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.
Some curiosity has been excited by a report upon the Paris Horticultural Society, in which it is mentioned that "the finest pears exhibited were produced from flower buds which had been inserted on barren spurs of other trees during the previous autumn?" We are not surprised at inquiries having reached us as to the manner in which this novel operation was performed, and we have done our best to satisfy them. But no kind of success has attended the examination of French gardening books, and we are driven to the conclusion that either the reporter, an experienced practical gardener, was misinformed, or else that the method of grafting in question is undescribed.
What approaches it most nearly is the not common, but far from unknown, practice of grafting fruit spurs upon barren branches, so as to get a tree covered speedily with bearing wood. Of this an example was sent from Trentham by Mr. Wren to one of the late meetings of the Fruit Committee of the Horticultural Society, and will doubtless be described hereafter in its proceedings, which we believe are in the press. The instance to which we now refer was that of the Jargonelle; and the Committee were informed that imparting fertility to a worn-out tree was not the only advantage; for it was found that greatly increased, or rather a complete renewal of, vigor in the stock attended the practice. Here the operation consists in spring grafting worthless side branches with fruit spurs in the common English whip manner.
Some such contrivance for securing immediate fertility in pears seems to be growing in favor among the French, who speak in their gardening books of a certain Greffe Inrizet, called by Carriere the Greffe mixte, very suitable for the operation. According to that writer it is performed thus: towards the end of summer, in August for instance, when the shoots have nearly done growing, spurs or branches to be used as scions are pared down as thin as possible at the base, so as to remove the greater part of the wood. The stock or branch to be grafted is then cut through in the form of a T, as if prepared for budding, the sides of the T are gently lifted up with the fiat handle of the budding knife, and the thin end of the scion is pushed in, so as to bring the inside of its bark or what remains of its young wood into immediate contact with the alburnum of the stock. The scion is then secured firmly with bast, every part is carefully covered with grafting wax so as to completely prevent the access of an to the wounded surfaces, and every leaf on the scion is cut off so as to leave only the stalks remaining.
This kind of grafting is properly called "mixed," because in fact it is half budding and half ordinary grafting.
An interesting account of the results of this, or some similar process for grafting young pear trees with fruit spurs, is to be found in the April number of the journal of the Paris Horticultural Society in the form of a report by M. Pepin upon the garden of a gentleman named Bourgeois, living at Perray. In this place, by grafting pear trees on walls with fruit buds, or better with fruit spurs, the following were obtained on a square yard of the Beurre Poiteau nouveau, worked on the quince: -
Number of pears.
Total weight in Kilos.
Beurre Poiteau nouveau.........
Beurre de Noirchain............
Belle de Berry...........
Had the whole of M. Bourgeois' pear wall borne equally well, he would have had 3800 pears weighing 1200 kilos on 100 square yards.
M. Pepin further states that the effect of spur grafting (papplication dps boutons de fruit en ecusson) was to increase very remarkably the weight of the fruit. He found a pear thus treated weighing 630 grammes, instead of 375 grammes, the weight of the heaviest fruit borne upon the branches unoperated on.
Perhaps some French correspondent can favor us with further information upon this interesting topic. - [Which possesses even more interest than that of ringing the grape vine. - Ed].