OCR Interpretation

The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, February 13, 1910, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1910-02-13/ed-1/seq-3/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 3

The San Francisco Sunday Call
Ben Blow
THE pleasure of going into the
open f.nds enhancement when ont
has some definite object In view,
and for the man who loves to be
out of doors there Js no more pleasing
study than that of our native trees. In
a book just published by Dr. Willis
Linn Jepson on the trees of California
there Is so much of Information put so
pleasantly that the n.an who goes forth
into the woods accompanied by It as a
vacation hand book can find not only
pleasure but profit In Its use. Doctor
Jepson. who Is a member of the faculty
of the University of California. Is an
authority upon the subject and his va
cations have largely been spent in the
wooded places of the state. Scarcely a
mining camp is there along: the uplift
of the Sierra with which he is not per
fectly familiar, while the lumbering
camps and towns along the upper coast
ere to him as an open book. Not only
has he brought to bear upon the sub
ject of which he writes the skill of the
long trained observer, but also he has
acquired the point of view of the man
who goes out in the woods to find sur
cease from toll, to get away from the
chains that bind him to his desk.
California, as a place for studying
the trees, is not excelled by any other
state. The national forests lying with
in its boundaries number 20 with a
total area of 27,968.510 acres, far in ex
cess of any other state or territory.
Alaska coming next with 26.761.626
acres set aside by the government.
Among the most important of these na
tional forests are the Sequoia forest
with headquarters at Hot Springs,
which comprises an extent of 3,079,942
acres; the Cleveland foicst near San
Diego, with 2,236,178 acres; the Kla
math forest near Yreka, with 2,094,467
acres; the Santa Barbara forest near
Santa Barbara, with 2.027. 150 acres; the
Sierra forest near North Fork, with
1,935.C50 acres; the Tahoe forest, with
headquarters at Nevada City, which
covers 1,531,042 acres; the Shasta for
est around Mount Shasta, which has
:. 734,718 acres: the Trinity forest near
Weaverville. with 1.534.533 acres, not
to mention the Modoc, Lassen. Angeles.
Plumas and Stanislaus forests, all res
ervations that comprise millions of
acres more.
In addition to these national forests
there are also the national parks to be
considered, the Yosemite with 3C5.000
acres, which includes the Incomparable
Yosemite and H«teh Hetchy valleys, the
tnain crest of the Sierra Nevada moun
tain? and the Tuolumne. Merced and
Xarfposa groves of big trees. The Se
quoia national park with 1G1.250 acres
has within its bounds the North Ke
y. (li forest. Giar.t forest. Cliff Cre<?k
gfoye^ H.-»rmon Meadow grove. Atwell
:\u25a0•• • <\u25a0- Lake Canon grove. Mule Gulch
- • •. Homer Peak forest and South
K'V'aU forest. Of these the Giant for
est Is especially notable on account of
the number and size of the big trees,
the beauty <->f the cone bearing trees
and Hie remarkable an.J imposing
grandeur of tlie. North Fork plateau
ai.d its surrounding gorges and lofty
peaks. The lust of these national
parks and the least 5s the General
Grant rational park, with an area of
only '2.Z".Q acr^s, situated in Fresno
and \u25a0 Tulare counties, which, however,
contains some splendid groups of big
trees, r.oi-.vithstanuing its diminutive
Parks and Monuments
Asid« from the national parks and
forests, there are so called national
monuments set aside by congress for
the purpose of perpetuating objects of
historical or scientific interest, the
main difference between the national
;>ark and national monument being
that the park is born through some
specific act of congress, while the
monument is established by executive
action of the president of the United
States and may be disestablished by
him in the same Informal way. The
national monuments in California num
ber four — the. Pinnacles in Monterey
county, 2,080 acres; Lassen peak in
Ehasta county. 1,280 acres; Cinder Cone
In Lassen county, 5,120 acres; Muir
woods in Marin county. 295 acres. By
far the most important of these monu
ments is Muir woods, the gift of Wil
liam Kent to the nation. It includes
Kedwood canyon on the south side of
§ Mount Tamalpais and is of enormous
value educationally because of its
proximity to thickly settled centers and
