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.
A good deal has been written and spoken about " reformatory training" in our social system; we should be none the worse off by a little reformation in the training of some of our trees and shrubs, which would be the means of obtaining better specimens of plants and more abiding ornaments to the flower garden and shrubbery.
Lately, an arbor-vitae was cut down which measured about eighteen inches in diameter about a foot from the ground; for many years it was a beautiful plant, both for breadth and height, but the bad training of its youth was the cause of its destruction in its declining years. Instead of training it with one stem, there were several stems allowed to grow together, which, in the course of years, hastened the destruction of the plant There were two series of roots belonging to the tree - one in the soil, and the other in the body of the stem; when the several stems increased in size, the bark of the one came in contact with the bark of the other; when both were wounded, a lodgment was made for water, roots were produced at the injured parts that pushed their way into the wood, which hastened its decay, so that when snow or heavy winds came, the branches or stems were liable to be broken off, and the breaking continued from time to time until the ruins of the plant had to be removed altogether.
The training to single stems ought not to be confined to members of the Thuja family, but might be extended to species of other genera, such as Juniperus, Taxus, etc., so that when winter and rough weather assailed them, they would be able to resist the storm.