HOW TO PROPAGATE FRUIT TREES AND BUSHES

Rooting Layers.

The tips of long unfruited growths of blackberry and loganberry root very readily if the selected growths are bent over until the ends can be buried 5 in. or 6 in. in the ground. A hole is made with trowel or dibber where the tip makes easy contact with the soil, the tip is inserted 5 in. or 6 in. deep and the soil trodden back over it.

It is advisable to keep the buried tips in place by pegging them firmly with pieces of bent wire. The operation is carried out in August, and the tips send out roots more readily if the soil is watered well in dry weather. The layers will be rooted by the following spring, and can then be dug up and transplanted ‘ after being severed from the parent plant. The parent stem of the layered blackberry should be cut through so that the new plant is left with only 3 in. or 4 in. of old stem. The layered loganberry can come away with a full length of parent stem, the cut being made at the top end.

The reason for this difference in early treatment is that the blackberry takes longer than the loganberry to become established as a new plant, and relieving the young blackberry roots of the old stem gives them the chance to make themselves strong and at home and fit for fruiting the following year. The loganberry is a much more vigorous plant, and is in no way handicapped by having to support some feet of the parent stem.

The fig can be layered, in the same way, in May, the rooted stem-tips being ready for transplanting in five or six months; that is, round about October.

Nuts are layered in autumn and given a full year before being transplanted; shoots two years old should be chosen for layering.

The strawberry is peculiarly adapted to layering. The parent plant sends out a number of runners which lengthen, and at intervals of a few inches produce young plants – one at each joint. These should be pegged down to the ground in early July with a wire pin or a stone close to each joint to ensure firm contact. If there are a sufficient number to choose from the first on each runner should be layered and the others cut away; the first makes the strongest plant. The rooted strawberry layers are severed in autumn and planted out in the fruiting bed, or potted up for growing under glass to give out-of-season fruit.

Gooseberry and Currant Cuttings.

Even if no more gooseberry or currant bushes are required for spare filling, a few cuttings should be taken to replace any bushes which may be showing signs of decreasing production because of advancing years. The time to do this is late September or early October, and the shoots to select for cuttings are growths that were made during the summer. These should be between about 10 in. and 15 in. long, strong and firm and free of disease. If diey are not really firm and ripened at that time they should be left until November.

The need for a few of these should be borne in mind when summer pruning side shoots, enough to make cuttings being left un-shortened.

They are cut through immediately below a joint and the tip of .. each is cut off just above a bud. Before gooseberry and red and white currant cuttings are planted, all but three or four of the top buds should be removed: – with the tip of a knife, or they can be rubbed off with a finger. The length of stem which will be buried is thus free of growing points, which means that when the cutting is rooted it will send out either three or four branches.

The reason for this lower bud removal is that gooseberry and red and white currant bushes do best when they have a clean length of stem between soil level and head. Black currants, on the other hand, do best when they can send up suckers from below ground. With this in view all buds are left on the black currant cutting, which is planted to such a depth that only three or four of the buds are above the surface, the lowest of these being at soil level; some that are buried will send up branches.

Gooseberry and red and white currant cuttings are planted about 4 in. deep – that is, 4 in. of the stem is below ground. Above ground there will be some inches of budless stem and then three or four buds.

How to Plant Cuttings.

Firm ground is wanted by these cuttings, so if it has been recently dug it should be trodden. They also need full exposure to light and air, so they must not be planted under trees. Best plan is to plant them 6 in. apart in a row where they will be in the way of nothing else until the next late autumn or early spring after that, when they will be ready for the final planting.

The cuttings can be planted in dibber-made holes; or the spade, held vertically, can be used to nick out a continuous narrow trench, the cuttings resting against the upright side. If the soil is heavy, sand or sifted ashes or wood ash should be dropped into each dibber hole or sprinkled along the bottom of the narrow trench for the base of the cuttings to rest upon; this always encourages rooting.

The soil should be rammed back firmly around each cutting. When dealing with heavy ground it is particularly necessary to ensure that the base of the cutting is in contact with the prepared soil; if it is not, the cutting will die. Before the soil goes back into the dibber holes or the nicked-out trench it should be broken up as finely as possible; in trench planting it should be trodden back a little at a time.

If during winter and early spring frost loosens them – frost has a lifting action – firming with the boot heel must be done again.

How Bushes are Made.

