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Title: The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 03, No. 02

Date of first publication: 1880

Author: D. W. Beadle

Date first posted: Oct. 15, 2014

Date last updated: Oct. 15, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20141094

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, David Edwards, Elizabeth S. Oscanyan & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

The Canadian Horticulturist.











VOL. III.]FEBRUARY, 1880. [NO. 2.



The Divine beneficence and munificence are marvelously patent to the least considerate, and to the dullest apprehension, if only casually dwelt upon. This assertion is a truism in regard to all His works, who created all things, and for whose pleasure all things are and were created. It is especially true in the distribution of plants. Every zone on the face of our earth has its distinctive sorts of plants, and were it not for certain wise and beneficent arrangements of Divine Providence, those plants peculiar to certain belts would be confined specially to their peculiar latitude. By means, however, the most striking and benevolent, and yet the most simple and efficacious, the growth and development of these plants are not confined to restricted and peculiar limits. The gentle gradation of one order of plants running into and growing alongside of other varieties of plants flourishing near them, and adapted to that particular habitat, can everywhere be observed. But that is not the thought we wish to present, though no unimportant thought in itself. What we wish to notice is the remarkable natural provisions that are made in creation for the growth, fructification and perfect development of plants, as it were, out of their natural habitat. This is sometimes accomplished by one means and sometimes by another. So beautiful is the provision of the All-wise, that we cannot but regard it as running strongly counter to the foolish and pernicious doctrine at present so popular and wide-spread, the doctrine of natural selection. Instead of all that is implied by natural selection, whatever that means in the philosophic language of the day, we see in it rather Divine protection—Divine care for the weakest and least protected—in establishing means and circumstances calculated to afford shelter and the means of existence for the plant, and benefit for man. These means of existence spring from natural provisions. Sometimes a mountain range is made to do duty; at other times a peculiarity in the strata. In the case of the western portions of Europe, and of the States on the Pacific Slope, the Gulf Stream, or a similar current, is called upon to effect the purpose. The singular and strange freaks of the isothermal lines indicate unmistakably our meaning. A plant, a vegetable, an animal, accustomed to flourish far south in a congenial clime, is made to grow and flourish in latitudes many degrees north of its original habitat. We know of few more striking manifestations of this adaptation than that shown by the width of latitude that is displayed by the growth and cultivation of the Apricot and Nectarine.

The Report of the Honorable the Commissioner of Agriculture, General Le Duc, issued from the Government printing press at Washington, in the year 1879, states that “although the apricot is one of the most delicious of stone fruits, and ripens earlier than the peach, yet it is a scarce fruit in our markets, and is rarely seen on the dessert table.” This is too true; but it ought not to be true. We have cultivated both fruits in Hamilton, Ontario, for quite a number of years, and always found them succeed. They have been sure and certain croppers, and this may be justly said of the apricot. When we reflect on the fact that I have generally had apricots three weeks before a peach was in the market, it is passing strange that they should be so seldom seen on the dessert table. In our neighborhood certain conditions ensure a crop of apricots. On one occasion I was visited by a noted fruit grower, who remarked, on seeing my beautiful crop of apricots, that the trees would have done infinitely better had they been planted on the southern aspect of the house. The reply was, that that was just what I wished to avoid, and for the following reason: that had they been planted on the south side of my residence, the chances would have been that I would have had no apricots at all. The western situation was the best, because in early spring before the sun reached them the air had become so mellow that the frozen branches and sap-vessels had parted with the acquired degree of frost, and when the rays struck them there was no bursting and consequent detriment to the sap-vessels.

The Report of the Superintendent of Gardens at Washington, for this year, further says: “First, the tree is easily excited to growth in spring, and a week or two of mild weather will start the flower buds, which are afterwards destroyed by cold or frosty weather. This is a very common occurrence north, and even south, of the Potomac, and may be measurably modified by planting on the north side of buildings or groves of trees, and thus retard the starting of the buds, and shield them from a morning sun after a cold night.” The conditions for securing a good crop of apricots have been stated by us before, but we rejoice in the corroborating views contained in the present admirable Report of the Hon. the Minister of Agriculture of the United States.

