[1502] The Customs of London (Arnold’s Chronicle) – Richard Arnold

A collection of various passages chronicling a wide variety of pieces of information, regulations, charters, correspondence, recipes and general practices of the people of C16th London. First published in 1502, likely in Antwerp, Flanders.

fo. 164 – The Craft of Graffyng and Plantinge of Trees and altering of Frutis, as well in Colours as in Taste.

To graf frute that shal have no core. Take a graff and bowe {bend?}it in bothe endes combyng and kyt {cut?} bothe endis graf wyse and so fasten theym in the stoke {stock, trunk}, and if it growe soo wyth the tree, kyt away the grete {large?} ende and lete the smaller ende growe and his frute shall have no core.

Yf thou wyl make aplys redd, take a graf of an apyll tree and graf it in a stoke {stock, trunk} of elme or aller and it shal bere redde aplys.

Item another for the same: bore an hole in an appl’ tree to the pithe and tempir in water what colour thou wylt and then put in the hole and stop it w a pynne amd y appil shalbe of y same colour y thou puttist into the tree.

It is to be noted that every tree y is planted and set on Saint Lambert’s Daye {Apr 16th, Jun 19th or Sept 17th, depending} in to the erthe shall not perish but prove and come to profyght {profit}.

Yf thou wyl have a pere {pear} tree fulle of frute or ellis as moche {much} as it hath ben wonte to be before, tempyr {heat?} scamony {root of Convolvulus scammonia, Mediterranean bindweed} wyth water and putt it in to an hole that is percyd {pierced} to the pithe opf the tre and stoppe the hole w a pynne pf the same tree of off an other and it shal bere as it was wonte or moche more.

If thou wyl have y frute to smell lyke spyces of rygh {some sort of fish, possibly the ruffe or a ray (reihe)?}, other as muske bawme or other spyces, make on hole in lyke wyse in the tre and stoppe it ageyne and the frute shal smelle and savour {taste} after the spycis that thou puttest in to the tree.

Yf an olde tree begynne to waxe drye, in this wyse quicken hymm ageyne, see that the erthe that is aboute the roetis {roots} be donw away and cleve two or iij. {three} of the grettest roetis wyth an axe and putte a wedge off tree in to the cliving and hele the rotis ageyn wyth the same erthe. {Root pruning}

Another for the same: perce y tree thorugh wyth a percer crosse wyse or wyth a wymble and y strengeth of the tree shal begynne to waxe yoge.

Yf thou wyl have a frute tree that is sour to bee made to bee swete frute, delf {dig} the tree rounde aboute, and donge {manure} the rootis with pyggis done and so the frute shalbe made swete.

Item another for the same: make an hole in the sour tree wyth a percer to the pyth and in to the hole put water tempred with hony and stoppe the hole ageyne with a pynne of the same tree.

Yf thou wylt plante an almaunde tree or a walsh nott {walnut?} tree or a chery tree or a peche tree, put the kyrnels of whiche thou wylt in water iij. dayes and than putte many kernels togyder {together} in the erth or severelly and whan the sprynge {sapling} is growen outs and hath stopnde soo an hole yere, than take hym out of the grounde and sette them where thou wylt. And it is to be noted that every tree the branches must be cutt in setting tyme sauf {save, except} the peche tree whiche muste have his dry braunches kit onely.

Yf the peche tree begynne to drouke {droop, dry out?} ley hym be wel moysted at the rote w drests {dregs?} of wyne and the same moystyng shal kepe hym from shedyng of hsi frute, and some seyn that and the roets be moysted w water of the decokcien {decoction – extraction by mashing and boiling} of benes {beans}, it shall quyk {quicken} the tree gretly and yf he cast his frute or they be rype, make hols w a wymbl {augur, wood-working tool} in the roets and make pinys of wylowe {willow} and smyte them faste in, and y frute shal abyde on faste inough.

Yf an appyl tree begynne to rote {rot?} or yf the aplys begynne to wex rusty, than y barke of hym is syke {sick}, tha kyt with a kyf and late it be opened and whan the humour therof is some waht flowen, out lette donge hym wel and stoppe silygently his wounde wyth kley.

