It has been said with much show of truth that the Americans are not gatherers of the seeds of native ligneous trees and plants, while in Europe seed-growing and seed-gathering is a business in which the peasant and his children are helpers.
In the United States growers of vegetable- and some flower-seeds supply the home market largely, and to some extent consignments are sent abroad.
But our nurserymen and tree-growers mainly rely on foreign nurseries for tree-stocks and seeds of the conifers, bulbs, and many of the leading flower-seeds.
Each year large consignments of evergreen seed are received from western Europe, while tons of the cones of such beautiful and hardy native species as Black Hills spruce, silver spruce, white spruce, Colorado fir, Black Hills pine, and red pine are allowed to go to waste.
In the line of tree-stocks it is much the same. French crab-apple seed and Mazzard and Mahaleb cherry stocks and pits are imported by the carload, while native seed is neglected to large extent. In the States west of the lakes the use of native seeds of the conifers and tree-stocks is most important for climatic reasons. The seeds of hardy home-grown apples, the pits of our select native plums, the pits of our wild red cherry, the seeds of our home-grown flowers, and the seeds of the Colorado and Black Hills conifers should be used at the West, and they would prove more valuable than the imported ones over a large part of the union. Indeed, in all parts of the union the use of home-grown seeds should be encouraged, especially in the way of conifers and fruit-tree stocks.