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The branches being continued in the same elevation, and parallel with each other, they will always form their strongest shoots at the point buds, and may be carried to any height without running into confusion, or crossing.
If any strong shoots are formed near the base, they may either be fixed and carried on parallel with the stems, or cut clean out.
The bearers, which will be natural studs or spurs, may remain as they are formed, within or without the circle, or on the upper or lower sides; and if they grow out far, or long, they may be tied in.
This method is extremely well calculated to train vines in the open ground, and to ripen grapes, as it will easily admit of being covered with glasses.
It is also well calculated to train fruit trees in pots for occasional or constant forcing in the hothouse.
When Espaliers or dwarf trees are found to grow too luxuriant, and to exceed their bounds, the better way to check their growth is to open the earth two or three feet round the stem, and cut through one or more of those roots that
the strongest, and that run deepest into the soil ; by these means, the form and regularity of the tree will be altered, as it would be by shortening and cutting out the branches.
If trees are found to throw out too much wood towards the stem or base, and the point buds or leading shoots do not grow sufficiently strong to
carry on the horizontal branches, these must be raised to a greater elevation.
The growth of these trees is determined by the elevation or depression of the branches, the same as that of wall trees.
ON STANDARD FRUIT TREES.
The system in general practice, of raising and training standard trees, is as imperfect and deficient, particularly in shaping or forming their heads and its consequences, as that of wall trees, and is as capable of being improved.
Hitt has recommended the shape best adapted to every desirable purpose, but why his method has not been adopted, I am at a loss to guess, unless it is from his not having described a more simple mode of commencing the formation of his trees, or from the same cause that his wall trees failed, viz. his not having sufficiently attended to original and natural principles, in his directions.
Many of the objects described by different authors, as desirable, but difficult of attainment, are brought easily within the reach of every one, by the mode I shall explain.
Hitt recommends that the shape or figure should be conical, like the natural growth of the fir tree; and in this manner, almost all fruit trees are naturally inclined to grow to a certain height; but Hitt depresses the horizontal branches too much,
as shewn by his figure, and as he does not particularly direct, that the graft from which the tree is raised, be inserted with its point or extreme bud perfect, he commences with a difficulty.
Mr. Knight observes, “Each variety of the apple tree has its own peculiar form of growth, and this it will ultimately assume in a considerable degree, in defiance of the art of the pruner."
In this observation he is correct, and the same may be applied to almost every kind of fruit tree; and it corroborates my opinion, that it is improper to prune or head back a tree at any period, or for any purpose, but to repair injuries.
When trees have been headed back, and have from three to five branches of nearly the same strength, it is difficult to give one the ascendency and at the same time to preserve a regular figure; but if trees are raised from the point bud, and they proceed uninjured, or unchecked, by accident or otherwise, in the manner I have before explained, the horizontals will naturally form and range themselves with regularity, immediately round the extremity of the annual shoot, and will thus prove to be at the distance, and in the position, best adapted to the nature of the tree, and the soil and situation it grows in.
A tree planted in a rich soil, and well sheltered, will attain a great height and size, and as it will require, so it will make shoots of great length, and the horizontals will form at great distances, so as to acquire a surface proportioned to its supply, and
be in a fructiferous state in its usual time; and if planted in a poorer soil, its shoots will be alike
proportioned to produce the needful surface, so that there will be no necessity for cutting or stopping, which operation always proves injurious to every tree, and more particularly so to a standard, as it retards its bearing
A side bud should never be forced to forin a perpendicular stem, but in case of necessity, fromany injury or loss of the original. The buds which are naturally arranged round the extreme or point bud, will always grow the strongest, and regularly take the lead of all below, of the same age, and form the horizontals in regular tiers; it will therefore seldom be necessary to take off any of the side branches, for at least a year or two after they. are formed; if they are suffered to remain they will incline the stem to grow stouter and more conical, which will give it more strength, and also keep it more within its natural growth; after a year or two, if they are found too many and too close, they may be thinned and regulated.
By training, or rather permitting a tree to grow in this manner, it will be found, that all the effects desired, and intended to be obtained, by the old methods of training and pruning, either young or old trees, will be gained, and with very little difficulty, at its commencement, during its progress, or towards its end.
Every particle of food consumed will be profitably applied, by the whole of the sap taking its free