The quence tree all the tyme that he is abill to be tranlatyd he wolde be remeved every iiij. {fourth} yere and that shal make hym bere grete plente of frute afterwarde. {relocate quince trees every fourth year?}

The chery tree loveth cold eyer {air} and moyst groudne, but some chery trees ben full lykyng {preferring?} in hylly {hilly} places the best settyng of chery trees is in y moneth of Novembre and yf neede bee in the ende of Janiver {January}, and yf a chery tree roote {rots} in ony wyse make an hole wyth a grete persour {piercer, awl} under that rote, that the water that causeth the rottynge maye have yssue out, and it is to suppose this medecin be good for all maner of tres that begynne to rotte.

also it is good for all maner of trees than whan a bough is kyt away y place that is cutt be heled and covered wyth clay or some other defensable plaster for defence of the regne {kingdom, or rain?} that it make not the tree to rotte.

The planting of prunes, in colde and moyst placis is best in Feverell {February} and Marche, and the stones muste bee sette a hand breede {hand’s breadth} in the erthe and whan they have stonde soo an hole yere take up the springis {saplings} of they and sette them depper ion the grounds, and the stones must lye in water iij. {three} dayes or they bee sett.

The medlar wyl bere welle yf he bee plantyd, but graf hym in a white thorne called an hawthorne, and they wyll bere more plentuously.

Item it is to wet that wan y mone is in tauro {the moon is in Taurus} it is a good tyme to plate {plant} trees of greynes {seeds?} and pepins {pips?} and whan she is in cakro leone or libra {Leo or Libra} it is good wurch {work} in trees that bethe newe sprongen, and whan the mone is in vrgine {Virgo} it is good tyme to sowe alle maner of thingis. And from y middes of Septembre in to the myddes of Decembre is opene tyme off plantynde, and ryght soo from the myddes of Janiver to the myddes of Marche but yet in theis tymes it is good to chese whan the mone is v. vi. vij. viij. or ix. dayes befor the full mone, also after y full mone wha she is xxi. xxij. xxiij. xxxiiij. or xxv dayes olde for in thes quarters of the mone is most temperat.

Item every plantynbg it is to dyspose {suppose} it so that the sonne beames mowe come to the rote or to the erth from the oure of terce {9 a.m.} unto noon and tha ben they plantyd in the best maner, and that thoo trees that be beryng and of grete height that party that stoode toward the north he bee sette ageynste the north wynde and the north west wynde, for the heyghte north wynde, and the north west wynde have kynde {tendency} to kiele {cool} and drye too mych trees that be newe sett, for her unmesurable gretnesse, y erthe must be ordeyned soo that it be neyther too fat ne to gravelly but aportionably {ground must be neither too rich nor too thin}.

Alle maner pepins cornellis and greynes must be set in y erth in depnes of iiij. or v. fingers brede {sow seeds three or four fingers breadth deep}, so that eche be from odur half a fote {six inches apart}, alwey keping this speciall ruel that y ende or greyne of the pepin that stode next the rote be northest i the settinge and that other ende upward toward hevyn; tha tho most moyst the twyes or thries i the day not yeting dut dewyng or springling, this is a previtee {secret} among cunnyng men that in vere {astrological spring} is most covenable {appropriate} tyme for seedis greynes and pepins and in autumpne {autumn} of springs and plants.

When thou wilt take a setlyng y spryngeth out of a nother trees roete {take a sucker cutting} make a delf {cut} ther aboute after quatite therof and so deepe til thou com to the gret rote that the spring grow out of, than thou must cut it holding the edge of the knfy toward the tree grounde, and kitt it soo with a slope draught, and leve as mych of the erther aboute the roote and stok of the setylnge as thou may and set it in a good grounde ordeyned therefore, and in a conuenyet {convenient} tyme as is to be forsayd, and so yf any spryg that grow out of any tree chese it that growith right out that be not ovir loge {long?} but evin wout any smale branches holdyng y knfy in the cuttynge alwey towarde three tree as is above said.

Yf thou will remeve a tree that is gret or beryng frute chese theee a ful moone from the middis of Octobre to the middis of Decembfe havyg {heaving, lifting?} up the roetis as hole as thou best may, levyng as muche of his owne erther a boute the roetis as thoe may with the same maner and ordur as thou dost with setlygs of smale trees and setlyngs, it is noo fors though the mone be not evyn in the fulle, soo she bee in the ij. or iij. quartir, the gouvernaile {steering, direction, outcome?} of thes plantis is dowblyng of beryng of frute.

