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The above list of fruits does not embrace all the varieties worthy of cultivation; only those best in all respects for this locality. Nor will it hold good in other sections of the country, for I have found by experience that what is No. 1 in the east in quite a number of varieties, is very inferior here in the west, and some entirely Forthless. And very many of these sorts are sent west by eastern nurserymen. The best locality for an orchard in this State, so far as my experience goes, is near the timber where the land is sufficiently rolling to drain itself, with a yellow porous clay subsoil; or if in the prairie, the dry rolling land should be selected. Trees on flat, hard prairie will not do well. The ground in which to set an orchard should be plowed deep and well pulverized, and from the time the trees are set out until they come into full bearing, they should be cultivated every year in some kind of a crop, such as beans, potatoes, pumpkins, corn or anything, so that the ground is well cultivated. But if, after setting out your trees, you sow the ground in oats and then seed down to timothy, you had better not purchase them, but give the amount which they would cost to some charitable object, and save your labor.
7. Gregg.–Our soil is peculiarly adapted to fruits—we think especially to apples and grapes—although all do well, excepting the tender sorts of stone fruits. For fruit planting, our soils should certainly be underdrained, or at least subsoiled. Most orchards are, however, planted without this necessary pre-requisite. Vineyards are mostly subsoiled or trenched.
The dozen varieties of apples I should select, from my own experience and that of my neighbors, as being most suited to this section, for their hardiness and productiveness, as well as for their market value, are as follows, viz:
Summer, 3.-Early harvest, red June, sweet June.
Winter, 6.-Ben. Davis, wine sap, Rawles' Janet, Westfield seek-no-farther, Rome beauty, Hubbardston nonesuch.
To which add another dozen : Benoni, red Astrachan, golden sweeting, red bellflower, snow, fall pippin, Jonathan, Peck's pleasant, white winter pearmain, Ortley, ladies' sweeting, Pryor's red.
Several other sorts do well also in this vicinity, viz: American golden růsset, Esopus Spitzenberg, Tallman sweeting, Stannard, Newtown pippin, Tulpehocken, Autumn, Swaar, Roman stem, Wagner, Dominie, etc.
In peaches—the best results are obtained from seedlings, most of the budded sorts failing badly of producing crops. There are soine fine seedlings here, among which is one known as Felt's rareripe, which has been propagated for near thirty years from the seed. It is a fine yellow freestone, of large, but not largest size, and very productive. Much attention is lately being paid to the selection and propagation of best seedlings, and I am convinced that very fine peaches can be annually produced in this way.
The peach is short-lived; fifteen years being about the limit. This fruit is usually very much neglected; but with proper care and due attention to cutting back, doubtless five to ten years longer may be added to its life.
Pear culture is comparatively in its infancy—though it is believed that both standards and dwarfs will succeed; the former is most planted. Bartlett's and Seckel's as standards, and Bonne de Jersey and Duchesse d'Angouleme,
fs, are the most popular varietieg.
Many of the finer sorts of cherry have been planted here with poor success, so that few are now planted, excepting the old Morello and the early Richmond. The
English Morello is comparatively hardy, and will be planted as a late sort. The mooted question : whether the early Richmond is best on its own roots, or top worked on the Morello, will find no solution here-as both are doing remarkably well in certain instances.
The insect enemies of our orchards are chiefly the codling moth, borer, curculio, and peach grub. The first of these is becoming very destructive-infecting almost all the apple orchards in this region. The hog, sheep, chicken, ashes and lime, and soap.wash remedies, are all being tried with varied success. Against the other insect enemies a moderate share of vigilance is generally effectual.
Pear blight is frequent, both in the standard and dwarf, and so far our cultivators are at a loss for the cause or a remedy,
The leaf curl in the peach often occurs; but I have found little damage to result. Budded and seedling sorts are equally liable.
A. C. Hammond. The following varieties of apples succeed well in this county, and give a succession from the 1st of July to the 1st of June :
Early harvest, red June, American summer pearmain, fall wine, maiden blush, rambo, Peck's pleasant, Rome beauty, Rawle's Janet, wine sap and Ben. Davis
These varieties are all productive, and are extensively grown for market. There are other varieties of better quality, but less productive, which every farmer should grow for his own use. Among them are the early Joe, Benoni, Fulton strawberry, Jonathan, King of Tompkins county, American golden russet, yellow bellflower, white winter pearmain and Newtown pippin.
Among pears, the Bartlett, Seckel, Duchess, Louise Bonne, white Doyenne, Beurre Diel, Flemish beauty, Lawrence and Vicar of Wakefield, are the most desirable. The blight is the only drawback to successful pear culture.
The early May is our only valuable market cherry. Some of the finer kinds are grown for family use, but the birds generally get most of the fruit. I prepare my ground for tree planting by trench-plowing, as heretofore described. Plant shallow and plow towards the trees for several years. I cultivate in corn seven or eight years, and then seed to meadow. It can scarcely be expected tbat the product of the orchard will ever be of any great value to the farmer as a market crop, as few can give their orchards the attention requisite to protect from diseases and insects that are so rapidly increasing.
