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be almost in sod, we took thirteen bushels, and sold the same at $2.50 per bushel, because so late.
Smith's Seedling Gooseberry first fruited with us this season; a little larger than Houghton; about the same in quality; one or two more crops on older plants will more fairly test its merits. We do not yet feel well assured of the bearing qualities of Downing; have been too anxious to propagate it to give it any chance to bear; have this season heard of its bearing heavy crops in western New York and in Michigan. If it will do as well here, its size and quality will give it the very first place among the gooseberries we can grow.
Miner Plums, from their favorite haunts about Galena, son found their way to our Milwaukee market. And such plums! -large, smooth, fair, wonderfully uniform, and inviting in appearance. One shipment of thirty-six cases disappeared in a very short time, at $4 per bushel. Nothing shown in our market this season has excited more interest, or been better calculated to arouse one's fruit-growing inclinations; and but for their uniform failure in my hands for the past eight years, I presume I should be planning to plant largely of them in spring. Certain it is, that an abundance of such plums would be good for the pocket, at leas If we do not feel assured of success with the Miner, the question. naturally arises, what others of the same class will do more for us? Among the multitudes of plums so abundant in every thicket over all the northwest, there certainly is something worthy of cultivation, probably dozens of kinds that would yield abundant and valuable returns for our care. Several are already under trial, let us hurry them on to a full and complete test, and seek earnestly for more.
Blight has not neglected us the past season, and as pear-trees were getting scarce, it has amused itself with crab-apples, taking very fine eight to ten year old trees. These were standing in a warm, sheltered spot, where there was not a free circulation of air. They are totally ruined, while others of same age, but in exposed localities and not so well cared for, show no blight; rather strong evidence that, killed by blight, may in other words mean, killed by kindness.
In gathering facts to report to the American Pomological Society, I accidentally discovered a remedy for grumblers against our climate, viz: They should buy a cranberry-marsh, or an interest in a thousand acres of huckleberries, then they would soon be smiling instead of growling. Black River Falls sent to market this season, four thousand bushels of huckleberries; Stevens Point, two thousand; Tunnel City, nine thousand, at an average of about three dollars per bushel: Many were also sent from other points. A very snug little income to be gathered from the poorest of soils. With the income from what were recently considered worthless marshes, you are all familiar. What other State has such sources of fruit-wealth ? And what sort of people are we, who will not work patiently and persistently to so adapt our varieties and management to the requirements of climate, as to succeed in the culture of the larger fruits as well?
About ornamentals and ornamental planting I have little to say. What I haye noticed during the year, in parks and pleasuregrounds, has only impressed more strongly on my mind the beauty of simplicity. Green grass, nature's own carpet, studded with irregular groups of well chosen trees always brings to me a feeling of comfort and rest not found in more artistic and elaborate works. In the useful and ornamental there is one feature which, though not very encouraging or profitable to the nurseryman, is a golden opportunity to the planter. Evergreens, nursery grown and of excellent quality, are so abundant and so.cheap that all can afford to plant them freely, in belts and wind-breaks, wherever they are needed for shelter or timber. If the present large supply shall find its way to useful and prominent places on every farm, a good work will be accomplished.
Though many of our members are not nurserymen, all will feel some interest in the present condition and out-look of the nursery business. Perhaps there is no more depression here than in other things, yet for the past three years there has been very little of encouragement, and throughout the country many good and worthy men have gone slowly down to failure and financial ruin. To-day the prices that can be realized for many of our goods are below the cost of production. I have been at some pains to learn something of the quantity and quality of general nursery-stock in the west, and from knowledge thus gained I look confidently for a decided improvement in the fall trade of this year, and a still greater one in the spring and fall of 1877. For two springs past, the young stock planted has been, perhaps, one-fifth the amount of former years; the same will hold true of the coming spring. Join with this the fact that for some years, planting in orchards has been rather light, and that in the mean time we have been gradually growing into varieties in which the public have more confidence, and it is but reasonable to suppose that our business will improve in a way to benefit both the nurseryman and planter.
