The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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478                                 TREES AND SHRUBS.
French method of Grafting.—Long a secret.—A limb of wil­low, 3 or 4 inches thick, was buried in a trench deep enough to re­ceive it, and at the distance of every 4 or or 5 inches holes were bored, into which grafts were inserted, care being taken to make the bark of the graft and the limb into which it was inserted touch ; the lower part of the graft was pointed and the bark shaved off. The limb and the grafts were then covered with earth, and about two inches of the latter above the surface. In process of time the wil­low limb rotted, and the grafts took root. The different grafts were then dug up and transplanted.
When to Graft.—Cut last year's shoots in February; graft from the time the sap runs until the bark sticks in spring.
Grafting Wax.—Liquid.—For covering wounds in trees, kept in wide-mouthed bottles, closely corked. It is laid on in as thin a coat as possible with a flat wood paddle. Within a few days it is as hard as stone. There is no better preparation for this pur­pose. It is made as follows: Melt 1 pound of resin over a gentle fire, add to it 1 ounce of beef tallow and stir it well; take it from the fire, let it cool a little, and then mix with it a tabiespoonful of spirits of turpentine and 1 ounce of 25 per cent, alcohol. The alco­hol cools it down so rapidly that it will be necessary to put it on the fire again. Stir constantly; be careful not to let the alcohol take fire. To prevent this, take it from the fire, and when the lumps be­gin to form put it back again, and this must be continued until the mass is similar to liquid honey.
To cure Gummy Trees.—Apply a paste over the parts made of horse droppings, clay and tar. The places should be washed per­fectly clean before the application.
Acacia is supposed to be the burning bush, and the consecrated timber of the tabernacle.
The Ailanthus and Castor oil Silk Wohms.—The silk pro­duced by the worm fed on the leaf of the alanthus, is considered more valuable than that fed on the castor bean leaf. It takes dye easier, is more durable, it is more brilliant, smooth and supple. It lasts double as long, it does not easily spot, and washes like linen. The ailanthus is so easily grown that it becomes almost a nuisance, in temperate latitudes, and when dry the wood burns like punk. The silk is coarser than that produced by the mulberry leaf. It grows in China and Japan. It puts up a considerable number of shoots, and the seeds are blown about by the wind.
In Planting out Apple Trees.—Have an eye to dry rising ground, sheltered from the northern and southern winds.