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Delaware, Concord, Salem, Agawam, and various other kinds. All these planted in good, clean, rich soil and well cared for and mulched, will yield good crops and are among the hardiest and most profitable kinds of small-fruits we have.
The cranberry is destined to be one of the most important of our small-fruits and one for the cultivation of which no other state in the Union has equal advantages. It does well on low, marshy lands, where the ground is dry enough so that the plants can be out of the water two months in the year, during the fruiting sea
It also does well on land that is wet only during the winter months, and early spring. After the plants are once set and have got possession of the soil, no cultivation is needed. There are many pieces of marshy, peaty, and boggy land and sandy sloughs, that are now worthless, which, if once planted with this vine, would return a large profit for labor and money expended.
Among the stone-fruits, we have cherries; the Kentish and English Morello, also the Early Richmond, in some localities, which can be raised with profit. Plums; many cultivated varieties, and a large number of native or wild ones will yield abundantly in sheltered positions, and in locations where the modifying influence of large bodies of water are felt. But to secure a crop of this fruit, we must prevent the depredations of the little Turk, the curculio. The large number of wild plums scattered all over the State, indicate that the climate is adapted to their culture and that with proper care they will do well. The native fruit usually finds a ready market, on account of its being excellent for preserves. The Winnebago and Hinkley and some others of the improved varieties are very large and good for this purpose. Peaches cannot be raised to any extent in this State. In certain localities a few varieties have stood the rigors of our climate, and borne fruit. Where the wood has been well ripened, they will endure safely a temperature of 28 degrees below zero; but where it falls to 30 and 40 degrees below, the trees are killed outright. The fruit-buds are destroyed at 16 degrees below zero; and unless we find some hardier varieties than any we are yet acquainted with, the cultivation of this fruit will not be successful.
As mentioned before, the Siberian apples are profitable to raise for market purposes, and money can be made at raising them for twenty-five to fifty cents per bushel. They are also valuable and profitable for canning, drying, and preserving, and can be put up in either of these ways at a profit. As the skin is very thin, and readily falls to pieces in cooking, it is only necessary to remove the core and slice, to prepare them to dry. Dried-apples made from the Transcendent and other crabs are regarded as the very best in the market, and will command the best prices. There are so many valuable varieties that it is difficult to tell which is the best; Transcendent, Montreal Beauty, and Allen, are all very nice for drying; the Sweet Crabs for canning and preserving; the Hyslop and some others for pickleing, and the Soulard for jellies.
Pears can be raised in some portions of the State, but where the thermometer falls much lower than thirty-two degrees below zero, the fruit-buds are killed and the trees themselves are injured. Some few varieties are an exception to this, of which the Flemish Beauty is the best and hardiest. Where is our friend Kellogg? he can enlighten us on the pear question, as he exhibited some of those "five-dollar pears" at the last fair at Oshkosh.
The apple question is the one which will interest the great majority of our farmers; viz: what varieties to plant? This society has given lists of five or ten varieties as the hardiest and best adapted to general cultivation; but all do not seem to be sufficiently hardy to thrive in all parts of the State. Some localities are much more exposed to the extreme heat of summer and cold of winter than others, so that the difference in the extremes in temperature is sometimes as high as five to twenty-five degrees; and again, the character of the soil is so variable, that the variety which will do well in one place is almost worthless in another; and hence it is an impossibility to give a list which can be relied on in all locations. Experience and observation have convinced us that the list must be regulated by the character of the soil, aspect, intensity of cold, length of time extreme cold continues, altitude above sea and lakes, proximity of large bodies of water, etc. When the work designed to be accomplished by our committee of observation shall have been done, we may be able to determine more accurately what varieties are best suited to the different localities, but in the meantime we must depend on our own experience and observation, and that of those around us.
The following list is made on the basis of hardiness at an extreme of thirty-nine degrees below zero: Tetofsky, Duchess of Oldenburg; Alexander; Winter Wine; Red Astrachan; Haas; Walbridge; Plumb's Cider; Pewaukee; Fameuse; Tolman Sweet; Fall Orange; St. Lawrence; Ben Davis; Utters; Sweet Wine; Westfield Seekno-Further; Golden Russet; Perry Russet; Willow Twig. These varieties have all fruited well with us.
APPLE-CULTURE IN WISCONSIN-FAILURE AND
WHY! SUCCESS, HOW ATTAINED.
G. W. PUTNAM, ASH RIDGE.
We learn much by experience. Our failures and mistakes often teach a lesson that is never forgotten. The greater evil however is, that after repeated failures we become discouraged and fail to make a proper effort to secure a reasonable success. I have been at some loss to know what subject to present at this time, as the whole field of horticulture has been conned over so many times, and the different items of fruit-culture so ably discussed by superior minds, rich in experience, that it is almost presumption for me. to think of presenting anything either valuable or interesting to the veteran fruit-growers of this State. The subject I have chosen is one of vital interest to every lover of fruit in Wisconsin, and if I present the same old stereotyped subject it will be from a different standpoint, and I hope may not be entirely devoid of interest to the members of this society.
