This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Miss J. K., Columbus, 0., writes: "Do trees which have for years borne fruit, that is freestone, ever change their nature and bear mostly clings?
Let me state my case. In 1862 my father, (John H. Klippart), planted an Apricot tree, which was then probably three feet high. The next year some boys, in jumping over the fence, jumped upon the young tree and broke it off about six inches above the ground. Five young shoots pushed out and all were left on. In the course of several years it commenced bearing fruit, which were (very) free-stones. It continued bearing free-stone fruit until about six or seven years ago, when it changed and bore clings only; just about the same time we noticed that the tree had been attacked by the borer. In Oct. 1878, (just after my father's death), we cut down one of the main branches, as the tree was making too much shade. In 1879 the tree had no fruit at all. This year the tree was laden down with fruit. The first to ripen were decided clings; when about two-thirds of the fruit was off, part of the remainder changed to free-stones on that side of the apricot next to the sun, and clings on the other side; and the last to ripen were true freestones.
Now has the borer had anything to do with the change, or is it old age?
If I wish to raise a young tree, had I better raise it by cuttings, seed, or bud it on some other stock. Our apricot tree is 51 inches in circumference eight inches above the ground, and is about 30 feet high".
[We do not understand this case. So far as we know all apricots are free-stones; and we suppose the apricot was grafted on a peach stock, and when the apricot was broken off, the peach sprouts came up, and it is probably of these our correspondent is speaking, using inadvertently the word " apricot" when peach should have been employed. If this is the correct rendering, we may say that it is not unusual for freestone peaches to become under some circumstances, partial clings, though we never knew of a case where it was very much so. If Miss K. really means that the apricot became a cling-stone, it is indeed a case very well worth recording, though we cannot guess at the cause.
To raise a tree from this one, bud it on a peach or plum stock. - Ed. G. M].