This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It may be remembered that in a paper contributed some years ago to the meeting of the American Association at Salem, Mass., Mr. Meehan showed that the branches of trees which had the greatest power to assimilate nutrition, or in other words the greatest vital power favored the production of female flowers, - the weaker trees or branches only being left to the males. One of the proofs of this was that those trees which had the greatest vital power, among Norway spruces, pushed into leaf before the weaker ones, and that therefore those who wished the rich drooping foliage of the productive cone-bearing trees, should select those which pushed into leaf the earliest in spring. Of this Mr. Robert Douglass says in the Country Gentleman:
"In a Norway spruce hedge or screen, many of the trees have finished the summer growth before the latter ones have fairly commenced, so that the hedge seems to be formed of different species of trees. At the suggestion of Mr. Meehan we selected about fifty spruces of earliest starting, when they each made about a half-inch growth, and planted in a hedge for experiment, which proved that this early habit is permanent, for they all started at the same time the next year and the next. You may also have noticed that the trees with" luxuriant foliage and drooping habit," are almost invariably the ones that start the new growth earliest."