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Title: Dwarf Fruit Trees - Their propagation, pruning, and general management, adapted - to the United States and Canada
Author: Waugh, F. A.
Language: English
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[Illustration: DWARF CHERRY TREE

Two years planted]









The commercial interests have so continuously and completely held the
horticultural stage in America during the last two decades that it has
been impossible for amateur horticulture to get in a word edgewise. Any
public speaker or writer has had to talk about several acres at a time
or he would not be listened to. He has been obliged to insist that his
scheme would pay on a commercial scale before anyone would hear, much
less consider, what he had to tell.

But now a change is coming. Different conditions are already upon us. A
thousand signs indicate the new era. With hundreds--yes thousands--of
men and women now horticulture is an avocation, a pastime. They grow
trees largely for the pleasure of it; and their gardens are built amidst
surroundings which would make commercial pomology laugh at itself.

And so I undertake to offer the first American fruit book in a quarter
century which can boldly declare its independence of the professional
element in fruit growing. I am confident that dwarf fruit trees have
some commercial possibilities, but they are of far greater importance to
the small householder, the owner of the private "estate," the village
dweller, the suburbanite and the commuter.

In other words, while I hope that all good people will be interested in
dwarf fruit trees and that some of them will share the enthusiasm of
which this book is begotten, I do not want anyone to think that I have
issued any guaranty, expressed or implied, that dwarf trees will open a
paying commercial enterprise. Because the argument that a thing pays has
been so long the only recommendation offered for any horticultural
scheme, many persons have formed the habit of assuming that every sort
of praise stands on this one foundation.


_Massachusetts Agricultural College, 1906._



     PREFACE                              v

     I. General Considerations            1

    II. Advantages and Disadvantages      8

   III. Propagation                      22

    IV. Pruning                          33

     V. Special Forms                    41

    VI. General Management               51

   VII. Dwarf Apples                     63

  VIII. Dwarf Pears                      76

    IX. Dwarf Peaches                    83

     X. Dwarf Plums                      90

    XI. Bush Fruits                      99

   XII. Fruit Trees in Pots             106

  XIII. Personalia                      112

        Index                           125


     Dwarf Cherry Tree                     _Frontispiece_

  FIG.                                                      PAGE

   1 Dwarf Apple Trees in Western New York                     3

   2 Trained Cordon Apple Trees                                5

   3 Bismarck Apple                                            7

   4 Pear Tree Trained as an Espalier                          9

   5 Bush Apple Tree                                          11

   6 Plums as Upright Cordons                                 17

   7 Paradise Apple Stocks in Early Spring                    25

   8 The Western Sand Cherry                                  30

   9 Upright Cordon Plum                                      31

  10 Bush Apple                                               34

  11 Bush Apple, Three Years Old, Before Pruning              37

  12 Bush Apple, Same Tree, After Pruning                     37

  13 Cordon Pears Before Pruning                              39

  14 Cordon Pears After Pruning                               39

  15 Pears in Double U Form                                   43

  16 Pears in U Form                                          45

  17 Apricots in U Form                                       47

  18 Pear in Espalier                                         48

  19 Old Espalier Pears on Farm House Wall                    49

  20 Horizontal Cordon Apple and Other Dwarf Trees            52

  21 Design for a Back Yard Fruit Garden                      53

  22 Dwarf Fruit Garden                                       55

  23 Fruit Gardening and Landscape Gardening Combined         59

  24 A Fruit Garden Containing Many Dwarf Trees               61

  25 Dwarf Apples on Prof. L. H. Bailey's Farm, New York      65

  26 Upright Cordon Apples                                    67

  27 Horizontal Cordon Apple Trees                            71

  28 Young Orchard of Dwarf Pear in Western New York          76

  29 Dwarf Pear in the Old and Profitable Yeomans
       Orchard, New York                                      77

  30 Orchard of Dwarf Duchess Pear, Lockport, N. Y.           79

  31 Pyramid Pears in a German Orchard                        80

  32 Dwarf Peach in Nursery                                   84

  33 Espalier Peach, Hartford, Conn.                          85

  34 Peach in Fan Espalier on Wall--England                   87

  35 Peach Trees Trained Under Glass                          88

  36 Plum Trees Trained as Upright Cordons                    91

  37 Burbank Plums on Upright Cordons Trained to Trellis      95

  38 Currants as Fan Espaliers on Trellis                    100

  39 Gooseberry Fan Espalier                                 102

  40 Tree Form Gooseberry                                    104

  41 A Fruiting Peach in Pot                                 108

  42 A Fig Tree in a Pot                                     110

  43 Dwarf Pear                                              117

  44 Chenango Apples in Prof. L. H. Bailey's Orchard         121




A dwarf fruit tree is simply one which does not reach full size. It is
not so large as it might be expected to be. It is smaller than a normal
tree of the same variety and age.

There are indeed some trees which are normally dwarf, so to speak. They
never reach a considerable size. They are smaller than other better
known and related species. For example, the species _Prunus pumila
besseyi_ is sometimes called the dwarf sand cherry, simply because it is
always notably smaller than related species. The Paradise apple is
spoken of as a dwarf because it never attains the stature which other
apples attain.

But in the technical sense, as the term is used by nurserymen and
pomologists, a dwarf tree is one which is made, by some artificial
means, to grow smaller than normal trees of the same variety.

These artificial means used for making dwarf trees are chiefly three:
(1) propagation on dwarfing stocks, (2) repressive pruning, and (3)
training to some prescribed form.


The most common and important means of securing dwarf trees is that of
propagating them on dwarfing stocks. These are simply such roots as make
a slower and weaker growth than the trees from which cions are taken.
This will be understood better from a concrete example. The quince tree
normally grows slower than the pear, and usually reaches about half the
size at maturity. Now pear cions will unite readily with quince roots
and will grow in good health for many years. But when a pear tree is
thus dependent for daily food on a quince root it fares like Oliver
Twist. It never gets enough. It is always starved. It makes considerably
less annual growth, and never (or at least seldom) reaches the size
which it might have reached if it had been growing on a pear root.

This is, somewhat roughly stated, the whole theory of dwarfing fruit
trees by grafting them on slow-growing stocks. The tree top is always
under-nourished and thus restrained in its ambitious growth of branches,
as seen in Fig. 1.

While the tree is made thus smaller by being grafted on a restraining
root, it is not affected in its other characteristics. At least
theoretically it is not. It still bears the same kind of fruit and
foliage. Bartlett pear trees budded on quince roots yield fruit true to
name. The pears are still Bartletts, and can not be told from those
grown on an ordinary tree. Sometimes the fruit from dwarf trees seems
to be better colored or better flavored than that from standard trees;
but such differences are very delicate and usually receive slight


Dwarf fruit trees have not been very largely grown in America, but have
been much more widely used in Europe. This statement holds good either
for commercial plantations or for private fruit gardens. They are coming
into more common use in this country because, in both market orchards
and amateur gardens, our pomology is coming to be somewhat more like
that of Europe. Our conditions are approaching those of the Old World,
even though they will always be very different from those of Europe in
horticultural matters.

Dwarf fruit trees are particularly valuable in small gardens; and small
gardens are becoming constantly more popular among our urban, and
especially our suburban, population. This matter is discussed more fully
in another chapter. Fruit of finer quality can be grown on dwarf trees,
as a general rule, than can usually be grown on standard trees. Every
year there are more people in America who are willing to take any
necessary pains to secure fruit of extra quality. This remark applies
particularly to amateur fruit growers and to owners of private estates
who grow fruit for their own tables, but it is no less true of a certain
class of fruit buyers, especially in the richer cities. Although $3 a
barrel is still a high price for ordinary good apples, sales of fancy
apples at $3 a dozen fruits are by no means infrequent in the city
markets every winter.


From Loebner's "Zwergobstbäume"]

In this respect also we are approaching European conditions. In the
markets of the continental capitals in particular fancy fruits are
frequently sold at prices which seem almost incredible to an American.
Single apples sometimes bring 50 cents to a dollar, and peaches an equal
price. Just recently a story has been going the rounds of the newspapers
that the caterer for the Czar's table sometimes pays as high as $15
apiece for peaches for the royal table. Hereupon a solemn American
editor remarked that if the whole royal family should live upon nothing
but peaches it would still be cheaper than carrying on the Japanese war.

Now if there is anywhere within reach a market for apples or peaches at
$3 a dozen specimens--and there unquestionably is--then it will pay to
grow fancy fruits with special care to meet this demand. This kind of
fruit can be grown better upon dwarf trees than upon standards in many
cases, if not in most. At least such is the conviction of the present
writer. Moreover this has been the experience in the old country.

With such facts in view there seems to be a possible future for dwarf
fruit trees, even for commercial purposes. Their present utility in
amateur gardens and on wealthy private estates can not be questioned.
These various amateur and commercial adaptations of dwarf trees will
have to be more carefully analyzed and discussed in a future chapter,
and the subject may therefore be dropped for the present.


22 inches high; bearing 4 fruits]



It is a good prejudice which expects every man who writes anything to be
enthusiastic over his subject. Such enthusiasm doubtless leads a writer
many times to over-state his case, and to claim more than the calm
judgment of the multitude will ratify. And on the other hand, readers
usually tacitly discount the statements of any man who writes about any
matter in which he is plainly interested. The present writer knows that
he is also under the ban, and that the reader firmly expects him to
claim more for dwarf fruit trees than their merits will fairly warrant.
This expectation the writer hopes to disappoint. It will be enough to
set down here the obvious advantages and disadvantages which the
horticulturist will meet in handling dwarf fruit trees. These statements
are mostly of matters of common experience and they need no coloring to
make them serve their present purpose.

We may fairly set down the following good points standing more or less
generally to the credit of dwarf fruit trees:

1. _Early bearing._--This is a sufficiently obvious advantage. The
Alexander apple will bear the second year after planting when grown as a
dwarf, while it requires six to ten years to come into bearing as a
standard. This habit of early bearing proves valuable in many ways. It
encourages men to plant trees. The disinclination of old men to plant
trees rests upon the slenderness of the chance that they will ever
gather of the fruit. But a man may plant dwarf trees whenever his
expectation of life is two years or more. Such trees would serve
octogenarians, consumptives and those sentenced to be hanged for murder.


Early bearing--to return to the subject--makes dwarf trees valuable to
that large and unfortunately growing class of citizens who rent the
premises where they live. They do not expect to stay more than five or
six years in any one place. In that length of time ordinary trees would
not begin to yield any fruit. But with dwarf trees there is excellent
probability of seeing something ripen. Then again early bearing is a
great advantage when one is testing new or old varieties. It is a great
advantage when a commercial orchard is designed and when dwarf trees are
used for fillers as explained below.

2. _Small size._--The very smallness of the dwarf trees has many
advantages in it. The trees are easier to reach and to care for. They
are easier to prune and to spray. This facility in spraying is what has
chiefly recommended smaller fruit trees to commercial fruit growers in
recent years. Particularly in those places where the San José scale is a
perennial problem a very large tree becomes an impossibility, and the
smaller the trees can be the better it suits.

The small size of dwarf trees permits the planting of larger numbers on
a given area. This is specially worth while to the amateur who has a
small garden where only three or four standard trees could grow, but
where he can comfortably handle forty or fifty dwarfs. Yet it is also
worth the consideration of the commercial fruit grower who is trying to
earn a profit on expensive land. If he can increase the number of
bearing trees on each acre, especially during the early years of
establishing his orchard, it almost certainly means increased income.


3. _High quality._--It is not perfectly certain that every kind of fruit
can be produced in higher quality on dwarf trees than on standards, but
such is the general rule. This is notably true of certain pears, as
Buerré Giffard and Doyenne du Comice, and it is generally the case with
all apples that can be successfully grown on Paradise roots. One can
secure size, color, flavor and finish on an Alexander or a Ribston
Pippin, for example, which can never be secured on a standard tree. One
who has not seen this thing done will hardly understand it; those who
have will not need more argument. Such plums as we have fruited on dwarf
trees have shown similar improvement in quality, being always distinctly
superior to the same varieties grown on standard trees. The significance
of these facts will appear at once to any one familiar with the course
of the fruit markets in America. There are greater rewards awaiting the
fruit grower who can produce fruit of superior quality than the one who
succeeds merely in increasing the quantity of his output.


These various items of advantage recommend dwarf fruit trees for several
specific purposes, some of which are worth pointing out in detail.

1. _For suburban places._--A large and increasing percentage of our
population now lives the suburban life--in that zone where city and
country meet. They have small tracts of land, which, however, they too
often lease instead of owning. On these they do more or less
gardening,--usually more, in proportion to the size of their holdings.
For them dwarf fruit trees are a precious boon. It is possible to plant
three hundred to five hundred dwarf fruit trees on a quarter of an acre,
where less than a dozen standard trees would flourish. This gives the
opportunity to experiment with all sorts and varieties of fruits, a
privilege very dear to the heart of the commuter. The dwarf fruit trees
also work more readily into a scheme of more or less ornamental
gardening, where fruits are combined with vegetables and flowers.
Especially if some sort of formal gardening is attempted, the cordons,
espaliers and pyramids exactly suit the demands. Then the fact, already
mentioned, that the dwarf trees come into bearing much sooner, is a
consideration of the highest value to the suburban gardener. He fully
expects to move from one home to another at least once in ten years, if
not once in five. With the best of intentions and the most favorable of
opportunities he can hardly expect to settle down anywhere for life. The
suburbs themselves change too rapidly for that; and the place which
today is away off in the country may be all covered with factories five
years from now. It is terribly discouraging, under such circumstances,
to plant a tree knowing that ten years must pass before any considerable
fruitage can be expected from it. It is altogether another feeling with
which one plants a tree which promises fruit within two or three years.

