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Title: The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 02, No. 12

Date of first publication: 1879

Author: D. W. Beadle

Date first posted: Dec. 19, 2014

Date last updated: Dec. 19, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20141241

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

The Canadian Horticulturist.










VOL. II.]DECEMBER, 1879. [NO. 12.


We have heard much of the fine apples of Nova Scotia, and that in some seasons their surplus fruit had found a ready sale in the markets of Great Britain at prices which were quite remunerative to the shipper. Such being the case, it would seem like sending coals to Newcastle for Ontario fruit growers to think of finding a market for their apples in any of the Maritime Provinces, so long as Nova Scotia had apples to spare which brought remunerative prices in England; much less would it be thought practicable to find a market for them in Nova Scotia herself. But our President has recently received a letter from Mr. Charles E. Brown, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in which he says: “Since my first experimental order of ten barrels in 1875, I have increased my orders to one hundred barrels last year and this, as acquaintance with their excellence among my friends enables me to dispose of them at cost and charges. In a year or two we shall have all rail connection, and it will then be practicable to order carloads, at less cost for transit than over the present route. There will ultimately be a good market here for Ontario fruit if we can establish relations with reliable growers. Honesty is a very essential point in the fruit as in all other business. In some thirty years experience I have never found a shipper to ever approach Gage J. Miller in average merit of the contents of a barrel of apples. Canada may be peopled by such men, but they don’t grow elsewhere.”

We called attention to Mr. Brown’s orders for Ontario apples in the January number, and endeavored to shew our readers that our sister provinces would become a market for our surplus apples of prime quality, put up with sound judgment and scrupulous integrity. The quotation above given from Mr. Brown’s letter sets before us in the clearest light the great importance of shipping only perfect fruit, not allowing a single defective apple to get into the barrel. It is not necessary that the fruit should be of the very largest size possible. Overgrown specimens are not usually as well flavored as those of more moderate dimensions. Each variety has its own natural or normal size when the tree has reached maturity, and no apple should be put up of any variety that is materially below this normal size, and that is not free from all defects and blemishes.

It is a pleasure to be able to say that we know of other shippers of fruit in this vicinity who are equally careful and honest in their packing of fruit, and we would name them here were it not that by so doing we might seem to cast a doubt upon the integrity of others with whose style of packing we do not happen to be acquainted. Those who have, by strict attention to the perfect character of their fruit, established a reputation for sending out nothing but strictly first-class apples, can always command a remunerative price.

The varieties which Mr. Miller sent were the R. I. Greening, Swayzie Pomme Grise, Montreal Pomme Grise, Northern Spy, Esopus Spitzenburg, Westfield Seek-no-further, and Snow Apple. Of these, Mr. Brown says all the barrels contained sound, beautiful fruit, “and my friends often write me in the highest praise of them.”



Selecting Apples for Exhibitions.—No doubt much of the dissatisfaction among exhibitors of fruits about the awards made at our fairs arises from ignorance of those points which ought to guide a wise judge. In nine cases out of ten the intending exhibitor thinks only of size, and he selects from his orchard with the idea that whoever shows the biggest will surely win. If he were competing for the best ten varieties, and a pumpkin could by any means be grown on an apple tree, he would surely include it in his list, regardless of its worthlessness in other respects.

A very little consideration will show that this point of size is of little or no value except among cooking apples. For instance, place on the table for dessert on one plate the diminutive Lady Apple, or the juicy, melting Fameuse, or the crisp Swayzie Pomme Grise, and on another the Cabashea, the Cayuga Red Streak, or the Gloria Mundi; then give your guests their choice, and no better test need be made. Even in the same variety of apple, size is not so important as uniformity of shape, fineness of grain, and general beauty of appearance. As a rule the largest Greenings have not the finest grain nor the best keeping qualities; the rule applies to other kinds, and has been well exemplified during this season of abnormal growth. All these points ought therefore to be considered, and that very attentively by the intending exhibitor when selecting his fruit. Blemishes of every kind utterly disqualify fruit for competition, but of blemishes the ruinous work of the Codlin Moth is most to be avoided. It seemed hard on one occasion for the writer to agree to set aside plates of huge Cayuga Red Streaks of magnificent form and color on account of this one fault, and award a first prize to a plate inferior in other respects but perfectly sound. But what else could be done! How would it do to have our exhibition tables laden with wormy fruit, and the rearing of that disgusting enemy encouraged among our fruit growers? On one occasion we were just awarding a prize, and my colleague was preparing to place “First Prize” on a beautiful plate of apples, when I said, “Let us look under this label, so carefully pasted on.” Oh! see the art displayed in so carefully hiding this worm-hole! How quickly the whole plate was set aside may be imagined.

