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12. OROHABD FRUITS.-Apples, pears, peaches, cherries: preferred varieties for various purposes: preparation of ground: planting, cultivation and pruning: gathering and keeping of fruit: packing for market: fruit houses and cellars: value of orchard products as a farm crop: Insects and diseases.
E. M088.—Many varieties of apples, as well as pears and cherries. Cultivate ground deep.
M. A. McConnell. --Apples are the only sort of orchard fruits that can be grown.
H. Pierce.- Apples for market-early barvest, Carolina Red June, Benoni, maiden's blush, Jonathan, willow twig, Ben Davis, Rawle's Janet, yellow bellflower, and wine sap. Pears-Doyenne d'Ete, Rostiezer, Tyson, Bartlett, Buffam, Louise, Bonne de Jersey, Beurre Diel, Duchesse d'Angouleme; all blighted last year (1867), but these are the best. Cherries—early Richmond, late Kentish or pie cherry of N. J., English Morello, May Duke and late Duke are about all that do well here, except the common Morello.
Prepare the ground as for corn; open a furrow or dig a hole about 12 inches deep, 2 to 3 feet across; set from 18 to 80 feet apart; cultivate first and second year in coro, and frequently longer, and then in small grain for a year or two; then seed to clover—is the cummon practice. Gather by hand, put in barrels or open boxes, but generally market in the fall; pays best of all.
The bark louse is our worst enemy on apple trees.
J. Tefft. —Summer apples-early harvest, Carolina Red June, Lowell, Keswick, Codlin, sweet bough. Fall-Cooper's early, Colvert, Dowse or Hawley. Autumn-strawberry, maiden's blush, porter, spow. Winter-golden russet, Baldwin, Dominie, Eng. russet, Esopus Spitzenberg, fall pippin, wine sap, green sweeting, limber twig, northern spy, R. I. Greening, Roxbury russet, Janet, Swaar, W. W. Pearmain. The Hawley and R. I. Greening grow very fast, if manured, and are consequently tender ; but if grown slow and headed low, succeed well. I have my pruning done any time between the first of November and the first of March, when the wood is not frozen.
Pears-Bartlett, Flemish beauty, Madeline, Swan's orange, Easter, Buerre, and Seckel.
Cherries-Yellow Spanish, Elton, Kentish and early Richmond. There are other varieties that it does not pay to raise.
No peaches raised.
The apple worm (Carpocopsa Pornonana) causes many of our apples to fall, and renders many more almost worthless. The Borer (Saperida Bivittata) does much injury to our apple trees, unless watched and removed early. The caterpillar (Clisioacampa Americana) at tiines is troublesome. The bark louse (a species of coccus), injures our trees more perhups, than anything else in this section.
The winters are too severe for peaches. I had 800 trees, they bore a large crop when six or seven years old, and the next winter, some twelve or thirteen years ago, they all froze, and every tree died; at that time, I had an apple orchard of 900 trees; the same cold winter destroyed nearly one-balf of them; the best varieties suffered most. I find the best trees for an orchard are those budded the second year from the seed; reject the very largest and all the little, stunted ones. I will here remark that all fruit and forest trees, corn, and many vegetables, as well as pigs, calves and other animals, that are stunted when young, never fully recover.
The object of the seedling is that it has a finer and firmer wood and bark than many of the grafted kinds; and I have observed that the finer and harder the bark, the better the tree will bear.
I have a number of trees the barks of which are so soft and thrifty that they never bear. Last June I took a section of the bark, 1%, incbes long, from round the body of the tree, and inserted a corresponding section of bark from the crab apple tree, tied it on; it grew fast. I tried this on several with like success. According to my philosopby, they will bear every season; if so, you will hear from me again. I do my trimming in February in order that the wound may season before the sap starts. Small limbs, less than half an inch, I cut off close; but larger than that, I cut from one inch to two feet, according to size of limb. I cultivate the orchard when young; mulch with straw after seeding. The bark louse is very injurious to orchards here. The caterpillar is quite a pest on the prairies, but near the timber, the bluejay eats the eggs before they batch.