H. Sodowsky. For early fruit, I like best the early harvest and red June. For fall apples, would select the rambo, fall pippin, Baltimore sweet, sweet bough, maiden blush, Rome beauty, sweet bellflower. I think the Baltimore sweet the best. It is very large, with red streaks on yellow ground, and capital when fully ripe.
For winter apples, I would say the Thompson cooking, bellflower, white winter pearmain, black gilliflower, Hubbardeon's nonesuch, Newtown pippin, Vandeveer pippin, northern spy, Pryor's red, Rhode Island greening, Esopus Spitzenburg.
Early pears: The Bartlett and Seckel. Fall pears: White Doyenne, Duchesse d'Angouleme, Flemish beauty, Louise Bonne d'Jersey, Swan's orange.
Winter pears: Buerre, Bachelier, Columbia, Doyenne, Joubert, Glout Morceau, Lawrence, Soldat, Vicar of Winkfield.
For cherries, would recommend the early May, May duke, black eagle, black heart, black Tartarian, Elton, early white heart, Governor Wood, great big eau, Belle de Choisey, early Richmond, English Morello, Kirtland's large Morello, Kirt land's mammoth.
The best peaches we have seen are: Stump the world, Heath, early Crawford, late old Mixon,
W. A. Allen.—Have preferred for winter varieties, bellflower, jeneting, pennock and English russet. Pruning time—whenever your saw or hatchet is sharpest.
S. P. Boardman.-All reading farmers who do not make the growing of fruits a specialty, go to the Transactions of our Illinois Horticultural Society for lists and varieties of the different fruits which are best adapted to their latitude and soil. In no other state in the Union, perhaps, does it make so much difference—from north to south, and on different soils—what selection of fruits is planted.
With our various live local horticultural societies, so ably seconding our State Society, few of our farmers, even those not professionally fruit growers, can miss it much in varieties of fruits, or their cultivation. I think, from making frequent visits to the eastern States, that Illinois farmers, generally, take a greater interest in, and are better informed on fruit matters generally, than the farmers of any eastern State. I account for it principally from the fact that nearly all of them have had to plant their own orchards.
B. Sweet.— A reformation in orchards and fruit growing is indispensable to success. As a fruit grower and reformer I exclude all but one variety of apple. What variety is that, for profit? The winter wine. The next best is a variety that bears a crop annually, is healthy, and does well either by neglect or care ; for it is well known that orchards are usually much neglected.
We yet hope for some variety to take undisputed lead, and to that end every pomologist should direct his attention. Plant seed, and from the seedlings select the best; subjecting them to trial as soon as possible, by cutting out buds of seedlings in August or September, and inserting them in the center of bearing trees, where the sap can be driven against them for two years. At the end of this time, they should be bent down in a pendant form to stay the fast rush of sap which will throw it in a slow condition, and favor the formation of fruit buds.
Planting: This is of no little importance. To make a healthy orchard of any kind the trees should be selected when not over two years old; seeing to it that you get all the roots; then set out where the ground is in working order, cut back and crowd the culture of said trees. Keep the ground clean by raising a crop of vegetables, which pay their way and are a good substitute until you have fruit. In this way you reap the benefit of your labor, should your trees all be killed.
As to locality, the country is generally too flat; so let every one set on his highest ground; and if it is all low and wet, let him ditch and head up.
Pruning: Here volumes might be written, but let it suffice for me to say to the young orchardist, don't prune.
Fruit houses : The cheapest and best we have tried are made in this way: Wall two feet thick and filled in with forest leaves raked up in the fall; taking old leaves if necessary and tramping them. It is better to have box doors inside, filled with the same; the outside, common battening. It is all the better, if convenient, to have a long building, and doors at each end, to be opened if necessary. Potatoes are kept in this way better than any other; and both apples and potatoes, mixed with leaves and kept dry, are better.
G. W. Vaughan. I have had but little experience in orchard fruits, but my neighbor, Mr. Freeland, has given his attention exclusively to fruit; and placing
great reliance upon his judgment, will present a list of the varieties which he recom mends.
Summer apples: Early harvest, Carolina red June, red Astrachan, Keswick Coddlin, yellow Horse and American Summer pearmain.
Fall apples: Lowell, fall pippin, rambo and maiden's blush.