its ease of access, to say nothing of
national grandeur, which is almost In
In so far as the Calaveras grove of
big trees is concerned until recently It
tvas neither a national park nor a monu
ment, but in 1909 an act of congress
provided for the exchange of lands of
equal value for it and providing that it
shall be known as the Calaveras na
tional forest. This grove is famous all
over the world and too much credit
can not be accorded to those who have
kept the matter of preserving it to
future generations in mind until suc
cess crowned their efforts. Since 1862,
when it was discovered, thousands of
people from every part of the world
have visited it and no little part of the
lure that California has for travelers is
to be credited to this wonderful group
of gigantic trees. Aside from the
proves that have been parked by the
government and held secure from mo
lestation in California there is one state
park, the California redwood park,
which includes the Big basin of the
Santa Cruz mountains, with an area of
2.500 acres, purchased In 1901. This
park is truly a splendid acquisition,
being a mixed woodland of redwood,
Douglas fir. tan oak. black, oak and
madrona. and, together with Muir
woods, it forms the only place where
the redwood is preserved In its prime
val sanctity, to be forever undisturbed.
In so far as the food value of our
native trees is concerned, their worth
is a retrospective rather than a present
day one, few of them being regarded
as of any economic Importance in these
luxurious days, but in the times long
W'tst. when the native tribes owned all
cf. California, before the white man,
•pelling right and might the same,
pushed them into oblivion, the main ex
istence of a whole tribe was not In
frequently dependent on the harvest
from the trees. Probably the first in
value were the oaks, wnlch provided
their acorns in abundance, susceptible
of being easily harvested. The acorns
of the white oak trees were easily the
most desirable for food purposes, being
less bitter than those of any other kind.
And of the white oaks no other species
had such wide distribution or bore so
abundantly as the valley oaks, which
were regarded by the Indians so highly
that their villages were usually situ
ated in some such grove, and even
particular trees became the subject of
property rights in certain families.
The acorns of the valley oak are
large, but long and narrow, and the
kernel is sweet and palatable when
roasted. The^ usual method employed
by the Indians in utilizing them for
food purposes was to gather and dry
them, then, store them for the win
ter supply. These kernels, ground into
a sort of coarse flour, were made into
a soup or baked into a rough but nour
ishing bread. The live oak and the
California black oak also furnished
acorns that made an acceptable flour,
although leeching was required to rid
them of their bitterness. Tan oak
acorns were also bitter, but they ex*
isted in such quantities in northwest
ern California that the Klamath and
Eel river tribes depended on thera
largely for a winter food supply, and
even today squaws of the Trinity and
New River Indians can bfi seen grind
ins the acorns into Hour and leeching
them to take the bitter taste away.
The pines native to California that
bore large nuts also furnish food to
the Indians, a better food by far than
that supplied by the oaks, the most
important variety being the Digger
pine, which bore the largest nuts, al
though they were not so palatable as
those yielded by the one leaf pinon,
which exists upon the desert ranges and
the desert slopes both of the Sierra
Nevada and the mountains of southern
California. The Torrey pine also, the
Parry pinon, the big cone pine, the
sugar pine, the silver pine and the
white bark pines supplied nuts that
were and are today a source of food and
revenue for the Indian tribes, and when
the time for gathering the nuts came
around it was regarded and celebrated
as an event. In "addition to the oaks
and pines there were other California
trees that formed a food supply for
the Indian tribes, the large seeds of
the buckeye being made up into flour
which required much leeching to rid it
of its undoubted astringent properties,
but which after treatment formed a
fairly satisfactory article of food.
Among the desert tribes the pods of
the honey mesquite/palo verde, screw
bean and desert ironwpod formed an
important harvest, while the berries of
the blue elderberry and .madrona .were
acceptable as food wherever found.
