Hexagonal Or Triangular
Another method of arrangement of the trees
which is becoming more and more popular is the hexagonal or triangular
system. More trees can be planted on an acre by this plan than by any
other, it being very economical of space. It makes
all adjacent trees
equally distant from each other and is really a system of equilateral
triangles. This plan is better adapted to small areas and especially
to irregular ones, and should be employed where land is expensive and
culture very intensive. It is more difficult to set an orchard after
this method without error, and it is open to the objection of
inconvenience in cultural operations. Most people forget that while
the rows running cornerwise in a rectangular or square field set after
this plan may be a standard distance apart, yet the right angle rows
(not trees) in which it may be more convenient to work are actually
much closer together.
The best plan to follow to get the rows of trees straight on a level
field is what is known as the outside stake method. This plan requires
the placing of a row of stakes on each of the four sides of the field
where the trees are to be set and usually about two rows each way
through the middle. For this purpose ordinary building laths are best,
about one hundred and fifty laths, or three bundles, being required
for five acres, which is as large a unit as can be set at once by this
_First_, determine the distance from the road or fence to the first
tree row, which would be at least eighteen feet to allow for turning
the teams, and establish base lines on each side of the field at right
angles to each other.
_Second_, beginning at the given distance from the side of the field,
set up a row of stakes along these base lines at the exact distance
apart at which the trees are to be set and about half way between the
fence and the first right angle row. Do the same on all sides of the
_Third_, by sighting across the field from one end stake to the other
the cross rows of stakes can be set through the middle of the field.
These should be about six or eight rods apart, and care should be used
to avoid setting them where they will interfere with the sighting of
the right angle rows. This plan has the great merit of enabling the
entire orchard to be set without moving a stake, as no stake stands
where a tree is to be set. If the trees are set exactly where the
sight lines cross at right angles and if all rows are an equal
distance apart, the rows will be perfectly straight.
On rough or rolling land this plan does not work well. Here more
simple methods, though requiring more time, must be used. Lines drawn
with a cord or marked across the field with a corn planter answer well
for small areas. Poles of the right length are often used to good
advantage. In setting trees after the hexagonal plan an equilateral
triangle made of light poles or wire is probably best, especially on
small rough areas, as it is very accurate, simple, and quite rapid.
Some men prefer to make measurements and set a stake at every point
where a tree is to be placed. In these cases a simple device locates
the original stakes after the hole has been dug. A light board about
six feet long with a notch in the center and holes with pegs in them
at each end is placed with the notch at the stake. One end is then
swung round and the hole dug. When the end is replaced on its peg the
tree set in the hole should rest in the notch where the original stake
The following table shows the number of trees required per acre at
different distances for the square or rectangular method and for the
Sq. Hex. Sq. Hex.
12 x 12 302 344 24 x 24 75 80
12 x 15 242 ... 24 x 30 60 ..
15 x 15 193 224 30 x 30 48 56
15 x 18 161 ... 30 x 36 40 ..
15 x 20 145 ... 33 x 33 40 46
15 x 30 96 ... 30 x 48 30 ..
18 x 18 134 156 30 x 60 24 ..
18 x 20 121 ... 36 x 36 33 39
20 x 20 108 124 40 x 40 27 31
20 x 30 72 ... 40 x 50 21 ..
It will be noted that the hexagonal plan allows the setting of from
four to forty trees more per acre than the square plan, even when the
trees are set the same distance apart. This is the great advantage of
this plan over the square. Filling an orchard one way, i.e., between
the permanent row, in one direction only, practically doubles the
trees which can be set on an acre; filling both ways quadruples the
Next: Preparation Of Soil
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