The fruits here given are named in succession from the time they begin to ripen until winter, and after trying them one can hardly dispense with a single variety. The Milam, though classed with winter apples, is useful for all general purposes as a fall fruit also. I have a young orchard of small trees of various kinds of fruit, and I set them out in this way: I dug large holes 20 feet apart, placed a tree in a hole the same depth which it stood in the nursery, put in a lot of loose earth around the roots, then put in corn or oats to keep the roots and earth moist; then more earth, and when the hole was filled I put wet straw around the tree as a mulch. I find mulching excellent in preserving the life of the young tree, and believe that where it is adopted not one sound tree will die, be the season what it may. The corn or oats sprouting keep the ground moist about the roots, while the mulch keeps it moist above. I have set out trees four inches in diameter in this way, and they lived. I always mulch in setting out any kind of young trees. I think young fruit trees of any kind should be plowed and tilled like grain or root plants, if we desire a thrifty growth. I have tried the experiment on my young orchard. I had often heard that orchards should be sown in clover, and it would keep the ground moist and soft, and no plowing would be necessary.
I sowed it to clover, but afterwards made a part of it into a potato patch and plowed the trees with the potatoes, and those trees are three times as large as the ones not plowed. They are four years old. I am going to cultivate all this summer. I think trees should be pruned in the spring and before the limbs are large, as they heal more quickly, and before the sap rises much. Winter fruit should be gathered as late as is possible and escape being frosted, and kept in some place not too warm, until time to bury them for winter; then should be put in the cellar or buried in the ground by placing them in a box, and the box on pieces of timber, to keep them off the ground; then covered well with earth.
If the cellar is not too warm they might be put there when gathered. There are but few underground cellars here-indeed, few of any kind. They are being built above the ground, owing to the level nature of the country; building the walls very thick, and ventilating well for summer use. They are cool in summer, warm in winter, and are used for fruit houses in the latter season.
Various insects infest the apple tree, yet I can name but few. The caterpillar and a worm of much the same size, work on the leaves, and the latter strips the tree entirely before leaving. The former is not so destructive. Smaller worms, too, iniest orchards, but not in this neighborhood. The borer is most destructive. It bores the limbs and lays its eggs, which hatch, producing worms by thousands. The limbs become scrubby and the tree looks almost dead. I know of no remedy for the borer.
D. Gove.-I have set out several orchards in the past 20 years, having been improving all the time. At first I took such varieties as nurserymen would recommend, but when they began to bear I found I had made a mistake. Latterly I have ascertained, from observation, the varieties that were good growers, good bearers, and of good quality, and that have given entire satisfaction in the vicinity where I was planting; as I find that soil, climate, and many other causes that make some varieties good in some places, will not prove good every where. In my present orchard I have early harvest, red June, summer pearmain, Pennsylvania red streak, rambo, Pryor's red, janet, yellow bellflower, wine sap, limber twig arge and small Romanite, that all do well. As to other fruits I have quite a variety, but as I think others can and will give better information in regard to their merits, I will confine myself to such matters as I think may be of service.
J. G. Swann,—Best varieties winter apples; Janeting, sops of wine, Romanites, Newtown pippin.
Best summer varieties: Early harvest, Carolina June, summer queen.
Pears: Bartlett, Belle Lucrative, L. B. Jersey, Vicar of Winkfield, Seckel. All do well sowed in clover,
Peaches: Seven to eight leading budded varieties, not old enough to bear well yet. Cherries: Morellos bears well.
Prune when sap is down any time. Gather in baskets, handling carefully. Pack in barrels. Preserve by pressing the best and putting the others in cellars and bins. Value of my orchard crop this year, $2,500.
Borers: Knife the best remedy.
My orchard consists of the following number of trees: Janets, 2,000; Romanites, 1,100; N. pippin, 500; summer fruit, 600; wine saps, 200; rambo, 75; red streak, 50; bellflower, 200; large red, 50; other kinds, 200. All the above fruit from 5 to 15 years old. 100 pear trees 7 years old. 500 budded peach; 1,000 seed. ling peach. 50 gooseberries. 75 grapes. 60 cherries.
E. A. Reihl.- Apples: sorts preferred, the very early and winter most profitable. Prefer early harvest, red June, red Astrachan, Hubbardson, Rome beauty, wine sap, Gilpin, Janet.
Grapes: Concord and Norton's Virginia, so far the most reliable and profitable.
Blackberries : Kittatinny considered best; strong grower, hardy, and much better quality than the Lawton.
Strawberries : Wilson's Albany is the best for market.
J. Balsiger. ---Apples do very well here, and the orchard bears more or less every year. Those kinds which are very productive, such as Rawle's Janet, the little Romanite, the white and red June, the rambo, and others, bring full crops only once in two years. The kinds which my experience shows me to be the most profitable are the above named, and the white winter pearmain, the American golden russet, Esopus Spitzenburgh, the Pennsylvania red streak and the yellow bellflower. No doubt there are others as valuable, in which I have had no experience. I have a nice orchard and a fine selection of apples, but most of my trees are yet too young to bear. As far as I know, the wine sap and Pryor's red must be among the best apples for our latitude, but they have not yet fruited with me. For cider, I am planting Hewes' Virginia crab, Harrison and Campfield.
Pears seem to do very well with me. The trees are healthy and vigorous, but as yet I bave very few of them in bearing, and possess but little experience concern