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retards their growth or destroys them.
Paint over when necessary the wounds of the preceding year's pruning.
During the summer, it is well to go round and close up the cracks in the wax, occasioned by the expansion of the wood.
See that the ground is well tilled the second year, but be careful not to plough so deep as to cut off large and important roots. This is not necessary. Keep the grass and sprouts away from the trunks, watch carefully for the borer, and you will need to pay but little more attention to your orchard for the second year.
Pruning the second year after grafting. More orchards are killed during this period of their renovation, than at any other. It should be very sparingly done. It is a great temptation after you see the scions well started, to trim off all the under-branches of the limb. But here lies your greatest danger. The leaves are the lungs of trees, and what few there are on the scion cannot take the place of all the branches, and elaborate all the sap in the limb. Congestion takes place, and the limb dies. Cut out such limbs as may interfere with the growth of the scion. Re-graft and fill out such stocks as may not have taken the previous year, observing to wax over all the scions of the last year where it is started off. A limb may often be saved by a little attention to this, especially where but one scion took the year previous. Follow up with your paint pot as on the previous years.
The third year. The operations of this year will be but a repetition of the previous year. Cut out a few more branches. Now and then the scions may have grown so large that the feeblest scion in the stock may be cut out, and the other so shaped as to form the future top of the tree. If two scions are left for several years, they out-grow the stock. When large branches have been cut, and new wood is forming over the wound, you can frequently assist nature by taking a chisel or a gouge, and a mallet, and cut out the old wood so as to give the new wood a better opportunity to turn in and cover the wound.
If you have had tolerable success, you will now begin to enjoy real pleasure in what you have done. Your Baldwins will begin to bear, the third and fourth years after grafting, and continue to bear more or less every year till they become well topped, when they will bear every other year. Your Blue Pearmains will not begin
to bear till several years later. The Hubbardston, Nonsuch, and Yellow Bell Flower, will also come into bearing very early. Your early varieties, and sweet apples, should be grafted near the buildings where they will be less exposed to plunder.
By careful attention a few days each year, an orchard may soon be made very productive and profitable. There are many orchards in this State that might be made as profitable as all the rest of the farm, which are now valueless. The orchardist should not be discouraged if a tree dies. Set another in its place. Change is stamped on everything, and apple trees are no exception.
You can now spread on a coating of lime, plaster and ashes, which will assist in the formation of the fruit.
With a very little attention from year to year, you may have an abundance of fruit, and anticipate an annual return (and a year soon rolls round,) for your investment. We mark a man's thrift quite as readily by the conspicuous appearance of his orchard as by anything else on his farm.
Loss ARISING FROM A SURPLUS OF HORSES.
By Seward Dill, Phillips. S. L. GOODALE, Esq., Secretary, Soc.
Dear Sir :-I have to acknowledge myself tardy in furnishing you, as requested by the Board, a report upon the topic above named. The work has proved itself a larger and more difficult one than I anticipated. Sometime ago, I wrote to the assessors of nearly all the towns and plantations in my county, and made verbal inquiries in the others, in order to obtain the statistics necessary to build upon. Answers have come to hand from four towns only, namely, Phillips, Madrid, Strong and Wilton. In justice to Weld, I will say that her officers were prompt to answer my call; but by a misfortune the answer was lost, so that it could not be brought into the reckoning. From the statistics of these four towns, I could do no better than to draw an estimate for the whole county.
Phillips, according to the inventory of last April, has four hundred and seven horses and colts, taking no account of any under a year old; Madrid. has eighty-three horses and colts; Strong has
one hundred and eighty-five; Wilton has three hundred and ninetyfour. The number in the four towns is 1,069. There are in the same towns, as shown by the returns of the last State election, one thousand and eleven voters. In the whole county, there are, by the same returns, four thousand two hundred and seventy-nine voters. Then as the voters in the four towns (1011) are to those in the county, (4,279,) so, we may assume, are the horses in the four towns (1069) to the number in the county---making this number about four thousand five hundred.
One half of these, (2,250,) I allow to be required to do the legitimate horse work of the county; one third of the remaining half, (750,) are in my proving, usurpers of the places which would be more adequately filled by oxen. The other two thirds of the remaining half, being one third of the whole, (1,500,) I put down as an absolute surplus—so much amount of dead capital.
