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.
Dear Sir - Observing the weight you give to shielding tender trees from the sun in summer, and rapid freezing and thawing in winter, I was induced to apply the practice to my aprtcot trees - the only fruit trees that uniformly have baffled my attempts at successful cultivation. The trouble with this tree, as many of your readers must be aware, is that it "goes off" very suddenly, and usually some time between the exfoliation and the beginning of summer. There can be little doubt that this is owing to the effects of heat and cold upon the bark - as you have pointed out. To guard against it I have employed old cotton bagging material easily and cheaply obtained by those who live near cities. I cleaned the bark with soft-soap, and dipped the cloth just before using, into a thin white-wash, both to preserve it and prevent it from harboring insects. I then tied it loosely but neatly round the stem and the larger an 1 lower part of the branches. This has been upon the trees three years and now requires renewing. It has answered the purpose well. The trees are remarkably healthy, and both foliage and fruit have been unusually large.
Not one of the trees so covered has been attacked by the paralysis, common to the apricot, while others not covered, in an adjoining garden, have been dying off every season in the usual way. If you think the foregoing worthy of being printed, it is at your service. Yours, A. W. Philadelphia, June, 1851.