There is no sense in planting any of the trees that we commonly plant solely for shade, because they die too soon or get unsightly. If we need shade without delay we can build a veranda or summer house or transplant a big tree. And if we plant long-lived trees for other purposes the1 shade problem will be solved incidentally.
The English have an equally foolish passion for retaining old trees that are in the way, simply because they are old. "Most of us plant too thickly," says William Robinson, the trees "get too close and we neglect to thin them, the result being mouldy, close avenues, dripping, sunless groves, and dismal shrubberies".
Whenever our houses are made damp and mouldy by trees it is usually because trees with horizontal branches overhang them, so that there is no chance for air to circulate. The ideal tree near a house is an American elm, not the English, which is a most treacherous tree, dropping great limbs without warning. But the American elm seems doomed. This is too bad because we have no other tree that acts like an umbrella, leaving a generous space for air currents between roof and foliage. The wrong kind of tree to plant near a house is an evergreen, which sticks its arms into the windows, whereas the vase-formed elm arches protect-ingly over the house and makes the best possible frame for the home picture. A horse chestnut or other dense tree stops too much sunlight and air. The next steps in advance will be to make pergolas a part of the house, construct outdoor sleeping rooms, screen verandas, and use vines on flat roofs as the Italians do for shade.
• Weeping trees were reviewed in The Garden Magazine, Vol. V., p. 76.
Any one who wishes an inspiring new point of view toward -shade trees should read the chapter in the " English Flower Garden," called "Air and Shade".