The State has been divided into seven fruit districts as shown on the map in connection with this subject; each district having been formed with reference to uniformity of altitude, topography, character and fertility of soil, and the districts again subdivided to conform to county lines, with one or more correspondents in each. Having made these divisions, and having propounded the same questions to the several correspondents, the result is considerable repetition, all of which we present by way of emphasis in setting forth the views of actual fruit growers - the men who have by long experience and careful observation become the only safe advisers and teachers of the inexperienced in horticultural matters.
An analysis of the responses of correspondents to a request to name in the order of their preference the varieties most profitable for market - ten of the winter and five each of the summer and autumn varieties - shows results as follows:
Winter. - In all, the correspondents name thirty varieties. The ten varieties receiving the highest number of recommendations are: Ben Davis and Winesap, 11 each; Rawles Janet, 10; White Winter Pearmain, 8; Missouri Pippin and Willow Twig, 7 each; Jonathan, 6; Little Red Romanite or Gilpin, 5; Yellow Bellflower, Ortley or White Bellflower and Milam, 4 each. Of the other varieties named, the Wagener, Rome Beauty, 3 each; Smith Cider, Smoke House, Swaar, Tallman Sweet and McAfee's Nonsuch, 2 each; Baldwin, Red Sweet Pippin, Red Winter Pearmain, Pennock or Large Red Romanite, Dominie, Limber Twig, Esopus Spitzenburg and Danvers Winter Sweet, 1 each.
Summer. - Sixteen varieties named. Order of recommendation as follows: Five highest - Red June, 10; Red Astrachan, 8; Early Harvest, 7; Early Pennock and Cooper's Early White, 6. The Early Strawberry, 3; Duchess of Oldenburg, 2; Early Margaret, Red Streak, Yellow June, Lowell, Primate, Maryland Red Streak, Sweet June, American Summer Pearmain, Golden Sweet, 1 each.
Autumn. - Nineteen varieties named. The five receiving the largest number of recommendations are: Maiden's Blush, 9; Rambo, 7; Fall Winesap, 6; Fall Pippin, 4; Fameuse, 3. The Late Strawberry, Porter, Lowell, and Buckingham Fall Queen, 2 each; Drap d'Or, Gabriel, Pennsylvania Red Streak, Bailey's Sweet, McDowell's Fall, Autunm Swaar, Ohio Nonpareil, Hawley, and Keswick Codling, 1 each.
Winter. - Correspondents name twenty-eight varieties: Rawles Janet receives 8 indications of preference; Ben Davis and Winesap, 7 each; Jonathan, 5; Missouri Pippin, 4; Little Romanite or Gilpin, Willow Twig, Rome Beauty and Yellow Bellflower, 3 each. Then for the tenth variety, McAfee's Nonsuch, Limber Twig, White Winter Pearmain, Milam, Wagener and Smith's Cider, 2 each. The Rhode Island Greening, King of Tompkins County, Red Winter Pearmain or Lady Finger, English Russet, Rhenish May, Roman Stem, Pennsylvania Red Streak, Dominic, Swaar, Peck's Pleasant, Grimes' Golden, Tallman Sweet, Fallawater and Ortley or White Bellflower, are the other varieties named, and receive one recommendation each.
Summer. - Thirteen different kinds are specified, with the Red Astrachan and Red June standing highest on the list, each with seven indorsements; Early Harvest comes next with six recommendations; American Summer Pearmain, 2; Pippin, Williams Favorite, Pennock, Carolina Sweet, Yellow June, Golden Sweet, Sops of Wine, Cooper's Early White and Summer Queen, 1 each.
Autumn. - Fourteen varieties are named, of which the Rambo receives highest mention, 6; - Maiden's Blush and Fall Wine, 5; Fall Pippin, 4; Lowell, 3; the Keswick Godling. 2; Porter, Sherwood's Favorite, Twenty-ounce Apple, Snow or Fameuse, Horse, Lady Apple and Bailey's Sweet, 1 each.
