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Not Difficult.—The novice should not allow himself to be dazed by the multiplicity of geometrical figures which I have given in explaining the nomenclature of the system. It does not require a surveyor to stake off the orchard ground in Septuple form. On the contrary, when you once grasp the theory you will find it as easy as any other system.
Septuple Illustrated—To give an occular demonstration of an orchard planted by this system, I present a diagram after the manner of those in preceding chapters:
Given an equilateral triangle, A B C, to find its altitude.
FIG. 17—SEPTUPLE ORCHARD ILLUSTRATED.
Method Of Staking.—The staking is done in substantially the same way as described in the Quincunx planting. Run two check-rows of stakes along opposite sides of the orchard, and, in using the chain, alternate the check-tags as previously described. By shifting the chain back and forth the trees are brought alternately opposite (Fig. 11).
Key To The Septuple System.—It is in setting the stakes in the check-rows that the difference between this and all other systems occurs. This must be explained at length. In Fig. 18 it is plainly observable that the trees in opposite rows arrange themselves in triangles.
A B * * *
*FIG. 18—TRIANGULAR ARRANGEMENT.
It has been explained that the trees are equal distances apart each way, and hence A B C is an equilateral triangle. Now, we have the simple geometrical problem:—
FIG. 19—AN EQUILATERAL TRIANGLE TO FIND ITS ALTITUDE.
Drop a perpendicular from the apex C upon the base A B. Then A D C is a rightangle triangle. The dimension of the side A C is known. The dimension of A D is one-half of A B. We wish to ascertain the dimension C D. The formula is:
•J (A C2—A D2)=CD
If the trees are planted twenty feet apart, we have the problem in figures thus:
-/ (202 _ lO'-i) =x.
102 = 100.
v/"300=17^ (nearly), or 17 feet 4 inches.
Answer.—If A C is twenty feet and A D ten feet, then the distance from C to D is seventeen feet and four inches.
The orchard being staked on the Septuple system, with the trees twenty feet apart, the stakes in the check-rows should be seventeen feet and four inches apart.
Having staked the check-rows the required distance, proceed to stretch the chain and set the stakes exactly as described in Quincunx planting. Remember the injunction there given to pull out alternate stakes in the check-rows when you are through with them. (See Fig. 12.) Distance For Check-rows.—For convenience of reference, I append a table, showing the distances at which the checkstakes should be set for various spaces: 10 feet apart .^8 feet 8 inches.
16 18 20 21 22 24
Balling.—This is undoubtedly the best method, though the most laborious and expensive. Trees that are carefully balled and well planted seldom lose their leaves, and, with the next succeeding period of growth, are almost sure to make a start. The operation of balling is thus performed:
A trench fourteen to sixteen inches deep is dug along one side of the nursery row cutting the earth about six inches from the stalks. Then the digger takes a sharpedged spade, and by carefully working under from the bottom of the trench exposes the tap root. This he severs by a well directed blow or two. Next, vertical cuts are made in the soil on each side of the tree transversely with the trench, and a block of earth about a foot each way is formed. This block is carefully shaved off and rounded. Lastly, the spade is inserted in the side opposite the trench, and the ball is loosened from the contiguous ground. A little more shaving makes it symmetrical all round. The ball thus formed should be grasped with both hands, and the tree lifted from Its place and set upon the half of a grain bag already provided and spread upon the ground close by. It generally happens that the end of the tap root projects an inch or two below the ball of earth. Accordingly a little slit is made in the middle of the grain bag, through which the end of root protrudes. The edges of the bag are then drawn up tightly about the ball, and fastened by winding with bailing rope or stitched with stout twine. If the ball is tied, the rope is first wound about it vertically with a hitch around the stock at the top and another about the tap root at the bottom to hold the wrap in place. Two vertical wraps are made, crossing each other at right angles, top and bottom, and a third turn is made about the ball horizontally, describing an equator about the two former meridians. The whole being made snug and tight so that the enclosed earth cannot shake loose from the roots, the balling is complete. Balled trees should be handled very carefully, and not transported long distances in a lumber wagon if a spring wagon is to be had for the purpose.
Broken Balls.—If by any mischance the dirt is crumbled within the sack the wrappings should be removed entirely upon planting the tree.
