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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/465

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THE SUMMER HEAT OF CITIES.

possibility of cultivating a large variety of trees in the streets and public places of large cities when the planting and cultivation is placed under competent authority. In our own country the cities of New Haven and Washington are examples of the successful cultivation of trees to an extent sufficient to greatly modify the summer temperature. Authorities on landscape gardening and forestry sustain the view that under proper supervision by competent and skilled persons a great variety of trees, shrubs, plants, and vines can be cultivated in the streets and public places of this city. Mr. Frederick Law Olmstead, to whom the city is so much indebted for his intelligent supervision of Central Park in its early period, warmly supported a movement to cultivate trees, shrubs, plants, and vines in the streets of New York. Dr. J. T. Rothrock, the very able and experienced Commissioner of Forestry of Pennsylvania, under date of October 10, 1898, speaking of the proposed plan of securing the cultivating trees in the streets of this city, remarks: "I think it an excellent measure, and I am sure that during the torrid season the more tree shade you have the fewer will be your cases of heat exhaustion. It is idle to say, as is often said in this country, that trees can not be made to grow in our cities. Under existing conditions the wonder is, not that trees look unhealthy in most cities, but that any of them manage to live at all. It is perfectly well known that the city of Paris has thousands of trees growing vigorously under such surroundings as the American gardener would think impossible. Two things are necessary to success—viz., first, the kinds of trees to endure city life must be found; and, second, select from among them such as are adapted by their size and shape to each special place."

Mr. Gilford Pinchot, of the Division of Forestry, Department of Agriculture, Washington, writes under date of December 2, 1898: "Street trees are successfully planted in great numbers in all of the most beautiful cities of the world. Washington and Paris are conspicuous examples. That such trees succeed is largely due to the great care taken in setting them out. The attractiveness of cities has come to be reckoned among their business advantages, and nothing adds to it more than well-selected, well-planted, and well-cared-for trees. On the score of public health trees in the streets of cities are equally desirable. They become objectionable only when badly selected and badly maintained."

In a recent paper on Tree Planting in the Streets of Washington, Mr. W. P. Richards, surveyor of the District of Columbia, remarks that, under the plan adopted, "tree planting has never been at an experimental stage" in that city. Washington was a city of young trees during the seventies, and in the spring of 1875 more than six