In collections, much regard should certainly be paid to a selection of varieties that would best satisfy the average planter in the section or country represented. He would want a succession of apples for the year, and as far as possible he would want table, market, and cooking varieties for each month. One collection of twelve varieties we found to consist of winter varieties only, and if quality of fruit and beauty of appearance were the only tests this would have gained the first prize, but considering what poor satisfaction such a collection of twelve varieties would give a farmer for home use, we agreed to set it aside in favor of a better assorted collection.

Correct nomenclature is another all important point in the exhibition of fruit. Indeed, we think that no fruit should be awarded a prize under any circumstances, seedlings of course excepted, that either are unnamed or are incorrectly named. Half the satisfaction of the visitor to the fruit department is lost if articles are unnamed. He goes to correct the mistakes in his own orchard, or to learn new varieties; or he may intend planting, and goes to select the names of prize fruits from which to order, all which advantages are lost if nomenclature is disregarded.

We have given these few hints for the benefit of such exhibitors as are in the habit of finding much fault with the awarding of prizes, hoping that a consideration of these few points may help them to a more correct judgment.

Wiser by Experience.—“Well, neighbor,” says my friend Ignavus, “have you learned anything new this season about fruit packing?”

“Yes, two or three things. A fruit grower can hardly pass through a season of practical work and learn nothing. I have learned (1) that it pays to ship large and small specimens in separate packages, and mark them accordingly. We know some appear to think the fine specimens should all be saved for topping, and the small ones should be used for filling up.”

Said Ignavus, “Of course I would not think of packing that way for near markets, where I want to establish a reputation, but you know I ship my poor stuff to a distant city, well topped, and have it sold without my name being attached.”

I say “Shame on such a sham kind of honesty;” don’t you, brother fruit growers of Canada?

Ignavus adds, “Anyway the buyers expect such packing, so they are not deceived.” But is it any reason why we should be a set of cheats because “buyers expect it?”

We therefore lay down another principle, viz: (2) It pays to be honest, aside from principle, and aside from self-respect which accompanies such a course. “Put conscience in your barrels,” said a buyer to one of our firm some five or six years ago, and we believe the advice to be golden. At all events it was the means of bringing us an offer from a Glasgow house that surprised neighbor Ignavus, it was so much higher than was current. Only a few days before, he had been watching our packing which was going on inside the fruit house. “You make too many culls,” said he, “it will never pay you; nobody else thinks of such waste, and yet others get quite as good prices as you do.” I said I believed it would pay, and so it has proved.

Another item to be laid upon memory’s shelf is, that (3) it pays to secure plenty of fruit packages long before you want to use them, for it saves your time when you are very busy; it saves your money, since you can buy them early at a reduced price; it saves loss, for sometimes you cannot get them at all if you wait until you and everyone else wants the same article. Only to-day Ignavus was here in great anxiety. He had promised to ship his apples by a certain date, which was just at hand, but he could not get a barrel. One cooper was sick, one had just run out of staves, and another had orders in for a month ahead; could I spare him just a few? He was very thankful for them, and perhaps he has learned something this season about fruit packing too—under this head at least.

We might easily speak of other things which are the result of the season’s experience or observation, but gossip about other people’s failings in one’s own favor may very easily be carried too far, so we will stop, Mr. Editor, lest we have to tremble under your severe censure.



As the pruning season draws near, a few words on pruning the pear may not be amiss. I have one large Louise Bonne de Jersey pear tree, ten years old, growing six feet from my well. It grows six or eight feet of young wood every year, which I cut back in the month of February to six or eight inches, as recommended by books as well as by my acquaintances, besides thinning out side branches. As a consequence I had a beautiful tree, but few pears. Last spring I tried a new plan; instead of pruning in February as directed, I waited patiently until the fruit buds were well formed, and then, instead of cutting back to a certain length, I left on every fruit bud that I could see, and cut the rest as close as possible. The result was, this fall I had bushels of choice pears instead of dozens, and near the top of the tree there was one remarkable bunch of twenty-six pears on a twig eighteen inches long, the pears entirely covering the twig from the point half way down, which by the old system of pruning would have been cut off. It was voted by all who witnessed it to be the best they had ever seen.

