Walter Nicol.

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Thinning, however, as ftated laft month, may
now be carried on, efpecially in cafes where Birch,
Mountain-Am, Willow, and Spanifli Chefnut,
are the trees to be removed, and which are to be
barked. The thinning out of the Oak is to be
fufpended till May; which fee.


March,'} WOODS AND COPSES. 301


IN the preceding month, dire&ions were given
for planting mixed Copfes. Whatever more of fuch
work remains to be done, it ought not now to be
delayed, unlefs on account of the too damp ftate
of the land. The drought of this month is ge-
nerally very intenfe : Intervals of a few days may
therefore be expecled, when the damp of the
wetted of the pits will be entirely dried up. Thefe
favourable times (hould be embraced with avidity,
for the purpofes of planting.

In the laft month we noticed, that the operation
of cutting Coppice- wood of Birch, &c. fhould go
on. If there is (till any work of this kind to per-
form, it mould forthwith be done.


In the event of fowing copfes, either of Oak,
or of a mixture of kinds, in grafs land which hag
barely been prepared by pitting, like ordinary
plantation, it would be proper to defer the work

i till


till next month. One fpecial reafon for deferring
the fowing of acorns till April, is, that they may
be the more perfectly fecured from the ravages of
field-mice. If the lowing of oats and other grains
be going on in the adjoining fields, thefe vermin
will be drawn that way, and will continue to live
upon the grain as long as pofTible ; but, were the
acorns firft put into the ground, a vafl quantity
of them might be deftroyed.

Lands which have been prepared by fallow have
noc fo much harbourage for thefe vermin. Such,
therefore, may be fown at this time. It is gene-
rally proper, previous to fowing, to give the land
a drefling of fmall dung ; to plough it neatly in >
and harrow all flat.

No feeds which require two years for vegetat-
ing, mould be fown in mixed copfes, or, indeed,
in any fpecies of plantation. It is much better to
fow them from the rot-heap in the nurfery, early
in the fpring in which they are to brier ; becaufe
they will make far better moots fo treated, than
if the feeds were allowed to lye in the ground dor-
mant for a feafon. Befides, the care will be di-
minimed a whole feafon ; and the future cropping
with vegetables may be done with much more

The directions which have been given, under
the title Nursery, for fowing feeds there, will give
3 correct idea, both of the deepnefs and thicknefs




at which patches of Copfe-wood feeds are to be
fown. Thefe patches fhould be at fix feet diftance
from each other, both in the rows, and alfo be-
twixt them. They fhould be fo difpofed, as that
the patch in the one row mail be oppofite the
middle of the vacant fpace between the two
patches of the oppofite row, or in what is called
the Quincunx Order.

The eafiefi manner of performing this, is by a
chain marked at the proper diflances. Lock out
for the permanent angle of the field which i .;
nearefl the fquare, that is, which will bed corre-
fpond with an angle of 90; which being form-
ed, let the limbs of this angle extend themfelves
the whole extent of your field either way, which
can be eafily done by poles, a hand line, and a
hoe. Form a line parallel to the longed limb of
the angle, and at ten, fifteen, or twenty times
the diftance propofed for the rows of plants. Be-
gin at the other, or fhorteft limb of the angle,
and meafure on each of the above lines the dif-
tance of the propofed line of patches; which mark,
by flicking up a fmall pin eight or nine inches
long. Thefe two lines may be fo marked through
their whole length. Then ft retch the chain over
the firft two equidiftant pins, and produce the
line till the proper point be exaclly marked upon
the above mentioned longeft limb of the angle.
While doing this, you go along the chain, and

f o w

304 WOODS AND COPSES. [Afara/.

fow or plant the patches, as their nature requires.
Of Chefnuts and Acorns there may be three good
feeds in a patch, placed fo as to form an equilateral
triangle, whofe fides mall be feven inches in length ;
and the fmaller feeds may be fcattered over a fpace
of the fame fize. Having fmifhed this line of
patches, ftretch the chain over the next two pins,
taking care that the exaft half of a divifion be
meafured from the foremen tioned line or limb
of the angle. Proceed to fow at the marks in
this manner ; making the third line like the firfl,
the fourth like the fecond, and fo on to the end.
And thus, the field will be fown in the beft man-
ner poflible ; the plants will each occupy their
allotted circle ; and the future operations of
ploughing will be performed with, far greater
eafe and perfection.

