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5. The ash is a very hardy tree, and does not require any great depth of earth for the roots; it is often seen growing among rocks on the side of a mountain. Beautiful in itself, it adds beauty to the wild and solitary places of the earth.
compact, close. implements, tools. attached, fastened. husbandry, farming. scattered, spread about. require, need. penetrate, pierce. solitary, lonely.
What is the appearance of the bark of the ash? When do the leaves of the ash appear? When do they fall off? What are the seeds of the ash called? Why? Name a flower which has winged seeds. What do they look like? Where are very fine ash trees often seen? How did the seed get to such places? For what purpose is ash timber much used ?
No. V.—THE FIR.
1. Of all the trees which are used for timber by man, there are none which are so generally useful as the various kinds of firs. They often form extensive forests, and grow abundantly in most of the colder parts of the temperate regions of the earth, clothing the sides of the mountains, and sheltering the valleys from the cold winds.
2. It is from the kind of fir called the wild pine, or Scotch fir, that we get the well-known wood named deal. Light and soft, it is easily worked; and being sufficiently durable for all ordinary purposes, it is much used by the carpenter for the joists and floors of our houses, staircases, window-frames, doors, shelves, and for many articles of common furniture.
3. The Scotch pine grows on the hills of that part of Scotland called the Highlands, the northern por
tion of our island; on the wilds of Yorkshire; and, in fact, in any part of the country which is sufficiently bleak and exposed.
4. It thrives best in the coldest and most unsheltered situations. Though called by a different name, the Scotch pine also thrives on the mountains of the continent of Europe, and grows in vast
forests in Germany, Russia, Norway, Sweden, and North America. From Canada in North America, Sweden and Norway, many hundreds of thousands of deal planks are yearly sent to this country.
5. The fir trees are sawn into planks near the spot where they are felled or cut down, by the aid of the water-mills, which are built on every convenient stream. Firs are among those trees and shrubs which are called evergreens; that is to say, they do not lose their leaves during the winter.
6. The branches, covered with small leaves like points, have somewhat the appearance of large feathers. They are of a very dark green colour. Fir woods, when seen at a distance, appear to be almost black. The seeds of the fir are inclosed within the cone, hundreds of seeds lying neatly packed inside the hard shell.
7. Firs usually grow tall and straight, and make the best masts for our large ships. Turpentine, the liquid which is so much used in mixing oil-paints, is obtained from the fir tree. The juice flows from the tree, and is collected into troughs, from whence it is put into casks, ready for shipment to those countries where it is wanted. Pitch and tar are also products of the fir tree.
extensive, very large. thrives, grows well. abundantly, plentifully. convenient, fit. regions, parts.
products, things made. suf-fi-cient-ly use-ful or-di-na-ry con-ti-nent ap-pear-ance val-leys sit-u-a-tions tur-pen-tine
What is deal? What does the carpenter make of deal? Where does the Scotch pine grow? Why are firs called evergreens? Of what are the masts of ships made? Whence is turpentine obtained?
1. There are other trees, now common in England, which we should endeavour to become acquainted with. One of the most beautiful is the fine spreading horse-chestnut, frequently grown near gentlemen's houses. It has a large broad leaf, and in the month of May the branches are decorated with numbers of spikes of flowers, each of them six or eight inches long, of a white colour tinged with pink.
2. In the autumn a prickly green ball, which contains the seed, falls from the tree. If you open one of them you will find a chestnut inside, which is bitter to the taste. It is not an eatable chestnut. It is sometimes given to horses as a medicine, and hence is called horse-chestnut.
3. The eatable fruit grows on the Spanish chestnut, which is a large timber tree. The wood is close-grained and hard. There are a number of Spanish chestnut trees in Greenwich Park. In the South of Europe chestnuts are used as an article of food by the poorer people, and even made into bread.
4. There are several kinds of willow trees, and some of them, there can be no doubt, are natives of England. All the willows like moisture, and grow best in damp places. Amongst them the white willow grows to the largest size.
5. It has a narrow gray leaf, and is very common by the sides of streams and rivers. The wood of this willow is very white; it can be made very smooth, and on account of its cleanly appearance is often used for making vessels for holding milk.
6. The osier is a kind of willow, common in low places, which are occasionally covered with water. It has long slender branches, and is cultivated for the use to which these are put in making baskets. All the common baskets are made of osiers. There are some small islands in the middle of the Thames which are covered with these trees.
7. Some of you have seen the palm which is gathered for Palm Sunday. The palm tree is a native of hot countries, and does not grow in England. The branches called palm which are used here, are a kind of willow which comes into flower very early in the spring, before its leaves have come forth.
8. The weeping willow is the most graceful of all the willows. Usually planted by the side of pools, rivers, and streams, its long slender branches often hang down into the water, and in damp misty weather, drops of moisture are sometimes seen falling from the ends of the leaves.
acquainted, familiar. cultivated, grown. decorated, ornamented. moisture, damp. spread-ing chest-nut
0-si-er ting-ed fre-quent-ly Oc-ca-sion-al-ly gath-er-ed
Where may chestnut trees be seen? What kind of leaf has it? Where does the eatable chestnut grow? Where do willows grow best? Which is the largest? What is made of the wood of the willow? Of what are common baskets made?