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As it will be necessary that the horizontals should be of sufficient length to reach the end, or fill the space allotted, if they are not of this length the first autumn, they should not be brought lower down than to an angle of from 45 to 60 degrees ; and, indeed, unless they are so thick and strong as likely to be too stubborn to bend, they may remain nearly erect until they are of sufficient length, and in this case all strong shoots must be rubbed off the fore and under sides as they form, and particularly all those about the point buds-; as in branches fixed in a perpendicular position, these generally grow the strongest.
However long and luxuriant the horizontals may be of one or two years' growth, they will extend very little in length after they are brought down to a precise horizontal position; and although whilst fixed in an erect position, the branches growing in the proper places to form succeeding horizontals may not be strong, by bending down the branch on which they grow to a horizontal position, the sap will be made to flow into them in much greater proportion, and they will soon extend.
If the branches are not of sufficient length, nor too coarse or strong, they should be trained in the same erect position the second or a third year,
the tree will then be continued like the figures 2. and 3. S. until of proper length, when it must be brought down and fixed as figure 3. W., supposing figure 3. S. to represent the tree at the end of its
summer's growth, and 3. W., as fixed in winter ; proceeding thus, a peach tree may regularly be raised as represented by figures 4. and 5.; and plums, apricots, cherries, pears, &c., as represented by figures 1. 2. 3. and 6.
Apricots are very much inclined to produce their fruit on spurs, but the largest and finest fruit are generally produced on moderately strong shoots of the last year's growth, the same as peaches ; therefore, whenever those shoots grow in a proper situation, they must be preferred to artificial spurs, and trained in the manner directed for peaches, or as those of figures 4. and 5.
All spurs that project from the wall, and are too short to be trained to it, should be taken off.
Natural fruit spurs on plum or cherry trees may remain, grow which way they will; and all wood shoots that project from the wall must be taken off close, and never shortened for the purpose of making spurs, as this is a practice more productive of injury than good.
THE MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING
PEAR TREES AGAINST WALLS.
Pear trees bear their fruit on short buds or spurs of one, two, three, or more years old, growing from the strongest branches ; and the same studs or spurs will continue to produce fruit for a great length of time ; but they do not often produce fruit until they have a surface of branches very large in proportion to the sap supplied by the roots. Thus we find, when pear trees are planted in deep rich soils, they grow rapidly, and therefore require a number of years to bring them to a fructiferous state; on the contrary, when growing in a light, or dry and shallow soil, they collect but a small quantity of sap, and require but a confined surface, which is produced in a short time, and they are consequently brought to a fructiferous state in a few years.
In planting pear trees, therefore, the soil must be duly considered, and the space allowed accordingly.
For dwarf pear trees, the preparation for borders recommended for peach trees, &c. is particu
larly well calculated; in such a soil they will produce the finest fruit at an early period after planting, and continue healthy and prolific.
A tree thus planted, should be allowed from twenty to thirty feet, and if trained as directed and shewn by Plate 2. it may be expected to fill such a space in five or six years.
Plants intended to be trained in this manner should have the two stems trained in an erect position at least two years, or until they are not less than from six to eight or ten feet in length, before they are fastened down.
All collaterals should be carefully removed as they shoot out, and for the first year or two after, they must not be brought down lower than on an angle of 45 degrees; from this, let them be brought down by degrees to a more precise horizontal position, as shewn by the figure 6. which represents a tree of five years' growth from the graft or bud.
All wood buds that throw out shoots in any other part but at the base, where they are wanted, must be rubbed off close; and as the two or three buds nearest the point bud generally form strong wood shoots, these must be particularly looked to, and early removed.
When pear trees are required to grow high and fill a large space, they do better trained on a single stem, and this should be six feet high, like a standard, before the head is formed, as represented by figure 1. Plate 3.
When the bearing spurs grow three or four inches long, or more, which they sometimes do, they must be fastened close to the wall, both above and below the horizontals, as they grow.
Wood shoots must never be shortened for the purpose of producing fruit spurs, for by cutting short one shoot, two or more are forced out the following season; and by shortening these again, more are formed, and large, unsightly, and unprofitable stubbed branches are the result.
All wood shoots that grow where they are not wanted, must be cut off close to the parent branch, as soon as perceived.
If at any time the horizontal branches are found too much depressed to continue and support a strong wood shoot from their points, they must be raised to a more perpendicular position, which will throw the sap more into the leading branch.
If, on the contrary, the horizontals are found to throw the whole or too great a portion of the sap to the point bud, and the backward wood shoots are in consequence weak, they must be depressed.
The principal variation in the mode I recommend, compared to those of the other authors, will be found in the position of the branches; in all but this, perhaps, better instructions for general management, cannot be given, than those by Hitt; but by attending to the position of the branches, and managing them as I have directed, the sap will be made to flow and extend itself through those buds, which are placed in the proper situation to extend