3 FEBRUARY 1956, Page 29


A friend asked me recently if I could offer

explanation for the fact that fir poles are !)'!en perfectly round while the trunks of, say, '1M, beech and elm are far from even and show ,.Pleat distortion in the rings. I am not very well C4P in the subject of the growth of timber and tV,rilYtsuggest that most conifers come from e;`klY planted woods where browsing cattle v7,nriot penetrate to rub themselves against the Cunig trees or eat the foliage. I think too, that w4hzel and ash poles are fairly symmetrical when they tire cut from a thicket. Beech and

elm trees are generally quite big before they are cut and they have by then been exposed to many years of sun on the southerly side and weathering on the northerly side. Plantation trees stand in ranks and are evenly protected except for those on the outer edges of the plantings. Certainly the fir poles one sees lying in heaps show a wonderfully even growth in their rings. If anyone who is an expert on these matters cares to give any further information I shall be happy to pass on a more satisfactory explanation. Irregular shapes in the sections of tree trunks may have some other cause than those that spring to mind at the moment.