The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Trees on Dutch Public Walks

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195. The plantations of trees for public walks, whether elms or limes, are admirably managed by the Belgians and the Dutch. A judicious writer in the Gardener's Magazine states, from his own observation, during a residence for some time at Brussels, that �these trees are always planted of a considerable size, from eight to ten feet high, and two or three inches in diameter; having been so ordered by previous transplanting, or digging round them in the nursery, as to have an abundant mass of roots. When planted out, the gardeners cut off the head, leaving either bare poles, or only a few twigs; thus at once insuring the future vigorous growth of the tree, and dispensing with all need of stakes. After suffering the trees to grow untouched two or three years, all the branches are cut off below the strongest leading shoot, which is left to form the head of the future tree; and this in a few years becomes as straight and handsome as one not headed, and far more vigorous. In cases where it is impracticable to plant trees in their intended site at the proper season, they are transplanted in autumn in hampers of earth (as is sometimes practised in England with fruit trees); and these hampers are then sunk in trenches in the nursery, the tops of the trees being cut off, as in ordinary planting. When it is wished, in the ensuing summer, to transfer the trees thus treated to the place where they are intended to remain, each is transplanted along with its hamper into its destined hole, and can thus be safely removed, however hot the weather may be, without experiencing any check. In this way about 100 lime trees, from six to eight feet high, and about two inches in diameter, were planted on some ground adjoining the new stables of the Prince of Orange at Brussels, the latter end of June, 1826; and these trees, though not watered, never flagged during the subsequent period of hot weather. At the time of transplanting, their tops had made several strong shoots, and the points of the roots of many of them protruded through the interstices of the sides of the hampers. Nothing further was done than making each hole about twice the size of the hamper, and filling the space surrounding it with good loamy soil.� (Gard. Mag., vol. ii. p. 226.)