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PLANT RAISED WITH PLUG OP EARTH.
HOLE CUT BY TRANSPLANTER.
•rounded by unmoved dirt. Tamp the •oarth a little to settle it about the plug, and the transplanting is complete. After a few experiments the work can be done with great rapidity.
Concerning the planter Judge Widney says: "Three years ago I commenced to set out some 200 acres of eucalyptus trees. I raised the plants and put them in boxes 20x24, setting them two inches apart —the usual plan. To set them out in the field and not irrigate, and do the work rapidly, was the question. The result was this trans planter. With it one man will take the boxes of plants and set out 600 to 1000 trees per day, nine feet apart. I set out over 100,000 plants, and not one plant in 100 died from transplanting."
Irrigation.—As soon as planted the r trees should be irrigated. This may be / best accomplished by making a slight > trench along each side of the row and a few inches therefrom, throwing the dirt away from the trees. Then lead the water along, and after it has thoroughly soaked away use a hoe to draw the displaced earth back. The dry soil being left on top acts as a mulch to prevent evaporation. Under no circumstances should the soil remain unstirred after an irrigation, • as it will bake and dry out, leaving the v trees in a worse condition than if they they had been given no water at all. If the weather be warm and dry at the time of planting your nursery, an irrigation each week is not too much to begin with. The soil should not be allowed to dry within half an inch of the surface. Later, as the trees become well rooted, an irrigation each fortnight, and then one each month, will suffice. The second season the cultivation may be done by horsepower.
After Care.—Directly after planting equip yourself with knife or scissors and trim up the little trees. Some of them will have two or three stems, and some will be throwing an undue proportion of their vitality into some favored limb. Trim them to a single stem and start them up in the way they should go. Afterwards replace all trees that die, so as to keep your rows full and regular. When grown to the height of two or three feet, j'our trees, or a part of them, may require staking. If so, don't neglect this part of the work. You may think that the stalk will be cut down after a while, in budding, and it doesn't make much difference whether it grows straight or not. But it does. The more symmetrical you keep your nursery, the more pride you vyill take in it, the better you will do your work, and it will thrive proportionately.
Free From Insects.—Watch your nursery with eagle eye that none of the pestiferous scale insects obtain lodgment there. If once thoroughly inoculated with red or white scale, it is all over with your project; nobody would buy the trees afterward, even though you succeeded in clearing out the pests. It is a good plan to wash the trees once or twice every year with a decoction of whale oil soap, as a measure of prevention.
Free From Weeds.—I would enjoin the most thorough cultivation of the nursery, summer and winter, and keeping it entirely free from weeds. But the painstaking nurseryman will do this without special admonition.
Pruning.—When the trees have been in nursery one year, they should be pruned slightly. Be careful not to carry the pruning to excess, and especially avoid making long willowy switches with a mere tuft of leaves a-top. Rather follow the plan of keeping the small tree symmetrical and well proportioned, exactly as you would a large one. Dispense with the lower branches gradually, and the trunk will grow up stocky and strong enough to support itself without staking. When trees are budded at the end of the first year in nursery, little pruning is required; simply enough on one side to make room for the bud; and, after that starts, the entire top is cut away.
