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.
Green's Fruit Grower says:
" Looking over a back number of the Gardener's Monthly we find this on the editorial page: 'Young growing trees are very much benefited by having their bark slit by running the knife up and down freely; they must not be cut crosswise or horizontally.' If any person thinks he can very much benefit our young growing trees by such surgical operations let him try it. If our shot-gun were handy he might get a full charge without warning. We have great respect for Mr. Thomas Meehan and his opinions, and have ever considered him a shining light in pomology. We have listened to his interesting public talks; have been charmed by his wit, his anecdotes, his eloquence and ready repartee, but when he advises ripping into growing trees, we mildly protest. A sick or lame animal may be benefited by tearing open the skin and causing outward irritation; but on young, growing animals, presumably healthy, the remedy would seldom be applied. We cannot help feeling that trees take offence at being mutilated as well as animals."
No wonder our good friend is alarmed at the "spook" he has created. We have no fancy ourselves for " ripping into growing trees," but we do believe in slitting dead bark. Some day when some leading horticultural body needs a " public talk " we may take occasion to show that dead bark is not a part of the growing body; that it is an evil which the growing parts are trying to get rid of, and that it is the part of wisdom in the good cultivator to aid the tree in this good endeavor as far as may be in his power. The editor has no time to prepare written essays for public bodies, but if a " public talk" on this subject is likely to be of interest to the next nurserymen's meeting at Rochester, and he should be able to be there, and he should be invited to speak before that body, he would endeavor to make this matter plain, and would invite those who may have any objections to make to bring them forward then and there, and show cause why judgment should not be entered against them, or to ever after hold their peace.