C. E. Barney.-The variety of apples that will bear most on a given farm, are best for that farm. An indifferent apple that will grow is better than a delicious one that will not, for profit.
1. Aldrich.-Apples preferred for family use, are early barvest, red June, and red Astrachan. These three varieties are earliest, and the fruit is of the best quality. The early barvest bears only on alternate years, and then not more than half the quantity that trees of the same size do, of the two other kinds. The golden sweet for baking, and eaten with bread and milk and a slice of new milk cheese, will relish first rate—I was going to say it would make a man fat. It is one of the best disbes that can be used for supper, creating a sweet, sound sleep, so desirable after a day's hard toil.
For late summer apples, I consider the Lowell, Porter, maiden's blush, and early Pennock, best. The St. Lawrence is a fine apple, but decays very soon.
The fall Dyer, which I send out from the nursery as Tompkins, is the best of all fall apples. The tree is hardy and a great bearer every other year. I have four trees, all set out at the same time, and of the same age ; two of them bear one year, and the other two the next, so that I always have plenty. This apple sells better for eating than any other variety I know of, in fact, it is better than most pears, having the pear bloom and being more juicy and fine grained. Another good quality is its gradual ripening, lasting in season for a long time.
All the above varieties are as good for market as for the family at home. The snow or Famuse is a good late fall variety, and keeps very well into mid-winter, with careful handling; its liability to drop is against it.
For winter family use, I prefer the Jonathan, Wagner, Dominie, R. I. Greening and red Canada. These are all of the first quality, or near enough. None of them are long keepers. The Jonathan, Wagner and R. I. Greening are all liable to drop early, and just as soon as they begin to grow ripe and drop, they must be picked and kept in a cool, dry place. Apples that have dropped and lain on the ground a few days, and been warmed by the son, will not keep, as that sends them into the ripening process, and can not be arrested. No matter how sound they may look, they should never be mixed with those picked off the tree, unless they are all soon to be used up.
The above are my favorite varieties for eating, and are equally good for culinary purposes.
The ladies' sweet, for winter, is the first best for eating, and keeps very well. Smith's cider is also a fine apple for keeping and eating.
The New York pippio or Ben. Davis, and willow twig, are good bearers and long keepers, but third rate quality; good for cooking, and will eat very well when other better sorts are gone. In fact, these two varieties are almost invariably used before reaching maturity, and then condemned as to quality, when if left until April, May and June, they become ripe and relish well. These two sorts are the most productive varieties I know about. The Ben Davis bears often at four years from the graft, and continues to bear almost every year invariably, though not always in the same proportion. The willow twig does not come into bearing so young by two or three years, and is not quite so likely as the other to produce a full crop every year, but is among the best bearing sorts. So far as I know, these two kinds are the most profitable for market on the whole list; always fair, large size, dever scabby, and very showy.
But for market purposes, one must have a good assortment of varieties, to please the various tastes and fancies of customers, especially for the early winter trade, as people will not buy these long keepers to use in the late fall and early winter; and to retain customers, you must bave what they demand. Customers will always take the largest share of any sort of long keepers ; this remark applies to those who buy their supply of apples at the time of gathering in the fall. For late spring sales, we must rely solely on the best long-keeping varieties.
Pears and peaches, as yet, have not proved profitable, but should be on every farm, in limited quantities. The pear has but one serious drawback, the fire blight. Our cold winter destroys the peach crop in this vicinity, three years out of four.
Of cherries, the most profitable is the early Richmond or May. English Morello is very good for preserving. These two sorts are both hardy and profuse bearers. The Belle Magnifique ripens late and is desirable. The only drawback I find in raising cherries, is that birds are so numerous as to destroy large quantities. The only way I find to save the cherries is to shoot the birds as fast as they come. The cat bird, robin, brown thresher, and black and white red headed woodpecker are the most destructive. Gov. Wood cherry has fruited very well about every other year, ripening earlier than any other sort, and sweeter; the best variety I have: but it is not hardy euough to stand the serere changes of some of our winters without some shelter.