The general theory of extending and ^perpetuating varieties of fruits by budding is too well understood to require ,discussion here. While it may be said that the principle has found acceptance throughout the domain of horticulture, with the orange it has remained a mooted question longer than with any other fruit. But here also science is gradually and surely gaining the day. It has been urged against budding the orange that the operation induces precocity, thereby dwarfing the tree, curtailing its productive capacity and shortening its life. That 'budding induces precocity there is no question. While a seedling tree can not be relied upon to come into bearing until eight years old, a budded tree will bear at Jive (£. e., the stock being live, the budded growth three). Whether budding dwarfs the tree or not depends entirely upon the habit of the tree from which the bud comes. I have seen full-sized standard trees from buds of the Konah, Wolfskill's Best and Cuban. The Washington Navel, St. Michael, Mediterranean Sweet and Malta Blood make under-sized trees. But by reason of their lesser size a greater number may be set to the acre, and thus, in full bearing, the yield may equal that of standard trees. But the quality waived entirely;—allowing a smaller yield from budded trees—the difference in quality ■must determine the matter in their favor, iln the scales of value a box of uniform Navels will outweigh three boxes of hitand-miss seedlings. It must be remembered that there is no exact perpetuation of excellence by the seed. A seedling is a seedling, whether the seed be brought from Cuba, Australia or the Mediterranean country. The tree from foreign seed, being grown to maturity in our soil, generally partakes of the characteristics of native slock;—producing a fruit with thick rind, and averaging with the rest in size and flavor. There is, in fact, no likelihood that any seedling will improve on these varieties already originated here, and which have been given the distinction of a name, such as Wilson's and Wolfskill's Best, while there are many chances for it
to drop far below mediocrity. With budded fruit the case is quite different. Uniformity of excellence is obtained in it. The evil results of the precocity alluded to may be obviated by rigorously thinning the fruit as the tree comes into bearing. In our climate, the tendency of all trees is to overbear at first; and if this is not curbed, their health and productiveness may be seriously impaired. Budded orange trees do not stand alone in this matter, though they may present an extreme case. The fact remains that, if a man buds his trees and devotes to them some extra attention, he may hasten his returns three years and enhance the value of his fruit. Budding is in line with all other advanced scientific methods. What laborsaving machinery is to manual labor, and thoroughbred live stock to native breeds, the budded orange tree is to the seedling. Do not be behind the times. Bud your trees. Having determined this matter to my satisfaction, at least, I come to the modus operandi of budding. I am indebted to Mr. J. M. Warner, a budder of long experience, for many practical suggestions contained herein. • Timb.—Buds are inserted in the fallOctober and November—and in the spring and early summer—March to the last of June, the latter being much the more popular season. The exact time for budding depends indirectly upon the weather and directly upon the condition of the stock to be budded. Buds inserted in the fall come under the designation of "dormant" as they do not start until the following spring. Then, of course, they begin early if at all, and therein lies the only advantage of fall budding. On the other hand, there is great danger that the buds may be killed by severe cold during the winter. Midsummer budding, although feasible, is condemned by the best authorities. The lateness of starting makes a short season's growth, and the wood being prematurely hardened by cold weather, the tree is stunted. The earlier in the spring that budding can be done in conformity with right principles, the better.
Condition Of The Stock.—When the bark slips readily upon the stock, as it slipped on the willows in our whistlemaking days, you may be sure it is in condition to be budded. Theoretically stated, the tree is then full of sap and in the active, growing condition requisite for infusing life into the extraneous bud inserted in the bark. Experts may venture to anticipate this condition a little and bud trees when they are obliged to raise the bark with a knife, but they do it at the risk of losing their labor. A quick growth of the tree immmediately after each budding is done will alone render the operation successful. Experienced budders claim that a larger percentage of buds grow of ;those inserted in the new of the moon than in the old.
Age Of Stocks.—Trees planted in nursery in the spring are sometimes budded the following spring. But the majority of nurserymen do not bud their trees until the end of the- second year in nursery. The stocks then shoot the buds more uniformly and vigorously than at the earlier age. Budding may be done from this time forward until the tree is fully grown, but the difficulty of starting increases with age. Ordinarily there is no reason for delaying the operation later than the end of the second year in nursery.
Implements Required.—The outfit required for budding comprises a pair of pruning shears of the ordinary pattern; a budding knife, a whetstone and strap, a brush and some tying twine.
The budding knife has a prolongation of the handle, being a bone spatula, like the end of a paper cutter. This attachment is of service in lifting the bark without lacerating it after the incision has been made. The whetstone, used with either oil or water, should be fine, and small enough to carry in the pocket. For putting the finishing edge on the knife use a razor-strop or a strop improvised from a piece of leather fastened to a stick and oiled. The pruning shears or pocketknife should be employed in the heavy work, such as cutting branches for buds, pruning, etc. The budding knife is then used only for cutting out the buds and incising the tree, and its keenness is not unduly impaired. It is best to bud the trees
close to the ground, for the reason that the point of juncture of bud and stock becomes less prominent and unsightly, and, in transplanting, may be covered up entirely, Any sort of brush that is convenient will serve for dusting off the body of the tree, so that the knife shall not come in contact with grit.
