When trees or shrubs are transplanted from the nursery or forest to the orchard or lawn, the feeding-roots and rootlets are largely left in the soil and those retained are more or less mutilated or bruised at the ends in digging. When moved to the new position they stand in isolated exposure, subjected to wind and sun during the quite long period prior to growth of new rootlets capable of sustaining the rapid evaporation of the first feeble growth of top.
If the handling, planting, and soil conditions are not favorable, the transplanted tree or shrub may not be able to start growth in the way required for healthy aftergrowth if they do not wither and die. Hence the need of methodic care and management in this important work.
The distance apart of orchard trees and small fruits, best size of trees to plant, when and where to plant, are topics for consideration in connection with the transportation, handling, and planting of orchard fruits, lawn trees, and shrubs.
The different orchard fruits require different distances between the trees, depending on their size of top and spread of roots. It is also true that the different species and varieties attain varying size in different climates and different soils and subsoils. In southern Georgia, for instance, the writer has seen peach-trees with stems fifteen inches in diameter and a spread of branches of thirty feet. In the same way the apple, pear, cherry, and plum vary exceedingly in size of tree and spread of root in different climates. The established distances apart can best be given by separating the different species into small groups.
In such apple-growing belts as some portions of New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Arkansas, the apple and pear attain very large size with great spread of root. In such sections forty feet each way is close enough for planting. Where experience has shown that the trees attain less size in thirty years, thirty-three feet apart each way is preferred by experienced planters. In the prairie States from thirty to forty feet apart is preferred on the loess sorts of southwest Iowa, while on the northern limit of apple- and pear-growing much closer planting is permissible, as the varieties grown are much smaller in size when fully developed. Perhaps the best plan on the northern limits is to plant in rows running north and south sixteen feet apart, with a space of thirty feet between the rows. This plan gives air-circulation, and the thick north and south planting gives needed protection of the stems and forks from sun-scald. Where the climate permits the growing of pyramid apple-trees on Doucin stocks the usual distance apart is fifteen feet each way, and dwarf trees on Paradise stocks are planted only eight feet apart each way. Dwarf pears on quince roots are usually planted twelve feet apart each way. The sand and snow pears are smaller in tree than the European varieties and are usually planted only twenty feet apart each way.