16 JANUARY 1948, Page 18

Tree Fuel Most of us in these days, especially rural

householders, are personally interested in the subject of wood-fuel ; and a great many people are asked to buy ill-burning wood at an exorbitant price. What sorts of wood are not worth or most worth buying ?. Personally I am in favour of elm, if ash or beech or any fruit tree wood is not available, but the established rhyme on the subject does not agree. A version quoted in an admirable tree anthology published- by the Society of -the Men of the Trees (from Abbotsbury, Dorset) even exaggerates the condemnation

of elm, thus: o Elm wood burns like Churchyard mould E'en the very flames are cold.

Now I have been burning very dry elm roots (as well as other elm) and they burn like candles with much hot flame. I see that De La Mare appropriates in one pleasant lyric the praise of ash: Only the Ash, the bonnie Ailt Burns fierce while it is green.

To my thinking, Laburnum and Thorn both excel it in the green state.