CHAP. 21.—TREES PROPAGATED FROM LAYERS.
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.
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.
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
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
propagated by layers and from seed.