Within recent years the growing of apple-seedlings has become a business carried on by specialists. In the prairie States for many years they have been grown as a leading crop for sale to propagators in all parts of the Union. This extended business has grown out of the fact that the strongest roots and most numerous nitrogen-feeding fibres are found on seedlings grown on the virgin soils of the prairies. As this class of land has become scarcer in Illinois and Iowa, the business has mainly receded westward, and now the main supply is grown in Kansas and Nebraska. Where grown on older land, the best grade of seedlings is developed on newly broken sod-land, or following a rotation of clover or other legumes. When grown on old land with a short supply of humus the seedlings do not attain the needed size for root-grafting when one year old, and the cell-structure of the roots does not develop as perfectly as when grown on new land.
The seed used commercially is largely washed from the pomace thrown out from the cider-presses in apple-growing centres. As the apples used includes the bruised specimens and windfalls of the large-sized commercial varieties that develop weak seeds (4. Seed-saving) this plan of saving seed cannot be commended for reasons given in section (71. Some Native Stocks that Should be Used). The handling of the seedlings for winter-grafting is given in section (81. Taking Up and Packing the Stocks) and propagation by budding and grafting are given in the same chapter.
The planting and management of the orchard fruits have many common modes, methods, and principles in all climates. In Chapters VIII (Some Leading Principles Of Fruit-Growing And Development), IX (Transplanting Fruits And Ornamentals), and X (Orchard Management) the leading essentials and principles of orchard management are given, and spraying is discussed in Chapter XII (Spraying For Insects And Fungi). The Table of Contents on the first pages refers to the varied sections. As examples : Selection of soil and slope, 96 and 97; orchard shelter, 99; washing of hill soils, 101; spacing and transplanting, 113; alternating varieties in the rows, 122; culture, 125; cover-crops, 127; pruning, 143; and spraying (Chapter XII).