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The Orange.

In pruning, the knife should be as little used as possible, if you wish them to bear. The southerly winds are very unfavorable to their growth, and parts opened by the knife admit the air, and kill the bloom. This tree is perhaps more infested by ants than any other; and the black contracted appearance of the leaves is much attributed to this insect. From this persuasion, which is pretty general, various methods have been tried to keep them off. Human ordure laid round the boll of the tree will prevent their appearing so long as it retains moisture, but not longer; tar has been applied round both the trunk and branches, and only answered while moist; yet a cure, if the ant be really inimical, is certain to be found, with little trouble, and without expence, in common suds from a wash tub, in which ley has been used. This wash should be laid well about the roots in the evening, when the ants have left the tree, which will be mostly the case, and in wet weather always so, and there need be little apprehension of their return next morning; a woollen bandage, dipped in oil, will also be found a preventative to their ascending the tree. This application, whenever ants appear, will have the desired effect; but whether


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these insects are injurious to the tree or not, is to be doubted upon this principle, namely, that the ant, being excessively carnivorous, is instinctively led to the orange tree in quest of the eggs, exuviæ, larvæ, &c. of some very minute insect, whose eggs are attached to the leaves by a glutinous substance, emitted by themselves in such quantity as to discolour the leaf, the pores of which being thus stopped, it becomes hard and tusky, and gradually closes. It seems impossible that this change should be produced by the ant: for if it even attacked or destroyed the blossom, this would not affect the leaves when the tree is not in bloom; and therefore it is rational to conclude that their changed appearance proceeds from some other cause, perhaps from some other insect, perhaps from the assaults of the weather, or some peculiarity in its soil or situation, or from a combination of these and other causes; in exemplification whereof it is worthy to be remarked, that a gardener in the Brickfields planted a number of seed sixteen years ago, all from the same tree; of which forty-four came up, and were all treated with equal care. None shewed fruit until about seven years since; when one produced about two-hundred oranges, and four or five others had from thirty down to ten or a dozen each. The following year the same trees were full; and afterwards others began to bear. This very great disparity in their time of bearing, keeping in mind at the same time that the seeds were from the same tree, all sown at once, and all equally well attended to, would be sufficient to excite astonishment, were we not to make allowance for the various causes that might have tended to accelerate or retard their growth.

The gardener himself says, that the chief of the defaulters


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were a good deal shaded from the sun by a range of peach trees, which depriving them of a great proportion of the warmth necessary to a fruit which thrives best in the hottest climates, he considers sufficient to occasion all the difference spoken of.

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