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an early winter apple, it comes into the market in competition with the fruit from New Nork and New Jersey, and can therefore never bear the highest price.
Of the Rhode Island Greening, the same remark may be made; as its name indicates, its home is a little south of us. It is one of the principal market apples of Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York.
The Baldwin stands decidedly at the head of market apples, thus far, in New Hampshire and Massachusetts; indeed, I think one-half, at least, of all the fruit sold from Rockingham county is of this variety. It is a fine grower, an enormous bearer, principally in the even year, and it is in eating from November to March, and even to May. In the northern part of this State, and in Maine, it is said that the young trees are liable to be winter-killed. The Baldwin is a native of Massachusetts, and seems impatient of removal far from its home. At the West it is affected with bitter rot. Further south it becomes an autumn apple.
The Roxbury Russct is an old, well-known variety. It requires good soil and high cultivation. Properly secured, it keeps until July, as it has as yet no competitor, at the end of the season, in Boston arket. The Red Russet, it is thought, may eventually supersede it.
The Green Sweet is not named by Downing or Cole. Thomas speaks of it in favorable terms, and it has been long cultivated here. I find it recently coming into favor among judicious cultivators, who are producing it largely for the market. It is a great bearer, hardy, and keeps till June. For baking, in the spring months, it is very valuable. For feeding stock, I think it will prove the best variety known.
The Red Russet originated in Hampton Falls, and appears to be allied both to the Baldwin and Roxbury Russet, partaking of the good qualities of each. It grows well and bears as bountifully as the Baldwin, and keeps two or three months later. It has been raised long enough to be thoroughly tested in the neighborhood of its birthplace, and is thought by many of the “knowing ones” to be the most profitable of all for cultivation for the market.
Of the Northern Spy, which I have omitted in my list, because it has not been sufficiently tested in this region, I may say that it seems to me
I to be a larger, handsomer, better flavored, and later keeping variety than the Baldwin. Large numbers of young trees of that sort are growing
. about us, and seem thrifty and hardy, and fine specimens of the fruit have been produced upon them. Whether it will prove a good bearer, remains yet to be decided. If it should produce fair fruit abundantly, it would take the lead in our orchards at once. I regard this as the only New York variety which can compete with northern fruit in our own market.
Apples for Stock.--No accurate experiments have been tried by which the value of apples for cattle and swine has been ascertained. This, like so many other important agricultural questions, has been left to be guessed out by Yankee shrewdness.
Most observing men believe now that apples of all kinds are valuable for milch cows and swine. The general impression is that sweet apples are, for such purposes, more valuable than sour, although an analysis, I believe, shows little difference in their constituent elements. The opinion has been confidently expressed by intelligent farmers, that sweet apples are of more value for stock than the same quantity of potatoes
My own opinion is that they are worth raising for this purpose, but that many years will elapse before good grafted winter fruit will be so cheap as to be thus disposed of.
The Green Sweet is, of all others, the apple to be cultivated for stock. Such food is not required till winter, and this variety will last till the 20th of May, which is pasturing time, in this State.
supply and demand.—Great fears are expressed by many well meaning people, that no market can be found for the apples which will be produced upon the great numbers of trees recently planted in New Eng. land. The plentiful crop of the present year has seriously alarmed some, who seem not to consider how small a portion of the world they them. selves inhabit. In fact, however, the home market is not yet half supplied. Every family should, and will in future years, consume at least twice as many barrels of grafted apples as of flour, and they who fear an over-supply may as well commence their lamentations over the immense crops of wheat of our western States. New Hampshire does not yet produce half so many apples as would supply the inhabitants of the State as abundantly as the people of this county consider necessary to their comfortable subsistence.
As to the foreign market, it should be borne in mind that the production of fine fruit of this sort is limited to a small portion of the earth, and probably no portion of it is better adapted to the culture of the best late-keeping varieties than New Hampshire.
