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bark and wood, it will be a much more certain and ready method of forwarding its re-production and growth in a proper form, than awaiting and taking the chance of a young shoot in the natural way.
If trees are found to grow too luxuriantly for the space allowed them, it will be to little purpose we attempt keeping them within compass, by cutting back and shortening the branches, as this in most cases will increase the evil ; but if in the month of November, the earth be removed, and a proper proportion of the deepest growing roots cut off, the luxuriance of a tree may be checked in any degree, and rendered more fruitful; this operation may be repeated as often as required, without the least danger of disease or injury, as recommended for Espaliers.
FOR MANAGING OLD STANDARD TREES.
As Standard Trees, both in gardens and orchards, are, like the dwarfs, cut, cramped, and distorted into the most imperfect and unnatural forms, it will be difficult, by any means, short of lopping off, or cutting back the whole of the branches or head, to reduce them to a proper shape; and as this would be the certain loss of fruit for two or three years, it may by most persons be considered as too great a sacrifice; but in cases where the trees are grown so weak and extended as to bear no fruit, but on the extremities of the branches, and those continually breaking from casual pressure, I am persuaded, that in the course of a very few years, the loss would be more than made good by such an operation, in the certainty of a crop, and improved quality of the fruit.
When trees are lopped or cut back, such stems or limbs as grow in places, to sustain leading branches in a proper position, should not be cut off close to the trunk, but left from one to two or three feet; and the one that is most erect should be left so as to stand a foot or two above the rest, to form
a central stem; and a graft, either from its own branches, or some other variety of fruit, may be inserted between the bark and wood; but whether grafting be resorted to, or the tree left to throw out its own shoots, only the one which is rightly placed should be suffered to grow, and if this be sustained for a few years, until it is perfectly and firmly attached, it will, by its extra growth, form a handsome head, and bear more fruit, and in less time than two or more branches will do, when suffered to grow in the usual manner.
It is a common practice in pruning or dressing Standard Trees, when they are overgrown, and the fruit small, to cut away all the small branches in the middle of the tree: and when the object is an immediate improvement of the fruit, this is the most effectual method ; but as by this operation the cause is not removed, the effect will soon be reproduced; and with this the bearers being thrown at a great distance from the trunk, they will be in greater danger of injury from winds, snow, &c. In a case of this sort, therefore, it will be a more complete method to divide the limbs or arms as much as possible into tiers, agreeable to the form recommended for young trees, by cutting out all intermediate limbs or branches.
And thus, by giving room for the admission of the sun and air to the small branches growing on those that are left, they would become fruitful ; and taking up a large portion of sap, would not only prevent the expansion of the limbs or arms,
but occasion their increase in size and strengtlt
, and thus afford additional security against casual injury.
Whenever trees are found to produce shoots, but no fruit, a remedy will generally be found in removing the earth and cutting off some of the deep large growing roots, particularly the tap root, when found.
ON THE VINE.
The stated opinions of Bradley and Hitt are, that a dry calcareous soil is the best adapted for Vines, as it furnishes the greatest produce in fruit, and gives the finest flavor.
It however appears, by recent experiments, that the Vine not only grows most luxuriantly, but also healthy and fruitful in a soil replete with animal manure.
Mr. Speechly, in a treatise on the Vine, recommends a compost made of one-fourth part of gardenloam, one-fourth part of rotten-turf, one-fourth part of sweepings and scrapings of pavements and hard roads, one-eighth part of rotten cow dung, and one-eighth part of vegetable mould from rotten leaves.
He also recommends that this compost should form a bed or border of two feet and a half deep on a bottom laid shelving outwards from the stem, with a sufficient fall to drain off water.
No doubt this system of preparing borders is a very good one; but as Mr. Speechly correctly remarks, stagnant water is very prejudical to Vines, and for this reason, I think his compost is too close