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THE FARMER.

Pruning Trees. Deciduous trees, or those which lose their leaves during cold weather, ought to be pruned before the sap begins to rise. If pruned afterwards they will “ bleed ’ — that is, the sap will exude from the wound. Where there are many trees to be pruned, a selection should be made, taking those first which break out into bud earliest. First, perhaps, would be the almond; then the peach ; then the cherry. Last of all would be the mulbeny, which is so chary of putting forth its green mantle that it is said there can be no frost after the mulberry is in leaf. Every book upon priming, nearly, gives a different rule ; perhaps the safest rule is to cut no more than is necessary to keep the centre of the tree moderately open to allow enough of branches to shelter the stem in this hut climate, and to leave Nature to do the rest. As a rule trees are planted 100 closely together, and when the branches interlace, there is not enough play of air amongst the leaves in summer time. The ground beneath, if any way damp, is teaming with heat, and no doubt much injury results. Eighteen to twenty feet, at least, ought to separate each tree from its neighbor, and in pruning, if trees are closer than this, it would be advisable to prune off’ each second tree root and branch. There are always branches which are barren, and these may be cut out, as well as those which, by growing across the centre are liable to crowd it. Some of the old gardeners recommend severe cutting,‘back on every branch—shortening them —whilst some of the new lights say we should not prune at all. : A medium •course is most likely to be correct, except with some kinds of vines, which must be pruned close to the stock to ensure plenty of new wood. A Queer 10-Acre Field. An American paper says;—“ln Colorado there is a 10-acre field which is no more nor less than a subterranean lake covered with soil about 18 inches deep. On the soil is cultivated a field of corn, which produces 30 or 40 bushels to the acre. If any one will take the trouble to dig a hole the depth of a spade-handle, he will find it fill with water, and by using a hook and line fish four or five inches long can be caught. The fish have neither scales nor eyes, and are perch-like in shape. The ground is a black marl in its nature, and in all probability was at one time an open body of water, on which has accumulated vegetable matter, which has increased from time to time until now it has a crust sufficiently strong and rich to produce fine com, though it has to be cul' tivated by hand, as it is not strong enough to bear the weight of a horse. While harWiy: . the field hands catch great strings of fisß&y punching a hole in the earth. A person rising on his heel and coming down suddenly can see the growing corn shake all round him. Any one having the strength to drive a rail through the crust will find, on releasing it, that it will disappear altogether. The whole section of country surrounding this field gives evidence of marshiness, and the least rain produces an abundance of mud. But the question comes up. Has not this body an outlet ? Although brakish the water tastes . as if fresh, and is evidently not stagnant. Yet these fish are eyeless and scaleless, similar to those found in caves. ”

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THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, 25 October 1879

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