In order that this fubjeft may be the better un-

derftood, we mall here give a diagram, illuflrative
of the mode of fowing Woods and Copfes now re-
commended in ground prepared by the plough.


A, The permanent angle of the field neareft to
an angle of 90.

A B, AC, The limbs of the angle extended
the whole length of the field.

D, The longeft limb of the angle.

E, The line formed parallel to the longeft limb
of the angle.

. The pins denoting the diftances between the
rows of the patches,
o The patches.



Woods and Copfes, of whatever kind, fhouid
be carefully examined at this time. Thofe that
were fown a feafon ago with fmall feeds, fuch as
Birch or the like, and which rofe very thick, mould
be thinned out, as directed for rearing two-year
feedlings in the nurfery. And fuch as have been
two years fown, and thinned out in the fpring of
laft year, may now be thinned put to ftand at the
diftances formerly recommended for planting A-
corns and Chefnuts. We may here again obferve,
that upon no account whatever are thefe patches
to be eafed with a fpade, on pretence of majdng
the work of thinning more practicable. The fu-
perfluous plants mufl be pulled out by main force,
being careful to leave the bed formed and mod
promifmg plants, and to diflurb thofe left as little
as poflible. At the fourth feafon after fowing,
the plants fhouid be finally thinned out to fmgle
trees ; obferving to leave the fineft plants, i. e.
fuch as are beft formed, and mofl promifing in
their appearance.


March."] WOODS AND COPSES. 307


The laft year's fown Copfes which were crop-
ped with potatoes, may now receive a furrow to
prepare the land for the reception of Lettuce
feeds, or for fuch plants as are intended for the
crop. The ploughing mould not come quite clofe
to the patches, for fear of disturbing their roots,
or expofing them to too much drought during the
enfuing fummer.

The land may be prepared among young woods
of the above defcription by the plough, till the
plants rife to the height of eighteen inches, when
ploughing mould be difcontiriued. Afterwards,
the land mufl be prepared by the fpade 5 or, per-
haps, it may better be fown down with grafs feeds,
as recommended above, for young foreft planta-
tions this month ; which fee. Indeed, digging
among young Copfe woods after this time, will
be of little advantage to them, feeing that they
are now well eftablifhed ; and crops of clover
and grafs will be lefs hurtful than if the grounds
were left to chance for a crop, and they will be
much more ufeful.

TJ 9

FENCES. [Marcli.



THORN Hedges, which remain implanted,
fliould forthwith be done. Beech and Horn-
beam for nurfery or other melterers, fliould alfo
be completed.

All aquatic hedges and fcreens mould be fpeedi-
ly finimed. By this time cuttings will be apt to
part with the bark in planting ; care muft there-
fore be had, in the operation of planting, not to
pufli it off. Indeed, efpecially after the feafon is
fo far advanced, it is better to ufe the dibble for
cuttings, as advifed under this article for laft


Such works may now be carried on with great
propriety, becaufe it is to be expected that fe-
vere frofts are over for the feafon. Much more,


March.] FFNCE*. 309

however, is neceffary in making a good wall,
than the building of it after the froft is gone.
We have known many tradefmen, who, from their
ilovenly difpofition, have fpoiled good materials,
even in the midil of fummer weather. The build-
ing of walls is generally engaged for at fo much a
rood ; and it not urifrequently happens, that thole
who perhaps have the management or overfeeing
of the work, cannot detecl the imperfection of
the execution till it be too late. It is for the fake
of fuch perfons that we offer the following obferva-

In order to make durable walls, it is not only
neceffary to ufe lime, but to ufe it under proper
circumftances, and with fuch a proportion of fand
as is fit to make proper mortal* or cement, other-
wife we feek in vain to make durable walls. Pro-
perly prepared mortar in a wall is its bond of u*
nion, and the pledge of its durability. A wall
built with ill prepared mortar is not fo efficient as
a good dry-done dike,.

The mod profitable lime to be ufed for build-
ing, is fuch as requires the greateft quantity of
fand to a given quantity of time-shells, * to make
proper mortar.

