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Eucalyptus sticks, seasoned without distortion or twisting
The following table forcibly brings out the relative strength of small, clear specimens of eucalyptus and hickory:
Furniture and tool handles: Wilmerding School of Industrial Arts.
Cooperage: California Barrel Com
Insulator pins and cross-arms: Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company.
Hay forks: Benicia Iron Works. Vehicles: Waterhouse and Lester Manufacturing Company.
Axe and pick handles: Mount Tamalpais Cemetery Association.
During manufacture the workability of the wood will be determined, and upon completion, the various articles will be placed in actual service under the most. severe conditions, and the results compared with other well-known species. In addition to the above tests, it is planned to install a number of the different species of eucalyptus as cross-ties in a test track where their service can be noted. This will give not only the relative resistance under mechanical strains, but also the relative resistance to decay. The durability test will apply to posts, poles, and all timbers which are placed in con
tact with the soil. A number of pile sections of different species of eucalyptus will be placed in salt water and exposed to the attacks of marine borers at different ports along the California coast. Sections of piles cut from other well-known species will be placed in close proximity to the eucalyptus piles and the relative resistance to marine borers determined.
After its suitability for the various uses is demonstrated, there still remains the problem of getting it in shape to be used; that is, the problem of seasoning. This is undoubtedly one of the most important problems confronting the eucalyptus growers to-day. There is no question but that it can be successfully solved, and long before the groves being planted at the present time are mature and ready for market the best method of handling will be known. It is a well established fact that seasoned timber is much more durable than green. It is also known that as the amount of moisture decreases, strength increases. In order to avoid subsequent checking, warping and shrinkage,
Blue gum beams before testing
timber must be seasoned. For certain purposes an air-seasoned condition is sufficient. This will apply to cross-ties, poles, piles and posts. For furniture, vehicles and all material where even slight checking or shrinkage will seriously injure the stock, the timber must be dried in a kiln until it reaches a very low moisture condition. This will insure a stable condition of the stock after it is worked into final form. It is true that a considerable amount of eucalyptus has been successfully seasoned, but it has required a very long time. Moreover, repeated handling of the lumber during the process has resulted in excessive labor charges and a large amount has been wasted through checking.
To furnish authoritative on the best methods for handling this timber, therefore, the Forest Service has instituted a comprehensive study of eucalyptus trees from the time they are cut until they are worked up into the finished product, whether it be poles, tool handles, or furniture.
The experiments under way include blue gum poles and logs. A number of trees of pole size have been girdled and allowed to die standing with the bark on. A similar group has been felled, worked into poles and skidded high enough from the ground to allow a free circulation of air around them. Half of the skidded poles have been peeled, and the other half left with the bark on. As soon as cut, the poles were weighed. This will be repeated at thirty-day intervals, until the poles cease to lose weight. When this point is
Blue gum beams after testing, showing characteristic failures in bending.
reached, the girdled trees will be felled, worked into poles and their condition. compared to that of the skidded poles. During the process of seasoning, careful records will be kept of shrinkage, checking and warping. This experiment will be repeated at stations throughout California and on groups of poles cut at different seasons of the year.
Another experiment includes logs seasoned in water. At various stations, blue gum logs will be cut at different seasons, weighed, and immediately placed in fresh. and salt water. At intervals of from three to twelve months a number of them will be removed, weighed and immediately cut into lumber or allowed to air-season on skids. If cut into lumber a portion of it will be allowed to air season and a portion placed in a dry kiln.
Another group of fresh-cut logs will be steamed for varying periods, cut into lumber, and air and kiln dried. Still another group will be immediately cut into lumber and a portion piled in various ways to air season, while a portion will be kiln dried.
The results obtained from the above described experiments will undoubtedly suggest further work along similar lines. It may require a year, or possibly two years, to complete the project.
To sum up, the need for hardwood is well established. The available supply of native hardwoods is rapidly being hausted. Eucalyptus, from tests already conducted, seems to be a worthy substitute for many of the most valuable hardwoods.
A NEW COUNTRY FOR AMERICANS
THE WEST COAST OF MEXICO
BY JOHN ALDRICH
THAT famous and intrepid explorer, Ponce de Leon, saile 1 from Spain to Florida, he was seeking that fountain of youth, for which all search had been futile. The hunt was romantic, suited to the Spanish character and temperament, and the final reward the usual one which befalls quests of that character. Nowadays, when the explorer goes out to seek he looks for the fountain of gold, in most cases looking for it in the rock, but, there being no miraculous Moses to intervene and smite the rock so that the living stream of gold flows forth, his reward usually meets with failure. Modern science has shown farmers and cultivators what water will do for dry and arid lands, since hydraulic and irrigation engineers
have solved many puzzling problems. The land upon the North American continent, where rainfall is abundant, has practically all been secured and occupied; there is, indeed, another fountain to be developed; not of youth, but of gold and prosperity, which, when once found, gushes forth its crystal fluid, and through the magic transmuting powers of scientific application, diligent industry and faithful effort, turns the living waters into a veritable fountain of gold.
The question now is not of the land but of the water. Where shall we find the water? Land is a secondary consideration. It is well known that almost any land, handled scientifically with proper application of water, will yield more or less of crops, but that the best of land. without water, is useless. The so-called "dry-farming" cannot produce any results whatever without a certain amount of
The work of previous years on the irrigation ditches is of the most permanent character, and the above is an example. This photograph was taken on the Hacienda de Tres Hermanos
water and with a fair distribution given throughout the year. Water has become so precious in Southern California that the regular stated valuation per miner's inch is not less than $1000 in gold.
Any territory or State having fine level lands subject to irrigation can practically assume its natural values as based upon the available water supply by estimating the amount of water obtainable at $1000 per miner's inch. Calculated upon this basis, the West coast of Mexico is perhaps one of the richest regions on earth. ginning on the north at a point about the Yaqui river, and extending south to a point about due west of the city of Guadalajara, in the State of Palisco (say at Banderas Bay in the same State) are to be found millions upon millions of miner's inches of clear crystal mountain water, finding source for the most part in the Sierras and high altitudes of the magnificent mountain ranges to the east, all of which can be made available for irrigating lands of first productive quality. Tens of millions of acres of the most fertile, rich, irrigable and productive lands on the west coast of the entire North American continent are to be found in this stretch of land. There is perhaps
more good land than there is water supply to cover it, but if one estimates the value of these millions, even tens of millions of miner's inches, at $1000 per inch, as it will eventually come to be valued, not many years in the future, it will be seen that the potential riches and values of the west coast of Mexico are practically incalculable.
The territory is almost virgin, one per cent of its values having yet been exploited, but up to the time of the building of Harriman's road from Guaymas on the north, at the head of navigation on the Gulf of California, to and beyond the City of Mazatlan, Sinaloa's great seaport, there was little or no development or advancement in agricultural or horticultural lines. Commencing with the opening of the new Southern Pacific Railroad down the West Coast of Mexico to Guadalajara, on July 1, 1908, there has been more advancement during the past year than in the preceding twenty years. It is safe to prophesy that during the next ten years more progress will be made than in the past three hundred years. It is hard to understand why, with prices in California, Oregon and Washington on only fairly good lands, with an inconsiderable supply of water, ranging from $100 to $2,000