Spring is the season when we find the most pleasure in making our rural improvements, and from this circumstance, probably, it has become the general season for planting trees; but experience has proved autumn planting to be the most successful, especially in those parts of the United States which are subject to droughts, as trees planted in autumn suffer little or none from drought, when those set out in spring often perish in consequence of it. Notwithstanding, with regard to those fruits that have been originally brought from warmer climates, such as the Peach, Apricot, Nectarine, and Almond, which are natives of Persia, Armenia, etc, it is necessary for us to consult the operations of climate also; and, from a consideration of those attendant circumstances, I have come to the following conclusions: In localities south of New-York, autumn planting is preferable only for the Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Quince, and all other trees of northern latitude; whereas, the spring is to be preferred for the Peach, Apricot, Nectarine, and Almond, which, for the reasons before stated, might, during severe winters, suffer from the intensity of the frosts. Still I do not mean to assert, that trees of those kinds are certain to be injured by the winter, as in very many seasons they are not in the least affected; still they are exposed to vicissitudes which may or may not occur. Many gentlemen, however, of excellent judgment, make their plantations in the autumn, which only serves to prove, that even in the most intelligent minds a diversity of opinion exists.
"Trees, etc., on their Arrival at the Place of Destination. As soon as the trees arrive at the place where they are to be planted, let a trench be dug in cultivated ground, the bundles unpacked, the roots well wetted, and immediately covered with earth in the trench, observing to make the earth fine that is spread over them, so as not to leave vacancies for the admission of air to dry the roots, it having been found by experience that the thriftiness of trees the first year after transplanting, depends much on the fine fibres of the roots being kept moist, and not suffered to dry from the time they are taken up until they are replanted; their increase, therefore, must depend principally on the subsequent management on their arrival at the place of destination; for if, when the bundles are unpacked, the trees are carelessly exposed to drying winds, the young fibres of the roots must perish, and the trees, if they live at all, cannot thrive the first season, as they can receive little or no nourishment until these fibres are replaced.
The ground where they are planted must be kept cultivated; young trees will not thrive if the grass be permitted to form a sod around them; and if it should be necessary to plant them in grass grounds, care must be taken to keep the earth mellow and free from grass for three or four feet distant around them, and every autumn some well-rotted manure should be dug in around each tree, and every spring the bodies of the Apple, Pear, Plum, and Cherry trees, and others that it is particularly desirable to promote the growth of, should bo brushed over with common soft soap, undiluted with water; this treatment will give a thriftiness to the trees surpassing the expectation of any one who has not witnessed its effect. Should the first season after transplanting prove dry, regular watering will be necessary, as from neglect of proper attention in this respect, many lose a large portion of their trees during a drought"*
Such kinds of fruit trees treated on in this work, as may require any other than good ordinary soil, may be supplied,
* The following letter was received by the Author while he was preparing the copy for the ninth edition of this work:
"In reading your very useful and entertaining work on Gardening, Planting Trees, and otherwise, I need not say, to me, it contained much that was new, original, and very useful; yet, complete as is your admirable work, I found not therein one circumstance connected with replanting trees, of vital importance to be observed, particularly with those trees which have attained several years' growth, say trees from fifteen to twenty feet high, and from three to five inches diameter. Some seven or eight feet above the root, that is to say, at the time of digging up the tree, a mark should be made on the north or south side of the tree; and on replanting the same, it should be set into the ground as nearly as possible in the same position to the sun (north or south) as it occupied before taken up, otherwise the tree will not be so thrifty; if its sides are changed, it not unfre-quently appears sickly, and ultimately dies. Over twenty years' experience in replanting some thousands of hard and soft Maple, Elm, and others, enables me to speak positively on this precaution. Whenever the community calls for another edition of your work, in that part relating to Replanting Trees, if you deem the above suitable for insertion therein, it might assist many who have not this knowledge, and oblige, "Yours with esteem, John Clowes, C. E." by judicious management; and if a proper attention be paid to the situation and aspect in arranging a fruit garden, each kind may be so accommodated as to promote its fruits' ripening earlier or later than the ordinary season, by varying the aspect; but Grape Vines, or other tender fruits, should not be planted where the sun's influence does not fully operate.
Where there is a great extent of close fencing or wall, it is advisable to plant trees of the same kind against different aspects. Such as one or two May Duke Cherries against a southern aspect, which will ripen earliest; next, against either an eastern or western; and lastly, against a northern aspect; by observing this method with Dwarf Cherries, Plums, Gooseberries, Currants, etc, the fruit will ripen in succession, and thus a supply is considerably lengthened. The early blooming fruit trees will sometimes need protection in warm aspects; for which arrangements may be made by keeping awning, matting, netting, etc, at hand, to shelter them with in threatening weather, or to screen them from the intense heat of the sun after a frosty night; this, with a sprinkling of water, as the air gets warm, will often prevent any serious consequences from slight frost.
Those who have various soils, should suit them to the different kinds of fruit. Apples and Pears require a strong loam, but the Pear rather the lightest. Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Plums, and Nectarines, a good deal lighter than the Apple and Pear. Such fruits as may require peat, bog, or any other extraordinary kinds of earth, will be noticed as we proceed.