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.
Trees and plants cultivated for profit, yield their returns for the most part in secretions of the leaf, or wood-bud system, as timbers, sugars, gums, Ac., or in products of the flowering system, in the form of blossoms, as hops; seeds, as nuts and cereals; or in coverings of the seed, as fruits, cotton, and the like. Pruning, (except to effect or to promote symmetry of form, which is not here considered,) in the broad acceptation now given to that term, means any lopping off from the roots or branches of trees or plants in cultivation, with design to stimulate either the leaf-bud system, or its contrary, the fruit bearing. To this diversity of motive in the action of the operator, the fact may be added, that the nature of the part amputated, and even the time of amputation, has something to do with the effect of pruning. It need not, therefore, excite surprise when we see it happen, as happen it certainly does, that the most experienced practical cultivators lay down rules for the guidance of others, discordant in themselves.
A desire to aid in rescuing these rules from their present apparent confusion, has induced the author of these numbers to submit his views to the consideration of cultivators; and the elementary remarks contained in the preceding numbers, were deemed indispensable to a classification of said rules, upon the plan designed.
La treating of the antagonistic nature of the wood-bud force, and that of the fruit-bud, I have already said, that according to the books, all the means pointed out as efficient preventives Or remedies, in cases where trees or plants were disposed to feebleness of wood growth, from over-bearing, or had already become weak, were in the nature of stimulants or high feeding, either tending to increase the supplies of food thrown into the circulation, or to rid the circulation from the effects of some exhausting influences; while ail the means recommended for inducing fruitfulness, in trees so vigorous as to produce wood growth alone, to the exclusion of fruit-buds, are in the nature of debilitants. If, then, fruitfulness be considered as a sort of mean proportion, a state of equilibrium between the wood-bud force in preponderance, which is indicated on the part of the tree or plant by a disposition to produce leaf-buds only; and the fruit-bud force in preponderance indicated by that condition in orer-bearing trees or plants in which few or no wood branches are produced, then do these propositions become two elementary truths, touchstones as it were, by which to try every rule of practice before its adoption as part and parcel of that knowledge which constitutes the science of managing and pruning the orchard and fruit garden, in their most essential particulars, the inducement and maintainance of fruitful-ness; and it is in accordance with these propositions my classification will be attemped, dividing the several processes of pruning into two classes, according to their repective nature, and adding to each class such other processes as are adopted by cultivators in aid of pruning.