Trees should be set out along every road for shade. In addition, the farm lanes can be lined advantageously with fruit or nut-bearing trees that will bring money to their owner and add to the attractive appearance of his surroundings. Objections may be made in some localities to placing trees along a public road, because their shade would tend to make it wet and muddy. If such conditions exist, the fault is in the road, and not in the trees; there are some very muddy highways along which nothing has been planted. Although a row of trees may retard somewhat the evaporation of moisture at the surface of the roadbed, .it the same time they drain its foundation by the rapid absorption of water through their roots. When a roadbed is properly constructed, drained and ditched, the trees will do no harm; on the contrary, they will furnish a grateful shade to the traveler, and prevent dust without creating mud.
There are roads along which no trees are allowed, because some resident argues that the sun is needed to dry up the mud and sloughs which in spring make traveling slow and difficult. But in summer the sun-baked mud is pulverized under the wagon wheels, creating clouds of dust that are worse than the mud. With a well-built highway, shaded by trees, both of these nuisances would be avoided. Even a poor road will permit of one row of trees, which should be placed on the south or west side, as its direction may require, to temper the heat of the afternoon sun.
One of the finest, smoothest roads in the State may be found in the Adirondack forest -from St. Hubert's Inn to the Ausable Lakesó; and yet it is well shaded by trees that meet overhead, shutting out the sun except where the road is flecked with light that streams through the small openings in the leafy cover. But this road was constructed in proper shape, and of suitable material.
Some States -noticeably New York and Massachusetts -- have made large appropriations recently for good roads, and these annual expenditures will not only be continued but will probably be increased. With the money thus provided long lines of stone highways with perfectly drained roadbeds have been constructed, and with each succeeding year man)- more miles will be finished. We are entering on an era of good roads. Hut the good work of the road-builders will not be complete until trees are planted at proper distances on each side of the highway. In his Annual Report for 19O1, Hon. Edward A. Bond, State Engineer and Surveyor (New York 1, states that the actual cost of 134 miles of stone macadam roads was $7,955 Per mile. Now it takes trees to plant each side of .1 highway for one mile; and the cost of the planting will be less than two per cent of that of the road construction. Having expended over $7,000 on the roadbed, there surely should be no objection to paying $150 more in order to have a cool, shady driveway. Of course, "dirt" roads have been constructed in some localities under the Good Roads Law at ,1 much less cost per mile; but the argument still holds good, in that the work will not be complete until the trees are planted. Why not amend the law so as to include the tree planting?