On rich loams and the alluvial soils of river-valleys, when well drained, the tree attains a large size, often rivalling the giant oaks of Europe; trunks of 3 or 4 ft.
Common throughout the northern and middle states and Canada, the red oak attains a large size only on good soils; the wood is of little value, being coarse and porous, but it is largely used for cask-staves; the bark is a valuable tanning material.
From the outer cortical myceliuni, again, branches pass through the epidermis and grow out in the soil, In stich cases the roots of the plants are usuall) found spreading in soils which contain a large amount of humus, or decaying vegetable matter.
The damping off of seedlingsand in saturated soils not only are the roots and root-hairs killed by asphyxiation, but the whole course of soil fermentation is altered, and it takes time to sweeten such by draining, because not only must the noxious bodies be gradually washed out and the lost salts restored, but the balance of suitable bacterial and fungal life must be restored.
Roots are often flattened, twisted and otherwise distorted by mechanical obstacles; stems by excess of food in rich soils, the attacks of minute parasites, overgrowth by climbing plants, &c. Leaves are especially apt to vary, and although the formation of crests, pitchers, puckers, &c., must be put down to the results of abnormal development, it is often difficult to draw the line between teratological and merely varietal phenomena.