In preparing orchard ground, I prefer to have it planted in corn, or some other hoed crop, a few years previous to setting the trees, so it may be well subdued and friable. Before setting, it should be fresh plowed, and to save labor, plow in lands of the width the trees are to be set, having the dead furrow come where you want the tree. By plowing several times back and forth, in the dead furrow, it gets mellowed nearly deep enough, Stake off the ground, leaving a stake where erery tree is to be set; then take a board, 6 inches wide, 6 feet long, with an inch and a half hole near each end. Exactly in the center, between the holes, bore, on one edge, a two-inch hole, and cut it out open on the edge; this is the guide to set the tree to Put the opening on the edge of the board against the stake where the tree is to stand, then have two pins or short stakes even thickness; put one in each hole at the end, and push them into the ground firinly. Lift up the board, lay it one side ; then dig or make the hole for the tree where the stake stands, leaving the stakes at each end standing. When the hole is ready for the tree, place the board on the stakes, taking care that the edge that has the opening in it is the same way as before it was lifted up; then place the tree in the hole, and into the opening on the edge of the board, and it will stand exactly where wanted.
In setting trees, I have found by experience that it is best to set from 4 to 6 inches deeper than they stood in the nursery. They stand better, are not near so liable to lean over by high winds, and the roots are less liable to be drawn out of place, This, too, prevents sprouting at surface of the ground, where the graft unites with the stock or root. In a very dry season, it is more likely to insure life to the trees, as the roots are below ordinary dry spells. This applies more particularly to apple trees; other trees are not injured by it. Every one should exercise judgment; in wet, moist land it might be injurious, in fact such land is not suitable for any fruit trees. After an orchard is planted, it should be cultivated into some crop every year; I prefer corn, for the reason that it prevents weeds from growing in the latter part of the season, and is some protection to the young trees for a few years against summer winds. Always give four or five feet on all sides of the tree for light and air; and always cut and shock the corn, leaving the ground cle.ir through the win. ter. This prevents, in a measure, the damage caused from rabbits and mice.
Never allow any brute in the orchard, until the trees are suficiently grown to be in no danger of being rubbed over. Then nothing should run among them unless colts ; they will do no harm to trees of bearing size.
Pruning should be attended to, so as to keep out all gurplus sprouts and limbs that cross each other. Some varieties need much more pruning than others. Any man of common observatiou, can soon see what is needed. It is better to prune too little rather than too much ; for oftentimes in the blossoming season we have high winds, that take off the blossoms before they become fructified; a tree with quite a thick top will escape, on the side from the wind, and be full of apples.
I bave found from experience that, in order to have apples keep well, they must be carefully picked just before they begin to ripen, For instance, the Wagner, Greeuing, red seek-no-farther, Milam and other varieties, begin to drop quite early, particularly after frost, usually followed by wind. Those varieties I begin to gather in the latter half of September, and endeavor to gather all before they fail much. They can be put into barrels, headed up and kept in a cool place, away from the sun, or put into the fruit house. The cooler they can be kept, and not freeze, and as dry and not shrivel, the better.
So far as my experience goes, I am satisfied that, as a general rule, there can be the most realized by selling at gathering; then there is but one handling. By keeping through the winter, the extra labor, shrinkage, etc., will balance the extra price obtained in spring.
In packing for market, apples must be placed in the barrel carefully with the blossom end next the lower head, one course at a time; then the barrel filled carefully with good sound apples. Occasionally jolt the barrel back and forward lightly, to settle them tight, as the barrel is filled. When full, place the top layer all stem up, and have them as level as possible, and a little bigher than the top of the chime; put on the head and press it down until it comes into its place. Start the boops down, so as to hold it and take it out of the press, then finish driving the hoops, nail and head up secure. Packed in this way, they may be sent to a great distance without getting loose. In carting the barrels, they should always be loaded with the head up, the same as when filled, and never on sides of the barrel.
