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selves of such luxuries as paint, carpets, and table-cloth, preferring to display their wealth in their gardens, their Ivy-covered walls, their Honeysuckles, and their Holly. These are some of the characteristics of the old country, and can never be forgotten by those who have seen them. Indeed, if we take away its ruins, its ivies, and its lawns, England will have little to boast of, and but little to interest the pleasure seeker and tourist.
Mr. Hiller not being present, the following very practical essay from his pen was read by his son, Mr. P. C. Hiller:
INSECT AND OTHER ENEMIES IN FRUIT CULTURE. Under the head of insects, we usually include all manner of creeping and flying things that are known to injure fruit, or fruit trees and vines. Such, for instance, as peach tree borers, apple tree borers, phyloxera, the various members of the aphis family, scale, red spider, cherry bug, pear slug, curculio, canker worm, codling moth, caterpillars, of many kinds &c., &c. Their name is legion, and they are truly formidable. But experienced and observing horticulturists have shown that these insects are not yet absolute masters of the situation. When we take into consideration the many enjoyments that fruit affords to a family, in the way of delighting the eye, gratifying the taste, and contributing to the health, we must come to the conclusion that it is worthy of a big tight to destroy these insect enemies. Commence with the tree borer. In the vicinity of Lancaster, the apple tree borer is so formidable that many persons have ceased to plant. It has been repeatedly shown that by tying paper around the base of the stem, the ravages of the borer can be prevented.
If the paper is tarred after being tied, it would last several years, but would, perhaps, better be taken off every September, to harden up the bark. The same remedy holds good for peach borers. One man can tie up several hundred trees in a day.
The scale or bark louse is effectually destroyed by a coat of raw linseed oil, or by a wash maue of water, lime, soft soap, and a little salt. Caterpillars do their work above board, and if they are taken in time, they can be crushed out.
The curculio can be destroyed by the oft-described process of jarring them into sheets, or they can be driven away by a persistent use of whale oil soap, as per Professor Heiges' plan. Whale oil soap is also a remedy against aphides and slugs, and so is Paris green. Paris green is alsu said to be effectual in destroying the canker wurm. I am happy to say that I have not seen it.
Codling moths are very destructive enemies. Feeding the fallen fruit to swine will lessen them materially, and I have no doubt, that the shingle and cloth traps would be quite etfectual, if carried out by united effort.
Phyloxera is one of the worst fellows we have to deal with. fers darkness, and works under ground, where he is hard to reach. At present there is no positive remedy against him, and we must content ourselves with such varieties as do not suit his taste. Fortunately we have some varieties that appear to have that quality.
Troublesome and destructive as these insect enemies are, there are other things that are a greater hindrance to fruit growing.
Many of our finest apples, Smoke-house, Northern Spy, &c., rot prematurely on the trees. I think it has been satisfactorily shown, that the cause is a fungoid disease.
If the theory is correct, (and I think it is,) that fungus attacks only trees
that have become weakened by want of proper plant food in the soil, then there should be a remedy.
If it were oth rwise, all apples subject to this disease would become affected. But you find trees in the same locality that have sound fruit.
Chemistry ought to be able to show what constituents are wanting in the soil, and if it cannot, we must find out by our own experiments.
If we had no railroads to bring us the apples of New York and Michigan to our doors, we would soon know, “ Necessity is the mother of invention,” is an old saw that is not yet worn out.
The yellows in the peach is a fungoid disease. On new land you do not find it for some years after planting. Is this not another argument showing that fungus attacks only trees that are imp.verished ? In our orchard we did not see a sign of it for ten years after planting. We had some big crops, and I think we failed to apply proper and sufficient fertilizer3. A few years ago the great bulk of the fruit ripened prematurely, and the trees had unmistakable signs of the yellows. As the idea was general that it did not pay to try to renovate an orchard in that condition, I gave one of my neighbors permission to dig up the trees for firewool, requesting him to leave a corner of about a hundred trees alone, thinking, as I had no other trees of bearing age, that we might have a little fruit for home use. Не forgot all about the one hundred trees, and before I knew what he was about, he had chopped off the lower limbs, an average of fully half the tops. Got mad at the fellow, and would not let him dig them, thinking to do it myself. When spring cime the trees were not duy for want of time. Sowed about six hundred weight of a si lulated South Carolina rock on the patch, (about an acre,) and planted in potatoes. Got a respectable crop of potatoes, and better old peach tops you do not soon see.
If these things can be done with old diseased trees, is there a reason why, as a rule, we should not be able to keep a healthy tree healthy?