I delayed writing this until I had seen the report of the assembled wisdom of the fruit growers of Canada at Peterboro’, and after reading the very able address of my old and esteemed friend the President and others on pruning, I concluded to send this to the printer, as it might help others as it has helped me.



The honorable and venerable President of the American Pomological Society delivered the semi-centennial address before the members of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Like all the productions of his pen, this address is fraught with important information and with many items highly instructive to the members of the Fruit Growers’ Association of Ontario. We deem a few brief extracts suitable to your columns, only regretting that your space will not allow of the publication of the entire address.

It was told us by an eye-witness that the ex-President of the Society appeared to deliver his charge, supported by two of his friends. The accident which befell the lecturer in the spring rendering such aid agreeable and necessary. It will gratify all the friends of President Wilder to learn that he is gradually recovering his health and strength. Under the blessing of the Almighty we trust to see him long spared to bless and benefit his fellow-citizens and the world at large. The Holy Book says that the memory of the just is blessed. This sentiment seems to have its due weight with Mr. Wilder. He is never weary of recounting the benevolent deeds of those who have gone before him, and who have cherished his favorite culture.

He tells us in the opening remarks that Peregrine White planted the first apple tree, and Gov. Endicott the first pear tree in Massachusetts. From what small beginnings has the horticulture of Massachusetts arisen! After the close of the Revolution the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture was formed, which was soon followed by the organization of the Massachusetts Society of Agriculture. In 1818 the Horticultural Society of New York came into existence; and that of Pennsylvania in 1827, which has continued to the present day. The 24th of February, 1829, was the cold and unlikely birthday of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a society which has exercised a marvellous power for good, not only in America but throughout the world. Dearborn, Cook, Manning, Ives, Strong, and Wilder are the initial names deserving of everlasting remembrance.

The first exhibition of the society was held in June, 1829. Thirty varieties of roses were on the table. In August S. R. Johnson displayed Washington plums measuring six inches and a quarter in circumference, and weighing nearly three ounces each. At this exhibition it was said that “the show of fruits and flowers generally was probably never surpassed in New England.” The Bloodgood and Urbaniste pears were shown for the first time. In July, 1830, Moorpark Apricots, six inches in circumference, received the premium. The Williams, Benoni, Porter, Hubbardston, Nonsuch, and Gravenstein apples made their appearance for the first time. A single specimen of the Duchess d’Angouleme was exhibited. Geraniums, roses, and chrysanthemums were the only flowers exhibited in any variety. Greenhouse plants bulked in 1831. The Seedling Dearborn pears were shown from the original tree. In 1833 Messrs. Winships contributed a hundred and thirty varieties of roses.

The annual exhibition of 1834 was the model from which all succeeding exhibitions have been formed. The Gladiolus Natalensis or Psittacinus and Marion Squash were presented. Marshall P. Wilder in 1836 exhibited the Gladiolus floribundus. The Belle Lucrative and Beurre Bosc pears were shown by Robert Manning. The first Orchid mentioned came from Marshall P. Wilder. The large yellow Bough apple, the Rostiezer and Louise Bonne de Jersey pears were shown for the first time. The Phlox Drummondi was first seen this year. In 1838 the rhubarb and tomato were coming into general cultivation. Hovey’s Seedling Strawberry was first shown in June, 1839. The first Dahlia show commenced in 1840, and the following year found Marshall P. Wilder exhibiting the Lilium lancifolium.

In 1842 Mr. Haggerston revealed the remedy for the rose-slug. The Elizabeth pear and the Tyson were shown. This year saw ladies admitted to the tables. Gen. Dearborn silences all cavillers. The Bon Silene Rose was first exhibited in May, 1843. The Lawrence and Doyenne Boussock pears, and the Mother, Ladies’ Sweet, and Northern Spy apples first brought before the Society. The Beurre d’Anjou pear was shown by Marshall P. Wilder. In 1846, seedling Camellias by M. P. Wilder, the Queen of the Prairies rose by S. Feast, of Baltimore, and the Hovey’s Seedling Strawberry received public notice. Medals for prizes were introduced. The hybridization of plants, especially of the Camellia and Dahlia, were in vogue. The Weigela rosea was introduced by Mr. Wilder, the Champion of England Pea by Azell Bowditch, and the Jenny Lind Strawberry by the originator. The Dielytra Spectabilis appeared in 1852.

