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on this tree next year. These insects crawl from the apple after it falls, and get in the earth, where they burrow deep, below frost. The apples that remained on the tree of which we spoke -it was a Newton pippin-were all more or less stung, and there was scarcely one that did not show a trace of the worm when it was cut open. An apple thus wounded never grows to its full size, and the punctured side is always knotty and indented ; and trees which, if it were not for the curculio, would bear from twenty to fifty bushels of apples each, now only average ten and twelve bushels. The fruit, therefore, is not only less in quantity but in quality also, and all caused by the ravages of the curculio ; in fact, it is only the young trees that bear fair fruit, for, in a few years, from the dropping of the apples the whole fruit will be punctured.
Manures should never be throwi near the trunk or body of a tree, as is the usual unwise practice. The truth is, that water, soapsuds, litter compost, or stable manure should be dug in a little beyond the area where we suppose the roots to lie. Manures-that is, philosophically speaking, the gaseous fluids which are extricated from manures are the nutriment which sustains the plant, and all such should be within reach of the roots, or, rather, the extremities of the roots. The mouths or spongelets (the spongioles of Dr. Dutrochet) of the roots are placed at the extremities of the fibres, and it is to them that manures should be directed; the broadcast method, therefore, is the best for trees. Nothing is gained by throwing manures against the body of a tree but a plentiful increase of suckers, which are nourished by this careless process.
The peach tree is now so generally cultivated that we shall say but little of it, excepting of the diseases which injure it. We must, however, let M. De la Quintinye be first heard, only observing that the peaches of which he speaks are not now known in this country by the same names. Nor is it of importance to point out many by name, as every year produces an endless variety of excellent peaches equal in goodness to the old
There are a few, however, which should never be suffered to run out, such as the early Ann, the rareripe, the Malacaton, the lemon cling, the Swalsh, and the late heath.
The fruit of the peach tree in the famous garden at Versailles, which was under the superintendence of the most excellent and scientific De la Quintinye, only ripened when trained against a south wall. In our happy climate--happy in ripening the first fruits--a peach tree shoots up luxuriantly and bears delicious fruit without care, by the road side. Yet difficult as the culture of peaches was, and still is, in certain districts of France, hear how one enamoured of the subject describes the qualities and pretensions of a good peach.
“ The excellence of peaches,” says De la Quintinye, "consists in the good qualities they ought naturally to have. Of which the first is to have the pulp a little firm, so that it may be just perceivable and no more, and very fine, withal, which ought to appear when their skin is taken off, which skin should be fine, shining, and yellow, without any thing of green, and easy to strip off, which, if the peach be not ripe, will not be the case. This excellence further appears when we cut a peach with a silver knife, which in my opinion is the first thing to be done to it at table by any one who wishes to eat the fruit delightfully and with a true relish. And then we may see, all along where the knife has passed, an infinite number of little springs, as it were, which are, methinks, the prettiest things in the world to look upon. They that open a peach otherwise, oftentimes lose half of the delicious juice.”
“The Troy peach follows the avant; it is a wonderful good little peach to stir up in us the idea and remembrance of the excellent ones of the year
before." After enumerating a number of others, in his quaint way,
he “ The chevereuse, with the pavie rosane, comes in at the beginning of September, and almost at the same time begins the persico, the bellegarde, and a number of others, to supply us plentifully for fifteen days. They are, in truth, an illustrious, charming, and delicious shoal or glut of fruit; the violet peach alone, which, in my opinion, and in the opinion of others greater than myself, is the queen of peaches, and is in itself sufficiently qualified, without the help of any others, to satisfy the whole mind.”
Now this is all downright carnest in De la Quintinye; his whole heart was in the subject, and, as he deemed it of the first importance, he could not avoid expressing himself strongly. He was a man of classical attainments; of an ancient noble family ; gentlemanly and courteous, and of an amiable disposition. Being possessed of a large fortune, he was able to gratify his tastes by travelling in foreign countries, where his love of horticulture increased as he proceeded. His fame having preceded him, he was invited to the court of Charles the Second, who conceived a great friendship for him. Here he was offered a handsome pension, but he could not be prevailed upon to remain, and immediately on his return to Paris, he was taken into the service of Louis the Fourteenth. He took the entire charge of the king's gardens, and soon produced a salntary change in the art of horticulture, not only in France but in England. He may truly be called the father of modern horticulture; and, on an examination of the greater nurnber of works on this subject, we cannot perceive that any thing new has been added. His
genius grasped at the whole science, both theoretically and practically, and, like all truly great minds he descended to the most minute part of the subject. Modern science has introduced new instruments, and the improvements from microscopic investigations have given additional facts; but greatly has the art been indebted to De la Quintinye, and all our modern writers--one copying from the other little imagine that to this French writer they owe the greater part of their knowledge. The only wonder is, that every horticulturist has not a copy of this work in his library. But let us hear what further he says of peaches :
“ The admirable appears in crowds soon after the middle of September. Ah, mon Dieu! what peaches for colour, delicacy of pulp, abundance of juices, for sugared sweetness, and for a rich, exquisite taste !
“ The nivettes, beautifully and marvellously excellent as they are, have the modesty to wait until the admirables are declining before they ripen, and then they show themselves, and, for ten or twelve days, amply recompense the pains of those who plant them in a good place.
"The pavé peaches, the andillas, and the narbons, press earnestly to accompany the nivettes ; but for all their beautyand which in truth may be called a painted beauty—those peaches, I say, would do wisely to forbear an attempt that can turn to nothing but their own disgrace.”