The buds should be inserted with a view to avoiding accidents in irrigating and cultivating. If the rows run north and south insert the bud on the south side of the stock, so that it shall not grow out into the open space and thus be subject to accident. The prevaling winds should also be considered. As the tendency of the sprout is to grow out from the stock, if the winds can be brought into service to force it back upon the stock and into an upright position, so much the better.
Twine.—A soft, loosely-twisted twine, from ten to fourteen ply, and known as "budding twine," is in universal us& among budders. The size is varied, according to the size of stocks. A convenient way of preparing the twine for use is to reel it upon a board the required length for the pieces, and then cut it at both ends of the board. Count the pieces, and when done with them you will know how many buds you have inserted. Sling the strings in a loop of twine to your person, and you have them ready to draw upon as required.
Choosing Buds.—The best buds to insert are those which appear large and plump, as though just ready to start. They are found upon the latest new growth that has rounded and hardened. The light green, new growth, known as "three cornered," should be avoided, the buds being immature and lacking in vitality. Likewise buds on old limbs (i. e., of a former year's growth,) are not desirable, as they are slow to start. Buds cut from very old and hard wood have been known to lie dormant four years before starting to grow. Upon the section of limb which you select all of the buds may not be desirable, and you should use only the best, rejecting the others. If thorny varieties are used discard those with the largest thorns.
Preparing The Buds.—Having selected the limbs from which you wish to take your buds, cut them into lengths of six or eight inches, convenient for handling. At the same lime cut off the leaves, severing the stem close to the buds. If the leaves are allowed to remain they draw the sap from the stock, weakening the buds. The points of thorns may be clipped to avoid annoyance in handling. If the buds are to be kept any time or shipped, the twigs should be packed in some damp material. The jrreen moss which forms on the surface of ponds or reservoirs exposed to the sun furnishes an excellent wrapping when dried. This should be dampened only enough to keep the stems from drying out, and they .maybe thus kept a fortnight or more without damage. While budding keep the principal part of your stock covered with a damp cloth, having only a stick or two in baud at a time.
Cutting The Buds.—Hold the stick in the left hand, top toward your body ; forefinger sustaining the stick below the bud, and thumb far enough above the bud to be out of danger from the knife. Commencing about a half inch below the bud, make a slanting cut into the twig, raising the bark and a thin shaving of wood beneath it. Draw the knife forward with a straight cut underneath the bud, and when this has been severed, with the bark and wood adhering, bring the edge to the surface with a rounding motion.
The slip thus taken is about an inch long: the part below the bud a half inch, the bud and leaf stem a quarter, and the part abo^'e the bud a quarter. It is necessary to take only a very little wood from the twig in serving the bud. I have known pains-taking nurserymen, when operating on young stock, to hoilow out the under side of the bud longitudinally, so as to make it conform more closely to the body of the tree to which it was applied. The knife used for taking off buds ,should have a keen edge.
Cutting The Stocks And Inserting The Buds.—At a point not more than six inches from the ground select a smooth
place on the stock and make a short perpendicular incision. This is called the longitudinal cut. The knife simply penetrates the bark. The cut should not be longer than the bud (one inch), and if the bark is free it may be somewhat less, as the lower end of the bud-base can pass under the bark when shoved down, making it more secure and requiring less tying. At the top end of the longitudinal cut make a transverse cut long enough to admit the bud. In making the transverse cut incline the edge of the knife downward, and then, as the bark is penetrated, spread the gash by twisting the knife upward and carrying the knife outward from the tree. In so doing be careful not to tear the bark. This completes the incision. Next pass the lower prong of the bud-base in at the place where the two cuts cross, and, with the thumb of the right hand, press the bud down gently into the opening. Instead of using the thumb, which might in some instances bruise the bud, some budders insert the point of the budding knife in the budbase, just above the bud, and press down with that. While the bud is being shoved into position the thumb and fore-finger of the left hand should be pressed against the bark on each side of the longitudinal cut to assist in guiding the bud and to prevent a rupture of the bark. When the top of the bud-base is even with the transverse cut it is in proper position. The base is then nearly or quite inclosed in the bark, and the bud with its leaf-stem and thorn (if it have a thorn) protrudes just below the point where the cuts cross.