1853 was made memorable by the exhibition of the Victoria regia. The Concord Grape, the Dana’s Hovey and the Beurre Superfin pears were first shown. The first hybrid grape, originated by J. F. Allen, and bearing his name, was shown by him in 1854. This was the first step in the improvement of native grapes. This year was marked by the exhibition from Marshall P. Wilder of the Cissus discolor, one of the harbingers of the endless variety of ornamental foliage plants. The Clematis Jackmanni was shown in 1856. In 1857 the Deutzia gracilis. The Versaillaise Currant by W. C. Strong.

The Wilson’s Albany Strawberry was shown in 1859. Orchard house culture was becoming general. Hybrid perpetual roses received increased attention. Crawford’s late peaches shown, and Clapp’s Favorite Pear for the first time.

Rogers Hybrid Grapes first shown in 1861. The Lilium Auratum in 1862. The next year witnessed displays of seedling Gladioli. The Hunnewell Triennial premiums were established by the generous patron of horticulture whose name they bear, to promote the general application of science, skill, and taste to landscape gardening.

On the third era of the existence of the Society the Rhododendron Show on the Common was held in Boston. Ex-President Stickney and John Lewis Russell contributed valuable gifts to the library. Mr. Strong inaugurated the collecting and distributing horticultural information. Ex-President Hovey ably assisted in a series of singularly important volumes. Carpet and ribbon gardening received development; this rendered possible by the introduction of new varieties of Pelargoniums, Coleus, Achyrantlius, and Centaurea. Sub-tropical gardening was introduced by the use of palms, tree-ferns, agaves, musas, dracænas, caladriums, and similar plants.

The result of these efforts of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society have been very apparent in the increasing market for flowers, not only in Boston but throughout the State. Similar effects are here and there manifest in Canada. The issue is no mean result of half a century’s work. The men who have engaged in it, and devoted means, health, and labor for its accomplishment, will live for ever in the memory of grateful successors. The prominent colossal figure amid the many giants who have appeared and graced the annals of the Society is the Hon. Marshall P. Wilder. His indomitable energy, liberality, and executive ability have facilitated grand results. To indicate the monument which he has raised for himself, we have only to say, in the language of another on a different occasion, “circumspice.” None can estimate the benefits arising from the loved labours of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. They will live in all time, and bear abundant fruit throughout all coming generations.


(Zinnias, Ricinus, Datura, Canary Creeper, Glaucium.)


Although the Fruit Growers’ Association do not as a society discuss horticultural topics at their meetings, or distribute shrubs or flowers to their members, it is not intended, if I judge rightly, that such subjects should be excluded altogether from the pages of the Horticulturist. And, indeed, I know that some of their members, in common with myself, would be pleased to see the efforts of the society, as well as the pages of their magazine, directed to both branches, instead of being entirely confined to fruits; and the more so because they can so easily go hand in hand together, without the interests of the one being made to suffer from undue attention to the other, while at the same time two or three very important advantages would be gained. In the first place, the transactions of the society would become interesting to a much larger number of individuals; and the class from which members of the society might be obtained would be more than doubled by including all lovers of flowers as well as cultivators of fruits. In the second place, we should at once interest the ladies, (a great point gained,) and they would induce their husbands to become members of the society. And, thirdly, if in the plant distribution a choice were given between fruits, flowers, and seeds, numbers of individuals who have not room to plant an apple tree might still enjoy the advantages the society offers, or find in its proceedings sufficient interest to induce them to become members.

