On Trees suitable for Streets and Avenues.
The following species were stated by the author to be best adapted for this purpose:—Lombardy poplar (Populus fastigiata), elm (Ulmus campestris), lime (Tilia europœa), sycamore (Acer pseudo-platanus), Ailanthus glandulosus, Virgilia capensis, Acacia melanoxcylon. Mr. Hay also drew attention to the necessity of the Government taking action to prevent the wholesale destruction of forests by bushmen, and, also, that the timber should be cut in the proper season. Between April and August was, in his opinion, the best time.
Mr. C. O'Neill asked if it would be possible to acclimatize the jarrah tree in New Zealand. Such an introduction would be most valuable, in consequence of the great usefulness of the timber.
Mr. Gillies dissented from the views expressed by Mr. Hay in regard to the kind of trees which ought to be planted in avenues. He considered that evergreens ought to form by far the largest proportion. In reference to the conservation of forests, when they considered that every tree cut down now was the product of perhaps 100 to 200 years, they could form some idea of the scale on which planting ought to be carried on.
Dr. Purchas considered that for street planting deciduous trees were preferable to evergreens, although he would not object to see evergreens mixed with them. Some of the New Zealand trees might be preserved, but many of them could not resist the advances of civilization, and, like the native birds, would in time almost entirely vanish. It was a natural result, and they must
not bemoan it, but rather make preparations for filling their place with trees that would live and bear cultivation. He mentioned the district between Papakura and the shores of the Manukau as well suited for planting on a large scale.
Mr. Barstow said that the destruction of forests was owing more to fire than to the bushman's axe, and thought a law ought to be passed, inflicting penalties upon persons endangering forests by lighting fires. He did not think that the extinction of the native trees would happen with such rapidity as Dr. Purchas imagined, if ordinary care was used.
Mr. Lodder thought that the question of cutting timber out of season was a most important one. The Legislature should be asked to prohibit mill-owners from pursuing the practice. Under present circumstances it was impossible to procure timber the quality and soundness of which could be depended upon, and great loss was thereby occasioned, both to Government and to private individuals.
A vote of thanks was passed to the chairman for his address.