As failure has been the rule, and success the exception in the greater part of this State, that is by far the greater part of all the fruit trees planted previous to 1873 are either entirely dead or so badly injured that they will never recover, it will be well to first consider what are some of the principal causes of such failure, that if possible they may be avoided in the future. And first I will mention
INCONGENIAL CLIMATE.- I do not consider this the great and only cause of failure in fruit-culture, as many persons think it to be.. Approach such persons and ask them to plant an orchard, and their first and great argument is. “Oh you can't raise fruit in Wisconsin; I have tried and I know; " "our winters are too cold, the sum
mers too hot and dry." Thus they charge our climate with being the great and almost only cause of failure in fruit-growing here, while it is only one of many. It has in connection with other things been a great source of loss and failure in the past, but I trust that by a careful selection of varieties, proper adaptation to location, and proper care, the destruction of trees by climatic changes, may be largely avoided in the future. Another cause of failure is
INJUDICIOUS SELECTION OF ORCHARD-SITES.- Planting trees in valleys, on southwestern slopes of land where the trees are exposed to the fierce rays of the summer sun, exposed to the heat of the winter sun by day, and the sharp and severe frost by night, has been a source of injury to the trees which has contributed its share towards their destruction. Another source of loss has been
UNADAPTABILITY OF Soil. We have a great variety of soil in our State, adapted to the production of different crops. Thus very sandy soil may produce a good crop of watermelons and scarcely anything else. Moist mucky or black loam land produces excellent crops
of grass or hay, but will not produce fine wheat, it may produce a heavy growth of straw, but the wheat fails to fill well. Neither are all varieties of soil adapted to the healthy growth of fruit trees. Sandy soil lacks the power of retaining sufficient moisture, and trees make but a stunted growth, or if the summer is very wet and hot they may make too rapid a growth and suffer from blight. If they should succeed in producing a healthy growth during the summer, they are much more liable to suffer in winter on such, than on clay or clay loam soil. Trees rarely make a healthy well ripened growth of wood on rich bottom land, hence, when winter comes, they are not in proper condition to withstand severe frosts, and are killed, as unripened corn is killed by premature frosts. In connection with this topic might be mentioned,
WANT OF ADAPTATION OF VARIETIES TO SOIL AND LOCATION.Some varieties, such as the Siberian family, will succeed where other or standard varieties will be killed outright. Great loss and disappointment in fruit-culture has been the result of not knowing this fact, or by not observing closely what is known in regard to it. Improper selection of varieties has been a great source of loss and failure. Wisconsin, being settled largely by emigrants from the eastern, and now, middle western States, very naturally preferred the choice and valuable varieties that were the favorites at the old home, but we have learned by dear and perplexing experience that those varieties will not succeed in this State. Consequently, a very large proportion of those early planted trees have passed away, and those who so fondly hoped to eat the choice fruit that was so abundant in New York, Pennsylvania, or Ohio, were sadly disappointed, and many almost or entirely discouraged in the attempt to grow fruit here.
. We have had too long a list of varieties. Many an enthusiastic man who has great faith in the productiveness of Wisconsin soil, who has experienced such mild winters as the present one, and has had a laudable desire to vie with other States in producing a great variety of beautiful and luscious fruit, being led on in this direction by the tempting premiums offered by our various societies for the "largest collection of fruit," has injudiciously extended his list of varieties, to be sadly disappointed when some arctic wave came sweeping over our State with its withering and deadening power.
I next come to consider the planting of
IMPORTED TREES.—This topic has some connection with the preceding ones, for when we had learned that hardiness of tree was quite as desirable as fine quality of fruit, and had also learned that certain varieties possessed this desirable quality, and had determined to cut down our list accordingly, to embrace these hardy varieties, it was suddenly developed that the leading nurseries south and east had an abundant supply of these hardy varieties adapted to the northwest, and their agents were busy at work among the people, informing them that they had the varieties just adapted to our climate, and that they could furnish larger and better trees than those grown in Wisconsin. And having convinced the unsuspecting farmer that these varieties were equally hardy wherever grown, the inveterate tree-peddler succeeded in outselling our home nurserymen, and our State has thus been stocked, from time to time, with foreign-grown trees. These trees having been transported a long distance, often very poorly handled, have in very many cases come into the hands of the planter in an entirely worthless condition; others, having come to hand in good condition, and been planted with care, have failed to give satisfaction, making a sickly growth for a few years, and then die, or are dug up to make room for more, it may be, obtained from the same source.
A case in point has recently come under my observation. A man