This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"R. V. P., Cincinnati O., asks: "Is there not often a great deal of unnecessary work in gardening, recommended under the idea of doing things properly? For instance I read 'always put a coating of shellac or some similar plaster over the wound when you cut away the branch of a tree.' Now I notice that the very best gardeners about here never think of doing any thing to a wound, and as the bark and wood soon grow over, why should they? "
[Our correspondent is right in the idea that much that is recommended is childish trash, but he is singularly wrong in his illustration, for all wounds by the cutting away of a large branch should be painted with something to keep out water and insects, till the new wood grows all over it. Water and boring insects cause wood to decay fast, and when once a decaying spot starts the fungus soon follows and makes it worse; many a valuable tree has had its life shortened by the decay from a neglected wound. - Ed. G. M].