A smothering straw-fire should be made early in October, in calm weather, under each tree, and kept up during an hour or more. This done, scrape the moss and other impurities from the trunk, and from every obscure hole and corner set your ladders to the branches, carefully cleaning them in the same way, taking from the remaining leaves every web or nidus of insects. If need be, wash the trunk, and all the larger wood with a solution of lime and dung. Last of all, it is necessary to destroy the insects or eggs, which may have dropped upon the ground, and it may be useful to loosen the soil in the circumference. In the spring, or early blighting season, apply your ladders, make a careful survey of every branch, and act accordingly; repeat this monthly, picking off all blights by band, and using the water-engine, where ablution may be necessary. To those who have fruit, or the market profit thereof, every orchard or garden, little or great, will amply repay such trouble and expense.
Trees newly transplanted, in general, escape its attack, when other trees, of the same kind of fruit, grown in the same situation, are nearly destroyed. Peach and nectarine trees should be dug up once in every five or six years, and replanted with fresh mould. By this method, a larger quantity of fruit of a superior kind will be obtained. The covering of trees with mats, by almost totally depriving them of light, has a tendency to create blight, which often attends an excess of heat or cold.
Washing the branches with quick-lime will preserve the trees from blight, and insure a crop those which escape washing suffer from the blight whilst the others produce a good crop.
Rub tar well into the bark of the apple-trees about four or six inches wide round each tree and at about one foot from the ground. This effectually prevents blight, and abundant crops are the consequence.
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