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hesitation in doing so, for the roots are deep enough to escape the plow if the plowman is ordinarily careful about the trees.
It is not necessarily a misfortune to cut the smaller roots of plants with the plow, providing only a few are cut in any year. In other words, it is no doubt safer to sever a good many roots a
Fig. 41. A broken grape root sending out branches.
half inch, or sometimes even an inch, in diameter, than not to plow the orchard at all. The severed roots generally send out numerous branches near their ends, and these branches increase the foraging power of the root in soil which is normally laid under small tribute. Figs. 41 and 42 are drawn from actual specimens of roots which were broken by the plow. It would seem as if the absorbing
area of the root had been actually increased, for the many small roots certainly present more surface than the main shaft of the root did. It must be remembered, however, that the real surface of the original root extended far beyond the present point, and there is no way of telling if the adventitious roots actually present more surface than the whole of the original root did. But it is probable that an occa
sional light root-pruning may do more good than harm in some cases.
The particular methods of caring for plantations of small-fruits can scarcely be discussed in a general work on fruit-growing, but in general it may be said that a deep cultivation with a spring-tooth cultivator (No. 9, Fig. 13, page 147) is usually sufficient for breaking up the ground in spring amongst brush-fruits, if the land is clean and in good con
Study of Soil and Climate.
dition. If the land is soddy or infested with bad weeds, however, a regular plowing may be necessary. A handy plow for such plantations is one of the type shown in Fig. 16, page 158, managed by a single horse. The management of the land in small-fruit plantations does not differ in principle from the management of orchard lands, and the tools are of the same general kind, except smaller and generally adapted to a single horse. If the rows are far enough apart, however-as they usually are in blackberries and black raspberries-it may be necessary in hard lands to hitch two horses to such a tool as the spring-tooth cultivator.
It is scarcely necessary to repeat that it is essential to give the fruit plantation just as good tillage as the corn receives, if equally good results are desired. Wholly aside from the direct benefits of tillage (which have already been explained), the operation is necessary in order to supply the enor mous quantities of moisture which is exhaled from the leaves of the plants. Professor Burrill, of the University of Illinois, estimates* that a good-sized apple tree, having 25,000 square feet of evaporating surface, which is not a large estimate, will give off 31,200 ounces of water per day in the hot season, or say 250 gallons.
It is generally a matter of a few years to thoroughly learn one's soil and climate, after moving onto a new farm. The farmer has a local and per
*Trans. Ill. Hort. Soc.
sonal problem to apprehend and to solve. He should not be discouraged, therefore, if he does not secure the desired results from the treatment of his land within the first two or three years.
THE GENERAL CARE OF THE PLANTS.
Staking young trees.-If fruit trees are stocky and well planted, and if the land is deep and in good condition, it will rarely be necessary to stake them. The staking of an orchard is generally an indication of poor trees or poor management at some point. It occasionally happens, however, that trees must be staked to enable them to overcome some accident or injury, as breaking by heavy winds, or ice, or other means. When it is necessary to stake trees, it is ordinarily preferable to drive a stout stake upon two sides and then to bind the tree firmly to each of these stakes, in order to keep it from whipping. The best bandage is one of burlaps or other strong, soft cloth, cut in strips two or three inches wide and firmly tied about the tree. Just as soon as the tree has recovered from its injury or weakness, the support should be removed. Trees which have blown over, but which have not been broken completely off, may be severely headedin and tied up in this manner, often with the very best results. The wounded and broken surfaces should be thoroughly covered with some antiseptic wash or paint.
Sun-scald.-It is often necessary, especially in
Shading the Trunk.
the hot plains regions, to shade the trunks of young trees in order to prevent sun-scald. In the nursery rows, the bodies of the trees are ordinarily well shaded. There are various means of providing this shade, but the best results may be pected to follow from some protection which simply breaks the force of the sun and does not entirely obstruct it; for in the latter case, the bark does not so readily become inured to exposure to sunshine. Finely woven wire netting rolled around the tree (in more than one thickness, if necessary), is said to afford very good protection for this purpose, as shown in Fig. 43 (but preferably extending higher up the trunk). The upper part of the trunk is likely to be shaded sufficiently by the branches of the tree, although this is not always the case. These rolls of wire netting also serve a purpose in keeping away mice and other vermin.