So that, whatever the drawbacks to the planting of dwarfs, they are the
salvation of the suburban garden. For such circumstances they can be
freely recommended, without exception or reservation.

2. _For orchard fillers._--As commercial orcharding becomes more
refined, under the stress of modern competition, and as good orchard
land increases in value, up to one hundred, two hundred, or even three
hundred dollars an acre, new methods must be adopted with a view to
increasing the returns. This opportunity looms especially large for the
first few years after the establishment of the commercial orchard, more
particularly the apple orchard. When standard trees are planted
thirty-five to the acre, which is now the usual practice, the land is
not more than one-fourth occupied for the first five years, and not more
than half occupied for the first ten years. Indeed it is full twenty
years from the time of planting before the thirty-five apple trees will
use the whole acre. And since a good farmer can not afford to let
expensive land lie idle he has before him a very pretty problem to
determine how the space between the standard trees shall be utilized
during the early years of the orchard's growth.

Several different methods are in vogue for the solution of this problem;
but probably the best one is that system which supplies fillers or
temporary trees between the standard or permanent ones. In an orchard of
standard apple trees these fillers may very properly be dwarf apple
trees; or between standard pears dwarf pears may be planted. If there
are thirty-five standard apple trees to an acre, and if a dwarf tree is
placed half way between each two standards in every direction, including
the diagonal direction, this will make one hundred and five dwarf trees,
or one hundred and forty trees in all, instead of the thirty-five trees
with which the acre of apple orchard land is more commonly furnished.
The dwarf apple trees will be bearing good crops at the end of five
years at most; and they can be kept on the land for five years longer
at the least, before they will begin to crowd the permanent standards.
During these five years, if the orchard has a paying management at all,
they will easily pay all the expenses of the enterprise, and should
leave a substantial balance of profit.

As this system of filling, or interplanting, commercial orchards is
becoming more and more common, the suitability of dwarf trees, for this
purpose, becomes more generally evident.

3. _For school gardens._--Thus far school gardens in America have been
mostly temporary and experimental affairs. But we are already satisfied
that they have come to stay, and that gardening in some form will be a
permanent feature of the curriculum in many of our best schools. As soon
as a school garden becomes a permanent institution, with ground of its
own to be held in use year after year, the dependence on annual crops
will give way to the use of various perennial plants, shrubs and trees.

And among these dwarf fruit trees will naturally be one of the first
introductions. Their small size adapts them to the school premises,
their habit of early bearing again serves to recommend them most
strikingly, and the special opportunity which they offer to pupils to
observe details of pruning and other items of tree management, make them
almost a first necessity in the permanent school garden.

4. _For covering walls and fences._--There are many places about every
farm, suburban establishment, or even about many city homes, where back
walls and fences could be put out of sight very agreeably by almost any
sort of foliage. Various ornamental climbers and creepers are in vogue
for this service; but a certain number of such unattractive walls and
fences could be treated quite as acceptably, from the esthetic point of
view, with trained fruit trees, and the result would be more
satisfactory in some other ways. Apples or pears trained as cordons or
espaliers, or peaches, nectarines, or cherries in fan forms, will thrive
on almost any brick or wooden wall, except those with a northern front.
It is necessary only to supply a proper soil, to plant sound trees of
proper sorts, and to give them the prescribed care. The result is not
only a thing of beauty but one of practical utility as well.

There are many places where the owner of a city or suburban lot can
secure the fun and the substantial benefits belonging to the fruit
grower on land that would be otherwise wasted, if he will only build a
woven wire fence on the property line between him and his
not-too-agreeable neighbor, using this fence as a support for a row of
cordon plums, pears or apples. If he has time and inclination to do a
little more work with the trees he can better plant U-form peaches,
nectarines or apricots, or he can grow plums in U-form, or he can have
fan-form cherry trees, or apples or pears in Verrier-palmettes. One of
the most interesting and productive lots in the author's dwarf fruit
garden is a row of plum trees on such a woven wire trellis. The trees in
this row stand two feet apart, and form a perfect screen. (Fig. 6.) The
majority of the trees which were necessarily taken for planting this row
were not propagated on suitable stocks, and many varieties were
introduced for experimental purposes which were obviously unadapted to
this mode of training, but nevertheless the net result has been highly


In a very similar manner apple, pear or plum trees may be trained so as
to form an arched arbor way. In this kind of make-up they present a most
agreeable novelty. An example of this kind of training is shown in the
illustration, page 5. For this purpose cordon trees are usually best;
though peach or apricot trees in U-form or double U-form will answer
very well. Even apple trees or pears formed as palmettes-Verrier can be
carried up over an arched trellis.

Mr. Geo. Bunyard in "The Fruit Garden" tells of carrying apple trees up
over the slate roof of an outbuilding, with marked success. The
fruit-bearing portion of the trees, lying there on the slate roof
beautifully exposed to the sun above, and assisted by the heat absorbed
and radiated by the slate, yielded large crops of apples of very
superior quality.


There are, of course, some disadvantages in growing dwarf fruit trees,
and these should be examined with as much care as the advantages. The
more important ones are as follows:

1. _Greater expense._--The trees are somewhat harder to propagate, and
therefore cost more. There is no general demand for them in America, so
that they are carried by only a few nurseries and are not looked upon as
staple goods even with those dealers; and on this account the price is
necessarily increased. Thus each tree costs more than a similar tree of
the same age and variety propagated in the usual way. But the greatest
increase of expense comes from the fact that many more trees are
required to plant the same area. There is often an advantage, as already
argued, in planting more trees to the acre, but it costs something to
gain this advantage. An acre of ground can be planted with thirty-five
standard apple trees set thirty-five feet apart each way, and these
trees will cost, roughly estimating retail prices at $12 a hundred,
$4.20. To plant an acre to dwarf apple trees, setting them six feet
apart each way, which is about as thick as these trees should ever be
planted, will require 1,210 trees. Estimating the retail price roughly
at $15 a hundred this would make the first cost $181.50--a considerably
greater initial investment in the orchard.

2. _The trees are shorter lived._--This statement is true for certain
kinds of dwarf trees, but not for others. Certain varieties of pears,
for example, which do not unite well with the quince root, naturally
make short lived trees. On the other hand other varieties of pears
appear to live as long and thrive fully as well on quince roots as on
pear roots. There is a common belief, especially in England, that apples
worked on French paradise roots are apt to be short-lived. The
nurserymen who hold this belief contend, however, that the so-called
English Paradise, more properly called Doucin, supplies a stock on which
apples will live to as great an age as on any other stock whatever.
There is some evidence to show that vigorous varieties of plums worked
on Americana roots or on dwarf sand cherry are shorter lived than the
same varieties on freer growing stocks. In many cases, however, dwarf
trees live as long as standards; and in almost all cases they live long

3. _They require more care._--This objection stands particularly against
the dwarf trees trained in special and intricate forms. Such trees
undoubtedly do require more careful attention, more frequent
going-over, and more hand work in the course of the year. It is
probably not true that apples, pears, plums or peaches in bush or
pyramid forms require any more labor or attention than standard trees to
secure equally good results. On the other hand it must not be forgotten,
as has already been pointed out, that whatever care may be required is
much more easily given the dwarf trees than the standards.

4. _They are not a commercial success._--This statement, too, though
undoubtedly having some truth in it, can not stand without
qualification. It is certainly true that no one could grow ordinary
varieties of apples, like Baldwin or Ben Davis for instance, on dwarf
trees in competition with men who are growing the same varieties on
standards. It is probably true that fancy varieties of apples can be
grown with profit on dwarf trees, but even this can not be strongly
urged. So far as apples are concerned the chief value of dwarf trees for
modern commercial enterprises in America will come through their use as
fillers between rows of standard trees. In the case of pears the
situation is somewhat more favorable to dwarf trees. There are a number
of orchards in this country where pears have been successfully grown for
market, these many years, on dwarf trees. The famous and everywhere
planted Bartlett succeeds admirably on the quince stock wherever the
soil is suited to it. No successful commercial orchards of dwarf peaches
or plums can be cited in this country, individual trees of these kinds
even being extremely rare; yet there is good reason to suppose that
under favorable conditions dwarf peaches and plums may have some
commercial value. Such value may be more in the way of supplementing
standard trees than in superseding them, but it is still worth
consideration. So that, after all, when we say that dwarf fruit trees
are not a commercial success we mean merely that they will not take the
place of standard trees. The large market orchards must always continue
to be made up of standard trees; but in their own way the dwarf trees
will find a limited place even in commercial operations, and this use of
them seems destined to be more general in the future than it has been in
the past.



The propagation of dwarf fruit trees is in some senses a more critical
and interesting problem than the propagation of ordinary nursery stock.
The successful production of a dwarf fruit tree depends primarily on its
propagation. The selection of stocks for dwarfing purposes is
necessarily a complicated matter. Under the terms of the problem it is
impossible that the stock and the cion which are wedded together should
be very closely related. The stock must be distinctly different and
pronouncedly dwarfer in his habit of growth.

It is not always an easy matter to find a stock which is thus distinctly
different from the tree which it is desired to grow and which will at
the same time form with it a vigorous and long lived union. It is
necessary further that the propagation can be carried on with ease and
with a fair degree of success in commercial nurseries. If difficult
methods of grafting are required, or if only a small stand of nursery
trees can be secured, the undertaking becomes too expensive from the
nurseryman's point of view.

The methods of propagating dwarf trees are for the most part the same as
those used in reproducing the same kinds of fruit on standard stocks. As
a matter of fact nearly all dwarf trees are propagated by budding.
Apples, pears, and plums can be readily grafted, but budding is
simpler, speedier, and usually the cheaper process in the nursery. In
the upper Mississippi Valley, where plums are somewhat extensively
worked on Americana plum roots, grafting is rather common. The side
graft and the whip graft are the forms most used.

The theory of the production of a dwarf fruit tree by the restraining of
its growth has already been mentioned in another chapter. The dwarf
stock simply supplies less food than is required for the normal growth
of the variety under propagation, and the tree is, in a sense, starved
or stunted into its dwarf stature.

As the selection of proper stocks--the adaptation of stock to cion--is
one of the fundamental problems in dwarf fruit growing, we may now
address ourselves to that. We will take up the different classes of
fruit in order.


Everyone who has observed the wild or native apples which grow in New
England pastures must frequently have noticed certain dwarf and
slow-growing specimens. It it not difficult to find such which do not
reach a height of five feet in ten years of unobstructed growth. If the
cions of ordinary varieties of apples like Greening and Winesap should
be grafted upon these stocks, the result would be a dwarf Greening or
Winesap. If these dwarf wild apples could be produced with certainty and
at a low price, they would furnish a source of supply for dwarf apple

The Paradise apple so-called (Fig. 7) is simply one of these dwarf
varieties which can be reproduced freely and cheaply. This reproduction
is secured nearly always by means of mound layerage. As the variety does
not come true to seed, any more than such varieties as King or
Hubbardston do, some such method of propagation is necessary. This
Paradise apple is naturally inclined to stool out somewhat from the
roots. This habit is encouraged by cutting the plants back to the
ground. When the young shoots are thrown up they are banked up with a
hoe or by plowing furrows up against the rows of plants. The young
shoots then form roots at the base and these rooted shoots or layers are
removed when one year old. They are then planted in nursery rows in the
spring, where they are usually budded the following July or August.

These Paradise stocks are largely grown in France. Practically all the
supply comes from that country. The nurserymen who grow dwarf apple
trees in America import their stocks from France during the winter,
plant them in nursery rows early in the spring, bud the stocks the
following July or August, and have the dwarf apple trees for sale the
second year following.

This Paradise is the dwarfest stock known for apples. Its effect on
nearly all varieties is very marked, causing them to form very small
trees and to bear very early. Some of the more vigorous varieties, like
Northern Spy for instance, do not submit kindly to such treatment. For
this, or possibly for more recondite reasons, a few varieties do not
succeed well on Paradise roots. The writer would be glad to give a
list of such varieties which are not adapted to the Paradise stock, but
confesses he is unable to do so.


The Doucin stock is simply another variety of dwarf apple. It is more
vigorous and larger growing than the Paradise, and, therefore, produces
a tree, when ordinary varieties are grafted upon it, about midway in
size between the ordinary standard apple and the same variety growing
upon Paradise.

This Doucin is sometimes called the English or Broad-Leaved Paradise,
but this name is misleading. It will be well to remember this in buying
stocks or in buying trees in England. Dwarf apples are largely
propagated in England, but the trees which are said to be on Paradise
roots are often on Doucin. This confusion comes about from the
Englishman's habit of calling Doucin the Broad-Leaved Paradise.

The Doucin is perhaps better for the free-growing bush form trees,
especially where excessive dwarfing is not needed. For orchard planting
in the United States this Doucin stock would be likely to suit many
growers better than Paradise. For trees which are to be kept within very
narrow bounds, or those which are to be trained in particular forms, the
Paradise stock is better. For all sorts of cordon apple trees, the
Paradise is essential.


Dwarf pears are always propagated on quince roots. Any kind of a quince
may be used as a stock for pears, but the one commonly employed by
nurserymen is the Angers quince, named after Angers, France, from which
place the supply largely comes. Almost all the quince stocks used by
nurserymen in America are imported from France. As in dealing with apple
stocks, the importation is made during the winter, the stocks are
planted in nursery rows in the early spring, and are usually budded in
July or August of the same year.