When the cuttings are a year old they are planted out where they are to fruit. But they are not to be allowed to carry any fruit at all until another year has gone by. During their first summer the cuttings which have successfully rooted will have made a number of branches, some perhaps as long as 2 ftthese rising from the buds which were left on the cuttings. They have all got to be cut back, to lay the foundation of a strong bush.

The black currants will have sent up suckers, and these, as well as the growths from the exposed length of cutting, are to be cut back to within about two buds – counting from soil level in the case of the suckers, from the stem of the cutting in the case of top shoots. The end buds in all cases should point outwards, so that the currant bush shall be kept with an open centre.

In that manner is laid the foundation of a really vigorous black currant bush. After that first cutting-back, pruning consists in an annual removal of as much old, fruited wood as can be replaced by new growths – the new growths of one summer carrying the fruit the following summer. In other words, one-year-old black currant wood produces the best fruit.

Gooseberry, red and white currant rooted cuttings at the end of their first year need to have their shoots shortened to a bud within 5 in. or 6 in. of where they branch out from the cutting’s stem. This will result in the production of still more branches, which at the end of the cutting’s second year will be shortened by about one-third of the season’s growth. In the third year fruit will be produced – on short spurs on the oldest wood and also on side shoots 4 in. to 5 in. long; longer side shoots not required to form more branches are summer pruned back to the fourth or fifth leaf and in winter cut to within an inch or so of their base.

Thus is the head of the gooseberry or red or white currant bush formed. Annual winter pruning then sees the shortening of the main branches so that these are left with about 6 in. of the season’s extension growth.

How Cordons are Made.

To turn the rooted gooseberry or red or white currant cutting into a single-stem cordon instead of a bush is easy. Emphasis may be laid on the fact that as cordons these fruits do magnificently, planted flat against wall or fence, or staked in the open where a row of them occupies no more space than would be filled by a row of cabbage. . ;.

Of the shoots resulting from the three or four buds which were left at the top of the cutting, only one is required to form the cordon; the others are pared off close to the stem.

The chosen shoot should be in the best position for extension purposes and it should be cut back to within about a foot of its base – at the close of the cutting’s first full year. If that shoot is carrying any side growths these should be cut to within an inch or so of their base. The cordon-to-be will then consist of the original cutting plus a foot-long shoot extending in the same direction.

The shortened shoot is allowed to grow on for another full year, its side shoots being pinched back in summer and cut back to within about 1 in. in winter, at which latter time the extension shoot will again be shortened – by about a third of its season’s growth.

So the pruning continues, until the cordon has reached the height desired. When there is no more room, or need, for upward growth die top end is not allowed to extend any farther but is constandy cut back. While the extension is proceeding the cordon will be carrying excellent crops of fruit from spurs formed by the summer pruning of side shoots and the harder cutting back of these each winter.

Unless planted against a fence or wall or other support when the training begins, the cordon should be given a stake long enough for a regular tying back of the extension growth, to ensure straightness and prevent accidents.

Double and triple cordons are built up in the same way, two or three shoots respectively instead of only one being allowed to remain at the top of the rooted cutting, and so staked that the stems grow up a foot apart.

Grape Vine Cuttings.

Outdoor varieties of grape are as easily propagated by short cuttings as are glasshouse ones, providing a greenhouse with a little warmth is available to start them. Several cuttings can be got from one lateral – side shoot – at pruning time in November. The lateral should be firm (not sappy), and it can be cut into as many pieces as there are dormant buds – which are known technically as eyes. Each piece should be about Iin. long and is to have a bud either in the centre of it or at one end.

If the bud is at one end of the short cutting, this should be planted upright so diat the tip of die bud is just below the soil in the flowerpot.

If the bud is in the centre the cutting should be planted flat, after die opposite (budless) side of the cutting has had a slice of wood removed from it. Cutting a flat strip from the opposite side encourages quick rooting.

Several may be planted, 1 in. or so apart, in a large pot, or singly in small ones, filled fairly firmly with good garden soil containing sand or sharp grit if it is on the heavy side. The buds will shoot more rapidly if the pots are enclosed in a glass-topped box in the greenhouse. The interior of the box should be kept moist; but the soil in the pots should not be kept constantly sodden or the young growths might rot off.

The glass top of the box should be propped up about 1 in. at one side when growth has really started, and the pots can come out of the box when each cutting has made three or four leaves. The small plants need shifting then, singly, into 6-in. diameter pots and each should be given a stake. Growth will be rapid in moist warm air, and when the pots are filled with roots the plants should be exposed more and more to open-air conditions (hardened off) for planting out against a warm wall – one facing south, south-east or south-west. Or the plants may be shifted into larger pots for eventual fruiting in the greenhouse.

