I have a remarkable statement which I wish to present to you and your readers, and for the literal truth of which I hold myself responsible. I present it solely in the interest of science.

A friend of mine (whose name shall be given on call) living at Irene, Loudon Co., Virginia, had, in the fall of 1879, a dwarf pear tree, very thrifty to all appearance, but which had never borne fruit. At my suggestion he took a spade and in a circle of about three feet radius severed the lateral roots, thus checking growth to promote fruitfulness.

The operation was highly successful. In 1880 the tree bore a crop of, I suppose, not less than two bushels of nice Bartlett pears. But the remarkable part of the story remains to be told.

Every pear, without an exception, so far as I know, borne that year by that tree, as if in retaliation, was marked with a conspicuous zone or band, traced by nature quite around its equator, nearly a quarter of an inch wide, and of a peculiar drab or russet color, strangely contrasting with the bright green of the remaining surface.

You will wish, no doubt, to know the subsequent history of this tree. Together with some half dozen trees, similar in age and kind, in or near the same small inclosure, it languished in the year 1881 and died outright in 1882. This tree alone, of all the number, was subjected to the treatment of root-pruning, and it alone bore the banded fruit.

If the facts now given appear strange or incredible I have only to say that they can be verified by six or eight living creditable witnesses. I offer no explanation of these singular phenomena, but I sincerely and earnestly ask that, if any of your readers have any well-attested facts bearing upon this curious subject, they will kindly report them to the undersigned.

1131 9th street, n. w., Washington, D. C.

[The production of russet in fruit, whether wholly or partially covering them, has never been made a matter of special study, so far as we know, yet it presents a very inviting field for original research. We only know, in a general way, that russet is formed by the destruction of the outer cuticle; the inner one, when exposed to the atmosphere, becoming brown. This roughness of skin can readily be detected by examining the russet with a pocket lens. We have seen apples on trees near bon-fires, where the fire was not near enough to materially injure the apple, injuring only the outer cuticle, have russet on the exposed sides; and it is not uncommon in orchards to find apples russety some seasons that are wholly free at others. Just why these things are so, we have never met with any intelligent- reason, though guesses are plenty - even some very intelligent persons sometimes guessing that it comes from cross-fertilization, and is to be taken as evidence that there is an immediate influence of pollen on fruit.

In regard to the present case, we have seen the drab or russet color on the ends of pears that should normally be light yellow, but not in a regular zone round the middle, as described here. No root-pruning had anything to do with those cases, nor could it have here.

Though, as we have said, there has been no solution afforded worthy of being styled scientific, there is some good reason to believe that similar processes are at work to those which operate on the bark of trees. The skin of an apple is but modified bark, and in many apples there are small spots, as there are small spots in young bark. In bark they are known as suber or cork-cells. In time these develop, and just as they develop the bark peels off. In the cherry and birch they develop laterally, and hence the bark peels off in rings or circles. In the shell-bark hickory, silver maple and buttonwood tree, they develop in such a manner that the bark peels off in thick flakes. In the beech they are so fine and slender that they operate only under the outer cuticle, which comes off like cob-webs continually, so that the tree has never rough and scaly bark.

The great probability is that the russet in the apple is produced by some such process. It may work round a fruit as described by our correspondent, as it does in the bark of the cherry or birch, or irregularly, as in other trees.

We have simply tried our hands at a guess as to the cause in this instance, hoping that any one who has made the matter one of close scientific observation will give us a more definite solution of the curious case.