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darktrmg. ----......-...--


darktrmg. [If any reader who isin a difficulty with reference to his garden, will write directly to the ad- dress given beneath, his queries will be an- swered, free of charge, and by return of post. —EDITOR]. THE FRUIT GARDEN. THOUGH, as a general iule, amateur gardeners prefer to purchase their fruit tiees already worked on suitable stocks from nurserymen, some few make a practice of raising a part of their trees, especially of the apples, pears, plums, and cherries, all of which are easily ob- tained by budding or grafting. Much has been written adverse to the method of grafting, but if proper stocks are selected, good results may be depended on. Indeed, so great is the in- fluence of stocks that varieties worked on different ones vary to the extent of several years in the time of commencing to bear fruit. A few words on the principal kinds may be use- ful, since very few people appear to have much acquaintance with the subject. The crab or seedling apple is used for orchard standard trees, and for pyramids)and bushes of the weak growing sorts, though for most bush apples the English Paradise stock is much to be preferred, owing to the short, close growth of its wood, and to its mass of fibrous loots, which do not penetrate the subsoil. The French Paradise has a still further dwarfing influence than the English kind, and it is consequently suitable only for rich land and small bushes. The broad- leaved Paradise is not unlike the crab in its robustness of growth, though its roots are more fibrous. For pears the best stock is the quince, which is used almost invariably now for dwarfs and pyramids, though it is some- times necessary to pursue the method knowD. as double-working, because a few pears, notably Marie Louise, will not unite directly with the quince. The difficulty issurmounted by w orking on to the stock a variety which takes well with it, and then in the following year the Marie Louise or other kind is worked on the pear &3 close to the quince as possible. The pear stock is used in every case for orchard standard trees, and occasionally for pyramids in poor soil. The roots have a bad habit of penetrating deeply into the subsoil, and on rich land this tends to make pyramid trees of too robust and vigorous growth. The Mussel plum is used for standard plums as well as for pyramids. Of the several different varieties in commerce, the most freely growing ones are best; adapted for large stan- dards. Another stock which has been much used is the cherry plum or Myreholan,a strong growing kind, which should be used only for poor and medium soils. If employed in rich land,the succulent late autumn growth is liable to damage from early frosts. The common plum is suitable for bush and pyramid trees, being rather dwarf. Of cherry stocks, the hardiest and best for orchard standards and pyramids is the wild cherry, though for small pyramids and for the morePo variety the mahaleb stock is the best. The paradise, quince, mussel, and ordinary plums are usually raised from cuttings, suckers, or layers, while crabs, myrobolon, and cherry stocks are ob- tained from seed. When they are large enough to plant out for working, they are lifted, and the side-growths near the base are trimmed away, the main stem being cut back to about 18in. in length, and deeply penetrating roots being severed. Plant them a foot or so apart in rows 2ft. asunder, and they will then be ready for grafting in the following spring, or for budding in July and August. The stocks which are to be grafted must be got ready in February, all side growths being removed to the height of six inches from the ground, and the tops being cut off at somewhere about the same height The scions are cut during Feb- ruary, carefully labelled, and firmly placed in the ground to wait until wanted. The object of this is to check tlio flow of sap, and to enable it to be stronger in the stock than in the scion at the time of grafting. Of course it is most important that only well ripened and clean wood should be chosen. The actual time of grafting is usually from March to April, but the work is necessarily greatly dependent on the weather. Tongue-grafting is the best ylan to adopt with young trees. The feci on must be about four or five inches long, and cut close above a bud. A sloping cut is made at the bot- tom or base, and a clean upward cut on the stock, to correspond as nearly with the cut surface of the scion as possible. From here, the top of the stock, make a downward cut- ting, forming a tongue; and place the two pieces of wood together, making the tongues pass one another, the scion being pressed down into the stock, so that the two barks exactly coincide or unite on one side Wind a piece of raffea firmly round the junction from the bot- tom to the top and then at once cover the whole with grafting clay. All that remains to be done is to renew the clay if it should ever be washed away by rain, and to remove it when the young growth is a few inches high. Graft- ing clay should be prepared before the work is commenced. Good, stiff clay should be selected, and mixed with finely chopped hay and cow manure. The resulting mass must be well beaten before use. Soon after the clay has been removed by sharply tapping it on one side, the raffea tie must be loosened to prevent it cutting into the bark of the young tree. Bup. port the stems with stout stakes if the situa- tion is at all exposed, to prevent the wind blowing the scions off. The operation of snag- ging is carried out in autumn by cutting off the end of the stock to the scion with a long clean cut. After this, the trees can be trained and pruned as may be necessary. E. KEMP TOOGOOD, F.R.H.S., Pro TOOGOOB & SONS, The Royal Seed Establishment, Southampton.


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