There is a section of our extensive Province, however, that stands in no need of the apricot and nectarine being planted in the rear of buildings and under the protection of groves. In the neighborhood of Goderich, on Lake Huron shore, both of these varieties of fruit flourish and do well, not under the protection of buildings, but grow and fruit as freely as red or black currants, in the open, in the shape of pyramids or standards. Our attention was first directed to this fact in the garden of my friend the late Rev. Alexander Mackid, of Goderich. We afterwards found that the same condition existed over quite a considerable space on the lake shore around Goderich, and at Kincardine, still further north and west; also at Sarnia, and down by Kettle Point and Bosanquet. The secret of this successful cultivation of the apricot and nectarine lies in the fact of the modifying influence of the deep waters of Lake Huron, and also, to a considerable extent, to the remarkable stratum that crops up at the different points which we have already mentioned. At Goderich, for certain, the stratum overlies the great salt basin; the same is true at Kincardine, at Clinton, Seaforth, etc., etc., where abundant crops of grapes, pears, apricots and plums are almost always to be had. The adaptation of these different localities to the cultivation of the apricot cannot be doubted. We entertain the strongest hope that the Japan Persimmon will flourish in this portion of Ontario and elsewhere. This fall we saw the persimmon for the first time cultivated in the neighborhood of Paris, Ontario, by our veteran fruit cultivator Mr. Wm. Smith. Our experience and experiments in this culture do not enable me to say what may be the hardiness of the persimmon in our latitude. Should a hardy variety be obtained, or by naturalization from seed raising, we may find that the persimmon, like the Chinese tea plants in the Southern and midland States, may do well. We long for the time when we may make trial of the medlar, persimmon, and tea-plant. The cultivation, and that the successful cultivation, of the apricot and nectarine is a secured fact in many parts of our Province. At Niagara they do well. I have seen them flourish without much care in the garden of the Rev. C. Campbell and of Mr. Paffard, the Mayor. All along the northern shore of Lake Erie, especially about Long Point, and the Township of Wodehouse, they can be profitably cultivated. A pretty sure index to the successful cultivation of the apricot and nectarine will be found in the growth of our Canadian forest trees. Wherever the chestnut flourishes, there the apricot does well. The chestnut is to be found from Amherstburg to Cobourg. At Kingsville, County of Essex, it is most luxuriant, and all along the northern shore of Erie, and to the above mentioned limit on Ontario, it is to be found in a thriving condition. The black walnut, butternut and buttonwood are indigenous over almost the same extent of country. Strange to say these varieties exist in a strip of country in Huron and Bruce towards Kincardine and Southampton, a clear indication to us that the peculiar strata have something to do with the growth of these valuable commercial trees. Wherever the buttonwood, walnut and chestnut flourish, there we can depend on the remunerative cultivation of the apricot and nectarine.

The varieties which we have personally cultivated are very few. We have considerable experience of the Breda and Moorpark. While the latter is undoubtedly the best apricot, we have no hesitation in saying that, as a steady and prolific cropper, there is none that we know of can compare to the Breda. It requires, however, to be thinned in its fruit. We have cultivated the Elruge nectarine, and can speak in the highest terms of this variety. We commend the Victoria. It must be said that while in point of hardiness the Breda was never known to have been injured in the parallel of Hamilton by the cold and frost, we have known the tender and late shoots of the nectarine to suffer. In our cultivation we have never attempted to protect them. They have stood, and now stand, against the west wall of the house, growing and fruiting without much or any care.

