Tree Crops

A Permanent Agriculture


J. Russell Smith, Sc.D.

First published in 1929

@ Copyright 1950 by The Devin-Adair Company.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Smith, J. Russell (Joseph Russell), 1874-1966.

Tree crops.

Originally published: New York: Harcourt, Brace. c1929.
Includes index.

1. Tree crops. 2. Tree crops--United States.

I. Title. II. Series.
SB170.S65 1987 634.9 87-82037

ISBN 0-933280-44-0 (pbk.)
Manufactured in the United States of America

Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture

Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture by J. Russell Smith is the classic work on tree crops. First published in 1929, this highly readable blueprint for the development of high-yield tree crops proves that vast, untapped food sources can be harvested from common species of North American trees.

Smith's philosophy is based on the idea that agriculture must be "adapted to physical conditions," that "farming should fit the land." He observed worldwide the catastrophe of hill agriculture whose one-time cycle he described so accurately as "forest -- field -- plow -- desert."

Wendell Berry, one of our most important ecological voices, has written a compelling introduction on the need for utilizing these still-revolutionary ideas, for Smith's plans were never adopted to the degree he wished. And the potential for erosion control, increasing human and animal food supply, and diversifying our ecosystem remains as great a challenge as it was when Tree Crops was first published more than fifty years ago.

-- "Tree Crops made so much sense to me that I have never been the same since... As my work took me all over the world, everywhere I could see it, thanks to Russell Smith: Agriculture in mountainous, rocky, or dry regions is a disaster, but trees are salvation." -- E. F. Schumacher

-- "Here is one of the most important books of our time. It relates ecology, national economics and human welfare in a way that is fascinating for anyone interested in the basic problems of the nations ... Also, a very practical and profitable investment." -- Louis Bromfield


This book is dedicated to

Charles C. Harrison
Edgar F. Smith
Josiah H. Penniman

Three provosts of the University of Pennsylvania whose sympathetic understanding and practical aid were of great assistance in the prosecution of the researches which resulted in this book.


How to read this book

This book can be read in three ways -- depending on your hurry or your interest.

First, look at the pictures and the legends and you have the essence of it.

Second, read the first three short chapters and you have the idea. This might be followed by chapters 24 and 26 to get a similar general statement of the applications.

Third, if you are still interested, the table of contents or the index will guide you into the main body of supporting data.


Only the Introduction, Chapters 1, 2 and 3, and Chapters 24 and 26 are reproduced here in this online edition, so that, as Smith says above, "you have the idea". Once you have the idea, your appetite should be whetted -- you'll want more, and there's plenty more in the other chapters. Buy the book, it's a treasure-trove. From Powell's Books:


Introduction by Wendell Berry

Part One -- The Philosophy
1. How Long Can We Last?

2. Tree Crops -- The Way Out
3. The Plan -- An Institute of Mountain Agriculture

Part Two -- Some Facts about Some Crop Trees to Suggest Some of the Possibilities that Lie in this proposed Work
4. Some Stock-Food Trees -- The Producers of Bran Substitutes
5. A Stock-Food Tree, the Keawe, or Hawaiian Algaroba
6. A Stock-Food and Man-Food Tree -- The Carob
7. A Stock-Food Tree -- The Honey Locust
8. A Group of Stock-Food Trees -- The Mesquites
9. The Real Sugar Tree
10. A Summer Pasture Tree for Swine and Poultry -- The Mulberry
11. The Persimmon: A Pasture Tree for the Beasts and a Kingly Fruit for Man
12. A Corn Tree -- The Chestnut
13. A Corn Tree -- The Oak as a Forage Crop
14. Some Bread-and-Butter Trees -- The Acorns as Human Food
15. Nuts as Human Food
16. A Meat-and-Butter Tree for Man -- The Persian Walnut
17. Another Meat-and-Butter Tree -- The Eastern Black Walnut
18. A Group of Meat-and-Butter Trees -- The Other Walnuts
19. The Pecan -- King of Hickories -- A Type Study in Tree Crops
20. More Meat-and-Butter Trees -- The Other Hickories
21. Some Suggested Lines of Work -- The Unexplored Realm
22. A Peep at the Tropics

Part Three
-- Economics, Farm Applications, and National Applications
23. Tree Crops and Farm Management
24. Plan or Perish -- Tree Crops -- The Nation and the Race -- A New Patriotism is Needed

Part Four -- Who Will Do the Basic Scientific Work which this Book Calls For?
25. Who is Working Now?
26. The Great Hope and the Many Little Hopes


Next: Introduction

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