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the proceedings of the local societies, including some of the most useful, practical papers and addresses delivered before each. At present, most of these reports are very brief and formal; but if the plan were adopted of giving fuller accounts of their proceedings, it would tend to incite to greater efforts, give rise to a commendable spirit of emulation, and occasion a greater interest to be felt in horticultural matters generally. To make these changes, would necessitate an extension of the limits now assigned us; for with reports from each of our fruit districts, in addition to our usual amount of matter, we shall be crowded for space.
Whether or not the time has come to apply for any additional number of pages to our volume is left to your decision, and also the policy of asking for an enlarged edition. Of the 2,000 copies of our report now printed, the State distributes, in accordance with legal enactments, over 1,700, and this number is increasing from year to year with the increase of our local horticultural and county agricultaral societies. The number left is entirely inadequate to our wants, for with the most careful use of the volumes the stock of back numbers is soon exhausted. Quite a number of applications have lately been made for the volumes for 1872 and 1873, which could not be furnished. The delay in the issue of the transactions for last year was a source of great annoyance to myself and doubtless to the members of the society, but the cause of it was beyond my control, and for which others, are entirely responsible. The sum of $150 can be expended yearly in procuring cuts and engravings for the transactions. It was evidently intended that this sum should be used for cuts of practical value, necessary to explain the text of the volume and not simply for purposes of embellishment. Your secretary would be pleased to have the society indicate in what way the sum can be used to best promote the interests of horticulture in our State.
PROGRAMME.—The issuing of the programme for our meeting was delayed beyond the proper time in order to announce a reduction in railroad-fare to those who wished to attend. The railroad companies have kindly granted this courtesy, and for it the thanks of the society are due.
In preparing the programme, an attempt was made to have a variety of subjects pertaining to the different branches of horticulture presented, but ended in the topics suggested giving place to the choice of the individual contributors. A number of papers have been sent in since the programme was published, which will be read during the session. I trust, if there is any lack in the usual variety, amends will be made in the range of your discussion, and in practical adaptation to the necessities of the hour."
NOTES FROM THE ORCHARD AND GARDEN.
J. S. STICKNEY, WAUWATOSA.
Gentlemen of the State Horticultural Society:
While our meeting of a year ago was in session I made the resolve that from that date to this, every week should yield some observations and facts, which should be carefully noted down for use at this meeting: I am sorry to say, these notes are far less full and complete than I intended, but such as they are, I lay them before you, hoping thay may contain an occasional thought which will interest you.
To the lake shore counties of our State, the past season's applecrop is something to be long remembered, and I hope something to revive our failing courage, and to stimulate us to continued and more skillful efforts in fruit-raising. Our crop has been only moderate in quantity, but excellent in quality; smooth and fair and ripening very perfectly. The codling moth almost failing to put in an appearance. Were they killed by the cold of last winter, or has the past two season with no apples, starved them out? We think the latter, and shall expect to see more worms next season; but a little prompt and earnest fighting will hold them in check for several years: And in this connection let us remember that a diminutive crab-apple which is often left on the tree, because not worth gathering, furnishes a home for just as fat and prolific a codling worm, as the choicest apple; therefore, let everything not worth gathering for use, be cut down and destroyed. Scraping and washing the bark of trees to make them smooth, thus removing all hiding places for the worm to spin his cocoon, then placing bandages avout the trunks of the trees, for them to hide under; examining and destroying the worms from time to time, are perhaps the most effectual means of destruction. Sheep or pigs, to eat the defective fruit as soon as it falls, are also good, but many worms leave the apple before it falls and find a home in the rough bark and thus escape.
. Scientific men tell us better; but I still have a lingering faith in fires kindled at evening about the orchard; and in open bottles of some sweet liquid hung among the branches. Certain it is that if these do not destroy codling moths, they do destroy thousands of insects, and thus indirectly, millions of worms, that would, if left undisturbed, make heavy inroads on the crops we cultivate, consequently every means of destruction should be freely used.
Facts seemingly demonstrated by the crop of this season would be considerably varied by a dryer and warmer season, and must therefore be taken with much allowance. The cool season has developed Fameuse to a degree of excellence not often attained near the lake, while from some cause Northern Spy has been almost a failure. Duchess is always good, but this year a little better than usual; we are showing our faith in this, by planting five bundred trees, one rod apart each way, expecting that their early and heavy bearing, aided by a little careful pruning, will keep them small enough to be fully accomodated by this space. Are we right or wrong? I have never yet seen a Duchess tree that occupied a full square rod. What will we do with the crop when our five hundred trees bear one to three barrels each? Gather early, barrel carefully, and ship to the market that will pay most for them, in the meantime keeping our faith bright, that the average price realized will be $2 per barrel or more.
