1. “On the beneficial Raising of Trees suited for Timber and Firewood,” by F. W. C Sturm.
I beg to make a few remarks on the production of a most necessary article of daily want, that is, Firewood and Timber, both of which this part of New Zealand at least will feel the want of in a few years, as our indigenous forests, such as are easily approachable, are rapidly disappearing. It is therefore necessary that provision should be made to guard against such a want; it is of course the duty of a Government, or those to whom the management of a State is entrusted, to provide not only for the present, but likewise for future generations' wants. It may be no easy task for the present Government to find blocks of land suitable, and of easy access, near the centres of population for such purposes, as nearly all, if not all the land in such localities is in the possession of private parties; if, therefore, our large land-owners would assist the Government, and set aside a few
acres for forest plantations on their lands, it would greatly enhance the value of their estates, and benefit both the present and a future generation. The expense of planting a few acres would not be great, and the benefit thereof would no doubt be very remunerative.
I will now point out a few varieties of such trees as are of rapid growth, and suitable for this part of the country, I will say from the sea coast to the foot of our mountain ranges, both North and South, from Napier (on hills), either under grass or slightly covered with fern,—the various sorts of pines, of which the seed could be sown where they should remain, without transplanting, such as Pinus austriaca, or Austrian pine, Pinus halepensis, Aleppo pine, P. maritima, P. lariceo, pinea, jeffreyi, insignis, sabiniana, torreyana, and ponderosa; various sorts of Gums, as Eucalyptus globulus or Tasmanian Blue Gum, Stringy Bark, etc., Robinia pseudo-acacia (the thorny acacia), a tree of rapid growth; the timber is very strong and durable, particularly suited for fencing-posts. Of the following varieties the seeds should be sown in nursery beds, and when one or two years old, transplanted; this would be more expensive than when the seed can be sown where the trees are to remain, but as these are of slow growth for the first year or two, the labour of keeping them clear of weeds in open plantations would be too expensive. The following would be suitable, and are of rapid growth after the first two years:—Abies douglasii, menziesii, and excelsa, Californian and European Spruce, Larix or Larch Pine, Ash, and Mountain Ash. The seeds of all those mentioned are cheap and easily obtainable. Cuttings of the Elm, Plane, and Poplar, which grow very freely, should be planted. The Alder, Almus glutinosa, is likewise of rapid growth and makes good timber, and is particularly suited for wet or swampy grounds. A mixed plantation of the various trees mentioned would yield a good return in twenty or twenty-five years.
I will now give the size and age of a few varieties of some trees in my grounds near Clive. All the trees are measured two feet above the surface of the ground, the seeds of all were sown by myself; dates taken from my diary.
Thuja knightii, 30 inches in circumference, or 10 inches in diameter; about 20 feet high; age, 3 years and 11 months.
Cupressus macrocarpa, 63 inches in circumference, or 21 inches in diameter; about 30 feet high; 10 years old.
Pinus maritima, 37 inches in circumference, or 12 inches in diameter; 26 feet high; 7 years old.
Pinus austriaca, 33 inches in circumference, or 11 inches in diameter; 18 feet high; 7 years old.
Pinus insignis, 46 inches in circumference, or 15 inches in diameter; about 40 feet high; 3 years and 11 months old.
Cryptomeria japonica, 29 inches in circumference, or 9 inches in diameter; 24 feet high; 7 years old.
Wellingtonia gigantea, 30 feet in circumference, or 10 inches in diameter; 16 feet high; 4 years old.
Eucalyptus globulus, Blue Gum, 3 feet 10 inches in circumference, or 1 foot 3 inches in diameter; about 60 feet high; 6 years old.
Platanus orientalis, Plane, 21 inches in circumference, or 7 inches in diameter; 3 years 10 months old.
Poplus dilatata, or Lombardy Poplar, 3 feet 7 inches in circumference, or 1 foot 2 inches in diameter; about 50 feet high; 9 years old.
The last two sorts were grown out of cuttings. In the measurement of the various trees I have omitted fractions.
2. “On the Ignorance of the Ancient New Zealanders of the Use of Projectile Weapons,” by W. Colenso, F.L.S. (Transactions, p. 106.)
Mr. Sturm remarked that he personally knew of the first introduction in (the East Coast of) New Zealand of the very toy-arrow described by Mr. C. Phillips in his paper, which took place at Poverty Bay in 1850, where Mr. Sturm was then (and for some time previous) a resident. In that year a young man,” who had been a great voyager and traveller, and who spoke several languages,” joined Captain Harris' whaling station party in Poverty Bay, and he first made there this toy-arrow for the Maori lads, and taught them its use—as a plaything. The idle Maoris took to the novelty (as they mostly do) and made many. Mr. Sturm had not yet seen Mr. Phillips' description of the toy-arrow, but fully described the same and its manner of use, offering, indeed, to make some of them, and his whole account closely agreed with the description given by Mr. Phillips, with one exception, that Mr. Sturm never knew of any set mark having been struck by it.
[Footnote] * See Trans. N.Z.I., Vol. X., p. 276.