A TREATISE on arboriculture, in which, mingled with some extravagant sentimentalism, are many useful hints as to the growth of trees and forests. There can be no doubt that within the last 2,000 years a great amelioration has taken place in the climate of Central and Northern Europe. Varro speaks of the climate of the south of France as unfavourable to the growth of the vine or olive. Virgil describes the Crimea as subject to the rigours of an eight-months' winter; Diodorus Siculus narrates how whole armies crossed the frozen Rhine, Rhone, and Danube; and there is unanimity of testimony among other writers to the same effect. Dr. Schleiden attributes this change in the climate, to a great extent, to the destruction of forests when the country became more thickly peopled, combined, no doubt, with improved drainage. He points out, however, that disforesting may be carried too far, until it becomes positively injurious instead of beneficial. The judicious mean he believes to have been arrived at in England and Ireland, while in some parts of Continental Europe, especially Switzerland and the Tyrol, the almost entire destruction of the timber has caused a diminution of the rainfall to an extent very prejudicial to the crops. Another result in mountainous countries has been the constant accumulation of rain-clouds around the mountain-peaks, and consequent destructive floods and devastating avalanches. In confirmation of Dr. Schleiden's views, it may be stated that in some parts of India the drought has been so severe for several successive years since the destruction of the forests, that the Government has ordered the planting of an enormous number of trees.
Für Baum und Wald. Eine Schutzschrift an Fachmänner und Laien gerichtet.
Von Dr. M. J. Schleiden. (Leipzig: Engelmann. London: Williams and Norgate.)
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Für Baum und Wald Eine Schutzschrift an Fachmänner und Laien gerichtet. Nature 2, 234 (1870). https://doi.org/10.1038/002234b0