The California nutmeg also was re
garded as a dainty by the Indians and .
eaten, after being roasted, more as a
relish than an article of daily food. ,
, The Giant Rearguards
By far the most Interesting of all
California trees is the redwood family,
the big tree (Sequoia gigantea) and
the redwood proper (Sequoia semper
virens). The biff tree- has its habitat
along the western slope of the Sierra
Nevada from Placer county southward
to" Tulare -county, a distance of 250
miles. It occurs only in groves that
are more or less disconnected, seeming
to be the rear guard of a vanishing:
race, as it undoubtedly is. North 'of v
Kings river" the groves are widely sep
arated, while to the south they might*
be said to form a continuous belt, for
there are scattered individuals that
bind the different clumps together al
most into a. chain. Commonly grow
ing on slopes, ridges or *> depressions
•where there is ample' moisture, it: may
be found existing upon almost barren
rock as in the Giant forest on the
Kaweah river, where there are. 800
trees spread over 500 acres that is al- .
most solid rock. Commonly; associated
with It in the groves are the white fir.
incense cedar, , yellow pine and , sugar,
pine, and its reproduction, while fairly,
satisfactory in' the southern gToves, Is ,
at^ standstill; north- of Kings river..
Th? extreme age of the Sequoia -big ,
trees, so far as , Is certainly known, : is '"
about 2,500 years, a century more or
less making little difference in. the face'
of ages upon 1 ages that have .passed
since first the seeds sent \u0084forth their ;;
shoots. >*2s6S '\u25a0-:"- '.'\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 "\u25a0'.:'
This statement as to age is far from
belng. guesswork, inasmuch : as; it is
derived from trees for commer
cial* purposes. •-\u25a0 Free": from branches " for
nearly 200 feet sometimes these trees.
stand up like monuments to unnum
bered ages that. have gone, dating back;;
500 years before the ; Ch ristian era; and %
gl virus: food -for much ;r thought'; on' theV^
changes. that have taken place beneath
the vast spread of their plume Ilka
crowns. The -wood, pink' when freshly
sawn, 'turns dark reel, and Is light .and
reasonably strong. For. durability, how
ever, it is equaled by hardly any. other
wood, as logs buried naturally show
scarcely any decay after hundreds of
The redwood proper, Sequoia semper
virens, is found along, the coast rather
than inland, and- while far- from being
as massive, a tree as. its brother big
trees it reaches : farther up .into .the
heavens,, attaining to an altitude of
about 350 feet, while the big trees
tower no farther than 250. The trunk
of the ; redwood sis from 2 to 16 feet
in diameter, which Is hardly worth con
sidering when compared to the diameter
of the Sequoia gigantea, which is from
5 to 25 feet through at some distance
above the ground.
In geographical distribution the red
wood reaches from southern Oregon
down to the San Lucia mountains, cov
ering a strip 450 miles: long 'and from
one to 40 miles wide, the main bodyjoc-.
curring in a well defined belt which be
gins in Del Norte. county and extends
to southern Sonoma county. : Below So
noma ;county the redwood is existent,
however, in detached -bodies- only,; be-,
ing found 'around' Mount: Tamalpais, in
the Oakland hills, in the Santa Cruw
mountains and in deep canyons in the
Santa Lucia mountains. Back of the
coast range the redwood occurs more
or less locally: around .Ukiah, Willlts,
Cloverdale and . on the . east side of
Howell mountain : in' the Napa range,
which is its farthest -invasion toward
the Sierras. On the> south fork of the
Eel river, the main stream of the Eel
river, Van Duzenrlver.Mad river, Red
wood creek, 'lower Klamath; and I Smith
rivers there \u25a0 are - magnificent ' grqves as
yet untouched by the ax • and existing
as they" have stood for more than a
thousand', years," giving - the * man who
cares to .wander fronv the; beaten, track
a chance to see. the' forest ;as
it .was growing only, a few hundred
years after tho birth of Christ.