A few varieties of pears do not make good unions with the quince. In
some cases this antipathy is overcome by the expedient of
double-working. The quince root is first budded with some variety which
unites well with it. After this pear cion has grown one year, the
refractory variety is budded upon this pear shoot. The complete tree,
when it leaves the nursery, consists of three pieces,--a quince root
below, a pear top above, and a short section of only one or two inches
in length of some other variety of pear which simply holds together the
two essential parts of the tree.

This practise of double-working is sometimes undertaken with other kinds
of fruit for special purposes. There are no other cases, however, in
which it becomes a generally recognized commercial practise.


The peach is dwarfed by budding it upon almost any kind of a plum root,
especially upon the smaller growing species of plums. The stock most
used is the ordinary Myrobalan plum. This is simply because the
Myrobalan stock is commoner and cheaper. The St. Julien plum probably
furnishes a better dwarfing stock for peaches, but it is more expensive
and harder to work.

The Americana plum, now somewhat largely grown for stocks in the States
of the upper Mississippi valley, furnishes a good dwarfing stock for the
peach. According to the writer's experience the Americana stock gives
better results with peaches than either Myrobalan or St. Julien. It
should be observed that this stock requires budding rather early in the

The dwarf sand cherry, which is further discussed below under plums,
also makes a good stock for peaches. As this stock is very dwarf, it
produces the smallest possible peach tree. The peach cion rapidly
overgrows the stock and the tree can hardly be expected to be long
lived. The growth is very vigorous and satisfactory during early years,
however. I have not had an opportunity to determine how long peaches
will live and thrive on this stock.

Nectarines can be grown in dwarf form in exactly the same manner
employed for peaches.


In all the old books it is said that dwarf plum trees are secured by
working on Myrobalan stocks. This statement is hardly true according to
our present standards, and is certainly far from satisfactory. This rule
came into vogue at the time when only large growing Domestica plums were
propagated in this country and the stocks used were mostly either "horse
plums" or Myrobalan. The Myrobalan stock does give a somewhat smaller
tree than the old fashioned horse plums; but this Myrobalan stock has
been for many years the one principally used for propagating all kinds
of plums in America. It has come to be looked upon as a standard rather
than a dwarf stock. When we think of dwarf trees, therefore, we expect
to see something smaller than what will grow under ordinary
circumstances on a Myrobalan root.

The Americana plum, already mentioned, is a first-rate stock in nearly
all respects except that it can not be bought so cheaply as the
Myrobalan. It is now grown to a considerable extent by nurserymen in
Minnesota, Iowa and the neighboring States. If grafted, or budded early,
all varieties of plums take well upon it. The trees on Americana roots
make a good growth in the nursery and are easily transplanted. The tree
produced on this stock is only moderately dwarf. Still this dwarfing
effect is always well marked, this result being shown by the overgrowing
of the cion. The top thus appears to outgrow the root, and such trees
are apt to blow over during wind storms. Suitable precautions should be
taken to guard against damage of this sort.

Prof. A. T. Erwin of Iowa writes on this subject as follows:

     "Regarding the Americana as a plum stock, I would state that we are
     using it by the thousands out here; in fact, have about quit using
     anything else. As a stock for the European and Japanese sorts, it
     does dwarf them, and the cion tends to outgrow the stock at the
     point of union, causing an enlargement. The union is also not very
     congenial, and they frequently break off on account of high winds.
     However, in my experience and observation, this is not the case
     when the Americana is used as a stock for Americana varieties. It
     does not dwarf the trees seriously and the union is splendid. It is
     by all odds the best stock we have for plums, and since we do not
     grow anything but Americana varieties, it works first rate. It does
     tend to sprout some, though there is little trouble in this regard
     after the trees come into bearing."

[Illustration: FIG. 8


_Prunus pumila besseyi_]

The sand cherry seems to be the dwarfing stock par excellence for the
plum. This sand cherry is a heterogeneous species, or as some botanists
think, is three species, ranging throughout the Northern States from
Maine to Colorado. The narrow leaf upright form growing about five feet
tall, known as _Prunus pumila_, is found along the Atlantic coast. The
broad leafed dwarfer form known as _Prunus pumila besseyi_ or _P.
besseyi_, is found in the Western States. Another rarer form of more
irregular growth known as _Prunus pumila cuneata_, or as _P. cuneata_,
is found in the North Central States.

[Illustration: FIG. 9--UPRIGHT CORDON PLUM

With buds set into the naked trunk]

All of these different forms may be used for propagating plums or
peaches. The western form (_P. besseyi_) (Fig. 8) is in some respects
the best, producing the dwarfest and apparently the best trees. In our
experience, however, nearly all varieties of plums and peaches give a
better stand of trees when budded on _P. pumila_. _Prunus cuneata_ is
inferior to the others.

The eastern form, _P. pumila_, has another advantage from the standpoint
of the nurseryman in that it is more easily propagated from cuttings.
For the most part the western sand cherry is propagated from seed. Both
forms can be propagated from layers.


Dwarf trees are managed in the nursery very much the same as standards
of the same varieties. There are no special points to be observed except
in the formation of the tops. Western New York nurserymen, who now grow
the principal supply of dwarf apple and pear trees, have the custom of
forming their nursery stock with high heads. That is, the heads are
formed at a height of eighteen inches to three feet from the ground. In
this matter the pattern is taken after the usual style of standard
trees. This is quite wrong. Of course, some planters might like to have
dwarf trees with trunks two or three feet tall, but the best form has a
much shorter stem. At any rate the buyer of dwarf trees ought to be at
liberty to form the head within three or four inches of the ground if he
so desires. This becomes very difficult if the tree is once pruned up to
a height of two or three feet.

In order that the planter may reach his own ideal perfectly in this
matter, it is sometimes necessary to buy one year old trees, what the
English nurserymen call maidens. This, of course, enables the tree
planter to form the head wherever he desires.



The pruning of dwarf fruit trees is a matter of the greatest
consequence, for on proper pruning depend both the form and the
productivity of the trees. Some of the details of management will be
explained in the succeeding chapters, dealing with the particular kinds
of fruits, but a few general statements should be set down here.

1. The trees are severely headed in. This applies more particularly to
bush and pyramid forms. By the term "heading in" we refer to the
shortening of the leaders. Such shortening is usually given at the
spring pruning, while the trees are dormant. The leaders may be headed
in at times, however, during the latter part of the growing season, in
July. Such stopping of growing leaders will be practised more often on
young trees just coming into bearing than on old trees. (Fig. 10).
Constant heading back of some sort, however, is required in nearly all
cases, if the tree is to be retained in its dwarf form. The mistake has
often been made of thinking that a tree propagated on a dwarf root would
take care of itself.

2. Summer pruning is essential. In most American orchard practise one
annual pruning (sometimes one pruning every five years!) is considered
sufficient, and systematic summer pruning is seldom or never given. Now
summer pruning tends much more to repress the growth of a tree than
winter pruning does. In fact, heavy winter pruning leads rather to
increased vegetative vigor. Aside from any special system of pruning,
therefore, this rule is to be remembered, that summer pruning is
desirable, on general principles, for dwarf fruit trees.


Showing strong leaders formed during the summer]

3. Side shoots usually need pinching during the growing season. Leaders
are more frequently allowed to grow unchecked throughout the season, or
are stopped only late in their period of development. In the pomaceous
fruits, which form distinct fruit spurs, the checking of these side
shoots helps toward the production of fruit buds. As long as every bud
is allowed to push out into a strong shoot no fruit spurs can become
established. Thus the summer pinching of the side shoots on apples and
pears has the purpose of encouraging the formation of fruit spurs. On
peach and plum trees equally distinct fruit spurs do not form; but if
the side shoots are allowed to push forth unrestricted they are apt to
choke one another. There will be too many of them, they will not get
light enough, their growth will be weak and sappy, and they will not
form fruit buds. Good fruit buds on a peach tree, for example, form on
strong, clean, healthy shoots of this year's growth for next year's crop
of fruit. It is seen, therefore, that in nearly all sorts of dwarf fruit
trees the summer pruning is especially directed to the suppression or
regulation of the growth of side shoots.

This part of the treatment becomes of prime importance in dealing with
cordons and espaliers.

4. The control of the fruit spurs or of the side shoots here
contemplated requires that the trees be gone over more than once during
the growing season. In fact, four successive examinations of the tree
are usually required. Old trees can sometimes be managed with two or
three, but young ones, on the other hand, will sometimes require six or
more. Of course, there are usually only a few shoots that need attention
at each succeeding visit, and the work can be very rapidly performed.
The first pruning, or pinching, falls about three weeks after the trees
have started into growth. The next one comes ten days later, the next
one ten days later again, and the fourth pruning two weeks after the
third. From this time onward the intervals lengthen. These
specifications, of course, are only approximate and suggestive. Some
judgment is required to select just the proper moment for pinching back
a shoot and even more to select the time for a general summer pruning.
Those trees which enjoy the sympathetic presence of the gardener every
day are sure to fare best. The bulk of this pruning can be done with the
thumb nail and forefinger, but I find a light pair of pruning scissors
pleasanter to work with.

5. Root pruning is sometimes advisable. Since the whole program is
arranged to check the growth of the dwarf tree, root pruning would
naturally fit well with the other practises recommended. Root pruning
checks the growth of a tree about as positively as any treatment that
can be devised. When dwarf pear or apple trees seem to be making too
much wood growth and not enough fruit, they can be taken up, as for
transplanting, during the dormant season and set right back into place.
This digging up and replanting is always accompanied by some cutting
of roots. The whole root system is disturbed and has to re-establish
itself before the top vegetates very strongly once more. Such root
pruning ought to be done late in the fall. It is a special practice,
suited to refractory cases, and the gardener is not recommended to
indulge in it too freely.

[Illustration: FIG. 11--BUSH APPLE

Three years old, before pruning]

[Illustration: FIG. 12--BUSH APPLE

Same tree after pruning]

6. A certain equilibrium between vegetative growth and fruit bearing
should be established at the earliest possible moment, and should be
maintained thereafter. Of course, some such equilibrium is sought in the
management of a standard tree; but it is secured earlier in the life of
the dwarf tree and should be much more accurately maintained. The tree
must make a certain amount of growth each year, but this must be only
enough to keep it in good health, and to furnish foliage enough to
mature the fruit. Beyond this wood growth the tree should bear a certain
amount of fruit every year, for annual bearing is not only an ideal but
a rule in the management of dwarf trees. This equilibrium once
established must be maintained not by haphazard pruning, but by some
suitable system. If there is the proper balance between summer pruning
and winter pruning, combined with proper control of cultivation and
fertilization, then the balance between vegetation and fruitage can be
kept up. It is a delicate business, like courting two girls at once, but
it can be carried out successfully.

7. The training of trees into mathematical forms is largely a mechanical
process. For the most part the trees are shaped while they are growing.
The young shoots are twisted and bent to the desired positions, and
are tied into place until the stems become hardened. There are many
clever little tricks for expediting this sort of work and for making the
results more sure, but a rehearsal of them here would be tedious. The
most important rule to remember is that constant attention must be given
the shoots while they are growing. Mistakes are corrected with
difficulty after an undesirable form has been allowed to harden.

[Illustration: FIG. 13--CORDON PEARS

Before pruning]

[Illustration: FIG. 14--CORDON PEARS

After pruning]



We have already explained the connection between dwarf trees and the
practise of training them in special forms. It is true that this
practise looks childish to American eyes. It seems to be only a kind of
play, and a rather juvenile sport at that. Nevertheless we should
understand that in some parts of the world it is a real and profitable
commercial undertaking. We should consider also that in other places,
where fruit of very high quality is better appreciated, perhaps, than it
is in America, the extra trouble is thought to be worth while for the
superior quality which it gives the fruit. As this matter is coming to
be of more importance in America also, and as the interest in amateur
fruit growing is enormously increasing, we may fairly begin to talk
about these methods.

The formation of trees into bushes and pyramids, by means of systematic
pruning according to a definite plan, as explained in the succeeding
chapters, while apparently simpler and more reasonable to our American
eyes, it is still a method of training the tree. The fruiting branches
are placed at definite points and the fruit spurs are encouraged to grow
in regular succession. It is not a very great step from this to a
distribution of the branches into a more precise form.

The different forms which are used most commonly are named and
classified in the following outline:

  _A._--_Forms of three dimensions_:
                  _a._ Vase or bush
                  _b._ Pyramid
                  _c._ Winged pyramid, etc.
  _B._--_Forms of two dimensions_:
                  _a._ Various espaliers
                  _b._ Palmette-Verrier
                  _c._ Fans or Fan-espaliers
                  _d._ U-form and double U-form
  _C._--_Trained to a single stem_:
                  _a._ Upright cordon
                  _b._ Oblique cordon
                  _c._ Horizontal cordon
                           (with one arm)
                           (with two arms)
                  _d._ Serpentine cordon, etc.

Among the forms of three dimensions none is of much practical importance
besides the pyramid and bush or vase form. These are sufficiently
explained in the chapters on pears and apples. Here we need only to
define them. The pyramid tree is one which has a straight central stem
with branches radiating therefrom. It is especially adapted to upright
growing varieties of pears. The bush or vase form has several main arms
or branches, all standing out from approximately the same point and
growing upward at a more or less acute angle, thus forming roughly a
vase. The secondary branches put out from these, bearing fruiting wood,
as the gardener may order.

