MEATH TREES

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

Though the quantity of natural wood is very small, ground being considered too valuable for the purposes of grazing or tillage to he enclosed for woodland, yet the plantations about noblemen's and gentlemen's seats are very extensive. The old woods around Bective, Lismullen, and Ardbraccan are very large and valuable: and from the numerous ornamental plantations throughout every part of the county except the west, and from the number of timber trees planted as hedge-rows, the country in general has a very furnished appearance, much resembling the county of Worcester or Hereford in England. Oak timber is scarce; but beech, elm, ash, poplar, sycamore, and alder are so abundant that, after supplying the local demand, much is sent to other counties: there are several nurseries of considerable extent and many osieries of from two to ten acres each, the produce of which is mostly worked at home and the remainder is bought by the Dublin basket-makers.

The quantity of waste ground in this county is extremely small. Commons are in general attached to the corporate towns for the use of the inhabitants. In consequence of the small quantity of bog compared with the extent and population of the county, fuel is extremely scarce, and the poor suffer much from the want of it. Some large proprietors, in order to relieve their tenants and to prevent depredations upon their fences and plantations, are particularly careful to have their ditches sown with French furze. The deficiency of fuel is also supplied by the importation of coal, chiefly from Drogheda, by the Boyne navigation. In the neighbourhood of that town,and along the line of navigation, the labourer often stipulates for a ton of coal in part payment, and, when near bogs, the turf is sometimes drawn home for him by his employer.

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