Most Delightful Grove
Commercially little .need be said of
it, for the great industries
that have sprung: up and' calledjfor, the
investments of. millions .of -dollars 'are
evidence enough of its utilitarfan value.
In his discourse r on \u25a0'\u25a0 the'_trees ; of Cali
fornia .:Professor Jepson" declares' that
the.most;delightfuirßrove,rnet ,with by
him In all his travels is situate \u25a0 be
tween Usarand Cottonaby creek 'on i the
Mendocino -.\u25a0 hills that \u25a0 overlook '.the
ocean.' In almost V perfect 'preservation
they' stand onriittle/knolls'andlin small
swales arranged so openly; that all their
grandeur, 'and : 'their ' beauty"; Is ", f orj him
who would behold; 'And ! from an outing
standpoint the redwood groves of Marin
and Sonoma have' become; mosf. popular,
thousands of : persons " going* there"; for
their-' brief .respite ; from ;work;to| pitch
tents beneathvthe;branches;and;llve;out
in':the;open-in'the;Bhadow|of : the 'ages
that -the} old: trees v testify, to ; with -their
.vast? reaching.,- trunks and spreading,
plumy- tops'-'. - .-• \u25a0••.\u25a0;-'• j.-'v^ > -\u25a0'.*• t \u25a0\u25a0.'.., i*, : ;"-."-. v :
CThe' pines* .of ; California? form anjin
teresting^ group v of ."'trees fahdv a^valu
, the i state's ;C; C wealth*;^ perhaps J_ the J rarest
»of them' all' beingjthesilver'pine.iwhich
Professor jepsan's Book Tells~thc Wonder
Story of Our Woods from the Days
When They Supplied the Indians With
Their Food as Well asi Shelter
is found mainly in the Sierra Nevada
mountains at altitudes . which rang*
from s,sooto:B,ooo;feet Inthe-northto
11.000 ; feet , In the , southern stretches ; of
the - mountains. \u25a0, Reaching a : height ol
125 feet: sometimes with a diameter of
four feet ? at the .base, it ls;a -striking
tree with slender branches and some*
what "d.'ooplng- foliage and 4 thin, very
smooth bark,- sometimes checked Into
small squares. From a commercial
standpoint, however, the sugar, pine ,'s
the most important of; its family, being
a splendid I forest tree which reaches to
a ;'--.- height -, of 180 feet,: clear^; ; f rom
branches for almost the entire length of
its/ trunks and" surmounted ; by -a :flat
topped crown. In the main timber belt
of the .Sierra it is i a striking featuft
of the landscape wlth;its brown or red
dish: colorod bark, and while "it is
found ;,\u25a0 In f^th'eV coast; range -it Is very
scarce jthere,'. Its range In altitude being
between"; 3,soo and B,soo:feet.
Very similar to the: sugar' pine \u25a0 and
almost ;indistjngulshable : . from- it. ,In
certain .individual ;. trees Is the yellow
pine, vwhich^is, normally more resinous.
Growing,-' as . lt ; does, at a. lower altitude
than 'the sugar, pine.^it' Is .found"asso
ciated with ; . black ! oak.: incense i cedar
and white ; fir. - The; "apple" . pine, so
called,\which- has a very fragrant smell
when, lumbered,- is -nothlng^biit > a-high
grade "yellow > pine ; and ; can - hardly be
distinguished "from ; the j best grades tof
sugar.vplne. '- Perhaps; the ; most abun
dantUree.iriiCallfornia.'the yenow.pine,
Isi.partlcularly; 'characteristic:- of thfi
Sierra^ Nfvada;f attaining* ;its ; finest ; de
velopment, along i the; ridges; where; it
carpets "i the -ground , with l.its-] needles,
making la' soft and :\u25a0 pleasant'^ path » for
onej who r cares - to .wander Jamld| moun
tainTscenery/SSo manyjpinesithere^ar*
Ini California" 17J distinct, species -In all,
that 3l l! is ; no 7 wonder.- that : the^ average
fromltherother.j -The i most j peculiar ?oJ
aHithe'pines is' undoubtedly, tlielDlggeir
pine.; . It- grows^in^the dry; hot- foot
hills ;'and- sometimes; In Jgravelly-vafleys
• >\u25a0-,; f *• ..- ,\u25a0 .—\u25a0- '.- \u25a0 r \u25a0 \u25a0 . :\u25a0\u25a0'-•-.'\u25a0-.•...• jr.. i-i - \u25a0\u25a0!