We strongly commend apricot and nectarine cultivation to our fruit growers. There are drawbacks to their cultivation. Neighbors of ours have found the curculio troublesome. A few five cent pieces to the children for his early capture, have been singularly effective in freeing our trees from his destructive attacks. Good fruit, not of the apricot and nectarine sort merely, but all good fruit, is the result of eternal vigilance. Jarring must be had recourse to, if we are to save our stone fruit. When cultivated as standards, as I have shown they can successfully be, even in the Goderich and other districts on Lake Huron, these varieties can be cultivated and jarred as easily as is done elsewhere in the cultivation of the plum.

In regard to the market for the sale of these and similar fruits, we have no hesitation in saying, that wherever and whenever good fruit is raised by the producer, there will always be found a ready market to the husbandman.



Apples in 1879.—Not long ago I saw an article in the Globe, stating that, as a rule, the highest latitudes of the successful growth of any staple grain constitute the region of its most profitable cultivation. This statement was applied to the wheat crop, and it was fairly shown that two-thirds of the wheat land of this continent is comprised within the Dominion of Canada. The same rule may be shown to apply to the cultivation of the apple. The southern part of Ontario is in this respect the most favored country in the world, for here the apple attains its greatest perfection both of quality and appearance. Far north of Lake Ontario the climate is too severe for many of our choicest varieties; while south of Lake Erie they ripen too early to keep well. Ontario apples have a high reputation both in Canadian and British markets, commanding the highest prices because of their superior color and keeping qualities.

But the past season has by no means added to the reputation of Ontario apples. The unusually hot autumn, especially during the month of October, made our climate similar to that of a latitude many degrees farther south. In consequence our winter apples were over-ripened, and many even began rotting on the trees; and though picked and brought inside with unusual care, packing was a most discouraging task, for after an interval of a couple of weeks it was astonishing how many culls had to be made, so many were either speckled with rot or over-ripe. I am sure that in packing I threw out at least twenty-five barrels in a hundred, to be shipped as second class, or thrown away.

“And how are your carefully selected apples keeping this winter?” said Ignavus, the other day, with a sarcastic grin at my fastidiousness in fruit-packing.

I can’t boast much of their condition. The very best specimens are poor enough now. I opened a barrel of Kings to-day (Jan. 3rd, 1880,) and they presented a shocking sight. They ought to have kept in first class condition another month at least; and as for those shipped, I fear they will not sustain the reputation of former years. A smile of satisfaction was visible on the face of Ignavus, as he says: “You will never make better out of your fruit than I did last fall. I filled up my barrels with bad and good as they came, just fixing up top and bottom a little. I took them to the depot, where they passed the buyer’s inspection. I got my money, nearly as much as you, and no culls to throw away. If there is any complaint, I have the same excuse as you have,—A bad season—a very bad season!

Two Fresh Gossips.—I wish, Mr. Editor, to make you acquainted with two other fruit growers, who, though they may not live very near either you or me, can be identified by any reader of the Horticulturist possessing two eyes. Diligens is a farmer and fruit grower. He is always busy—too busy, I often tell him, to enjoy the pleasures of a life amid trees and flowers. His orchard and farm are in perfect order, and show marks of the most careful management. His trees are grouped with excellent taste, and the footpath and carriage-drive approach his house with a graceful curve.

“A landscape gardener has surely given you his advice here,” said I to him one day, as I walked with him about his grounds. “No,” said Diligens, “the plans are my own. I always make a study of a beautiful lawn when I see it, and then try to imitate what I admire.”

Just then Negligens came along, and our conversation turned to the subject of the peach yellows. Negligens is one of those men who think that because they live in the country it is quite useless to spend time and money upon anything that neither puts clothes on their backs or food in their mouths. He lets the cows and horses into his door-yard to feed on his lawn grass, and save the trouble of mowing; he lets the chickens scratch up the loose sand about the sides of his house; and for a walk to the hall door you may see what anywhere else would be mistaken for a cow-path.

