The Clergy-Man's Recreation pp. 49-51 (1714)
(Rector of Bishop Wearmouth.)


*To bend and intertwine (branches, stems, etc.) so as to form a hedge.

There is no Tree requires the exact and careful Observation of those general Rules laid down so much as the Pear, which in free and rich Soils is apt to be unruly and ungovernable, running altogether into Wood, and luxuriant Branches. It is commonly too proud for a Wall, but yet for the sake of that Noble Fruit which some kinds produce, by the Help of a Wall, it is worth while to humble him and keep him in Order. For which purpose (besides what has been already said) I sometimes plash* the most vigorous Branches, cutting them, near the place from whence they Shoot, more than half through, which effectually checks its Vigor, and consequently renders it more disposed to make weaker Shoots and form bearing Buds. This method of Plashing is also of singular use, when you would avoid Barrenness, and have only an aukward Branch to make use of to fill the Vacancy; For by this means you may reduce it to what Order you please, so as to answer your purpose and reward you with Fruit. But you are to take notice that this is not to be practised on any Tree but the Pear and Plum; the Trial would be too dangerous on the Peach or Apricot, because they would be apt to put out Gum at those places, and so endanger killing the whole Branch.

I am aware that many recommend Grafting the Pear on a Quince-stock, which indeed effectually cures too great Luxuriancy and Growth, and may for a time answer the purpose of bearing quickly (which therefore may make it worth while for them that have a great deal of room to have some of these) but they are not long-lived, do not bear such fair large Fruit, nor make such handsome regular Trees, as those Grafted on a Pear-stock, which I therefore chuse to recommend to all those, who have not room to try doubtful Experiments.

You will easily distinguish the bearing Buds of a Pear-tree, as soon as the Leaves are off in November, which are much fuller and more swelled than Others, which is to be carefully minded that you do not cut them off in your Pruning. All false Wood, or, as others call them, Water-shoots are to be taken away, being easily distinguished by their having Eyes at much greater distance than ordinary from one another: These are found in most vigorous Trees, especially Peaches. The Cock-spur is also to be taken off, viz. The Extremity of the last Years Pruning. It is to be managed as the Peach in the Summer.

Girdling, Ringing, Binding