These fifteen hundred horses, (nearly two thirds are horses, the other third being colts one year old and upwards,) I price at an average of fifty dollars each, giving a non-producing capital of seventy-five thousand dollars. The loss in interest on this capital, is four thousand five hundred dollars per annum. The yearly cost of keeping one horse, I reckon to be twenty dollars, making the annual loss in keeping, upon the whole number, thirty thousand dollars. The annual loss in shoeing upon the same, (allowing that one half need to be kept shod, and that three dollars will meet the yearly expense of shoeing one horse,) is two thousand two hundred and fifty dollars.
Supposing that only one third of this surplus number (500) are fitted out with their proper traveling gear, including harness, wagon and sleigh, their owners are subjected to an expense of about fifty thousand dollars to furnish the fittings, the fitting of each horse being valued at one hundred dollars, (harness fifteen dollars, wagon sixty dollars, sleigh twenty-five dcllars.) These fittings would last not longer than ten years; so that the annual loss in wear and tear of traveling gear, brought upon the county by its surplus of horses, is five thousand dollars. Each of the same five hundred horses, thus geared for travel, will take for its owner, at least two holidays a month-days spent by himself or his "fast young men,” in riding for pleasure, going to the village, &c., &c., which otherwise would
be passed in profitable labor upon the farm. Two holidays a month, would be twenty-four a year for each horse, and twelve thousand a year for the five hundred horses. Reckoning a dollar for each day, the annual loss to the county for time wasted by its surplus number of horses, is twelve thousand dollars. The sum of these items is fifty-three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars, which is all absolute loss. But there is relative loss as well, two items of which I proceed to indicate.
The capital vested in those fifteen hundred surplus horses, valueing them as above, at fifty dollars apiece, is seventy-five thousand dollars. Let this be laid out in cows at twenty-five dollars each, and we have three thousand in number. Each of these cows will bring to her owner, a net income of eight dollars per annum, making an annual income brought by the whole of twenty-four thousand dollars, and showing the same amount as an annual relative loss to the county from surplus of horses.
The other item comes from the fact, as stated above, that one sixth of all the horses (750) are kept to do the service which would be better done by oxen. Mr. N. Foster of Gardiner, in his essay on the comparative value of horses and oxen for farm labor, (see
Agriculture of Maine,” for 1857, page 92,) estimates the difference in value of a pair of oxen against that of a pair of horses, to be for twenty-four years, eleven hundred and eighty-three dollars. This would be about fifty dollars for one year. Then for the seven hundred and fifty horses—being three hundred and seventy-five pairs—the difference in favor of ox labor would be, eighteen thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars, which is the amount of relative loss to the county from surplus of horses.
The two items together, amount to forty-two thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars—relative loss.
Adding to this the sums before obtained, fifty-three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars—absolute loss; and we have an absolute and relative loss of ninety-six thousand five hundred dollars.
I suppose it to be not exactly an indispensable part of my work, either to go into any general remarks, or to take much pains in citing individual cases bearing upon my topic. Nevertheless, I venture to say, that it might not be very hard to find upon the field of my
survey, instances of extreme hardship and suffering endured by wives and helpless children, fairly chargable to this mania for keeping useless horses, sufficient to move deeply the sympathies of any philanthropist, and one would think sufficient to reform the practice of any horse worshipper not thoroughly brutalized.
These surplus horses are often very convenient—at any rate easily available--conveyances to take their riders into the haunts of rum and revelry. They frequently, in winter, are forced to stand shivering and starving out of doors, while the riders are burning their lives out within. I will name a single instance of the kind, which came within my knowledge, last winter. It happened in this county, not many
miles from this town: Six horses owned by one man or one family-rather, kept-for it is quite common for the horses in one man's possession to be mortgaged to another-died from habitual exposure to the chilling winter weather, hard driving, and lack of food, on occasions such as I have alluded to.
THE SOILING SYSTEM.
By Calvin Chamberlain, Foxcroft. S. L GOODALE, Esq., Secretary, foc.
Dear Sir:-You having wisely devoted considerable space in your report to the subject of stock husbandry as a leading pursuit in the State, and understanding, as I do, that the grasses and the hay crop is to be the prominent topic of the volume you may now have in hand, it seems to me a proper time to direct the attention of your readers to the important subject of soiling.
This is a comprehensive term that comes to us from the old countries of Europe; and means the keeping of cattle in stables and yards, all the year, with only a daily or an occasional liberty to ramble over small enclosures, as circumstances may admit.
This mode of keeping cattle has long been pursued in Germany, France, and other continental countries, and was thence introduced into England, where it has obtained very general adoption, and with profitable results. Many thorough and intelligent farmers of our own country are now practicing it on an extensive scale, with great and decided advantages.