park broadleaves defined in 1944 yearpark broadleaves - Park Broadleaves;
park broadleaves - A number of trees have gained a place in town and country parks, mainly for ornamental planting, but have not so far come into use for forest planting. Certain of these produce useful timber in Britain, and may in time be of value in the woods. The essential information concerning eleven principal species, ranged alphabetically, is given below in condensed form.
Ailanthus glandulosa, Desf. (Simarubacea), the Tree of Heaven, G. Götterbaum, introduced from China, only hardy in the south, is a tree of attractive foliage resembling the ash. But the compound leaves are spirally ranged on the twigs, larger than those of ash, and bear glands at the base of each leaflet; on falling, the leaf leaves a large scar with prominent pore-marks. The flowers are green and inconspicuous; the seed like that of the ash, but winged at both ends. Germination epigeal, early leaves with few leaflets. Light-demanding, quick growing; produces suckers and will coppice. Wood soft.. An ornamental tree unlikely to assume forest importance in Britain. Fig. 1d.
Horse chestnut. Aesculus hippocastanum L. (Hippocastanacea), G. Rosskastanip; F. Marron d'Inde; (name indicates a coarse chestnut, compare " Horse-radish "), a native of the Balkans, is a tree distinct from all others in our flora by reason of its large palmately compound leaves, the numerous leaflets spreading like the fingers of the hand. Distinguished in winter by large, opposite, sticky buds, each with a horse-shoe-shaped scar beneath it. The leaves open early in April, and are followed in June by beautiful clusters of white flowers, which are perfect in structure, the lower petals being larger than the upper ones, forming an " asymmetrical " flower. After insect pollination these produce a one-seeded fruit, a spiny green capsule containing a hard red-brown nut or "conker". Easily raised from seed, germination hypogeal. Light-demanding, requires a rich soil, but is hardy. Quick growing, attains a height of 100 feet, but not long-lived. Bark smooth, becoming scaly with age. The wood is white in colour, without distinct heart, perishable out of doors, and rather soft. Being easily worked it is suitable for making small household articles or indoor furniture, but the demand is limited, and supplies are small. Girths up to 16 feet.
The Red Horse Chestnut, A. carnea Willd., is a hybrid of fess robust growth, propagated by grafting. Both forms have russet-yellow leaves in autumn. Neither thrives in smoky towns. Figs, 2b, 3, 4, 5.
Laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides Medicus, Leguminosœ), G. Goldregen; F. Fauxébénier; W. Euron; E. Bealaid Franncac., Labran; a native of central Europe, the Laburnum is familiar in May and June with its hanging trusses of golden flowers, each with the structure of a Sweet-Pea blossom, and may be readily identified in winter by its spirally ranged buds, grey in colour, clad in silky hairs. The seed-pods resemble those of the Pea, but the seeds are poisonous. Leaves compound, tri-foliate, with silky hairs on the undersides, opening in May. Bark smooth, dark grey. The species are propagated by seed, varieties by grafting. Germination epigeal. Figs. 1e, 6.
A light-demanding tree, growing with the aid of bacteria in nodules on the roots.
Despite its small size, Laburnum might be of value as a soil- improving nurse species, or in firebreaks. The wood has a dark brown heart, and a bright yellow sapwood. It takes a high polish and, despite, its small size, is of great value for fine cabinet making.
Locust (Robinia pseudacacia L., Leguminosœ), named after Robin, French botanist, is sometimes called the False Acacia, this name and that of Locust arising from confusion with the true Acacias of the Near East, to which it is, however, distantly related. It is a fair-sized tree with a distinctive corky bark, spirally ribbed or fluted, and paired thorns on the twigs, and was introduced from eastern North America in the seventeenth century. In winter, the minute leaf buds are almost hidden beneath the bud scales, but late in May they expand into graceful pinnately compound leaves with round leaflets. Flowers like small white Sweet Peas, borne in beautiful hanging chains. Seed pea-like, in pods. Germination epigeal, early leaves simple. A light-demanding tree, nourished by bacteria in nodules on roots. Very prone to throw up pucker shoots; will coppice. Young trees grow quickly, but on the whole the Locust is slow to attain useful dimensions. Figs. 7, 1f. Height to 80 feet, girth 12 feet.
The wood is remarkable for the narrow sapwood; heartwood light brown and durable, making a useful fencing material in the smaller dimensions. Tough and hard, but difficult to season satisfactorily, and not easily worked. A good firewood. Locust wood has useful properties, and an attractive appearance, but the quantity available in Britain has not justified its specialised conversion, and the tree is planted solely for ornament.