As to profit of an orchard, compared with other farm crops, I have no statistical data to refer to, but think it safe to say that, with judicious selection of varieties, the same amount of ground will produce four times as much clean profit in orchard as the same ground in any other crop, provided the ground be suitable for an orchard. But still I would not be understood to recommend or advise every one to go into fruit raising, no more than I would advise the exclusive cultivation of any one particular farm product, as that would prove ruinous, by glutting the market.
The apple tree borer is a great pest, and unless well looked after and cut out, will soon destroy an orchard, especially young ones.
The apple moth was very injurious last year, destroying nearly or quite one-half the crop of some varieties, by working into the apple through the blossom end and coming out near the stem, causing the fruit to fall from the size of a hickory nut until grown. The fruit was almost worthless until the apples were matured enough to be fit for making cider to work into vinegar. This worm, I had always been taught to believe, left the apple when it dropped to the ground, and burrowed in the ground through the winter; but from the great number that come out of the apples after being put in barrels, and wind themselves up in their web, under the hoops and in other places, remaining until very cold weather without any perceptible change in form, leads me to believe they never winter under ground. How to prevent their ravages, is yet a mystery; no doubt by keeping the apples picked up as fast as they drop, and fed to swine or ground into pumace, would diminish them. I have thought sometimes of placing lights or lanterns in different places in the orchard, with a vessel of water directly under them, during nights in the summer. The light would attract the millers, they would flutter round, and finally fall into the water and drown. I expect to try this plan this season.
A. Rankin.-I consider the best varieties of summer apples to be the early harvest, red June, sweet June, summer queen, America, summer, Pearmain, sops of wine.
Fall apples—autumn, strawberry, fall wine, Fameuse.
Winter apples—Jonathan, yellow bellflower, Fulton, Rawle's Janet, and Northern spy
The Newark pippin, white pippin, white pearmain, and some other varieties, also do well.
The ground should be trench plowed to prepare it for an orchard; plow very deep. The holes for the trees should not be any deeper than the ground was plowed. I set trees from 18 to 25 feet apart in the rows; prefer low heads. Prune to keep them open, so as to admit light, heat and air.
G. W. Minier -I really can't write an essay on this question. Fruits pay better than almost any other crop, are more healthy as food, and so easily produced that no one who owns a rood of land is excusable for not having them in abundance. Ground should be prepared by deep tillage, and all over the field alike ; Do boles or pits should be dug for water to stand in and keep their roots wet. Gather by careful picking with the hands; and for winter keeping, roll each in a paper like oranges are put up, and you will be well paid.
For insects, I refer you to Dr. Walsh.
J. R. Tull - My experience in the cultivation of fruit in this country reaches back about 25 years, during which time I have made it a specialty. I have found it & pleasant as well as a profitable business. I will give you a list of fruits which I consider the best, commencing with apples :
Summer apples: Early harvest, red June, red Astrachan, summer pearmain, summer queen, sweet June.
Fall apples: Drap d'or Dradar, fall pippin, fall wine, maiden's blush, porter, rambo, seek-no-farther.
Winter apples: American golden russet, Hubbardston nonesuch, Jonathan, ladies' sweeting, winter sweet, paradise, red Canada, Rawle's janet, Roman stem, New York pippin or Ben. Davis wine sap, white winter pearmain, Rome beauty, Roman sweet pippin, white bellfower, yellow bellflower.
Summer pears: Bartlett, bloodgood, Doyenne d'Ete, Osband's summer.
Autumn pears. Beurre Diel, Doyenne white, Duchesse d'Angouleme, Louise Bonne 'd Jersey, seckel, Stevens' Genesee.
Winter pears: Glout morceau, Vicar of Winkfield, winter Nelis.
Cherries: Heart cherries, black eagle, early wbite heart, Gov. Wood, yellow Spanish, Napoleon Bigarreau, white ox heart, duke cherries, early Richmond or pie cherry, early May, May duke.
Plums : Coe's golden drop, green gage, Jefferson, magnum bonum, Smith's Or. leans, Washington, golden drop, Pond's seedling.