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budded oranges. ,
Two SYSTEMS OF PRUNING.–There are This difficulty may be overcome by a two systems in vogue, one known as high free use of the knife, keeping the top open pruning, the other as low pruning. Low enough to admit a circulation of air, and pruning is resorted to with lemons and the tree will then be as healthy as though the dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties of the top were four or five feet higher and budded oranges. It consists simply in proportionately broader. In the case of forming the head of the tree close to the lemons, the theory has been advanced ground-say within a foot or two of the that they bear much better with low prunsurface—and modeling the growth some- ing than with high, as this manner of what after a shrub. The high system growth must closely conform to the natuprunes away the branches near the ral habit of the tree. It should be borne ground, exposing the trunk and forming in mind that low pruning does not cona conventional tree top. This method is template an abandonment of the tree to its employed with nearly all seedling trees own sweet will and way in growing. that grow to the standard size, and with a Neither is it allowable to leave suckers considerable portion of the lemons and from the roots or water sprouts from the
lower trunk. As close and careful attenTHE LOW SYSTEM. – The advantages tion is required in low pruning as in high. claimed for this method of pruning are
HIGH PRUNING YOUNG STOCK.-In ist. That the head of the tree being pruning young stock by the high system brought close to the ground, the picking it is well to make haste slowly-i. e., cut of the fruit is greatly facilitated.
away the lower branches only as the tree 2d. That the trunk is closely shaded, thickens its stock and throws its vitality thereby preyenting sunburn and other evils coming from loo much exposure to
into the upper top. It is conceded that the weather.
about the proper proportion for a standard 3d. That the soil immediately about the tree is two-thirds top and one-third stock. tree is shaded and the moisture thus pre- With quite young trees the proportion of served.
top may be greater than this with good With this method of pruning also the advantage. Lateral branches growing close branches are usually “shortened in” and to the ground have a tendency to thicken this results in a fourth advantage in that the stock and make it upright and selfthe fruit is borne closer to the body of the sustaining. Above all, avoid trimming tree, and the branches being rendered young trees up to mere switches, with just stocky from the cutting back, are not like- a tuft of leaves at the top. There can be ly to break down with their burden. The
no more certain method of making them tree with low head and shortened branch- crooked and weakly. As good a general es needs no props in the fruiting season.
rule as I can lay down is, to keep the tree This method of low pruning is much em- well proportioned and symmetrical at all ployed at Riverside, in San Bernardino stages of its growth. After the first year county, where many of our most progress- in orchard, the two-thirds rule as regards iye orange growers are to be found. The the top may be closely followed. The exemplification there given must certain
main forks of the tree may be established ly convince one of its advantages in the at the height of four to six feet from the respects claimed. For semi-dwarf and ground with seedlings and at three to four dwarf-budded orange trees, low pruning feet with budded varieties. Remember is the system I would recommend. The that the trunk of the tree grows but very objection usually urged against it is the little longitudinally and that the height of difficulty of working close to the tree with the top must be regulated by cutting away the cultivator, by reason of the low-hang- the lower branches. If a standard tree is ing branches. This can be obviated by properly and reasonably pruned, the conchoosing a cultivator to meet the special iour of the top when viewed from a disrequirements. An evil to be guarded tance will be not unlike the almost perfect against is the thickening of the top-the sphere of the fruit it bears. great multiplication of branches as a reult of the shortening process .
PRUNING-IMPLEMENTS REQUIRED.-A able limb before it has made much growth pair of gloves to protect the hands from than to let it grow on only to be sacrificed the thorns; a sharp knife, a small saw, and at last with greater shock and loss of vitalsome paint or wax to cover the stubs of ity to the tree. But I would advise great large branches; this is the outfit for a conservatism in pruning young trees just pruner. The pruning shears are much in starting. This is a critical time with the use, but I do not like them except for clip- tree and it needs a breathing surface. If ping the ends of branches. When applied the leaves which it throws out for this to severing a branch at the trunk, they purpose should happen to be in the wrong leave a stub which is not to be tolerated, place, it is often better to leave them until and if this be pared away by the knife the the tree gets it breath, i, e., hardens its work is doubled. If one prunes his trees new growth and makes other leaves to from their youth up, he grows in knowl- elaborate its sap. Anything approaching edge with them, so to speak, and while a general pruning of an orange tree while they are never much at fault, he is never making new growth should be avoided, as at great loss to know how they should be the operation is likely to check all further treated. But to undertake the pruning of growth for that period and may stunt the older trees which have been allowed to tree. grow half wild, and bring them to a state PRUNING OLDER TREES. The novice of civilization-there's the rub. It is vastly looking at a neglected tree, with its tangle better, of course, that they should never of branches, is dumbfounded with the task reach that vexatious stage, but when such of pruning. Let him but go at the work is the case there is nothing for it but systematically, however,
and he will find heroic treatment. When Governor Stone- the plan of the mighty maze. man purchased his estate in San Gabriel,
A FEW RULES FOR PRUNING.-1st. Befifteen or twenty years ago, the grove of gin at the ground and cut away all suckers old oranges on the place was almost un- growing from the crown of the roots. Dig, productive. He sent his foreman into it if necessary, to the place where the sucker with knife and saw, under instructions to
issues from the root and cut away the little prune out half of the tops. After perform- protuberance from which thesprout grows. ing his task the man reported to the Gov
2d. Cut away all water-sprouts growing ernor, stating by the way that he though he bad ruined the trees. Governor Stone from the trunk of the tree. Remove the man took a look at the orcbard and sent
knots or little protuberances here also, him back to prune still further. The re
paring smooth with the trunk. sult was that the next year there was a fine
3d. Work along the trunk into the top of crop of oranges.
