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ties brought to notice as "worthy," concludes that not over one in ten can hold a place in general esteem. Of our own favorites the “Lake Winter" holds the first place. (See description herewith.) Our “Milton,” now, after twenty years fruiting, and four years in nursery, promises to supersede the Transcendent in nursery and orchard. The latter is our standard of quality for its season and use, but has its weak points in its irregular growth and tendency to blight on rich lands. We shall not stop short of a complete list for all seasons, from early autumn to late spring in their ripening; of every grade of quality, from pure sweet to rich tart for eating or cooking, with rich, firm flesh, juice free from any astringency or unpleasantness. The trees should bear young and freely, and have early maturing wood; be free, smooth growers, and not subject to blight. All these qualities should be found in our favorite Siberian Hybrids. Large size is desirable, also high color, but these qualities are not so essential as those before named.
USE3-The manufacturers of jelly tell us that the native crab is superior to all others for that purpose, and the Transcendent next. All know how refreshing and healthful is good acid fruit in the spring time, and none is more easily grown and kept than our best winter Siberians. The very sweet and sub-acid varieties will give a combination to suit any taste without the.addition of sugar. The consumption of fruit, in general, is limited only by the supply; price is only a nominal consideration. Twenty-five per cent. reduction in price will generally increase the consumption one hundred per cent. if there is a supply, and the better class of Siberians are no exception to this rule, bringing equal or better prices in all our markets with the best of apples. But these are only secondary considerations in the question before us. The immense extension of the area of successful apple-growing is the main point of this paper. The use of Siberians and Hybrids promise much, and is working grandly for this end.
I believe in “home-grown fruits” for every land and clime where it is fit that man should dwell, and I confidently predict that though this injection of the Siberian "blood " the area of applegrowing will be extended from two hundred to five hundred miles further north, and from the great lakes to Alaska's range.
OBSERVATIONS OF A NOVICE.
A. L. HATCH, ITHACA.
“ Home is not merely four square walls,
Tho' with pictures hung and gilded;
Filled with shrines the heart hath builded." There is no nobler employment of the human heart than that of home making. The creation of home, that center of attraction from which radiates an influence that ought to elevate the character of all mankind, tends to develop the better qualities of human nature. Of all home attractions none are purer or more cheering in their tendencies than those offered by horticulture, and nothing in horticulture is more satisfactory than successful fruit-growing. No rural home is compiete without its complement of fruit, and very few persons of refinement are contented with homes that afford none of them.
The effort to grow fruit is commendable and should receive encouragement. No encouragement is more valuable than that from experience which teaches the true method and correct philosophy of management. Popular management is not always correct, because it is not always based on philosophy. The diversified nature of our country gives a wide range of different circumstances, and our climate is such, that to be successful, management must be philosophical. Experience from different sources may appear to show conflicting results and seem puzzling to the novice.
FRUIT IN Poor PLACES.—The Wisconsin Horticultural Society would do the country a good service, if it could teach the public how to manage fruit on poor sites, to insure the fullest success. Many farm are without good sites, and as most farmers plant near their dwellings, there is often no choice, but to grow fruit on such sites or not at all. The Bailey Sweet apple is by no means as hardy a tree as the Hislop crab, yet the former may make a better tree on a good site, than the latter on a poor one. There are very few places
however, but where a Transcendent can be grown. Of course, it is desirable to know what can be grown, even on the poorest sites, but it is also desirable to known how to grow the hardier varieties, such as the Duchess of Oldenburg apple, in such places. Some places may be so poor as to defy the efforts of the planter. There are few places, however, not capable of improvement.