Tying.—One of the pieces of twine already prepared is then passed about the tree, making usually three wraps above the bud and two below, the tying being done so that there is one wrap less on the side opposite the bud. The twine should be drawn so tight that it can not be easily slipped, and should pass close to the eye of the bud above and below. The bud first adheres at the upper extremity, and especial care should be taken to have it well wrappqd there.
Indications.—In between two and six weeks after the insertion of the buds, if they adhere to the stock, the leaf stem next the bud will begin to loosen and drop off. On the contrary, if it shrivels and clings to the bud, the indication is that the bud is dead.
Cutting The Stocks.—As soon as one is satisfied that the buds have adhered he should cut off the stocks from four to eight inches above the bud, the larger the tree the higher up. An irrigation and cultivation immediately after this will have a good effect in starting the bud. Within a month after cutting away the stocks, the strings should also be cut and removed, especially the wraps above the bud.
Rerudding.—Trees that fail to start the bud should be rebudded as soon as possible. If the first work has been done early, there will be time to rebud the skips the same season.
Sprouts.—The common practice is to remove all sprouts that put out from the stock in order that its whole vitality may be thrown into the bud. Some think the single growth of the bud is insufficient to keep the stock in a healthy condition, and for the first few months leave several sprouts, keeping them subordinate to the bud. If any sprouts be left they should be on the opposite side to the bud in order that they may not interfere with its upward growth. They should be occasionally nipped off; and, finally, when the main shoot gets fair proportions, the interlopers may be dispensed with altogether.
Pruning.—If the growing bud-sprout shows too great a tendency to branch, it is advisable to thumb-prune it somewhat or to shorten in the lower branches. The new growth should be trained to sturdy proportions and an upright growth. If staking be necessary, stake it, but make it grow upright without this if possible.
Cutting Away The Stuns.—When the w-ood of the budded growth shall have hardened up somewhat, cut away the stub of the stock close to the poinfc of juncture. Pare the stock smooth, and cover with paint, shellac, or wax, to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking.
Influence Of Stock On Bud.—While, in theory, the budding of a tree amounts to an absolute change in the fruit, substituting the variety budded for that of the native stock, practice demonstrates that
the stock still exercises an influence through the budded growth. This influence varies with different fruits, in some being quite imperceptible) in others so pronounced as to render budding nugatory. For example, the lemon may be budded upon orange stock with the best results ; and, in fact, it has come to be a universal custom to choose orange stock for this purpose by reason of its greater hardiness. But with the- orange budded Upon lemon stock the case is different; deterioration of fruit is sure to follow. At one time there was quite a furor for budding choice varieties of orange upon the stock of Chinese lemon. The vigor of the stock caused a marvelous growth in the orange buds, and the experimenters were in high feather until their trees came into bearing. Then it was found that the fruit was large, coarse, pulpy and insipid, being neither orange, lemon, nor a. palatable hybrid.
Standard Lowered By Repeated Budding.—It is safe to assume, then, that all stocks exercise some influence on their budded fruit, and though in a single instance we might be unable to.perceive it,, the probability is that several generations of buds, each taken from the last preceding and each inserted in the same stock, would finally bring a fruit much modified and approaching in character that of the seedling operated upon. Thus it is that the standard of certain varieties has been lowered by successive buddings. A, impressed by the excellence of the Mediterranean Sweet, obtained buds from the stock first introduced and inserted them in some of his poorest trees. B obtained buds from A, and inserted them in lemon stock. Then C got them from B and I) from C, and so the retrograde movement continued until the product of the last Mediterranean Sweet buds was found to be very inferior. Other varieties beside the Mediterranean Sweet have suffered in this way. The Australian Navel, which falls short of its twin sister, the Riverside Navel, is one of the victims.
Original Buds.—It is advisable then, in budding to a choice variety, to go back to the original stock if possible;, otherwise to get buds only one degree removed from the original, and those grown on.