Winter. - Six correspondents in this district fail to name lists, as they claim that their limited experience as yet will not warrant them in doing so. The eleven others who furnish lists, name in all thirty-two varieties - the Winesap in the lead, with ten indications of preference; Rawles Janet ranks next, indorsed by 9; Ben Davis, 8; White Winter Pearmain, 7; Jonathan, 6; Missouri Pippin, 5; Little Romanite or Gilpin, 4; Tallman Sweet, Northern Spy, Smith's Cider, Willow Twig, Rome Beauty and McAfee's Nonsuch, more than complete the ten varieties called for, each receiving mention three times. The others given are Roman Stem, Swaar, Dominic, Ortley, Yellow Bellflower, Red Winter Pearmain, and Pennock or Large Romanite, 2 each; Baldwin. Golden Russet, Limber Twig, Fallawater or Tulpehocking, Herefordshire Pearmain, Pioneer, Newtown Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, Rhode Island Greening and Whitney's Russet, 1 each.
Summer. - Twenty varieties noted. The Early Harvest is the favorite, with 9 recommendations; Red Astrachan next, 8; Red June, 7; Sweet June, Cooper's Early White and Strawberry complete the number asked for, and each receive mention 3 times; Golden Sweet, Sops of Wine and Early Pennock, 2 each; Summer Rambo, June, Early Joe, Duchess of Oldenburg, Summer Queen, Benoni, Summer Pearmain, Lady Apple and Western Spy, 1 each.
Autumn. - of the nineteen apples named, the Maiden's Blush takes the lead, with six indorsements; The Fameuse or Snow, and Rambo follow, 5 each; Fall Pippin, 3; Wine and Lowell, 2 each; Belmont, Buckingham, Gravenstein, Pearmain, Trenton, Golden Pippin, Vandevere Pippin, Water Core, Florence Beauty, Fulton, Bailey's Sweet, Scotch Pippin and Jersey Sweet, 1 each, complete the list.
The section of the State embraced in this district is too new in fruit culture to furnish extensive experience.
Apples have not been sufficiently tested as yet to decide upon the varieties most profitable for market. Only a few orchards in bearing. These bear considerable fruit, fine in size and flavor.
Sufficient test has not been made to name varieties. The following, however, are mentioned:
Winter. - Winesap, Rawles Janet, Ben Davis, Willow Twig, Missouri Pippin, White Winter Pearmain, Smith's Cider, Limber Twig, Carthouse or Gilpin, and Tallman Sweet.
Summer - Early Harvest, Red Astrachan, Red June, Early Strawberry, Sweet Bough.
Autumn. - Rambo, Fall Wine, Fameuse, Fall Pippin, Jersey Sweet, Maiden's Blush.
The varieties most profitable for market, winter, summer and autumn, reported in order of preference are as follows:
Winter. - Ben Davis, Winesap, Yellow Bellflower, White Pippin, Tallman Sweet, King of Tompkins County, Jonathan, Baldwin and Grimes' Golden.
Summer. - Red Astrachan, Sweet June, Benoni and Early Harvest.
Autumn. - Fall Wine, Porter, Rambo and Maiden's Blush.
In reply to the question as to what varieties are partial or total failures, and the causes thereof, Atchison county reports the Northern Sweet as subject to blight, the Yellow Bellflower as unproductive, and the Northern Spy late coming into bearing. Brown county names the Gravenstein, Spitzenburg, Prior's Red, Maiden's Blush, Smith's Cider, Rhode Island Greening and Rawles Janet as tender and liable to sun-scald and blight. The Yellow Bellflower has more than redeemed itself in quality and quantity. Doniphan county notes the Northern Spy, Yellow Bellflower, Rhode Island Greening and Baldwin as unprofitable; trees healthy, but will not bear. Douglas county reports as late and shy bearers the Yellow Bellflower, Gravenstein, Sweet Bough and Mother. Franklin county objects to the Rhode Island Greening, Russets, Baldwin and Newtown Pippin as requiring a long number of years for trees to bear. Leavenworth county reports unfavorably upon the Northern Spy and most of the Russets, and Miami county that the Sweet Bough, from some unknown cause, is a partial failure every season. Wyandotte county names the Esopus Spitzenburg, Northern Spy, Newtown Spitzenburg, Rhode Island Greening, Munsen, Green Sweet, and King of Tompkins County, of too rank growth and liable to blight.
Anderson county - The twenty-ounce Pippin is named as a total and the Rambo and White Winter Pearmain as partial failures; cause, sap-blight or sun-scald, followed by borers. Bourbon county objects to the Early Harvest and King of Tompkins County as tardy and shy in bearing. Crawford county considers the Rhode Island Greening late in bearing. Labette county - Many varieties fail, partially from lack of proper pruning. Linn county inclines to the belief that many of the early varieties, as the Red Astrachan and Red June, are injured by the cold weather of spring.
