This unanimous verdict is worth the attention of British afforesters.
The Government, of course, is doing a good deal. The new fir forests at Thetford are a cheery sight ; and the subsidiary small holdings connected with them are almost as interesting an experiment as the tree-planting itself. The practical carrying out of the scheme has been economic, economical and skilful. That is granted ; but has the imagina- tion of landowners, farmers or governments reached out to the various possibilities of planting trees as a paying crop ? It is, of course, a sound national step to plant forests on Norfolk sands or catchment heights not available for lesser crops. But may it not be wise to try trees in many less barren places ? Numbers of wet meadows as well as swamps call for the scientific planting of willows. An osier bed may be made to yield £15 an acre a year and the cricket willow returns a yield that is almost a fortune to anyone who can wait sixteen years or so.. I knew one farmer who paid for the whole of his farm out of some neglected willows growing along a ditch, thanks to the accidental discovery that the variety was salix caerulea alba, possessing the peculiar long and soft fibre that fills the Hobbses with their highest joy—" the feel of a perfect Rimer,"