The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Ornamental quality of birch trees

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Though perhaps too common in some districts of our country to be properly regarded as an ornamental tree, yet in others where it is less so, the birch will doubtless be esteemed as it deserves. With us it is a great favorite; and we regard it as a very elegant and graceful tree, not less on account of the silvery white bark of several species, than from the extreme delicacy of the spray, and the pleasing lightness and airiness of the foliage. In all the species, the branches have a tendency to form those graceful curves which contribute so much to the beauty of trees; but the European weeping birch is peculiarly pleasing as it grows old, on that account. It is this variety which Coleridge pronounces, "-Most beautiful Of forest trees-the Lady of the woods." And Bernard Barton, speaking of our native species, says, -"See the beautiful Birch tree fling Its shade on the grass beneath- Its glossy leaf, and its silvery stem; Dost thou not love to look on them?"