Yf thou wil kepe late set plantis, kepe hym from vesptyn reynes {heavy rains?} and from syndis nameli in hervest {autum}, for it is not so gret defeculti in vere {spring}; ageynst the comyng of wynter sett or steke aboute the setlyng many bowes that y northerne winde of gretnes of odue wydis distroy it not, doo donge medlide {muddled, mixed} with strawe about the stoke toward the roete of a good thiknes that frost and snoew congiele not on the roete and make a depe valey aboute the roete the space of vi. or vi. fote that y water abyde not and freese aboute y roete; ion harvest that is betwene somer and wyter {winter} that whan wyter cometh it may be fillid with donge and soo late it stonde all the wynter and in vere put under the dong new erthe and cut away alle the unprofitable braunches and make it clene aboute the stok and the rootes from wormes scurfus {flaky, peeling bark?} and mosses and evil wyndis {winds} goyg aboute the braunches; alle the closse {walls} of thy orcharde wolde be set about with other highe trees that bere noo frute that the flours myght be kepe savf from wyndis, and be ware that noo frute be gadired {gathered} of noo tree before the time for that is right a gret and a privy harmyng to the tree.

The maner of Graffing.

The graff stoke {graft stock, scion} must be chosen in a good groude and it must be smothe and evyn and cut it without the erthe the lengith of a fote or more yf it be as gret as they thombe or more if it be grett and se that the cuttyng be evin over thwarte the stok and a syden {side} and it muste be cloven above in the middis {midst, middle?} of the pithe the length of ij. fynger brede {cut into the grafting stock a finger’s width depth?}, and in the clyfte {cleft} set thy graf which must be choseen of y best tree the stok is of, chese y graf y stodith right up toward hevyn that hath a knot of the forve yere {choose an upright stem and a knot from last year?}, and an ynche benethe y said knotte kytte thi graf and thwyte {trim, whittle} it on bothe sides evyn in maner of a wedge as fere as it shall goo into the clyfte of the stokke it must be so even thweten that the eyer may not come bytwene the clyfte and the graf {wedge the scion into the stock without leaving any air-gaps} and then close it with good tempat erthe aboute y greffe {pack mud around the graft} for defens of rain and wedur {weather}.

Yf thou will greff dyvers {divers, various} frutis opon one stok that hath as many braunchis as thou will have graffes on and in every braunche sett a graf in maner and fourme as said before, evermore chese thy graf on the souy {south} syde of the tree that berith {beareth, bears} it and nexte the toppe yf thou may and thou mayst gref fyvers fruits in oon clyfte but non of them may be thykkar than odue as thy reson will tells thee in y workyng. {you can graft multiple scions into the same cleft as long as they’re all the same thickness and fit properly?}

To have frute without cores, loke thou have a sufficient graffstock and doo therwith as I said before. Chese a graf of a good merle {??} tree and cut it on this maner that the ende of the graff that was upward next the firmament must be thweten {trimmed, whittled} lyke the neder {nether, lower parts} of a comon graffe and the nedur ende turned upward, it is too be don sleely {slyly?}, this rule is trewe in all trees that have stones and kyrnels but a vyne it behovith too cutt y is downwarde next the erthe with gret cunning and sleight.

Yf thous will have a tree bere dyus frutos and of dyvers colours and divers savaurs {savours, flavours}, in the first yere graf in dyvers braunches of a cheri tree dyvers aples to thy lykyng and leve som of the braunches ungraffed, the ii, yere make holes thorow {through} the chiry tree and drawe thorught y hole a vyne braunche the utter rinde shave off as is before said and in the same maner thorow another hole a red rosar {rose} and doo ther with as is before said of the vyne and this diversitee thou may doo aftir thyn owne lykyng {suggesting that apples, vines, roses etc. can be grafted onto cherry stock?}.

If thou will have frute of divers colours thou shalt make an hole in a tree ny the roete evyn to the pithe of the tree and anon doo in y hole good asure of almayne {German azure tincture?} so that it be ny full and stoppe the hole wel and iuste w a short pynne and wrapp it well w tempred erthe and bynde it wel as thou does a graff and the fruit shalbe blew colour and this may be doo w alle colours. {drill holes in trees near the roots, insert coloured dye, results in artificially coloured fruit}.

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