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ble ? Does it not tend to produce blight? And can the wood be so well matured as when the growth is slower ? These are subjects worthy of consideration by the orchardist.
Such trees as our correspondent states he has had since 1832, without coming into fruit, we should deem fit subjects for root-pruning; this, we are sure, will speedily induce them to bear. It at once checks the growth, and causes the formation of fruit spurs. We have tried this ourselves, and seen it fully and successfully tried by others. It may be done the coming spring
We have root grafted the pear, apple and plum, but never the peach, as we could not see that any thing could be gained by the operation, for the seedlings are always of sufficient size to bud the first year, and there is far more leisure in the months of August and September to do this, than to graft in the spring. We do not doubt but that the operation of root grafting may be as well done on the peach as with the plum; and of the latter we have had fine trees; as to the graft making a much handsomer tree, we think this must be an error. No better trees can be produced than those we have raised from buds, being clothed with branches to the ground, — far more numerous than should be allowed to remain when the trees are removed where they are to stand. Where peach stones are difficult to procure, root grafting may be very desirable, as roots from old trees can be had for the purpose.
Root grafting the rose is very extensively practised with us, and of the very rare kinds we raise hundreds in this manner. So successful is the operation, that, from scions cut from trees imported from France in October, we have had plants a foot high in May, and ready for planting out into the border, and, of perpetuals, in full bloom in nine months.
The apricot will do very well upon the peach, and where the peach borer is not troublesome, it will answer every purpose. But in this region the borer commits such ravages that the plum stock is far the best; besides, the plum checks the rapid growth of the tree, and consequently the wood is better ripened and able to resist severe winters. We work our apricots upon the muscle plum, which is a free grower. The Chickasaw and Canada plum are both unfit, though we know many nurserymen who use them altogether. We have sev
eral trees, procured of various nurserymen, in our collection, on the Canada plum, and, in a late gale, a large tree was broken off at the junction of the graft, from the overgrowth of the scion. We would recommend the muscle plum to our correspondent, as the very best stock for the apricot.
We have never budded the apple on the pear. Though the apple will undoubtedly grow, it is doubtful whether such a union will be of any utility. Perhaps, to test a new variety as soon as possible, it may be advantageous; but we need experiments to show whether trees will continue to produce fine fruit after they once begin to bear. We shall be happy to learn the results of any experiments of this kind, which our correspondent or his friends may be induced to try.-Ed.
Art. II. Results of the Cultivation of the Pear and other
Fruit in the Southern States. By R. CHISHOLM, Esq., Corresponding Secretary of the Bcaufort Agricultural Society.
I PROMISED you, last summer twelve months, to communicate my experience in fruit, but the past summer has been so very unfavorable that I have had very little fruit, nearly all having rotted on the trees. Of peaches, nectarines, and plums, I did not get one single good fruit, though my trees were loaded, except from a tree of the Bolmar Washington plum, which bore about fifteen or eighteen, which all came to perfection, the largest being fully six and a half inches in circumference. My apples were generally wormy and rotted before ripening. My pears did rather better, though they too rotted very badly. The Epargne bore well, and, from one or two fruit picked at the right time, I should call it a good, juicy, and sweet fruit; but 1 allowed most of the fruit to remain on the tree until overripe, when they were mealy and flavorless. The Epine d'Eté, or summer thorn, bore well also, and the fruit was larger than the year before, and probably better, but I thought it only fully second quality. The Grey Butter, St. Germain, Winter Bon Chrétien, Crassane, and Verte Longue Panaché bore well, and their fruits were about equal, though very different,
and I consider them of the first quality. The Echasserie, I should also pronounce first quality, though it bore only a few imperfect fruit. The true Virgouleuse bore a quantity of fruit, but they all were cracked, knotty and utterly uneatable, which is, I believe, the great objection to it, as the fruit is fine when in perfection. The White Butter was knotty as usual with me, and consequently just eatable. The best pear I ate during the season was one of the size and shape of the summer Thorn, but without any color on the cheek, and ripening about one month later, the name of which I do not know, though I am under the impression, from no good reason, that I received it as the Doyenné de la Motte, but I hope to be able to test this point the next summer, as I hope that the tree I have under that name will bear fruit if I can get rid of the bark lice that infest it. Even my orange trees, which bore about 10,000 or 12,000 a year ago, have this season borne only about 200 oranges. My oranges, by the by, were pronounced the last year, by all who tasted them, as the best they had ever tasted, except by one gentleman, who thought that those he had eaten from the tree in Cuba were superior.
