MARKS FOR THE WAY-SIDE.
Marks on Trees - Cutting Marks.-A very excellent “treeline” is made by cutting deep notches in a line of trees, starting from some conspicuous object, so that the notches will face the men that are to be guided by it: the trees must be so selected that three, or at least two of them, are in sight at once. The notch or sliced bark of a tree is called a “blaze” in bush language. These blazed trees are of much use as finger-posts on a dark night. They are best made by two persons; one chipping the trees on his right, and the other those on his left. If the axes are quite sharp, they only need to be dropped against the tree in order to make the chip. Doing so, hardly retards a person in his walking. Another way more suitable to some kinds of forests, is to strike the knife into the left side of the tree, to tear down a foot of bark, and to leave the bark hanging, for a double extent of white surface is shown in this way. Also, to break down tops of saplings and leave them hanging: the under sides of the leaves being paler than the upper, and the different lines of the reversed foliage make a broken bush to look unnatural among healthy trees, and it quickly arrests the attention. If you want a tree to be well-scored or slashed, so as to draw attention to it without fail, fire bullets into it, as into a mark, and let the natives cut them out in their own way, for the sake of the lead. They will effect your purpose admirably, without suspecting it.
Stamping Marks on Trees.-The keepers of some of the communal forests in Switzerland are provided with small axes, having the back of the axe-head worked into a large and sharp die, the impression of the die being some letter or cipher indicating the commune. When these foresters wish to mark a tree, they give it first a slice with the edge of the axe, and then (turning the axe) they deal it a heavy blow with the back of the axe-head. By the first operation they prepare a clean surface for their mark; and, by the second, they stamp their cipher deeply into the wood.