The experiments of Doctor George B. Wood, reported in our transactions for 1873, show that soils deficient in alkalies grow sickly trees. In our session of 1875, Professor Heiges told us that yellows did not trouble his trees that were liberally treated with potassa. The sime ideas have been again and again advanced by many other of our members. But it matters not how simple and effectual a remedy is, if it wants frequent repetition, we are apt to forget, and we are only brought to our senses when we see the ruin of our trees and fruit.
But these in sect depredators and diseases mentioned, are still not the greatest drawbacks to fruit culture in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Our scientists tell us there is no climatic change—that there is no difference in the rain-fall, &c.
Last spring, at blooming time, our fruit trees were in splende con lition. Cherries, apples, pears, were coyered with a profusion of bloom. The bloom came late, (all the more favorable,) but with the bloom came cold winds, clouds, and rain, and the bloom continued in apparent perfection for several weeks. For an off year, we had an abundant set of apples and pears. But such fruit, crooked, knotty, worthless stuff, that kept falling, so that by ripening time there was nothing left. May I venture to say the defect was owing to imperfect fertilization much mo 'e than to insects. The same condition of things may have happened fifty years ago, but they were then the exception, now they are the rule. In western New York and Michigan they rarely ever fail to have fruit.
The same held good in our section of the State, in the recollection o* persons who are not yet classed among our old men. Another point: Our fruit does not keep. The apple crops of 1872, ani 1875, were large and fine, remarkably free from insects, but our winter's supply, as usual, had to come from other places. I have known Smokehouse, Bel'flower, Paradise, &c., to keep until May, by ordinary treatment. That was many years ago. Now these varieties ripen on the tree before the usual picking time, and the few that hang to that time, require careful management to keep till Christmas. If the cause of these conditions is not climatic, I would like to know what is.
The fruit grower can do very little in overcoming these evils. The rain, and wind, and scorching sun, are not under his control. The only thing that presents itself to us, is that we look up varities that are late ripeners.
We bave made but little progress this way.
We yearly have varieties brought before us, said to possess that quality, but it takes many years to test them, and they frequently do not uphold that character when transferred to other localities. If we find a variety on our own ground that comes up to these requirements, we must propagate it each for himself. Nurserymen's lists help us but little.
I do not claim to have advanced anything new in this rambling discourse. The ideas here set forth bave again and again been brought before us, and I have repeated them because the subject is worthy our continued attention.
Mr. ENGLE.— We have hurried over business somewhat, and not fally discussed questions in their order. Any unfinished business of that kind might now be brought up.
Mr. SPROUT thought floriculture should be discussed by the Society.
Mr. Hiller asked whether tarred paper is injurious to green-house plants.
Mr. MEEHAN.—The use of gas tar in horticulture is very dangerous. It contains creosote, which is death to all plant life. Has seen trees totally destroyed by it. As a preventive of the borer, would prefer cutting out the insect in June to any application of that kind.
Mr. ENGLE bas bad some experience in the use of tarred paper. Applied it to some peach trees, and all were destroyed or injured so as not to be worth taking care of.
The following essay by Mr. Waring, of Tyrone, Pa., was read by the Secretary:
TYRONE, PENNA., January 9, 1878. MESSRS. HOOPES Bro. & THOMAS: Your card of 12–7–77, was duly received. In reply to your invitation, I will offer a few thoughts. Age and aversion to winter journeying will prevent my attending the meeting of the fruit growers, even in Williamsport.
As the difficulties of fruit culture on the western prairies seem to develop there a very full knowledge as to what different sorts will endure different grades of climatic trial, so our mountain region furnishes, in its way, a rich field of observation and a great variety of cases; for both soil and air conditions are varied with us in every mile. This is obvious from a mere glance at the forest growth, which is seen to be composed of very different classes of trees in different situations, and chiefly in different exposures, for shelter and air moisture seem to bave much more influence than the character of the soil. The bleak, exposed plateaus of high, wide, open valleys, although having even rich soil, present a native tree growtli so like what we find on sterile mountain tops, that these fertile plateaus were long supposed to be valueless, and were called " barrens.”
On the other hand, the trees that crowd in sheltered, humid mountain gaps, with such beautiful luxuriance of growth, are almost totally different,
and more nearly like those found in the valleys of large streams. Evidently the differences in air condition between these localities are sufficient to determine the success or failure of any particular sort of forest tree. The soil, on the other hand, seems chiefly to affect the vigor of the growth; but unless it stimulates growth too excessively, it does not make a difference of life and death, excepting when it is too wet for the many sorts which like "dry feet," even when they enjoy having their heads bathed in more or less of vapor.
