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In the absence of the president and vice presidents, the members were called to order at two o'clock by the secretary in the hall of the Sun, Hotel. On înotion of Mr. Moon, Colonel McFarland, of Harrisburg, was elected president pro tem. Briefly thanking the association for the honor conferred, he announced his readiness to proceed with the usual business In behalf of the citizens of Bethlehem, Mr. KenMERER bade them a hearty welcome, in substance as follows:
Gentlemen and Members of the Pennsylvania State Horticultural Association :-In the absence of our chief burgess, the pleasant duty of extending to you, in behalf of the citizens of Bethlehem, a welcome, devolves upon me. As, by the nature of my pursuit, I am not versed in the lines of your training and research, I can tell yon no great facts in the science of horticulture, yet I can assure you that I am acquainted with the fact that your association has done a great deal of good. “By their fruits shall ye know them.” While we citizens are greatly in love with our towns and proud of our position in the beautiful valley of the Lehigh, of our business institutions and enterprises, and of our institutions of learning and our churches, yet I do not think I overstate the case when I say that we are still more proud of our warm hospitality to strangers. Therefore, in behalf of the citizens of Bethlehem and South Bethlehem, Old South Bethlehem and West Bethlehem, and of all the Bethlehems, I extend to you, one and all, a most cordial welcome, and trust that you will carry away with you a bounteous measure of pleasure and profit as the record of your sojourn here.
Response by Col. JCFARLAND.
In behalf of the members of our State Horticultural Association, I wish to express to you our hearty appreciation of your cordial welcome. It was my misfortune not to have been present at our meeting here in 1880; but I have heard glowing accounts of the pleasant and interesting meeting held here then, and I am sure that after we adjourn we will go away from here with the same good opinion of your hospitality and with many pleasant recollections of our visit to the Lehigh valley. We feel confident that our visit here will be productive of good, and the many and beautiful specimens of fruits exhibited in this hall prove that we have come to a section of our State that is well advanced in the science of horticulture. The field for research and experiments in horticulture is a large one, seldom proving of any profit to the originator of new and valuable fruits or to the painstaking experimenter. I see members before me whose heads are silvered by work in the good cause, and who have accomplished much for the good of the cause without reaping the benefits they should. They have proven that Pennsylvania can raise fruit successfully and needs not be dependent upon our sister States for a supply. I think our · institutions of learning pay too little attention to horticultural matters, leaving too much to individual effort and resources. For these reasons, we meet to exchange experiences, and I am not claiming too much in saying that our association is gaining considerable ground and doing great good in elevating horticulture to a successful and
paying basis. To the good citizens of the Bethlehems we would say that we will endeavor to conduct ourselves well, and we expect to carry away increased knowledge, as well as your regards and well wishes.
Minutes of preceding meeting read and approved.
On motion of Mr. Snavely, Mr. W. H. Moon was appointed treasurer pro tempore.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS. On motion a committee of five was appointed to nominate candidates for the several offices for the coming year. The chairman being requested to name the committee, appointed the following members: H. C. Snavely, Joseph W. Thomas, Thomas Rakestraw, Thomas B. Meehan and A. S. Shimer.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY. Mr. President and Members of the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania : I take pleasure in presenting briefly my report for the past year :
New Members. Never since the organization of our Society have we added as many members in any one year as at Reading last winter. Through the active efforts of Secretary Fox and President Stitzel, of the Berks County Agricultural and Horticultural Society, over one hundred new names were added to our list of members. · Our roll of life members was also increased by two, and one new honorary member was elected.
While we refer with great pride and satisfaction to our increasing membership, we also have cause for sorrow and regret in the vacancies death has caused in our ranks since our last meeting. We have lost three active, earnest and efficient workers in A. W. Harrison, Thomas M. Harvey and S. W. Noble, and two honorary members in J. B. Garber and Marshall P. Wilder. As some action will doubtless be taken by our association before adjournment in reference to these deceased members, I need only refer to them thus briefly here.