“One thing is certain,” said I, “we need to look carefully after our peach orchards, or the yellows will destroy them. In August last I found three Early Purple trees, one Crawford and one Old Mixon bearing spotted fruit, which ripened prematurely, and I had them cut down and burned up at once, fruit and all.”

“I did the same,” said Diligens, “with three or four in my orchard, though they were among the very finest and largest trees I had, and were loaded with fruit. I did not believe it wise or honest to ship it.”

“Pshaw!” said Negligens, “I have had the yellows in my orchard two or three years. The first case of yellows in this section was on my place. I bought the trees from a Yankee peddler. It does not trouble me very much. I have never cut down one tree, and what’s more, I don’t intend to.”

We looked at him in surprise, and said, “You will rue it, then, for it will take every tree in your orchard.”

“Guess not,” said he. “Anyway, I might as well lose them one way as another. To tell the plain truth, I have made more money out of my diseased fruit than I have out of my sound fruit. I got it so early, and it is so finely colored, that it sells like hot cakes in the market for a fine big price.”

We asked him how many diseased trees he had in his orchard.

“Well, I don’t know exactly,” was the reply. “Every year there is a few fresh ones, and if I ever begin cutting, as you have done, I am sure I do not see where it would end.”

We told him that anyway he ought to cut them out for the sake of his neighbors’ orchards; it was worse than letting a field of Canada thistles shower their seeds upon a neighbor’s field; it was doing a greater injury.

You can’t make me cut them out,” said Negligens, “and I won’t do it either, until they die out. I have bought them, and I mean to have my money out of them before I destroy them.” And so he passed on.

We consulted together, and wished that there was a law in our country similar to that which we are informed exists in the State of Michigan, by which delinquents like this man might be compelled to cut down and burn up peach trees which are known to be diseased; and we thought that both growers and consumers of the peach would be benefitted by such a law.



It may not be generally known that in 1873 the Local Legislature of Ontario passed an Act offering $25,000 as a premium for the first successful manufacture of beet sugar; and in 1875 this Act was supplemented by another giving an additional $7,000 annually for ten years, or a total of $95,000 to carry out the above object. In spite of this magnificent bonus, no one as yet has stepped forward to try and earn the premium offered.

The amount of sugars consumed in Canada is rather over than under thirty pounds per capita, but at this rate, at seven cents a pound, the money sent out of the country for sugar alone is $8,400,000 per annum. It will readily be seen that if sugar can be grown and manufactured in this country, an ample market for its consumption is already established.

Repeated attempts have been made to establish beet-root sugar manufacturies in the United States, but so far the result has proved that this industry has not been a success. The Early Amber Sugar Cane appears to have solved the difficulty found in procuring a sugar plant for the more northern parts of this continent, where the short warm seasons require a plant adapted to our climate, and a plant also from which the saccharine matter can be extracted with little manual labor—a great desideratum in a country where wages are so high.

In a former article on this subject, it was recommended that “Early Amber” should be planted four feet apart each way; but on consulting other authorities, I find that to obtain the greatest yield per acre, the distance apart advised is three feet between the rows, and twenty inches between the hills. This would give space to cultivate “crossways” with a light cultivator and a single horse, a couple of times before the plant was high enough to cover the ground; or a cultivator might be constructed so as to take three cross-rows at a time, in which case sheet-iron guards would be necessary, so that the soil would not be thrown on the growing crop. Each hill should have from two to four plants, and the weight of trimmed cane per hill would be from two to eight pounds, but an average of three pounds per hill would give 11,700 per acre, which would make 180 gallons of dense syrup, or 1,800 pounds of crystalizable sugar and 44 gallons of drainage molasses. But this is quite a low average. Under good cultivation, with a fine, rich, friable soil, and every attention to the destruction of weeds, etc., it is quite possible to add a quarter more to the above figures, or 2,400 lbs. sugar and 55 gallons molasses.

