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 the progress of these grape articles, there will be occasion, especially when treating of training the vine, to make use of technical terms, which may not be understood by the novice. Different individuals sometimes use different terms to denote one and the same thing. It would be desirable to establish a degree of uniformity in this respect, and this we shall attempt; at least, we shall endeavor to be consistent in the use of terms. Our object, at present, will be to describe briefly the different parts of the vine, so far as may be necessary to understand the meaning of terms which will be used in giving directions for training.
The vine is a climbing plant It will run on the ground till it finds a tree or some other object of support, which it will ascend, and cling to by its tendrils. The vine may be divided primarily into two parts: the roots, which grow beneath the surface, and the stem or trunk, with its branches, which grows above the surface. The point of division between the root and the stem is called the neck, collar, etc; we shall adopt the first term, and use it to denote all that part of the vine between the surface of the ground and the point where the roots begin to radiate. The point where the roots begin to radiate we shall term the base of the vine, as being the point of support. The part of the vine immedi-ately under the surface is by some called the foot, a term which we shall not have occasion to use. Tlie roots proceeding from the foot are by some called foot roots, another term which we shall not find occasion to use. The roots proceeding from the foot roots are called side roots, which, again, we shall not use. Then there are surface roots, which are roots growing near the surface. Others, again, call all the large roots tap roots. The tap root proper is the large central root which descends perpendicularly into the ground; it is wanting in the propagated vine.
Roots are also divided into principal and lateral, and these are good enough terms. We might fill pages with descriptions of roots; but our object is merely to define a few of the leading terms as applied to the vine. We propose to divide the roots into simply two kinds: the large principal roots, which we shall call primary roots; and the lateral or fibrous roots, which we shall call secondary roots. The former are chiefly concerned in forming a support for the vine, or fixing it firmly in the soil; the latter are chiefly concerned in furnishing it nutriment or food. The term surface roots we shall use to denote such of the secondary roots as may be within an inch or two of the surface. They will seldom be so near as this in well-prepared ground, except as the result of mulching or too much shade, or where the primary roots have been brought up by careless plowing.
Having disposed of that portion of the vine beneath the surface, let us proceed to that which is above. That part of the vine between the surface of the ground and the point where it begins to branch, be it higher or lower, we shall call the trunk; the point where it begins to branch will be designated the head; it is sometimes called the crown. There will sometimes be two or more heads to a vine. The branches proceeding from the head, when these are to be permanent, will be called arms, and the arms will be designated according to their form, direction, etc.; for example, horizontal arms, or arms running at right angles with the body and parallel with the surface of the ground. Wood we shall divide into green wood, fruit wood, annual wood, biennial wood, and old wood, this division being sufficient for all practical purposes. Green wood is the growing or current year's wood, and produces the fruit, when fruit is produced at all, which is not always the case; fruit wood is green wood that produces fruit, sometimes called bearing wood; annual wood is wood that grew and ripened last year, and produces the green or fruit wood of the current year; biennial wood is that which grew and ripened two years ago. All back of this may well be called old wood.
The wood is furnished with two barks, an inner and outer bark. The inner bark is green and soft, and is closely united to the wood, adhering firmly. The outer bark is dry, being composed of woody fiber, the fibers running longitudinally, which enables the bark to be peeled off readily in long strips; in fact, it peels off of itself when a couple of years old, sometimes causing no little uneasiness in the minds of novices. The color of the wood varies from a light to a very dark brown. The color of the wood may be said to be associated in some sense with the color of the fruit, dark-colored wood usually producing dark-colored fruit. These remarks apply to the annual wood. We may remark here that the term water shoots denotes shoots proceeding from dormant eyes on the trunk, head, old arms, eta; bat chiefly on the lower part of the first; they are unproductive, except in rare cases. The terms rod, cane, etc, are convertible, meaning one and the same thing, and are applied to either green or annual wood, but usually and most properly to the latter.
A cane is either long or short, (say from one foot to six feet long,) according to the system of training adopted.
The remaining parts of the vine will be described in our next, accompanied by an engraving illustrating the subject, and quite necessary to make it fully understood. This engraving we had hoped would be finished in time for our present issue.