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The Making over of Fruit Trees - Changing Variety

scions, top, tree, scion and grafting

THE MAKING OVER OF FRUIT TREES - CHANGING VARIETY.

A common practice among fruit- growers is the of well grown trees. Suppose a mini has an orchard of Northern Spy apple trees several years old, and he wishes they were Greenin•s. It is perfectly practicable to change his trees over to the desired variety. and the process needs to take but three or years. Let us further suppose that this man is beyond his neip•ibors. Then he will know that he is fortunate in haying the Silys for storks. as they are strong, straight Bulled trees which throw long tap roots straight down into the soil. This habit makes the tree in the ground, and enables it to find water in seasons when drought kills many shallow-rooted trees. The Spy has hard wood and smooth. close-textured bark,—both characters that enable it to resist attacks of fungous diseases and boring insets. All these are good points in a nurse tree—one which is to nurture a top of new wood and of a new variety.

Your careful orchardist will get his scions in the leisure of the winter time. Ile cuts liety twigs from Greening trees that are personally known to him—healthy, well-fed trees, that bore fruit early in their lives, that bear abundantly ;Tides that are fine in size and quality. There are Greenin•s and (;reenings. just as there are good and poor, in the same breed of cattle. It is as reasonable to demand a record and a pedigree of one's apple trees as of one's milch cows or trotting horses.

s(>011 as the spring awakens the activities of the trees the top should be done. Chit yraftimi is the method employed. The twigs cut in winter have been packed in moist sand or sawdust in a cellar. They are brought up, and from them the scions are cut. As in budding. the tip of the twig is usually discarded as being too soft. Each scion is a piece of twig four to six inches long that bears two or tlire buds. .Inst below the lower bind the scion is sharpened by two slanting cuts into a short blade, thicker at the back.

The owner, if he is to lie Master of Ceremonies, goes into his orchard with a pocketful of these scions. Ile has his grafting knife and saw, and a wooden mallet hangs from his wrist. IIis Alan Friday follows

with a ladder and a ball of !miffing wax. The first step in the process of grafting is to saw off square a limb a. little less than 111,1i0,1 (11!)1110+11, ,na 1J and one that is an integral part of the natural framework of the tree. The grafting knife is now set upon the end of the stub and a smart blow with the mallet splits it. The knife is with drawn and the hooked tip of it is then thrust into the centre of the split. This spreads the crack enough to admit the scions, one at each end of the crack. The blid on each scion should come just at the top of the stub; and — most important of all — the cambium of stork mud thus/ be ip cbme eodtget. The scion must be set so that it meets the inner green belt of the hark.

The living parts of stock and scion must grow together.

This union is the which is the aim and end of all successful grafting or budding.

Next, the knife point is carefully withdrawn, and the scions are held fast by the pinch or spring in the wood of the stub. There remains hut one thing to be done—the waxing of the graft. The soft wax is made of rosin. beeswax, and tallow, melted together and kneaded or pulled like taffy until it is of the proper consistency.

It is moulded about the wound, and dabbed upon the tips of the scions. This thick, close fitting coat of wax forms an effectual water oroof nrotectinu n inst, loss of n mis,th rP. and the access of foreign substances, such as spores of fungi. Gradually this wax dries and cracks, hut it usually lasts as lung as there is real need of it.

One-third of the top of each tree may be taken off the iirst year. The remaining two-thirds of it furnishes suf ficient foliage to maintain the life of the tree. The scions grow into leafy shoots. Next year they are branched and another third can be cut off and grafted. The third spring the last of the old top conies off. and the stuns are grafted. In three years there should not he a Northern Spy leaf upon the tree; in four or five years there should be a good crop of Greening apples to harvest.