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The proper season for peeling or taking
off the outer bark is winter, or early in spring, when the inmost bark adheres firmly to the wood, and is not easily torn off; though it may be done at any season, but
requires more caution and dexterity.
The best instruments for this operation, are a cooper's shave or drawing knife, formed into a triangle (Fig. 1.), and a drawing knife somewhat similar to a ferrier's drawing knife, for the clefts, which can be easily made of an old sickle (Fig. 2.). Many objections have been made to this practice, because it is new, and in direct opposition to the opinion of professional men, which will be taken notice of afterwards. A special objection has been stated against peeling of cherry trees, “that it
will cause them gum;” but this is not found
ed on either reason or experience. The effect is quite the reverse; it prevents them gumming, because it removes the constriction, and allows the gum and juices to disperse freely over the tree: whereas, when the trees bark-bound, the gum and juices cannot disperse over the tree, but must burst out at some wound, crack, or stump of a decayed branch. The peeling of cherry trees, however, requires to be done with a little more caution than that of pear and apple trees; not to cut too deep, nor too late in the season. On the trunks of old cherry trees the bark is so thick,that it requires little dexterity to avoid danger; and the younger ones and branches may be relieved by taking off the transverse bark only; which is not
difficult to do, as it is not perfectly trans
verse, but spiral, and winds off like yarn
from a clue; and the operation may be begun in October, but not continued be. yond December. We see the cherry and other stone fruit, as well as the pear and apple trees, universally burst their bark and throw off the transverse, which they never regain, and that they never-bear well till they do so.
Notwithstanding this operation, some vermin may still arise from some part being missed, or they may come from some other quarter, and infest the blossom. In this case I propose sweeping and beating off the blossom, which not only dislodges immense numbers of the vermin, but deprives them
of their receptacles.
In beating, the stroke should be sharp, and twice or thrice repeated on the same
branch, because the vermin are not easily dislodged.
I have practised this for five successive years, and have always increased it, sweeping and beating ruder and ruder every year; and so far from being deterred on account
of knocking off the blossom and young fruit,
I have au, that very account been encour
aged to it, both from the produce, and
observing that the trees in general have too
much blossom. It is not, however, to be
done to every tree at random, for some
trees in some seasons do not require it; this seems to depend on the species of the tree, and the time of blossom. If the time of blossom is before or after the season of the vermin, for they too have their season, the fruit may escape; hence it happens, that
sometimes the early, sometimes the late,
and sometimes the intermediate, is the best
crop. The same thing may happen from the weather, but this we cannot remedy,
and it certainly would be improper to sweep a tree of spare blossom, not infested. There is much less danger of destroying the sound fruit by sweeping and beating, than could a priori be imagined: the diseased, losing its hold, falls easier to the brush or stroke. ,
The operation of sweeping and beating should be begun as soon as any symptoms of vermin appear; that is, the curling of the blossom and leaves near the trunk and large branches, and should be continued every day, or every other day, till the fruit is fairly set, or the season of the vermin past. I say fairly set, because it often happens that the fruit is destroyed, and falls off, after it is apparently set, and thus deceives the husbandman, and blasts his