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there continues small and weakly; while the top, continuing to advance with luxu-* riance, becomes so large and weighty as to be, with difficulty, supported by these small naked shanks, which gradually become barer and barer every year. But every ,one knows, that, if the bottom of a hedge is Or pen, it is of very little consequence whether it be close above or not: And, I leave it to be determined by experience, whether this is not, in general, the condition of hedges which have been clipped in the top when young; especially in those cases where the • hedge

of the stem, so as to enable it properly to support its top, nature gradually frees herself from these useless branches; and, by their gradual decay, the stem is left of that delicate taper-form which is best adapted both for strength and beauty. This is the regular progress of nature, if left to herself. It ought to be the study of man to improve upon the hints that she affords him, and to direct her operations so as that they may best concur with him in promoting his design.

hedge has made vigorous {hoots the first year. And, if it shall be found, that this is, in general, the casse, we must conclude, that this practice tends to make the hedge thin-r ner, as well as weaker than it would have been, if it had been entirely omitted.

But, if an hedge is allowed to advance in height, without being cut in the. top, the small branches that spring out near the root, not being starved by the extraordinary suction, or suffocated by the shade of too luxuriant branches above them, continue to live, and detain a part of the sap; so as to make the under part of the stem still continue to encrease in size and strength, and be well able to support the small top that it thus acquires. And, if the most luxuriant sidebranches that may spring out above, are, from time to time, pruned away, so as not to be allowed to overshade those that may be below; these last will continue to grow as long as the hedge exists. And as, by this


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management, there will be but few sidebranches of any considerable size, the principal stems will advance with very great vigour, gradually tapering from the root upwards.

I cannot be too particular in advising the husbandman to bestow almost his whole attention to the proper formation of the upright stems of the hedge; Because, upon this, the whole future strength of the hedge must entirely depend. And, if these are once rightly formed, it will be an easy matter to give it every quality that we could wish for in a hedge. For, if these strong stems should even be entirely destitute of small branches, they may be made to push out abundance of them whenever it may be thought necessary, only by making a slight wound in the naked stem, where-ever you desire that young branches should appear: For, below every such wound, a number of small shoots will spring forth the ensuing

season; season; the points of which' being cut off, will fend out a still greater number of small twigs, which, by being frequently cut, will, in a short time, form a covering as close as could be desired.

The truth of this reasoning I myself experienced at a very early period of my life; for, having then had occasion to dress a garden that was surrounded by an old hedge, which had always been allowed to grow as nature prompted; never, that I know of, having been touched either by knife or scissars, I found the branches straggling very sar on every fide, all of which I caused to be cut off quite close by the upright stems, which then were left entirely naked, and appeared like as many may-poles placed beside one another. But, by cutting a good many flight notches all along these stems, at the distance of a few inches from one another, they were, in one year, entirely covered with young shoots; which, by being cutonce

or or twice in one season, put but siich a number of smaller ramifications, as in a short time formed a covering so very close, that it was hardly possible to see any object through it at any part. Nor did I ever, in my life* fee a hedge, that, either for strength or beauty, could be compared with this one. Many of the stems being six or eight inches in diameter; and they grew so close to one another, that no animal larger than a small bird could possibly have penetrated it.

From these observations, I hope, it will appear evident, that, if we wish to have a right hedge, either for strength or closeness, it is of importance never to shorten the top-shoots; at least, while it is young. But, it is always of use to prune the sides; cutting off all the lateral moots, with the scissars, quite close to the upright stems, after the first year's growth. And if, after the growth of the second year, it should so happen, that too many shoots have sprung


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