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The medical treatment of trees in a great degree resembles that of man, seeing that in certain cases the bones of them both are perforated even.1 The bitter almond will become sweet, if, after spading round the trunk and cleaning it, the lowermost part of it is pierced all round, so that the humours may have a passage for escape and ensure being removed. In the elm, too, the superfluous juices are drawn off, by piercing the tree above ground to the pith when it is old, or when it is found to suffer from an excess of nutriment. So, too, when the bark of the fig is turgid and swollen, the confined juices are discharged by means of light incisions made in a slanting direction; by the adoption of which method the fruit is prevented from falling off. When fruit-trees bud but bear no fruit, a fissure is made in the root, and a stone inserted; the result of which is, that they become productive.2 The same is done also with the almond, a wedge of robur being employed for the purpose. For the pear and the service tree a wedge of torch-wood is used, and then covered over with ashes and earth. It is even found of use, too, to make circular incisions around the roots of the vine and fig, when the vegetation is too luxuriant, and then to throw ashes over the roots. A late crop of figs is ensured, if the first fruit is taken off when green and little larger than a bean; for it is immediately succeeded by fresh, which ripens at a later period than usual. If the tops of each branch are removed from the fig, just as it is beginning to put forth leaves, its strength and productiveness are greatly increased. As to caprification, the effect of that is to ripen the fruit.

1 He alludes to the medical operation for the removal of carious bones, described by Celsus, B. viii. c. 3.

2 This is still done by some persons; but it can be productive of no beneficial result.

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