CHAP. 72. (38.)—THE JUICES OF TREES.
There is a juice in the bark of trees, which must be looked
upon as their blood, though it is not of a similar nature in all.
In the fig it is of a milky consistency, and has the peculiar
property of curdling milk, and so forming cheese.1
cherry-tree this juice is gummy, in the elm clammy, in the
apple viscous and fatty, while in the vine and the pear it is
watery. The more viscous this humour is, the more long-lived the tree. In a word, we find in the bodies of trees-as
with all other beings that are animated-skin, blood, flesh,
sinews, veins, bones, and marrow; the bark serving them in
place of skin. It is a singular fact connected with the mulberry-tree, that when the medical men wish to extract its juice,
if the incision is lightly made, by a blow with a stone, and at
the second hour of the day in spring, the juice will flow: but
if, on the other hand, a wound is inflicted to any depth, it has
all the, appearance of being dried up.
Immediately beneath the bark in most trees there is a fatty
substance, which, from its colour, has obtained the name of
it is soft, and is the very worst part of the wood,
and in the robur even will very easily rot, being particularly
liable to wood-worm, for which reason it is invariably removed.
Beneath this fat lies the flesh3
of the tree, and then under
that, its bones, or, in other words, the choicest part of the wood.
Those trees which have a dry wood, the olive, for instance,
bear fruit every other year only: this is more the case with
them than with those the wood of which is of a fleshy nature,
such as the cherry, for instance. It is not all trees, too, that
have this fat and flesh in any abundance, the same as we find
to be the case among the more active animals. The box, the
cornel, and the olive have none at all, nor yet any marrow, and
a very small proportion, too, of blood. In the same way, too,
the service-tree has no bones, and the elder no flesh, while
both of them have marrow in the greatest abundance. Reeds,
too, have hardly any flesh.