Since the publication of my remarks on "Cherries for the "West," in the Horticulturist for October, 1867, I have received many letters asking for a selection of sweet cherries most desirable for family use as well as for market.

Quite a number of correspondents in the New England States speak of a want of attention of late years to the planting out of cherries, saying "the people seem to depend on the large old trees which are apparently fast going to decay; and as you know, most of them are of the old Black Heart, American Heart, Chinese Heart, etc., varieties, it follows that few comparatively know of the better sorts which have originated and been introduced to cultivation during the past quarter of a century".

How true this remark of my correspondent may be I can not say; but in traveling through parts of the Eastern States this past winter, it did appear to me there was less attention given to tree planting than should be among so intelligent a people as comprise the great body of the New England States. Fruit-growing has its difficulties everywhere, and from my experience in former years in New England, and observation of the West, I confess an impression that the same amount of care and attention to the subject will produce more certain returns and successful results in fruit growing throughout most of New England than in the States of Illinois and Indiana.

And when the nearness to the great markets is considered, and the extra price obtained for fruit computed, it is surprising that land-owners will continue to dig out and blast rocks, and plow up and down steep hills, with stones rolling about so that they have to jump for fear of having their ankles broken, just to grow a little Indian corn or a patch of rye, because their father and grandfather did so many years ago.

The cherry, it is true, is a fruit that quickly decays, and must be gathered and marketed as soon as ripe; but the construction of fruit-houses and the process of canning have come in to readily absorb any surplus amount that may be sent to market; and among the whole list of fruits I know none more reliable for a crop, or more rapidly and permanently to return an interest for the capital and labor invested.

During the first six or eight years a cherry orchard may be cropped with raspberries, currants, etc., and almost invariably trees at six years from planting out will yield a crop that will readily command from five to ten dollars, so that with trees at twenty feet apart, an acre will pay from five hundred to one thousand dollars a year; and each year as the orchard increases in size, the product and income will increase.

Early Purple Guigne.

Fig. 53. - Early Purple Guigne.

The cherry may be grown in almost any soil, provided it is well drained. A soil of moderate fertility, light and porous, serves to suit it best; and there are many rocky knolls in the New England States now useless, except as pleasant features in scenery, where the cherry could be grown with great success; in fact, in rambling over the hills and rocks of Connecticut, I have often found the Mahaleb and Mazzard • growing healthily, the seed undoubtedly having been dropped by birds.


Fig. 54. - Bockport.

The use of the Mazzard or Mahaleb cherry . for stock on which to work, or for the future success of the tree, is a matter of comparatively little account to the orchard-ist, except in regulating the distance apart to plant. The young tree grows just as rapidly the first five or six years on the Mahaleb as on the Mazzard, but it does not ultimately make as large a tree; and hence if the varieties are worked on the Mahaleb stock, it would do to plant them fifteen feet apart each way.

Knight's Early Black.

Fig. 55. - Knight's Early Black.