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Ode to Spruce by Hugh Mackay, Farigaig 1965
Forestry Memories
No: 933   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1965
Ode to Spruce by Hugh Mackay, Farigaig 1965

Image courtesy of Hugh Mackay (son).

Norman Davidson recalls:

‘Making up the plant demand forms (PS Forms if I remember correctly) was always an exercise fraught with some difficulties and the outcomes were subject to the vagaries of nursery supply, changes in planting areas and of course the changes in fashion for particular tree species.

It must be remembered that demands were made up for the year ahead and the two succeeding years - these succeeding years would of course eventually become the year ahead and it was expected that there would be some broad similarity between the two figures representing the same year. Important because the nurseries sowed their seed and set their transplant programmes on the two succeeding year's requirements shown on the PS Form.

I do remember Hugh telling me about the occasion when he had made up his plant demand for Farigaig forest and then getting a visitation from Hamish Maxwell the then Conservator or perhaps he may have been the assistant at that time. Hamish apparently could not see past Sitka spruce and although he was later to visit British Columbia and bring back several provenances of Lodgepole pine seed (I remember having to plant out and fence off trials plots of LP from Tofino, Vancouver Island). After a difficult day going around all the sites, in those days several hundred acres, and ending with red pen through a great deal of his original plant demands, Hugh was driven to compose a very wry verse in memory of the occasion.

Picture added on 14 June 2011
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