Of the thirty-two peaches which this learned and curious person enumerates, he discards nine as positively bad, and sorne of the others, with his right good will, he would erase from the list, if the chasm in the time of ripening could be filled up. He condemns the practice of multiplying the kinds of fruits as strongly as we do, for sooner or later it ends in wearing out the best varieties.
“Oh unlucky and itching humour, thou mayst properly enough be called the daughter of vanity and ignorance, how great a confusion dost thou occasion among fruits ! Is it possible that people should not know that a difference of soil, of exposure, of climate, or of the temperature of the seasons, is able to produce those little varieties in fruit which yet are not essential ? Notwithstanding which, they have given me an infinite deal of pains to discover the truth."
So easy is it now, to guard peach trees from the injury done to the roots by the fly called the egesia exitiosa, that, in orchards containing two thousand trees, not more than three or four of these trees were punctured during the summer.
As there are two or three generations of these insects in the season, it is proper to search for them at three different periods. An experienced eye can easily detect the place where the fly has Vol. XXI.-NO. 42.
deposited its egg, by the brown dust that lies on the gum which exudes from the puncture. This fly-egesia exitiosa-is accurately described in page 334 of the 6th volume of the American Farnier. Killing the worm soon after it is hatched, is the best preventive, and this is done by bending a piece of stout wire at one end, having a sharp point, and following the traces of the worin.
The most formidable disease, at present, is the yellows, which, if suffered to pass unnoticed until the tree is entirely tinged with the jaundiced colour, will destroy it in two years, sometimes in one summer. If the tree is not large, and the discase has just commenced, it can be restored to its health and green colour by a bold trimming, rich manuring, and plentiful waterings. This malady is not propagated from tree to tree by the farina of the flowers, as is sometimes conjectured, but arises from a hot, dry soil, and scantiness of nourishment. A moist, well cultivated soil, ploughed mellow, and so as not to touch the roots of the trees, rarely, if ever, engenders the yellows. Great care should be taken not to plant the kernels from those trees that were infected with this disease, as it is communicated to them; and trees from such seed, especially if planted in the same ground whence they grew, will surely become diseased and perish. We have seen whole rows of yearlings in the nurseries destroyed by the yellows.
Exhaustion and indirect debility always succeed the great excitement of an overbearing year. Trees that have borne fruit beyond their strength, assume the same appearance with those that have the disease called the yellows ; the same method of cure must be observed. When thus reduced, great pains should be taken with the manure, as none but the most ripe and mellow should be applied; the compost made from the cow-house being always preferred to that of the horse stable, the latter being too stimulating.
It will be perceived by this—and these remarks are the result of long practice and minute observation--that peach trees should be planted in a deep moist soil, well looseried and frequently manured. Buckwheat ploughed in twice during the season before the blossoms form, is sufficient for a light top dressing; and coarse litter, well ploughed in during the fall just before the winter sets in, is all that the tree requires, unless diseased. There cannot be too much stress laid on the inpropriety of allowing a tree to bear too much fruit; exhaustion and disease will too surely be the consequence. Nor should too much fruit be suffered to hang on one limb, as the little delicate vessels, and even the bark, are strained and cracked, so that the injury they receive prevents them from bearing fruit the next year. Four things, therefore, contribute to bring on
the yellows-overbearing, improper nourishment, want of nourishment, and a hot, dry soil.
Apricots and nectarines are not so frequently diseased by the yellows, and they would yield good crops were it not for the ravages of the curculio, an insect which destroys the fruit. Cherries suffer in the same way by the same insect, scarcely any ripening without one or more worms in each. Birds make no impression on the numbers of these destructive insects; nor is it possible or prudent to let hogs run loose in a young orchard as some persons advise. It is well known that, from the propensity these animals have to turn up the ground, they would materially injure the roots of the trees. They break down the limbs, too, and rub off the bark of the trunk.
Our experience has taught us that cherry trees should be grafted low, and kept low, so that the head may form about four feet from the ground. All the imported trees of this fruit are unable to resist the extremes of heat and cold of our climate. Many are seriously injured in the bark by the action of the sun's rays on the south side in summer, and by the cold easterly winds in winter. Allowing the trees to grow low, enables them to shade themselves; and if a wisp of straw is tied on the easterly side in winter, the bark will be prevented from bursting. When the sap vessels are ruptured in summer, and the bark throws out gum, the knife should be freely used until every particle of the mortified part is cut out. Notwithstanding the reluctance that may be felt in thus disfiguring the trec, whole limbs and branches must be sawed off below the affected part, for like fire-blight in pear trees, it poisons the sound portion of the tree when it comes in contact with it. If the gum does not find its way all around the limb, then the whole limb need not be amputated, but only that portion of the bark and wood whence the gum exudes, but not a single speck of the vitiated portion must be left behind. The wounded parts quickly heal ; in fact, no tree heals so rapidly as a cherry tree.
Another advantage in keeping the cherry tree low, is the ease with which fruit can be gathered. A man on a step ladder can pick all the cherries from the tree without snapping or cracking the limbs, or bruising the bark, or breaking off the fruit spurs that are to bear fruit the next year. It is not generally known that the fruit buds for the next year are all formed this summer, in July and August, just as the fruit is ripening. If this were fully known and duly appreciated, horticulturists would be more careful in their choice of persons to pick fruit. All exotic cherries thrive well in our climate, and they would be a source of great profit to the orchardist, were it not that the same insect which injures other fruit deposites an egg in the cherry likewise.