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TERMITES AND FORESTRY

W. VICTOR HARRIS
Empire Forestry Review
Vol. 34, No. 2 (June 1955), pp. 160-166
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42602575
Page Count: 11
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TERMITES AND FORESTRY
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Abstract

The author, from a wealth of practical experience, starts his article with reasons why there are 215 references to termites in Forestry Abstracts up to 1954, and why they are of increasing importance both in buildings and plantations. Describing first their biology he lists the four main groups and then subdivides the last and most numerous into two, the fungus-growers and the humus-feeders. Next he deals with pests of growing trees in Australia, Tropical America, Asia and Africa and with the aphorism that termites never attack healthy trees and its corollary that any tree attacked by termites is therefore unhealthy (almost true it seems in Africa). "Maltreatment, under the guise of pruning of trees in avenues, public gardens, and similar situations often leads to termite attack ... The danger can be avoided without much difficulty but the protection of trees once the termites are established is generally laborious, and unlikely to be undertaken". There follow interesting sections on termites as ecological factors, a very considerable study in itself, on natural resistance "There does not seem to be such a thing as ultimate termite resistance" and on timber impregnation "Soft timbers which are impregnated with little difficulty may, in the long run, prove more durable than many of the harder, naturally resistant timbers at present in demand". There is a copious and comprehensive bibliography which should, with the article, be invaluable to foresters.

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