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.
ON a beautiful morning in the month of July an amateur stepped into a garden of which an M D. had the charge. Good morning, sir, Raid our amateur - so you are pruning and stopping your young pear trees?Yea, sir, and are they not beautiful trees?Well, said our amateur, they would be, if the trees were properly pruned and managed. The trees are growing luxuriantly, arid could be made splendid and fruitful, as well as superb pyramids. But, Mr. Amateur, do you mean to say that these are not good symmetrical trees,Oh, no sir! far from that; they are indeed so much so that they look as though they were cast from a mould. They are from the ground up a perfect pyramid. No blanks nor vacancies of branches anywhere - alt, I presume, a great portion of the horticultural world ever dreamt ofr or would desire as a tree.But still»
Mr, Amateur, you seem to smile at my trees. What is it you are laughing at? Is it because I have no fruit?No, sir, for in that case 1 am very sorry,Then, pray tell me, why smile at my trees?Ho! you are a professional, T am only an amateur - could not pretend to suggest to an M, D. like you.Nonsense, sir; do tell me what you are laughing at?
Well, sir, I will, and then we shall see if you will not laugh too. Now don't bo angry, but don't you see how much time you have spent pruning with your knife that tree? Yes, and what have you produced? Nothing but a splendid bundle of sticks. You could have taken any common hedge sheers and given just such a form in much less than one half the time. Why do you not follow the same stumping system on those vines under glass during their growth? You see, sir, you have made your pyramid pear trees the same way yon make those splendid hedges - stop, clip and chop continually and then you have the hedge. If these pear trees were only a little closer together they would form a splendid hedge. - - But, said our M, D., if we do not cut back and stop, as directed by our best pear-growers in the country, how are we going to produce the form, the pyramid?Never mind the best growers in the country, sir \ let us do our own thinking, and work out our own plans, and never trust to others to think and act for us, If the Italians had thought and acted for themselves, and not trusted to somebody else, Italy to-day, perhaps, would have been free We will leave the poor Italians to work out their fruitfulness and glorious independence, whilst we work out branches with fruitful spurs on our pyramidal pear trees.
M, D. listened attentively. Then it occurred to his mind that he should like to see or know how his amateur friend pruned and trained his trees; go the relative question was put, and answered as follows: The difference between our pruning, stopping, training and getting into fruit is this: The tree consists of one main erect stem; the branches are brought out nearly horizontal, equidistant and entire, i. e., free from all lateral shoots, resembling much in its appearance a spruce fir. How we manage these trees we will now endeavor to explain. First, then, we go to a nursery and select trees one year old from the bud, and stop there till they are got up; we look well after the men who get up the trees, and see that they take hold of them close to the ground when about to draw them - and we watch this part of the operation pretty closely, for if we did not, they would invariably take hold higher up, just where we should wish to cut back the tree too; and by their taking hold on this particular part they rub all the eyes out, and we should be pretty lucky if some of the bark did not go as well. Once they get hold, up must come the tree, eyes or no eyes, and oftentimes roots the some way. The trees are sold; all right, and the boss will get the dimes.
I have seen hundreds of beautiful trees completely spoiled through the inattention paid in the handling by the nursery employees.M. D. remarked that that was the reason why he could not cut back some of his dwarf trees as close as he could have desired, because the buds were rubbed out at the base of the shoot.Well, sir, I get my trees home sometimes in the way I want them. In planting we bury all the quince and a little more. They will throw out roots from the pear stalk, and the tree is improved by it. The next operation is cutting back, and here we stop, and think, and look a little.