How Fruit Trees are Raised.

Apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots are propagated in the nurseries by grafting or budding the desired varieties on to special stocks. That is, the trees are not grown on their own roots. By joining (working is the technical term) pieces of the desired varieties on to specially selected young plants (the stocks) so that the latter provide in future only the roots and a very short piece of stem, whilst the desired varieties form the tops, a certain control is gained over the fruit trees thus formed.

That control is concerned with the size and the form or shape of the tree and the age at which it begins • to bear fruit. Size and quality of the fruit may also be improved.

For example, standard and half-standard apples are grafted or budded on specially selected crab apple stocks which impart vigorous growth. Bushes, pyramids, cordons and other forms of trained tree intended to occupy less space tiian the spreading standard or half-standard are worked on what are known as paradise stocks, which have a dwarfing influence and result in earlier fruiting. Pears in standard and half-standard form are grafted or budded on the wild pear stock; other forms of pear are worked on selected types of quince stock.

The grafts or buds are taken from the best specimens of the varieties concerned, and the stocks that are to receive them are raised by means of cuttings, layers or seed. When these stocks have grown to suitable size grafting or budding can proceed.

The Art of Grafting.

One method adopted by the nurserymen is known as tongue or whip grafting. The young stock which is to receive the graft is cut down to within 2 in. or 3 in. of the ground. The knife blade is then used to make an upward sloping cut about 1½ in. long on one side of the short stump. -Again the blade is used, this time across the centre of die sloping cut surface, the blade being pressed down a short distance and then withdrawn; the result is a tongue, pointing upwards.

Next, the graft has to be prepared so that its lower end has an opening which will fit tighdy over the tongue of the stock, this opening being made across the centre of a slantwise cut about in. long; the latter to match, as nearly as possible, the sloping cut surface of the stock. The idea behind all this is diat the cut surfaces of both graft and stock shall correspond as closely as possible over as great a length as possible, and that they shall join and become one after being fitted together and bound in place for a time with raffia.

This grafting is done during March or April, when the sap of the stock is active but die grafts themselves are dormant. So that the grafts shall be dormant at that time the shoots from which they are prepared are cut from the trees (which are to be propagated) before the real winter pruning starts. They are year-old shoots, well ripened by sun and about as thick as a pencil, and to keep them alive until March they are planted closely together outdoors with about half their length below ground.

When grafting time arrives, these specially selected shoots are taken up and both ends are cut off each one so that each length is furnished with three or four good wood buds. The top cut is made just beyond a bud; the other end is cut about § in. below the bottom bud.

It is at that lower point and on the side opposite to the bottom bud (nurserymen call it the stock bud) that the slanting cut with an opening across the centre is made – to fit the cut surfaces of the stock.

When the two have been interlocked – fitted neady and tightly together – the union is secured with raffia bound around and tied, but the bottom bud of the graft is left exposed. Then, to prevent the cut tissues drying, the raffia binding is covered with special grafting wax, or moist clay worked up like putty and mixed with chopped hay or chaff.

A stake is necessary when the graft begins to grow, as it will soon do, as security against wind and to ensure a straight stem. The raffia should also be removed then, or it may cut into the swelling wood and damage the graft seriously.

The nurseryman now has a main stem on which to form the head of a standard or half-standard or bush or pyramid; or he can use it as the foundation of a fan-trained tree or an espalier; or he can train it as a cordon.

How a Bush Tree is Made.

When the grafted plant is in its fruit year it is known as a maiden. To give the young apple tree, for example, bush form, the elongated single stem is cut back during the winter that follows the first summer’s growth to within 18 in. or so of the ground, the cut to be made just above a strong wood bud. This short leg will send out a number of shoots, which in early summer are to be reduced to four or five, any others to be removed by cutting or by rubbing off with the finger. Those retained should be best placed to form a well-disposed and balanced head. Any growths that may be produced by the stock – below the point of grafting – must be removed as soon as they appear, and should suckers spring up they should be pared away from the roots from which they originate.

Late the following winter the four or five branches are cut back, strong ones to within 1 ft. of their base, weaker ones to within 9 in in all cases to a bud pointing in the direction which it is desired the branch shall take. If two good buds are left on each branch the number of branches will be doubled during the following summer, and in this way the bush tree will be provided with a good head.

