16 JUNE 1950, Page 19

Matchless Trees

On the subject of trees the Forestry Commission have just decided td put the poplars on the-map. .They have offered quite substantial bribei for the planting of this tribe in lines. The wood is desired by match= makers. I remember an American saying to me sententiously in the first war (when imports of the right wood had failed): " England is thd only country where they make „matches with asbestos sticks." I happen to have been engaged of late- ist ,cutting down, cutting up and splitting with wedges a number of various poplars planted as nurses, and havd been astonished at the length of the fibres and even their tensile strength. The logs from the split trunks have burnt rapidly with a clear bright flame. Incidentally these poplars have been cut down after the sap had begun to rise for the reason that by such timing you avoid the growt of innumerable suckers. I read the other day a bitter lament—and from a countryman—that his paddock became a wood after he had felled an elm. The undesired sequel would have been quite avoided if his large tree had been felled in late spring, when the bole was " in ti.n leaf." In general it may be said that all woods are useful for particulai• purposes, though a great number are still outrageously despised.