First study the technical terms employed and the leading systems of classification. This knowledge is then illustrated in practice by comparing good, typical, well-matured specimens of a number of standard varieties with their printed descriptions. The reader is now prepared to make descriptions for himself, and practice will soon give accuracy and facility. The systematic study of fruits should become an important feature of laboratory work in pomology in American agricultural colleges, as it long has been in the horticultural schools of Europe.
The advocates of Nature Study will find rich material for interesting exercises in comparing well-known varieties of apples as well as in other exercises in systematic pomology. Fruit-growers generally will find it advantageous to study characteristics of varieties, and will make rapid progress in such study if it be made systematic. For this purpose outlines or blanks something like the following will save time and serve as an aid to the memory. If the blanks are printed some of the most common terms may be added under each heading, and the appropriate ones indicated by a check mark or a circle around them, or the others crossed out. An impression of the fruit should also be taken. No free-hand drawing is necessary nor advisable. The apple is cut in halves lengthwise, using a sharp knife, so that the calyx-tube is exposed. This will require a little practice; it is best to approach it gradually by cutting several thin slices until the exact axis is reached, the axis always passing through the calyx-tube. The surplus moisture is now removed with blotting-paper or cloth. The edge, core-outline, and calyx-tube, and end of stem, are now touched with a moistened soft indelible or aniline pencil. The apple is now pressed firmly against the paper. The only drawing necessary will be to complete the stem and indicate the position of the stamens; this is done with a hard pencil. The paper should not be too heavy in texture. Thin writing-paper is good for this purpose. A convenient size for the sheets is about nine and one-half inches long, seven and three-quarters wide, with two holes punched along left-hand side for convenience in binding. Such blank sheets with suitable covers are now used for note-taking in many schools; the advantage being that the sheets can easily be arranged in alphabetical order, and new pages added at any time.
Printed Blank for Apple Descriptions. (Ben Davis)..............apple.