It appears from experiments made, an average of five pounds of stem have been raised to the hill, which will give 270 gallons of dense syrup, or 3,000 pounds of sugar and 66 gallons of molasses. This experiment was made on ground that would yield 100 bushels of corn per acre; or if beets were grown and well cared for, they would yield about the same amount of sugar.

Every cultivator will readily understand that preparation of soil and attention to the crop makes a vast difference in the yield. In Europe, where the sugar beet is grown, the highest attainable amount of sugar raised per acre is 5000 pounds, but the average in France is only 1,071 pounds; whereas the average from sorgum ought to be 1,800 pounds, or very little below that amount.

In my hastily written article in the January number, it was recommended that the cane should be left to ripen in the field for some days after being cut. I find also this is a mistake, as deterioration begins within a few hours after the crop is cut, and the sooner the stalks can be worked up after the cane is removed from the ground the more readily will the juice crystalize.

One reason why sorgum is superior to the beet is, that it has a far wider climatic range of growth. It has often been noticed by strawberry growers that a drought takes place towards the end of June. This dry season is almost fatal to the beet crop—hot, dry weather rendering its juices thin and insipid, and almost entirely devoid of saccharine matter. On the contrary, hardly any amount of drought affects the sorgum plant, and it readily stands the summer heat as far south as Texas. Neither heat nor drought appear to weaken its juices in sugar-making material.



In the December number is an article from the pen of Mr. J. Croil, of Aultsville, complaining that he gets worse results from his orchard, with the best of care and cultivation, than does his neighbor under precisely opposite conditions. His complaint is more particularly with respect to black spots, or fungus, in the Snow Apple; but this is not the only point in which his fortunate neighbor fares better than himself, for he says this neighbor “gets finer fruit and more of it,” a result of course very discouraging to one who has done all that he knows how to do for the benefit of his young orchard; and appears to be so contrary to all that we should be led to expect, that it becomes particularly interesting to enquire further as to the cause.

Mr. Croil informs us that his trees are planted thirty feet apart; that he has carefully cultivated the ground since planting; that he has given repeated heavy dressings of ashes and barn-yard manure, and pruned regularly every June. His neighbor had not applied lime, ashes, or any other fertilizer for years; his trees were planted at less than half the usual distances; they were mostly growing in sod, and were rarely pruned. Both orchards were planted about the same time—say, ten years ago.

These are the conditions as given by your contributor; but he has not told us whether the trees are standard or half standard; nor what kind of soil and subsoil they are growing on, which it is highly important should be known, and particularly as to whether either of the subsoils may be considered springy. I have an idea that the successful growth of fruit trees depends more on the subsoil than on any other one thing that can be mentioned; and it would be interesting to know whether it is any defect of that kind that has affected Mr. Croil’s trees. But he says his trees are thrifty. Perhaps they are too much so, and perhaps his neighbor’s are the reverse.

It is found that any cause or treatment that attacks the life of a tree, such as root-pruning, &c., tends also to make it produce fruit. Mr. Croil’s neighbor has seeded his orchard down, which is a very effective way of attacking the life of young trees; and perhaps it has for the time induced them to grow fruit; but if so, it is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, as will be found out before the trees are double their present age. On the other hand, his own trees have, perhaps, been making an extraordinary growth of wood, during which, of course, they could not be expected to produce a great deal of fruit.

As regards the distance the trees are planted apart, I consider that during the first ten or fifteen years, they would do better at fifteen than thirty feet, although that would of course be too near for a full-grown orchard. I am not, however, in favor of scattering trees over too much ground, and intend planting trees myself in the spring at 18 by 24 feet.

I must say it is a mystery to me how trees seeded down, especially when young, manage to live at all. It appears almost impossible that any moisture should ever reach their roots, during the summer, through a thick sod, for the grass and grass-roots will intercept every drop of rain that falls, no matter how fast it comes down, and ground as dry as dust can be found at any time during summer by simply turning up a spadeful of sod; but trees do grow under such conditions, and produce good crops of fruit too; and I sometimes feel quite annoyed at them for doing so, because it upsets all my theories of what are the best conditions for fruit growing. Perhaps I should not have said “upsets all my theories,” because in order to do that it would be necessary to show that as good results can be obtained under sod as under cultivation; and that, at the present time, I beg leave to doubt; but the difference in favor of cultivation, as far as I can learn, is not as great as I would have expected it to be.

