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.
"Two or three years ago, a paragraph went the rounds of the agricultural press to the effect that Mayor Ludlow, of Norfolk, Virginia, had treated the pear blight with remarkable success by applying linseed oil to the diseased parts. It was copied into the Rural Home, and read by D. P. Westcott, of this city, among others. That same season Mr. Westcott had a tree attacked with blight, the bark of the trunk, below the branches, presenting that blackened, burnt appearance, so indicative of what is called ' fire blight.'
"By cutting through the bark Mr. W. discovered that the inner bark and sapwood were black and apparently dead. Remembering the oil prescription, referred to above, he washed the diseased parts thoroughly with raw linseed oil. This was in the autumn. The next spring the tree leafed out, and commenced growing, and upon cutting into the diseased bark, he found that a new inner bark had grown, and the tree is now alive and flourishing.
"Last summer his trees commenced blighting again, some of them very badly, and he applied the linseed oil again. The blight was arrested and the trees have put forth their foliage in good condition this spring, and the new bark under the dead exterior, is alive and apparently healthy. We have just called, at his request, to see the trees, and find them as reported above.
"Although Mr. Westcott lives in a densely settled portion of the city - 39 Stone St., - he has a liberal lot well stocked with ornamental trees of the smaller kinds, shrubs, fruit trees, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, and quite a variety of garden vegetables, all so well cultivated and pruned as to be really ornamental. His pears are of a number of varieties, both dwarf and standard, and both kinds have been attacked by the blight.
"Although Mr. Westcott does not claim to have fully demonstrated the fact that linseed oil is an infallible remedy for pear blight, he will be very likely to try it again should his trees be again attacked, and we would advise the readers of the Rural Home to do the same, and see what its effects may be in their cases."