Blackthorn suckers must be sedulously extirpated

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“In Scotland, by tying the young shoots with bands of hay, they make the stems grow so very close together, as that it encloseth rabbets in warrens instead of pales: And for this robust use we shall prefer the blackthorn; the extravagant suckers which are apt to rise at distance from the hedge-line, being sedulously extirpated, that the rest may grow the stronger and thicker.”

John Evelyn, 1664

Evelyn records the practice in Scottish rabbit farms of using natural hedges instead of fencing to control the animals. He describes how the suckers that grow vigorously from blackthorn Prunus spinosa must be “sedulously extirpated”, meaning diligently removed, so that those in the hedge itself thrive.

Endure with her triumphant oaks

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“Surely while Britain retains her awful situation among the nations of Europe, the ‘Sylva’ of Evelyn will endure with her triumphant oaks. It was a retired philosopher who aroused the genius of the nation, and who casting a prophetic eye towards the age in which we live, has contributed to secure our sovereignty of the seas. The present navy of Great Britain has been constructed with the oaks which the genius of EVELYN planted!”

Isaac D’Israeli (1766-1848)