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.
In directing osage orange hedges to be shortened or shorn annually, we mean both leading shoots and side shoots; but the latter require less shortening than the former, because they grow with less vigor. The object is to thicken and strengthen the hedge in all parts.
Paradise Stocks are grown either by seed or layers - generally the latter - from a small, shrubby species of apple.
Dougain is intermediate between the common apple stock and the Paradise. The latter is used when very small trees are wanted, and the Doucain for trees of moderate size.
A German Subscriber, (Bucks Go. Pa.) The hardiest and best hedge in this climate, for farmers, is the Buckthorn. You can get the young plants for $5 to $6 per 1000, at the nurseries, or you may buy the seeds, and sow them as you would peas, and after they have grown one year in the rows, transplant them into a hedge. To plant the hedge, clean the ground of all rubbish, plow the space three feet wide, and deeply, (running the plow twice in the same furrow,) and give it a dressing of manure from the barn-yard. The plants should be set in a double row, six inches apart - not opposite to each other, but alternate.
A Massachusetts Subscriber. You inquire about our silence respecting the Arbor Vitae as a hedge plant. We consider the Arbor screen - -but it is hardly fit for an outside hedge, except in civilised parts of the country, like Massachusetts, where animals are not allowed to run at large.
Before the Horticulturist for June appears, the season for setting hedges will have passed, and, consequently, enthusiasts will not be prevented from experimenting. Nor, indeed, is it desired by the record of the experience of the past unusually severe winter, to deter others from demonstrating the advantages of live-fence.
Occasional additions of plants - made necessary by depredations of mice - (Aricola xanthog-natus), and annual trimming, having failed to produce closeness at bottom, part of the hedge (Madura aurantiacd) was out off near the ground, and headed-in twice during the season. The effect was satisfactory. My ardent desire to succeed, after years of trial, was about to be realized. Alas, for ardor!
Three months' covering, three feet deep, of snow, and consequent revelling of mice underneath, has cured my enthusiasm.. For yards together in extent, not a particle of bark was left, six inches above, and three below the earth.
My only alternative was to dig it out and burn it; the former accomplished, the latter to do.
A beautiful and perfect hedge of Honey Locust (Gleditschia triacanthos), on the ground of a friend, is badly injured, if not ruined, by the same animal. J. K. Eshlkman.
Downingtown, April 25,1856.
Mr. Hovey says, in his May magazine: " It might be as well to advise all who wish to make a hedge speedily, to give up the task at once. It is utterly (in) vain to attempt any such thing. They are the work of time, and cannot be possessed by any who are not willing to patiently await their growth. With thorough preparation of the ground, good plants and planting, liberal manuring, and judicious clipping, a hedge may be grown five feet high in six or seven years - and not sooner".
It will readily be acknowledged by those who have seen a prairie, that a fence is a matter of the first importance. Commercial parties have been long enforcing the value of the Osage Orange for this purpose, both on the level prairie where wood is scarce, and for farms everywhere. Success has attended some efforts to this end, but in general the care and attention they require at the busiest season of the farmer, and other causes, have not been universally encouraging, nor do we find on examination that this plant has fully answered the expectations regarding it; indeed, we prognosticated its failure, except in careful hands, long since. It still has its advocates, however, and we would not discourage its cultivation wherever labor and attention can be brought to insure its success.
A new movement has been made in the West for the introduction of a " Live Productive Diamond Hedge," from the French Osier Willow, Salix purpurea, of which favorable notices have reached us from several quarters. It is easily propagated, makes longer and larger growths each year than any other hedge plant; the growth is worth six to ten cents a pound for basket willow, making the fence an annual producer which will pay for itself in two years; it is inexpensive, occupies one quarter the amount of land, and does not spread by ploughing the roots; it is beautiful, and useful for the honey-bee, and possesses other recommendations. The sets are placed so as to grow into a diamond shape; tied together, they interlace by growing solidly into a strong fence. Cattle will not browse on them by reason of their bitterness, etc. Thus you may make a profitable fence instead of a costly one. The subject is of great importance, and was first introduced to our notice at the seed store of Emory & Co., in Chicago, where Woodruff & Co.-s pamphlet may be had gratis, and where we observed specimens of the hedge itself at their commercial warehouse.