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.
I have been a careful reader of your Monthly a long time, and I think with profit. I entertain the highest regard for your judgment and plain practical suggestions you generally make on all subjects you write about. Of course the varied soil and climate of the United States must produce a considerable difference upon the vegetable as well as upon the animal kingdom. What will hold good in your State may not exactly in our State; not so much difference, however, with us (except late fruits and vegetables) as with other States differing greater in climate. The pests we have in our orchards also may differ. We beg leave to differ with you at least about the apple tree borer, as given in the Gardener's Monthly and Horticulturist. April No., " Seasonable Hints," you say (or the inference is) the borer does his work at or near the surface of the ground - "remedy, tarred paper, an inch or more below the surface and two or three above." This would not protect our trees in Tennessee, as we often as otherwise find the borer from one to three feet above the surface.
The first and second year after planting in orchard, particularly if the soil is thin, and, as you say, "starved," the borer is likely to commence his depredations, and if not destroyed bores into the pith or heart of the tree; going up or down, killing the tree. Strong soap applied to the body of the tree Spring and Fall, or strong or thick paper tarred, is the best preventive we know of.
[The "flat-headed borer" operates in any part of the stem, and this is the one probably that Mr. T. refers to. So far as we know this species is injurious only in the West. It was the other species we referred to, and which, so far as we know, enters only at the ground. We have to thank our correspondent for his timely suggestions, and we hope to hear from him again. - Ed. G. M.]