This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It is known that the plantations of Larch in Scotland suffer much from disease, and the planting has received a check in consequence. At a recent meeting of the Scottish Arboricultural Society, Mr. Gorrie, Rait Lodge, read a paper on "The Failure of the Larch." This subject, whether considered economically or scientifically, was, he said, the most important which forced itself on the attention both of forest owners and foresters, for the failure of the Larch had involved vast pecuniary loss in many districts of Britain. The principal causes of the Larch failure he classed under the following heads: -(1) Heart-rot, dry-rot, or pumping; (2) surface-rot, cancer, cankering or blistering, and top-rot; (3) the Larch bug or blight, The first was caused by excessive droughts, occasional saturations, and fungoid attacks on the roots, and the prevention was to avoid planting Larch in places that were likely to favor these causes. Surface-rot, cancer, and blistering, and top-rot were due to the effects of late spring frosts occurring after the sap flow and growth were in full progress, and to autumn frosts setting in before the growth of the season was fully matured.
The prevention here was a more judicious selection of soils in which to plant young Larch. They should avoid warm southerly exposures that excited a too early spring growth, and more especially all low, flat, moist districts that were subject to cold ground fogs or hoar frosts. The bug which attacked the Larch did not appear to be a native of this country, but had been imported with the tree. It was found most prevalent in low, hollow, sheltered situations where thinning had been neglected. No perfect preventive of the ravages of the bug had been discovered, and the society should offer prizes for the best " steep " that would destroy the insects or their eggs.