Gardening Directory


The main objects to bear in mind in Pruning any kind of bushor tree are to prevent a congested growth of the branches, to remove any shoots that cross each other, as well as all useless and dead wood, and to obtain

a well-balanced head. It may be done either in August or in the winter when the sap is at rest, after the worst of the frosts are over, the end of February being usually suitable; but the former period is generally acknowledged to be the better, especially for fruit-trees. The cuts should be clean and level, and when a saw is used should be made smooth with a chisel and covered with grafting wax. In all cases as little wound as possible should be presented. Root-pruning has for its object the suppression of over-vigorous growth and the restoration of old trees to a bearing condition. It consists in taking off all the small fibres, shortening the long roots to within 6 or 8 in. of the stem, and cutting away any bruised or injured roots before the trees are first planted out. The mode of procedure in the case of old or unproductive trees is to open the earth in autumn 3 ft. from the stem of the tree, and to saw through two-thirds of the strongest roots. The opening is then filled in with fresh mould. Should the growth still be too vigorous, the soil must be opened again the following season and the remaining roots cut through, care being taken not to injure the young fibrous roots.

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