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.
A couple of years ago the city of Philadelphia concluded that the dirtily disgraceful Independence Square should be made decent. Among other things it was re-sodded. Those who do such work are seldom the intelligent gardeners; in fact those who know are seldom employed where knowledge is required. So to sod the ground, the ground was all dug over, and an immense number of surface roots were destroyed. Of course as every intelligent man would know, many of the trees died, others were badly injured, and "What is the matter with our trees?" was the wonder of many a correspondent in the city papers.
But what we want to say here is that we can get no comfort from those, who, when they see mere pick-axe and spademen employed to do intelligent gardeners' work, tell us "they do things differently in England." For the writer of this saw just the same ignorance displayed in some of the London Parks as we find here, and just the same wonder "What is the matter with the trees?" in their newspapers.
There is no surer way to injure a tree than to cut off half its roots. Usually the long woody forks are thought to he the "roots" by those who do not know anything of gardening. Those who know better think more of the small ones, and very little of the old woody forks.