Condition Of The Soil For Balling.— From the description given of the process of balling, it must be evident to the reader that the soil should have a good degree of coherence to allow so much handling. A clayish sandy soil is best for balling. But the most favorable soil even, must be taken at just the proper time to make the operation successful. About the third or fourth day after a rain or an irrigation is a safe time to begin sacking.
When Sacking Is Not Desirarle.—It is not best to sack trees if they are taken from a stiff clay soil, or any soil, in fact, that is likely to bake hard. If the balls of earth become thus set they enclose the roots like a mold of plaster of Paris, and the tree cannot thrive.
Puddling.—In this method of transplanting, the trench is first excavated and the tap roots cut as previously described. No effort is made, however, to preserve the earth intact about the roots. The tree being loosened, it is left standing in the trench with a shovelfull of dirt upon the roots to keep them from drying. A puddle is formed at some convenient point by mixing loam and clay to the consistancy of thick cream. A sufficient number of trees having been dug, they are gathered up, a few at a time, and the roots of each immersed in the puddle. They are thus encased with a film of soil which protects them from the drying action of the air. As an additional precaution, the roots are parked in damp straw for transit. For shipment long distances, a number of trees may be bunched together and their roots packed with damp straw in a barrel. The stocks and tops are generally wrapped with burlap, rushes or other material as a means of protection. The only objection I have ever heard urged against puddling trees is that the film of earth is sometimes set so firmly upon the small roots that it chokes them, after the manner of the baked or hardened ball already alluded to. Packing In Damp Straw.—With this method the tree is prepared in the same manner as just described, except that the puddling operation is omitted. I have transplanted trees by this method as well as by puddling and balling, and I find that the damp straw alone answers every requirement. The principal precaution to be observed
in transplanting orange trees is to avoid the contact of air with the roots. If the roots be thoroughly dried, the vitality of the tree is lost.
PLANTING AN ORCHARD.
Digging The Holes.—The stakes for the orchard having been set as described in a preceding chapter, the next operation is digging the holes.
Size Of Holes.—If the ground has been properly prepared, there is no necessity for digging the hole larger than requisite for admitting the roots of the tree. If the trees are balled, a hole large enough to receive the ball is sufficient; if not balled, make it large enough to admit the roots in a natural position, i. e. without doubling on themselves. For the average three or four-year-old stock a hole eighteen to twenty inches across and the same depth is ample.
The Planting Board.—A device in almost universal use for fixing the point where the tree should stand is known as the planting board.
PIG. 20—THE Planting Noard.
It is a light strip about five feet long, with a notch (A) cut in the middle, and Botches B and C at the extremities, as shown in the figure.
Manner Of Using The Board.—When about to dig the hole place the board on the ground so that the central notch A shall fit against the stake. Stick pins at notches B and C. The board may now be removed and the original stake at A pulled up and the. hole dug in its place. When planting the tree, the exact place where it should stand is fixed by replacing the board so that the notches B and C fit upon their respective pegs, and the tree staning in the hole, is held upright at the notch A.
It is not necessary that the board be always laid on a parallel with the orchard
lines, as a little variation in the angle will make no difference in determining the middle point; but it is essential that the board be placed on the same side of the stakes each time. For example, if it is on the south side of the stake when the pins at the extremities are stuck, then it should be adjusted to these pins exactly in the same manner when the tree is set and the board be on the south side of the tree. To avoid confusion it is best to follow one rule throughout the orchard, placing the board always on the same side of the stakes.
Throwing The Dirt.—In digging the holes it is best to throw the dirt clear of the pegs so that it shall not interfere with the replacing of the board. In localities where the surface earth is richer than the subsoil, painstaking planters throw the top earth in a pile by itself so that it can be first returned to the hole, about the roots, and the poorer soil filled in at the top.
Planting.—Two men work together to the greatest advantage in planting—one to place the board and hold the tree, and the other to shovel in the earth. The operation is thus very quickly performed. If the trees are sacked, the balls are placed in the holes without disturbing the wrapping, which will shortly rot away and offer no impediment to the growing roots. If not sacked do not take them from their packing of straw until ready to plant each in turn. Then handle with as much celerity as possible without slighting the work. The lateral roots should be carefully arranged in the hole so that they lie in a natural position, none being doubled up or crossed.
Lacerated Roots.—If the tap root or laterals are lacerated, cut away the injured