Side growths from these main branches are summer pruned, in August, so that each side growth is left with five or six leaves, and in winter they are spurred back to two or three basal buds; and the main branches (the leaders) are in winter again shortened. Pruning continues on much the same lines in subsequent years, but cutting becomes less severe as the bush settles down to regular fruiting.

As with the apple, so with pear, plum and cherry, the grower holding to no cast-iron rule of thumb method but using his discretion – guided by peculiarities in habit of growth.

How a Standard is Made.

The maiden (first-year tree) that is to become a standard is allowed to lengthen until, in its second year, it is producing side shoots and is tall enough to be given a head. The standard’s head is to begin at about 6 ft., the half-standard’s at 4 ft.

The stem, which has been staked, is beheaded in June of the second year at a point 6 in. or 7 in. beyond the desired height. Side shoots will appear there, and when they have each made five or six leaves their ends are pinched off. Other side shoots lower down on the stem will be dealt with similarly. All these side shoots – at the top as well as lower down – will be removed completely the following winter, when their job of feeding and fattening the single main stem is finished.

When leaves have fallen and the tree is dormant the stem is shortened, for the last time, to as near the 6-ft. or 4i-ft. height as possible – that is, the top is cut off just below the upper side shoots and just above where three strong buds are fairly close together on the stem. These buds will grow in spring and become the foundation of the head. At the same time that the top is cut off all side growths lower down will be pared off completely; in future the 6-ft. or 4 J-ft. stem is to be kept bare.

During the third summer the growths from the three selected buds are allowed to extend as far as they will, and then in winter are cut back to within about 9 in. of die stem. When buds break on these the following spring the two strongest new growths on each of the three cut-back branches are selected and the others rubbed off; so that the fourth-year standard or half-standard consists of a branchless trunk either 6 ft. or 4 ft. in height, with a head of a half-dozen branches as evenly spaced as judgment and luck allow.

Thereafter a yearly extension of these leaders and a winter shortening thereof, and a summer pruning and winter cutting back of side shoots to form fruiting spurs, completes the cycle of operations.

How a Pyramid is Made.

A central stem with branches coming out from it all around forms the pyramid tree, wide at the base and narrowing to the top. Shoots that develop from the stem of the maiden after this has been cut back in winter to about 18 in. from the ground form the first lot of branches; one of the shoots, best placed to form a new leader, is trained upright to a stake. Stakes may also be necessary at first to space out the branches so that these are evenly placed. In winter the upright leader is cut back so that about 18 in. of the season’s growth is left to it.

The extension and shortening of the new leader and production of branches goes on each year, the branches being cut back as necessary to secure the pyramid form, and side shoots shortened in summer and cut back to basal buds in winter.

How a Cordon Apple is Made. As with other single cordons – such as gooseberry and red and white currant – the cordon apple or pear is one-stemmed from first to last. The winter-shortened maiden is left with a top wood bud to produce a shoot which (tied upright to a stake) will form an extension of the single stem; other shoots which break out down that stem being shortened in summer and cut back to within about 1 in. of the stem in winter to provide fruiting spurs. The leader is cut back by 12 in. in winter, the side shoots it will produce in spring being summer pruned and then cut hard back in winter.

So the extension of the one stem, clothed with fruiting spurs, continues each year until the upward limit – as determined by the grower – is reached. Then the top is cut off at the required level and the end itself turned into a fruiting spur, by the summer shortening and winter cutting back of the side shoots there produced.

How an Espalier is Made. The horizontal-trained pear or apple is given its flat tiers of branches, spaced about 1 ft. apart on left and right of the single central stem, by an annual cutting back of the stem, shoots which result from that being trained out horizontally to left and right. The maiden is cut back, in the winter following its first summer’s growth, by about half its length. The cut is made where three buds are fairly close together; one to be – as near as possible – on the stem’s front, one at the left and one at the right.

The shoot that comes from the front bud is trained up vertically, the shoots from the left and right buds being trained to left and right, against trellis work or a framework of stakes. These side shoots, which are to be the first tier of branches, are tied back at an easy angle until they are long enough – about 30 in. – to be brought down to the permanent horizontal position. Side growths from the branches are shortened in summer, and in winter cut back to about 1 in. In winter also the horizontal branches are shortened by about one-third.

