The Graphic Arts Collection holds one of 100 privately printed volumes offering an arboricultural study of Scotland. “The following pages are the result of numerous wanderings through the counties of Fife and Kinross during the summers of 1875-6-7-8. The localities visited, and the many fine specimens of Trees and Shrubs which came under our notice, afforded us both pleasure and instruction, and in submitting our observations for perusal, our chief object will be fulfilled if we can interest the Reader in the subject of Arboriculture, or contribute a little to the information and enjoyment of any lover of nature.”-from the Preface.
The following is a selection from the “Obituary Notice of John Jeffrey, Balsusney,” by C. Howie, St Andrews.
John Jeffrey, Balsusney, Kirkcaldy, along with his brothers, succeeded to an extensive linen manufacturing business, carried on by their father in Kirkcaldy and the west of Scotland. . . . As a relief from the constant routine of an industrious life, he betook himself to the culture of trees and shrubs, planting his park by the side of his works with choice specimens. . . . the recreative study of plant life in the field was his delight, nothing being more pleasing to him than the sight of some majestic tree that stood forth among its contemporaries. He resolved, in conjunction with the writer, to register the dimensions of trees in the Fife district, a dendrometer being obtained from Mr Sang of Kirkcaldy for ascertaining the height.
When Mr Jeffrey resolved to publish, we restricted our pursuits only to taking note of the largest trees, and those of more recent introduction . . . no expense was spared in photographing specimens, the plates being forwarded to London to undergo the Woodbury process. There were only 100 copies printed of this labour of love, many were given away to friends, and the rest were readily disposed of. A copy was presented to the then prime minister, with the authors’ compliments. —Transactions and Proceedings, vol. 17-18 (Botanical Society of Edinburgh, 1889).