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Of the -proper Size of Plants.
If the young thorns are of an equally healthy temperament, the vigour with which they advance will be nearly in proportion to the size of the plant; so that it is of great consequence that these be not too small. The least size of thorns that I think should ever be planted out, if the plants can be got, should be such as are about the bigness of a man's little finger ; but they will be better if about the size of the thumb. If plants are reared in a very rich nursery, till they are of this size, and have had the earth carefully dug about them each year, so as to make them have their roots very much multiplied close by the stem, and be planted in a good soil in the manner after mentioned, few
persons persons have any comprehension of the degree of vigour with which they will advance. In such a case, the farmer may reasonably expect that the shoots of the first year will be, at a medium, between three and four feet in length, and some of them considerably beyond that. It would be difficult to rear plants to a larger size than this in a nursery; and, although they may be sometimes got of a larger size, by grubbing up a hedge which it is necessary to remove; yet as, in this case, the roots have been allowed to extend to a greater distance when growing, there is a necessity of cutting off many of these at raising them, so as to leave but few fibres adhering to the plant; on which account, it is not to be expected, that they will advance so fast as plants of a smaller size, which have had their roots properly formed by a judicious management in the nursery; yet plants of this kind ought not to be rejected, as I have sometimes seen
Of the proper Season for planting these.
As the strength and future healthiness of a hedge in a great measure depend upon the vigour of the shoots it makes the first year, too much care cannot be taken to guard against every circumstance that may tend to retard its progress at that period. On this account, it is of very great consequence, to have every hedge planted as early in winter as possible. For, I have found, by long experience, that, if one part of a hedge has been planted early in winter, and another part of it in the months of March or April, when the buds begin to swell, all other
circircumstances being equal, the shoots of the first year, from that part which has been first planted, have always been nearly double the size of those of the other part, and continue ever afterwards to be more healthy and vigorous in every respect; which is a circumstance that few, who have not experienced it, would naturally have expected. If the spring be not very backward, thorns should seldom be planted after the beginning of February; and, in the most backward seasons that we ever experience, none should ever be planted after the beginning of March, if it can possibly be avoided. It is a good method, in general, for those who have a great deal of work of this kind to perform, to begin to plant early in autumn; taking only so much earth from the ditch at that time, as is necessary to cover the roots of the plants sufficiently; and running along the whole in this manner as quickly as possible, so as to have the quicks all
plantplanted early in winter; after which the ditches may be finished, without any loss, in the spring. But, even in this case, the whole ought to be finished in the month of March, otherwise the young moots will be much injured by the disturbance they will meet with,
Of Trimming before Plantings
As the vigour of the first shoots of a hedge, likewise, in a great measure, depends upon the proper trimming of the young thorns before planting, I stiall beg to make a few observations on that head.
Every tree, when it is transplanted, loses a part of its roots, and is on this account unable