Lime (Genus: Tilia L. Tiliacea); G. Linden; F. Tilleul; W. Palalwyf; H. Teile. Basswood. The lime trees of Europe (quite distinct from the limes of the tropics) are rarely found wild in Britain, though they are native, but are planted everywhere as park and avenue trees, on account of their beautiful foliage; in eastern Europe they form forests. Distinguished in winter by alternate buds on somewhat zig-zag twigs, each bud with 2 smooth scales, one much smaller than the other. Bark smooth, grey, fibrous, may be used as bast for tying bundles. Leaves simple, heart-shaped, edges serrated, often asymmetrical, with broad-spreading veins. Flowers in July, in clusters of about 5, spreading from a long stalk which bears a peculiar papery bract; yellowish green, not conspicuous to the eye; attracting insects by their pleasant odour and abundant nectar; 5 sepals in bud meet at edges, do not overlap; 5 petals free; anthers numerous, free; fruit a capsule, bearing a single, seed, ripening in September. Figs. 2i; 8, 9.
Lime seed is often infertile in Britain, but sometimes germinates a year after sowing. Also propagated by layers, particularly the garden forms. Germination epigeal, cotyledons lobed. Early growth slow, later rapid. Coppices freely, and produces twigs in masses low on the stems of tall trees. Light demanding, needs rich soil. Resistant to town smoke. May reach a height of 100 feet.
Wood yellow, soft, without distinct heart, not durable out of doors. Useful for small articles of indoor use. Owing to its softness, compactness, and even grain, lime wood is well suited to the work of the wood-carver. A poor firewood. When open-grown, the trunk develops burrs and knots, which spoil the timber. Forest-grown wood would be cleaner, but its limited utility does not justify planting on any large scale. Heights to 130 feet, girths 14 feet.
The Broad-leaved Lime, Tilia platypbyllos, Scop., has large leaves, downy twigs, drooping flowers, and ribbed fruits. The Small- leaved Lime, T. parvifolia, Ehrh., has smaller leaves, smooth twigs, erect flowers, angular fruits'. Identification is complicated by the existence of hybrids, nurserymen's varieties, and allied species imported from Europe, America, and Japan.
Liquidambar styraciflua, L. (Hamamelidacea), Sweet Gum or Satinwood of North America, has leaves like a maple, but spirally set; male flowers in stalked, clusters, erect, female flowers in pendulous balls, seeds winged. It has been used experimentally in British plantations. Its autumn tint is a beautiful and distinctive fiery red. Timber valuable and attractive for furniture work. Fig. 10.
Mulberry. (Genus: Morus L., Moracea). Introduced from western Asia, the mulberry is sometimes found in old gardens as a short-boled tree with large dark green leaves resembling those of the elm, but spirally ranged. These leaves form the favourite food of the silkworm, for which purpose the tree is cultivated in China, Japan, and the south of France. Male and female flowers separate, but borne in catkins on the same tree. Fruits, various in colour, succulent, clustered in a group resembling a raspberry, delicious. Wood yellow, burns well, useful for small articles. Fig. 11.
Notofagus - species, (Fagacea), are near relatives of the beech, found in the southern hemisphere (Chile, New Zealand, S. Australia), which may prove adaptable to British forest conditions. The leaves are smaller, male flowers few per cluster, seeds in threes.
Plane (Plat anus acerijolia Willd., Platanacea); G. F. W. Platane; E. Plâna, is the so-called London Plane of unknown origin, probably a local mountain form from Asia Minor, widespread in cultivation throughout Europe. Other species from America and Asia are less hardy and therefore less cultivated. Its winter buds are very distinct; spirally ranged, they are cone-shaped, covered by a single scale, and almost surrounded by the scar of the previous leaf. The bark is also distinctive, smooth, light-brown, deciduous, falling away in plates to reveal younger, paler, bark beneath. The leaves are petiolate, broad, lobed, with sharp clean-cut divisions; resembling those of Norway Maple, but immediately distinguished by their spiral arrangement on the stem. They open in May, and turn pale yellow before falling late in October.
The flowers open in June, and are grouped in peculiar long- stalked globes, the sexes being borne separately on the same tree. The male flowers are yellow, the female reddish, and pollination is by wind. The fruit is a knobbly green globe, persisting on the tree through the winter, opening in spring to release hairy, yellow, angular fruits, which are wind-distributed. Seed rarely fertile in Britain. Usually propagated by cuttings. Germination epigeal; early leaves only slightly lobed, or simple.