[Illustration: FIG. 15--PEARS IN DOUBLE U-FORM

From Loebner's "Zwergobstbäume"]

The flying pyramid or winged pyramid, described in all European books,
is considerably different from the ordinary pyramid and is more precise
in its design. Usually six arms are brought out at the base of the tree.
These are grown in a direction approximately horizontal until they reach
a convenient length,--say two to three feet. They are then suddenly bent
upward and inward and are conducted along wires set for this purpose
until they meet in a common point with the main stem of the tree some
four to eight feet above where the branches put out. There is thus
formed a precise mathematical pyramid. Along these main arms fruiting
spurs are allowed to grow, but no branches are expected to develop.

Sometimes the flying pyramid is made more elaborate by bending the arms
into a spiral form. Other more or less complex modifications are
practised to some extent. All of them are to be regarded merely as
curiosities and as of no practical value.

The various forms of espaliers and fan-shaped trees have their special
and legitimate uses. It may be said here that the Palmette-Verrier is
regarded generally as being the most successful for the largest number
of varieties of fruits. It is a safe rule also that the simpler forms
are generally the better. With rare exceptions a tree confined to a
moderately small space is more satisfactory than one trained over a
large space.

Great care must be exercised in forming these trees. If the geometrical
style of training is undertaken at all, it should be carried out with
considerable precision. If one arm happens to be placed a little higher,
or at a little more moderate angle, or otherwise more favorably than the
corresponding arm, it will very soon divert to its own use the major
portion of food supplied by the top. It will outgrow its mate and the
form which the gardener designed will eventually be lost. It will be
seen at once that this condition makes the same care and precision
necessary in all forms of training.

[Illustration: Fig. 16--PEARS IN U-FORM

Sometimes called two-arm upright cordons]

The U-form classifies somewhere between the cordon and the espalier. It
consists of two upright branches joined to a single trunk below by an
arc of a circle. The fruit is all borne on the two parallel stems
which are treated essentially the same as upright cordons. (Fig. 17.)

The double U-form is made by growing two U's from the same tree. The
stem is first divided near the ground into two branches and each of
these is immediately divided into two more. The tree thus provides four
parallel and equally spaced upright and fruiting stems equal to four
upright cordons, except that they are all supported from a single trunk.
The U- and double U-forms are employed mostly for plums, apricots,
peaches and nectarines.

One occasionally sees much more elaborate schemes of training than any
here mentioned. There are complex geometrical designs, even pictorial
figures--birds, dogs, and beer-steins--and sometimes the initials of the
gardener, or the name of his kingly and imperial majesty. In every case
the method of producing these forms is practically the same. A frame is
built of wood or wire in the form which it is desired to give the tree.
Branches are developed at suitable points on the tree and these are tied
out while they are growing to the wooden or metal form. It does not
require any special care or ingenuity to produce the most elaborate
designs in this method. It is essentially a job of carpentry.

[Illustration: FIG. 17--APRICOTS IN U-FORM]

We come now to the cordons. If we take the simplest form, namely the
upright cordon, we have what we may call a tree of one dimension only.
The upright cordon has nothing but height, eschewing both breadth and
thickness. A cordon is simply a tree trained to a single stem and this
stem may be placed in any position. The position or direction of the
stem classifies the cordon. There are, therefore, besides the upright
cordon, others which are oblique, that is, which make an angle with the
horizontal, those which are horizontal, and those which are bent into
various forms. The serpent form is one of the simplest of these. This
form of cordon is simply bent back and forth against a trellis forming a
series of S's one above another. The horizontal cordons are of two
varieties, namely one-arm and two-arm forms. It is altogether a matter
of convenience which one of these forms is chosen.

[Illustration: FIG. 18--PEAR IN ESPALIER

This tree is carrying over 200 fruits]

In conclusion it may be pointed out that the slower growing trees, pears
and apples, are the better suited to the more elaborate forms of
training. The more free and rapid growing species, such as peaches,
nectarines, cherries, and Japanese plums, are better managed in somewhat
simpler forms, preferably the fan. Such trees do well, however, in the
U-form or double U-form.




The general management of dwarf trees is naturally very much like the
management of ordinary standard trees. As dwarf trees are grown more
often in gardens rather than in orchards they will receive garden
treatment. Heavy tools and extensive methods of culture will hardly find

Good soil culture may be regarded as essential. Whatever some American
fruit growers may be saying about the propriety of growing apple
orchards in sod, no one has yet undertaken to adapt the sod system into
the kitchen garden. The close planting which is customary with dwarf
trees makes culture comparatively difficult, yet not unreasonably so.
Apple and pear trees planted six feet apart each way can be worked for
several years with a single horse and cultivator. In fact if the trees
are kept carefully headed in, the time need never come when the
cultivator will have to be abandoned. When cordons or espaliers are
planted in a garden large enough to warrant horse cultivation under
ordinary circumstances then the rows of trained trees should be set six
feet apart, which will be enough to permit the continued use of the
horse and cultivator between the rows.


With cover crop of hairy vetch]

However, the horse cultivator is certain to be definitely crowded out of
some dwarf fruit gardens. Many of the men who have greatest reason for
growing dwarf fruit trees are those whose backyard gardens were never
large enough to justify the presence of a horse or horse tools. In such
cases the spading fork and the hand cultivator are the ready and proper
substitutes. Our extensive methods of farming in America have bred a
strong prejudice against all sorts of hand labor like this, but
experience will show that under some conditions it is quite worth while.
A very common mistake in all kinds of agriculture is to allow prejudice
to rule experience.


North fence (top of map), peach espalier (4); Row 1, bush apple (7); Row
2, pyramid pear (7); Row 3, currants and gooseberries (11); Row 4 and 5,
horizontal cordon apples, with grass walk between; Row 6, raspberry
bushes (7); Row 7, strawberries; Row 8, plums in bush form (7); Row 9,
apples in horizontal cordons (4); East fence, apples as upright cordons
(31); West fence, pears in espalier.]

Garden culture means not only good tillage of the soil, but good
treatment in other respects. It means good feeding and good spraying. As
for spraying we need make only two observations. First, the treatment to
be given is almost precisely the same as that which is given to standard
trees of the same species; second, the work is much more easily
performed because the trees are smaller. If one happens to have a
considerable block of dwarf trees closely planted. There may be
difficulty, it is true, in driving in with a spray pump. This difficulty
is overcome by having long runs of hose on the spray pump, so that the
cart may stand on the borders of the garden while the operator carries
the nozzle in among the trees. In case of large plantings of dwarf trees
alley-ways should be left every one hundred feet, or better, every
eighty feet, between the blocks. These alleys will be useful for other
purposes besides spraying.

[Illustration: FIG. 22--DWARF FRUIT GARDEN 111 BY 144 FEET

From Lucas' Handbuch des Obstbaues]

In the management of a small garden the gardener is expected to be
liberal in his allowance of fertilizers. While it is true that dwarf
fruit trees should be liberally fed there is a possibility of overdoing
it. It has already been explained that the dwarfing of the tree depends
in a certain way on its well-regulated starvation. If the tree top could
get all the food which its nature calls for it would not be dwarfed. The
rule in feeding dwarf fruit trees therefore should be to give enough
fertilizer to keep them in perfect health and in good growing condition,
but not enough to force unnecessary growth. Fertilizer rich in nitrogen
should be especially avoided, and, as the object in view is to secure an
early maturity of the tree and to produce fruit always in preference to
wood, a larger proportion of potash would naturally be substituted for
the diminished proportion of nitrogen. Of course the amounts and
proportions of the different elements (nitrogen, potash and phosphoric
acid) to be applied will vary greatly with different conditions,--with
the nature of the soil, the age of the trees, etc. As a sort of standard
we may say that under normal conditions of good soil with dwarf apple
and pear trees in bearing there should be given annually for each acre:

  400 pounds ground bone
  400 pounds muriate of potash
  100 pounds Peruvian guano

Peaches and plums require more nitrogen during early growth, and more
potash when in full bearing. For a new plantation of these trees the
following amounts should be given annually for each acre:

  300 pounds ground bone
  400 pounds muriate of potash
  150 pounds nitrate of soda

For peach and plum trees in bearing, the following formula may be

  400 pounds ground bone
  500 pounds muriate of potash
  100 pounds Peruvian guano

Inasmuch as many owners of dwarf fruit trees will have so much less
than an acre for treatment it will be best to repeat these formulas,
reducing them to a smaller unit. Making this reduction somewhat freely,
in order to avoid long and useless decimals, we may compute the quantity
needed annually for each one hundred square feet of land as follows:


      1 pound ground bone
      1 pound muriate of potash
    1/4 pound Peruvian guano


    3/4 pound ground bone
      1 pound muriate of potash
    3/8 pound nitrate of soda


    1/4 pound Peruvian guano
  1-1/4 pound muriate of potash
      1 pound ground bone

Cherries should be treated like plums; gooseberries, currants, and most
other fruits, like apples.

In the home of dwarf tree culture, that is, in Europe, trained trees are
extensively grown upon walls. The gardeners utilize for this purpose not
only the walls of stables and outbuildings, and of the enclosed gardens,
but long ranges of brick are built for the special and exclusive purpose
of accommodating fruit trees. In southern Germany, in Switzerland, in
Belgium, in France, and especially in the neighborhood of Paris, there
are hundreds of miles of these walls. The walls may run north and south
or east and west. Both sides of the walls are used, even when one side
faces the north. Currants and gooseberries are expected to thrive on
north walls. West walls are considered especially favorable for pears
and plums. The walls are nearly always built of brick. They should have
a height of ten to fourteen feet. Each wall usually has a coping at the
top with a projection of ten to eighteen inches, which sheds the rain,
protecting both the wall and the fruit trees. Where extreme pains are
spent on the culture of fancy table fruits there are curtains hung from
rods along the outer edge of these copings, and the curtains are drawn
to protect ripening fruit from too hot sunshine, or to protect the
blossoms in the spring season from late frosts.

Brick walls, with all their appurtenances, are less important in America
than in Europe and the advantages to be expected from this particular
method of culture are decidedly less. Walls would more probably be
useful for peaches and nectarines in northern latitudes than for any
other fruits.

Cordons and espaliers require some sort of support, however, and where
walls are not used trellises are necessary. These may be of wood or
wire. There is a belief current that the wooden trellises are better
because they reflect less heat, but wire is so much cheaper and more
durable that it will usually be chosen.

Five or six wires are needed to make a good trellis for upright cordons.
These should be placed twelve to fourteen inches apart, with the lowest
wire thirty inches from the ground. All wires should be tight, and to
this end stout, well-set posts are necessary. The wires should be
loosened in the autumn, before freezing weather begins, and should be
tightened again in the spring.


From Lucas' Handbuch des Obstbaues

The entire planting, exclusive of the borders, is made up of fruit trees
and bushes. Dimensions, 752 × 1,362 feet.]

For espaliers the woven wire fences are better. In fact, the woven wire
fencing is excellent for all sorts of fruit trellises. Poultry netting
makes a cheap and convenient trellis, but it is neither so strong nor so
durable as the better grades of woven wire fencing. On the whole it is
very poor economy to buy a cheap trellis or to put it up on poor posts.

These trellises will need to be comparatively high. Nothing less than
eight feet will be satisfactory, and for upright cordons a trellis ten
to fifteen feet high will be much better. Of course, this entire height
is not needed the first year, but upright cordon apples will cover a
twelve foot trellis in five years. Peaches or Japanese plums will cover
the same trellis in three years.

In the selection of varieties for growing in a garden of dwarf fruit
trees the horticulturist will naturally be guided by principles
altogether different from those which control him in the selection of
varieties for a commercial orchard. He must, of course, consider which
varieties are best adapted to the special stocks on which they have to
be propagated. He must also bear in mind that certain varieties are
better adapted than others for the special forms in which he may wish to
train his dwarf trees. Beyond all this lies the great consideration that
in the very large majority of cases dwarf fruit trees are grown to
secure fancy fruit, not to produce a large quantity for a general
market. All varieties of inferior quality would therefore be eliminated
from consideration at the beginning, no matter how productive they might
be, nor how famous for other things.


A is the entrance; B, well or cistern; C, space to turn a horse and

From P. Barry's "Fruit Garden"]

Varieties of specially good flavor would be given special thought, even
though they might lack in hardiness or productivity. The special
favorites of the man who owns the garden should be chosen, no matter
whether they are popular or not. Then for similar reasons a
comparatively long list of varieties will be chosen instead of the very
short list always held to by the commercial grower. From first to last
one should remember that the growing of dwarf fruit trees is essentially
the enterprise of an amateur, not of a man who grows fruit for money.



Dwarf apples are the most interesting and valuable of dwarf fruits. We
have become so thoroughly accustomed to the standard apple tree in this
country, however, and it so fully meets all the apparent requirements,
that there seems to be no call for dwarf apples. Nevertheless dwarf
trees have some real advantages under certain circumstances. Some of
these have already been pointed out in the general discussion in
previous chapters, and some of them will bear reiteration here. Where so
much interest is taken in apple culture as in America, the advantage
which dwarf trees offer for the rapid testing of new varieties cannot be
overlooked. Still more important is the value of the dwarf trees in
producing extra fancy specimens. Thus in growing very fine apples for
exhibition or for a particularly fastidious market, one would naturally
choose the dwarf trees.

Inasmuch as dwarf trees are recommended chiefly to the amateur and are
grown generally less for cash profit than for other considerations, the
great and obvious advantages of standard trees quickly disappear. For
men who like to play at fruit growing, nothing can equal a selection of
apple trees on Paradise stocks. They are the most engaging of all dwarf
trees, in fact of all fruit trees whatsoever.

