In his later years he dabbled in literature and the drama, and interested himself in arboriculture in his retirement at Henley-on-Thames.
The work on agriculture' of Ibn-al-Awam, who lived in the 12th century A.D., treats of the varieties of soils, manuring, irrigation, ploughing, sowing, harvesting, stock, horticulture, arboriculture and plant diseases, and is a lasting record of their skill and industry.
To these ecclesiastical precepts and expiations belong in particular the numerous ablutions, bodily chastisements, love of truth, beneficial works, support of comrades in the faith, alms, chastity, improvement of the land, arboriculture, breeding of cattle, agriculture, protection of useful animals, as the dog, the destruction of noxious animals, and the prohibition either to burn or to bury the dead.
Evelyn put in a plea for afforestation, and besides producing a valuable work on arboriculture, he was able to assert in his preface to the king that he had really induced landowners to plant many millions of trees.
In 1831 Patrick Matthew, in the appendix to a book on naval timber and arboriculture, laid stress on the extreme fecundity of nature "who has in all the varieties of her offspring a prolific power much beyond (in many cases a thousandfold) what is necessary to fill up the vacancies caused by senile decay.