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Nature; too, has taught us the art of reproduction from layers. The bramble, by reason of its thinness and the exces- sive length to which it grows, bends downwards, and throws the extremities of its branches into the earth; these immediately take root again, and would fill every place far and wide, were it not that the arts of cultivation put a check to it; so much so, indeed, that it would almost appear that men are born for nothing else but to take care of the earth. Hence it is, that a thing that is in itself most noxious and most baneful, has taught us the art of reproduction by layers and quicksets. The ivy, too, has a similar property.

Cato1 says, that in addition to the vine, the fig, as well as the olive, the pomegranate, every variety of the apple, the laurel, the plum, the myrtle, the filbert, the nut of Præste, and the plane, are capable of being propagated by layers.

Layers2 are of two kinds; in the one, a branch, while still adhering to the tree, is pressed downwards into a hole that measures four feet every way: at the end of two years it is cut at the part where it curves, and is then transplanted at the expiration of three years more. If it is intended to carry the plant to any distance, it is the best plan to place the layer, directly it is taken up, either in an osier basket or any earthen vessel, for its better security when carried. The other3 mode of reproduction by layers is a more costly one, and is effected by summoning forth a root from the trunk of the tree even. For this purpose, earthen vessels or baskets are provided, and are then well packed with earth; through these the extremities of the branches are passed, and by this mode of encouragement a root is obtained growing amid the fruit itself, and at the very summit of the tree; for it is at the summit that this method is generally adopted. In this way has a bold and daring inventiveness produced a new tree aloft and far away from the ground. At the end of two years, in the manner already stated, the layer is cut asunder, and then planted in the ground, basket and all.

The herb savin4 is reproduced by layers, as also by slips; it is said, too, that lees of wine or pounded wall-bricks make it thrive wonderfully well. Rosemary5 also is reproduced in a similar manner, as also from cuttings of the branches; neither savin nor rosemary having any seed. The rhododendrum6 is propagated by layers and from seed.

1 De Re Rust. c. 51.

2 The French call cultivation by layers "marcotte," as applied to trees in general; and " provignage," as applicable to the vine. The two methods described by Pliny are still extensively practised.

3 Taken from Cato, De Re Rust. c. 133.

4 The Juniperus sabina of Linnæus: see B. xxiv. c. 61. It produces seed, and there is only one variety that is barren; the plant being, in reality, diœceous.

5 The rosemary, in reality, is a hermaphroditic plant, and in all cases produces seed.

6 See B. xvi. c. 33.

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