This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Professor Beal writes: - "Not long ago I sent you a copy of my report. You complimented it, and made a note of my reference to your experiments on 'Graft Hybrids.' Of course we know the result would ontyl be a variety if the two halves united to form a new thing, but you had used this term, and I used it in referring to your experiments. I was almost about to apologize for quoting you wrong, when the Gardener's Monthly for January came, and in it, on page 29, I read your remarks, and looked back to see what you had said.
"Mr. Meehan claims to have produced graft hybrids from the split buds of apple trees.' The transition from ' one hybrid' to 'graft hybrids' is not much, but it is just enough to give the impression that ' graft hybrids' is not an uncommon event with the editor of the Gardener's Monthly, whereas one only successful result, (italics mine) and that a very small one, attended his experiments."
"I turned back to the volume for 1876, page 306, where you print your paper read before the American Association. You head it 'Graft Hybrids.' Farther on you say, "twelve of these were grafted, three grew, two of these have fruited; neither are Rhode Island Greenings, and the two are unlike each other. One of these has a flower like the Rhode Island Greening, and the flower of the Red Astrachan is rosy and in many ways distinct from the'large white one of the Rhode Island Greening; but the fruit is in many respects similar to that of the Red Astrachan. The second variety has the flower similar to that of the R. I. G., and the fruit somewhat the color of the Red Astrachan, ripening about the same time; but is but half the size, very much flattened, and with a slender stem near two inches long, and as much like that of a Siberian Crab as can be. I do not know that there is any pomological value in the new varieties of apples I have raised, but I am delighted with the scientific results, proving that hybrids by bud-grafting is more than a popular delu sion.
"I fail to see the force of your criticism on my mention of your experiments. I think I quoted you fairly." W. J. Beal.
Agricultural College, Lansing, Mich.
[The title of the paper "Graft Hybrids" was intended to mean "A Contribution to the Subject of Graft Hybrids," and not that it was to detail various experiments; for, as the quotation of our esteemed correspondent shows, the results of but a single experiment were given. If the explanation as here given by our correspondent had accompanied the quotation there would have been no place for criticism. As we read the quotation it left a different impression on the mind than would be by the reading of the extract quoted.
Our correspondent is critically correct from his standpoint. No one would impute his fairness in any case. At the same time it is but right that it should be understood that but one experiment was made, and that though there was a slight variation in the result, the variations were for any practical purposes the same.
It may be of interest to note here that the grafts referred to were placed on bearing trees of other kinds. In one case a sprout came out below the graft unobserved, till it had injured the graft so that it never recovered. The other has continued in successful growth, and still continues to produce flowers pure white, precisely as in the case of the Rhode Island Greening, but with the fruit of no more difference between those of the tree of Red Astrachan it was taken from, than we expect to find in different apple trees without any "hybridization." The action of the union affected only the flower. It shows that " graft hybrids" are not wholly a popular delusion, but "graft hybrids" in the true pomo-logical sense, were not produced by the writer. - Ed. G. M.]