Apple Growing

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 plan. _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 field. _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 did. The following table shows the number of trees required per acre at different distances for the square or rectangular method and for the hexagonal method. 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 number.

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