This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The seeds-being enveloped in a wet, slimy, or gummy-like substance, it dries and fixes them firmly in a short time, if put on when the bark and weather are both dry; whereas if the bark is wet, and rain falls shortly afterwards, they are liable to drop, or be washed off. In planting or rubbing on the seeds, take a berry between the finger and thumb, press it till the skin bursts and the seed is protruded. Apply to the part of the bark selected, throw away the skin, as it is of no further use, and might attract birds to the seed; then rub or press the seed firmly on with the point of the finger, and the sowing is completed; but a little dry, bird, or fowl's dung, a little old lime, mortar, or dry earth, may then be dusted on to conceal the seed from birds. This will afford sufficient protection if the seeds be put on so thickly that a large proportion can be spread, but when these are scarce, it is better to cover them with a gauze or fine netting held at least one inch off" the seed, with pieces of furze or branch spray. Or, they may be surrounded at a distance of one or two inches by a few fine willows, wrought basket-like, and just sufficiently close to keep out birds' heads and beaks.
It is not only unnecessary but improper to cut or open the bark, as the hardened wounded surfaces prevent, or at least impede the insertion of the young rootlets, which only take hold and insinuate themselves where the bark is tender, fresh, and devoid of outer dried or dead skin. Supposing the seeds to be rubbed on, either February or March, they will put out small knob-pointed radicles or rootlets in April or May, by which they become more firmly attached to the bark, but I have never seen them put forth leaves till the second summer; and this last season we had a considerable number of seedlings, none of which showed leaf till the third summer, and some look as if they would not do so till the next or fourth summer; but the trees on which their seeds were sown had to be all transplanted the second spring, which might have retarded their progress for a year. - B. G., in Garden.