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has been none but the highest praise of the very kind and cordial reception at that time. I, therefore, trust that our mission at this session will be a renewal of the friendly interchange of ideas and experiences, and that we may be able to give as well as receive the thought that may prove a mutual benefit.
Fruit culture in our climate is one of the most precarious industries. And yet our existence depends upon its products. The increase of insect enemies should not deter, but inspire us to greater vigilance. Climatic changes, over which we have no control, may sometimes discourage, but may also awaken the thought that enables us to avoid total failures. The health-giving properties of our fruits are essential to our organism. Especially in the temperate and torrid zones, more fruits, and less oily matter, would bring comfort to the body, strength to the mind and tone to the nerves. It is a mistaken idea that fruit should not be eaten at breakfast. There is nothing so well calculated to correct the acid secretions as a cooling subacid fruit, such as peaches, apples, &c.
We have cause of congratulation in the establishment of “A National Bureau of Pomology” by the government. It is to be hoped that much good may result, and scientific knywledge disseminated not attainable from any other course. Although the appropriation is a meager oue, it is sufficient to show there is a disposition on the part of Congress and the officers of the government to assist in the horticultural as well as the agricultural interest of the country. Let us hope with the strong arm of the nation to assist, we may ere long be able to solve the troublesome problem of peach yellows. The distinguished pomologist, Mr. Van Deman, with his wide and varied experience in pomology, eminently qualifies him as the head of the bureau. The objects of the bureau, from the best I can learn, are the establishment and maintenance of experimental stations, if possible, in connection with agricultural colleges, the gathering of statistics, the investigation of foreign markets, the personal examination of new fruits, the establishment of a cabinet of models representing fruits as grown in different States and sections of the country. It is now to be hoped that our most experienced horticulturists and all others interested in pomology will assist and cooperate with the bureau in establishing a line of experiments that will in the near future be a beacon for success to the fruit grower.
The thought has frequently occurred to me that we might have a State Board of Horticulture, or a State Board of Agriculture and Horticulture. This would of course necessitate the appointment of an additional or assistant secretary to the very efficient and courteous officer now filling the position in this State. The consolida-ion of the two branches of industry into and under one head could not conflict with either. Horticulture is but a higher and more advanced growth of agriculture, and the interest of both so identical that it would be impolitic to divide them. And since we are to have a National Bureau of Pomology, could we not have more efficient service, more intelli. gent and better conducted experiments, and better and more frequent reports through the State Board than by any other means? There is little doubt in my mind that this matter could be accomplished with but little difficulty, the Assembly being now in session, and in all probability there will be some legislation to enlarge the workings of the State Board at the present session. The interests of this Commonwealth, with its various soils and many advantages, locations in altitude for successful horticulture, should be an incentive to our publicspirited members of the Legislature to foster the interest of pomology in our own State. We have thousands of acres of hillsides now growing wild in scrub timber that could be made to produce tons of luscious grapes, peaches, strawberries and other fruits to the gratification of a hungry populace, who hunt the markets for native, but are compelled to take that brought from other States.
New factors in horticulture are constantly making their appearance. We have new avenues of exchange, new plants, flowers and fruit, new diseases. insect enemies and surprises of climate. We find new adaptations for old things, and the old are sometimes resurrected as new. These everchanging conditions of horticulture admonishes all who would be live men or women to adopt every agency for the enlargement of our knowledge of the facts surrounding us and of the wider relations to which our interests extend. There is within our reach no single agency which does so much to bring into public view the results of individual research as the organized societies of the times. Horticulture in the larger definition covers a wide field. It has outgrown the restricted definition which confined it to the garden. The modern horticulturist has taken for his task all the sciences and arts which relate to the garden, orchard, vineyard and forest. It relates to all that embellishes the home, the farm, the park and the public highway, and to all the great interests therein. Hence it becomes our duty to embrace all the means within our grasp to enlighten the untiring and ever vigilant pomologist to achieve the best results for his laboring care and industry.
