« PreviousContinue »
. In the next winter's pruning these must be shortened according to their strength; the leading shoot from each branch is usually the strongest: these may be cut back to nine or twelve inches, and the others to six or nine. In the summer, care must be taken to select and train as many of the best-placed young shoots as are wanted to form the figure of the tree, proceeding thus from year to year till it is completely furnished, both in its sides and middle, for there ought not then to be a blank space in any part within its extent.
The commencement of summer pruning of Apricots always takes place in May, as soon as the young shoots are two or three inches long : this is generally termed by gardeners the disbudding season; because the superfluous shoots are at this time removed, leaving those only which are required to elongate the branches, and to furnish fruit for the succeeding season.
The disbudding of the young shoots is by many gardeners performed by pinching them off with the finger and thumb: this may be done tolerably well with care; but I have seen some, who have been gardeners for years, and who have torn them off, lacerating the bark, and leaving holes in the branches whence they were taken; the consequence has been a diseased state of the tree, with gum flowing from almost every limb. A man possessing a reflecting mind must ever be incapable of practising such a barbarous method. Instead, therefore, of disbudding by either of the former methods, I would recommend a small, sharp, thin-bladed knife to be made use of, cutting off the supernumerary shoots, close to the bark of the branch, but not into it, and shortening the smaller ones to half an inch, which will occasion many of them to form natural spurs for blossoms at the base.
In the winter pruning of Apricots, every shoot should be shortened according to its strength : no one should
ever exceed eighteen inches, and few will ever require to be less than six : in a general way, from ten to fourteen inches, in full-grown trees, appears to be the most proper length to be allowed.
By pruning thus short, and training the branches thin, the trees will be kept in vigour, the fruit will always attain its full size under favourable circumstances, and its quality will be good.
The Moorpark Apricot, in some situations, is apt to be affected by canker in different parts of the tree, thereby occasioning a partial loss of its limbs. When this takes place in old trees, it is too late to apply a remedy; but its occurrence may be prevented by taking up the young tree after it has been trained three or four years, cutting off close those roots which have a perpendicular direction, and spreading out the others horizontally, and re-planting it again ; taking care that the part where it had been budded, be kept six or eight inches above the surface of the ground. If this be carefully performed, without shaking the mould off the roots, the progress of the tree will be but little impeded by the operation. At the end of three years more this should be repeated in the same manner, after which it will rarely happen that any of those local injuries will take place.
1. AMBRÉE. Forsyth Ed. 7. p. 79. Cerise Ambrée. Duhamel, No. 14. t. 11.
Fruit large, round at the head, but flattened next the stalk, which is about two inches long. Skin rather thick, of a fine amber colour, mottled with light red and yellow, and of a bright red where exposed to the sun. Flesh pale yellow, somewhat transparent, with white veins, and slightly tinged with red under the skin next the sun. Juice plentiful, sugary, and when fully ripe very excellent. Stone with a very sharp point.
Ripe the end of July, and beginning of August. This is rather too tender for an open standard, unless in a warm sheltered situation ; but does remarkably well when trained against an east wall.
2. ARCHDUKE. Forsyth. Ed. 7. No. 4.
Griotte de Portugal. Duhamel, No. 18. t. 13. • Portugal Duke. Pom. Franc. 2. p. 40. t. 27. f. 21.
Fruit clustered like the May Duke, and much of the same colour ; but larger, with a shorter stalk, and inserted in a deeper hollow, ripening at least a fortnight later. The Arch Duke is a much more vigorous grower than the May Duke, with longer diverging branches, and larger leaves. It is equally hardy as an open standard, and may be planted to advantage among Morellos on a north wall.
3. BELLE DE Choisy. Jard. Fruit. Vol. ii. p. 21. t. 7. Pom. Mag. t. 42.
Cerise de la Palembre, 1 of the French Gardens, acCerise Doucette, Scording to the Pom. Mag.
Fruit growing by pairs, middle-sized, roundish, depressed at the apex. Stalk, from the forks an inch, neck half an inch long. Skin transparent, red, mottled with amber colour, especially on the shaded side. Flesh amber-coloured, tender, and sweet. Stone middle-sized, round.
Ripe in July, rather before the May Duke.
This cherry is of French origin, and is said to have been raised at Choisy, near Paris, about the year 1760. The general habit of the tree is that of the the May Duke; but the branches are rather more spreading than the common one, and the leaves more evenly serrated.
It bears well on an open standard, and is very deserving of cultivation.
4. CARNATION. Langley, t. 16. f. 3.
Fruit large, round, almost the colour of the Kentish, but more marbled with red. Flesh firm, with a very good-flavoured juice.
Ripe in August
The branches, as well as the trees, have a good deal of the character of the Kentish; but they are stronger, the leaves larger, deeply and doubly serrated.
The Carnation Cherry, is a shy bearer generally, on an open standard; but when trained as an espalier, in a
warm garden, where it has plenty of sun, it bears extremely well, and the fruit is much finer.
5. EARLY May. Miller, No. 2.
Cerisier Noir, à fruit rond précoce. Duh. 1. p. 168. t. 3.
Fruit small, round, a little flattened at both extremities. Stalk one inch and a quarter long, slender, deeply inserted. Skin of a pale red colour. Flesh soft, juicy, but not high flavoured.
Ripe in June before any of the Dukes.
This cherry ripened at Twickenham, in 1727, on the 25th of April, O.S., or the 6th of May, N.S., according to Langley.
The wood of this sort is very slender and wiry, with small shining leaves. Its only merit is that of ripening before any other. It requires a south or south-east wall, being too tender for an open standard.
. 6. Holman's DUKE. Langley, t. 17. f.1.
Fruit round, flattened at both ends, of a very deep red; and when highly ripened in the sun, it is almost black. Flesh very melting, juicy, and of a most excellent flavour.
Ripe the middle and end of August.
The Holman's Duke is a very distinct variety of the Duke, and cannot well be confounded with any other. Its shoots are short, erect, straight, short-jointed, and more slender than any of the other varieties; and when the May Duke is fully ripe, the fruit of this is quite green, and ripening at least a month later in all situations. It is one of our most hardy sorts, and when planted against a north wall is highly valuable; not only as affording a most certain crop, but as prolonging the season of the Duke to a late period, and as a connecting link between all the rest and the Morello.