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Artistic Treatment

trees, traveled and roadside

ARTISTIC TREATMENT. Engineers are accustomed to study chiefly or only the economic side of construction, and are therefore likely to neglect the artistic treatment of the highway. In the attempt to beautify the roadside, it may be necessary to sacrifice a little of utility to secure a pleasing effect. Masses of foliage and shade add beauty to the roadside, but tend to keep the traveled way damp—usually the bane of good earth roads. Trees are a necessary adjunct to a beautiful highway, but are anything but a benefit to the traveled way. If beauty is desired at the expense of utility, highways can scarcely be too much shaded by over-arching boughs. However, a happy medium will suffice in most places.

The varieties of trees suitable for the ornamentation of highways are almost infinite. The elm, with its graceful arching branches and delicate lace-like foliage, is not surpassed; and the hard maple and the oaks are very handsome for this purpose. The walnut, the butternut, the hickory, the beech, the poplar, and the pine, ranging from the most delicate to the most somber and rugged, are all more or less adapted to particular requirements and circumstances.

Trees such as willow, the roots of which spread extensively or seek water, should not be permitted to grow near tile drains, as the small roots frequently entirely obstruct the tile. Trees should not be planted close to the traveled way, but near the edge of the right of way, or if possible on the private property bordering the road.

The roadside fences are usually the property of the adjoin ing land owner, and may mar or beautify the landscape. The hedge rows of England and the stone fences of New England are all that can be desired for appearance, but in localities where there is much snow they catch the drifting snow and so obstruct the high way. The only thing favorable to the appearance of the common wire fence is that it is inconspicuous.