The cultivation of fruit, especially of peaches and pears, is extending rapidly hereabouts. Of the apples, plums, and cherries, we are doubtful of success, though some of us are trying them. I mean to graft and bud my apples mainly upon our native crab, which I find on the plantation, and the others upon native or acclimated stocks. I think that when we are fairly under way, the north will get its best peaches and late pears from the south, and the south its best apples, plums, and early pears from the north, at least so says my theory on the subject; Q. E. D. as you will probably say—I am sowing the seed of pears to try.
My small olive trees were loaded with fruit this year for the first time; but, just before the fruit was ripe, it was all blown down by the gale of the 10th and 11th of October. I have several hundred trees just coming into bearing.
If you raise figs in your houses, why do you not try the Celestial, one of the smallest, but a good bearer, and the best fig known here and to the south, and also the Alicante, a very large, very productive, ever-bearing, and fine blue fig? These are our two best figs. Wishing you many
able contributors, and many punctual subscribers, I remain yours.
Near Beaufort, S. C., Dec. 21, 1846.
Will our correspondent be so kind as to forward us, at a convenient opportunity, a tree of each of the figs he so highly recommends? We are now importing some new sorts from Europe with the hope of making a collection of the best ; and would be glad to have the Celestial and Alicante to compare with the European sorts, and note their relative merits. The fine pear alluded to of the shape of the summer Thom may be the St. Ghislain, which resembles that variety in form. Bark lice may be easily destroyed by washing with oil soap about the consistence of common paint.--Ed.
ART. III. Observations on Root Pruning. By A. H. ERNST.
PERMIT me to make a few remarks, through your Magazine, on root pruning as adapted to the culture of trees. This, although a popular measure with some writers and cultivators, I cannot but view as a sort of horticultural heresy, calculated to produce much mischief. This practice will have its day, and then be permitted to slumber among the errors of the times.
The principle of life, growth, and durability of trees, is not unlike that of the animal. To secure these ends to the fullest extent, both must be supplied with good and healthy nourishment, suited to their condition, and just in proportion to the number, capacity and healthy action of the reeciving or absorbing vessels, will the plant or animal be benefited by it: if these are obstructed or crippled, it is clear the plant or animal must suffer just in proportion to such obstruction, however ample or appropriate the food within their reach. The extreme ends and the laterals of the roots are furnished with what are termed spongioles ; these answer to the plant as the lacteals of the stomach do to the animal, in absorbing from the digested or prepared substance, in the one from the stomach, conveying it to the lungs, where it is changed into blood, and is thus prepared to add to the life and growth of the animal: the other from the earth, conyeying it through the sapvessels to the leaves, which are the lungs of the plants : from these it is returned in a suitable condition to add to the growth of the plant. The leaves of a tree are just as essential to its growth and health, as its roots and food, and will as certainly suffer from a want of a sufficient supply as the animal whose lungs are impaired. Trees too, like animals, require and do periodically rest : the tree, being deprived, during this time of rest, of its leaves, ceases to grow, although its functions are only in part suspended : if, during this time of rest, the roots are deprived of moisture any considerable length of time, the tree will die. All this goes to show how essential and important the leaves are to the growth of the tree, and the roots to the supply of the nourishment from the earth for their ability to perform their office. Any culture, then, that has a tendency to prevent the forming of the largest supply of leaves, is a fatal error. This is the effect of root pruning. It is evident, if the spongioles of the roots are cut off or mangled, the plant must suffer just as the animal would, if deprived of the lacteals of the stomach, and is thus deprived from the forming new wood and leaves, until new spongioles can be formed. As often, then, as this is repeated, the plant will lessen in strength until its life is exhausted by this unnatural process.
That the system of root pruning may be successfully applied to stunting and dwarfing trees, and forcing them into fruiting, is an admitted fact, and where the durability of the tree is no object, but a show of fruit of more importance, no better expedient can be resorted to, to effect the object, and where but limited room can be afforded, and a large variety of fruit is desirable, the advocates of this system may have sufficient cause for recommending it. But to those who have not yet been crowded into narrow limits, and deem the duration of their trees of any importance, I should advise against a resort to it by all means.
The practice of root pruning is very simple; nothing more is necessary than a sharp spade: with this, the roots are cut off by forcing it in the ground with the foot, across the roots, a greater or less distance from the body of the tree, accord