Correspondents all agree that the orchards in the district are too young to determine what varieties are partial or total failures. Russets, Baldwin, Northern Spy, and Bellflowers are mentioned as partial failures, on account of their being late, shy bearers; but it is thought that age will remove this objection. Rhode Island Greening is subject to rot on the tree, and falls off prematurely.
It is yet too early to determine what varieties are most subject to failure.
It is too early to decide throughout the district what varieties are partial or total failures. One correspondent claims that there is no such thing as failure, while another says that all his White Winter Pearmain trees are dead.
Can not yet determine such varieties as may prove partial or total failures.
Twenty-two varieties named, with recommendations as follows: Hale's Early, Heath's Cling, 6 each; Crawford's Early, Old Mixon Free, 5 each; Early York, Stump the World, Crawford's Late, 4 each; Ward's Late, 3; Large Early York, Early Tillotson, Honest John, Troth's Early, Amsden's June, 2 each; Snow, Druid Hill, Serviate, Late Admirable, Yellow Rareripe, President, Salway, George the Fourth, and Brown's Late, 1 each.
Brown county reports all varieties doing well. Doniphan county that there is not much difference; the better and finer the peach the more tender the buds. Franklin county reports that Hale's Early rots before ripening. Miami county reports Crawford's Early and Late, Columbia, Large Early York and many other budded peaches as suffering in the bud from cold and frosts. Johnson county reports none of the budded varieties worth mentioning as failures; all about the same hardiness and cultivate successfully. Wyandotte county, on the other hand, reports many of the budded peaches partial failures, probably not standing freezing in winter and spring, like seedlings; notwithstanding this, the principal crop of the county is budded fruit.
Twenty-two varieties named, with Hale's Early as the favorite, being indorsed by each reporter in the district, 9 in all; Crawford's Early ranks next, with 8 recommedations; Crawford's Late and Heath's Cling, 5 each; Amsden's June, Large Early York and Old Mixon Free, 4 each; Stump the World, 3; Troth's Early, Honest John and Ward's Late, 2 each; Early Beatrice, Late Admirable, Haines' Early, Foster, President, White Snow, Jacques' Rareripe, Smock, Mixon Cling, Nixon's Late White and Salway, 1 each.
Bourbon county notes the Large Early York and Old Mixon Free as being easily stung Ð very smooth-skinned. Labette county reports all equally good, and cause of failure generally to be found in late freezing in the spring. Linn county reports to same effect.
The peach list in the district is limited. Of the fourteen varieties noted, Hale's Early receives the highest number of indorsements, 5; Early Crawford, 3; Late Crawford, Early York, Stump the World and Old Mixon Free, 2 each; Large Early York, George the Fourth, Large White Cling, Coolidge's Favorite, Haines' Early, Yellow Alberge, Druid Hill and Heath's Cling, 1 each.
Chase county previous to 1874 had some Hale's Early which did splendidly, bearing heavy crops of fine peaches. Chautauqua county - But few budded; seedlings preferred as being more hardy. Davis county - Plant the earliest and latest to be obtained. Elk county - Only common fruit as yet. Greenwood county - Little or no budded fruit yet in bearing. Lyon county - Can not name a list at present. Montgomery county - Budded fruit of large varieties. Shawnee county - All peaches do well in favorable seasons. The counties of Coffey, Nemaha and Woodson do not reply.
In some localities the budded varieties are said to be tender and more liable to damage from late frosts in spring than seedlings. Others report that all kinds do well under good circumstances.
Not fairly tested in the budded kinds. The Amsden's June is favorably spoken of, but seedlings mostly prevail at present.
Seedlings principally are grown at present. Early and Late Crawfords, Hale's Early, Early York, Old Mixon Free and Cling, Stump the World, Heath's Cling and Smock's Free, are the budded peaches named.
Crawford's Early and Late, Large Early York, Hale's Early, Red Check Melocoton, Smock's Free, Old Mixon Free and Cling.
Fourteen varieties named, the Bartlett receiving 9 votes; Duchesse d'Angouleme, 4; Buffum, White Doyenne, Belle Lucrative, Flemish Beauty, Louise Bonne d'Jersey, 3 each; Easter Beurre, 2; Howell, Arondage, Vicar of Winkfield, Winter Nellis, Lawrence and Beurre d'Anjou, 1 each. All failures, to some extent, on account of blight. The Duchesse and Bartlett most hardy.