I am gratified to see another step in the advancement of horticultural interests, by enlisting the assistance and cooperation of the finer elements of mankind in the good work. Our worthy secretary has prevailed upon our western friends (who have heretofore not favored our association with their presence except at long intervals,) to give us a lady essayist. I sincerely hope this is but the beginning of what in the future will encourage the ladies to aid and assist, both by their presence and encouragement, in the deliberation of various subjects under consideration. Their presence itself has a refining influence. What can man do of himself? Life would scarce be worth the living. It is for woman that we toil; it is she who shares our sorrows and our joys, and it is she who assists in making this world the paradise where there are no forbidden fruits. Therefore I most cordially extend the hand of companionship and welcome the being that ennobles and elevates the meetings of our association.
Of the fruits of the season past I shall have but little to say. The ambitious and vigilant chairman of the general fruit committee has so exhaustively gone over the ground, that it would be inadvisable for me to attempt to add anything of interest. We, as usual, have had failures and successes, disappointments and surprises—some sections blest with an abundance and to spare, while others sparse and imperfect. One of the most unaccountable features to me is the dividing line between the location of remunerative crops and the one of almost total failure. True, cultivation, fertility enter largely into our successes, but it does not always follow that he who tills best shall have the largest yield. It matters not how fertile the soil, when climatic influences are adverse. So much depends on atmospheric conditions, especially when the trees or plants are in bloom. That although all the other requisits are complete, total failures are some
times the inevitable result. In small fruits, the greater part of the eastern section of our State had an exceptionally large crop. The strawberry, which is mainly dependent upon rain and sunshine at the proper time, so far outstripped itself in production the past season as to surprise the growers and excite exclamation of wonder and praise.
A feature attracting the attention of some of our most practical orchardists is the adoption of some other than the peach root as a preventive of the yellows. Some of our southern pomologists have recommended the Wild Goose plum, or others of the Chickasaw type, as the stock to be used. There is one of them doubtless has all the requisites as to growth, hardiness, etc., but seems to be sadly deficient in productiveness. I allude to the variety known as the “ Blackman." I have been watching and nursing one on my own grounds for several years in anticipation of at least getting seed for stocks, but as yet it has never even come to full bloom, although every season full of bloom buds. If it can be grown from cuttings, as has been asserted, and the percentage of loss not too great, we yet may have in it the proper substitute. Although I do not have much faith in the enterprise, I shall try some cuttings under glass to see what they will do. I am glad to know that the experiment is attracting the attention of some of our most practical horticulturists, who have planted with a view to test the fallacy or success of the enterprise.
The prevalent practice of amateur orchardists in planting new and untried varieties that are only known to the originator and the unprincipled tree agent, whose only object is to palm off worthless goods at fabulous prices to the unsuspecting victim, is still the cry over our land. The fertile brain of the deceptive vendor is always on the alert to devise some method of deception, that he may more easily turn the tide of trade to his benefit, without giving a proper equivalent.
I cannot refrain from my admonition of a year ago, to discourage the practice of experimental planting of new and untried varieties of fruits (and particularly apples) to the exclusion of old and staple sorts. I fully realize the folly after twenty years of watchful care and waiting, that about nine-tenths of the new novelties are either of little value or entirely worthless. Had I, in my orchard of eighty-five trees, planted three-fourths of it in sorts of known excellence in my neighborhood, I would now be able to reap some reward for my laborand pains. But such has not been my lot. The handsome appearance and quality of northern and western grown fruit induced me, as it has many others, to plant the more largely of the newer kinds, never for a moment doubting that what did well elsewhere would not succeed here. If planters would at first observe or inquire what best suits his vicinity, giving the preference to native sorts of his own location, failures would be less prevalent. Varieties that succeed well in the valley are often of little value on the adjacent hillside, and vice versa, those that flourish and produce in a limestone region may fail entirely in a sandy shale. Hence I conclude that the only safe guide is to plant good, reliable, tested varieties that have a local reputation in your immediate section, and not too many sorts, for it is easier to sell ten barrels of one good kind than it is to sell as many different, and I assure the tree peddler will soon be compelled to seek a vocation in other fields of labor.
