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The Forester
Being Plain and Practical Directions for the Planting, Rearing, and General Management of Forest Trees by James Brown, Forester, Arniston (1847)


Having, for the period of fifteen years, had my attention almost entirely devoted to the rearing up and cutting down of forest trees, I have during that time seen much to convince me that arboriculture is not in that advanced state among us which its real importance demands.

The present improved condition of agriculture is the natural result of the great attention paid to that science by the landed proprietors and farmers of Great Britain during the past twenty years; while, upon the other hand, the proper management of plantations has been almost entirely neglected, and this mainly because landed proprietors have not had their attention and interest directed towards the subject.

Many of our home woods are rapidly dying out, as if by consumption ; yet the cause does not appear to be known among those who have the management of them: and, seeing this state of things, it appears to me very evident, that until noblemen and gentlemen shall become as truly practical foresters, as they now are practical farmers, we cannot reasonably expect to see our home plantations exhibit the extent and healthy development which it is most desirable should characterise them. I am anxious that the spirit of improvement should be aroused among our landed proprietors, relative to arboriculture: and at the same time I am of opinion that it is necessary, in order to the gaining of this end, that all proprietors should be made acquainted with practical forestry, and that upon the most improved principles. It is with the hope of promoting such knowledge that I am induced to publish the present work: and I have been further encouraged in compiling it by the fact that many extensive landed proprietors in Scotland have invited me to visit their plantations, and report upon them for their future guidance ; and by my having constantly found the gentlemen who have thus honoured me with their patronage as a forester, most anxious to be made acquainted with the practical details of arboriculture. I am therefore led to hope that this little treatise may be both acceptable and of service to them.

Arniston, November 1847.


Chapter I.
Value of Land under a Crop of Wood.—Laying out of Ground for New Plantations.—Fencing and Inclosing of Ground for Young Trees.—Preparing of Ground for Young Trees.—Draining of Ground for Young Trees.— Laying out of Roads in New Plantations.

Chapter II.
Season of the Year best adapted for Planting Operations— Distribution of Young Trees, so as to suit the different Soils and Situations in a New Plantation, and Habits and Peculiarities of the various Species.—Different Methods of planting Young Trees, as practised by Foresters.— How to choose young Forest Trees, when buying them from Public Nurseries.—Utility of Proprietors having their own Home Nurseries.

Chapter III.
Manner of proceeding with Planting Operations.—Expenses of laying down Land under New Plantations. The Keeping of Trees in a Young Plantation clear from Grass and Weeds.—The Nature and Necessity of thinning Plantations.—The Nature and Practice of pruning Plantations.

Chapter IV.
System of thinning and rearing np of Fir Plantations.— System of thinning and rearing up of Mixed Hard-Wood Plantations.—Rearing up and thinning of Oak Plantations.

Chapter V.
The Management of Oak Coppice-Wood.—Cause of Disease among Larch Fir Plantations.—How to find the Value of young Plantations and of full-grown Timber Trees.—A few practical Remarks relative to the Manner in which "Wood ought to be prepared for Public Sale.

Forestry: Yesterday, To-Day, and To-Morrow
By Sir George L Campbell of Surcoth, Bt. (1947) (pdf)

Farm Forestry
By J. H. Milne Home, F.H.A.S., Irvine House, Canonbie (1921) (pdf)

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