Sixteen different varieties enumerated, with the Bartlett favored by seven of our correspondents; Duchesse d'Angouleme by 3; Belle Lucrative, Flemish Beauty, Lawrence and Beurre d'Anjou, 2 each; Beurre Hardy, Seckel, Sheldon, Souvenir du Congress, Petite Marguerite, Vicar of Winkfield, Louise Bonne d'Jersey, Howell, Theresa Appert and Josephine de Malines, 1 each.
The list of pears furnished in this district is very limited, as their cultivation is too young, as yet, to test their respective qualities. The following varieties are named: Bartlett, Duchesse d'Angouleme, Flemish Beauty, Belle Lucrative, Seckel, White Doyenne, Clapp's Favorite, Winter Nellis, Beurre Diehl, Louise Bonne d'Jersey, Vicar of Winkfield, Lawrence, Howell, Urbanista. Of the Flemish Beauty, a Morris county correspondent says: "It is the most splendid pear I have; sent a half-bushel to the Centennial. Bartletts, Seckels and Beurre Diehl are also fine."
Trees grow well, but have not yet fruited.
Of those mentioned are the Doyenne d' Ete, Bloodgood, Bartlett, White Doyenne, Belle Lucrative, Duchesse d' Angouleme, Flemish Beauty, Louise Bonne d' Jersey, Winter Nellis. Trees not yet in hearing. Very little blight reported as yet. A Sedgwick county correspondent considers that in a country where pear trees are subject to blight, the American Seedlings are not as liable to injury as foreign varieties.
Bartlett, Clapp's Favorite, Brandywine, Tyson, Buffum, Flemish Beauty. Wherever trees have been planted, they are growing thriftily. Nothing resembling blight is known as yet, in this section of the State. Trees too young to fruit.
In order to ascertain the exact status of pear culture in the district, inquiries were addressed to the different counties and responses are to this effect. Anderson county - Fail on quince stock, and blight badly. Allen county - About the same report as Anderson. Atchison county - "All blight, sooner or later." Brown county - "Not sufficiently tested, many fine specimens grown, however." Bourbon county - Trees grow well; blight very little. Cherokee county - Partial only; one-fourth blight. Crawford county - Trees seem to grow readily, but are too young for an opinion as to blighting. Coffey county - Blight badly. Davis county - Succeed well; but few except the Bartlett have ever blighted. Doniphan county - "First trees blighted badly, but they now appear to be doing well." Douglas county - "Trees grow remarkably well and generally produce good crops. They have suffered severely with blight some seasons, but no more than in other parts of the country." Greenwood county - Require careful culture; about one-fourth blight. Jefferson county - "After bearing a few years trees generally blight." Jackson county - Nearly a failure on account of blight. Leavenworth county - "A few years since nearly all the pear trees in the county blighted, and some large orchards died, but now the blight has almost entirely disappeared." Labette county considers dwarf Pears as fit only for the garden and should be discarded entirely from the orchard. Bourbon county names the Flemish Beauty, on account of early bloom as liable to injury from late frost. Miami county - Variety of opinions; one correspondent reporting no blight to speak of in his part of the county, and another, that blight is universal in his section, and that out of over one hundred trees planted by him in the past nineteen years not one escaped. Montgomery county - Out of sixty trees planted, over half have died with blight, and such is generally the case, as far as can be ascertained. Another correspondent thinks conclusions should be deffered, for a time at least. Morris county - Succeed splendidly. Correspondent says, "I have but on tree with blight (Duchesse), and saved two-thirds of that by cutting off the affected limbs. Bears well since." Shawnee county - A few standard Bartletts have done well without protection, and show no blight, but they are the exception. Wabaunsee county - Few yet planted. Blight has been bad, destroying more than half the older trees, but this season they have done well, with freedom from blight. Wilson county - Pear culture as yet too limited to warrant positive answers.
Several countries do not report, but as the reports thus far given represent so many different localities, they may safely be taken as being the judgment of the fruit growers of the whole State.
The Morello and Duke families are named, the Early Richmond, Early May, and Belle Magnifique being the favorites. The Governor Wood is spoken of as yielding good crops, in quality and quantity; but the tree is tender, and easily injured by sun-scald. The Heart and Bigarreau families fail; trees and buds too tender in winter and early spring, and liable to sun-scald on south side.
Among the most prominently named varieties, are Early Richmond, English Morello, Black Tartarian, and others of the Duke and Morello families. All the sweet cherries, the Heart and Bigarreau families, and other fancy varieties, are nearly or total failures. Cause, trees and buds too tender.