The delay in the printing and distribution of our annual reports for 1885 was unusual, and will not likely occur again. It was not until about the middle of June that the reports were placed at my disposal, and they were then distributed as promptly as possible. Most of them were sent by freight or express to points convenient for distribution, while others were mailed direct to members. The reports for 1886 to which we are entitled, in pamphlet form, are about ready now for distribution. Those in cloth, and which include Agriculture of Pennsylvania, will also be ready shortly. I regret that we could not have ready for distribution, at least enough copies of complete reports to supply those members who are present at this meeting.
Owing to the number and length of several of the essays read at at our last meeting, more than the usual amount of matter was compiled for our annual report, and having considerable more than could be published in our allotted space of eighty pages, I was obliged to abridge and omit entirely several interesting and valuable essays which will appear in our proceedings for next year. In taking this step I consulted with, and had advice and consent of our executive committee.
In conclusion I beg to congratulate our association upon the success
which has attended the efforts of Mr. Cyrus T. Fox, the efficient chairman of our general fruit committee, in procuring reports from counties hitherto unrepresented on his committee. At our last meeting he was able to report a number of new counties in which our society had secured a foothold. At the present meeting still more are being added, and from present indications he will, a year hence, be prepared to advise us that every county in the State has at least one prompt and willing representative and correspondent, who will aid us in making the work of this association more general, more complete and satisfactory than ever before.
E. B. ENGLE, Secretary.
On motion of Mr. Moon, a committee of three was appointed on memorials of deceased members. The chair named Josiah Hoopes, W. H. Moon and H. Leh.
The CHAIRMAN. Owing to the absence of some of our members, it would probably be well to modify somewhat our order of business. I will be glad to hear any suggestions.
Mr. SNAVELY. In the absence of some of the older members, who usudly lead in our discussions, I would suggest that some of the essays in the hands of the secretary be read.
The SECRETARY then read the following:
ESSAY ON TIMBER TREES.
By CASPER Hiller, of Lancaster county.
It has been a great mistake that so many of our steep hillsides have been cleared of wood and made into farm lands. These steep fields so subject to wash are becoming more unproductive and unprofitable every year, so that not many years hence they will be abandoned for agricultural purposes and then they will be an eyesore and a detriment to the farm. In fact many of our creek hills are already in that condition. Where formerly giant trees grew, there is in many places barely soil enough left to grow shrubbery. After cutting out the ripe wood, had the young trees and the sprouts been taken care of, and where necessary to fill out vacant places by judicious planting, these hilisides would to-day be the most valuable part of the farm. After all the valuable articles that are yearly given to the public on the uses of trees as shelter, influence on climate, rainfall, etc., there is very little progress made in forest planting.
The reason of this can perhaps best be attributed to
First. To the idea, that most persons have, that it takes one hundred or more years to grow a forest tree to profit.
Second. People have so little idea of what varieties should be planted to attain success.
Third. Too little knowledge of how to plant and care for trees.
I here give the growth of trees of my own planting. It may help to dispel the idea that it takes one hundred years to grow trees before they become profitable.
White pine, . ... 40 years old, 72 ins. circumference.
25 6 16 72 66
25 06 " 45 66
This would show that an acre of such hillside land as I have described, planted thirty-five years ago to any of the varieties named, would to-day, instead of being an eyesore, be worth more than any other acre of the farm. From two dollars to four dollars worth of posts have been made from a locust tree thirty years old. One hundred or more such trees should be grown on an acre.
What varieties to plant. Those varieties that are most useful on the farm, and of these, fencing materials are of the most importance. For this purpose the locust, chestnut and paulonia are the most desirable. The locust in some sections is attacked by borers which destroy its value, but the paulonia can safely be substituted in its place. It will grow three posts where the locust will make one, and in lasting quality it is superior to chestnut, equal to catalpa, outgrowing the latter nearly two to one.
There is no tree that will be so soon missed as the hickory. It is not a slow grower—could be planted thickly, and the thinnings would be, in the way of hoop poles, very profitable.
