (well developed in New Zealand), Podocarpus elata, our beautiful and useful she or brown pine; Primnopitys, the plum pines closely allied to Podocarpus, and very beautiful and umbrageous, together with a few others less known.

Just a brief word about Palms. If I am destined to be remembered in Sydney about a particular kind of tree, it will probably be palms. For many years I held the opinion that enough was not made of that feathery-leaved, graceful, tropical-looking plant, the palm. But a very grave responsibility rested on the man who recommended a palm for street planting. The railway station palm (Washingtonia) will not do. It grows too rapidly, and presents a long bare stem with a poor top.

My choice fell on, the Canary Islands Palm (Phænix canariensis). Time will show what faults it may develop, but it is certainly hardy, and is beautiful at all ages within the tests applied. It is comparatively free from disease, does not mature too rapidly, stands strong winds splendidly and so is an acquisition for the coast belt, even very close to the sea, a very trying situation. A specimen tree of about 35 years of age can be seen in the Botanic Gardens, and I have no doubt it will look well and not be too large for street planting at fifty years. With the inevitable changes in modern cities it is not unreasonable, if necessary, to ask for the street trees to be replanted twice in a century. Those who desire to see this beautiful palm under avenue conditions will see it in the Centennial Park and Macquarie-street. I believe that it may be extensively planted as an avenue tree in the Sydney suburbs and along the coast without any fear of producing monotony, and I am perfectly certain that, when private citizens and public bodies see well-grown palms they will desire to plant more of different species and varieties. They will add a graceful decorative note to the vegetation of Sydney that it very much lacks.

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