Propagating.—Contrast of Theory and Practical Knowledge.—Methods of Propagating.—Varieties from Original Species, How Produced.—Seeding.—Time and Manner of Sowing, with Necessary Considerations.—Preparation of the Soil.—Cuttings.—"What they Are.—When, Where, and What to Select.—Period of Longevity, How Ascertained.—Cause of Decay in Cuttings.—Characteristics of their, Growth.— How Set Out.— Evergreens.—When Propagated from Cuttings.—Necessary Precautions. — Layering. — Origin of Method. — Governing Laws of Growth in Layers. — Methods of Layering Described.—Budding.—Inserted and Annular Budding, How Performed.—Object of the Methods.—Seasonable Time for Operating.—Grafting.—The Splice, Saddle, and Cleft Modes Separately Explained.—Pruning.—The Object of Pruning and the Benefits Effected Thereby.
The methods of propagating the several varieties of trees require close attention, and they are in themselves of such importance to the grower that to acquire an accurate knowledge of the art mere theory will not suffice, but a thoroughly practical application of patience and perseverance will only succeed in dealing with their many delicacies and afford a successful issue of the undertaking.
Season, perfected condition of the bud or graft, position as to shelter and influence of the sun, quality of seed, fitness of soil to variety, and many other considerations have to be reviewed, the determining of which is of the utmost importance in the production of a successful growth.
The methods of propagating, when it becomes necessary to preserve or increase an original species, or vary another variety, either for ornament or other purpose, demand distinct treatment. Variations from original species are also sometimes produced by the transfer of a plant from its primitive soil and climate to one of greater or less richness and intensity ; and when this change is so effective as to produce its natural dissolution, it then becomes necessary to convey the reconstructive members in part from a tree of the same variety, and by gradual insertion or inoculation of them produce or reconstruct it to its natural perfection. Variations of species produced by such transfers are sometimes an improvement upon the original, producing, as they often do, pleasing variety of color and form of foliage which contribute largely to the genera of reserved growths. Whenever these varied species present quality and merit to warrant their reservation either for exceptional ornament or productiveness, they should be closely attended to; and, when being removed from the seed-bed, ought to be so planted as to be conveniently superintended,when every characteristic of their growth and appearance should be noted so as to supply detail of their merit and worthiness. From such varieties, or " sports," our many cultivated fruit-trees and flowering-shrubs have been obtained ; produced as they have been by the breaking-up of the natural habit of the original wild genera, they afford variety of color and foliage highly pleasing and ornamental. These valuable additions should on no account be lost sight of, but increased, as there is a likelihood of the original tree or shrub being lost by the course of nature or by accident; and for this purpose propagating by layering, budding, and grafting is most usually resorted to.