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In the fouthern counties timber is ufually fold by the ton of 40 feet, either naked, that is already fallen and divefted of its top, or ftanding; the buyer taking it down, and having the advantage of the top-wood, bark, &c. the timber (namely, every part exceeding fix inches girt, that is twenty-four inches in circumference) being measured after it is fallen.
In Yorkshire the prevailing practice is to fell the whole lot in the grofs, as it ftands; the buyer agreeing to take it down and pay a fum certain for timber, top-wood, and bark (we speak more particularly of Oak-timber), without any retrofpect as to quantity. This mode of felling faves fome trouble; and when timber ftands at a distance from the refidence of the feller, the bufinefs is agreeably fhortened: befides, he is not liable to be impofed upon by false measurement or other fraudulent practices. However, in other points of view, it is unpleafing and difadvantageous to the feller. The buyer being generally a profeffional man, and accuftomed to the valuing of standingtimber, can afcertain its worth with a great degree of accuracy; whilft the feller, unpractifed in the art of valuation, is under the neceffity of employing an agent in the bufinefs, at whofe mercy he lies, not only as to his judgement, but his honefty alfo.
In making a valuation of this kind, every tree is eftimated feparately, not only as to the quantity of timber it contains, but likewife as to its quality, or the ufe to which it is peculiarly adapted.
The method of felling depends upon two things: If the ftubs or ftools be intended to be kept alive for the purpose of throwing out coppice-wood, as. in Kent and Surrey, or for raifing a fecond crop of timber, as in Yorkshire, the trees ought to be felled high with a faw, leaving the ftools fix or eight inches above ground;-having great care not to ftrip off nor bruise their bark: but, if the ground be intended to be cleared, the trees ought either to be grubbed up entirely by the roots, or grubfelled, in the Norfolk manner; which is to cut off the roots close to the bottom of the ftem, leaving this entire, with a conical piece of root annexed to it; fo that this method gives more timber even than that of grubbing and afterwards cutting off the butts with a faw.
If the wood be intended to be Sprung again, the ftools ought to be freed from the timber and topwood before the young fhoots make their appearance, or great mifchiefs muft neceffarily enfue.
Under the article FENCES we have declared against a general fall of Hedge-timber. But in a Wood, where the trees ftand in contact with each other, a different conduct ought to be obferved; more efpecially if it be defigned to be re-fprung: for, in taking down the full-grown trees, the younger ftands will, in all probability, be crushed, or at least maimed; and if they efcape, they become injurious to the rifing faplings.
Befides, it is obfervable, that fingle trees, left in this manner, (diftinguished in Yorkshire by the name of Wavers) always receive a check, and generally
become stag-headed; either from a change of atmof phere, which takes place upon the removal of their wonted fhelter, or from a profufion of fide-fhoots, which, under thefe circumftances, are ufually put forth, and which confequently draw off a part of the fap from the top; or, perhaps, from the joint operation of thefe, two caufes.
Be this as it may, it is generally good management to clear away the whole to the ftub: the coppice-wood, or fecond crop of faplings, will generally rife to more advantage than the Waver, befides an incumbrance being removed.
The best time for taking down timbers in general is winter, when the fap is at reft: in this country, however, the Oak may be confidered as an exception to this general rule; for, notwithstanding the acknowledged fuperiority of the timber when taken down at that time, the value of the bark, which can only be ftripped during the rife of the fap, in the Spring, or about Midfummer, is perhaps more than a compenfation for the injury sustained in the quality of the timber.
The practice of barking trees, ftanding, and letting them remain upon their roots until the enfuing winter, has been ftrongly recommended; and has been tried in different parts of the kingdom, especially in Yorkshire. There is, we believe, no doubt as to the excellency of this method; but we are much afraid it will not readily be brought into general practice. The barking feafon is of fhort duration, and is generally a time of hurry and
buftling indeed, if the undertaking be large, dispatch is neceflary. The method of barking trees. as they ftand, is tedious in the first inftance, befides incurring what, we fear, will always be confidered as two troubles; namely, the barking and the felling. Nevertheless, the practice is highly recommendable to gentlemen who want to take down a few trees only for their own ufe; for although they are not, in this cafe, restricted by the general law relating to the bark, yet the value of the bark is too confiderable to be thrown away.
In Norfolk it is fold upon the tree at so much per load of timber, the tanners employing their own peelers, and taking all the trouble upon themselves. The price of the bark generally runs from onefifth to one-eighth part of the value of the timber; depending upon how the trees are bung, or furnished with branches.
In the fouthern counties, bark is ufually fold ready peeled, but in the rough; whilft, in Yorkfhire, it is generally chopt by the feller, and fold to the tanner by the quarter.
With refpect to Coppice and Underwood, the time of felling depends, in fome measure, upon the fpecies, and if that be Oak, upon the age at which it is felled. On the hills of Surrey, where it is ufually cut at feven or eight years old, for ftakes and other purposes, it is generally felled in winter; but in places where it is fuffered to stand fifteen or twenty years, for hop-poles, rails, &c. the Oak fhould be taken down in the barking feafon, not
only for the fake of the bark, but to guard against
Finally with regard to the training of fapling timbers, the care and management principally requifite lie in keeping up the fences, and weedingthat is thinning-the young plants from time to time. The oftener this is repeated the more profit will generally arife. It is well to endeavour to train those shoots which fpring from the lower parts of the stools; these being lefs liable to be fplit off by the wind than thofe which grow higher in other refpects, the conduct is much the fame as that recommended in the fection GROVES. The progrefs which those faplings will make depends upon the foil they stand upon: in ordinary fituations they will rife to about forty feet high, and fwell to timber girt (fay from twenty to thirty inches in circumference) in forty years