The remedy usually employed 5s, to scrape off the moss with a kind of wooden knife, that will not wound the bark or branches; or to rub them with a strong haircloth, immediately after a heavy shower of rain. But the most effectual method, in Mr. BuckNall's opinion, consists in washing all the branches with soap-suds, and a hard brush, every spring and autumn. The action of rubbing, he observes, will so far invigorate the tree, as amply to compensate both the labour and expence : the plant will not be injured by this operation, which he directs to be performed in the same manner as a groom curries or scrubs the legs of a horse.—The most efficacious preventive, however, is to remove the cause, by draining all superfluous moisture from the roots ; and, when the trees are first planted, by placing them on the surface of the ground, and raising a small mound of good fresh mould around them.
The moss, vegetating on shrubs, etc. is of various kinds, according to the nature and situation of the soil. If the young branches of trees be covered with long and shaggy moss, they will speedily perish ; and can only be preserved by cutting them off near the trunk ; or, by lopping the head of the shrub, etc. if it be found necessary; as it will sprout again with increased luxuriance. In thick plantations, however, and in a cold ground, the trees will always be covered with moss : in such cases, they must be thinned, and the land drained, or well stirred.
Where shrubs, fruit-trees, etc, are covered with moss, in conser quence of the soil being too dry, it will be useful to spread large quantities of river or pond-mud about the root, and to open the ground for the admission of the manure : such expedient will not only cool the land, and greatly suppress the future growth of moss, but at the same time prevent the fruit from falling off too early—a circumstance that frequently happens in orchards planted in very dry soils. But, though moss be in general destructive to the vegetation of shrubs and trees, yet, if growing only on the north side of their trunks, it is attended with considerable advantage ; insomuch, that it serves both to shelter them from the severity of the north winds, and also to direct the wandering traveller in his course; because it always, points out that quarter of the compass.
Moss. - This vegetable production being very detrimental to the growth and health of fruit-trees, Mr. Forsyth advises it to be carefully removed in the months of February or March; after which the scraped trees must be washed with a mixture of fresh cow-dung, urine, and soap-suds. - If this operation be repeated in autumn, when the trees are destitute of leaves, it will not only prevent the production of moss, but will also destroy the eggs of numerous insects, that would otherwise be hatched ; while it contributes essentially to promote vegetation and seeds of the Common Nettle may, with efficacy, be substituted for the Peruvian bark, in all febrile affections, especially in tertian and F quartan agues. This native vegetable operates more speedily than the foreign bark; and, in large doses, induces .a lethargic sleep: the portion to be given, ought never to exceed one dram, and should be administered in wine, two or three times in the course of 24 hours. - The same cautions, that are nece sary in the use of the Feruvian bark, are likewise to be observed in taking the seeds and flowers of the nettle. Lastly, M. Zannetini recommends a slight infusion of the latter, in wine, as an excellent preservative for those who reside in marshy and unwholesome situations.