« ForrigeFortsett »
the surface of the tree, and when this is the case, there can be no occasion for waste pipes, or other superfluous branches.
When any of the horizontals grow too old, or extend beyond the prescribed bounds, they may be removed by being cut back to the bearers best calculated to succeed them, which will supply their places.
Pear trees generally throw out one or two strong shoots from those buds that are the nearest to the point or leading bud of the horizontals or strong branches; in such cases, if the point bud be perfect, those must be removed early in the spring; but if the point bud be injured or destroyed, the next strongest shoot to it must be trained up in its place, and the others removed.
HE general system of pruning and managing Espaliers is exactly the same as that of wall trees, and in every respect exhibits the same defects, and is subject to the same objections. The explanations I have given, and the observations made on wall trees, will therefore equally apply to these trees.
Those branches, intended for horizontals, should always be permitted to grow to the length of from four to six feet before they are fixed in this position ; and then they should not be brought down precisely horizontal the first year, but fixed on an angle of from 45 to 60 degrees; and when they are grown to a length sufficient to fill the space prescribed for them, or nearly so, they may be brought down directly horizontal.
All wood shoots, except those that grow on the upper sides, must be taken out quite close ; but care must be taken to distinguish those from the fruit-spurs, which sometimes grow to the length of six or more inches. As these may be suffered to grow on all sides of the horizontals, the strongest
wood-shoots, which grow on the upper sides of the horizontals, and where there is room to train them in, should be fixed down obliquely, and never shortened or stopped, so that they may grow freely between the horizontals without crossing.
By these means, as the fruit buds and spurs of pears, apples, cherries, plums, &c. are always formed on strong healthy shoots of from one to three or four years old, which grow their full length, the trees will be in a state to produce the greatest quantity and finest quality of fruit at the earliest possible period, after grafting or budding: they will also possess all those requisites which, Bradley justly observes, ought to be found in every well regulated Espalier, viz. there will be “branches bearing fruit, branches knotted for fruit, and branches forming for knotting in regular and natural succession."
I have been told that the training of Espalier trees round a circle of stakes, or trellis, in a spiral manner, is a common practice in France, but I have never heard of or seen this mode in any regular system published or practised in this country.* -I shall, therefore, explain a mode by which trees may be made equally ornamental and productive, and
* Since the publication of this work, the Author has visited some of the first gardens and nursery-grounds in France, and he not only was convinced that this method has never been practised in France, but that the French have no idea of laying in branches their full length; their mode of training every tree is by cutting short the branches.
kept within a much smaller compass than by any other method.
This mode of training is best adapted for dwarf trees, or such as do not form coarse thick branches, nor range extensively, for this purpose. Apple trees should be such as are grafted on paradise stocks; and to keep them with greater certainty within prescribed bounds, and at the same time healthy and prolific, a bed or border should be made of a light and dry porous soil, not too rich, of the depth of nine inches or a foot, on a substratum impervious both to the roots and to water, on the principles recommended for wall trees.
The plants intended for this mode of training should have from four to six branches of equal strength, growing from a stem of from three to six inches from the ground, and may be planted from eight feet to any distance apart.
When the branches are from four to six feet in length, let three long stakes be driven into the earth, from one foot and a half to two feet from the stem of the tree, at equal distances, so as to form a triangle; the stakes may be from four feet to any height; then let two strong hoops, of a diameter to fill the space between the stakes, be fixed horizontally, one about one foot and a half from the earth, and the other two feet above it; between the stakes, fix to the hoops two small laths or stakes at equal distances, the branches must then be brought down to an angle of from 40 to 60 degrees, and fixed to the laths or stakes at equal distances, and
each carried round the circle, rising in the same degree like so many cork-screws entwining one into the other. Small circular iron bars not only form much neater fixtures, but more durable; and the best method of fixing is to drive small oak plugs into the earth, with a hole in the centre to receive the bars. Three bars of three-quarter inch, placed in the earth triangularly, and three of quarter or half inch, at equal distances between, fixed to the hoops, will form a proper support.
As it regards the trees, a circle of stakes fixed in the earth would answer as good a purpose as hoops; but the hoops admit of more room for working the earth round the stem; and if large wire be used, and painted, it will produce a neater and more elegant effect.
To elucidate this description, I have giveni sketches in plate 3. figures A. 1, 2, & 3. Suppose the centre dot in figure A. to be the plant, with its branches as first fastened, the three large dots to represent the stakes, and the six smaller the laths. Figure 1. shews the manner in which the hoops and laths are fixed; and figure 2. represents a plant when first fixed; and figure 3. the second or third year after.
It will be seen that this mode is in every respect conformable to the principles upon which the system of training wall trees and common Espaliers is founded; and consequently trees trained in thiş manner will be, in every respect, productive of the same effect.