All varieties of sweet cherries are failures, owing to tenderness of wood and buds.
Morello and Black Duke recommended.
Early Richmond, Early May, Elton, Governor Wood, May Duke, Belle Magnifique.
May Duke, Reine Hortense, Early Richmond.
Damson, Wild Goose, Miner and Lombard are generally recommended. All cultivated varieties partial, nearly total failures. Curculio is the great destroyer.
Most of the reporters state that different varieties have not been sufficiently tested as yet to warrant naming those most successful. Allen county recommends the Damson and Wichita; Bourbon county, the Wild Goose and Miner; Labette county, the Lombard, General Hand, Reine Claud de Bavay, Shropshire Damson.
Bourbon county reports that the Green Gage, Imperial Gage and Blue Danube trees drop their fruit. Reports are limited, experiments not extensive.
All failures except the native kinds. Fruit destroyed by that great enemy, the curculio.
Only wild ones to be had, which are generally plenty.
Washington and Green Gage are noted.
Damson and Green Gage.
Correspondents were requested to name the varieties of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries succeeding best in their different localities, and the following varieties receive general recommendation:
Strawberries. - Wilson's Albany, Charles Downing, Green Prolific.
Raspberries. - Doolittle Black Cap, Miami Black Cap or Mammoth Cluster.
Blackberries. - Kittatinny, Lawton.
Gooseberries. - Houghton's Seedling.
Strawberries. - Wilson's Albany, Colonel Cheney, Agriculturist, Jucunda, Charles Downing and Nicanor.
Raspberries. - Doolittle Black Cap and Miami Black Cap or Mammoth Cluster are most generally named. Turner Red Cap, Clark and Herstine are also mentioned.
Blackberries. - Kittatinny and Lawton.
Strawberries. - Charles Downing, Kentucky, Downer's Prolific, Wilson's Albany, Triomphe de Gand, Green Prolific, Russell, Agriculturist, Harvey's Seedling and Colonel Cheney.
Raspberries. - Mammoth Cluster or Miami Black Cap, Doolittle's Improved Black Cap, Philadelphia Best and Purple Cane.
Blackberries. - Kittatinny, Lawton and New Rochelle.
Gooseberries. - Houghton's Seedling.
Strawberries. - Wilson's Albany and Triomphe de Gand.
Gooseberries. - All kinds.
Raspberries. - Black Cap and Philadelphia.
Blackberries. - Several kinds do well, can not give names.
Strawberries. - Wilson's Albany, Downer's Prolific, Alpine and Jucunda are menioned. This fruit is considered a failure by some of the reporters in this district.
Raspberries. - Black Cap, Miami or Mammoth Cluster and Philadelphia.
Blackberries. - Kittatinny, New Rochelle and Wilson's Early. The Butler county correspondent says of blackberries: "They do remarkably well. I gathered seven bushels from two hundred hills, four feet apart. Kept them trimmed and mulched the entire year."
Strawberries. - Preference given to Wilson's Albany, simply because it is an old "stand-by," says the Ellsworth county correspondent.
Raspberries. - Doolittle Black Cap and Mammoth Cluster.
Blackberries. - Kittatinny and Wilson's Early.
The inquiry, "Do currants do well in your county? If so, state kind of culture and protection from the sun they receive," called out replies, the substance of which is that, as a rule, currants are not a success, as they require special culture. Planted in shade, on north side of fences or walls, with deep, clean, thorough culture and mulching, they will do well, and produce good crops. Shade from hot suns is essential to prevent scorching or burning.
A majority of correspondents in this district report adversely on currants. Some state, however, that with proper culture and protection from the hot sun and winds, it is believed that this fruit can be successfully cultivated.
The Allen county report is, that "currants on the north side of stone walls have done exceedingly well."
This fruit is generally reported a failure, but many seem to think, with the proper treatment, that currants can be successfully grown.
The Jackson county reporter says that large crops of the common red currant have been raised, and thinks, with proper location and mulching, that they can be made a success. Shaded, damp places, near trees or on north side of walls, with heavy mulching, are recommended.
The Morris county reporter's experience in raising currants is briefly as follows: They can not be successfully raised here unless shaded from eleven to four o'clock in the day. I plant two feet from a row of trees, east side, and fill round them, six inches deep of chip manure. Have never lost a bush, nor failed to get a fine yield, with those so protected, for the last fourteen years.
Do well only when shaded by fence (close) on south, or shade of trees.
