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Wisconsin farmer and northwestern cultivator
Vol. 4 (1852)

Wisconsin and Iowa farmer, and northwestern cultivator. Vol. IV, no. 8,   pp. [169]-192 PDF (9.2 MB)

Page 181

  1852.                 NORTHWESTERN CULTIVAIOR.                        
sary from  any accidental cause; and that until the base of a proper head
is formner-
early spring-say the month of Marh, as a In the second instanec,however,
(and indeed,
general rule-though the lastf February, in
early seasons. and the first of April in late
ones will often answer for the region to which
we particularly direct our hints, and desulto-
ry instructions.
  The point is, not to commence pruning un-
til the danger from hard freezing has passed
by, and to finish before the sap has started, or
the buds have begun to swell.-Cuts made in
freezing weather, or followed by severe frosts,
and those made after the buds have swollen,
seldom heal as kindly as they would have
done if made at the proper time.
  These points being understood, the next
thing in this connection, is the study of vari-
eties. It will be found that the habits of
growth and fructification are very unlike in
the numerous varieties of the same species of
fruit. One sort sends up a naked stem to a
very inconvenient height, and when branches
do appear, they are scanty, and bare as the
body of the tree-another kind of the same
fruit will push out long straggling shoots,-
few or many, according to its nature-and at
all heights from the ground, at all angles with
the stem-Then, again, you will find trees
with a dense top of brush, or a net work of
wiry twigs; and occasionally one will appear
with an abundance of blunt spur-like branches,
or a few thick angular ones, like the horns of a
buck-and, of course, all these require very
different prunings, and very unlike that which
you give the great majority of your trees,
with tall or short stems, but regular pyramidal
or graceful rounded heads.
  Now, it is very easy to direct the opera-
tion of pruning in some of these cases, and ve-
ry difficult in others. One thing should al-
ways be borne in mind-that you make no cut
without an object, for every particle of wood
removed will have its due weight in determin-
ing the after growth of the tree.
  If in the first case given, the nurseryman
bad pinched off the leading shoot of your tall
naked tree at the proper height, during its
summer growth, you would not be compelled
to shorten it with the knife, at planting, and
then cut back the side shoots as they appear
[IL moUs  LOC OLtersJ You WI"L Iave tO 50LLOW
Lp what the nurseryman has only commenc-
od-and in order to sio this successfully, you
must take lessons in the art from books, and
let care and skill, and judgment direct the prac-
tice of the art, as a part of the science q4hor-
ticulture, and not as a mere mechanical oper-
  The skillful surgeon removes a limb and
heals the stump-the thoughtful and scienti-
fic one saves it, if he can do so without risk
to the whole system. In horticulture, the
principle and action are in a measure revers-
ed-and the question often is, how much
and what ought we to lop off, to render the
whole system more perfect and enduring.
  Fortunately, at this day, Books describing
the process, and giving the principles upon
which rest all the necessary amputations in the
garden and orchard, are cheap and abundant;
a dollar, or $1, 25 will purchase Thomas'
"Fruit Culturist," or "Barry's Fruit Garden,"
and I confess, that part of my object in say-
ing so much, is to induce my readers to pur-
chase one or both of these most valuable
books. But before I close this lengthened
chapter, I will say one word on Summer pru-
ning. This is practiced from June to Sept,
according to season, the subject, or the object in
view. It is performed with the thumb and
finger, and consists in pinching off the soft ex-
tremity of the shoots you wish to stop. It is
done much more easily than cutting ripe wood,
and heals very readily, and saves much waste
of substance; as little, is removed, and that lit-
tle in an immature state. And it is, besides,
the very best process to induce early fruitful-
ness, though it is somewhat difficult to prac-
tice it, except on Dwarfs, or low half-st'indard
  The principle upon which summer pruning
operates in causing early fruitfulness, is the
same as in the other modes, which we intend
to give hereafter. The wood system, or over
luxuriance, is checked, and the fruit system,
or fruit buds developed-this being the natu-
ral consequence of diverting the sap and re-
tarding the growth-fruit buds being only
I .

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