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Your Majesty has, at different times, graciously condescended to examine the process, and been pleased to express Your approbation of the Improvements in such favourable terms, as to cause my heart to overflow with unspeakable pleasure.
Such encouragement from my Royal Master has stimulated me to proceed with so much alacrity and perseverance, as to overcome every difficulty that opposed me, and to bring the subjects treated of in this Volume to such a state of perfection as will, I flatter myself, in some render it worthy of Your Majesty's patronage.
Permit me then, Sire, with the most profound humility to lay this Work at Your Majesty's feet; and thus publicly to acknow
- times, gra
ledge my gratitude to the best of Sovereigns, and the best of Masters, for the innumerable blessings which under him I enjoy, both as a Subject and a Servant.
our approbach favourable
ced with so
That Your Majesty may long live to patronize the Arts and Sciences, and to reign over a loyal, brave, and happy people, is the daily prayer of,
as to over
sed me, and of in this
k at Your
pleasure affirm, that the quantity of fruit has been remarkably increased, and the quality greatly improved.
I have in the following pages stated many facts, to evince the utility of the Composition recommended, and to induce others to make a fair trial, which may be done at a very trifling expence. I only request of those who entertain
doubts, that they will make choice of two trees of the same kind, as near as may be in the same state of health or decay, and having equal advantages of soil and situation ; let the dead, decayed, and injured parts be cut out; then to one of the trees apply the Composition as directed in this Treatise, and leave the other to Nature: if proper attention be paid to the former, no great length of time will be necessary to show which method ought to be pursued in future.
I hope the candid reader will pardon me for dwelling a little on this subject. It has been said, that there is nothing new either in the Composition or its application. It is certainly true, that Compositions of various kinds have been tried: but no one has been attended with such great success as that which is described in the following pages; indeed, they were generally made up in a slovenly manner, and applied without properly preparing the trees, so that little good can have been expected, even if the Composition had consisted of proper materials. In these particulars I am persuaded, that every impartial person will acknow
ledge, that I have made great improvement. Former Compositions have been made up of loam and cow or horse-dung, of bees-wax, pitch, tar, chalk, rosin mixed with grease, gums, &c. It is granted, that such as these may sometimes be of use, but not in general; most of them being liable to become hard, and to crack and peel off. I have tried them all, with but very little success. I have also tried a Composition of tarras (which is used as a cement for building under water): this also cracked and peeled off after it became hard. Some of these compositions become so hard, that, instead of giving way to the new bark as it is produced, they cut and tear it, to the great injury of the tree.
The Composition which I recommend is not liable to these inconveniencies; it possesses an absorbent and adhesive quality, and is moreover of such a nature as not in the least to hurt the new and tender bark; for it easily gives way to it, and to the new wood, as they advance. On applying it to trees which contain a strong acid, such as Oaks, Apple trees, Apricots, &c. when infected with the canker, that disease may be seen oozing through the Composition and adhering to the outside, like copperdust, or rust of iron, and may be easily rubbed off with the hand. This appearance I never could observe on the application of any other Composi . tion; which confirms my belief that it acts as a strong stimulant.
When the wounds in fruit trees are so large as not to heal up in the course of a twelve-month, I
renew the Composition annually, which, on its application, invigorates the trees, and seems to have the same effect on them as a top-dressing of dung has on land.
I have been solicited by some of my friends to add a chapter on forcing Grapes, Peaches, and Nectarines ; and to give a description of a house for that purpose; but as it would swell the book to too great a size, and as the subject is fully treated of by many others, it seems unnecessary to say any thing farther here, than just to observe, that the method of pruning and training recommended in this book is equally applicable to trees in a forcinghouses as to those on a natural wall. When Vines are trained straight up the rafters of hot-houses, they throw out a few eyes only at top, and all the rest of the branch becomes naked; but when trained in a serpentine manner, they break equally.
Dwarf Peaches and Nectarines planted in the pits of forcing-houses should be trained horizontally; in which mode they will produce much more fruit than when they are trained fan-fashion.
It must be observed, that the Directions, &c. in the following pages are calculated for the neighbourhood of London; it will, therefore, be neces. sarry to make allowance, in other climates, for the earliness or lateness of their seasons, both with regard to the time of fruit being in perfection, and also for planting, pruning, &c.
For the information of those who are not acquainted with practical gardening, the following explanation of what is called heading down is given.