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How To Treat Fruit-trees

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In considering the growth of organisms, the actioa of the alkalies is to be looked upon as scaroely less important thau that of air and water. Lime is the great animal alkali, and potash the vegetable one ; its old name of vegetable alkali expressed that fact, and all the potash of commerce is known to be derived from wood ashes. The importanoo of potash as a manure has been frequently overlooked by farmers, who rarely kuow the large amount of this material found in grasa, grain crops, leaves, barn-yard manure, roots, and fruits. How potash acts ia plants, in conjunction with carbon and silex, to form woody fibre, starch, sugar, and oil, is yet unknown to chemical obobservers ; but the fact of its action is beyond a doubt. Liebig long eince pointed out that the chief cause of barrenness is the waste of potash carried oif by rich crops, especially tobáceo, with no replacement by proper manure. How many millions of pounds of potash have been sent to Europe from the forests of America, and in the grain, tobáceo, and hemp ! Luckily, one alkali may be replaced by another, and we have received a considerable quantity of soda from European sea-weed and in the shape of alt. Latterly, nitrate of soda, from natural deposits in South America, is brought to us at a cheap price. The point to which we now oall attention is that our farmers and fruit-growers have ignored, or rather been ignored of, the importance of wood ashes as a vegetable stimulant, and as the leading constituent of plants. Even coal ashes, now thrown away as useless, have been shown, both by experiment and analysis, to possess a fair share of alkaline value. According to our observation, if the practice of putting a mixture of coal and wood ashes around the sterns of fruittrees and vines, particularly early in the Spring, was followed as a general rule, our crops of apples, grapes, peaches, etc , would be greatly benefited in both quality and quantity, and the trees and vines would last longer. We will relate ouly one experiment. Some twenty-fivo years ago, we treated an old hollow pippiii apple-tree as follows : The hollow, to the height of eight feet, was filled and rammed with a compost of wood ashes, garden mold, and a little waste lime (carbonate). This filling was securely fastened in by boards. The next year the erop cf sound fruit was sixteen bushels from an old shell of a tree that had borne nothing of any account for BOine time. But the strangest was what followed. For seventeen years after the fiiling that old pippin tree continued to flourish and bear well. Let us cali attention to still another point of importance in fruit-raising. This is the bearing year for apples and fruit in general iu NewEngland; probably it is also in some other parts. Now, when suoh years come, the farmers rejoioe too much at their prosperity, and abuse it, as nearly all people do the gifts of fortune. We should be températe as to the quantity of our fruit as well as ot' Our fruit juices. By proper triininiiig and plucking, the apple erop in bearing years may be reduced to but little more than half a erop as to nuinber, but the improvement in size and price, and in the future effect, will more than balance the loss. Next Fobruary, Maren, or April, according tolatitudt, let the tree-trimmer stimulate and aourish his trees and vines with a fair supply of ashes, and in nearly every case he will have a good erop of fruit iu the nonbearing year. The name of the latest novel, " Sweet, but not lasting," reminds one so much of ; a kiss that there's no knowing how many 1 ditions it may run through.


Old News
Michigan Argus