Some perhaps may be disposed to argue that the usefulness of the society would be very much lessened by having its efforts partially withdrawn from fruits, which are used as food, and devoted to plants and flowers, which serve no useful purpose, and the cultivation of which some might say is only a waste of time. I remember some years ago an acquaintance of mine making use of this sort of argument in regard to my partiality for ornamental gardening. “What is the use,” he asked, “in spending your time cultivating those things? They are neither meat, drink, or clothing, and are of no use whatever; remember that utility is the true criterion of value, therefore to spend your time on that which is of no use is to waste it.” The reply I made him was one that he did not find it easy to answer at that time, and I question if he has found a presentable solution even yet. It was, “Whatever tends to make any part of the human race happier is useful.” I might have completed the syllogism, by adding, The cultivation of flowers, has that tendency, therefore such cultivation is useful; but I think my meaning was sufficiently plain.

This reminds me of an Irishman that I once had in my employ, who took it into his head that some of the products of my flower garden were eatable. I was putting out my bulb roots, tulips, hyacinths, &c., when he picked up a large hyacinth bulb, and with a curious wondering smile on his face, asked, “What do you do with these?” I explained to him that I was going to plant them in the ground, and they would flower in the spring. “But what I mane is, what use do you have for them? How do they be cooked? Do you boil ’em, or bake ’em like onions, or do they be made into pies?” I made no reply to this for about ten minutes, and during that time,—well, when I came to look at them I didn’t have so many bulbs to plant.

But this is digressing. I commenced to write about Zinnias. I wished to let the readers of the Horticulturist know that I have this year succeeded in growing splendid Zinnias, and to tell them how it was done. A good Zinnia is a beautiful flower, as double as a Dahlia, flowering much earlier, and continues till cut down by frost. But—and the “but” in this case is a very serious one—it is so difficult to get good ones. I have tried them a good many years, and found the majority of them little better than ox daisies, so I concluded to try them no more, and purposely omitted them when ordering seeds, but Mr. Vick thought I ought to have them, and so sent me a paper gratis. They came up as thick as hail, every seed must have grown, but as I thought so little of them I gave more than half of them away, and I’ll tell you what I did with the other half. I planted them in the coldest, stiffest, wettest, and most unworkable clay it was ever my misfortune to have anything to do with; a clay on which scotch thistles only grew to the height of eight inches, and Morning Glories only ran about eighteen. A great many flower seeds refused to grow at all, and those which did grow, with a few exceptions, did little good. A few strawberry plants that I found on the ground when I moved here are just living, but not increasing, while some from the same plot that I transplanted into a more suitable soil grew so rampant that they would soon have run my Wilson’s out of the field altogether if I had allowed them. Such was the soil in which I planted those Zinnias, and yet they have grown to be the most splendid specimens I ever saw, double as Dahlias, with a depth of about two inches from the flower stalk to its crown, and scarcely an inferior specimen among them. Now, was it the seed, or was it the soil that produced this unusual perfection? Have any of my readers had a similar experience?

It may be interesting to some amateurs to know that I have this year in this locality succeeded and been much pleased with the Ricinus, Datura, and Canary Creeper. The latter appears to be hardy, grows rapidly, spreads and extends itself immensely, so that a few plants would cover a summer arbor, and produce a profusion of flowers in uninterrupted succession till cut down by frost.

The Ricinus produces no flowers, but its large eight to ten lobed, deeply cut, star-like glossy leaves with serrated edges, and the brighter gloss and deeper green of the newly opening lobes, all spreading out symmetrically from the main stalk, are beautiful in their regularity; and the whole plant strong, healthy looking and vigorous in its growth, is a striking object when planted alone, as it always should be, or in the centre of a lawn. They have attained a height of four feet with me, and would certainly grow much larger in a warmer climate.

The Datura is evidently more tender than either of the above; still, although a perennial, I have succeeded in obtaining flowers the first season from the seed; they were however only just permitted fully to expand before being nipped by the frost. The size of flowers is extraordinary, and their development curious, presenting before being fully opened out very much the appearance of an old fashioned silk lined parasol edged with lace when half opened. I must not forget the Glaucium, with its white downy foliage; so beautiful for ribboning, and such a splendid contrast to the dark foliaged plants. It appears hardy, and easily cultivated.



The season having at length arrived when—after an unprecedented spell of fine, warm, not to say hot, weather—the gardening operations of the year are well nigh ended, save perhaps the planting of tulips and other hardy bulbs, the pruning, laying and mulching of vines, and, in general, the making all things “snug” against the time now fast approaching, when winter will once more “bind in frosty chains the fallow and the flood,” it may not be regarded as inopportune to submit a few remarks respecting the advantage of preparing local reports for the information of the members of our Association—information that may be sought as well as imparted through the instrumentality of the Canadian Horticulturist.

