18 JULY 1931, Page 14

Ash is well on the way to become the most

valuable of all timbers. The need of it for aeroplanes (in lieu of " heart of oak " for ships) has already begun to transform the appear- ance of the scenery in parts of the New Forest, newly afforested to this end. But its uses are widely spread ; and it is greatly preferred before all other woods for those tall-backed many-barred chairs that adorn many a farmhouse and cottage, and consort well with a rush seat. It falls in with the fashion for light woods. So much afforestation in these days consists wholly of conifers (some, as Words- worth complained of the larch, hostile to the English scenery) that one wonders whether those most common trees, ash and sycamore, are not too much disregarded. Incidentally, is it for want of good ash or for its own peculiar virtues that beech begins to be used even for such bent purposes as a tennis racquet ?

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