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In order that this Report should answer the ends for which the Survey was ordered, the descriptions of the Trees and Shrubs are arranged according to the Natural System. This has been done, not from undervaluing the artificial system of Linnæus, which must still continue of use in aiding to find the name of a plant and its place in the Natural System, but from a conviction of the incomparably greater value of the latter. The artificial system is based essentially on distinctions drawn from the stamens and pistils alone. The Natural System, on the contrary, takes into consideration not one part only, but every part and whatever relates to it,—the seed, from the development of its embryo to its germination, the growth, formation and arrangement of the wood, bark, buds and leaves, and the flower and fruit. It is found that plants which resemble each other in the external forms of their more essential parts, have a similar resemblance in properties and uses, and require similar modes of management and culture. The adoption of the Natural System is, therefore, particularly important in a comparatively new country like ours. Upon the culture, properties and uses of many of our trees and shrubs, few or no experiments have been made. We must learn what modes of culture are likely to answer best with them, by observing what modes have been successful with wellknown plants of the same families and affinities, in the old countries. Of many of them, the value in building, and the various mechanic arts, in dyeing and tanning, and as furnishing articles of food, or materials for medicine, are not yet known. We shall be likely to find them most readily by looking for uses similar to what are known to belong to plants most analogous to them. “If there is,” says De Candolle, "a country where the theory of analogy between forms and properties may become eminently useful, it is North America, which, situated in the same latitude as Europe, is occupied by analogous vegetation.”

The uses of the natural arrangement in abridging the labor of acquisition and aiding the memory of the learner are most important, and its advantages to cultivators, to physicians,—to all who are seeking to enlarge their knowledge of the useful or dangerous properties of plants, that they may be able to avail themselves of the one, or counteract the other, to gain materials for the arts, or remedies or antidotes in medicine, are too many to enumerate and too obvious to be further insisted upon.

In the Conspectus, or Distribution into Families and Genera, I have attempted to offer a substitute, so far as the plants treated of in this Report are concerned, for the arrangement by the artificial system. This attempt I submit with many misgivings. If it shall be considered a failure, it may at least serve to aid others in more successfully accomplishing the object.

My sketches of the natural families, and, in a considerable degree, of the genera, are necessarily drawn mostly from books; and, as they are taken from the standard works of the science, Endlicher, Lindley, Torrey, and others, are usually given without particular acknowledgment of the source. Botanists will here, however, find some points touched upon which have not usually received much attention from scientific writers.

The descriptions of the species of all the trees, and nearly all the shrubs, are my own, except where I have expressly given credit to others. To collect my materials, I have scoured the forests in almost every part of the State, from the western hills of Berkshire to Martha's Vineyard, and from the banks of the Merrimack to the shores of Buzzard's and Narragansett Bays. The leisure of several summers was first spent in ascertaining what the ligneous plants of Massachusetts are, and how they are distributed. If I have not discovered new species, I have found new localities for several oaks, willows, poplars, pines, and birches, and some others of less importance, and have thus enlarged the Flora of the State. That some species have escaped me is altogether probable, as, even in the summer of 1845, I found the Red Birch growing abundantly on a branch of the Merrimack, some hundreds of miles further north than it had previously been noticed by any botanist.

After having become familiar with the trees and their localities, I began to collect materials for their description; and every important tree and shrub has been described from copious notes taken under or near the growing plant itself. A point with which I have each year been more and more struck, is the beauty of our native trees and of the climbing vines and undergrowth associated with them. I have thrown aside much which I had written upon this point. Utilitarian readers will perhaps find too much still retained. My apology for not pruning more severely must be found in my sincere conviction, that associations with the beauty of trees about our country homes enter deeply into the best elements of our character; and a hope that what I have written may induce some of my readers to plant trees, for the purpose of increasing the beauty and the appearance of seclusion and quiet of the homes of their wives and children.

In the progress of the work, I found it necessary to curtail very considerably what I had prepared, especially in regard to the families and genera, as it was evident, if I should go on to describe all the families with the same minuteness of detail even as is given to the pines and oaks, I should write several volumes instead of one.

It was my original intention to add to the volume, in the form of an appendix, a strictly scientific synopsis of the families, genera and species, with synonymes and references in the usual form. But as the volume is already large, I have concluded to suppress this, although, by so doing, I subject myself to the charge of omitting or neglecting several things of importance. All omissions and defects will, however, I trust, at no distant period, be much more than supplied. The Genera of New England plants, by Prof. Gray, now, I understand, in a forward state of preparation, and the Flora of New England, by that most thorough botanist, Wm. Oakes, for which all the friends of Natural Science have long been anxiously looking, will, when they appear, place the botany of New England where it should be; and show the difference between the work of men who are able to give the labor of years to the favorite pursuit of their lives, and the hasty sketch of one whose heart, he is obliged to confess, is, most of the year, wholly in other things, and who gives to a work great enough to command a life, the scanty hours of recreation of his summer holidays.

A Report upon the Botany of the State is certainly very incomplete, without even an enumeration of the Algæ, the Mosses, the Lichens, and the Fungi; and, with a hope to prevent this omission, I furnished myself, at the commencement of this Survey, with several somewhat expensive works upon these departments of botany. But I am obliged to confess, that I have been able to do very little in regard to them. Since the commencement of this Survey, my friend, Rev. J. L. Russell, of Hingham, has carefully prepared a catalogue of the mosses in the eastern part of the State, which he was kind enough to place at my disposal. I was not willing that its publication should be delayed till the appearance of this volume, and it has been published in the Boston Journal of Natural History. Mr. Edward Tuckerman also prepared, at my request, a catalogue of the lichens found on the bark of trees in this State. As it is to be hoped that he will soon give us a complete account of the lichens of New England, for which work he is amply prepared, it would be doing him injustice to publish an imperfect catalogue. The deficiency in the history of the Algæ is likely to be soon supplied, by Prof. Bailey, of West Point, in the thorough manner of which he has given evidence in the Scientific Journal.

In writing my descriptions, I have, as far as possible, avoided the use of technical language. To avoid it entirely is impossible. When a part, an organ, a form, or a modification of form is spoken of which has no English name, it must either be called by its scientific name, or it must be described by a tedious circumlocution, repeated as often as the thing is spoken of, and, after all, scarcely more intelligible even to the unlearned reader than the scientific word, which expresses precisely the thing meant and nothing else.

In the preparation of the Report, I have availed myself of whatever I found most to my purpose, but never, intentionally, without giving credit, except in the cases mentioned above. The numerous facts obtained from Loudon and Michaux, are usually given in their words. Some of the best

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