The Plane is a light-demanding tree of erect- rapid growth, reaching 100 feet in height. Being prized as a park tree, its timber is seldom available for conversion. It is light brown, without distinct heart, and has medullary rays resembling those of oak; not durable out of doors. A good firewood. Its mechanical properties are good, and an allied species is valued for cabinet work in America, The plane has definite possibilities on the better soils of the south for the rapid production of attractive furniture wood. It could be grown in plantations, pure or mixed with a shade- bearer, combining both beauty and utility. Figs. 12, 13, 14.
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera L., Magnoliacece), introduced from North-America, is mainly planted for the beauty of its spring flowers. Winter buds distinctive, spirally ranged, stalked, and asymmetrical. Leaves petiolate, broad, lobed, differing from other lobed leaves in having a cleft, and not a point, at the apex of the main vein. Flowers in June, conspicuous, the 6 petals being greenish yellow outside, orange inside, resembling tulips. Stamens numerous, carpels numerous and free (a distinguishing feature), each with a single winged seed. Flower buds distinctive, the flower being enveloped in a single leathery sheath. Germination epigeal; the early leaves, though otherwise unlobed, have the distinctive apical deft.
As the tulip tree is seldom planted outside gardens in Britain, its forestal requirements are little known; it is a quick-growing tree on good soils. The wood is imported as White or Yellow "Poplar", and is used in America for building, particularly flooring, being of attractive appearance, strong and durable. It is unlikely to assume forest importance in Britain. The genus Magnolia L. is closely allied. Figs. 1b, 7.
Walnut (Juglans regia L., Juglandaceee); G. Walnuss, Welchnuss; F. Noyer; W. Cneuen Ffrengglg; E. Gallcno. Fig. 15.
The name means "foreign nut" and refers to its introduction from Asia. A beautiful tree much planted in old gardens for its fruit. Winter twigs stout, with large, hairy, oval, spirally ranged buds, each with a prominent leaf-scar beneath it. Distinguished from all similar twigs by its chambered pith, easily seen by cutting across at an angle. Leaves like those of ash, but spirally set, with rounder leaflets (usually not quite oppositely paired), and pleasantly aromatic. Bark grey, rugged, with vertical fissures.
Flowers in May, sexes separate on the same tree. Male catkins pendulous, conspicuous. Female flowers sessile in small clusters. Wind-pollinated. The unripe fruits have a succulent green exterior, and are used for pickling. The walnuts themselves ripen within the outer flesh, and are hard, pale yellow, each containing a much divided embryo plant, which is rich in oil and delicious to the taste. The cotyledons lie on either side of a thin-papery wall.
Nuts are seldom borne before the tree is twenty years old, and do not ripen every year. Germination is hypogeal, and compound leaves are borne right from the start. The young trees appear to grow best if cut back a year after planting to the last few buds above ground; they throw out vigorous new shoots. A light- demanding tree needing rich soil. Wood of great value for rifle- stocks, being resistant to warping when well seasoned. It is durable, and variable in colour, all shades of brown being intermingled to give beautiful figured effects. Veneers are in great demand for cabinet work, and the smaller-sized material is sawn or turned into attractive tableware.
Walnut wood is so useful and valuable that the cultivation of the tree as, or in, plantations would be justified in southern England the fruit is unlikely to form an economic crop. The Black Walnuts, closely allied. Heights up to 100 feet, girths up to 14 feet, have been attained by Black Walnuts grown in Britain.
The list of park trees of timber value is necessarily short, as the planters of pleasure grounds had little or no thought for the economic value of the trees they used. Although a wealth of species have been imported from distant lands for the sake of beautiful flowers, fruit, or foliage, the useful forest flora of foreign Broadleaves is sparsely represented in Britain.
The future may see a change, but at the present time it may be said that, apart from the maples and the poplars, all the broadleaves grown here for timber are of native origin. Most of the park trees have been introduced from abroad. There is no reason to suppose that introduced broadleaves, grown in plantation, may not be just as successful as introduced conifers, provided careful attention is paid to questions of soil and climate. The possibilities are vast, and so far have been little explored.
Possible combinations of beauty and utility are seen in such trees as Catalpa bignoniodes Walt. (Bignoniaceae). This quick-growing American tree is planted in southern gardens for the beauty of its heart-shaped leaves and white trumpet-shaped flowers; in its homeland it is used for railway sleepers. The Australian Eucalypts are grown in England for ornament only, but timber-producing species face the severer climatic of the Australian Alps, and some have been successfully introduced into Italy. The experimental planting of the hardier species of these and similar foreign broadleaves may enrich our woodlands and increase our potential timber resources.
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