This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Connecticut Farmer is alive with this controversy. In a number before us one correspondent declares that " the God of nature has taught them (trees) how to grow," and contends that the bark could slit of itself if it were proper to be done. He does not say that he leaves his finger nails or his hair to grow as " the God of nature " made them. Mr. N. Coleman, a well known botanist, and at the same time a practical fruit cultivator, tells a different story in the same paper. Trees that have been top grafted, and thus have their heads cut away, are very likely to become " hide-bound," by the sudden loss of so much foliage required to feed so many cells, and Mr. C. has found from actual experiment the great value of vertical bark slitting, - an advantage to be gained in no other way. This accords with the experience of many cultivators. There are many cases where the bark of trees becomes indurated, and it requires a great expenditure of force on the growing cells beneath to push this band outwards.
By slitting this hardened bark much of this waste of force is saved.