Most of our cultivated varieties of fruit have a greater nicety of constitution than the more robust trees of the forest, and accordingly we find many sorts successful in sheltered nooks, which fail altogether in exposed localities. It would be useful to collect and record information on this point, distinguishing between sorts that are found fruitful in company with the beech, the spruce, the elm, and ash, and other vapor-loving trees from those which do well where chestnut, hickory, pine, &c., are prevailing trees; and the sorts which succeed in both situations should be especially noted.
As a general rule, very few of the favorite fruits of the river valleys and and lake regions succeed in the mountain air. The Townsend, Smith's cider, Cornell's fancy, York Imperial, are among sorts famous where the conditions suit them, but which, among the mountains, almost totally fail to even show a sample of their fruit. The Blenbeim Pippin, the Baldwin, the R. I. Greening, the Maiden's Blush, the Summer Pippin, are among sorts which have a hardihood of constitution which enables them to flourish and fruit in most diverse conditions.
The influence of the stock used enters into the question, and as we refine in our culture, we shall be obliged to take note of varieties which impart hardihood, and use them, as in Europe, where the difficulties of growing peaches, apricots, &c., oblige gardeners to select the one best individual variety of stock. Again: as some stocks are repulsive and others especially inviting to certain insects, as the borer, the scale, and the bark louse, there may be advantages obtainable in this important line, as a result of comparison and observation of the effects of different stocks. We may be able to turn off parent flies, when about to deposit eggs, by having stocks which rather deter than invite them.
W. G. WARING, Senior. Mr. CARTER, of Chester county, offered the following; which was adopted unanimously:
Resolved, That the sincere thanks of this Society are due, and are hereby tendered, to the Lycoming County Horticultural Society, and to the citizens of Williamsport, for the corteous and hospitable manner in which they have treated the members of our Society, during our very pleasant visit here; and further, that our thanks are especially due to the owners of this very comfortable hall, for its use during our session.
Ńr. Ellis asked which is the best time to plant trees, fall or spring.
Mr. ENGLE recommended either, or both, if done early enough. Trees planted early in the fall will become established and better able to withstand the winter. So with spring planting. If done early they are well established before the heat and drouth of summer are upon them.
Mr. MILLER. We plant in all seasons, if ground is in good condition. The month of December, 1877, was more favorable than any other month. Don't expose the roots to cold winds nor hot sun. Sprinkle the roots when planting, and put dry earth around them, and failures are the exception. Referring to Mr. Hiller's essay on insect enemies, Mr. Miller stated that fruit trees are often attacked by red spiders. They will destroy trees sooner or later, but being scarcely visible to the naked eye, the loss is attributed to other causes. Cold water applied with a force pump, will destroy the insect.
Mr. KENDIG inquired whether any method can be suggested to make apple trees bear during the "off" year.
Mr. ENGLE was glad to have the question brought up here. Have seen the theory advanced, that by picking off, when the tree is young, a crop of fruit soon after it has bloomed, it will bear a full crop the following year, and alternate years thereafter.
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Vickers, from Maryland, has sent to this Society specimens of apples from a tree, half of which bears a crop one year, and the other half the following year.
Mr. Ellis asked how to prevent the ravages of the tent caterpillar. Some have recommended burning with coal oil.
Mr. EVENDEN destroys them with gun-powder.
Mr. CHASE. One year ago, in northern New England, this pest was very distructive. Forests even were attacked by them. Some trees were saved by picking off by hand. It continued about three years in New England, working its way east.
Mr. HARVEY. We should learn what insects are our friends, and what our enemies. The lady-bug, for instance, eats the eggs of the Colorado beetle. The amantis bug also is bred by some, and turned out to destroy mischievous insects.
Mr. BARTRAM inquired about the “basket worm," or "drop worm," as it is named by some. It inhabits its own house, and always takes it along when it moves. It is one of the most troublesome of pests to destroy.
Mr. HOOPES. It is called “basket worm," and is an intolerable nuisance. There seems no way of getting rid of it except by cutting or pulling off by hand, and burning it.
Mr. ENGLE has had considerable trouble with this insect. It attacked an arbor-vitæ windbreak, and we had some trouble to save part of it from destruction. We picked them off by bushels.
Mr. Cooper has had similar experience to that of Mr. Engle, and destroyed it by same means.
The time for final adjournment having arrived, and there being no further business, the President declared the meeting adjourned.
The following interesting essay was received too late to be read before the society :
FORESTS AND THEIR DESTRUCTION. The planting of forest trees to supply the reckless destruction of the most useful and beautiful of earth's adornments, is an important question, indeed a question of great moment, and no one endowed with human beneficence, can for a moment doubt it. Bear in mind, we are not contending against the legitimate use of forests as an element of human consumption, for, in the ordinary progress of our race, that is a thing that must needs be; it is PLANTING, that is the burden of our theme. Whether we plant for