the tree, and cut away all small, dwarfed PRUNING YOUNG TREES.—The best plan branches which have neither vitality to is to go over them quite frequently-as make a large growth nor room to make much as three or four times a year-and it in. prune lightly each time.
4th. Lop off such main branches as TIME OF PRUNING.–Whenever the tree throw the top out of equilibrium or deis in a dormant condition it may be pruned stroy its symmetry. advantageously. December is a popular 5th. Cut away all minor branches that time for this work; also late in the spring are superfluous. Consider a branch superbefore the heavy July - August growth fluous (a) when it crosses another or concommences, and just following the gather- flicts with another in any way; (6) when ing of the oranges.
it grows directly above another, and would THUMB PRUNING.–This consists of rub- at some future time, conflict it; (c) when bing off with thumb or finger shoots be- there are parallel branches too close tofore they form any woody fiber. The gether, a part must be taken away; (d) practice is quite allowable, and indeed to when a number of branches have put out be commended under certain restrictions. from the end of a shortened limb, one, On general principles, it conduces more to two or three only should be left. the welfare of the tree to stop an undesir- 6th. Having thinned the top sufficiently
from within, survey it externally and lop ger that the limb in falling may strip off a off the ends of such branches as destroy portion of bark from the trunk. If the the regularity of outline.
limb must be sawed from above, first cut A tree thus thinned out admits a free the bark below to avoid the tearing away circulation of air, which is as good in a referred to. sanitary point of yiew as fresh air for an Do not leave a stub of a limb protruding individual. The tree is then able to cope from the trunk or a main branch. Cut with its enemy the scale and smut, and its smooth and close up in order that the bark fruit is cleaner, larger and better therefor. may readily close over the wound.
HINTS ABOUT THE WORK.-In cutting a In cases where limbs of half an inch or Jimb of good size, the neatest method is to more in diameter are sawed, it is a good saw it from below, raising the limb gradu- plan to daub the cut surface with paint or ally so that it shall not pinch the saw. In grafting wax to prevent it from drying this way a smooth cut may be made close out and checking. to the body of the tree and there is no dan
In one respect the orange growers of and the annual production of a crop of California are behind the times. They fruit without becoming exhausted. Groves cultivate thoroughly, irrigate scientifically in this impoverished condition need to be and appreciate the value of good pruning; renovated, first by a heavy pruning of the they know the book of insect pests from trees, and second by a thorough renewal Genesis to Exodus; they grow, the best of the soil. With this stimulus the trees fruit of the best varieties known; they will make a new start and regain their gather freely and in riches increase and former productiveness. multiply, but they do not replenish the earth. In Florida, and in most other countries By this single dereliction they approve where orange growing is prosecuted as a themselves short-sighted, improvident - scientific industry, much attention is paid gathering for themselves to impoverish to fertilizing. Rev. T. W. Moore, in his their children; building for a day, not for work on orange culture in Florida, says: all time.
“No crop feeds more ravenously than There are old orange groves in Los An- the orange, and none will convert so large geles county that scarcely pay the cost of an amount of suitable fertilizers into fruit cultivation;-trees in a semi-dormant con- 80 profitably. Much of our Florida land dition the greater part of the time, with will produce and sustain fine trees for a leaves of a sickly yellow color and fruit few years without the aid of manure; but small, leathery of pulp and lacking in after some years of fruiting the leaves will flavor. These trees have been undergoing begin to turn yellow, indicating a deficia process of starvation for ten, fifteen or ency in the soil.” He then discusses the twenty years. It is a wonder that they various fertilizers in use, naming the comhave maintained the unequal struggle so mercial compounds of ground bone, potlong. Indeed, had it not been for the de- ash and sulphuric acid, Peruvian guano, gree of fertilization which comes from the land plaster, green crops turned under, application of water in repeated irrigations stable manure, and swamp muck. they would probably have succumbed In California not one of these fertilizers long ago. It is not in reason that any soil is in use, unless it be stable manure in can sustain the continual demand made exceptional instances. The reason that upon it for the formation of a larger tree our fruit growers have paid so little atten