The locality being fixed upon, the clearing of the forest is
commenced. The felling is begun from the base of the hills, and
the trees being cut about half through, are started in sections
of about an acre at one fall. This is easily effected by felling
some large tree from the top, which, falling upon its
half-divided neighbor, carries everything before it like a pack
The number of acres required having been felled, the boughs and
small branches are all lopped, and, together with the cleared
underwood, they form a mass over the surface of the ground
impervious to man or beast. This mass, exposed to a powerful
sun, soon becomes sufficiently dry for burning, and, the time of
a brisk breeze being selected,. the torch is applied.
The magnificent sight of so extensive a fire is succeeded by the
desolate appearance of blackened stumps and smouldering trunks of
trees: the whole of the branches and tinderwood having been swept
away by the mighty blaze, the land is comparatively clear.
Holes two feet square are now dug in parallel lines at a distance
of from six to eight feet apart throughout the estate, and
advantage being taken of the wet season, they are planted with
young coffee trees of about twelve inches high.