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.
We have read this pamphlet by Mr. Parry with a great deal of interest, but we must confess that the question how to avoid the blight, (fire blight) is not answered satisfactorily to our mind. Mr. Parry's answer is to plant the Sand Pear and its hybrids. They will not blight it is said. How do we know they will not? The only answer is that Mr. Kieffer has had the tree a great number of years on his grounds, and it was never blighted. But Mr. Kieffer has others of the common kinds of Pears, and they have never blighted. Indeed the old-fashioned kinds of Pear rarely blight in the north of Philadelphia.
Mr. Parry's essay reads as if there were no hope for the Pear, that it must go, and these new Chinese hybrids all that is left to replace them. But it is a fact that in many districts the fire blight has never been known, - while others that have been badly infected are now wholly free. We know of one orchard that fifteen years ago came near being totally destroyed: but the affected branches were cut away, new ones sprouted out, the orchard has never had a sign of it since, and there are Pears by the wagon load. Much as we value the new hybrids, we can by no means go the length of pronouncing them blight proof, - or of believing that the old class of Pears are in the slightest danger of being exterminated.