In towns and cities the trunk of every tree, whether young or old, newly planted or of full growth, should be enclosed to a proper height in wire netting of a small mesh. Unless this is done, or some similar precaution taken, it is not worth while to plant. The necessity for some such protection is readily apparent on examining trees from the curbstone side, and observing the large number on which the bark has been gnawed by horses. There is a feeling akin to pity when one notes the patient, repeated efforts of the tree to repair the injury —how it tries each year to cover the wound with new wood and bark, only to have it torn and widened by some fresh attack. It is wasted time to discuss punitive measures as a remedy for this evil. The horse is not to blame; and any law for the prosecution of the driver would be practically inoperative. A more sensible way would be to protect the tree by some of the simple, inexpensive devices which are available. All of the trees in Washington are protected by wire screens, of a huge mesh, wrapped around the trunk. But this, in turn, will never be done until the cure of the trees devolves upon the city authorities or a tree-planting society invested with necessary powers. The man in a rented house will not invest a cent to protect the tree in front of his residence, and the landlord cares nothing about it so long as he gets his rent.
Metallic Frame For Young Trees.
Ornamental, durable and inexpensive.
The erection of electric wires for telephone service, trolley lines and illuminating purposes, is a prolific source of injury. It is a disputed question whether electricity itself does much harm: in fact, a mild current may be beneficial to trees as well as men. Prof. Stone states that, as shown by experiments, the alternating current is less disastrous to plant life than the direct current, and that either, when used at a certain strength, will accelerate growth and strength.* The injury from the current is mostly local, being confined to points of contact; and this can be largely prevented by a complete insulation of the wires. But the mutilation or destruction of trees caused in the stringing of the wires is another matter. This evil can be prevented by the village or town authorities, unless a right of way has been granted which gives the railroad, telephone, or electric light company permission to remove any obstruction that interferes with the erection of its poles and wires.