Different limes, although of equal ftrength,
rnay require very different treatment in preparing
them for building with. We have known a lime
T vhich would have fallen to fine powder, on the

* Limestone.


application of water, although it had been feveral
months removed from the burning kiln ; while o-
thers that we have known, removed but a week
or two, would never after fall into powdery lime*
If, however, the latter fort had been inftantly re-
moved from the kiln while yet hot, and cover-
ed with fand before the application of water, it
would mod readily have falkn into as fine powder
as could have been defired. But no lime-mells
ever fall fo fpeedily as immediately after they are
removed from the burning kiln.

In order to prepare proper mortar for building,
it is neceffary to riddle the lime. This operation
is befl performed, as foon as the lime is cold after
watering. The cooling is greatly facilitated bj
turning. The time fpent in the operation of rid*
dling will be more than repaid by the greater
progrefs in building. Befides, the mafon will
not be obliged to tofs away the best particles of
the lime with the cinders, chips of {tones and the
like, which are to be found among even the clean-
ed; lime that has not been riddled.

The fand fhould alfo be riddled if neceffary.

If the lirne is of good quality, it will require
nearly 300 peunds of good fharp fand to a barlej
firlot of lime-shells.

The sand should be added to the lime while it
is in its powdery flate. They mould be intimate-
ly mixed" together, and afterwards thoroughly

drench d

March."] FENCES. 31*

drenched with water, and fo left in what is called
a souring heap for at leaft eight days before the
mortar is to be ufed in building ; but twice that
length of time would be dill better. When it is
to be ufed, it is not fufficient to add a quantity of
water to make it thin ; but it mud have a hearty
application of the back of the fpade or (hovel, by
fmart (trokes, fo as to break down the lime, and
unite it and the fand as completely as poflible.

The fand most proper to be ufed, is fuch as is
quite free from earthy particles. Sea fand, of
good grist, takes strong band, and is very pro-
per for walls and divifion fences. Pit fand, how-
ever, will be found better for houfe-walls ; be-
eaufe it does not attract the damp fo readily as the

We judge it unneceiTary, in this place, to fpeak
of any other kind of mortar than that compofed
of lime and fand, which is the best.

Good stones are an effential part of a good
wall. Such mould be ufed as are clean, i. e. not
eoated over with an earthy or clayey fubilance.
We have known (tones, of good quality in other
refpecls, fo foul, that walls built with them never
took band. Where there are none but foul
(tones to be had, the belt method of preparing
them, is by expofing them in a thin, loofe man-
ner, to the winter rains. The frofts may deftroy.
fome of the foftest of them ; but better have half


3*2 FENCES. [March*

the quantity properly prepared, than the whole

When the objeft is merely to procure a fence*
it is a matter of fmall moment what fort or varie-
ty of ftones be ufed, provided they be durable.
But where the wall is to be ufed alfo as a fruit-
wall, we would prefer a dark- coloured tvhinstone,*
of clofe texture, built with black mortar, even in
preference to any brick wall. The mortar for
fuch a wall can eafily be made black, by mixing
foot in working it, or when the lime is in a pow-
dery flate.

Circumftances and tafte muft regulate the height
of the wall. A fix-feet wall will, however, be
found the mod complete fence. The thicknefs
of a fix-feet wall, at the foundation, ought to be
twenty-four inches, and at the top eighteen. The
fame thicknefs at foundation and top, will anfwer
for a wall twelve or fifteen feet in height ; but,
when the wall is below fix feet in height, the
thicknefs may be reduced in proportion.

In the building of the wall, care muft be taken
that the ftones be laid upon their beds, and fo a
to take band in the moft perfect manner that the
materials will allow. The plan of fetting ftones
on edge ; of building up, as it were, two fkins,
and filling in probably loofe ftones, with a dafh
of a trowel-full of mortar on their top, cannot be
too much execrated or guarded againft ; and no-

* Greenstone and Basalt.



thing is more common, when walls are built by
the rood. The (tones of the wall mould, as of-
ten as pofiible, pafs from fide to fide of the wall,
and, at all events, mould have a hold from the
oppofite fide to within four or five inches of the
furface, or face of the wall, very frequently ; and
the heart of the wall mould be intimately and
clofely packed.

The coping of a wall is an article of confides
able importance. It mould be fo difpofed as to
turn the water off the wall. Two ftones placed
on their edges, fo as to have their under and out-
er furfaces flufh with the fides of the wall, and to
meet in a fharp point at top, form a good coping ;
but any other manner which tafte may fugged
will anfwer equally well, provided the water bo
turned off to the outfides of the wall, which is all
that is effential to good coping.

