This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
In horticulture, evergreens are plants that retain green foliage the year around; they do not shed all their foliage at any one time; in some cases, the individual leaves may remain attached and green for some years, as in many of the Coniferae, but in all evergreens the old leaves shed after a time when they become so overshadowed or crowded as to be no longer functional. The leaves of pines and spruces may persist three to fifteen years.
In the popular mind, "evergreen" and "conifer" are synonymous; but some conifers - as the taxodiums and larches - are deciduous. Moreover, in the tropics very many trees aside from conifers are evergreen, as notably the palms.
Evergreens may be classified as coniferous and broad-leaved, the latter including such plants as rhododendron, kalmia, mahonia, box and many others. The number of plants that are evergreen in the latitude of New York City is very large. Few persons recognize the wealth of good winter greenery that may be secured by exercising careful choice of material and providing proper conditions and protection for its growth. There are many very low evergreen plants that may contribute much to the winter interest of a yard or garden, in the way of edgings, masses, rosettes, and ground cover. The following lists indicate the materials that are now at the command of the planter.
Fig. 1452. Where to dig in removing an evergreen.
Fig. 1454. The roots bound up, and tree being loaded.
Fig. 1453 Digging up an evergreen.
Beyond the latitude of Lake Erie, the dependable evergreens are mostly conifers. At the Central Experimental Farm at Ottawa, those deciduous plants that hold their foliage fairly late in the autumn are mostly too tender for use. A few good plants, however, are, Oregon grape (Mahonia), bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi), Pachysandra terminalis, shrub yellow-root (Xanthorrhiza apiifolia), and Quercus imbri-caria. The Oregon grape is perhaps the most useful evergreen there for ground-covering. The hardier species of Ligustrum are also fairly satisfactory, but most of the species of this genus leave so much dead wood after winter that in very large masses they are liable to be unsightly. Many attractive conifers are reliable at Ottawa, in the genera Abies, Chamaecyparis, Ginkgo, Juniperus, Picea, Pinus, Pseudotsuga, Taxus, Thuja, Tsuga.
The uses of evergreens are discussed in other places in the Cyclopedia, as under Arboriculture, Herbary, Landscape-Gardening, Lawn-Planting, Perennials, Rock-Gardening, Screens,Shrubbery, Topiary Work, Wild-Garden, Windbreaks, Winter-Gardening. For lists of evergreens for California, see pp. 379-381 (Vol. I).
L. H. B
Moving large evergreens. Figs. 1452-1457.
Large evergreens are moved with a ball of earth because they have no dormant period, but carry their foliage and need moisture at all times of the year. It is essential that the ball of earth contains a sufficient amount of small fibrous feeding roots to support the tree and that the tree be kept well watered for two or more seasons until the tree has spread its roots over sufficient area to gather enough rainfall to sustain the normal growth. The extent of fibers in the ball is increased by transplanting and root-pruning. Root-pruning is less essential with trees having an abundance of fibrous roots than with trees having only a few large coarse roots in the central portion. Some trees, as white pine, will survive with a comparatively small number of roots, their drought-resistant qualities enabling them to persist with a small supply of moisture. Other evergreens, as Nordmann's fir, have a long carrot-like taproot, and the tree is likely to die if this is cut and the tree given an inadequate quantity of water.
Frequent nursery transplanting is, therefore, necessary with this species.
Trees are dug by starting a trench at a radius from the tree about 3 feet wider than the ball of earth to be taken. The roots are cut off on the outside of the trench and the soil dissected out from between the roots back to the size of the ball. These roots are bent around against the ball of earth if they are flexible enough to bend. If not sufficiently flexible and tractable, they are cut off.
Fig. 1455. The method of binding up the roots.
Fig. 1456. Digging the hole in frozen ground to receive the tree.
A canvas is made 15 to 24 inches deep, and is made smaller at the bottom by folding over a V and sewing it. This makes it fit a conical ball and, when it is pulled up 3 inches by the cross-lashing at the top, makes it tighter. The canvas has cross-ropes sewed on it with rings at the top and bottom, and on the deeper balls two rows of rings in the middle. The bottom rope is tightened by a wooden lever 20 inches long with four holes, the rope being looped through the holes and the lever thrown over to pull the rope tight. The top rope is then tied and tightened by cross-lashing.