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Doctor in Medicine and Surgery, Professor of Special Cultures in the Central High School of Agricultural Engineers, and member of various scientific societies at home aud abroad. It treats of the organs, the physiology, the influence of atmospheric agencies, and the longevity and death of trees; it enters then on the consideration of all that relates to the culture of trees, and to the greatest possible extension of woodlands, with a view to aiding in which there is given a monograph on the culture required by each species; with notices of what is required in this in gardens, in pasture lands, in the open country, in parks, &c.; and the work concludes with observations on the utilisation and profitable exploitation of woodlands; and a recapitulation of the Spanish forestal legislation, which might affect or interest proprietors. The author states that he has throughout these lectures made use of the doctrines advanced in the work on the same subject by M. Du Breuil.
In 187i was published in Tarragona, under the leading title of Estudios Forestries—two volumes by D. H. Ruis Amado, Forest Engineer, treating of the forests in their relation to the necessities of the village population. The author held the rank of Forest Engiueer-in-Chief of the first class In this are discussed numerous matters pertaining to forestry. The work was held in high estimation, as was also the author, to whom was awarded a gold medal for its publication.
Interested as the authors of these several works were as professional men, in the professional work to which they were more immediately called, they saw, as enlightened patriots, that by them, if not also by all who engaged in a similar calling, the importance of replenishing divested forests, and creating an extension of the woodlands of the country, was being realised, as it had not yet been realised, by the mass of their countrymen.
Section 4—Studies Of Fourth Year.
In the fourth year of the student's curriculum, be is required to give attention to xilometry ; forest ordenacion, or forest partition and systematic exploitation on scientific principles; forest industries; the administration of law; and political economy.
Sylviculture, to which attention is given in the third year of the course of study, and xilometry and forest ordenacion, to which attention is given in the fourth year of that curriculum, all relate to the modern scientific exploitation of forests, which, devised and developed by Hartig and Cotta iu Saxony, in the beginning of the present century, has been introduced into Spain as into the other countries on the Continent of Europe, giving a character to the whole course of procedure in regard to forests, and the training of forest officials for the management of these.
Sub-Section 1.—Xilometry and Forest Ordenacion.
Xilometry comprises all that relates to the measuring of wood, and the principles involved in the application of this to trunks, boughs, and branches of growing trees, in ordor to enable the administrator of a forest to ascertain what cubic increase is being made by growth in each year, or decade, in the trees of a forest under his administration— that he may proportion to this the quantity of timber or firewood which may be taken from different compartments in it, it may be in different stages of growth and with varying degrees of vegetative vitality, with a view to insuring sustained productiveness. Ordenacion relates to the partitioning of the forest into compartments; with a view to successive thinnings of different extent, culminating in a final felling, which will leave only the trees reserved for seeding to ensure the natural re-production of the forest. And Sylviculture relates to the culture of seedlings, saplings, poles,and perches; the production of these by self-sown seeds; and artificial sowings or plantings required in the extension or creation of forests, or the replenishing of any which have become to a greater or less extent devastated, and of spots in self-sown re-produced forests, which from any cause may not have been covered with seedlings like the ground around; and to the treatment of the whole, till the cycle or revolution of re-production and felling has been completed.
In the conservation, culture, and exploitation, or profitable disposal, of forest products, considerable differences of practice exist. In Britain we hear much of gamekeepers; on the Continent of Europe we hear much of forest-warders; here the game, there the wood, is the object of conservation. In Britain we hear much of arboriculture; on the Continent we hear much of sylviculture: the former term I have told refers to woods and plantations, the other term to woods and forests; in the one case the unit is the tree, and the wood is considered as the collection of trees; in the other the wood is the unit, and the trees are considered only as its constituent parts. In the former, attention is given primarily to the sowing and planting, and pruning it may be, and general culture of the tree: nowhere, perhaps, has this arboriculture been carried nearer to perfection than it has been in Britain; and the effects produced by the resulting woods are wonderful. In the latter, attention is given primarily to the wood or forest as a whole, capable of yielding products which can be profitably utilized; and the result generally is to produce a much greater proportion of fine trees thau does even the arboriculture which has been referred to. And not less different is the exploitation of woods in Britain and on the Continent. In Britain the pecuniary returns obtained from woods is considered a secondary matter in comparison with the amenity and shelter which they afford; but on the Continent the material or pecuniary product is made the object of primary importance.
The arboriculture of Britain may seem to leave little to be desired; but nowhere, perhaps, are forests treated with greater recklessness than they have been in some of our colonies and dependencies. In India, however, and in some of our colonies, an endeavour is now being made to arrest the destructive practices which have prevailed, and to introduce a system of treatment of forests more in accordance with the advanced forest science of the day.
In the United States of America, and in Canada, there have been effected extensive clearings of forest lands, resulting in injurious effects upon the climate, and in a greatly diminished supply of timber, with no prospect of this being compensated by the subsequent growth of trees in the localities. And in some of our colonies extensive forests have been treated like beds of onions, leeks, cabbages, and turnips, in the kitchen garden. Trees deemed suitable for some purpose desired have been felled, others around them have been left standing, or have been cut down to allow of the felled timber being brought out; and the results have been scarcely less destructive than the forest clearings elsewhere. These results may be seen in what were once forest-lands in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope.
More than 200 years ago France was in danger of being entirely devastated by this system of jurdinage in the exploitation of forests, and in 1069 there was issued an ordinance—which soon became extensively famous, and is famous still—requiring the forests to be divided into a specified number of sections, one only of which should be exploited at a time, so as to allow time for the trees to be reproduced in each before all the others had been exploited in succession. The measure was not new, but was one likely, where adopted, to save not only France, but also other countries in Europe from devastation. Less than 150 years sufficed to show that this was a vain hope, for the reproduced forests were not equal to those which had been felled. And early in the present century there was devised, in Saxony, a more complicated, but a much more efficient method of exploitation, which is being adopted everywhere on the Continent of Europe. It has been introduced with most satisfactory results into the management of forests in India; and the adoption of it seems to be the only means available to prevent the ruin of forests in our colonies, which are now being rapidly destroyed.
In this also the forest is divided into a number of sections corresponding to the time required for the reproduction of the trees. But instead of exploitation being confined to one of these at a time, the supply of wood required is obtained from the felling of the trees in one or more lots, and from first, second, and third thinnings in others—all being so arranged as to secure simultaneously, and without prejudice to one or other of them, an improved condition of the forest, a sustained supply of products, and a natural reproduction of the felled forests by self-sown seed. And all these results are now being obtained by this method of exploitation. This may seem to be the ne plus ultra of forest management. But in its application to any forest the arrangement of details must be based on the knowledge of a number—of a great number—of facts in regard to that forest, and an ordenacion or arrangement of sections and divisions of the forest founded on these.
There was published in 1847 a resume of a treatise on forest taxation by M. Noirot-Bonnet, which had been published in France. It is a brochure of 129 pages quarto,entited Manual de la Tasacion de montes y bosquet, por Don Jose Maria Aniogua. It comprises eight chapters, under which respectively the author treats of: —1. The taxation of woods, with different tables for use in the valuation of them under different aspects. 2. Tables of cubic measurement. 3. The increase in cubic measurement of trees. 4. The taxation of different species, with regard to various systems of exploitations. 5. Of the general possible production relatively to area and volume. 6. The comparative quantity of material products. 7. The pecuniary return obtainable by these. 8. The produce, brought under exploitation by thinnings and successive fellings.