"How Trees Are Dwarfed in Japan" from Brooklyn Daily Eagle

      "How It Is Done" (1898):

       "A new horticultural fad, which very few but the wealthy can indulge in, is being introduced into this city from Japan, and is meeting with great favor by the owners of private conservatories.  This is the accumulation of dwarf evergreen trees, ranging in age and size from a plant one hundred years old and two and a half feet high to a plant five years old and two inches in height.  These miniature trees are perfect in shape and detail, with knotted trunks and twisted limbs, and to the lover of art are strikingly beautiful.  The dwarfing of these trees could be done in this country as well as in Japan, if the horticulturists were possessed of the proper amount of patience.  When a Japanese gardener starts out to dwarf a few trees he plants several hundred seeds, and as soon as the green sprout appears above the ground the patient gardener starts to cut away a couple of root tendrils by probing beneath the ground.  This is done with every plant.  Many of them die, but those that survive are still denuded of their tendrils as fast as they can stand it.  Oftimes [sic] the work of dwarfing a crop properly lasts twenty years and the task is handed down from father to son.  Perhaps out of the whole crop not over a dozen will survive the heroic treatment, but the plants that do live are rarely beautiful and correspondingly costly. -- Philadelphia Record"  1


1     Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 1, 1898, pg. 8

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