ranglng ,-from. the Tehachapl to- the
canyon'; of -the' Sacramento , river, al
ways occurring as > a scattered growth.
Another pine ; of somewhat ' similar type
Is ~ the ; .Torrey - pine, ' which \u25a0is a • low, -
sprawling tree^ confined almost exclu
i slvely tto ..'the \ /of ".' San?
Diego, '/although 'Occurring on Santa
Rosa island ;of£ f the; coast;. . " ;
:'•':\u25a0' • The'orie '.leaf : plnon,\ commonly called
nut pine,* frequents rocky, slopes or arid
ranges and.Jwlth;. the -Digger; pine;: fur- ;
nuts of ; any of Its
cies > ; and .is | much '£ sought by. > the ; In
dians as an ; artlcle of food. Asidejfrom
these * pines* ;;• mentioned there i are ! the ''
white * bark? pine/1 the \u25a0•limber- pine," the "
\u25a0foxtail" pine,:' -the; hickory'", pine. -> t the \u25a0
\u25a0 Jeff reyjplne," the .beachpine; the tamarac j
" plne^theblg cone; the; Parry. pinoh, : the
ißishop'sPlne.f Monterey,* pine 1 ; and fknob :'
~i cone pine* whichfare mbreor less wide-;
1 ly "spread I over.: all; of Calif ornia and.will i
\u25a0^eventually -become; of importance l'eco-"j
the desirable ; varieties,
-.arefcuttoff.' ..- - v " ',; 1... \u0084*'
tv 1 . Closely > allied .with; the pines ; are; the;
: flrsand;the r spr ices, "the Douglas flr^be->
''.-,'' .''_..*• \u25a0 \u25a0 - \u25a0"\u25a0 ."-\u25a0_•-.'"»
Ing a magnificent and valuable torct
tree which Is perhaps most- commonly
known under the name of Oregon pine.
It is without a doubt the most widely
used structural timber in the west and
from a commercial point of view la
enormously important. Its range is
wide, reaching from sea level to an al
titude of 4,000 feet and throughout the
north coast ranges it is found with
the redwood and tan oak. Next in im
portance, perhaps, is the tideland
spruce, which makes an excellent saw
log, as its grain Is straight and Its
wood is'soft and easily worked. Found
principally along the north coast It
extends north to British Columbia,
where It Is an important, part of the
national wealth, growing as it does to
a much greater size than in California.
The weeping spruce once seen Is never
forgotten, and is the easiest of all the
forest trees of California to distinguish,
its cordlike branches hanging • down
sometimes six feet and sweeping the
ground as they begin to grow almost
from where the trunk emerges. The
big cone spruce, the coast hemlock, the
mountain hemlock, the lowland fir, the
white fir, the red fir, the noble fir and
the Santa Lucia fir are also relatives of
the pine family of conifers. The last
named Is the most remarkable of all
the firs, being restricted In its habitat
to the Santa Lucia mountains, overhang-
Ing the Monterey coast, and being a pe
culiar looking tree, its narrow crown
tapering up like a steeple, while the
cones which^are borne in heavy clus
ters at the very top of the trees are re
markable for the long bristles whlch^
protrude from between the, scales.