No late-keeping apples can be produced in warm latitudes. The apples of England are inferior to ours in size and flavor and keeping qualities. Those of New York and New Jersey, which fill the markets early in the season, with the exception of the Northern Spy, are mostly gone by February, when the Baldwin of New Hampshire is in its best condition, and entirely disappear while our late varieties are perfectly sound. Most of the South and California are buyers, and not producers. By steam navigation, we may carry our fruit, in a few days, to the ends of the earth, and the fact that ice and the best apples are produced in convenient proximity for shipping together, and agree remarkably well in a voyage at sea, gives additional advantages to New England enterprise in this direction.
Ships freighted with ice and apples have already left our ports for Egypi and for China, as well as for many nearer markets.
The late-keeping quality of our apples is the circumstance which must always give the North an advantage over “ the rest of mankind," and this has been an important consideration in preparing the foregoing list.
The prices at which apples shipped from this country have been sold in England would afford an enormous profit to the producers here. Seven, eight, and even twelve dollars per barrel, have been common rates of sales at auction.
So recent has been the production of any surplus crop, and so recent, too, the use of steam conveyance, either by railroad or navigation, that markets have not been sought, and no regular foreign trade in this fruit has been established. The surplus of our crop has been bought up by speculators, at their own prices, and the producers have not received a fair share of the profits.
Soon, a regular trade will be opened, and many years must elapse be. fore any product of our soil can yield so liberal a return for labor and
capital as our crop of apples. Even at the low price of one dollar per barrel, which is the lowest yet reached among us, the culture of this fruit pays twice at least the profit of any other of our crops.
Pears.--So far as has been observed, the soil and climate of New Hampshire seem as well adapted to the growth of the pear as the apple.
Dwarf trees, worked upon quince, have been planted in large numbers about us, and as fine specimens of fruit from them have been exhibited at our State fair as have ever been produced anywhere. The dwarfs are preferred to standards for garden culture, because they occupy but little space. Besides, they come into bearing much sooner than the standards, usually in two or three years from transplanting, and some have borne perfect fruit the same year they were inported from France!
Pears upon the quince require high cultivation, because the quince root must always remain small and cannot wander far for nourishment. The farmers of New Hampshire are by no means accustomed to the thorough cultivation which dwarf pears require, and I have no doubt that an orchard of them, managed as even the best of our apple orchards are, would be worthless. Indeed, pears of all kinds, standards as well as dwarfs, require a deeper and richer soil, and more careful cultivation, than the apple.
For the convenience of those who are not " posted up” in this matter, I will give a list of twelve varieties, which will be found as good as any others which have been tested for our State.
I regret that the old St. Michael (White Doyenné) cannot be recommended. It is the very best of all pears, but for many years has failed in the eastern part of our State. The Flemish Beauty succeeds both on the quince and as a standard in this State as well as in Maine. Pears of this variety were produced in Exeter last autumn which weighod fourteen ounces each, and were of fine flavor.
Plums.- Plums are succeeding as well in New Hampshire as in any
part of New England. The curculio, its greatest enemy, has not for the past two years monopolized, as usual, this delicious fruit, and in many sections of the State plums have been abundant. It is said that as far north as Lancaster the curculio is not known; but I fear he is there, notwithstanding. I give below the names of six varieties, which will be found of good quality, and adapted to our State:
6. Green Gage. The McLaughlin, a new variety, from Maine, is there recommended as superior to any other, but it has not yet fruited here.
Peaches.- Peaches have been cultivated to considerable extent near the coast, and some flourishing trees are seen far in the interior. They suffer from the effects of winter, especially upon low and sandy land.
Cherries may be raised in abundance in the eastern part of our State. Care, however, should be taken to procure trees raised in the State, as those brought from New York have, for several years past, generally failed. Strawberries, raspberries, and currants are also raised here in perfection. We have native grapes of tolerable flavor, but we are too far north for the cultivation of the Isabella and Catawba, except in sheltered positions
Upon the whole, the tendency of our recent agricultural exhibitions is to show that New Hampshire has a fair proportion of the most valuable fruits of the earth, and to satisfy us that, however good a State it may be “to emigrate from,” it is a home, too, to which we may gladly return from our wanderings.
