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course, the tree will become fructiferous, in the shortest possible time, and the fruit will be so placed and sustained, as to attain the most perfect quality, and the greatest quantity.
Both the stem and the branches, by their conical shape, will be capable of resisting greater pressure from the weight of fruit, snow, wind, &c. and as large amputations will not be required, or accidental fractures so frequent, the health and progress of growth will be more regular and lasting.
And that which Mr. Knight justly states to be absolutely necessary to put a tree in a state of perfection, “ an equal division and distribution of the sap to every part," will be, by this mode, obtained.
If by any means the leading or centre branch be destroyed or injured, so as to prevent its maintaining its position, it must be shortened to some bud, which will admit of being trained up in its place,
, or if this cannot be done, one of the strongest and uppermost horizontals
be raised up and fastened in a perpendicular position, and whilst young, this is easily done, by tying one end of a straight stick of sufficient strength, to the stem of the tree, a foot or more below the branch it is intended to support, and then fastening the branch above to it; being fixed in this position, it will soon gain the ascendency, and perform its office; but if the stem should be destroyed so low down, that the next horizontals will be too large to be
brought up, a graft may be inserted in the stem, which will soon recover its place.
When it is desired to change the fruit of any young tree, it is better to insert one branch or graft only, in the stem, with the point bud perfect, unless for greater certainty, two be inserted, in which case, one should be removed as soon as the other has securely attached itself to the stock.
A single graft, if permitted to grow its full extent, without stopping, will not only form a regular and well disposed head in appearance, but it will also furnish as large a surface, and produce as much fruit, and in as short a time as if three or four had been permitted to grow in the usual manner; and this will, after a few years, be as free from danger of being broken by wind, snow, or otherwise, as if it had been grafted, and had grown from a stock near the ground.
With a large tree of one or more tiers of horizontals, it will be as well to insert a graft on each horizontal, as well as the stem; this will be gaining time.
Such kinds of fruit as naturally grow too much reclining, or pendulous, to raise itself to a straight stem, of sufficient height, and to form a handsome head, may be grafted on a tree already formed with horizontals in the manner last described.
The best shoots for this grafting, are those short and strong ones, which have a wood bud at the extremity, and are generally formed at the ends of the bearers.
Figure 2. in plate 8. is given as a representation of a tree with a head in its fourth year; it may be added, that when the elevation or depression of the first tier of horizontal branches is left to nature, very little attention or art will be required for their future regulation, for as the different tiers will grow parallel with each other, there will be no danger of crossing or confusion.
Hitt's explanation of his plate 7. is as follows:
" Figure 1. represents a tree whose head is supposed to be only one year old, with all the branches shortened, but none taken out, which is the customary way of pruning at the time of planting, and which causés trees, when they are old, to have too many strong parts, and to be full of old wood.
Figure 2. represents a tree with branches two or three years old, and cut according to the common method, with all the branches shortened more than the length of the last year's shoots, and no other buds left on them but such as are either prepared or preparing to blossom. But this method causes many new planted trees to be three or four years before they make any
shoots. Figure 3. represents a tree with five branches, either one, two, or three years old, and cut after the method I practise upon the head of a tree whose shoots are not more than two feet long.
“ The branches left on are at their full length; that at A. is intended for an addition to the stem, and should be one of the strongest of those standing
upright, but the other four must be chosen as much in a horizontal position as their natural manner of growing will allow.
Figure 4. represents a tree when full grown: the way to bring a tree to such a shape is to make a straight stem, and preserve upon it four branches, at every place where a new sett of horizontals is required, A. B. C. D. which should not be nearer each other than two feet, and if the tree is of such a nature as to produce a straight, upright branch for a stem, then all others but those designed for horizontals must be rubbed off at their first appearance, for all branches of a standard fruit tree should grow in such positions as those of a silver fir tree."
PRUNING AND MANAGEMENT
OLD WALL TREES.
In the pruning and management of old trees, the principles I have laid down will be found equally to apply, as to the training of young ones; but as most will require considerable attention to reduce them to a proper state, I shall suppose a few cases, and explain the best mode of treatment.
Peach trees are generally trained in the fan fashion; and when of more than six or eight years old, their best bearing wood is formed at the extremities of the branches, and there not being room to fix them, they are cut away.
When a selection of branches is made, an appearance of decent regularity is given, and the space is sufficiently covered ; but as in the performance of this, full one-half or perhaps twothirds of the young shoots are removed, those that are left being the underling branches (or such as were made to fructify by starvation, instead of due 'exposure), are incapable of producing fruit in perfection..