The pits of our native plums are often planted very early in spring quite thinly, given good cultivation, and are budded quite late the same season. These young, excitable seedlings continue growth late and the bark can be raised two weeks after the usual season of plum-budding The stocks, rather small above the ground, can be budded an inch below the surface where the size is larger. The seedlings of wild red cherry (Primus Pennsylvanica) can in like manner be budded late the same season the pits are planted. It is the same with the peach, and in the South it is now the usual commercial method. But it is necessary, to secure good roots on seedling stocks budded without transplanting, to cut the tap-roots with a spade or to run a side-cut tree-digger under the rows.
A few days after the buds are inserted the growth of the stocks above and below the ligature begins to be observed. With a sharp knife the raffia fibre is cut on the side opposite to the bud. With the stone fruits it is necessary to retie above the bud. If this is not done the bark below the cross-cut will roll outward, often causing the death of the bud before spring.
In late fall at the North it is safest to bank up the stocks above the bud with the plow for winter protection, finishing the irregularities with a hoe. Quite early in spring the banking is raked down and the top cut off so as to leave a ring of bark above the cross-cut. If cut too low the upper part of the bud is apt to be dried up and often the whole bud. Some propagators cut so as to leave a stub, as shown in Fig. 40, to which the growing shoot is tied to keep it erect. Others cut four inches above the bud at first, and then, after the bud has made some growth, cut so as to leave a ring of bark as above stated. But long experience has shown that it is best to cut by sloping the cut upward from above the cross-cut. On well-established stocks the growth from the bud is often so strong, especially with the plum, that staking is necessary to give an erect growth. The small stakes if cared for can be used several years in succession.
Fig. 40. — Stub left for tying the young shoot.