When we take into consideration the vast extent of the Province of Ontario, within whose boundaries the operations of our Association are confined, and when we contemplate the diversities of climate which in consequence of its large area this Province exhibits—diversities caused partly if not principally by its proximity in some localities to the mighty inland seas that constitute its southern and western boundaries, or by its remoteness, towards the northern limit of its cultivated lands, from those lakes—and when we take into account the various qualities of soil it presents to our notice, it becomes an important as well as interesting question, What kinds of fruit trees or fruit bearing bushes or plants can be grown with the best chance of ultimate and permanent success in the various sections of the Province? Now the only method, or perhaps it should be said the simplest and most satisfactory method, of arriving at an intelligent solution of this question, is to compare one with another reports furnished from time to time by practical fruit growers, whether professional or amateur, who display an interest sufficiently pronounced to urge them to submit such occasional reports for the information of the members of the Association. Up to the present time, such reports have been “like angels’ visits, few and far between;” and emanating as they do principally from that portion of the Province south or west of the city of Toronto, and which may be emphatically designated the “Garden of Canada” afford no criterion as to the advantages or disadvantages attendant upon fruit culture in less favored situations, where greater care, and more abundant labor, and more extended horticultural knowledge are essential in order to secure any measure of success. Not that the employment of such labor and care, accompanied by the acquisition of such knowledge, are to be deprecated, even were it possible that they could be dispensed with. Toil, ever since the fall of man, has been an essential element toward the attainment of success in every sphere of life, and in the pursuit of every business. The cultivation of an orchard or of a garden is one of the pleasures of this life least subject to alloy, but it is scarcely too much to affirm that did every kind of fruit burst into delicious ripeness for the gratification of the palate, did each flower expand its charms in full perfection for the delectation of the eye, without such labor and care, our enjoyment, whether of the taste or sight, would be materially diminished; for man is so constituted by nature that what he obtains without an effort is comparatively worthless in his eyes. An easy conquest of whatever kind is unappreciated. And thus it is the animation of the contest with climate, with soil, or with garden pests that gives the zest to victory.

Still it is undoubtedly useful, and tends much to the saving of an unnecessary expenditure of time and toil, to know what kinds of fruit can be grown successfully and profitably in any particular neighborhood, and what kinds can not be so grown. And such knowledge can best be supplied by those who have experimentally tested the peculiarities of climate and soil, and publish the results of their experiments, and thus aid in carrying out one of the principal objects our Association has in view—the diffusion of useful knowledge. For instance, where it is found on analyzing local reports that any tree has successfully matured its fruit under certain conditions of climate and treatment, it must prove a desirable addition to the orchard or the garden in similar situations. On the other hand, where a tree is universally condemned it is scarcely worth while to plant it, although care should be taken not to reject one that may have been exposed to an injurious aspect or to faulty cultivation, more especially with respect to mulching, and which under other and more favorable circumstances might turn out to be an acquisition.

It would also add much to the interest and usefulness of local reports to say whether the insect pests were prevalent during the past year,—for they are all more or less abundant, sometimes swarming, sometimes “conspicuous for their absence,” in varying seasons—together with such remedies as may have been successfully applied for their extermination, appended to such reports.



I sent the Editor this morning a sample of diseased apples. I am sorry to say the complaint is common here, and more hurtful to us than the dreaded peach yellows or plum black-knot is to you. I must say I seem to have suffered more than my neighbors, and am at a loss to know why, unless I have killed with supposed kindness. This idea was somewhat strengthened lately, when on looking at one of my neighbor’s apple bins of the same species (the Fameuse), I found that the fruit was free from spots, and in every respect superior to mine. I questioned him about his orchard management, but he assured me there was little management about it. He didn’t manure it in any shape, unless the name could be given to an occasional pailful of soap-suds administered by the washerwoman to a few trees the nearest to the house. He had not applied lime, ashes, or any other fertilizer for years. His trees were mostly growing in sod, crowded into space less than half the distance we would allow. He pruned very rarely.