"We have a few that grew well this season, planted on the north side of peach trees, and mulched in June with straw." The bushes must be protected from the hot suns; have deep, thorough culture and heavy mulching. The Black Naples seems to meet with considerable favor.
Do well when shaded from hot suns with deep, thorough culture and heavy mulching.
The request was made for the names of the six best varieties, and from the lists forwarded it is found that each and every correspondent in the district places the Concord at the head. The Ives Seedling comes next in rank, then Hartford Prolific, Delaware, Dracut Amber, Norton's Virginia Seedling, Clinton and Martha, in the order they are placed. The Wilder, Diana, Telegraph, Black Eagle, Isabella, Cynthiana and Iona each received a single mention.
The Concord is decidedly the favorite. One correspondent says: "The Concord and Dracut Amber are the grapes for farmers." Another: "Concord, three to one of all others." Still another: "Concord worth all the rest."
Concord by far the leading grape. Every correspondent in this district, as well as in the first, commends it. The Clinton stands next, named by 4; Ives Seedling, Dracut Amber, Hartford Prolific, Delaware and Creveling, 3 each; Catawba, Norton's Virginia and Martha, 2 each; Adirondac, Isabella, Diana, Telegraph and Iona, 1 each.
Chautauqua county - All kinds tried do well. Davis county - Concord. No borers. Elk county - Concord. Condition good. Nothing hurts them here. Jackson county - Concord, Hartford Prolific. Not well enough informed to name six best. Growth good; crop fair. Lyon county - Concord is the only one to be relied on. Would not recommend six. The phylloxera ravage the tender varieties badly. Marshall county - Concord is the only variety raised in this county; all others dead. Montgomery county - Concord is almost the universal variety. Dracut Amber fruits well. Other varieties are being tested. Vines cared for are in most excellent condition. Am ignorant of any ravages from the borer. Morris county - Concord, Catawba, Diana, Creveling and Delaware. These are the only ones I desire to grow. Shawnee county - Concord, Dracut Amber, Hartford Prolific and Ives Seedling. Made great growth of wood where allowed to. Wabaunsee county - Concord and Catawba, the only kinds cultivated to any extent, and very few of the latter. Have had no trouble with borers. Wilson county - Concord, Clinton, Delaware, Ives Seedling, Diana and Agawam. Woodson county - Concord, Clinton and Hartford Prolific. Vines somewhat damaged by dry weather. Owing to ravages of rose bugs, vines are mostly left untrimmed and weeds allowed to grow over them.
Concord, Martha and Delaware are all thus far noted. The first-named is pronounced hardy.
The Fifth district unanimously indorses the Concord. By many it is esteemed as the only desirable variety to be cultivated. Hartford Prolific, Delaware, Diana, Catawba, Allen's Hybrid and Isabella are also named as doing finely.
Very limited attention paid to cultivated varieties. Wild ones reported plenty. Concord, Delaware, Isabella, Hartford Prolific, Iona, Clinton and Rodgers have been tried slightly.
The question was asked as to there being noticeable difference in growth, hardiness and bearing qualities between fruit trees grown on bottom and upland, and the answers are unanimously to the effect that experience strongly recommends upland. Trees are hardier, bear earlier and larger crops, and do better in all respects on upland. A northern and western slope preferable. Bottom land produces a more rapid and thrifty growth, but trees, especially young ones, are more liable to injury by severe cold in winter, and buds to frost in the spring.
PRUNING. - The inquiry regarding this all-important matter was as to the system of pruning mostly practiced, high or low, and the practical effects of the different systems. The reply, as a whole, is that low pruning is the rule. From Brown county comes the word: "Many of the small orchards are found with high heads and yield little fruit. In most of the large orchards the knife is used but little - much fruit." Franklin county - "By all means prune the apple tree to shade the south and southwest part of the tree." Low pruning protects the body from sun-scald, the tree and fruit from sweeping winds, giving, as a rule, fuller crops of fruit. High open heads may be more convenient, but they expose the trunk to sun-scald, yield lighter crops, and are generally disastrous.
ORCHARD CULTURE. - Many orchards are cultivated for a few years, then allowed to go to grass and weeds, which ruins the trees. Thorough, clean culture for from five to six, eight and twelve years, is indispensable to a continued, healthy growth, especially on thin soils. Cultivate in various hoed crops for a period of years, then sow to clever, orchard grass or timothy. Head low, prune lightly, and keep trees free from worms.
