The word Pomology is practically synonymous with fruit-grow ing in its broad sense as given in Part I. But Systematic Pomology, as now used, is confined to the classification and description of fruits, and by usage it also includes the nuts.
In the past hundreds of varieties have been described which are not at this time known to our nursery lists or to those recommended by the widely distributed State and District Horticultural Societies. Charles Downing said in 1869: "If it were only necessary for me to present for the acceptance of my readers a choice garland of fruits comprising the few sorts that I esteem of the most priceless value, the space and time occupied would be very brief."
In our day the District, State, and National Horticultural Societies, together with growers and propagators, have been sifting the old lists and now present for about every section and horticultural district "the few sorts of most priceless value." Hence the plan of this work is to include only the varieties recommended at this time by societies and growers, including those of special value locally - so far as known - and those on the trial lists of the horticulturists of the Northwest and of the northern limits of successful fruit-growing.
For the benefit of amateurs and beginners the relative hardiness of varieties will be given with their adaptation - so far as known- to given soils, exposures, and altitudes. The names of fruits will be made to conform mainly to the code of the American Horticultural Society, but the popular name and the synonyms will follow.
Fruit lists and the classification and description of varieties are used principally for reference in time of need in selecting varieties for planting, and for determining the correctness of their names when they come into bearing. The identification of unknown varieties is not so easy, as varieties differing widely in value are often similar in form, shape, and color.
Prof. N. E. Hansen is the author of the pages devoted to the apple, for which he was specially fitted, as for a number of years he has made a study of this orchard fruit in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has also assisted in proof-reading and in other ways.
The descriptions of the pear and other fruits and nuts by the writer, where not original, have been made as accurate as possible by comparing those from all available sources with the descriptions of such careful pomologists as Downing, Thomas, Warder, Hogg, Lyon, Woolverton, Card, Wickson, and the Pomologist of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
All the plates or fruit outlines not redrawn for the engraver by Miss Charlotte M. King, Artist of the Iowa Experiment Station, have been copied by permission from various sources, but mainly from Downing, Prof. S. A. Beach of the Experiment Station at Geneva, New York, Mr. L. Woolverton's Fruits of Ontario, Canada, Prof. R. H. Price of Virginia, Mr. T. V. Munson of Texas, Prof. F. W. Card of Rhode Island, and the Pomologist of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
It will be noted that the arrangement is not alphabetical as in Downing and Thomas. The more natural method of grouping the orchard fruits, the small fruits, subtropical fruits, etc., has been adopted.
For reasons given in the Preface of Part I the usual principles and practices of horticulture have been included in a separate volume of convenient size with copious table of contents and index for easy reference to the numbered sections, which are often referred to in this volume.
J. L. Budd.
Ames, Iowa, May 27, 1903.