The general matter of selecting stocks has been referred to under the
head of propagation, but the statement should be repeated here that the
French Paradise stock is preferable for very dwarf garden trees, and is
almost necessary for cordons and espaliers, while the Doucin (sometimes
called the English or broad-leaved Paradise) may be chosen where only a
moderate amount of dwarfing is desired. Some of the most expert apple
growers of North America are beginning to think that the Doucin may be
required for the commercial orchards in the future, when spraying for
the San José scale becomes an established routine and smaller trees are
an accepted necessity.

Dwarf apple trees may be cultivated in nearly all the artificial forms
ever given to fruit trees. Undoubtedly the simplest is the bush or vase
form. This requires less care and attention and probably gives as much
fruit to the same area as any other. The pyramid form is somewhat
difficult to produce. It can be secured successfully only with the
varieties which have a tendency to grow strong, straight branches, as
for instance Sutton, Gravenstein and Northern Spy. On the whole the
pyramid is not to be recommended for dwarf apples.

Apples succeed very well as upright cordons and in all the simpler
modifications of this form. As these trees can be planted very close
together--as close as fifteen inches certainly--thus occupying very
little room, a large number of them can be planted in very limited areas
of the city lot or backyard. They are especially adapted to stand on the
property line where they seem to use no space whatever, and where in
fact they do occupy space which otherwise would be lost. The upright
cordon can be bent into the form of an arch in order to make delightful
arbors along the walks. The illustration, Fig. 2, shows a good example
of this sort.


Nearly all varieties of apples--indeed all as far as I know--succeed in
this form. The trees are not very long-lived, however. That is they
cannot be maintained in good presentable form and prolific bearing
indefinitely, because it is difficult to reproduce the fruit spurs on
the lower part of the stem. Nevertheless the trees are inexpensive and
can be cheaply replaced. As they come into bearing the first or second
year after planting, this task of replacing worn-out trees is a small
one. Very fine specimens of fruit can be produced on these upright
cordons. Indeed this form is superior to the bush form in this respect.

The apple is the best of all trees for horizontal cordons. In this form
it becomes the most entertaining plaything in the garden, as well as one
of the most rewarding trees in its product of fruit. Either the single
arm or the double arm cordon can be used with success. These horizontal
cordons are naturally used along the borders of walks, flower beds or
plots devoted to vegetables. They may sometimes be used along
foundations of buildings, where it is not desired to grow upright
cordons or espaliers against the walls. The fruit produced by horizontal
cordons is probably superior in size, color and finish to that produced
on any other form of tree. In climates where the summer's heat and
sunshine are apt to be meager, this advantage of the horizontal cordon
will be comparatively greater. Conversely it will be less in places
where sunshine and heat are very abundant during the summer. It is
probably true that on the plains of Arizona and Texas the horizontal
cordon will not be a brilliant success.

Dwarf apples need practically the same care and cultivation, aside from
pruning, as standard apples. The soil should be cultivated during the
early part of the summer and allowed to rest during the latter part of
the year. Cover crops may be sown during June or July, according to the
custom practised in the usual orchard management; but the advantages of
a cover crop in a small garden are less material than in a large
commercial orchard.


18 inches apart; in author's garden]

The formation of the tree is discussed under another head. It remains to
be said only that careful and intelligent pruning are required to keep
any dwarf apple tree to its work. The more complicated and the more
restricted the form of the tree, the more careful and continuous must be
this pruning. The general system may be outlined in comparatively few
words, and may be explained in its simplest form as applied to the
treatment of a horizontal cordon. Each horizontal cordon, perfectly
formed and full grown, should have fruit spurs throughout its horizontal
length, which may be from three to fifteen feet. The upright portion of
the trunk, from the point where the graft is set to the angle made by
the bending down of the stem, should be kept clean and bare. Constant
care is required to remove the sprouts from this portion of the tree,
especially such as come up from the stock. At the further end of the
horizontal portion there should be one, two, or three strong shoots
allowed to push forth each year. These may be called leaders. They
represent the principal wood growth in each tree. They draw up the sap
from the roots, their leaves elaborate this sap, and from them the
digested material is sent back for the support of the tree and the
ripening of the fruit. They are allowed to take an upright or nearly
upright position and their growth is encouraged. On all other portions
of the tree growth is sternly restricted, when not altogether repressed.

There is a constant tendency for strong shoots to start into growth all
along the horizontal part of the stem and especially near the bend. If
any of these shoots are allowed to make headway, the form of the tree
is spoiled. Even if they are cut out after a year's growth, thus
retaining somewhat the form of the tree, the fruit spurs are thereby
lost. It is the business of the fruit grower, therefore, to pinch back
these shoots which start along the horizontal stem, and this pinching is
done at a comparatively early stage of their growth. Usually the first
pinching should be given when the stems have grown long enough so as to
have seven or eight leaves. These shoots are then cut or pinched back to
three leaves. If the tree is in good vigorous condition, these shoots
will soon start into growth once more. Again they have to be pinched.
This time the pinching comes a little earlier, taking the shoot when it
reaches only about five leaves and the pinching is still more severe.
The shoots may start into growth a third time or even a fourth time, but
each time they are pinched back sooner and more severely than before. In
most cases two or three pinchings will suffice. These constant
repressions of growth tend to secure the formation of fruit spurs and
fruit buds along the horizontal trunk of the tree.

Some slight modifications of the plan here outlined will develop
themselves in experience. In particular it will be found that different
varieties require slightly different handling. Some form fruit spurs
more readily than others. With certain varieties it is very difficult to
repress the rampant habit of growth and to secure a proper formation of
fruit buds. These differences, however, are of minor importance as
compared with the general management of the tree.

The system just outlined has in view the summer pruning of the
horizontal cordon apple. The upright cordon is pruned in almost exactly
the same manner. Various forms of espaliers are handled in much the same
way. Strong shoots or leaders are allowed to grow at the ends of the
main branches to keep up a proper circulation and elaboration of sap,
while the growth of fruit spurs is encouraged along the sides of the
stems by frequent and regular pruning.

In a somewhat less precise manner the same system of pruning can be
applied to bush and pyramid forms. Each bush, for instance, is made up
of a certain number of fruiting branches. The fruit is borne on spurs on
the sides of these branches, while the woody growth is made by the
leaders appearing at the ends of these branches. These leaders are
annually cut back and the constant formation of fruit spurs is
encouraged by pinching whatever shoots are on the sides of the main

It will be seen that the whole business of pruning falls into two
general categories, viz., winter pruning and summer pruning. The winter
or spring pruning is given any time after the stress of winter is over
and before the sap starts running in the spring. This is the time when
the ordinary fruit trees are customarily pruned. The work at this season
consists chiefly in cutting back leaders. These are pruned off short,
that is the whole stem is taken off down to within two or three buds of
where it started growth the previous year. In some cases it is worth
while to cut even further back, going into wood two or three years old.
At this spring pruning the defective or diseased branches are of course
removed wherever they are found. Cases requiring such treatment always
occur even on the best trained cordons and espaliers. Whenever it
becomes necessary an entire branch, sometimes composing half the tree,
is taken out. Usually such branches can be replaced without great loss
of time.


After this winter or spring pruning comes the summer pruning which has
been outlined above. This usually begins May 15-25, and continues until
July 25-31, differing, of course, in different latitudes.

Practically all varieties of apples can be grown as dwarfs, though some
succeed on Paradise roots better than others. Some varieties also are
better adapted for special forms, as for cordons, than are others. Such
requirements are not very strict, and a careful gardener can grow
practically anything he wants to. Patrick Barry, in his "Fruit Garden,"
recommends "twenty very large and beautiful sorts for dwarfs," having in
mind American conditions, and especially his own experience in
Rochester, N. Y. His list is as follows:

  Red Astrachan
  Large Sweet Bough
  Beauty of Kent
  Duchess of Oldenburg
  Fall Pippin
  Williams' Favorite
  Maiden's Blush
  Red Bietigheimer
  Bailey Sweet
  Canada Reinette
  Northern Spy
  King of Tompkins County
  Twenty Ounce

In Europe, where greater attention has been paid to these matters, the
opinion has settled down to a comparatively limited number. For example,
Mr. George Bunyard in "The Fruit Garden" recommends the following
varieties for cordons:

  Mr. Gladstone            Aug.
  Devonshire Quarrenden    Aug.
  James Grieve             Sept.
  Wealthy                  Oct.
  Margil                   Oct.
  King of Pippins          Oct.
  Mother                   Oct.
  Calville Rouge Precoce   Oct.
  Cox's Orange Pippin      Oct., Feb.
  St. Edmund's Pippin      Nov.
  Ross Nonpareil           Nov.
  Duchess of Oldenburg     Aug.
  Pott's Seedling          Sept.
  Lord Grosvenor           Sept.
  Adams' Pearmain          Dec.
  Hubbard's Pearmain       Dec.
  Allington Pippin         Nov., Feb.
  Scarlet Nonpareil        Jan., Feb.
  Norman's Pippin          Jan.
  Lord Burghley            Feb.
  Duke of Devonshire       Feb.
  Rosemary Russet          Feb.
  Sturmer Pippin           Very late
  Allen's Everlasting      Very late
  Fearn's Pippin.          Very late
  Lord Derby               Nov.
  Bismarck                 Dec.
  Lane's Prince Albert     Jan., March
  Lord Suffield            Sept.
  Grenadier                Sept., Oct.
  Golden Spire             Sept., Oct.
  Seaton House             Sept., Oct.
  Sandringham              Feb.
  Alfriston                Feb., March
  Calville Malingre        Feb. to Mch.
  Calville Rouge           Feb. to Mch.

The same authority recommends the following varieties to be grown on
Paradise stocks as bushes:

  Beauty of Bath           July, Aug.
  Red Quarrenden           July, Aug.
  Lady Sudeley             Sept.
  Worcester Pearmain       Sept., Oct.
  Yellow Angestrie         Sept.
  Duchess' Favorite        Sept. to Oct.
  King of the Pippins      Oct.
  Early White Transparent  J'ly.
  Lord Suffield            Aug., Sept.
  Pott's Seedling          Aug., Sept.
  Lord Grosvenor           Aug., Sept.
  Early Julien             Aug., Sept.
  Ecklinville Seedling     Sept., Oct.
  Grenadier                Sept., Oct.
  Stirling Castle          Sept., Oct.
  Golden Spire             Sept., Oct.
  Cox's Orange Pippin      Nov., Feb.
  Beauty of Barnack        Nov.
  Allington Pippin         Dec., Feb.
  Gascoigne's Scarlet      Dec.
  Christmas Pearmain       Dec.
  Winter Quarrenden        Dec.
  Baumann's Reinette       Jan.
  Lord Derby               Oct., Nov.
  Stone's Apple            Oct., Nov.
  Tower of Glamis          Oct., Nov.
  Warner's King            Oct., Nov.
  Bismarck                 Oct., Nov.
  Lane's Prince Albert     Dec., Mch.
  Bramley's Seedling       Dec., Mch.
  Newton Wonder            Dec., Mch.

Max Loebener in his book on dwarf fruits recommends the following
varieties for dwarf apples:

  Red Astrachan            July, Aug.
  Yellow Transparent       Aug., Sept.
  Charlamowsky             Aug., Sept.
  Transparent de Croncels  Sept., Oct.
  Prince Apple             Sept., Jan.
  Danzig                   Oct., Dec.
  Dean's Codlin            Oct. to Feb.
  Landbury Reinette        Nov., Feb.
  Cox's Orange             Nov. to Mch.
    _Requires good soil_
  Winter Gold Pearmain     Nov., March
  Ribston Pippin           Nov., April
    _Good warm soil_
  Canada Reinette.         Nov., April
  Belle de Boskoop         Nov., May
  Virginia Rose            Aug.
  Red Peach Summer Apple   Aug., Sept.
  Lord Suffield            Aug., Oct.
  Cellini                  Sept., Nov.
  Alexander                Oct., Dec.
  Gravenstein              Oct. to Jan.
    _For moist soils, bears late_
  Yellow Richard           Nov., Dec.
  Bismarck                 Nov., Feb.
  Yellow Bellflower        Nov. to April
    _Requires good position_
  Baumann's Reinette       Dec., May

Inasmuch as the advantages of the dwarf trees apply especially to the
growing of fine fruit, only the better varieties should generally be
propagated in this way. On this basis, therefore, rather than on the
basis of adaptation learned from experience, the following varieties may
be suggested among the well known American sorts for growing in dwarf

  Williams' Favorite
  Northern Spy
  Yellow Transparent
  Red Astrachan
  Wolf River
  Ribston Pippin

Of course, one propagating dwarf apples would always select his own
favorites. It should be noticed that in the list given above are some
varieties which are notable for beauty of appearance rather than for
superior quality. They are recommended on the former consideration.
Certain varieties in the list, for instance Alexander, are known to
succeed especially well as dwarfs.



Pears are the fruit most largely grown in dwarf form in America. There
are a few well established and successful commercial orchards of pears,
especially in western New York and Michigan. The pear is the fruit most
assiduously cultivated in dwarf and trained forms in Europe. At the same
time it is the one with which I confess I have had the least
satisfaction. This is perhaps because I have always experimented in a
country where pears do not naturally succeed, and because, further, my
fancies have run more to other kinds of fruit.


It is probably true that the pear is improved more in quality than any
other fruit by being grown in dwarf form and trained as cordons and
espaliers on a suitable frame or wall. This is emphatically true in cold
and inclement climates, where indeed some of the best varieties of
pears will not succeed at all unless given this advantage. A west wall
is recommended as giving the very finest results. It should be noted,
however, that some varieties do better on walls than others. Those which
grow vigorously in bush, pyramid, or standard forms receive
comparatively less benefit from wall training.


