Growing oak trees

The Dutchess of Rutland received the gold medal of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, for experiments in raising oaks. After five several experiments, her grace is of opinion that the best method is "to sow the acorns where they are to remain, and, after hoeing the rows two years, to plant potatoes, one row only between each row of oaks, for three years. The benefit to the oaks from planting potatoes is incalculable; for, from the said experiments and from others made at the same time, and with the same seedling oaks, planted with a mixture of larch, spruce, beech, birch, and other forest trees, and also with oaks only--in all cases she has found that potatoes between the rows are so superior to all other methods that the oaks will actually grow as much the first four years with them as in six without them. "It appears," she observes, "that the great secret in raising plantations of oaks is to get them to advance rapidly the first eight years from seed, or the first five years from planting, so that the heads of the trees are completely united, and become a smothering crop; after this is effected the trees will appear to strive to outgrow each other, and will advance in height rapidly; they will be clean straight trees, to any given height: experiments have proved the fact, which may be verified by viewing Belvoir."

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