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.
Mr. Yeomans. Before the tree is planted, cut off all the branches to restore balance between roots and plant; the winds will sway it less, and new branches will be thrown out in abundance. Apples should be pruned so that the lower branches shall be about five feet from the ground; the nearer the ground the poorer the fruit; lower branches do not bear as good fruit as the upper.
Here a gentleman recommended pruning so as not to leave any lower branches !
Mr. Yeomans plants his apple-trees forty feet apart each way, and the peach-trees alternately in rows.
Mr. Barry. In planting dwarf pear-trees, it is better always to cover the stock as high as the union of the quince with the pear. To train trees with low heads is one of the first principles of fruit raising, so that even if set on the prairies, they would present to the wind nothing but a mass of branches and foliage: no tall trunk for leverage.
B. Fish. In planting his orchard, cut off some of his trees a couple of feet from the ground - some only partially cut back. Those where I cut off the entire top made a rapid growth, and are now the handsomest trees altogether.
Mr. Langworthy. Some gentlemen have spoken of plowing among their trees. I never plowed in an orchard but I heard the roots crack. Would never advise anything heavier among trees than a common cultivator.