« PreviousContinue »
is accomplished more effectually by grafting them upon the Doucin stock; the crab being destined to the support of orchard standards, or dwarfs for large gardens, where the trees can be allowed plenty of room. And here it may be observed, that dwarfs on crab-stocks are much more adapted for large and ponderous fruit than standards, as they not only produce larger fruit, but are less likely to be blown down by high winds. Trees for this purpose should have their branches of an equal strength : those which have been grafted one year, or what are termed by nurserymen maiden plants, are the best; they should not be cut down when planted, but should stand a year, and then be headed down to the length of four or six inches, according to their strength; these will produce three or four shoots from each cutdown branch, which will be sufficient to form a head. At the end of the second year, two or three of the best placed of these from each branch should be selected, and shortened back to nine, twelve, or fifteen inches each, according to their strength, taking care to keep the head perfectly balanced (if the expression may be allowed), so that one side shall not be higher nor more numerous in its branches than the other, and all must be kept as near as may be at an equal distance from each other. If this regularity in forming the head be attended to and effected at first, there will be no difficulty in keeping it so afterwards, by observing either to prune to that bud immediately on the inside next to the centre of the tree, or that immediately on the outside. By this means, view. ing it from the centre, the branches will be produced in a perpendicular line from the eye ; whereas, if pruned to a bud on the right or left side of the branch, the young shoot will be produced in the same direction : so that if the branches formed round a circle be not thus pruned to the eyes on the right successively, or the left successively, a very material difference will be found, and the regularity of the tree will be destroyed, in one single year's pruning; which may be readily illustrated thus :-Fix four branches, either in a direct line, or to a circular hoop, at the distance of eight inches from each other: let the first branch on the left be called a, the second b, the third c, the fourth d; head down a to the left hand bud; b to the right ; c to the left; and d to the right. When these have grown a year, those between b and c will be only six inches apart, while those between a and b and between c and d will be ten inches : thus the distances now are not as eight to to eight, but as six to ten ; which would require two years' pruning in a contrary direction to restore the head to its former regularity: and it must not be forgotten that this system of pruning will hold good in every other case.
What has just been said, has reference only to the leading shoots, which are always produced from the terminal buds when pruned, and which alone form the figure and beauty of the tree. The intermediate space must of course be provided for at the same time, having a regard to the number of branches thus employed, that they do not crowd each other. On the contrary, they must be kept thin, and perfectly open, so as to admit plenty of sun and air, without which the fruit produced will be small and good for but little : the middle of the tree, indeed, must be kept quite open from the first to the last, taking care that all the surrounding branches lead outwards, and preserving a regular distance from each other.
In pruning the supernumerary shoots, they should be cut down to within an inch of the bottom, which will generally cause the surrounding eyes to form natural blossom spurs; but where the tree is in a vigorous state of growth, branches will probably be produced instead
of spurs : if so, they must all be cut out close, except one, which must be shortened as before.
In all the winter prunings, care must be taken to keep the spurs short and close, none of which should at any time exceed three inches ; cutting out clean all the blank spurs, which have produced fruit the previous summer, to the next perfect bud below.
Should canker be perceived in any of the branches, or older limbs, if of a formidable nature, they should, at this pruning, be cut out to the sound wood, where, in general, nature will have provided some young shoots of more than usual strength, for the purpose of remedying the defect. When canker arises from some accidental cause, such as wounds, by early attention it may be overcome; but when it arises from a constitutional disease, amputation is the only remedy for the affected part. Should it break out on an extended scale, an efficacious remedy will be sought in vain—the shortest, and the least expensive, will be to root up the tree.
These appear to me to be all the instructions necessary to be observed in the management of open dwarfs : they are, at least, such as I have myself pursued for many years ; and I have found ample compensation, not only in abundant crops, but in fine and perfect specimens of fruit.
Espalier trees are of old standing in this country, and are admirably adapted for small gardens, where every yard of room is of consequence; and in large gardens they are equally valuable with the open dwarf.
There are two ways of forming espaliers : the most common is that of training the two sides in the manner of horizontal wings: this method always leaves the centre open, from the curvature of the inner branches, which gives the tree an awkward and vacant appearance. The other method is to train a perpendicular shoot from the centre, and furnish the sides with branches at right angles from the main stem : this last appears to me the most simple, and the best ; because it leaves no blank in the tree, and is the most easy to be accomplished.
In proceeding to form a tree of this description, select a plant of one year old from the graft, with three even shoots if possible: when planted, place five short stakes in the line the espalier is intended to be trained, one in the centre, and two on each side,-at a foot distance from each other; training the centre shoot perpendicularly to the centre stake, and the two side shoots horizontally to the four others : these must be kept at their full length till the plant has been established a year. If then it appears to be in a state of vigour, cut back the three branches; the two side ones to six inches, and the centre one to nine or ten. When the young shoots are produced from these, train the extreme or strongest one from each of the side branches horizontally. The centre shoot will have produced three shoots at least; the uppermost of which must be continued perpendicularly, and the two next beneath trained horizontally, one on each side. This will then form the espalier. This process must be continued from year to year till the tree has arrived at its intended height, which is generally about five feet.
If the centre shoot produces three others annually when cut down to nine inches, it will require seven years to complete the seven series of horizontal branches: but sometimes it happens that the centre shoot possesses sufficient vigour to produce two series, or five branches, by shortening it to eighteen inches instead of nine ; if so, this advantage may be seized.
Should the tree, after having been planted a year, not possess sufficient vigour to throw out three shoots
from the centre branch, all the three branches must
After this, the horizontal shoots must be trained at
In training the espalier, it will of course have been
If the large-fruited kitchen apples, upon crab-
INDEX TO APPLES.
Acklam's Russet - - 163 Belle Bonne
. 22 Belle Grisdeline .
- 46 Bell's Scarlet .
- 169 Bennett Apple
- 117 Blenheim Pippin -
. 88 Borovitsky ..