Any person who has had any experience in gardening must have observed the enormous difference it makes to flowers, fruits or vegetables, whether a crop of weeds is allowed to grow up with them or not; and the same effect may be noticed in regard to shrubs, bushes, hedge-plants, and young trees of any kind. Why, then, should not full-grown trees suffer in the same degree? I am inclined to think they do, but the effect is not so plain to be seen. I am inclined to think that trees under sod make a very slow growth, although they may produce fruit.

I hope Mr. Croil will ferret out the cause of his ill-success; that he will learn “what more could have been done for his orchard,” and let the readers of the Horticulturist know it.



I notice that two correspondents of the Horticulturist in giving their experience on cultivating the Zinnia have come to the conclusion that the best way to have good flowers is to raise them on poor soil. As I have grown the Zinnia for a number of years, I will also give my experience. Now, I have found the seed of the Zinnia to be very variable in quality. Plants raised from seed saved from the same plant have produced flowers, some of which were as fine and beautiful as ever I saw, while others were poor, worthless things. And I have observed the same thing both in imported seed and seed of my own growing. If there is Zinnia seed which will uniformly give good flowers, without any mixture of poor, worthless ones, I have never had any of it. The best Zinnias which I ever raised—and I have raised some very fine ones—were grown in deep, rich soil, well cultivated, occasionally watered with soap suds. In my experience, the only difference between rich and poor soil is, the rich soil, as a matter of course, produces larger plants, and consequently more flowers. My practice is, when the plants begin to flower, to pull up and destroy those which produce only poor flowers.



To demonstrate the entire practicability of fig culture in these climates, I place on record two letters. The first is from my revered instructor, Gen. Worthington, who for fifty years has been the pioneer fig culturist of the north. He says:—

G. F. Needham, Esq.,

“Dear Sir: * * * Fresh figs have for many years constituted an important part of my summer and autumn diet, and I am glad that the propagation and dissemination of this fine old fruit is in such good and zealous hands as yours, for I am too old to do much in what I consider the good cause of growing semi-tropical fruits cheaply in our climate, though I know that it will be done sooner or later. So I cheerfully hand over the business to other and younger hands.”

“Very respectfully,

Chilicothe, O., 1879.


The second letter is from a competent and disinterested witness, the manager of John Hopkins’ estate, near Baltimore.

Clifton Garden, Baltimore Co., 23rd October, 1879.

Dear Sir:—I have read your pamphlet, “Fig Culture,” etc., with much interest, and I fully endorse the instructions you give. I have no doubt but that your expectations about the general culture of the fig will be realized. I have grown figs here over twenty years, without missing a crop; and the demand for them (at $10 per bushel, N.) is far beyond the supply.”

“Yours truly,




In the December number of the Horticulturist I asked advice on the above from our members and the Editor. He is too polite a man to leave my lines unanswered, (nor did he), but why he did not give us all the benefit on his sheet I am at a loss to say, unless it be from his known modesty, or from want of space. We ask him, however, to overcome both difficulties in a matter to us of much importance. Condensed, I give his reply.

“I have been acquainted with the black fungus spot on the Snow Apple for many years, and am obliged to say that it is not confined to that apple. It is also very bad on the Fall Pippin, and worse on the White Doyenne Pear. When the fruit thus affected is gathered into barrels, the spots begin to decay, (or cause decay, I should say), in the fruit, and soon the whole barrel is gone. I cannot tell why it appears very bad in some orchards and omits another near by, nor why in some seasons it is very bad, and then disappears in a great measure another season. I cannot see that care or neglect have anything to do with it. Did we know why this fungus attacks our fruit—that it was because of some deficiency in the soil, or improper exposure to heat or cold, too much or too little sunshine—we might apply some remedy. I have thought that I could see that trees not fully in the sun and air were more badly spotted than others, yet I do not feel quite sure even of this. The Snow Apple was not in my boyhood so badly spotted as now, nor was the White Doyenne Pear.”