I have adopted treatment directly the opposite. My orchard has been faithfully cultivated ever since planting, ten years ago. I have given repeated heavy dressings of unleached ashes, at other times liberal applications of barn-yard manure, and have pruned regularly in June. I feel almost inclined to adopt the text in Isaiah v. 4.—“What could have been done more to my vineyard,” &c.

My more fortunate neighbor, with no care or expense, had on trees planted about the same time as mine, finer fruit and far more of it. As to my trees not bearing so heavily as I would expect, I begin to think an overdose of manure has encouraged the growth of wood rather than fruit. But I don’t fancy anything mentioned in my management is the cause of these mouldy spots. The disease is mostly confined to the Fameuse; when sound, our favorite and most profitable apple. The sample sent is a fair one, not of a few apples here and there, nor confined to old trees, or over shaded ones, but of young thrifty looking trees standing thirty feet apart, the fruit on many of which this year was not worth gathering.

I will be happy to hear suggestions by the Editor or some of the members as to the cause and the remedy.


Mr. Linus Woolverton, Grimsby, at the request of the Editor, has prepared these answers. His experience in growing, handling, storing and marketing fruit, entitles his opinions to great weight.

The following questions are from a subscriber in Meaford:

(1) “Our apples in this part are badly ‘spotted’ this year, especially the Fameuse (or Snow). The Russet variety escaped best. Please to tell us the cause of this, and how to prevent it.”

The most effectual remedy that we know of for spotted fruit is to avoid planting those varieties that bear it. The Fall Pippin, Newtown Pippin, Fameuse, Early Harvest and Rambo, are some years very badly spotted. The Baldwin, the Russet group, the Spitzenberg, Red Astracan, Golden Sweet, Duchess of Oldenburg, Gravenstein, and King of Tompkins County, are seldom affected in this way.

We believe it to be a fungous growth, for which the skin of some kinds is more suited than others. Anything that will increase the vigor of the trees will help to cure it, and to this purpose an application of wood ashes, together with good cultivation will be highly conducive.

(2) “I have lost several trees from the effects of being shaken or rocked about by the wind; they get loose at the roots. How shall I save the others? They are beginning to bear.”

We know of no way of keeping trees from being shaken about by the wind except by tying them fast to stakes or posts. We should suppose this difficulty would only present itself where the soil is shallow or very light.

(3) “Please to give us some instruction as to the best method of picking apples and storing them.”

Apples should be very carefully hand picked. A round basket with a swing handle is the best receptacle for the use of the picker. A wire hook is needed, fastened to the handle, so that the basket may be fastened on a round of the ladder or on any convenient branch; thus both hands of the picker are free for work.

A convenient way of storing apples until packing time, is to take the barrels in which they are to be picked out into the orchard as fast as needed, knock out the heads, placing them carefully in the bottom of the barrels, and each evening draw as many as are filled under cover with a stone boat. They will thus occupy very little room, and can easily be tipped out on a bed of straw as fast as they are required for culling over and packing. This is far more satisfactory than barreling from heaps in the orchard.

(4) “What kind of a building ought to be constructed for keeping say one thousand bushels of apples through the winter, on the shore of the Georgian Bay?”

No doubt the best shape in which apples can be put for keeping through the winter is carefully packed in close barrels, for they will then be less subject to the changes of temperature and humidity, besides occupying the least amount of room.

No better storehouse is needed than a good cellar for storing one thousand bushels or about four hundred barrels. The temperature should be kept a little above the freezing point, which result can easily be obtained by putting a little fire inside in the most severe weather, and by opening the windows on warm days. Various kinds of fruit houses have been planned and constructed, but as these are too expensive for any ordinary purpose, it seems unnecessary to describe them here.

(5) “Is there any better market apple (winter) than the Baldwin?”

We do not know of a better, all things considered. This variety is an early and constant bearer; the fruit is very evenly distributed over the tree, and is therefore quite uniform in size, which is large enough, and the red color is an attraction enhancing its value in the eyes of purchasers. The quality of the fruit is good, and it can be used both as a cooking and a dessert fruit.


A table of contents has been added for convenience.

Obvious printer errors including punctuation have been silently corrected, except for “Rho do dendron” changed to “Rhododendron” on page 184.


[The end of The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 02, No. 12 edited by D. W. Beadle]