Is it not time that the gathering and profitable marketing, and use of the fruits we grow was more fully discussed and better understood? When I see the wanton waste and neglect of an abundant fruit-crop, I can hardly help feeling that instead of living in a poor fruit country, as we are sometimes told, we in reality have more, fruit than we deserve.
Gather all fruit promptly and carefully; pack securely in a tidy and convenient package, and sell at the proper time for shipping, at the going price, and your løsses will be few and the balance on the right side of your ledger.
Holding for speculative prices is usually unprofitable, as illustrated by some thousands of barrels now in the hands of producers, about Milwaukee, that might have been sold in autumn at $3, to $3.50 per barrel, and are now worth only $2.50. One of the largest fruit-growers in Illinois, in speaking of the price of apples, names $2 per barrel as the fairest and most profitable average price, as at that price there will be a free consumption, thus using the largest crops without loss, while at a higher rate sales are slow.
In my young orchard, six years planted, Fall Orange has given me most and fairest fruit. Fameuse and Plumbs' Cider have done nearly as well. Trees of Perry Russet, eight to ten years planted, have for the first time given a full crop, and thus saved their heads from re-grafting. In older orchards Golden Russet has done well, Tolman Sweet, extra well, and Seek-no-Farther entirely beaten its former self in quantity and quality. Twenty Ounce, Colvert, and Alexander have yielded a full crop of very showy and salable fruit; as far as fall varieties can be used, I think these profitable to plant. Two trees of Porter, the only two within my knowledge were models of thrift, productiveness and beauty, yielding six barrels each. Young trees of Utter have shown a fine crop. We shall plant more of them. Fall Stripe, though a fine tree, and very productive, is irregular in size and in form; and coming at the season in does, can never find a ready market. It seems to me unworthy of general planting.
Weaver's Sweet was again over-loaded. Price's Sweet nearly as full, better in quality, but has the habit of dropping badly before fully ripe. Sour Bough gave its bienvial full crop. Young trees of Haas, three years planted, showed some fine specimens. No Pewaukee or Walbridge in this vicinity, old enough to bear. Two trees of Blue Pearmain, ten or twelve years planted, usually give half a bushel or so of exhibition specimens, beautiful and excellent in quality but never abundant.
In an orchard of seventy acres at Rockford, Illinois, Mr. E. H.. Skinner has the following kinds: Two thousand four hundred Ben Davis, four hundred and seventy-fiye Domine, two hundred Fameuse, four hundred Willow Twig, two hundred and fifty Duchess, one hundred Maiden Blush, one hundred and fifty assorted (for family use).
This selection is based on the experience of a bearing orchard, of his planting at Marengo, and Mr. Skinner writes of it as follows: "I have twice taken the premium at the Illinois State Fair, for
the largest named collection, not one in ten of which erer paid ground rent,while these hare nearly always paid.” Certainly a very good reason for planting them, and the example, one which should be followed by all planters, viz: Look about you and see what is doing best, and plant most freely of that. Mr. Skinner has also an orchard of three thousand five hundred Early Richmond Cherries, which in 1874, gave him nine hundred bushels of fruit, and are models of thrift and beauty; also, himself and partner have twenty-four acres of raspberries, and will largely increase the amount in the spring. These men know what to do with their fruit, and a visit to their grounds in gathering time, would be pleasant and profitable to any fruit-grower.
I have formerly earnestly advocated close planting as a means of protection. I now wish to “take it all back." What trees I haye about my home were planted fifteen to eighteen years ago, quite close; apples sixteen to twenty feet; cherries and plums, eight to twelve feet; shade trees nearer yet. For the past five years I have been thinning out, but not promptly enough. This thinning out process is not an agreeable one, because our interest and affection for these things which for years have received our fostering care is sadly disturbed, and because what are left cannot be as symmetrical and well arranged as when planted wider apart with abundant room to develope on all sides. Whoever will carefully note the effect of crowding, will soon be convinced that any part of a tree that does not have a free and full supply of light and air, and is not freely reached by the rainfall and dew, will be weak and feeble, yielding only small and imperfect fruit, and ultimately die.
Our plantation of Philadelphia Raspberries grows larger each year, and this enlarging is based upon the fact that it uniformly gives us more quarts and more dollars than any other. I hope another year to give you a definite statement of cost and production per acre. At present our planting is too scattered and irregular to do this accurately.
Our faith has been a little weak about the bearing qualities of Long Bunch Holland Currant. This year our doubts are removed by such figures as these: Eighty plants set in April, 1873, yielded nine bushels in August, 1875. From a patch twenty by eighty feet, of old plants, left standing in nursery rows, and neglected so as to