The pear is the best of all trees for training in pyramid form.
Sometimes very tall slim pyramids are made, becoming almost pillars of
foliage and fruit in their old age. These may be in fact upright cordons
which are trained with strong stems and allowed to support themselves
without a trellis. Some of the less upright growing varieties are
difficult to form into pyramids, and such may be pruned in the ordinary
bush or vase form. In growing dwarf pears commercially, as is sometimes
done, it is probably best to give most varieties the bush form. The
pyramid is rather harder to maintain.

The pear succeeds well as a cordon tree. Perhaps the best form is the
oblique cordon, one placed at an angle of about forty-five degrees with
the horizon. The upright and horizontal cordons may also be used, though
neither of these forms is specially well adapted to pears.

All of the better types of espaliers are suited to pear trees. Probably
the Palmette-Verrier is the best, although the old fashioned espaliers
are often used. The U-form and the double U-form also succeed if well

The pruning of the pear tree is substantially the same as that of the
apple. Where pear blight is a factor in the problem, due allowance must
be made for it. It sometimes happens that entire branches or arms have
to be cut away on account of blighting. The system of pruning therefore
should furnish a means of renewing such members promptly when necessity


The quince root prefers a fairly heavy and even moist soil. A heavy clay
loam is best, although a strong clay will answer. Light sandy soils or
loose gravelly soils will not give such good results. On the other hand
any clay soil which holds water to a considerable extent will answer. As
these are the requirements for quince roots, they become also the
requirements for dwarf pears. Any attempt to grow dwarf pears on a light
loose soil is almost certain to prove a failure.


It is often said that dwarf pears should be planted deep in the ground
when they are set out. The rule is to put them deep enough so that the
bud union will be buried beneath the surface of the soil. With such
treatment the pear itself often throws out roots and eventually
establishes a feeding system of its own, becoming independent of the
quince stock. It is then no longer a dwarf tree except by the authority
of the pruning knife. It is probably true that many varieties of dwarf
pears are longer lived when treated in this way. In planting, therefore,
it becomes a question whether one desires chiefly a long-lived tree or a
strictly dwarf one. The ease with which dwarf trees are replaced makes
longevity a less important factor than in commercial orchards of
standard trees.

Of course, it is understood that if the dwarfest form is to be
maintained, the tree must be planted high enough to leave the union out
of the ground, thus preventing the pear from throwing out roots of its

The varieties principally grown in this country as dwarfs are Angouleme,
Bartlett, Anjou, and Louise Bonne.

In European nurseries the list of pears propagated on quince roots is
much larger. The following varieties are recommended for England by Mr.
Owen Thomas, and are said to be particularly good for training on walls:

  Buerré Giffard
  Clapp's Favorite
  Williams' (Bartlett)
  Buerré d'Amanlis
  Fondante d'Automne
  Triomphe de Vienne
  Buerré Bosc
  Buerré Hardy
  Buerré Brown
  Comte de Lamy
  Louise Bonne de Jersey
  Pitmaston Duchess
  La France
  Buerré d'Anjou
  Buerré de Jonghe
  Doyenne d'Alençon
  Glou Morceau
  Marie Benoist
  Winter Nelis
  Buerré Diel
  Nouvelle Fulvie
  Buerré Sterckmans
  Easter Buerré
  Le Lectier
  Olivier de Serres
  Doyenne du Comice
  Marie Louise
  Duchesse d'Angouleme
  Passe Crassane
  Ne Plus Meuris
  Bergamotte Esperen
  Buerré Rance
  Josephine de Malines



The peach as a dwarf tree is almost unknown in America. It is not very
often grown as a dwarf even in Europe, except when it is trained on
walls or grown in houses. The species, however, is easily dwarfed and
makes a good tree in various forms when well propagated. The methods by
which dwarf peaches are propagated are fully described in the chapter
devoted to that subject.

Peach trees growing on plum stocks and formed in vases or bushes make
excellent garden trees. Naturally they should be headed low, best within
three to six inches of the ground. They then make fine, regular, well
balanced tops which are easily kept opened out in the desired vase form.
Such trees usually come into bearing one or two years earlier than those
propagated and trained in the usual way. In a country like New England
where peach growing is largely a system of gambling against cold
weather, and where the business largely resolves itself into a race for
getting a crop before the trees freeze back, the smaller stature and the
earlier bearing of the dwarf tree are obvious advantages. It has not yet
been shown that this may be turned to account on a commercial scale, but
there seem to be possibilities in it. In case the peach grower
undertakes the method of laying down his peach trees and covering them
during the winter to save them from freezing, the smaller growth of the
dwarf trees would prove a decided advantage. This method of handling
peach trees has proved a practical success under certain conditions.

[Illustration: FIG. 32--DWARF PEACH IN NURSERY

Headed back and formed into bushes]

The peach does not succeed as a cordon. The nearest that this form can
be successfully approached is the U-form. The double U-form is probably
even better. The fan form of training is the best of all methods of
training for the peach. The tree makes wood so rapidly that considerable
space has to be provided for the annual growth. The fan form being less
definite in its makeup can be more readily adapted to the exigencies of
rapid growth and severe cutting out.


On account of its more vigorous growth the peach demands even more
drastic pruning than that already described for apples and pears. The
method of managing a peach tree, however, differs in some details. There
is not such a distinct establishment of leaders at the end of the shoot;
and since the peach never forms fruit spurs like those of the apple, the
pruning of the fruit-bearing wood is necessarily different. The best
fruit buds are formed on the strong clean shoots of the current season's
growth. These must be allowed to grow far enough and vigorously enough
to ripen good fruit buds. If they make too much growth, however, the
side buds start secondary branches and the fruiting prospects are
reduced. The management of the tree must be such as to keep this growth
of new wood in just the proper balance.

In order to carry out the idea thus outlined, an early spring pruning is
given while the trees are dormant, and several successive prunings are
administered during the growing season. At the spring pruning a
considerable amount of wood is cut out from all portions of the tree,
the amount thus removed being much greater than that from the pear or
apple trees at the same season. The old decrepit and diseased branches
are taken first for removal, and then one year old wood is cut back
where necessary, so as to leave two or three buds at the base of each

The first summer pruning is given about May 15th to 20th, after the
growth has well begun. A vigorous tree will start more shoots than there
is room for, and these are thinned out until all have sufficient space.
A few of the most vigorous ones are pinched back at this time. One week
to ten days later the trees are gone over again, at which time the
principal pinching back is done. The shoots which are making too much
growth, especially on the interior of the tree or on the main arms, are
stopped. A third pruning is given about June first, and consists chiefly
in removing weak shoots or those which are crowding one another, and
cutting back those which are growing too far.


The peach usually requires a comparatively light soil and a warm
exposure. The plum root upon which a dwarf peach is budded will usually
succeed in a considerably heavier soil, and the method of budding on
plum is therefore sometimes practised with the specific object of
adapting the peach tree to heavier soils. Inasmuch as various kinds of
plums succeed in all soils on which any crop can be grown, from light
sand to heavy clay, it is not difficult to meet any reasonable
requirements in this respect.

All varieties of peaches and nectarines seem to succeed equally well as
dwarfs. Those varieties which are grown as dwarfs in Europe are
naturally the ones which are favorites there. In this country the
favorite varieties are almost altogether different and we would expect
to choose such sorts as Late Crawford, Foster, Old Mixon, Belle of
Georgia, Champion, Waddell, and other choice American varieties for our


The nectarine is in large favor in Europe and is much more extensively
grown than in America. The merits of this fruit seem to have been
strangely overlooked in this country. When nectarines are properly
grown under glass, they are one of the most delicious and beautiful
fruits known in this world of limitations and disappointments. The
nectarine is a fruit which will in general bear more extensive
cultivation in America and which is to be especially recommended for
dwarf fruit gardens. This is not to say that it should supersede the
peach, or even that it should take equal prominence, but simply that it
should be well represented in every selection of fruits for an amateur's



Most amateur and professional fruit growers are less interested in plums
than in other tree fruits. Perhaps I am prejudiced, but I feel that this
is not fair to the plum. Plums yield some profit when rightly cultivated
commercially, and no end of satisfaction when cultivated for the
gardener's own entertainment. The large assortment of varieties which
one may secure is in itself a claim to interest, and a source of much
delight to the collector. The fact that different types of plums furnish
fruit of very diverse characters makes the collection more valuable from
every standpoint. So far as the writer knows dwarf plums have seldom
been grown to any extent in America. They certainly have no present
claim based on experience for recognition in commercial orchards.
Nevertheless they have possibilities even for the growing of market
fruit, and for cultivation in the garden, dwarf trees are altogether
worth while.

In the chapter on propagation, reference has been made to the stocks
used for plums and that subject need not be discussed here.


When plum trees have been secured budded on suitable dwarfing stocks,
as, for example, Americana or sand cherry, they may be trained in a
variety of ways. Probably the ordinary bush form is the best. Most
varieties of plums do not form either a satisfactory pyramid or a
strictly vase form. Some of the better growing Japanese varieties of
plums approach the latter form fairly well. Red June, Satsuma, and
Chabot may be mentioned as particular examples. With such varieties a
true vase form can be maintained as well as with peaches. In dealing
with a majority of varieties, however, a simple bush-like head without a
mathematically constructed frame work is about the best that can be
secured. In most cases the head should be formed low, preferably not
more than six inches from the ground. Still considerable latitude has to
be allowed the gardener's fancy in dealing with dwarf trees, and the
writer can easily imagine a garden design which would require trees to
be high headed. It would be practicable and excusable in some cases to
form heads four, five, or even six feet from the ground. This is often
done in England and Germany with all sorts of fruit trees, this form
being referred to as a "standard."

A head can be secured at almost any point on a plum tree of good growth,
by heading back at the desired height. Four to six branches should be
allowed to grow the first year and in course of time these will be
increased to eight, twelve, or even more. That is, there will be this
number of what we might call main branches because they are all of
approximately equal importance.

At the end of the first year after the tree has been headed back the
main branches, which have now formed, are to be cut back in turn. With
all strong-growing varieties it is best to remove from one-half to
two-thirds of the annual growth from these main branches, if the tree
is to be restricted to a comparatively narrow spread. A considerable
number of strong shoots will put forth the next year. These should be
thinned out as soon as they start to a number approximately twice that
of the main arms. These new branches should be distributed as
symmetrically as possible. The tree top is now formed and subsequent
pruning consists essentially of a severe heading in during the latter
part of the dormant season, that is, about March, followed by two,
three, or four summer prunings somewhat after the manner described for
the peach. At the time of these summer prunings the young growing shoots
should be thinned out enough to prevent any choking of the tree top and
should be headed in wherever it is necessary to retain the symmetrical

The manner of forming the fruit buds or spurs is so diverse in the
different kinds of plums that no general rule can be given for
encouraging them. Close observation of each variety will soon enable the
gardener to direct his pruning in such a way as to assist in this
important process of fruit bud formation. In a rough general way it may
be said that the Domestica and Americana varieties of plums form
distinct fruit spurs along the sides of one and two year old branches,
and that, for the encouragement of these, considerable light should be
admitted and the growth of the interior shoots rather rigidly checked.
The Japanese and Hortulana varieties on the other hand fruit best from
very short spurs or clusters of buds which form along from the strong
one and two year old branches. The main object, therefore, with these
latter varieties is to maintain a succession of clean, sound, well
matured shoots. This is done by a moderate thinning of the main shoots
early in the year, resulting in the forcing of those which are left.
These strong growing shoots are checked late in the summer in order that
they may ripen up thoroughly, but the pinching which is done to this end
is delayed long enough so that the pinched shoots will not start into
growth again. Moreover, this pinching is done well out to the ends of
the shoots.

Certain varieties of plums succeed fairly well as vertical cordons. The
varieties least adapted to this purpose are the Hortulana offspring and
their hybrids and a few of the rank-growing Japanese, like Hale and
October Purple. In the dwarf tree garden at the Massachusetts
Agricultural College the writer has a row of plum trees containing a
large assortment of varieties and species. These trees were picked out
at random from various sources and very few of them were propagated on
dwarfing stocks. On this account the trees were set two feet apart,
which is more than is usually recommended for upright cordons. They have
now been growing three years, and they furnish much interesting
testimony regarding the feasibility of growing plums in this form.
Contrary to expectation such varieties as Red June, Abundance, and
Burbank have done well under this treatment. These varieties all fruited
the next year after planting. Some varieties of the Domestica group are
bearing the third year after planting, which is unusually early. All
of them seem to be fairly well adapted to this method of treatment.
Varieties like Wildgoose and Wayland, and such hybrids as Gonzales,
Waugh and Red May, can hardly be controlled in the restricted space
allowed them in a row of vertical cordons. They give very little promise
of success. It is probable that all these varieties would make a better
showing if they were propagated on some such stock as sand cherry.


Plums are seldom--almost never--propagated as horizontal cordons. I have
never yet undertaken it myself, but propose to do so at the first
opportunity and with some expectation of moderate success with certain
varieties. The slow growing sorts like Green Gage, Italian Prune, and
Agen seem to offer special promise.

In the form of espaliers plums are often trained against walls. Indeed
this is the favorite way of producing fancy plums in England, and the
same practise prevails to a considerable extent on the continent of
Europe. In this country walls are not required, and in most cases would
be of no advantage. Where it is desired to cover back fences or sides of
buildings, however, plum trees in espalier form can be confidently
recommended. The Domestica varieties of highest quality such as Bavay,
Jefferson, Victoria, Pond, Bradshaw, and Coe's Golden Drop would have
first choice. The Japanese varieties can also be grown on trellises or
walls, but the freer forms, such as the fan espalier used for the peach,
are better suited to their habits of growth.

