The Chinese, by their favourite system of dwarfing, contrive to make it, when only a foot and a half or two feet high, have all the characters of an aged cedar of Lebanon.
Nothing of the kind; they do all these things in their houses and sheds, with common charcoal fires, and a quantity of straw to stop up the crevices in the doors and windows.
This may be done by grafting, by confining the roots, withholding water, bending the branches, or in a hundred other ways which all proceed upon the same principle.
The tree was evidently aged, from the size of its stem. It was about six feet high, the branches came out from the stem in a regular and symmetrical manner, and it had all the appearance of a tree in miniature.
Sometimes, as is the case of peach and plum trees, which are often dwarfed, the plants are thrown into a flowering states, and then, as they flower freely year after year, they have little inclination to make vigorous growth.
A small species of pinus was much prized, and, when dwarfed in the manner of the Chinese, fetched a very high price; it is generally grafted on a variety of the stone pine.
No doubt these rocky islands have suggested the idea worked out in gardens, and they have been well imitated.
The main stem was then in most cases twisted in a zigzag form, which process checked the flow of the sap, and at the same time encouraged the production of side branches at those parts of the stem where they were most desired.
We all know that any thing which retards in any way the free circulation of the sap, also prevents to a certain extent the formation of wood and leaves.
Stunted varieties were generally chosen, particularly if they had the side branches opposite or regular, for much depends upon this; a one-sided tree is of no value in the eyes of the Chinese.
These gardens may be called the gardens of the respectable working classes.