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Trees (Native British)

2 3 Charcoal created by partial burning with restricted oxygen to create a high temperature fuel is also mentioned, and was an essential ingredient of our industrial development. Huge acreages of woodland with suitable species were managed solely to produce charcoal for smelting metals. It is now mostly used as a smokeless cooking fuel for barbecues, other uses are noted in the book. As a landscape feature trees provide us with aesthetic profit, be it a lone Pine on the skyline or a well designed multilevel woodland with vistas and viewpoints, colour and atmosphere, where we can relax or contemplate. They transform our urban drabness with their shade, colour and habitat and as such will always be revered by us. Cascob, Powys Sycamore acer pseudoplatanus c. 1250 Walnut juglans regia c. 1400 Plane platanus orientalis c. 1580 Fir abies sp. c. 1600 Horse chestnut aesculus hippocastanum c. 1600 Larch larix decidua c. 1629 Cedars and Sequoias did not arrive until the 18th century passion for collecting exotic plants came to the fore. Trees at this time started to take a more important role in the landscape not just as boundary markers but as landscape design features. The continued survival of our trees is dependent on mans ability to gain profit from them. Commercially, they survive as plantations and woodlands, where they provide a most valuable resource, harvested by either coppicing cutting and allowing to reshoot from the stump, or felling and replanting. This way they supply us with wood for chairs to sit on and houses to live in, as well as material of infinite variety to create items of immense beauty, style and colour. Throughout time trees have kept us warm and reference has been made in these pages to the burning quality of each species a warm fire is good for body and soul, a damp smoky one doing little for either.
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