This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
In a country where there are few, if any, old orchards, insects injurious to the trees are not likely to abound. I have never seen the apple borer with us, and never had a tree sustain any injury from this insect or the canker worm. The Peach borer (AEgeria exitiosa) is abundant, but its depredations are easily checked. We have, however, an insect which is terribly destructive to our fruit; this is a small brown beetle, known as the carpozagvs or fruit eater. It is especially destructive to the Peach and Nectarine, boring into the fruit so soon as it approaches maturity, and thus causing it to rot. It also attacks the Pear and Apple, if these fruits are allowed to remain upon the tree until maturity. This insect has appeared in the last few years, and is becoming every year more numerous and destructive. I believe it to be the insect which causes the rot in the Cotton pod, of late so prevalent. I neither know nor have I heard of any successful plan for its extirpation. I have checked its ravages to some degree in my orchards by burning small torches at night, when many fly into the light and are thus destroyed.
I find, too, it avoids the poultry yard, where my fruits have, in a great measure, escaped their attacks.
All which is respectfully submitted. John C. Jenkins.
Elgin, Near Natches, August 81,1854.
I cannot doubt that the cause of the gigantio vegetable growth upon the formation alluded to in the foregoing report, is due, in a great measure, to the lime in the loamy formation, the strata being filled with shells partly decomposed, and containing, also, in many places, the bones of extinct orders of the mammalia.
I had occasion, a few years ago, to dig off six to eight feet from a few acres of ground in front of my dwelling house, in order to make a level lawn. This exposed the loamy formation, (the strata of black mould and clay above not averaging over four feet in depth.) Upon this loam I planted the live oak, the magnolia, and other of our forest trees. They have grown rapidly, and have all a most healthy foliage. Deodar Cedars, set out in the spring of 1851, when small, say one foot high, are, to-day, by measurement just made, ten and eleven feet in height; and Cryptomeria Japonioas, planted at the same date, do not fall much, if any, below them.
I wished to have said something, in my report, upon the acclimation of the varieties of temperate latitudes to a region so far south as this; but I feared it might be misplaced and uncalled for. The Pear, introduced here more than one hundred years ago, by the French, is a late variety, vigorous in growth, and the specimens sound and healthy, hanging well on the tree until approach of winter. The White Spanish Reinette Apple, also a long time since introduced, is marked by many excellent qualities. I am, therefore, induced to believe, that these fruits, being thoroughly acclimated or habituated to our climate, is one cause of their high health. I am now grafting standard Pears with two varieties, upon each tree, and from the seeds of these fruits hope to obtain new improved Varieties, better adapted to the climate than exotio sorts.
In regard to the Julienne Pear, from the high rank as to quality I have given it in my report, you may be led to think I am deceived in the variety. I am confident I cannot be mistaken. The source from which I originally procured the variety, and my familiarity with the wood and fruit of the Pear, (recognising them as readily as I would the faces of my children,) convince me I have the Julienne of the books. Corroborative of my opinion as to the quality of Julienne, I enclose a letter I received 20th August last, from Hon. G. W. Sargent, one of my neighbors, and a zealous nomologist, whose long residence at the north, (Boston and Philadelphia,) enabled him to judge of the merits of fruits here. J. G. J.