Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/852

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836

��Popular Science Monthly

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��The portion of the grafted branch below the lowest graft union is still living and laying on wood rings annually. The graft has outdis- tanced the mother tree and most of the other trees of the locality in its growth

��The Cut Branch Did Not Die. It Grafted Itself and Lives

IN the accompanying illustration is shown an unusual graft of two branches of a white pine tree, now com- pletely severed from each other at the original point of union, but both still in a thriving condition because of a num- ber of graft-unions along the twin trunks. The tree stands near Mont Alto, Pennsylvania, where a large charcoal iron furnace was formerly operated. In 1882 a laborer at the furnace was in- jured, and in accordance with the then prevalent belief, a companion laborer immediately set out to procure a supply of fresh white pine tree pitch with which to treat the wound. He selected the tree under discussion and cut therefrom a number of large chips at a point about three feet from the ground where the tree divided into two branches. The branch on the cut side of the tree was not completely severed at the time of the cutting, but in a few years the uncut portion rotted out and thus severed the one fork entirely from its original con- nection. To the astonishment of all who watched the development of this unusual tree, the severed branch con- tinued to live. Everyone, however, pre- dicted that this apparent condition of thrift could continue only for a short time. On the contrary, the top of the severed (dependent) branch, thirty-five years after the original cutting, is now growing more rapidly in height than the rooted branch. The following figures " show the annual height growth of both branches during the past decade:

��Year 1916

1915 1914 1913 1912 1911 I9IO 1909 1908 1907

��Total 131 91

The portion below the lowest graft union, which begins eight feet above the free end and extends along it for five feet four inches, is still living and laying on a ring of wood each year down to the point where the man's hand rests.

��Height Growth in Inches

�Severed Branch

�Rooted Branch

�10

�5

�14

�10

�IO

�9

�4

�11

�16

�7

�8

�10

�6

�6

�14

�9

�19 •

�12

�30

�12

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