This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
We are very frequently asked the question, as to when is the best time to plant small evergreens? our answer is, any time when the ground is in a mellow, free condition (except the months of July and August, as being too hot), at all the other seasons we would plant subject to the above considerations; yet there are seasons and conditions when success may be deemed more certain, and these are - first, if the soil is light and dry, in Maryland and Virginia the months of March and April would be the best; second, if your land is heavy and -wet, then we would select May and June; for ourselves we plant most of ours in the latter month. The many failures in the planting of evergreens does not depend so much on the time in which it is done, as the manner in which it is performed, for it is no unusual thing to see a tree three to four feeet high, have its roots (that have been dried by the wind and scorched by the sun), stuck into a hole not larger or deeper than a gentleman's dress hat, whereas it ought to have a hole provided for its roots from three to four feet wide. There is another practice among planters, that is, in planting everything too deep in the ground.
Old mother nature never gives herself up to such follies as we see perpetrated by men, who are deemed sensible in other matters; our advice, therefore, is, to keep the roots near the surface, or not deeper than they stood in the nursery rows or their native wilds. - Am. Farmer.
For this the Conical Spruce is a very neat and compact miniature tree, never getting too large for its surroundings, and always giving satisfaction.
The Weeping Noway Spruce is like a sad child with branches always drooping and hugging its parent stem. If its leader is kept trained upright a tree will be produced with height five times the diameter of its branches.
The Gregorian Spruce is a sport of the Norway Spruce, rarely reaching over two and spreading three or four feet. It is very luxuriant and striking.
The Weeping Silver Fir has a more compact and richer foliage than the Weeping Norway Spruce, and with its leader trained in the same way will surpass it in beauty. No lawn or smalt garden should be without it.
The Variegated Hemlock is a white tipped variety of marked distinctness, and worthy of a place where contrasts are wanted.
The Macrophylla Hemlock is very distinct, growing close and compact, like a Yew, and one of the sorts that always attract observation.
But the gem of all gems is the Weeping Hemlock. If. left to itself, it will remain trailing upon the ground; but if the leader is tied to a firm stake it can be carried to any reasonable height, and each tier of branches will then droop in graceful curves toward the ground, and more like an evergreen fountain than any tree known.
If the Nordmann Fir is the king among conifers, the Weeping Hemlock is worthily his queen.
The Dwarf White Pine has a feathery and soft aspect, which make it very attractive; and the Dwarf Scotch Fir, although more rapid and compact, has its marked distinction of color.