This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
F., Rochester, New York, writes: " Is not the Pear Blight a disheartening thing to deal with ? Your magazine could render us no greater service than to investigate the cause, and show us how to cure it".
[This the Gardener's Monthly has long ago done. It has shown by careful microscopic examination in its earliest stages, that the disease is caused by a minute fungus which develops in the bark and penetrates inwardly, destroying the cell structure as it proceeds. The fungus is so small that the distinguished investigator, Dr. J. Gibbons Hunt, under a powerful microscope, could not distinguish the species; but this is of no consequence. This being the cause of the disease, the preventive is obvious. Any one who is in a neighborhood liable to blight, can have immunity by washing his trees annually with pure linseed oil, sulphur wash, or other things that will kill a fungoid spore without injury to the bark. Of course spores may get into a crevice where the washes cannot reach, and hence there may be some cases where, even though the trees be washed, there will be •disease. The cause of the disease has been so clearly demonstrated, and the remedy so patent, that cases of "fire blight" only proves ignorance or neglect.
Since the above was written, the writer has seen a beautiful row of Dwarf Duchesse D'Angou-leme Pears, on the grounds of Mr. Hiram Sibley, at Rochester, one of which was badly stricken by fire blight, though he was told the trees were sulphur and lime-washed every year. But on personal examination of the trees, it was found that only the trunk up to the branches was washed, and this of course could have no influence on the parts not covered by the wash. - Ed. G. M].