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It may be objected, and we are all tired of hearing the objection, that we are contending against the natural efforts of the plant, which was only following its own instincts; and that, therefore, our attempts thus to thwart Nature were unwise and unphilosophical, and consequently wrong. But we may answer all such objections by telling them that we are treating the civilized vine in a civilized manner, and for the purposes of civilized man. The conditions of the problem are changed. One thing, however, remains the same in the wild and in the cultivated vine: in both cases, the fruitbranches spring from healthy and well-matured shoots of last year's growth. In the native forest, the vines clamber over shrubs, and even upon the highest trees, where they can have free exposure to the air and light, and where God's creatures, called the inferior animals, — for whom, in the bounty of his providence, they were produced,—can enjoy the fruits of the vine so lavishly furnished. Intelligent man, not wishing to rival these animals in climbing, and unable to fly with the birds to gather the clusters, cultivates and improves the fruit for his own use, and trains the vines so that he may reach their luscious bunches. Of course, his treatment of the plants is not exactly according to Nature; and yet the important facts and principles of the natural habits of the vine are ever borne in mind by the successful cultivator, who will take very good care not to set himself in opposition to them.
We now come to the last subdivision of the subject, — that of summer pruning and training in order to check the too great extension or the too late growth of the vine, and for the sake of developing the lower buds along that part of the cane which will be called upon to produce the fruitbearing branches. It may be that those who advocate this kind of shortening-in are right. Let us listen to the arguments advanced in its favor.
The success of the renewal system as it is generally practised, whether the vine be trained upon stakes or trellises, always depends upon the suitable development of the renewal-canes, or shoots that are provided for bearing the next crop. To this end, these shoots are encouraged in their growth: they are carefully tied up as they grow; and they are maintained in a vertical position, that they may continue to develop themselves. All laterals are removed as soon as they appear; and the tendrils are pinched off, at least so far as the cane is to be retained on the vine at the winter-pruning. At the same time, aspiring shoots in other parts of the vine are subordinated by pinching, as already indicated; or they are checked by their dependent position, caused by the weight of their fruit.
With proper care, these canes will reach the top of the stakes or trellis; and, if strong, they will continue to grow, often for several feet, or even yards. What is now to be done with them? The Europeans we have among us advise to cut them off at this point. Intelligent American vinedressers prefer to leave them, and carefully train them from stake to stake, or along the top of the trellis, and at last allow them to hang downward: they also let them produce as many laterals as their vigor may push out. These modes of treatment are diametrically opposite; and yet there maybe good reasons for both. The American, knowing the great vigor of most of the vines he has to deal with, allows them to develop themselves, feeling confident that he would commit an injury by attempts to curb their rambling nature too abruptly. He has observed, that where cut off, or broken by a storm at the top of the stakes, the buds which contain the promise of the next year's vintage would be forced to break, and to produce very strong laterals that blossomed out of season: this he apprehends will be injurious to the next crop. On these strong canes, he has observed no difficulty arising from the want of development of the lower buds, upon which he confidently relies for his fruit the next year. On the contrary, the European, who has often come from the northern limit of grape-culture in his own country, has been taught that in such a situation the plants of the sunny South will continue to grow too late in the season, and that, as a consequence, the buds may not be well developed, nor the wood thoroughly ripened, unless he artificially checks this late growth by heading off the shoots at a certain height. Under such circumstances, the practice is sound and philosophical; and it only needs judgment to indicate the proper period for performing the operation. It may be well for us to observe among our grapes whether some varieties may not be benefited by a similar treatment, though it is evident that most kinds are seriously injured by it.
In conclusion, upon this point it may be said, that, with our vigorous American vines, the canes should be cleared of laterals when quite young, and trained to the top of the support; then trained horizontally for a certain distance, and allowed to hang downwards. Beyond the top of the stake or trellis, all the laterals should be allowed to grow unrestrained.
CLEVBS' °- John A. Warder. BOTTLE-GREENING.
This delicious apple, possessing every desirable qualification, is but little known. Its origin is involved in obscurity. As far, however, as can be ascertained, it is a chance seedling, which sprang up on a farm on the dividingline of New York and Vermont. The original tree was living a few years since. The name, which is peculiar, has no reference to the shape of the apple, but is derived from the fact that the workmen in the field where the original tree stood were accustomed to place the "bottle " in the hollow of the tree.
The apple became well known in the neighborhood by this name, there being no other; and was propagated under this name. A nursery-man in New York, becoming acquainted with the merits of the fruit, grafted it extensively, and sold many of the trees. A large lot were sent to Dedham, Mass., to Eben Wight, a well-known pomologist, by whom the variety was still further disseminated. The oldest trees in this part of the country are now growing in Dedham. As we have said, the apple possesses every good quality. It is of medium form, and of fair size; one great peculiarity being, that all over the tree the apples are of an average size, none being very large, and none small. The color is yellowish-green, with a red cheek, covered with a rich purplish bloom as deep as on a plum. When this bloom is rubbed off, the fruit shines as if had been waxed. When fully ripe, the fruit is golden-yellow, with red cheek.
Our cuts are taken from a fair specimen grown in Dedham. The skin is always fair, never specked or blotched ; and this quality recommends it for a dessert-apple. The tree is of vigorous growth, rather spreading than erect,
and comes into bearing young. It bears every year, blooming profusely, the blossoms being very pink; and, for bloom alone, the tree would be worthy a place in the garden. The old wood is dark gray, inclining to yellowish; the young shoots are reddish-yellow.
The flesh is sub-acid, almost melting; core small. In season from October to February. R.
THE PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT.
It is claimed that in the same year that William Penn, of peaceful memory, founded the Quaker city of Philadelphia, the first settlements of the French were also made in the Mississippi Valley by the establishment of the missions and villages of Notre Dame de Cascasquias and Sainte Familie de Kasquias (as Pittman calls them). Both of these now unimportant and somewhat dilapidated hamlets are situated in that part of Illinois, which, either from the Nile-like fertility of its river-banks, or a former scarcity of spelling-books among its inhabitants, has long been known as "Egypt," and even at this day has its Cairo, Thebes, and I know not what other namesakes of its African original.
The French settlers, coming, in part at least, from orchard-bearing Normandy, had a proper appreciation of pomological products, and, if we may trust tradition, planted orchards or fruit-gardens, probably with seedlings grown by themselves, some remains of which endure even to this day in some stately pear-trees known among pruning pomologists as the Pyramids of Egypt.
While year by year we plant our modern dwarfs and standards, and early mourn over blighted hopes, these pioneers of generations ago still stand strong like hale old patriarchs among an effete and degenerate race of descendants.
All the old French settlements in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and, I presume, other States, have their old pear-trees; but I have seen and heard of the most of these in the old French settlements of the Upper Mississippi.
These trees are all found on the " American Bottom," a strip of alluvial or lacustrine deposit lying on the banks of the Mississippi, opposite St. Louis, and extending from Alton to Chester, a length of perhaps seventyfive miles, with a width of from four to eight. It is interspersed with numerous ponds and marshes, that in former, and even in later years, render it a breeding-place of chills and fever, mud-turtles and frogs; but its more elevated portions have a soil of unsurpassed depth, warmth, and fertility. .There is no limit, practically, to the downward extension of the deep-rooted