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.
Training and pruning are two important operations in horticulture, and closely connected together. In a previous page, we gave some examples of the former, and shall here present additional modes. The principles upon which both are founded vary according to the object in view. Training depends more or less on these facts - namely, that as the sap in all trees has a natural tendency to flow in an upward direction, it follows that the buds at the highest points above the roots will be the strongest and most disposed to produce leaves and shoots; and, therefore, when the formation of wood is desired, the nearer to the perpendicular a tree is trained the better; whereas, if the formation of blossom buds be the object in view, the very opposite direction should be given them. In fact, training is the power which governs the flow of sap in trees and plants. Hence, nurserymen train weakly growing young plants nearly in a vertical direction, while they place the strong growing kinds nearly horizontally, and even, in some cases, nearly pendulous.
During the growing season they have an eye to the progress each is making, and elevate or depress the shoots according to circumstances.
The following figures show the leading methods of training wall and espalier trees, with the names by which they are designated. We insert them together, in this form, for reference.
a. Theherring-bone fan. ft. The irregular fen. c. The stellate fan. d. The drooping fan. e. The wary fan. f. The horizontal. g. The horizontal, with screw-stem, h. The horizontal, with doube stem, i, The- vertical, with screw shoots, ft. The vertical, with upright sheets.
Besides these, espaliers are trained horizontally, or in form of a table, the stem rising through the centre of the trellis, and the branches being trained in a radiating form. Sometimes the espalier is placed vertically, sometimes placed at one or other angle of elevation, either according to the latitude of the place, or the whim of the owner. All pruning and training must be considered subordinate to a proper selection of stock, and to operations oh the roots. The true balancing of the power of the roots to that of the branches is moat important.
In pruning, the following practical rules should be attended to. Commence on hardy trees soon after the gathering of the fruit and the fail of the leaves. Avoid frosty weather, or when it is approaching. In cutting, always draw the knife in an upward direction, and leave the wound smooth, to prevent the lodgement of water. In removing young wood, leave about an inch of the branch above the last bud; make the cut on the side opposite to it. But, in removing an old branch, cut it as close to the stem or branch left as possible, in order that the bark of the latter may cover the wound sooner. Use a sharp knife, a due share of consideration, and be not in too great a hurry, lest you remove the branch which ought to have been left. Cover the wound with a solution of shellac in alcohol, which you should have always at hand. For more particular directions in regard to the various kinds of vines and fruit-trees, refer to the several valuable American fruit books, such as Barry's, Elliot's, and Thomas's.