The osage orange should however be planted in preference to the hickory. The wood possesses the same qualities as the hickory. Persons who never saw it growing but as a hedge plant, may be surprised to be told that if planted and cared for as a tree, it can be grown in twenty or thirty years to a tree fifteen or twenty inches in diameter, with a clean sten fifteen or more feet high. I have no experience in planting and growing trees as forests, but experienced planters in the western States say that a good way is to plant trees from four to six feet apart each way and care for them as a crop of corn until the trees are established.
The object of planting thickly is to produce upright growth instead of spreading into extended side branches which are of little value.
The process of thinning should commence in a few years, and during the first ten or fifteen years the greater part should be removed. To what extent this thinning should be carried, must be judged by the thrist of the trees. The probabilities however are that in the majority of cases one hundred trees during the second twenty years would produce better results than would a greater number.
Mr. Moon. I am surprised to hear the paulonia recommended for fercing. It is too rapid a grower to produce a durable timber.
Mr. JOSEPH W. THOMAS. Paulonia is not a tender tree with us, and I am also surprised to see it recommended for timber. This is a very valuable essay and corresponds with our experience. Have often seen hillsides that are bare and being washed away by rains, that might be profitably utilized for timber culture. This is an important topic, and I hope to hear the views of others.
Mr. Moon. Timber culture could be made profitable by growing Jocust. The data and measurements given by the essayist are interesting and valuable for reference.
Col. MCFARLAND. Have any of you had experience as to the value of trees for shelter belts? I have been told of a gentleman who planted three belts of trees as an orchard protection. The planting of timber trees might thus be made to serve a double purpose and Protit.
Mr. LINVILLE. I fully agree with the essayist as to the injury of denuding our hillsides of forests. Left without protection they are washed and torn with gullies, that sweep away fences and deposit the soil into valleys below. With a little care and protection the chestnut, which originally covered our hillsides, would furnish valuable timber for ages. I know nothing of the value of of paulonia for timber. It grows very rapidly and straighter than catalpa.
Mr. VAN DEMAN. If paulonia is hardy, here it would be valuable. Have often heard that rapid growing trees do not make desirable timber. Catalpa is a very rapid grower and very lasting. Osage orange is also very desirable.
In Texas, Arkansas and the Indian Territory, where grown along streams and in thick forests it makes a good post timber, but further north it is inclined to grow scrubby and the wood is not so valuable.
As to shelter belts, experience in the west has taught us that it is best to plant them on the west and south sides of our orchards in order to protect from hot winds from the south. The winter winds are severe only in the extreme north, in Dakota and Minnesota. Trees are more likely to be injured on the southern than on the northern sides of shelter belts, owing to sudden and repeated changes.
Mr. Moon. My experience confirms the views of the last speaker. It is not always the extreme cold that injures our fruit trees, but the warm days in late winter and early spring that partly expand the buds, only to be injured by colder weather that comes later.
Mr. SCHERER. I have a small orchard in Oley township, Berks county, that is surrounded by a locust belt, and I believe I can raise more apples than any man in the township. I attribute my success to the protection given my orchard.
Prof. SCRIBNER. Much depends on the latitude where grown, and what is advisable in Kansas might not do elsewhere. In my native State of Maine the winters are very cold. My orchard is largely on the south-east slope of a hill, and there is not another in the State that has produced larger crops of fruit. It is protected on the north by a forest and on the west by a white cedar hedge, which makes a very dense and valuable shelter. A neighbor's orchard is protected by a hedge of white pine, which was said to be difficult to establish, but in ten years grew to be twenty feet high. It is the practice in Maine to shelter orchards, and I believe it brings good results. I would, however, not advise the use of red cedar, as it carries a fungus which is injurious to apple trees.
Mr. VAN DEMAN. So far as my observation and experience go, a wind-break on the west is no disadvantage, but the most essential point is protection on the south and south-west. The same rule may not apply in this latitude.
Col. MCFARLAND. In the counties of Blair and Cambria, in every sheltered nook they have unfailing crops of apples, which I attribute to the sheltered locations.
The following essay was then read by the secretary: