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entirely by it; the whole hedge becomes covered with these long dead shoots, which are always disagreeable to look at, and usually indicate the approaching end of the hedge.
The causes of the disorder being thus explained, it will readily occur, that the only radical cure is amputation; which, by giving an opportunity to begin with training the hedge anew, gives us also an opportunity of avoiding the errors that occasioned it. In this case, care ought to be taken to cut the plants as close to the ground as possible, as there the stems will be less numerous than at any greater height. And particular attention ought to be had to allow very few shoots to arise from the stems that have been cut over, and to guard carefully against shortening them.
But, as the roots, in the cass e here supposed, will be very strong, the shoots that are allowed to spring from the stems will be very vigorous, and there will be some danger of their continuing to grow later in the season
than than they ought in safety to do; in which case, some part of the top of the shoot may perhaps be killed the first winter, which ought, if possible, to be prevented. This can only be effectually done, by giving a check to the vegetation in autumn, so as to allow the young shoots to harden in the points before the winter approaches. If any of the leaves or branches of a tree are cut away, while it is in the fate of vegetation, the whole plant feels the loss, and it suffers a temporary check in its growth, in proportion to the loss that it thus sustains. To check, therefore, the vigorous vegetation at the end of autumn, it will be prudent to chuse the beginning of September for the time of lopping off all the supernumerary branches from the young hedge, and for clipping off the side-branches that have have sprung out from it; which will, in general, be sufficient to give it such a check in its growth at that season, as will prevent any
of of the (hoots from advancing afterwards. If the hedge is extremely vigorous, a few buds may be allowed to grow upon the large stumps in the spring, with a view to be cut off at this season, which will tend to stop the vegetation of the hedge still more effectually.
By this mode of management, the hedge may be preserved entire through the first winter. And, as the flioots become less vigorous every successive season, there will be less difficulty in preserving them at any future period. It will always be proper, however, to trim the fides of a very vigorous hedge for some years, while it is young, about the same season of the year, which will tend powerfully to prevent this malady. But, when the hedge has advanced to any considerable height, it will be equally proper to clip it during any of the winter-months, before Candlemas.
It deserves to be remarked, before we leave this article, that the disease here complained
of is seldom dangerous, but in situations that are pretty much exposed.—And there are some situations so very much exposed to boisterous winds, that no care in training the hedge will be sufficient to preserve it. In thefe / cases, the hedges must be protected from the violence of the blasts, by the means prescribed § XIII. which, united with the management here recommended, will seldom fail to prove efficacious.
Of Lopping full grown Hedges,
If you live in a country where fewel is not scarce, I would advise never to cut the top of the hedge at all, but rather allow it to advance upwards in all the beautiful luxuriance of nature; by which means it will not only afford a much better shelter to the fields, but will also, in time, come to be annually covered with beautiful tufts of blossom, which diffuse an agreeable aromatic o
dour dour to a considerable distance around, and are succeeded by large clusters of berries that are very agreeable to the eye; so that it becomes, in this state, one of the finest ornamental shrubs that this climate produces.
But, if strong necessity compels you to cut your hedge, for the sake of billets, at any rate, allow it to have attained a considerable degree of strength before you think of cutting it for the first time, and then cut the tops clean over, at the height of four or five feet from the ground; which operation may be repeated afterwards, as often as shall be found necessary; taking care, after each cutting, to lop off all the luxuriant side-branches that may chance to spring out in consequence of that operation, which might be in danger of hurting the side-shoots that may be below.
In this way, you may have a very good hedge; but, it will neither afford such shelter