The fcorias, flags, or danders, to be found at
glafsworks, fak-works, and iron founderies, make
excellent coping, provided they be built with
good mortar ; indeed, lefs will be required to
build them with, than to dafh them after they are
laid together in the common way ; and the differ-
ence in durability is very great.


314 FENCES. \_MarcJi*


In fome cafes, the turfs for building top-dikes
with mortar of clay, as defcribed in January un-
der this article, may now be prepared ; in which
cafe, the dikes mould now be fet about. Build-
ing them at an earlier period might fubjec~l them
to deftruction by frofts, to which they would be
equally liable as Xvalls built with rnortar of lime.

If fine hard black peat can be readily procured,
and be built with mortar of clay, it will fland for
a great length of time.

The thicknefs and height of the above fpecie?
of top-dikes may be the fame as recommended for
top-dikes in January ; which see.


Jn fituations where ftone walls cannot be had,
or where they are not defired, and where hedges
are not to be introduced, walls may be formed of
iurf at little expenfe, and of considerable durabi-
lity. For this purpofe, the turfs Ihould be tough
and firm, fuch as are to be had in old grafs land.
It is only in fituations where the materials can be
procured, without expenfe of carriage, that fu<jh
Falls mould be attempted.



The turfs mould be cut nine inches fquare, and
m no greater quantities than can be built up on,
the fame day. Having provided turfs, ftretch, a
line for a convenient length where the wall is to
ftand. Along by it, place a row of the turfs, green
fide out, and the fame on the oppofite fide. Fill
up the vacant fpace between them with puddle, *
prefling it fo as not to difplace any of the turfs*
Allow this to dry a little, and then lay on other
two rows of turfs, adding puddle as before, and
fo on till it be at the defired height. Finim the
whole at top by a turf green fide out, and fo large
as to reach from fide to fide of the wall, and fo
as to be a little rounded in the middle.

A frame, the fize of the propofed wall, is necef-
fary to build by. Two feet and a half at bottom,
and two feet at top, will be a proper thicknefs
for a four-feet wall. If it be propofed to be high-
er, the thicknefs muft increafe. But walls of
thefe materials muft not be attempted very high,
If, however, moderate-fized walls, of four or five
feet highj be properly built as above, they will
(land for a great number of years.

* Puddle is prepared for such purposes from ri^h soft
irth, which is free of stones. It is wrought like mortir
for building j and should lye some weeks in a large
being wrought, before it be used.

FENCES. [March*


In fituations where none of the foregoing kinds
of Fences can be eafily procured, or where they
are not defired, fences of confiderable effect can
be formed by a ditch, with a hedge of Whins on
the top.

The ditch for this purpofe fhould never be lefs
than a fix-feet ditch, and is to be formed after the
manner recommended for ditching for Thorn
Hedges in January ; which fee. This is now a
fit time for fowing the whin feeds, which is done
by drawing a drill, with the corner of a hoe, a-
long the top of the ridge of earth thrown from
the ditch, as if for fowing fpinage, or about an
inch deep. The feeds are to be dropped in at one
half inch apart, and covered, by drawing on the
earth by the foot, or a garden rake.

In dividing lands of little value, two five feet
ditches, at fuch a diftance from each other as will
allow the earth thrown out in forming them to
make a pretty fteep ridge, and whin- feeds fown on
the top as above directed, will be found a cheap
and often an effectual fence, while the ditch will
prove a good drain.



April."] ' THE NURSERY. 319


I s ^
T is prefumed that all forts of deciduous feed-
lings have, by this time, been planted out. If
not, there is not a moment to be loft. Indeed,
it is very improper that any of the kinds, except-
ing, perhaps, the Afh, mould be fo long in being
planted out in the Nurfery. The methods of Lay-
ing and Planting have already been treated of in
February / which fee.


By the middle of this month, it will be proper
to lift and lay, or plant out, feedling Evergreen
trees ; as Firs, Hollies, Yews, Privets, and the
like. Evergreen feedlings mud be very different-
Jy treated from the Deciduous kinds. We re-


commended the lifting and fhoughing the latter ;
but no more of the Evergreens mufl be lifted at
once from the feed-bed, than can be planted out
in the fame day ; excepting in the cafe of bring-
ing them from a diftant nurfery, from which, as
foon as they arrive, they mould be fhoughed thin,
as advifed for the Deciduous feedlings in Febru-
ary. In lifting Evergreen feedlings, they mould
be as little fhaken as poflible, in order to retain a
good portion of the mould in which they grew,
adhering to their roots. Indeed, the more they
carry with them to their new fituation, the better
is their future progrefs fecured.


