The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841


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Biggar. Mr. Cree's mode of pruning trees we have already done justice to in p. 34.; and, as it is now being very generally discussed in the gardening newspapers, and apparently as generally approved of, we hope it will soon be adopted in all plantations the object of which is to have as much of the timber produce as possible in a straight trunk. We call this mode of pruning Mr. Cree's, without enquiring whether something like it may not have been practised by Mr. Billington or others, because Mr. Cree first reduced it to a regular system. It must not be forgotten, that where ornament is the object, or, in other words, where trees are to be encouraged to assume their natural shapes, neither Mr. Cree's mode of pruning, nor any other of a similar nature, should be adopted with young trees. We do not mean by this that ornamental trees are never to be touched with the knife or the saw: on the contrary, all dead branches we would cut off close to the bole; when a tree offered a partial exclusion of a desirable view, we would cut off part of its branches; when it showed all branch and no stem, appearing like a gigantic shrub, we would confer dignity on its expression by showing part of the trunk; and, above all, when it stood near a building, we would, if necessary, remove branches in such a manner as to improve its effect as part of the group to which it belonged, to prevent it from obscuring too much of the house as seen from without, and too much of the exterior scenery as seen from within. The question, in these and similar cases, that we should ask ourselves is: Supposing the tree, and the landscape or group of which it forms a part, were sketches on paper, instead of realities, how should we improve them ? We cannot leave Biggar without expressing our regret that Mr. Cree is not more generally employed. If some of the principal proprietors throughout the country would employ Mr. Cree to inspect their young plantations two or three times a year, the cost to them would be a mere trifle, for Mr. Cree only charges half a guinea a day; while the benefit to the proprietor, directly by the improvement of his plantations, and indirectly by the knowledge gained by his forester, would be great in proportion to the extent of his plantations.