This section is from the book "Tree Planting For Timber And Fuel", by C. B. Mcnaughton.
What to plant is a question which must depend, apart from suitability to the factors of the locality, on the objects of the plantation. These objects I assume, would comprise :—good serviceable building timber, durable posts and fencing material and a fuel supply. Possibly to a farming community such as that in Oudtshoorn the matter of posts and fencing material may prove the most important.
In the selection of species, probably suitable to the locality, I have endeavoured to keep these objects in view while confining my selection to as few varieties as is expedient. I now give a list of these selections and under each species have added a few notes on its more important characteristics which may be of interest to those entrusted with the final selection, and to the list itself is appended a short grouping of the species under the heads of their more important economic uses.
Thrives best in moderately moist stituations near the coast and prefers a rainfall of 30 inches to 40 inches. Is somewhat susceptible to prolonged drought especially when young but is frost resisting to a great extent.
Has been successful in Oudtshoorn where the average rainfall is under 10 inches with a little irrigation and has proved itself as hardy as Blue Gum.
The tree is of rapid growth and attains enormous dimensions. The timber is excellent for general purposes though it is not as lasting under ground as some other eucalypts.
Will probably prove very successful at Rust- en-Vrede if planted in any but the driest localities, provided that a little watering in early youth is possible.
A tree of medium to large size, usually of erect growth and even trunk, the Red Ironbark is one of the very useful eucalypts. The foliage and blossom are quite distinctive and of very pleasing appearance. The tree endures a minimum temperature of I6°—20° Fahr. and a maximum of 110°— 112°.
A description of the timber, etc., has already been furnished the Council with the identification of a specimen some 24 years old now growing at Oudtshoorn.
Though somewhat slow growing compared with some of its congeners it is to be recommended and will prove valuable at Rust-en-Vrede, as it may be planted on the drier localities.
This is undoubtedly one of the most generally useful of the eucalypts, and one of the hardiest.
A full account of the tree by the writer appears in the Agricultural Journal, Vol. XXI., No. 6, pp. 567-588.
It should not be neglected at Rust-en-Vrede.
Attains a fair size, from 75 to 100 feet, and is commonly symmetrical and erect. Is usually of fairly rapid growth, though not quite that of E. globulus. This tree will grow in a variety of climates, and while preferring moisture will endure great drought. It will endure a maximum summer temperature of 110°to 115° Fahr. and a minimum winter temperature of 20°-25°.
It is one of the most generally useful of its species. The timber furnishes excellent fencing poles and railway sleepers, being very durable under ground. It warps little in drying, and when dry is very hard. It is much sought after for the naves and felloes of wheels.
This tree attains a good size under favourable conditions. It is of fairly rapid growth, probably two-thirds of that of E. globulus. It is usually of straight habit with even boles when grown in group. The species thrives under a great variety of climatic conditions, and will withstand maximum temperatures of 110°-112° Fahr., and minimum temperatures of 15°-20°.
The timber is hard, heavy and durable, of a red colour. It is specially to be recommended for outdoor work. In the Victoria Colony it is placed at the head of its commercial timbers.
This tree attains a height of about 100 feet and a diameter of 2—3 feet. The trunk is usually very straight and non-tapering. The species thrives under many climatic conditions, and endures maximum temperatures of 110°-118° Fahr., and minimum temperatures of 18°-20°.
The wood is highly prized in Australia, being hard, tough, and elastic, of reddish colour, and extremely durable. It is used for posts, piles, and for other purposes, where timber has to be placed in contact with ground; for wagon making and a variety of other technical purposes.
This tree, a native of South Europe and temperate Asia, has already been successfully introduced into Oudtshoorn. It does not thrive on calcareous soils, and is said to be unable to grow in those with a 4 per cent. lime percentage. It prefers deep, loose, well-drained soils, and while it will grow in moist localities here, developes heart-rot at an early age.
The timber is light, cross-grained, strong, elastic, and exceedingly durable, and is specially prized by carriage builders.
In the wine districts in the Cape Colony this species has an exceptional value, especially where espalier cultivation of the vine has succeeded the old dwarf stock as a result of the graft system of propagation which has followed or been necessitated by phylloxera devastation. This value consists in its wonderful coppicing capacity and very rapid production of extremely durable poles. In Upper and Lower Elsass the species is largely cultivated as coppice forest, with a rotation of 12 to 16 years. Poles are produced 20 to 24 inches in circumference at the butt and 36 feet long. These poles are used mainly as vine props, though they produce excellent staves, and will last it is said twenty years in the ground and another ten with repointing. The yield per acre is enormous. In the Algemeine Foret und Jagd Zeitung (September, 1896), Mr. Hallbauer gives an account of the treatment. It is found that the best results are obtained by planting out in lands which have been cultivated for two or three years. The seedling plants are cut down to a stock at an age of 6—8 years, the produce being then used principally as firewood. (The Chestnut is difficult to transplant in many cases, and is best raised in situ). The coppice reaches maturity at from 12—16 years, and is then cut over and the stools allowed to recoppice. As the chestnut is very shadebearing careful thinnings are always necessary.