The central stem again has its end cut off the following winter, 1 ft. or so above this first tier of branches – at a point where three buds are most conveniently placed to provide a stem extension and another left and right tier of branches.

A third and a fourth tier can be added in the same way; all horizontal branches to be shortened each winter by about a third of their current season’s growth, side shoots pinched back each summer and pruned to short spurs in winter.

How a Fan Peach is Made.

Peach, nectarine and apricot to be grown flat against a sunny wall are trained in the form of a fan. The first branches are obtained by cutting back the maiden to within 18 in. or 1 ft. of the ground, in winter. One of the resultant shoots is trained up centrally and the others are tied out on either side like the ribs of a fan.

The following winter all those shoots – there may be three, four or five – are cut back to within 9 in. or 1 ft. of their base. In each case the cut should be made a little in advance of two good buds, and the shoots from these in spring will extend and provide two branches at the end of each of the original shoots (those that were cut back to 9 in. or 1 ft.,, c). These are tied back to the support, as evenly spaced as possible. The next winter they are each shortened by about one-third of their current season’s growth, and dealt with similarlv in subsequent years.

These main branches will produce fruit on spurs and on thin, lengthy shoots (known as breast-wood) which push out at intervals along the length of each branch. The method of dealing with these, to obtain the finest possible fruit, is explained under PEACH in the alphabetical section.

Ready-made Trees.

It is essential that the home food producer should thoroughly understand the foregoing early-training methods if he buys fruit trees as maidens. He can save himself all the trouble of foundation laying by purchasing older trees, at or near the fruiting stage; the nurseryman will have done all the pioneer work for him.

New Heads for Old Trees.

How the nurseryman obtains his young trees in the first place is explained under THE ART or

GRAFTING. The same art, on slightly different lines, can be applied in the home garden to apple and pear trees up to the age of about twenty-five years which have become unfruitful or whose fruit has proved to be of inferior quality. Such trees can be given another head. The old, unsatisfactory head can be removed and replaced by branches of a first-class variety of apple or pear (as the case may be), by a method known as crown or rind grafting.

Shoots of the desired variety should be cut from a selected tree – thoroughly healthy and producing fruit well up to the standard of the particular variety – in January. They should be between 9 in. and 12 in. in length, sturdy, well-ripened shoots of the previous season’s growth. These will provide the grafts to be inserted in the outer ends of cut-back branches of the unsatisfactory tree. The latter, it should be noted, must be vigorous and the stem and lower parts of branches quite sound; a weakly tree is better chopped down.

Time to do this top-grafting is in spring, when the sap is running freely. April is a good month for the job; the grafts meanwhile being buried half their depth outdoors, to keep them dormant but fresh.

Cutting Back the Branches.

In winter, before the sap starts to rise, the main branches of die tree which is to receive the grafts should be cut back to within 2 ft. or 3 ft. of dicir base. A few smaller branches should be allowed to remain (shortened) in addition, to help draw up the sap until the inserted grafts are growing away well, but all twiggy wood should be cut clean away from the tree.

Then, when grafting time arrives, die winter shortened main branches should be cut back another few inches, squarely, and the newly cut ends be smoothed with a sharp knife. A branch up to 4 in. in diameter will take one graft; larger branches will take two, perhaps three.

Preparing the Top Grafts.

Taken from the soil where they were heeled in, the shoots that are to become grafts are cut into straight lengths containing either diree or four buds; the top end being cut slantwise just above a bud, the lower end squarely about 1 in. below the bottom bud.

Final preparation of the shoot consists in making a slanting cut upward from the bottom, about 1½ in. long, on the side opposite to the bottom bud. It then resembles a shoot prepared for tongue or whip grafting, but is without a tongue; in top grafting the tongue is not needed.

Inserting the Top Grafts.

Final preparation of the branch ends to receive the grafts is simple. A sharp knife blade is pressed into the bark at the extreme outer end of a branch, and then drawn lengthwise through it; the result is a cut about 2 in. long and the depth of the bark.

The cut edges of the bark are then raised at the top so that the graft can be slid in, with the graft’s cut face pressing, against the exposed wood of the branch. It goes in as far as the top of its own slant-cut surface, that top falling flush with the cut end of the branch.

All that remains to do then is tie graft and branch together, tightly, with broad raffia, but leaving the Ibottom bud of the graft exposed ; the binding and exposed cut surfaces then to be covered with clay or wax, as explained under ‘The Art of Grafting’.

When the Top Grafts Grow.