GENERAL REMARKS. - Under this head, additional data, such as are not specially provided for in other inquiries, together with the suggestions of correspondents, the results of personal observations and experience, was solicited, and the responses are of no little interest.
Brown county correspondent says: "In answering the foregoing questions, I have, in not a few instances, profited by the experience of some of my fellow-citizens in this county, as well as by my own experience and observation. When I first came to Brown county, with intent to establish a nursery at Hiawatha, it was the opinion of every nine men out of ten that neither trees nor fruit could be successfully grown in Kansas. But we have now, in every variety of soil and location in our county, many young, thrifty orchards, and quite a number of older, bearing orchards. Many of the varieties of apples have not been sufficiently tested to decide their qualities; while with pears, peaches, cherries, plums, etc., the knowledge is still more limited. Even in the line of small fruits comparatively few varieties have been tested. In answering questions on blight, I have made use of the phrase 'sun-scald,' caused by the hot winds and direct rays of the sun, the effect of which was different from the regular blight. The body of the tree was virtually scalded on the south-west side, leaving the top in green, growing condition, the trunk dying. Next spring the twigs and branches started to grow, but soon died. This was the case with the Sheldon and Vicar of Winkfield, which stood unharmed the previous years through the blight, which strikes the tender twigs in top of the tree, runs down and stops, leaving the wood below entirely sound, which immediately starts a new growth of wood next season. In pruning apple trees, we advocate low heads as favorable to health, strength, protection, beauty, profit, and convenience. In culture, thorough plowing to obtain best fruit and freedom from insects."
Another reporter of the same county, makes the following remarks: "I would not give my orchard for any that I saw while traveling through the East in 1876. I consider a grove a nuisance for protecting fruit in Northern Kansas."
The Douglas county reporter offers the following suggestions: "This county has a large area in orchards. The apple is destined to be one of our staple products, a source of large revenue. For a market orchard, would plant but few varieties; trees not less than 25 or 30 feet apart, rows both ways, for convenience in cultivating. Let trees branch about two and a half or three feet from the ground. Prune to a good shape first and second year, and but little afterwards. Coal tar, which is generally considered injurious to trees, has been used with good effect to protect them from rabbits and borers. It was applied in November. This experiment was on trees five to eight inches in diameter. If used in summer, or on young trees, it might do mischief."
Johnson county - "Newly-planted trees have succeeded far better where cultivated with corn than with any other crop. Partial shading undoubtedly beneficial."
BOTTOM AGAINST UPLAND. - General preference is for the upland. A heavier growth is made on bottom land, but trees fruit earlier and are apparently hardier on upland.
PRUNING. - Low heads are invariably commended. Low pruning protects the limbs, blossoms, fruit and trunks to a considerable extent against high winds blasting the bloom and blowing off fruit. Low heads, with chafing branches or forking limbs only cut out, are recommended, and good results have followed. High heads and open tops have been practiced by some, but the evil done is apparent now, and will not be repeated. Too much can not be said in favor of low pruning of fruit trees. Trees are so much more hardy and thrifty, and apples are almost surely protected from borers. To entirely rid trees of them, wash with soft soap in June, and use the knife as little as possible. The largest peaches especially will be found on north side of the tree in the shade.
ORCHARD CULTURE. - One correspondent recommends "thirty or thirty-two feet apart for setting, thorough cultivation for four years, then seed to grass and pasture, with hogs kept from rooting. Apply manure to grass when needed, and harrow in." Anderson county favors closer planting, say fifteen feet apart, as the trees soon protect each other. Plant two-year-old trees, alternating with early-bearing varieties. They will soon repay for trees and care, and in eight or ten years can be cut out, thus giving ample room for the full development of those left. Orchards are protected on south and west by double belts of Lombardy poplar and cottonwood, which have proved of great advantage as protection from the winds. Give clean culture for at least five years in corn; train with a leader, and prune but very little; keep off all water sprouts. Bourbon county advises close planting. Cherokee county - "Frequent plowing until July; no longer, as buds are all formed by that time." Crawford county - "Plow, and cultivate with vines or corn." Labette county - "Late spring plowing where fruit is expected, say in May, and if a wet season, cease plowing in August. Cultivate thoroughly for three years in corn or potatoes, then seed down. This is my practice," says the correspondent, "and I think I have the best trees in the county." Cultivate with hoed crops until the trees shade 549-550 Dakota Wixon/Mrs. Ward the ground, then seed to grass," says another correspondent. Neosho county commends planting potatoes and corn among trees.
