Of The Sycomor
( Originally Published Late 1800's )
1. The sycomor, or wild fig-tree, (falsly so called) is, our album, acer majus, or broad-leav'd mas, one of the maples, and is much more in reputation for its shade than it deserves ; for the honey-dew leaves, which fall early (Iike those of the ash) turn to mucilage and noxious insects, and putrifie with the first moisture of the season ; so as they contaminate and mar our walks ; and are therefore by my consent, to he banish'd from all curious gardens and avenues. 'Tis rais'd of the keys in the husk (as soon as ripe) they come up the first Spring ; also by roots and layers, in ground moist, not over-wet or stiff, and to he govern'd as other nursery plants.
2. There is in Germany a better sort of sycomor than ours, (nor are ours i indiginae) wherewith they make saddle-trees, and divers other things of use ; our own is excellent for trenchers, cart, and plow-timber, being light, tough, and not much inferior to ash it self ; and if the trees he very tall and handsome, are the more tolerable for distant walks especially where other better trees prosper not so well, or where a sudden shade is expected : Some commend them to thicken copp'ces, especially in parks, as least apt to the spoil of deer, and that it is good fire-wood. This tree being wounded, bleeds a great part of the year ; and the liquor emulating that of the birch, which for hapning to few of the rest (that is, to bleed Winter and Summer) I therefore mention : The sap is sweet and wholsome, and in a short time yields sufficient quantity to brew with; so as with one bushel of malt, is made as good ale as four bushels with ordinary water, upon Dr. Tongue's experience, Transact. vol. IV. f. 917.