It is also reasonable that trees so grafted should6.10bear finer fruit, especially when the scion is from a cultivated tree and the stock from a wild tree of the same bark, since the scion is better fed because the stock is strong (this is why it is recommended to plant wild olives first and later graft them with cultivated buds or twigs). For the grafts hold better to the stronger tree, and since this tree attracts more food they make it a finer producer. Indeed if one should reverse the procedure and graft wild scions on a cultivated stock, there would be a certain improvement in the wild crop but no fine fruit.
Let this suffice for the discussion of planting in the sense of grafting.
The Provision of the Seed for Survival: Food and Protection
The seeds of all contain within themselves a certain7.1amount of food,a which is brought forth together with the starting-point, as in eggs. Thus Empedocles has not put it badly when he says
the tall trees lay their eggs,
since the nature of seeds is close to that of eggs. He should however have spoken not just of trees, but
- aCf. CP 4 3.6 and Aristotle, On the Generation of Animals, i.
23 (730 b 33–731 a 9): “Now in all animals capable of locomotion
the female is separate from the male, and there is one female animal and another male, though the same in kind . . .; but in plants these two capacities are combined in the same individual, and the female does not exist apart from the male. Hence they generate out of themselves, and discharge not semen but a fetation, the so-called seeds. Empedocles puts this well in the verse
For the egg is a fetation, and the animal comes from a portion of it, the rest being food; and the plant comes from a part of the seed, the rest becoming food for the shoot and the first root.”
So tall trees lay their eggs; and first the olive.