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On the other hand, there are some trees which have the property of never degenerating, in whatever manner they are reproduced, the cypress, palm, and laurel,1 for instance: for we find that the laurel is capable of being propagated in several ways. We have already made mention2 of the various kinds of laurel; those known as the Augustan, the baccalis, and the tinus3 are all reproduced in a similar manner. The berries are gathered in the month of January, after they have been dried by the north-east winds which then prevail; they are then kept4 separate and exposed to the action of the air, being liable to ferment if left in a heap. After this, they are first seasoned with smoke, and then steeped in urine, preparatory to sowing.5 Some persons put them in baskets of osier, and tread them down with the feet in running water, until the outer skin is removed, as it is found that the moisture6 which they contain is detrimental to them, and prevents them from germinating. A trench is then dug, about a palm in depth, and somewhere about twenty of the berries are then put into it, being laid in a heap: this is usually done in the month of March. These kinds of laurel admit of being propagated from layers also; but the triumphal7 laurel can be reproduced from cuttings only.

All the varieties of the myrtle8 are produced in Campania from the berry only, but at Rome from layers. Democritus, however, says that the Tarentine myrtle may be re-produced another way.9 They take the largest berries and pound them lightly so as not to crush the pips: with the paste that is thus made a rope is covered, and put lengthwise in the ground; the result of which is that a hedge is formed as thick as a wall, with plenty of slips for transplanting. In the same way, too, they plant brambles to make a hedge, by first covering a rope of rushes with a paste made of bramble-berries. In case of necessity, it is possible at the end of three years to transplant the suckers of the laurel and the myrtle that have been thus re-produced.

With reference to the plants that are propagated from seed, Mago treats at considerable length of the nut-trees-he says that the almond10 should be sown in a soft argillaceous earth, upon a spot that looks towards the south-that it thrives also in a hard, warm soil, but that in a soil which is either unctuous or moist, it is sure to die, or else to bear no fruit. He recom- mends also for sowing those more particularly which are of a curved shape like a sickle, and the produce of a young tree, and he says that they should be steeped for three days in diluted manure, or else the day before they are sown in honey and water.11 He says, also, that they should be put in the ground with the point downwards, and the sharp edge towards the north-east; and that they should be sown in threes and placed triangularly, at the distance of a palm from each other, care being taken to water them for ten days, until such time as they have germinated.

Walnuts when sown are placed lengthwise,12 lying upon the sides where the shells are joined; and pine nuts are mostly put, in sevens, into perforated pots, or else sown in the same way as the berries are in the laurels which are re-produced by seed. The citron13 is propagated from pips as well as layers, and the sorb from seed, by sucker, or by slip: the citron, however, requires a warm site, the sorb a cold and moist one.

1 Because the mode of cultivation adopted has little or no influence upon them. The palm, however, to bear good fruit, requires the careful attention of man. It is not capable of being grafted.

2 In B. xv. c. 39. The laurel may be grown from cuttings or shoots, and from seed.

3 Known as the Laurus tinus, or Viburnum tinus of Linnæus.

4 This is not done at the present day, as it is found that the oil which they contain turns rancid, and prevents germination.

5 These methods of preparation are no longer employed.

6 It is for this reason, as already stated, that they should be sown at once.

7 See B. xv. c. 39. He there calls it "sterilis," "barren."

8 See B. xv. c. 37. The myrtle reproduces itself in its native countries with great facility, but in such case the flowers are only single. Where a double flower is required, it is grown from layers.

9 No better, Fée says, than the ordinary method of making a myrtle hedge.

10 The almond requires a dry, light earth, and a southern aspect.

11 These precautions are no longer observed at the present day.

12 This precaution, too, is no longer observed.

13 The citron is produced, at the present day, from either the pips, plants, or cuttings.

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