In the case of large trees of Apples, Pears, Plums, and Cherries growing in the open, the blossom is usually left, perforce, to look after itself. Often nothing happens, sometimes a late frost does great damage. As I have pointed out in earlier chapters, the contingency of loss from this cause ought to be before the grower at the time he is considering the making of his plantation. There is often a choice of sites. One of these, situated in a, bottom, is tempting, perhaps, because of its rich soil; but it must be remembered that frosts will be far more severe there than on higher ground; A hilltop is not the best, because the soil is often poor, and there is great exposure to wind; a slope is better. By the exercise of a little, foresight in the direction indicated, a natural protection against frost may be secured, and if it will not secure the grower complete protection from loss, it will greatly minimise his risks. In the case of choice wall fruit, such as Peaches and Nectarines, Apricots, and even Pears, protection is needed, and there are several ways of securing it. The coping or projecting ridge fitted at the top of the wall is a great advantage. Scrim and tiffany, both of which may be bought from the seedsman at a very cheap rate, are very light porous cloths which may be attached to the upper part of the wall, or supported on rods, and dropped down in front of the tree when in bloom, and frost threatens.

Fig. 102. Protecting The Blossom Of Wall Fruit Trees
Fig. 102. Protecting The Blossom Of Wall Fruit Trees


A, glazed projecting coping and netting mode: a, glazed projection (2 feet for a 10feet and 2 feet 6 inches for a 12 feet wall) - the glass is movable; 6, iron bracket; c, 3/4 inch iron tube affixed to coping just within the eave and let into the stone at the ground line; d, wool netting, 1/4 inch mesh, suspended from the front, and raised or lowered according to the weather. This is the most desirable of all protections for choice fruits.

B, wood coping, poles, and canvas method: e, 3/4 inch board, not less than 11 inches wide for a 10 feet, and 14 inches for a 12 feet wall; f, iron bracket; g, pole, 2 inches square, set in ground as shown, and affixed to the outer edge of the board, poles about 6 feet apart; h, canvas (scrim, a hempen material, is very serviceable); i, pulley for raising and lowering by means of string; j, peg for canvas to rest on when lowered.

C, ordinary system of poles and canvas: k, pole, 2 inches square, let into ground and "jumped" under wall coping, poles 6 feet asunder; I, hardwood peg, projecting 9 inches forward for the canvas to hang on; m, ring affixed with staple to pole for cord to pass through - the cord is for pulling up or letting down the canvas. The wall in this case is shown hollow.