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1tt rindl)¡ttity.

¿ ¿\grirutturnt.



PLANTING HEDGES. It is generally admitted that fields which are surrounded by hedges are more fertile than those which are unenclosed; but this is not universally true without limitations. In dry situations, and on light sandy soils, they are undoubtedly of great benefit from their effects in preventing the escape of moisture, and therefore, in such places their value will, in some measure, in- crease in proportion with their number. But, on the other hand, these same effects must be injurious to a soil which is naturally damp and moist if the hedges abound in number. There are a great variety of plants used in the cultivation of hedges, such as hazel-nut tree, common birch, narrow-leaved English elm, beech, prickly broom, and privet. Hedges are some- timos fonned of one of these species only, but often of several mingled together, as of beeehwood and privet. None of the above-mentioned plants make a good hedge. The plant which is best adapted to the purpose is white thorn or hawthorn (Cratajgus oxyacantha). It is almost the OIùy one which pro- duces a good fence of compact growth and, of all others, its use is attended with the fewest disadvantages. It can be managed so as to fonn a very comp:1ct and equal fence, and yet occupy very little space; its roots do not throw out new ramifi- cations into the surrounding soil; and, on account of its thorns, it is avoided by all animals, and does not harbour birds and in- sects, unless it is allowed to spread out its branchlils to an unne- cessary extent. It is a pernicious practice, that of planting trees in the line of a hedge. Most trees (such as the oak, beech, and elm) grow faster than thorns, and when grown in the midst of a thorn hedge spread their roots in all directions, robbing the thorns of their proper nourishment, and soon overshadow them, and deprive them of the benefits of sun and air. During the first few years the top of the hedge should be moderately pruned, and the lateral branches suffered to grow untouched. It afterwards becomes necessary to cut them, but they should be left as bushy as possible at the lower part, and gradually tapered towards the top. The triangular section is proved by experience to be the best form of a hedge, as it ap- proaches most nearly to the natural form of the hawthorn tree, and may be grown to a height of four or five feet without ceasing to be thick and well clothed to the very bottom; and such a hedge forms a pleasing, impenetrable, and most durable fence. The hedge while young must be properly fenced to protect it from injury hy animals, and its roots should be kept carefully clean, and the soil around it occasionally stirred.


(Tiinm ? fob tth.


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