The wood of the aspen is very light and soft, though tough; it is employed by coopers, chiefly for pails and herring-casks; it is also made into butchers' trays, pack-saddles, and various articles for which its lightness recommends it; sabots are also made of it in France, and in medieval days it was valued for arrows, especially for those used in target practice; the bark is used for tanning in northern countries; cattle and deer browse greedily on the young shoots and abundant suckers.
There are several weak points in this reasoning, and a more accurate way of determining the best proportions is to try different mixtures of cement, stones and sand, filling them into different pails of the same size, and then ascertaining, by weighing the pails, which mixture is the densest.
Old trees are selected, from the bark of which it is observed to ooze in the early summer; holes are bored in the trunk, somewhat inclined upward towards the centre of the stem, in which, between the layers of wood, the turpentine is said to collect in small lacunae; wooden gutters placed in these holes convey the viscous fluid into little wooden pails hung on the end of each gutter; the secretion flows slowly all through the summer months, and a tree in proper condition yields from 6 to 8 Ib a year, and will continue to give an annual supply for thirty or forty years, being, however, rendered quite useless for timber by subjection to this process.
Halfway up the stairs they were almost knocked over by some men who, carrying pails, came running downstairs, their boots clattering.
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