(Signed), “D. W. BEADLE.”

After receipt of the above, I sent a similar request to the Montreal Horticultural Society, and received from them the reply that they would give attention to it.

The following I received from Mr. N. C. Fisk, President of the Fruit Growers’ Association of Abbotsford:

“Yours of 26th November to Mr. Evans was sent by him to Mr. Morgan, of Montreal, and by him to Mr. C. Gibb, Corresponding Secretary of the Abbotsford Fruit Growers’ Association, and by him to me, requesting me to answer it. I did not see the apples, but by what Mr. Gibb said, and Mr. Beadle’s letter, I would infer that it is the black spot or fungus on the apple, especially on the Fameuse or Snow Apple, that you want information about. I see by Mr. Beadle’s letter that he is somewhat puzzled about it, and so have we been for some time. Some years Fameuse are worthless, other years free from spots, fine and large. We have come to the conclusion that it depends on June weather. If the weather is then cold, and rainy the apples are sure to be spotted. Some orchards are affected more than others, and some trees more than others. Orchards most affected with the blight are usually those in low ground, with heavy foliage, and perhaps thickly planted. This goes to prove the disease is caused by damp and cold, want of air and sunshine. In the same orchard usually those most troubled with blight are most sheltered, and have the heaviest foliage; and usually more blight is on limbs nearest the ground, and where there is the least circulation of air. The only remedy I know of is thorough pruning. Have a good open top, let plenty of air in, and give the sun a chance; then if we do not get too much wet and cold we have little or no black spots or fungus.”

(Signed), “N. C. FISK,      

President of the Fruit Growers’ Association of Abbotsford.”

Both of the above letters are satisfactory, as agreeing in many points. Thorough and regular pruning however has not saved me; nor am I, like Mr. Beadle, sure that the most sheltered trees suffer most. Some of my worst specimens were on young, thrifty trees standing thirty feet apart, and away from other shelter. A writer in the Albany Cultivator attributes the disease to a wet sub-soil or an excess of manure.



It may interest, and indeed may benefit, our fruit producers to learn what varieties of apples are most esteemed by the public. The question might arise, How are we to attain to such knowledge? An answer is not so easily given as asked. Lately we have put two or three “irons in the fire” to enable us intelligently to make a satisfactory reply. Dining at the Queen’s Hotel, Toronto, at the special invitation of the worthy President of the Agricultural Board of the Province, we were struck with the soundness and flavor of the Ben Davis. The thought of enquiring what varieties were most sought after to meet the varied tastes of the guests of the house occurred to us, and we hasten to lay the information before our fruit producers.

Mr. M. H. Irish, of the Rossin House, Toronto, Ontario, says, in an interesting communication which he made to me, “If there is one thing that gives me more trouble than another, it is to get good fruit for table use.” This assertion is rather humiliating to us as fruit growers. We have been indulging the thought and cherishing the hope that as the Province was notably adapted for fruit raising, and as numerous varieties were cultivated, we were in a position to meet all reasonable demands; yet Mr. Irish affirms, that “If there is one thing that gives him more trouble than another, it is to get good fruit for table use.” The statement made is calculated to furnish many important lessons, and to give direction and an impetus to a special cultivation of the apple for table use. It is evident we must enter upon the path of specialties. Every fruit grower has been intent in the past of gratifying his own peculiar taste, and making that the criterion of his productions raised for market purposes. A greater breadth of view must be exercised, and public taste must enter as a factor into our future fruit productions.

