This section is from the book "Economic Tree Planting", by Birdsey Grant Northrop. Also available from Amazon: Economic Tree-planting.
Experiments are now in progress to fix the dunes or sand hills which threaten the Suez Canal, by planting the maritime pine and other trees. Last summer I visited the celebrated forest of Fontainbleau, in France, which covers an area of sixty-four square miles. The soil of this wide tract is composed almost entirely of sand, and apparently as dry as the sand plains of Wallingford. Jules Clare, a student of forest science of world-wide fame, says: " The sand here forms ninety-eight per cent. of the earth, and it is almost without water; it would be a drifting desert but for the trees growing and artificially propagated upon it." What has been done with signal success at Fontainbleau shows the practicability of reclaiming the worst deserts that can be found in our State. Many other facts might be cited were it necessary, both from home and foreign fields, to prove the feasibility of this plan of reclaiming sterile lands. If one is to be commended who makes two blades of grass grow where but one grew before, how much more the farmer who makes forests thrive where nothing now grows.