The Magazine of Horticulture 25: 20-24 (Jan. 1859)
THE ROSE.—No. 6.*
PROF. C. G. PAGE, M. D., WASHINGTON, D. C.

* Continued from Vol. XXIII., p. 204.

PROPAGATION BY BUDDING.—A diversity of opinion exists as to the value of budded Roses, but the weight of authority is decidedly in favor of the practice of budding, subject of course to a proper selection of stocks and buds and judicious aftermanagement. Indiscriminate budding may well bring the practice into disrepute, and it should be the care of the rose grower to observe the relative habits of growth between the bud and stock, and practice accordingly. Some contend that as a general rule budded trees and shrubs arc not so long-lived as seedlings or as those on their own stocks; and if there be anything in this opinion it ought to apply with force to the rose, for it docs not, when budded, grow over and become continuous and entire with the stock so readily as many other shrubs. If the union of the bud and stock be imperfect there cannot be that integrity of the plant necessary to insure strength and duration, but if the union be perfect I see no reason why the plant should not live as long as if it were on its own roots.

A seedling plant is in itself a perfect and normal organization, while plants raised by the artificial methods, including, perhaps, suckers and offsets, may be considered as abnormal, and to some extent imperfect; and probably we should prefer to raise our roses from the seed if practicable, provided we could be sure of the reproduction of the identical or good varieties, and I should much prefer the stock of a seedling upon which to bud, provided it were of a suitable variety. Every cultivator must have noticed the difference between the roots of seedling plants and those raised from layers and cuttings; those from seedlings having more numerous fibres than the others, and it is not improbable that we may yet find some good seed-bearing- stock, superior even to the Manetti, which will reproduce its kind with as much certainty as the Sweetbrier and the Dog rose. One fact seems to be beyond dispute, that a bud rarely does well upon a stock with meagre roots; and doubtless the cause of the frequent failures of standards and half standards is as often to be found in a deficit of roots as in anything else.

Proceeding upon this assumption, seven years since, I set out three strong stocks of Sweetbrier, and, when these had become thoroughly established, they were budded five feet from the ground, two with Marquis Bocella, and one with Giant of Battles. They are now, in the hot climate of Washington, after a severe test of five hard years, fine standards. "Our hot sun" has generally been considered the sole cause of the failure of standards, and as this seemed to me an unsatisfactory reason, I tried the following experiment: A six-feet standard was set out, protected for the entire length of the stem or trunk by a wooden frame or box, open on the north side, so that no sun could reach it. It flourished for one season and died the next. The truth of the matter seems to be, that if an active circulation be maintained in the stock by a flourishing head and an abundance of roots the sun cannot injure the stock to the extent supposed; nevertheless, taking into account all the vicissitudes of heat, cold, droughts and high winds of our climate, low budding is the safer method, and generally the lower the better.

It is unfortunate that standards, beautiful as they are, have suffered unmerited discredit with amateurs, and the principal cause is to be found in the fact that a large proportion of the standards imported from Europe perish in a few months after being planted out, and very few survive so as to make good heads. These standards, as they come to our market, present huge tall stocks, generally of the dog rose, with a small disproportioned head and a few naked roots, free from small fibres, and, added to these defects, the careless exposure of their roots by those engaged in the rose traffic leaves them but a small chance for life when set out. The rose is very sensitive to the exposure of its roots, even when in its most dormant state, and a want of attention to this point is the cause of the failure of imported roses generally.

The kind of budding generally preferred for the rose is that known as the T budding. This is expeditious, and succeeds well, but the best practice for the rose is the anchor-budding discovered by myself, and described, several years since, in the Philadelphia Florist. It consists simply in making the cross incision obliquely downwards upon both sides of the vertical incision. Mr. Rivers, some years since, recommended the cross incision to be made obliquely in one direction, thus, , but the anchor budding, though apparently a slight departure from the old T and the Rivers' mode, is yet very distinct from either, and involves a mechanical advantage never before recognized in the operation of budding. The incision is represented thus . Every one must have noticed the following difficulty while budding upon the T or the Rivers' method. After the bark is cut, the cut portions tend to keep their natural positions, close against the stem, and in pressing them out so as to admit the shield of the bud the bark is frequently torn. If the wood is left in the shield, (which is not good practice with the rose,) it can be used as a sort of wedge to force its way down between the detached bark and the stock. But where the wood is removed the shield is too tender to be used as the tool or instrument for such work, and is apt to be bruised in the attempt. Bungling, clumsiness and delay are fatal to budding operations; and to insert a rose bud properly the wood should be removed from the shield, and the cut portions of the bark of the stock should so stand out from the stock at the cross incision as to admit of the prompt and easy insertion of the bud. When the wood is removed from the shield the union of the bud and stock takes place sooner than when the wood is left in, and the union is more perfect. In some works upon budding, it is recommended that, in removing the wood from the shield it should be stripped out from above downwards, but it will be found better to reverse the order with the rose, and commence the removal of the wood from the lower or thicker part of the shield.

It is not in place here to instruct in the details of budding, but in regard to the anchor-budding it may be said that the cross incision should be made at an inclination of about 45 degrees to the vertical incision. The peculiar advantage of this oblique incision is in the room which is left between the tips of the detached portions of bark and stock for the free and easy entrance of the shield of the bud, and the ease with which the tips are pressed outwards by the haft of the budding knife. A few experiments upon the several modes o. incision will satisfy one as to the value of this improved mode of cutting the bark, and perhaps it could not be better illustrated than by supposing the cross cuts to be made obliquely upwards, on both sides, instead of downwards, in which case the obtuse angles of bark made by this cut would render it difficult to enter a bud without at the same time raising the bark with the haft of the budding knife.

As to the season for budding the rose, it is generally laid down too late by most writers. I have found that the earlier budding is done the better, and the best rule, as to time, is to bud whenever the bark of the stocks will separate readily. Buds of many roses, inserted in the last of May and early in June, will make a growth from three to six feet the same season. Budding may be done through the summer if the weather permit, and as late in the fall as the bark of the stock will separate. Buds which push readily, such as Giant of Battles, Lion of Combats, Enfant du Mt. Carmel, and Gloire de Dijon, should not be inserted late, as they are then apt to be winter killed. These kinds, inserted early, will generally make good sized bushes in one season.

A few remarks as to the kind of buds to be selected will close this number. To insure healthy strong growing plants, choose buds from vigorous shoots, and not wait for the shoots to bloom, to ripen or mature the buds, according to common impressions. In early budding, if a bud be taken, even in the tender and green state of the stem, it will grow speedily after insertion, although hardly discernible in the axil of the leaf. Buds from near the base of the shoots make strong plants, with abundance of wood, and buds towards the extremity of the slioots, arc more prolific of bloom. By observing these facts, in reference to the peculiar habits of the rose we are about to propagate, we can regulate to some extent the constitution of the plant, so as to attain a desirable medium of growth and bloom for the future plant.

No. 7 will embrace the Hybridization of the Rose.

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