THE UP-HILL SIDE OF THE APPLE-QUESTION.
BY GEO. J. KELLOGG, JANESVILLE.
I have chosen the up-hill side that I may yet below and catch the apples. Perhaps the experience of every apple-grower in the State would more fully illustrate this subject than I can do it. Ever since Eve stole the first apple, apple-growing has been up-hill busi
In the summer of 1835 I took my first lessons in horticulture in Wisconsin. In 1838, I planted my first apple tree, and that was a miserable, crooked Rhode Island Greening, bought of some eastern tree-peddler. That tree still survives the blasts of Wisconsin winters, and has borne some good fruit. It is needless to add that it stands near the lake shore, where in after years I picked as fine rare-ripe peaches as I ever saw. The winters of thirty years ago were much like the present one, the thermometer seldom falling below zero.
Since 1855, 0! how our dreams of Eden have changed! How many have proven that apple-growing is an up-hill business. How very few have made it profitable, except with a very few varieties, and in favorable locations. Seasons of plenty have afforded good winter apples in Janesville at twenty-five cents per bushel, by the wagon-load, and I am informed that at picking-time, in the orchard, good winter apples were sold last fall, at fifty to seventy-five cents per bushel, in Rock county.
Now to get at those varieties that it will pay to plant without an if, is the object of this paper. To this end I have obtained the list of our most successful operators in various parts of the State, showing what varieties have paid best for the last ten to twenty years, and in the order of profit, the number of varieties not exceeding ten. This list is appended below. More agree upon the fameuse as first for profit than any other, while nearly all have from three to five of the five varieties so long recommended by this society for general planting, to which for years no one objected. These varieties stand in the order of season, viz: Red Astrachan, Duchess, Fameuse, Tolman Sweet, and Golden Russet. Some of the new varieties do not appear, as they have been tested by but few. It is remarkable what a range of varieties it takes to make the ten.
TABLE showing value for profit, estimated by fruit-growers, of dif
ferent varieties of apples.
A. J. Phillips.
H. M. Thompson.
| J. S. Stickney. NOW OR Eer! J. C. Plumb.
* Most profitable 1, least 10.
We may learn from these notes, first, that no list can be depended upon for all soils and locations; second, that planting for profit may imply two points-market and family use. The first would embrace such varieties as will readily sell in their season. ond would include a much greater number of kinds for succession and quality; for instance, one bushel of Fall Wine-Sap in the family, would be worth a wagon-load of Red Romanites for autumn, while the long-keepers are equally valuable in their season. A full supply of apples in the family will be found the most profitable sanitary investment that can be made.
What to plant is the question, and although we may know more than we did twenty years ago, we don't know half as much as we thought we did then. Then we could have made out a list that would have suited everybody; now we gather at our annual meetings, and can't make a list that will suit anybody.
Soil and location are the first considerations in this question; and I must again caution planters to look about them, and see what is bearing best, and is most desirable in their own vicinity. This cannot be too strongly recommended, for often a change from one side of a river to the other will give an entirely different soil, and require a new list. I think all will agree that our oak ridges, with their clayey subsoil, are best adapted to the apple, and yet one of our experienced cultivators writes me the Perry-Russet is a success on light sandy soil, while I never saw it succeeding anywhere but once, and that was on clayey soil. No great wonder that we knock down and drag out some one at each annual gathering. Any point you wish, touching fruit-growing, can be here proven beyond a doubt, until some one else takes the floor; and then the other side can be as clearly demonstrated, even to the growing of strawberries at five hundred bushels per acre, or the cost of pears at five dollars each. We can call up a witness to prove any point you choose to name, and give dates, facts and figures, and yet the experience of some one else is quite the reverse, in the same county, if not on the adjoining farm. With this conflicting testimony, how are our judges to decide the weighty matters of horticultural law, or how are new beginners, seeking to plant successfully, to choose from our reports. I am convinced that general success is a failure, and that there is an up-hill side to this question. In every