The subject of issuing a catalogue of fruits, has been discussed at several previous meetings, although no definite action has been taken. Such have been adopted by other State societies to the advantage and
3 HORT. Ass.
benefit of their citizens. The formulation of a list suitable for all sections is an impossibility. But by districting the State, say an eastern and western, a northern and a southern and perhaps a central or middle district for the State College. With the merit of each variety voted upon by counties, would, in my judgment, by some criterion to which planters might refer for information. The usefulness of this association can undoubtedly be augmented by the unselfish adoption of such a list, accompanied by some general information of how and what to plant.
In Memoriam.—“Father time” during the last year seems to have laid a heavy hand on several of our most honored, most endeared and useful members Men who have spent active and useful lives in pomology. Men whose public spirited benevolence and genial dispositions were the admiration of all. Men of retiring manners whose companionship and hospitality were sought far and wide, for the field of knowledge they embraced. Men whose unselfish dispositions for the good of mankind, will leave living monuments to their praise. Men whose horticultural experiments have been examples for all to observe with profit. I do not deem it necessary to refer to each in his individual capacity as one of the most esteemed members has kindly relieved me of that duty.
The increasing desire for rural home and home adornment, is one of the pleasing features of modern horticulture. Fine lawns laid out in ever-curving walks, and grounds dotted with forest and other trees. Beds of well-trimmed shrubberry advantageously located to break the monotony of the scene, lend their beauty and fragrance to the happy surroundings. Borders and ribbon beds of semi-tropical plants attract the eye to the beautiful in nature's gifts, and charm the observer from the baser thought of life. Is it any wonder the progressive horticulturist's untiring zeal should seek such surroundings to rest his weary head and tired brain, when the fragrance of roses and the linden blend in harmony to distill the essence that feeds the soul.
In conclusion allow me to extend my most sincere thanks for your kind attention, trusting that the continuance of this meeting is but the rekindling of that social spirit of pleasure and profit that has and still prevades since the organization. It is my great desire that the good work go on, and that in our every day walks of life, we can look back io the meetings and the pleasant associations connected therewith, as among the brightest pages in our history.
Mr. THOMAS, treasurer, submitted the following report, which was accepted and referred to an auditing committee consisting of Messrs. Bartram, Smith and McFarland, who subsequently reported it correct and satisfactɔry.
ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE TREASURER. GEORGE B. THOMAS, Treasurer, in account with the State Horticultural
Association of Pennsylvania. 1886.
$420 79 Jan. 20. To cash for annual dues of members, . . $154 00
22. To cash for life member, Edwin W. Thomas, 10 00 Oct. 13.)
1. To cash for annual dues of members, .. 16 00
Nov. 4. To cash for annual dues, per E. B. Engle, $14 00
To cash for postage on reports, per E. B.
1886. Jan. 20. By cash paid Thomas J. Edge, librarian, for
exchange on books from Detroit, Boston,
Missouri and Kansas, ........
reports, postage, printing, stationery, &c.,
culars, stationery, express, &c., : .... By cash paid E. B. Engle as salary for 1885, By cash paid Reuben Goodhart for services
as janitor, .............. 29. By cash paid F. S. Hickman for furnishing
and printing 100 postal cards as notices
to members for dues, ........ Nov. 4. By cash paid E. B. Engle for express, sta
tionery, printing and stamps, .....
By balance, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$6:20 07 1887. Jan. 18. To cash on hand in Farmers' National Bank of West Chester, ..........
$194 25 Mr. II. C. SNAVELY, chairman committee on nominations, submitted the following report :
Your committee on nominations beg leave to report the following names for the ensuing year :
President-CALVIN COOPER, Bird-in-Hand.
Vice Presidents-JOSIAH HOOPES, West Chester; H. M. ENGLE, Marietta ; E. SATTERTHWAIT, Jenkintown.
Recording Secretary-E. B. ENGLE, Waynesboro'.
all the present officers for re-election but for the urgent request of the present treasurer, Mr. Thomas, to be excused from longer service as treasurer of the Society. We would recommend the adoption of the following:
Resolved, That the thanks of this Society are due and hereby tendered to George B. Thomas for his long and efficient services as treasurer of the same.
HENRY C. SNAVELY,
A. S. SHIMER,