NATURE'S AGENTS.—The first correct step to obtain horticultural knowledge, is to study nature. Nature's agents are everywhere present, and one of her most potent workers is sunshine, exerting a compound influence of chromatic, calorific, and chemical powers. Heat is one of the most tangible of these immaterial agents. Measured by the thermometer, it shows many interesting features, not so much in the averages as in the extremes. One summer day when the thermometer showed ninety-five degrees above zero, in the shade, we placed it in the sunshine, and the mercury quickly rose to one hundred and twenty degrees above. The surface of the earth was burning hot where clear of vegetation. Vegetation was wilted and scorched where the ground was not in good tilth. A drought prevailed, and fruit-trees were struggling vainly to supply from the hot, dusty earth, the vast amount of moisture evaporated from their leaves by the sultry winds and burning sun-heat. Where apple trees were given clean culture, the sunshine was pouring in full force upon the ground about their roots. The earth was parched and hard, super-heated many inches in depth. Where were the roots of the tree? Were they near the surface in this over-heated soil, endeavoring to draw moisture from it, or were they down deep in a cool hard-pan of clay and flint-stone? How was the foliage of the tree? We are told that apple trees finish their growth in length of limbs, or should, by the middle of July, when all the leaves have expanded. Then, at the time of our observations, we should have found the trees stih growing, new wood forming, new leaves expanding. Examination showed, however, that the foilage was suffering from the merciless heat and excessive drought, and the growth of limbs was prematurely checked. New and tender leaves were scorched and drying. Along the tips of the limbs for six inches, scarcely a perfect leaf could be found, and the buds at the base of each leaf-stalk were imperfect. These leaves should have perfected the buds and these should have expanded next year to grow new leaves, branches or
fruit-spurs. They had suffered so much, and were so imperfect that they did not expand the next season, and the foliage was mostly borne on the new growth of wood. The tree having lost a great deal of vitality during the drought, was stimulated by fall rains and warm weather to make a second growth, instead of maturing the first, as it should, and went into winter with impaired equilibrium. When the mercury congealed we remembered how the poor tree had suffered during the drought, unprotected by a mulching that. could so easily have been supplied from the rotting straw-pile near by, and while the forest trees, not far away, were luxuriating with their trunks in their own cool shade, and their roots nestling down among myriads of moist, decaying leaves-natures mulching. We knew the fearful cold would tell on the tree, not only that its breath was from "Greenland's icy mountains," but that the Sahara heat of summer had weakened its vitality and lessened its power of endurance.
RUSSIAN APPLES.-There is no feature of practical fruit-culture of more interest than that of varieties. For this climate the introduction of hardy varieties, or the originating of them, is a subject of importance. In 1870, the United States Department of Agriculture imported from Russia, cions of four hundred varieties of apples. No information has been given to the public concerning them, except the names of the varieties. We have about one hundred of these growing, but when can we fruit and test them? We may learn of their hardiness as nursery trees, but to learn of their fruiting properties, their desirability, and hardiness as orchard trees, will require years of labor and waiting. Why cannot information of them be obtained from Russia ? The cions were imported from St. Petersburg, sixty degrees north latitude. Now what kinds, if any, grow there, and to what degree of cold are they subjected ? We can only surmise the season of some of these varieties by their
Some of them will doubtless prove of value, but which ones? An intelligent man visiting Russia could learn much of these, and other fruits that would be of value to us here. Your society would do well to take action in this matter, and urge it upon the attention of the Department of Agriculture. If the Government will not take measures to secure this desired information then let the society put it afoot, and we presume it will meet
with assistance and approval from the horticultural societies, nurserymen and fruit-growers of the northwest.
HYBRID APPLES.-Another strain of varieties of importance is the many new hybrid Siberians. Most, if not all, of the varieties now introduced to the public of this class are from crab seeds, and their hybridization, the resnlt of natural causes and not artificial assistance. We know of none from seed of the common apple. The use of crabs for the production of flowers to be used as pistilates in the production of new hybrids will doubtless give a different strain of varieties from what would be produced if they were used as staminates upon the common apple, and those seed used. If the Transcendent and Duchess are to be used for this purpose, and we believe them both excellent subjects, it would be desirable to have seeds of the Duchess grown from flowers fertilized with Transcendent. In this way a class of varieties might be produced of an entirely different strain from what we have, and would probably embrace some excellent features not found in others.
RANDOM NOTES.-We think the apple grown near Portage, under the name of "Fall Spitzenberg," is identical with some grown in Crawford county, by a Mr. Kinder, and called by him, “Rambo." Neither name is, perhaps, correct, but it is a good tree, and ought to be looked after by the society to ascertain its true name. We have some trees of the McMahon's White, originated in this country, that have endured the cold for several years better than Duchess on the same site. We think very highly of it.
We set a few Janesville grape vines two years ago, and some seventy-five last spring. The former bore last season, and ripened perfectly. From what we have seen, we like it very much, and shall plant more of it, as we think it practical.
The season of 1875, though not a fruitful one, has given us the best reviving growth on apple-trees that we have had for several years. Trees made a seasonable growth, and most of them had good foliage. Drought did not hurt them, as in several seasons past, and they seem to be more fully invested with vitality. Should the temperature become as cold as last winter, we do not think trees would suffer as great injury. Fire-blight was not so severe as in 1874, and we think may not occur at all next season. We hope it will not, and we look forward to the Centennial year with full expectation of seeing fruit-culture assume an encouraging look.