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

Use of larch timber

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The Larch is the great timber tree of Europe. Its wood is remarkably heavy, strong, and durable, exceeding in all those qualities the best English oak. To these, it is said to add the peculiarity of being almost uninflammable, and resisting the influence of heat for a long time. Vitruvius relates that when C�sar attacked the castle of Larignum, near the Alps, whose gate was commanded by a tower built of this wood, from the top of which the besieged annoyed him with their stones and darts, he commanded his army to surround it with fagots, and set fire to the whole. When, however, all the former were consumed, he was astonished to find the Larch tower uninjured.* The wood is also recommended for the decks of vessels and the masts of ships, as it is little liable either to fly in splinters during an engagement or to catch fire readily. (* Newton's Vitruvius, p. 40.)