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.
Dear Sir - This last spring I had occasion to remove from one part of my garden to another, 36 fruit trees, the greater part plums. As soon as the ground would admit, it was done, and so successfully, that I am induced to give your readers a description of the way it was managed. The plum trees blossomed and bore fruit equally as perfect as others in my garden, which had been undisturbed.
My gardener who transplanted the trees, first pared off carefully the top soil, until he came to the upper tier of roots; then dug a trench, about eighteen inches from the body of the tree, so deep that he could cut off the tap or any other roots too low to be easily saved. When the tree was cut loose from its position, a strong shovel was put under, two men took hold of the body, raised it up, and carried it to another place, where a hole had been previously dug, (after cutting off all bruised roots,) and immediately planted.
I presume it is precisely on the same principle as that described by Mr. Perkins in a former vol.* - the earth adhered firmly, but as we could not remove them all in one day, the next day the earth had got too dry, for it fell off. We then waited for a soaking rain, and the day after finished the remainder.
I think no one could have told from their appearance that they had so recently been disturbed. They were shortened-in, not more so, however, than every fruit tree in my garden. I think it more than likely, that there may be nothing new in the above manner of removing trees, but to myself it was very novel and interesting.
I have growing on-my premises thirty-six cherry trees, from four to seven years from the bud. I have never allowed any side branches to be removed, (merely shortened-in every June) - two of the above trees did not develop branches any lower than five feet from the ground. On all the others are limbs from one foot to eighteen inches high. The two trees with no shoots lower than five feet, ooze gum - and none of the others.
Now, is this accidental, or is it from the fact that the bodies of the other trees are more perfectly shaded from the sun? It is best not to be too certain in such cases, for facts are stubborn things, and future years might upset any theory.
I thank you sincerely for the elucidation of the mystery why the Wistaria sinensis would not grow with me. In the spring I will take your advice, and procure thrifty plants if possible. M.
Oneida County, Dec. 21,1850.