15 Varieties of Oak
The oak. family is, of course, of such
Importance that there Is hardly any
need to mention its many uses aside
from that to which the Indians put it
as. a producer of food. There are in
California 15. different varieties of oak,
the best known; being the coast and
"interior live oaks, which are called in
discriminately live oak.- These are
splendid trees and . form a noble ad
junct to any landscape, looking at a
distance like great balls spread upon
the plains or -hills. In addition to the
live oaks there are the valley oak, the
mesa ' oak, the Oregon oak, the blue
oak, the island oak, the maul oak, the
scrub- oak, the leather oak, the deer
oak, the huckleberry oak, the Palmer
oak, the California black-oak and the
tan oak. '. Th»'rnost remarkable7among
the California oaks is the maul oak,
which supplies a " wood of undoubted
commercial .value that Is used for
mauls, whence it gets. lts name, wagon
parts, tool, handles, ship's knees, fur
niture and floors. The wood is remark
ably-close grained and is extremely
tough .and strong. Purely . from an ar
tistic'standpoint, however, the valley
oak," sometimes called the weeping oak,
is most noteworthy of all. growing as
it does in the deep alluvial soil of the
valleys and! being, practically the only
break in : the monotony of the far
stretching flats: The valley oak attains
Its finest development In the deep,
moist loam of the valleys and grows
to, be of a diameter of 8 to 10 feet,
forming a splendid- shade tree that is
distinctive, standing as It generally
does alone. The tan oak, so called be
:ause its bark is valuable and much
used by the leather tanneries, of-Call
• fornia, v which cons-ime - about 25,000
cords annually. In the use of the bark,
however, there Is much of waste, about
15,000 trees of different sizes being left
.to. rot each year, save fora very small
number that are used for firewood.
: The cypress family, including the
cedars, the cypress and the junipers,
makes up an Interesting group of trees
more or less valuable commercially.' the
Incense cedar being one;of the most
abundanftrees In _the main, timber belt
of "the Sierra, growing to"a- height of
125 feet and being of ; great, value for
\u25a0telephone poles", as It Is; extremely dur
able. \u25a0 The canoe -cedar also Is = remark
ably durable, being used in: the manu
facture'of i shingles and was, highly, re
garded by _the .lndians who ;made: their
huge war .canoes ; from a single log;
they utilized! the fibrous bark In weav
ing their clothing and the wood in mak
lng^household:implements. Of thecy
* press :• trees * the •._: Monterey ", cypress Is
noteworthy from the local nature of its
habitat,;': being; found -. only : along the
i- coast,' where - ; the^rough-; ocean" winds
form 41t'-into v-pe~cullar;v -pe~cullar; shapes. These
trees.V while .'forming 7 the basis . for ' a
" widespread- -belief , ; that 'they are. the
same as the biblical cedars of Lebanon
: because-of Itheir iresemblance. are in no
way.- related." being' a 'cypress proper,
while" the : cedars -; of . Lebanon are gen
iuine; cedars.'^ But -notwithstanding this
/fact^theTguidesiatv Monterey :are per
sistent iin -spreading*- the -popular story
; which Is' received .with 'so much Interest
by, the tourists.' I The California Juniper.
' the! desert Juniper • and - the] Sierra \u25a0 Junl
per belong to this family, the wood be- «
Ing hard and durable and of much valua
to the settlers for fence posts and fuel.
The lily and the rose family both find
representation among the California
trees, the former being represented by
the Joshua tree and the Mojave yucca,
which are well known to those who
have passed through the desert places
of California, while the rose family ap
pears in the mountain mahogany, the
Trask mahogany, the plum, the bitter
cherry, the western choke cherry, the
Sierra plum, the islay, a hollyllke
shrub, and the Oregon crabapple. The
willow family find 3 creditable represen
tation among the California trees, there
being tho yellow willow, the red willow,
the black willow, the arroyo willow,
the nuttall willow, the velvet willow,
all of them unmistakable and well
known trees, -while the poplars are ex
istent In the common cottonwood, the
black cottonwood and the aspen.
