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the common wants of life; for shelter or protection; for ornamentation, or, perhaps, to secure a continuous or periodic supply of rain-fall. One twentietb, or at least one tenth, ought never to have been destroyed as has been, without having re-planted as much again. The nine tenths, remaining land, would have produced as much as the whole, without the foiests. Three fourths of our forests are used up already, and the number of consumers is rapidly increasing. There are now about forty million of people in our country to be supplied. Judging by the past, this is certainly not a very encouraging prospect; if this waste is not checked, in fifty years hence our forests will be entirely exhauster. The demands of Pennsylvania alone, will require about ten billion feet of lumber for fencing, and about twelve billion for building purposes.
It will require about ten billions for furniture and wages, besides ties for four thousand miles of railroad-two thousand five hundred to the milemaking about thirty billion feet to be provided for, sooner or later, and this to be periodically replenished. Nor is it the woodman's ax alone that is devastating our forests. Times' relentless scythe cuts down the aged; winds and frosts prostrate many of the huge and valuable denizens of the forest, and others fall a prey to
devouring worms.” Thus nature may exhibit the proportion that may be legitimately removed, and suggest that nothing but a new tree planted, will reinstate an old one destroyed. Nothing can be adduced in extenuation of our profligacy to our posterity, in not husbanding our trees, or in not replacing those that necessity compelled us to destroy. Look at the effects upon older countries in the de. vastation of their forest trees. This ought to be enough to induce every thinking man, and every social organization, to do their utmost for their protection and economization. Palestine, Syria, Egypt, France, Italy, and Spain, history tells us, have witnessed their most populous regions turned into forsaken wastes, and their best lands turned into sterile deserts.
Honorable J.P. Marsh, is of the opinion that the exhaustion of our forests, from the wanton destruction of our valuable trees, is fifty or one hundred years nearer to us than people generally think. It is useless to talk about planting a few shade trees, on a few acres, by a few individuals, when we annually hew down and destroy the products of millions of acres of our most valuable timber lands. Men talk about soft wood that will spring up and produce forests in ten, fifteen, or twenty years, which, however, will only answer for shade, for wind-breaks, or for some ordinary contingency, but this will never supply the exhausted oak, hickory, mahogany, and other hard woods which require three or four generations, or about one hundred and fifty or more, years to mature; all of which are worth from forty to sixty dollars per thousand feet, right here at our doors, and much more in Europe, where it is in great demand.
Many acres of forest in Lancaster county will readily bring $100" woodleave,” and many single trees have brought as high as fifty dollars. Some of these forest kings are extra large, showing one hundred and fifty rings, indicating that they at least have attained that number of years. Companies can accomplish more than individuals, and governments can do more than companies. A number of our State governments, as well as a number of our agricultural societies have offered trifling premiums, as inducements for land owners to give some attention to silviculture. Congress also offers to donate forty acres to any responsible person who will improve a whole section, under certain circumstances, including the planting of trees where none exist. This cannot be regarded as a very tempting inducement to any people except those of the very poorest class, as it would require many generations before they could expect a return of good and solid timber, whilst other crops could be realized within a year. Congross should immediately organize a Board of Commissioners of Forestry, who should plant, or cause to be planted, whole sections all over the prairie country in forest trees, or give the land away to be planted by individuals, who, if they were not themselves specially benefited, would certainly have the land in such condition as to make it a desirable inheritance to posterity. This would be better for the country than their schemes of " currency tinkering," intriguing for the"presidential succession," subsidizing monopolies, and “gasing” about pseudo-reform.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should encourage individuals and companies to plant, preserve, and protect forest lands. Cultivated timber should be exempt from taxation, and as many acres planted annually, as are cut down and consumed.
As early as 1589, Bernard Palliory, a distinguished Frenchman, said: “I cannot sufficiently detest the act of cutting away our forests, without re-planting them, and I call it a curse and calamity to France ; for, if our forests are exhausted, all interests of the country will be materially affected."
Mr. Starr, of St. Louis, in 1865, said : “ There are about sixty occupations enumerated in the last census, which depend, in whole or in part, on Jumber, or wood, as their raw material, in their commerce and manufactures, employing five hundred thousand artisans, of various kinds, and representing two million of people. It is useless to talk about individual enterprise in planting forest trees, as their efforts would only be a drop added to the sea. Let our legislators be prudent, and cast their bread upon the waters, and it will return after many days.'”
In conclusion, let me exhort the Society to use all honorable means to induce our Legislature to pass a ju licious law in behalf of our forests, and to encourage silviculture. It is written: “Whoever pretendeth to believe, and provideth not for his own household, is worse than an infidel.”
P. S. REIST. WARWICK, LANCASTER, January 14, 1878.
The following communications, in reference to a new insect enemy of the peach tree, in Reading, Pennsylvania, were received during the sessions of the meeting. Specimens of the insect referred to, were received and exhibited before the Society, but no one present having seen or heard of it before, no remedy could be suggested. The insects were subsequently sent to our entomologist, Mr. Rathvon, who has thrown some light
READING, PA., January 13, 1878. E. B. ENGLE:
Dear Sir : Inclosed please find an article which I had prepared for your Society, and which I had addressed to, and expected to send with, Mr. Rathvon, but he does not expect to be present, and has advised me to mail it to you. Hoping you will bring it to the attention of the Society, I am yours, respectfully,
W. M. YOUNG. The following is an extract from the letter referred to above:
READING, PENNSYLVANIA, January, 1878. Mr. S. S. RATHvon:
Dear Sir: Five years ago, I had the opportunity to discover, on a few peach trees in the central part of the city of Reading, a new insect, which, to my knowledge, has never been known here before. The first year, Í visited various sections of the city, to discover, if possible, whether it had spread any. I found none elsewhere; and I gave notice to people then, that, if not exterminated, it would become a great evil to peach growing. This year, I find all my bearing trees afflicted, as well as my neighbors', and, I do believe, that it will become, in a short time, of great magnitude, and no rest until it has destroyed the trees in general. Its increase in one season is enormous, as the insect which lays the brood can fly. I am at a loss for a remedy.