The following varieties of plums can be recommended for dwarf bush

  Green Gage
  Grand Duke
  Bavay (Reine Claude)
  Italian Prune
  Cluster Damson (or other Damsons)

Such varieties of the Japanese class as Abundance, Chabot, Red June,
Satsuma, Burbank may be grown on dwarf stocks in bush forms, but they
are not altogether satisfactory. There are two objections against them:
(1) It is difficult to keep them in restricted bounds, such a result
being dependent on constant and severe heading in. (2) They overgrow the
dwarf stocks very strongly and thus do not have a very firm hold on the
ground. They are apt to blow over or break off after a few years, unless
carefully staked up.

The following varieties can be recommended for upright cordons, in which
form they will give moderate success if properly managed:

  Coe's Golden Drop
  Grand Duke
  Aubert (Yellow Egg or Magnum Bonum)

Also most of the clean-growing Americana varieties such as Smith, Terry,
Stoddard, etc.

Mr. Owen Thomas recommends for growing on walls in England the following

  Green Gage
  Brandy Gage
  Denniston's Superb Gage
  Comte d'Athem's Gage
  Transparent Gage
  Transparent Late Gage
  Reine Claude Violette
  Brahy's Green Gage
  Bryanstone Gage
  Oullin's Golden Gage
  Golden Transparent Gage
  Reine Claude de Bavay
  Coe's Golden Drop
  Kirke's Blue



The bush fruits, so far as I know, are never cultivated as dwarfs. To
speak more exactly I should say that no dwarf stock is ever used to
reduce the size to which the plants grow. On the other hand, bush fruits
are often systematically pruned back in order to restrict their size,
and are sometimes trained in elaborate forms as dwarf fruit trees are.
To this extent they are managed in the same way and might properly be
treated in the same general category. What is more to our purpose, they
are almost always included in the plan of any private fruit garden on a
restricted area, such as we have had chiefly in view in this discussion
of dwarf fruit trees. These reasons make it appropriate, if not indeed
essential, that something should be said regarding these fruits here.

All bush fruits can be grown in such forms as cordons, espaliers, etc.
Anything of this sort which the gardener wishes can become a part of his
garden of little trees. Gooseberries and currants offer the most
entertainment and remuneration when subjected to special pruning and
training, and indeed they should not be omitted from any garden scheme
of this kind. Raspberries are less amenable to this kind of education
and should be introduced with some care. Blackberries are necessarily
difficult to handle and no very complicated schemes of pruning and
training can be successfully applied to them. Such other fruits as
Loganberries, strawberry-raspberries, June berries, etc., may be
introduced "at the owner's risk." Any of them will submit to a certain
amount of correction with the pruning knife, and may add to the variety
of fruits grown in the amateur's garden. Of course, it is distinctly
understood that these special methods of treatment are not commercially
recommended for any of the bush fruits in America.


Probably the most interesting and practical way for handling
gooseberries and currants in dwarf fruit gardens is the form known as
standards. This form consists of a small round fruiting top of almost
any desired variety grafted high upon a straight clean trunk or stem.
This stem may have any convenient height from two to ten feet, the most
common and practical height being about four feet. The stock used is the
flowering currant, _Ribes aureum_, which forms a sufficiently strong and
upright growth for this purpose. Nevertheless it is almost always
necessary to support these standards with a convenient stake apiece. For
the present these standard gooseberries and currants can be obtained
only of the European nurserymen. At least the writer knows of no one who
propagates them in America. There are several importers, however, who
make a business of supplying European stock and who are always glad to
import these on order.

The finer varieties are especially chosen for growing as standards. This
applies particularly to gooseberries, which are more widely grown and
which are more highly prized in Europe than in this country. The
varieties grown in Europe are usually finer table fruits than the
American varieties. It is generally understood that the finest fruits
for eating fresh out of hand are secured from the standard gooseberries.


Variety Industry, trained on wire trellis]

Gooseberries and currants are also adapted easily to the espalier form.
The most elaborate palmettes and other geometrical designs can be worked
out. Nevertheless the simplest and most practical form for trained
gooseberries and currants is the fan shape. If a suitable trellis is
provided, the vines may be easily tied out upon it in very attractive
fan forms and these are found to be quite satisfactory, both as regards
their looks and their product of fruit. They are also easily sprayed,
which is a consideration worth mentioning when one has to fight the
currant worm. In general, it is best in our latitude to run these
espaliers north and south, because they receive too much sun when the
trellis runs east and west. This rule, however, is not absolute.

Probably the most convenient and practical way for growing these fruits
in the dwarf tree garden is to plant standards at regular intervals in a
row, say six feet apart, and to plant a certain number of fan shaped
bushes between each pair of standards in the row. If these standards
were six feet apart, two plants for fan training would be enough between
each pair. The top of the trellis on which the fan forms are tied, would
not be above four feet high, better only three. The heads of the
standards then rise well above the top of the trellis. This furnishes
some support for the stem of the standard and economizes space. Economy
of space is one of the first principles of this style of gardening.

[Illustration: FIG. 40--TREE FORM GOOSEBERRY]

No list need be given here of the varieties of gooseberries and currants
to be recommended for this class of planting. It may be said that any of
the favorite varieties of currants grown in this country, as for
example, Fay, Victoria, Red Versailles, etc., may be chosen, and that
these are indeed the varieties usually preferred in Europe. With respect
to gooseberries it may be remarked that the English, French, and German
varieties are mostly very different from those grown in America, and
that while they have some shortcomings in our climate, they are for the
most part to be recommended for the purposes which we here have in



Those who are used to seeing large fruit trees in orchard plantations
where each specimen has 1,000 to 2,000 square feet of space, with
unlimited opportunities downward, find a fruit tree in a pot a
curiosity. It seems remarkable to see a tree in vigorous health and
bearing fruit with less than one cubic foot of soil. Nevertheless this
method of handling fruit trees is entirely practicable. In some places
it is practised extensively in an amateur way, and occasionally reaches
almost commercial proportions. For those who grow fruit trees for
recreation there could hardly be a more interesting experiment.

The pots mostly used are the nine, ten, eleven and twelve inch standard
earthenware pots. With most trees it is best to begin with small sizes
and gradually shift forward to the larger ones. A bearing tree may be
maintained for several years in a twelve inch pot or even in a ten inch
size. Sometimes wooden tubs are substituted for pots. These look better,
but are not so good in any other way.

Trees may be grown in pots out of doors, although there is no particular
advantage in doing this. If such practise is undertaken the pots should
be plunged their full depth in good garden soil. Perfect drainage should
be secured by having some broken brick or coarse cinders underneath.

Usually potted trees are grown under glass. They are kept in a cool
greenhouse, that is one with little heat. Sometimes they are without
artificial heat. In fact this is probably the best way. The houses which
are purposely constructed for fruit trees may have a single line of pipe
if this is convenient, so that the chill may be taken off the air in
severe cold weather. To reach anything like real success, houses must be
devoted exclusively to fruit trees. Occasionally trees may be grown with
other plants, as in cold graperies, but the results are not the best and
often come very close to failure.

In building houses for fruit trees exclusively, the even span
construction is nearly always used. Houses eighteen or twenty feet wide,
and five feet high at the eaves, will answer the purpose very well. The
leading greenhouse designers are prepared to furnish plans for such
houses and it is usually best to follow the advice of their experts.

All kinds of fruit trees can be grown in pots. This includes apples,
pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, and cherries. Those which give the
best returns are plums and nectarines. Apples in pots are very
interesting and furnish a superior quality of fruit when grown under
glass. Apples, plums and nectarines take a finer finish and a higher
flavor when grown in this way than when grown in any other.

All fruit trees to be grown in pots should be propagated on the dwarfest
of dwarfing stocks. This means practically that apples should be on
Paradise, pears on quince, peaches and nectarines on sand cherry, plum
on sand cherry or St. Julien plum, and cherries on Mahaleb.

[Illustration: FIG. 41--A FRUITING PEACH IN POT]

The trees should be potted in good rich soil, preferably the best garden
loam. This should have enough sand and gravel in it to insure good
drainage. A considerable amount of drainage material should be placed
in the bottom of each pot. The trees should be repotted in fresh soil
annually in October or November.

Trees in pots require liberal feeding. Besides being given well enriched
earth at the time of repotting, they should be supplied from time to
time with small amounts of fertilizer. Good soluble chemical fertilizers
can be applied either dry or dissolved. A good formula is one part
nitrate of soda, two parts of muriate of potash, two parts of high grade
phosphoric acid. A very little sprinkling, say a tablespoonful, of this
can be given on each pot once a month during the growing season which
lasts roughly from December to May. In place of this, or alternately
with this, moderate waterings with liquid manure may also be given.
These small doses of food are especially useful at the time when the
fruit is forming on the trees.

The trees are usually brought into the house at the time of potting, say
November 1. If early fruit is desired, they are kept in a house with
some heat. It is necessary only that the temperature should be kept
constantly and safely above the freezing point. Rapid forcing with a
high temperature is not desirable and is hardly possible. If kept simply
above the freezing point, these trees will start into growth in January.
They can then be kept somewhat warmer during February, the heat being
slightly increased in March. Peaches and nectarines will stand fairly
high temperatures after the fruit is well set and especially toward
ripening time. By this method of mild forcing, plums, peaches, and
nectarines can be brought into fruit as early as the latter part of

[Illustration: FIG. 42--A FIG TREE IN A POT]

The main crop of potted fruits, however, need not be expected until June
or July; that is not very much in advance of the outdoor crop. The
object of growing fruit under glass is not so much to force it ahead of
season as it is to improve the quality. Trees which are to be kept in a
cool house without heat need no particular attention except to see that
they are watered occasionally and that some plant food is given after
growth begins. Even if the temperature goes down considerably below
freezing during the winter months in this cold house where the potted
fruit trees are, no damage need be expected.

Of course, special care will be given to prevent damage from attacks of
fungi or insects which occasionally become troublesome in the houses.
The small size of these trees makes such work comparatively easy.

The methods of pruning are the same as those recommended for pyramid and
bush form trees. These forms are the most practical for pot culture,
though pot trees are occasionally trained in cordon forms.



Many persons have a strong prejudice in favor of the concrete. On
general principles they object to generalities. They choose rather the
specific case. Personal experience, they say, means more to them than
theory, even though the theory be the sublimation of all experience. For
the benefit of such people I am going to set down an account of some of
my own attempts at growing dwarf fruit trees, and to that I will add
brief opinions and experiences of some friends of mine.

The first dwarf fruit tree that I ever saw, so far as I remember, was in
the grounds of the Kansas State Agricultural College when I was a
student there. This tree was an apple, on Paradise stock, and at two
years after planting it bore six or eight very fine Yellow Transparent
apples. It was one of several dwarf apples planted by Professor E. A.
Popenoe, but the other trees did not much attract my attention. This
particular specimen had a straight, clean trunk of about thirty inches,
after the absurd style of heading dwarf apples practised in most
American nurseries. But the crown was full and symmetrical, and the
fruit was incomparable. That particular tree has always been a sort of
ideal and inspiration to me.

Later, when I planted an orchard in Oklahoma, I put in some dwarf trees,
particularly pears, but I did not stay there long enough to see what
came of them.

The next fruit garden in which I became interested was in Vermont. This
had in it some dwarf pear trees, dwarf apples and dwarf plums, and my
own personal experience had fairly begun. The dwarf apples proved to be
an almost complete failure, for reasons which I can not now
satisfactorily explain. A few years later I planted a few dwarf apple
trees in another Vermont garden, where they did reasonably well. But, at
any rate, the whole undertaking was unsatisfactory, for it did not give
me a vital understanding of the trees. I never got onto terms of real
personal goodfellowship with them; and until a gardener does that his
work is some sort of a failure.

The dwarf pears did somewhat better. They seemed to understand their
business, and they kept about it without much attention from me. I never
cared much for pears, anyway.

But the plums were the brilliant success, at least with reference to my
own interior personal experience. Every plum tree meant something to me.
A stub of a root and two scrawny plum branches would at any time arouse
my imagination like the circus posters' appeal to a boy. In this Vermont
garden which I adopted when it was about four years old, there were
various plum trees, mostly of domestica varieties, growing on Americana
roots. They had come from the Iowa State College, where they had been
educated that way. They had been given those Americana roots, not
primarily to dwarf them, but to insure them against damage from the cold
winters. The tops had not been cut back, and the whole treatment was
just such as would have been applied to standards. Later I saw the bad
results of this treatment, for several of the trees blew over in high
winds. From subsequent experience I feel sure that if they had been
headed low at first, if they had been kept closely headed back and
otherwise handled like real dwarfs, they would have lived to a greater
age and would have made everybody happier.

At this time also I began, on a somewhat comprehensive plan, the
propagation of plums on all sorts of stocks, including Americana,
Wayland seedlings, Miner root cuttings and sand cherry, all more or less
efficient dwarfing stocks. By this time I was into it head over ears, as
far as the plums were concerned.

This having been the largest chapter in my personal pomological
experience, I suppose it ought to form the largest portion of this
chapter in the book; but my plum work and my experiments in propagation
have been so often and so fully reported elsewhere that it would be a
vain repetition to go over them again now. They are all written down in
the proper places where they may be consulted by the enthusiastic or
ill-advised student.