BOTTOM AGAINST UPLAND - In favor of upland. Growth matures quicker in the fall, and trees come into bearing sooner than on bottoms. Trees hardier, and produce better crops. Bottoms give ranker growth of wood, and while the fruit is fully as perfect, the trees do not bear as young, and the yield is much lighter.
PRUNING - "Low; one foot. The knife is the worst enemy the Kansas fruit tree has," says the Davis county correspondent. Different styles prevail, but experience uniformly points to low pruning as unquestionably the best, rendering the trees more vigorous, less affected by the winds, and much less exposed to damage by sun-scald. By reason of the latter, less liable to attacks by the borer.
ORCHARD CULTURE. - The Chase county correspondent states that all kinds of culture prevail; has noticed that the finest orchards are those that have been cultivated in corn and hoed crops. Chautauqua county says: Keep weeds down and manure well. "Neglect is the rule," writes the Davis county reporter; he advises planting corn in orchards, as it prevents the leaning of trees caused by the winds; mulch well. Elk county - Manure well and wash with soap suds. Greenwood county - No system adopted. Jackson county reports no prevailing system; recommends thorough cultivation and mulching. Says the Lyon county correspondent: "The skinning system prevails, of raising farm crops among the trees; would recommend corn for the first three years, then low hoed crops for two or three years, then no crop." Marshall county - "Plow and plant in corn or potatoes; recommend that the ground be subsoiled when trees are planted, and then plowed four or five times during the summer." Montgomery county - Too much lack of system; would recommend as clean culture as corn should have; low-growing hoed crops among the trees may be raised for a time. Morris county - No system, and great neglect in protecting from rabbits and stock. Nemaha county - Advises thorough cultivation, winter mulching for bearing trees and summer mulching for young ones. Shawnee county - Various methods practiced; it is recommended to cultivate young orchards in root crops or corn until five or six years old. Wabaunsee county - Complains that most of the orchards are over grown with weeds and entirely neglected; the only wonder is that trees live at all; all that is necessary is to keep down the weeds and keep trees clean and healthy. Wilson county - Cultivate thoroughly in some plowed or hoed crops - never small grain. Woodson county - Cultivate in corn or not at all; young orchards in corn, potatoes, etc.
BOTTOM AGAINST UPLAND - Here, as in the other districts already enumerated, the upland is greatly preferred. Trees on upland are declared to be hardier after getting started, it requiring, however, a longer time to commence growing than on bottoms.
PRUNING. - Very little, if any, pruning has as yet been practiced in the district. All limbs and foliage needed as a protection against hot suns and winds.
ORCHARD CULTURE. - The prevailing system is mostly in corn and potatoes, but some consider mulching required, and think it ought not to be disturbed except in the spring.
BOTTOM AGAINST UPLAND. - Uplands universally preferred. Second bottom favored by some.
PRUNING. - Low pruning is considered by all means the best.
ORCHARD CULTURE. - In respect to the system most prevailing and deemed the best, planting in corn, hoed or root crops, and giving thorough cultivation for several years, is recommended. The Sumner county correspondent advises "close planting, from twelve to fifteen feet each way. Has an orchard of 2,500 trees, twelve and a half feet apart; in bearing."
BOTTOM AGAINST UPLAND - Upland fruit trees appear more hardy. More satisfactory growth, hardiness and maturity considered, is produced on northern slopes, where plenty of small gravel exists.
PRUNING. - Low heading, which withstands the winds, does best, and is less liable to sun-scald and borers.
ORCHARD CULTURE. - Reno county recommends plowing, then sodding with short grass and annual top dressing with manure. Ellsworth county - "Dig holes, plant trees, plant corn in the field, wait till the rabbits eat the bark, then condemn the country because the trees won't grow." Another correspondent advises plowing to within four feet of trees, then using the hoe. Another would cultivate deeply, and raise corn in orchards until the trees needed all the ground. And another prefers raising potatoes if anything is to be grown among the trees.
Transcribed from First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8 embracing statistical exhibits, with diagrams of the agricultural, industrial, mercantile, and other interests of the state, together with a colored outline map of the state, and sectional maps, in colors, of each organized county, showing their relative size and location, railroads, towns, post offices, school houses, water powers, etc., etc. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Rand, McNally & Co., Printers and Engravers, Chicago. 1878. Transcribed by Jake Kelley, Corey Metcalf, Dakota Wixon, José deLeon, Jason Clark and Brat Robertson, April 2002.
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