Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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Orange trees

In Italy, particularly in the coldest areas like Lombardia, people plant the orange trees inside squared wood planters. The planters are larger at the bottom than at the top. People make handles on each side, where they attach straps in order to carry the planter, like one carries the gout sufferers, because if one used wheels to roll them one would damage the garden’s paths. Every two year they remember to open the sides of the planters and meticulously cut and trim the ends of the orange tree’s roots, which are dry. Otherwise, the roots find the wood [of the planter] and tighten on it, they double over themselves, the ends dry and the tree dies. Once trimmed, the roots gain new space to expand, without encountering resistance from the wood of the planter. That is why it is better to join the sides of the planter with screws rather than nails, to avoid shaking the soil when one opens them.