I send you a few branches of the afflicted peach, which is a semblance of how all the branches of bearing trees are at present. Also, I send you one of the insects that lays the brood. Several trees have been totally destroyed by this insect.
Can you give me the name of the insect? Its nativity, or where first seen? Has any other member any knowledge of it? and are there any other districts infested by the same ? Are there any possible remedies at hand ? If a remedy, can it be applied without destroying bearing trees ?
W. M. YOUNG.
The following, from the Lancaster Farmer for February, 1878, are Mr. Rathvon's views concerning this new enemy of the peach :
“We insert these letters here, not for the purpose of criticising the misapprehensions, and consequent misstatements of the writer, but to illustrate, from his own experience, and his own practical observation, that be has a very formidable insect enemy to his peach trees to contend with, and to elicit the observations and experiences of others on the same subject, if there should be any within our State or elsewhere. But, first, we would most respectfully beg leave to correct a great error, which he seems to have fallen into, in regard to the winged insect which he alleges lays the eggs.
“The delicately formed golden green insect, with the beautiful lace wings, belongs to the order Neuroptera (nerve-winged insects,) and the family Hemerobudæ, and is one of the most industrious and unequivocal insect friends that belongs to the whole class insects. The nimble little larva is spindle-shaped, oblong, thickest in the middle, and tapering towards both ends, has six feet, and a formidable pair of calliper-like jaws, and feeds mainly on aphids and bark-lice, before the latter have assumed the scale form. After the larva is mature, it spins itself up in a small spherical. whitish, silken cocoon, from which the perfect insect evolves in the late spring; and when the female becomes fertilized she deposits from ten to twenty eggs in a cluster, each one on the end of a delicate white foot-stalk, when they look like a minute bulb on the end of a thin, whitish bristle; and when the young are excluded from the eggs, they crawl down the footstalk and scatter themselves over the tree or plant, and go in search of any small living object they can find, especially plant or bark-lice. The specimen inclosed, still has the cocoon within its grasp, from which it emerged. This little insect can do no harm whatever, for in the winged state it partakes of no food at all, indeed, it could not if it would, for its mouth organs
are obsolete, or merely rudimental. It has no part whatever in producing the bark-lice that infest the branches of the peach or any other tree, and its presence there is solely for the purpose of feeding on them. We have watched them for many an hour among colonies of aphids, slaying them with the energy of a regular pork-butcher. Knowing them and their habits so well, we regret that their mission has been misapprehended, and hence, altogether misrepresented. This little subject seems to be Chrysopa occulata, but there are some twenty or thirty described species of them.
“And now a word about the bark-lice' of the peach tree. They belong to the order Homoptera (like winged insects) that is, in those among them that have wings at all, the wings are all nearly or quite alike in size, struc. ture, and form. But it is only the males that have wings, and these do not survive the winter. Those on the twigs of trees at this season of the year, are all females, and all will, next spring, deposit a number of eggs, (each from fifty to one hundred and fifty or more.) and these will hatch about the 15th of June-earlier or later, according to the temperature of the weather. They are so very small when they come from the eggs that they cannot be discovered without the aid of a glass, but small as they are, they have organs of locomotion sufficient to transport them all over the tree, and wherever the wood is smoothest, newest, and most succulent, there they will penetrate the bark with their piercers, and permanently locate them. selve, and begin to suck and thrive on the yielding, sap.
After they select a location and affix themselves to it, they never leave it alive. All the males do is to fertalize the females, after which they very soon die. When the female is located, she divests herself of her feet, her antenne and her caudal filaments, and becomes degraded into a scale' or scab,' and hence they are called scale-lice,' or . scab-lice. No matter how cold or how wet the winter is, the weather has little or no injurious effect upon either the female or her eggs. There is but one brood in a season, but they are so prolific that in one or two years they overrun very large trees, and very large districts. They are supposed to be carried from tree to tree by the prevailing winds.
“The nativity' of this insect may be foreign; at all events it does not seem to be very well known in this region of the country. In 1860, whilst in attendance at one of the early meetings of the Pennsylvania FruitGrowers' Society, held at West Chester, Pennsylvania, a gentleman in that town brought us a plum branch infested similarly to your peach trees. But, it being early in the month of June, (the strawberries were just ripening,) of course, they were much larger than yours are now. Since that time we have not seen any that seemed a nearer resemblance to them than some sent to us on one occasion on a beech twig. They belong to the family Coccicæ, and may be referred to the genus lecanium. If not the same species that the pear and the plum are sometimes infested with, then they may receive the specific name of persicum. Whether any other member of the Society has noticed them, is more than we can say at this time. Nor can we answer whether any other district in the State is infested with them. As to the possible remedies for their destruction, in the condition they are now, scattered over the whole tree, even to the ends of the smallest branches, it would be difficult to apply it, even if it were known, and might do little good if applied. On the trunks or larger limbs they can be dislodged with a stiff brush and soap and water; or by whitewashing; or by an application of oil or other fatty matter. If, by close observation, the time could be discovered when the young come forth from the eggs, and before they have located themselves, (about the middle of June,) and then the trees were drenched with soap and water, or an infusion of tobacco, they might