Winter-killing of Fruit Trees and Fruit Buds. Throughout New England, if not everywhere, we hear much complaint every spring that fruit trees are winter-killed. Again, we find that in some localities the peach trees have all their fruit buds destroyed, while the wood is not affected, but grows vigorously. The peach is more liable to injury of this kind in New Hampshire than any other fruit; occasionally the apple suffers injury, not only of its fruit buds, but of the wood also, and sometimes the tree is entirely destroyed. Of one hundred and sixty young apple trees which had been set in my orchard, from one to six years, about thirty were severely injured by the winter of 1851–52, and many more somewhat affected. The first symptoms were observed early in April, when, in cutting off small branches near the trunk of the trees, I noticed a circle of yellowish wood immediately under the bark. The ends of the limbs and the outside of the bark, and even the buds, at that time appeared perfectly healthy. As the season advanced upon most of the trees, the buds opened, but some of them did not start at all. The bark on a few of them blistered and came off about the trunk. Such trees died to the ground; others put forth leaves on part of the branches, and some at the ends of the limbs, with the rest of the tree bare. The foliage upon many through the summer was very meagre, except upon the newly-formed twigs, where it was luxuriant.
Three trees, which had been growing about four years, and which I had regrafted in the previous spring, died utterly, except the root, although the scions had grown finely and remained plump and full of sap until the bodies had turned black under the bark. I cut off several at the ground and grafted them, and the new scions grew vigorously, indicating that the roots were still sound.
In the autumn, one of those which had put forth a scanty foliage, though making a fair growth, was accidentally broken off. Upon examination, I found that all the wood was discolored, except a ring of the alburnum, next the bark, which appeared healthy. Upon cutting into others, I observed a similar appearance, as if nature had made an effort to cover with a living stratum of wood that organization which had been so disturbed as to obstruct its proper offices. Having occasion in May, 1852, to travel over the westerly part of the State, I carefully observed the condition of the fruit trees wherever I went. The results of my observations were uniform. More injury had happened to the apple trees that winter than for many previous years. To low and sandy land, subject to early autumn frosts, and to highly cultivated trees, the injury was almost exclusively limited. My own trees stand upon a sandy plain, and were growing very rapidly, and I found scarcely an instance of an apple tree upon hilly land affected in the least.
The same remark may be made of the peach buds. My own, near my apple trees, and on similar soil, had set full of blossom buds, but not a single peach was produced, although the trees were not much injured.
Mr. Downing's theory has been, that whenever the thermometer sunk 12° below zero, the fruit buds of the peach were always destroyed by the mere intensity of the cold. But this theory was not correct as applied to New Hampshire. The thermometer in all parts of this State fell to 18° below zero last winter, and yet peaches were abundant. I myself saw trees loaded with peaches, at Derry, within twenty feet of the spot where the thermometer had indicated 18° below zero the previous winter. Mr. Downing himself, in one of the last numbers of the in valuable publication which he prepared, admitted that his theory was not supported by his more recent observations. What then produces the injury? It cannot be the mere intensity of the cold under ordinary cir. cumstances, because, if it were, all trees of the same kind would perish at a given extreme of cold. The tree on the plain would not be taken, and the tree on the hill be left. The same tree would not pass unscathed through extreme cold of one winter, and perish the next at a higher temperature. We must look for the solution of our problem in some peculiar accidental condition of the tree.
In New Hampshire no winter ever passes without weather which sinks the thermometer below zero. Water freezes at 32°, and the sap, in the small twigs, must be frozen long before the weather is at zero. We all know that water, as it becomes solid, expands by crystallization, and we can readily comprehend that such expansion may rupture the sap vessels of the wood or bud, and so destroy its organization. . If this be the cause of the destruction of the buds, and the injury to the wood, then it should happen whenever the sap freezes. Now, I will not undertake to affirm that the
sap in the peach does free ze before the cold reaches 12° below zero. It is possible that there is in the sap of trees, and in the incomprehensible