Thofe that are fit for laying out, are fuch as
have flood for two or three years in the feed-bed ;
if Scots Firs are allowed to fland a third year in
the feed-bed, they are good for nothing. In lift-
ing two-year feedling Scots Firs, they mould be
carefully eafed, as directed for two-year feedlings
in February ; to which we beg leave to refer the
reader, (p. 229.)

The diftances at which they mould be laid,
or planted, is twelve inches between the lines, and
three inches apart in the lines. Scots Firs mould
never ftand longer in the lines than one year after
planting, unlefs they are to be planted in very fine
i ground.

April.] TrfE NtfRSERY. 32 1

ground, when they may be allowed two years in
the lines : in this cafe, however, they mould not
ftand nearer to one another in the lines than fix
inches, and the above diitance between the lines.
Two-year feedling Scots Firs, of good growth,
one year planted out in good ground, rife with
far better roots in proportion to their tops, than
when of any other age, and are therefore more
fit for general ufe.

The Scots Fir feedlings mould never be laid
or planted out in poor land ; nor, if poffible, in
that which is ftiff or hard in its nature. Soft mel-
low ground which has been under a crop of po-
tatoes with dung the preceding feafon, will an-
fwer beft. If, however, it is not rich, it mould
flill at this time receive a dreffing of fmall dung ;
which will encourage the roots of the young plants
very much.

Lai/ing out Spruce Firs.

Spruce Firs, which have flood two years in the
feed-bed, being of good growths, may now be laid
out. If, however, the fpruces appear weak at two
years, and ftand thin in the beds, they may be
allowed another year ; by which time they must
be lifted, and planted out. They ought, like the
Scots firs, to be eafed by the fpade, and lifted
with great care, {baking the earth from the roots

X 31


as little as poffible. Land of the fame quality,
and prepared in the fame way as above directed
for the Scots fir, is required for the Spruce : It
may, however, be obferved, that the fpruces are
very fond of a humid rich earth j in fuch they
will make very rapid progrefs.

If the fpruces are intended for one year nur-
fing, to prepare them for being flitted into the
foreft, they mould be laid nine- inches between
the lines, and four or five inches apart in the lines;
But if they are to ftand two years in the lines,
they mould be twelve inches diftant between the
lines, and fix inches in the lines. If they are to
remain longer in the Nurfery, they mud be re-
planted after having flood in the lines for tw

Silver Fir.

Silver Firs mould be allowed two years in the
feed-bed before being tranfplanted into lines. If
they have rifen good plants, they mould not be
allowed 1 a third year in the beds ; indeed, they
mould fcarcely ever fland three years. The Silver
Fir naturally fpreads its infant branches abroad
upon the furface of the ground, and therefore re-
quires a greater fpace than the Spruces ; but, in
refpect to quality of foil, richnefs, and the like,
both require the fame. If two-year Silver Firs are


April] SILVER FIR. 3^3

to be nurfed only one year, they may be put in at
nine inches between the lines, and fix inches be-
tween the plants in the lines : But if they are to
be nurfed for two years, they fhould be fifteen
Inches apart between the lines, and eight inches
m the lines.

Balm of Gikad Fir*

Balm of Gilead Firs fhould be treated, in all
refpedts, as above advifed for the Spruce Firs.

Weymouth Pine.

Weymouth Pines fhould never be allowed more
than two years in the feed-bed ; and they fhould
not be tranfplanted fooner. They require a very
well pulverized and rich foil for being tranfplant-
ed in ; and if it can be had of a fub humid na-
ture, they will thrive the better. The Weymouth
Pine fhould be nurfed two years before being
planted out into the foreft. Twelve inches be-
tween the lines, and eight inches apart in the
lines, will be found the belt diftances at which to
plant them in the Nurfery.


Pinafters generally rife to well-fized plants
the firft year after fowing, and fhould then be
X 2 planted


planted out hi line. If Pinafters be allowed two
years in rhe feed-bed, they become fo tall and
ilender, and withal have fo poor roots, that they

Online LibraryWalter NicolThe planter's kalendar; → online text (page 17 of 30)