Mr. Irish happily makes a suggestion which cannot fail to bear fruit. He further says, that “The Snow Apple, in its season, is the only good apple I really have been able to procure.” This testimony to the value of the Fameuse is not to be overlooked. It is an A 1 Apple. But it is sad to think that only one variety out of the multiplicity of good varieties has been singled out by Mr. Irish as worthy of commendation and remark. The Snow Apple is a splendid variety. In the Montreal district on railroads and in hotels it is the apple—almost the only apple offered to the public. Mr. Irish continues and says, “The Spitzenburg and Rhode Island Greening are my favorite cooking apples.” It is commonly said that “Murder will out;” in like manner we say, “Excellence will tell.” A line will comprise what is to be said of the Æsopus Spitzenburg—best to eat and best to cook. Of the Rhode Island Greening—best to cook, best to eat, best to keep, and best to carry. Mr. Irish gives me a Roland for my Oliver, and asks, “If you can suggest better varieties I shall feel exceedingly obliged to you.” Here is a chance for our horticulturists. Who is ready to make suggestions in the shape of better varieties? As good may be found; which are they?

From the Queen’s Hotel, Toronto, we learn from the courteous clerk, Mr. Richmond, that in that establishment they use, in the months of September and October, the St. Lawrence and Snow Apple. The St. Lawrence is a showy, nice apple, a general favorite, and most worthy of public appreciation. The Snow takes first place again, as it is justly entitled to, and maintains its enviable preeminence.

Mr. Richmond writes that after these dates “we use the Northern Spy, Pomme Grise, and Rhode Island Greening.” This informant does not draw the distinction between dessert and cooking varieties. In fact sometimes they are used equally for both purposes, and with equal advantage. We have sometimes thought that the size of the Northern Spy takes it out of the category of dessert fruit, though its quality, and especially at this season, places it in that list. The Pomme Grise is the beau ideal of dessert fruit. People as a rule don’t wish to eat a pound weight of fruit after making a hearty dinner. It astonishes us not a little that the American Golden Russet finds no place among these public favorites. The American Golden Russet, of Western New York, is an apple to be placed in the fore-rank of the best apples. It is one of the most delicious and tender apples, its flesh resembling more in texture that of a buttery pear than that of an ordinary apple. Autumn Rose is another rich, juicy, tender, high flavored apple, that ought from its admitted excellence to attain to public favor. Ben Davis has already been noticed. To us it appears a most desirable fruit for dessert purposes. Benoni only requires to be known to be appreciated. Few apples known to us are more likely to meet with public approbation. The Domine, excellent from December till April, is an apple exceedingly tender and juicy, with a pleasant sprightly flavor.

No finer apple for dessert grows than the Dyer or Pomme Royale. It is little known, but where known is known only to be highly esteemed. The Newtown Pippin is an apple admirably adapted for all the purposes of dessert as well as cooking. The same may be said of Grimes’ Golden Pippin. What is true of the last two varieties is equally true of the Jonathan. The Lady Apple is an established dessert variety, and has a universal reputation for its goodness. It is a showy as well as a good fruit, and well worthy of cultivation for dessert. Were it known, the Mother Apple would take a foremost place on the dessert table. The flesh is tender, rich, juicy and aromatic. Its season prevails fully over four months, commencing in November. A companion apple to the above is the Primate, and is prime from the end of August to the end of October.

Mr. Irish would find his query superbly answered for the month of August by investing in the Summer Rose. Last, but not least, is the Wagener; a very delicate apple, which bridges over the season from November to February. The Wealthy, and Westfield Seek-no-Further, concludes our recommendation of dessert fruit for public tables.

What will be found acceptable by the public in economic use in hotels, will be found equally well suited to adorn and grace the private tables of the general public.


A table of contents has been added for convenience.

Obvious printer errors including punctuation have been silently corrected.

Inconsistencies in spelling have been preserved.


[The end of The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 03, No. 02 edited by D. W. Beadle]