And then I came to Massachusetts; and here the first project, almost, to
which my hand was turned was the installation of a garden of dwarf fruit
trees. From the following memorandum of the trees growing in this garden
any reader may surmise the enjoyment I have found in it. There is one
row of dwarf plum trees set six feet apart and trained, rather
unsatisfactorily, into bush form. The trees were many of them too large
when they came from France, and, though I cut them back severely, they
did not form such low bushy heads as my ideal species. They are on St.
Julien roots, which serve the purposes in hand fairly well. Though the
trees had a hard trip across the water only one out of forty-six has
died in three years. Unfortunately these trees have not yet borne
fruit,--not one of them. Next year many of them will bear. Earlier
fruitage can certainly be secured on sand cherry stocks and under other
methods of training.

Besides the bush plums, the garden contains a row of upright cordons.
Most of these were not propagated on dwarf stocks at all, and were not
expected to suffer any such drastic training as I have put upon them.
They were taken from the college nursery and from the nurseries of
several of my correspondents, just wherever I could find the varieties I
wanted, and without reference to the stocks on which they were growing.
A few are on Americana stocks, several are on peach roots (of all
things), and probably a majority are growing on the usual Myrobalan
roots. These trees are planted two feet apart in the row and are tied up
to a trellis of chicken wire. There are about thirty varieties in the
row, numbering most of the different botanical types more frequently
cultivated in North America. Many of the varieties are totally and very
obviously unsuited to this method of treatment, and presently I will
replace them with more amenable varieties. But many of the varieties
have fruited, especially the Japanese kinds, and some of them, like
Burbank, have proved most unexpectedly docile. Altogether this row of
unsuitably propagated and unsuitably selected varieties of plum trees
has been one of the most interesting, instructive and entertaining
elements in my dwarf fruit garden.

Next there comes a trellis bearing some espaliers, including plums,
pears, apples, peaches and cherries; but these have been recently
planted, and as yet they have done nothing worth relating.

There is one row of twenty-three dwarf pears, mostly trained in pyramid
form. These have not done well, but the reason is not far to seek. The
soil is light and full of gravel, and quite unsuited to pear or quince.
Pears never thrive on it. Several of the trees are bearing a crop this
year, but some of the trees are also dead, and the whole row looks like
the finish of a bargain sale on the remnant ribbon counter.

The row of upright cordon pears is a trifle better, but that is only an
accident, I think. The varieties which are growing there seem to be
rather better adapted to withstand the unpropitious surroundings. These
trees also are bearing.

When we come to the two rows of horizontal cordon apples, though, the
real fun has begun. Nearly all these trees are in bearing, and a few of
them have borne every year since they were planted out. They are set
only three feet apart in the row, which is not enough; and they suffered
terribly the first year from a midsummer attack of aphides; and the
pruning was neglected to allow them to recover from that scourge, so
that the form was somewhat injured; but they have never ceased to be a
joy to me and a wonderment to visitors. They are mostly of European
varieties, but Bismarck is the showiest and most fruitful one in the
collection, though far from the best to eat.

Then there are standard gooseberries and currants, of which there is
little to be said. They haven't been there long, but they are at home
and are going to stay. Next year I am going to put in some gooseberries
and currants in espalier form.


Two years planted; author's garden]

Very few persons know what a medlar is. For the benefit of the ignorant
and to increase the kaleidoscopic effect on my fruit garden, I have
some medlar trees,--Holländische Monströse,--which I bought of Louis
Späth, Baumschulenweg, Berlin.

A wire trellis, built much like a grape trellis, only higher, carries
the row of upright cordon apples. Some of these bore fruit the first
year they were planted, and there has been a fair sprinkling of fruit
every year since then. This has been one of the most satisfactory lots
in the make-up.

There are two rows containing forty-six bush-form apples on paradise
roots set six feet apart. Some of these have borne every year since
planting out, many of them showing a good crop this year. Again Bismarck
is the most fruitful, but the least pleasing to eat. Alexander has made
a good record, and this year Calville d'Automne shows a very pretty
crop. It is customary with visitors, especially those already interested
in fruit-growing and those of a practical turn of mind, to depart with
the judgment that "all those other schemes are curious and interesting,
but the bush form apple trees look the most like business." I think so
too. In fact my experience with dwarf apples might be summarized by
saying, "bush trees for business, cordons for fun."

One row of peach trees on St. Julien plum roots set fruit buds in
abundance the first year, but they were killed by the freeze of the
following winter. The second year the experience was the same, except
that the tops froze with the fruit buds. New tops were grown at once,
however, and the following year nearly every tree bore a small crop of
fruit. Dwarf peach trees are worth while.

This garden has also a row of cherry trees, including Morello, Richmond
and Montmorency; but these trees were set the second year of the garden
making and have borne only a small crop of sample cherries.

The last planting in this garden consists of one row of nectarines,
twenty-two trees.

This little garden, containing considerably less than a quarter of an
acre of land, has now growing upon it 548 fruit trees of the kinds
named. And I am not yet done planting. There are various other things
that I want to put in,--quinces, apricots, and perhaps raspberries,
dewberries, and other bush fruits. In fact, I should like to make it a
"Paradise" like good old Gerarde's or Dodoens', in which all the fruits
"good for food or physic" might be brought together and represented in a
little space.

It would be quite wrong to close this experience meeting without giving
the observations and quoting the opinions of some other and better men.
Patrick Barry, in his delightful "Fruit Garden," recorded his belief
that dwarf fruit trees were well worth while. "The apple," said he,
"worked on the Paradise, makes a beautiful little dwarf bush. We know of
nothing more interesting in the fruit garden than a row or little square
of these miniature fruit trees. They begin to bear the third year from
the bud, and the same variety is always larger and finer on them than on
standards." Speaking of pears, he said: "On the quince stock the trees
bear much earlier, are more prolific, more manageable, and consequently
preferable for small gardens."

The late Mr. E. G. Lodeman, who wrote the most comprehensive American
monograph on dwarf apples, concluded his essay rather pessimistically in
these words: "From all the evidence which I have been able to collect,
therefore, I cannot advise the planting of dwarf apple trees for
commercial rewards, but it seems to me, nevertheless, that they are
worth experimenting with for this purpose." Mr. Lodeman recorded and
endorsed the common opinion "that apples grown on dwarf trees are
handsomer and of better quality than those grown upon standards"; but he
did not seem to consider that fact of much importance.

Those who are acquainted at the Lazy Club in Cornell University, and
especially those who know Bailiwick, have heard of Professor L. H.
Bailey's dwarf apples. (Fig. 44.) These were planted six or eight years
ago, and most of them are now in bearing. There are a good many
different varieties, nearly all French. My understanding of the scheme
is that it was as much as half intended to be a commercial venture; but
up to the present time little else but confusion and fun have been
gathered with the fruit from those dwarf apple trees. When last I asked
the proprietor for his experience with dwarf apples he said that he was
having a lot of experience, only he didn't know what it was.

Dwarf pears have been planted frequently, especially in Western New York
and Michigan. I asked Professor S. A. Beach for his observations of
them, to which he replied: "With regard to dwarf pears I will say that
the variety which is most generally grown in commercial orchards is
Bartlett. Almost without exception this is grown as a standard. Other
important commercial varieties are Seckel, Bosc and Winter Nelis. All
these are generally grown as standards. The variety commonly grown as
dwarf is Angouleme. A few fruit growers of my acquaintance are making
some money from orchards of dwarf Angouleme. The other varieties which
are often propagated on dwarf stock as Clairgeau, Anjou and so forth,
are seldom profitable. In fact I have heard it stated that outside of
Ellwanger and Barry's orchard there is not a profitable orchard of Anjou
in this State. From these statements I wish you to derive the conclusion
that in New York State under present conditions there is little
encouragement for planting dwarf pears commercially."


Chenango apple on Doucin stocks, interplanted between standard trees]

Mr. E. W. Wood, for many years chairman of the fruit committee of the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, says that "under the right
conditions the dwarf pear tree is a necessity for commercial pear
growing. The growers in Revere and Cambridge would feel they could not
get along without the dwarf trees. Putting the pear on the quince stock
does not change the wants of the roots of the latter, and it is no use
setting them on a light, dry soil, as the roots being confined to a
small area of unsuitable soil, will make a feeble growth and finally die
outright; or, if in an exposed situation, blow over. Most all the
varieties may be grown as dwarfs. The Angouleme and Clairgeau, both good
market varieties, cannot be successfully grown in any other way."

Recently Mr. M. B. Waite has written me the letter quoted below, giving
some conclusions from his experience with dwarf pears in Anne Arundel
County, Maryland. He says:

"I planted out 1,000 dwarf pear trees nine years ago. They were largely
Duchess (Angouleme), but there are some Manning, Howell, Anjou, Louise
Bonne and Lawrence. I have not been entirely satisfied with the results.
We have not had the proper quantity of fruit. There has been some fruit
every year since the fourth year, and two years ago there was quite a
good crop, but nothing to compare with the yield per acre of Kieffer,
LeConte and Garber, for instance. Of course, these are higher-priced
fruit and large yields are not required for good returns. Only the
Duchess and Manning, however, have produced sufficient to pay at all,
and the orchard has not as yet really paid financially. We have a nice
crop this year, however, more than the total yield up to this season,
and perhaps from now on we may win out. My dwarf pears are on a soil too
dry and sandy for the best results, and I think we are at Washington
pretty near the southern limit, at least at low altitudes. In the
mountains of Virginia and North Carolina they can be grown further
southward. They require a moist, preferably clay-loam soil even in their
naturally favored districts, such as New England, New York and Michigan,
but such a soil is still more desirable when rather too far south for
their normal range. They require high culture, manuring and fertilizing,
and thorough pruning and spraying in any locality, and these
requirements are still more exacting in Maryland. A slight neglect in
cultivation, pruning or spraying in one season results in a mass of
blooms the next spring, but little or no fruit set. Of course, this
extra attention which has to be devoted to dwarf pears as compared with
Oriental pears, peaches, apples, etc., to be profitable should result in
larger yields, but does not usually do so in this latitude. On the other
hand, we may say in favor of the dwarf pear that the quince root is a
healthy, reliable root for the pear tree; that the trees attain their
seasonal growth early, and therefore are not as susceptible to pear
blight as standard pears. Furthermore, they are more easily sprayed,
pruned, and otherwise handled than the high standard trees."

My friend, Mr. J. W. Kerr, of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, who owns
one of the oldest and most picturesque orchards of dwarf pears I ever
saw, says that Angouleme (Duchess) is the only variety that pays for
growing in that form.

Thus the experience of many men in many parts of America sums up as we
began. The conclusion of the whole matter seems to be about this: Dwarf
fruit trees have not yet played any prominent role in American
commercial horticulture; but they have been profitable in a few special
cases, and the probability seems strong almost to the point of certainty
that, with the development, refinement and specialization of our
commercial fruit growing, a wider field of usefulness will be opened for
dwarf trees. In the realm of amateur fruit growing, on the other
hand,--a realm now daily widening,--dwarf fruit trees are of capital
importance. The owners and renters of small grounds, the cultivators of
little gardens--the great majority of American home-makers, in
fact,--will find in them an unfailing source of pleasure, inspiration,
and even of profit.



  Advantages of dwarf trees, 8

  Apple, propagation of, 23

  Apples, 63

  Apples, recommended varieties, 72

  Bailey, H., quoted, 120

  Barry's "Fruit Garden," 119

  Bismarck apple, 7

  Boundary fences, 16

  Bush fruits, 99

  Commercial value, 20

  Cordon trees, 46

  Currants, 101

  Definition of dwarf tree, 1

  Designs for fruit gardens, 53, 55, 59, 61

  Disadvantages of dwarf trees, 18

  Double-working, 27

  Doucin apple, 26

  Dwarf tree, definition, 1

  Early bearing, 8

  Erwin, A. T., quoted, 29

  Expense of dwarf trees, 18

  Fertilizers, 54

  Fillers in orchards, 13

  Forms for trees, 41

  Gooseberries, 101

  Heading young trees, 32

  Houses for dwarf fruits, 107

  J. W. Kerr, quoted, 124

  Lodeman, E. G., quoted, 119

  Longevity of dwarf trees, 19

  Management of dwarf trees, 51

  Management of trees in pots, 109

  Nectarine, propagation of, 28

  Nursery management, 31

  Paradise apple, 24

  Peach, propagation of, 27

  Peaches, 83

  Pear, propagation of, 26

  Pears, 76

  Pears, recommended varieties, 81

  Personalia, 112

  Pinching, 35

  Plum, propagation of, 28

  Plums, 90

  Plums, recommended varieties, 97

  Pots for fruit trees, 106

  Propagation, 22

  Pruning apple trees, 68

  Pruning dwarf trees, 33

  Pruning peach trees, 86

  Pruning plum trees, 92

  Pyramid tree, 42

  Quality of fruit, 10

  Root pruning, 36

  Sand cherry, 30

  San José scale, 10

  School gardens, 15

  Selection of varieties, 60

  Suburban places, 12

  Tillage, 54

  Training in special forms, 38

  Trellises for trees, 58

  U-form trees, 44

  Uses for dwarf trees, 12

  Waite, M. B., quoted, 122

  Walls and fences, 15

  Walls for dwarf trees, 57

  Wood, E. W., quoted, 122



In the plain-text version of this ebook italics are indicated by

Obvious typographical errors in spelling and punctuation have been
corrected without comment. One example of an obvious typographical error
is on page 124 where the word "an" was changed to "on" in the phrase
"... on the other hand...." Other than obvious typographical errors, the
author's original spelling, punctuation, hyphenation and use of accents
has been left intact with the following three exceptions:

     1. On page 92 a hyphen was added to the term "one-half".

     2. In the Index (page 125) an accent mark was added in the term:
     "San José scale".

     3. In the Index (page 125) the entry "J. W. Kerr" was changed to
     "Kerr, J. W." to correspond with other similar entries.

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