Few people not familiar with tree
lore would suppose that the blue and
red elderberry bushes belong to the
honeysuckle family, but such i 3 never
theless the case, while so called
desert willow is not a willow at all, be
ing comprised in the bignona family o£
deciduous trees and shrubs. The maple
family 13 well known, comprehending
the big leaf maple, the vine maple, the
Sierra maple and the boxelder. The
cactus family finds representation only
in one variety, the giant or suwarro
cactus, which has only recently in
vaded the state of California, coming
across the Colorado river from Arizona.
The palm family also Is restricted to a
single representative, the California fan
palm, which is so well known that it
need scarcely be dwelt on. The pea
family Is also a familiar part of Cali
fornia's landscape. it 3 most widely
known variety being the mesqulte. that
valuable desert shrub, which is closely
related to the palo verde. the smoke
tree and the. desert Ironwood, the last
of which is much used by Indians In
the making of their arrows. Hortlcul
turally the California black walnut is a
valuable tree, although it occurs too
sparingly to be valuable as a timber of
commercial importance. Used as it la
for a stock graft for the English wal
nut it contributes no little to the wealth
of California and so assumes impor
tance from a utilitarian standpoint
while being an imposing and. magnifi
cent shade tree.
Of the other trees that are native to
California the birches are Interesting,
comprising as they do In their family
grouping the white alder, the red alder,
the mountain alder and the thin leaf
alder, besides the water birch and the
scrub. birch, ea&h one of which is not
ably easy to discern when In flower, for
the catkins -which are so well known
and so much appreciated in the spring
make each member of the family dis
tinct from any other tree or shrub.
Representing the ash family are the
Oregon ash. the leather leaf ash, the
Arizona ash and the dwarf ash, none of
which 13 of any particular importance
either commercially or as a feature of
the woods and mountains, nor do the
sycamores amount to much. The Cali
fornia laurel is remarkable, however.
Growing to a height of 100 feet some
times It disturbs to a certain extent
the. preconceived notion of the unin
formed as to what laurel is. The most
noteworthy groves of laurel in Cali
fornia are found on the Eel river near
Camp Grant, -where there la for several
miles a growth of magnificent trees.
On the summit of the Berkeley hills the
laurel also grows in profusion, although
it does not attain a size that makes it
The Unique Madrona
Representing the arbutus family as
it does, the madrona -is one of the
most unique oZ California's trees. Its -
gnarled and . twisted body,, that seems
to writhe along the ground, suggest
ing' almost irresistibly a cripple
maimed by some tremendous accident.
Rarely symmetrical, the older the ma
drona grows' the more deformed it
seems to become. No other ' California
tree has 'figured quite so much In lit
erature -as the jnadrona and . many a
master painter's brush has traced the
sinuous outlines of the crawling trees.
Bret Harte with " all his wealth of
imagery has sung the madrona in
verse. With its crown of flowers and
Its mass of crimson berries, its bur
nished foliage and Its terra cotta bark
-it casts its charm on all. Scarcely a
man who has gone forth into the
-woods returns without being impressed
and bettered by his outing; in the
places where it grows, and irregular in
outline as it Is. It adds a piquant touch
to the unfolding landscape, gives new
boanties at every turn and vista of the
So ideal is the California . climate
that to touch upon each tree that
flourishes beneath, lts -wooing sun -would
scare: be possible. Long spreads of
lemon and orange groves, stretches of
olive \u25a0 and . almond, vistas of English
walnut trees are everywhere. The val
leys with- their old gnarled oaks, the
mountains /with their forests of sky
touching, trees, the foothills In between
each 'has Its lure. ea,ch spreads before
the ' one" who > loves the open .Its beau
ties if or him to make his own. and any
one \. who casts his chains 'aside' and
goes forth to find rest and respite-can
do no better than to; make a little in
timate study of, the, trees of ..California
and "; wander \u25a0on beneath the .'avenues
they make into oblivion of toll.

xml | txt