The buds left on the graft soon become active, if all goes well, and during May growth of the shoots begins to speed up. When they are a few inches long the grafting clay or wax should be removed and the raffia binding undone. If there seems any doubt as to the security of union between graft and branch, the raffia should be replaced for a time, but not too tightly; a natural swelling must be allowed for.

When the grafts have attained a length of about 18 in. they should be made secure against wind – which might otherwise loosen them or rip them right out – by being tied, not too tighdy, each to a stick bound to the branch. They should remain so secured throughout their first year of growth. All branches other than those that have been grafted should be cut away at the time of staking, and no growth is to be allowed on any part of the tree except from the grafts.

The graft growths will in future be treated as ordinary branches, and these will not be long before they produce heavy crops.

The Art of Budding.

Another way in which the nurseryman gets his trees is by budding selected varieties on to appropriate young stocks (up to three years old) during summer. Wood buds (not fruit buds) are cut, each with a piece of bark, from firm and well-developed (not thin and watery) shoots of the current year’s growth and inserted in slits cut in the bark of the stock – one bud to a stock.

The bud unites with the wood of the stock and sends out a shoot which becomes the stem of the fruit tree, for training as a standard or any other form in which fruit trees are grown.

Preparing the Bud.

The operation is carried out at any time between late July and early September, most successfully when moist weather conditions allow bark to be raised easily from inner wood.

A shoot chosen to provide a bud is cut from the variety which is to be propagated, and the bud is then removed by slicing it away. The knife blade diat does below the bud, and the cut is continued so that the blade comes out ½ in. above the bud. The result is a shield-shaped piece of bark with a thin strip of wood attached to the underside of it, and with the bud on its outer side.

The wood on the underside of the shield-shaped piece is then removed, without damage to the underside of the bud, by inserting die dp of the knife blade between the bark and the wood at the top of the shield and gently loosening the bark; the bark is then slipped off, without tearing any part of it.

The small strip of wood is thrown away and the bud is ready for insertion in the stock.

Preparing the Stock.

The stock is not shortened in any way but left full length until the following spring. But any side growths nearer the ground than about 9 in. are cut off close to die stem.

The prepared bud is to be inserted in a T-shaped cut made in the bark of the stock as near to ground level as the kneeling operator can work. An inch-long cut makes the upright leg of the T; a A-in. long cut, at right-angles to the leg, makes the top of the T. The cuts are made to bark depth only. That completes the preparation of the stock.

Inserting the Bud.

The leaf is cut off the bud piece, leaving about I in- of leaf stalk to serve as a handle. Held by that handle, in the operator’s left hand, the bud piece (or shield) is gently worked down between the raised edges of the leg of the T – the left and right bark edges being raised with the tip of the knife blade (or the end of the thin bone handle of a proper budding knife. ) held in the operator’s right hand.

The bud piece goes in until its top edge makes a level join with the top edge of the T. The raised edges of the T-leg are then pressed down over the bark of the inserted bud piece. Rafiia is then bound around the short upper end of the bud piece (above the actual bud) and the stock, also round the lower portion (below the bud), leaving the bud itself uncovered.

The result is that the whole of the underside of the bud piece makes the closest contact with the inner wood of the stock, cut edges heal over, and the two become one.

When the Bud Starts Growing.

In October or November the success or otherwise of the operation is indicated by what happens to the leaf stalk that was left on to serve as a handle. If that leaf stalk falls off, the bud has made the required join-up; if it withers and hangs on there is not much hope.

The raffia is removed, in October or November, from the bud that has taken.

During the general spring awakening of plant life the successful bud becomes a shoot, and when this is about 9 in. long the time has arrived to cut back the stock to within about 6 in. of where the bud was inserted. The growing shoot is tied to that 6-in. extension, not tighdy, to steady it against wind, until early autumn. Then the stock is cut back, finally, close to the extending shoot, and a proper stake becomes necessary.

A stake is pushed firmly into the ground in such a position that both stock stump and bud shoot can be tied to it. The bud shoot becomes the stem of the fruit tree and provides the branches of the head, or the stem is trained as a cordon or in any other manner.

Amateur’s Luck.

The home food producer who would try his luck at grafting or budding would do well to practise on a hedgerow shrub, with a sharp knife, steady hand, and not a littie patience, until he feels confident enough to do it in earnest in his own garden.

Should an attempt at summer budding not be rewarded, grafting may be carried out on the self-same stock when spring arrives.

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