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.
A correspondent at Baldwinsville sends us some shoots of an apple tree, on which are several clusters of long, narrow, grayish cocoons, each containing a small moth from an eighth to a tenth of an inch long. He says they are very abundant in some orchards in that neighborhood. We add a drawing of the shoot; perhaps some of our readers may know something about them.
Your requests have been attended to.
I send you, accompanying this, specimens of a worm which threatens to be to the Apple, Pear, and Cherry, what the curculio it to the Plum and Apricot, only that betides destroying the fruit, they seriously retard the growth of the tree, which renders them doubly destructive.* They usually commence operations in the bud, and are then so minute as scarcely to be detected by the naked eye: a brown worm a line or so in length. When one bud is destroyed, they migrate to another; and as the tree progresses in growth, eat in at the base of the young shoots, and also at the base of the truit stalks, thus destroying the fruit, and injuring the growth of life tree. They belong to the leaf-roller genus, forming for themselves a secure retrest by rolling together the edges of a small leaf, or else hiding among the bracts at the base of the fruit clusters, and are nocturnal in their habits. I have never been able to trace the progress of their metamorphosis, and know nothing of them except in the larva state.
Last season they were very destructive to the fruit crop in this section, particularly Apples and the finer sorts of Cherries. The numerous bracts at the base of the fruit clusters of the latter afford them a peculiarly safe and convenient retreat They seem to be even more abundant this season than they were last.
I am inclined to think that the depredations spoken of by your correspondent, A. G. HANFORD, of Waukesha, Wis, in the August number of the Horticulturist, for last year, were committed by this worm instead of the weevil, to which he attributes it A little careful observation would soon settle the question.
It is important that every fruit culturist should be on the alert to discover, and devise means to destroy the constantly increasing list of enemies to the fruit crop; for, with the utmost care, success may be regarded as uncertain, except in some favored localities.
I am happy to acknowledge the receipt of those English Russsts which you had the kindness to send me. I think they closely resemble the seedling russet whicb I sent you. The latter was very likely produced from seeds of the former, but are a little less acid, n ore flattened, not as large or productive, and not as good keepers as the seedling. This, at least, is my experience. I may be deceived; and it may be the identical English Russet. R. B. Warren. - Alabama, N. Y.
Enclosed I send a small section of an Apple limb, enclosing two "limb borers." I have not seen any description of them in eastern fruit books. Perhaps they may be of interest to you. The pair are in the situation in which they were on the tree, and are supposed to be male and female. The branch is cut at the lower end of their hole; you will see that they entered at the base of a fruit spur. They sometimes enter branches one-half or three-fourths of an inch in diameter, which generally withers or is broken off by the wind at the point of their operations. I have never before discovered but one in a burrow. J. C. Bratton. - Altaian, Wisconsin.
The borers referred to had cut through the papers enclosing them and disappeared, leaving only the perforated branch and a quantity of saw-dust. The branch was bored completely hollow, throughout.
* We have observed these insects - leaf rollers - -for many years, and usually send a person round to pick them off.
We think your trees must have been injured by the small caterpillar you describe; but you should have stated the nature of the injuries, whether it was the destruction of the foliage, or perforation of the wood, or what else.
The "nits" which you speak of on the bark of your Apple trees, are sealy aphides, or bark-lice. You can destroy them with a wash made of soft soap and water - two quarts of the former to eight of the latter, with lime enough added to make it as thick as whitewash. Give the affected parts a good coat of this with a brush.
The caterpillar on the leaves is quite a different insect, and can be destroyed most easily in the morning, before they spread over the tree. Hand-gathering is the most efficient.
With regard to insects, they have been very sparing in their ravages the past season. We have heard of no instance where the Peach has suffered at all. The only mischief to the Apple has arisen from the borer; and the only remedy we know of, is to "cut out" the mischief-maker. With proper care, we believe the insects peculiarly injurious to the three named varieties of fruit may be kept in tolerable subjection. W. Bacon - Richmond, Mass.
(J. W. G., Hillsborough, Ohio.)
The insect inclosed was crushed, and not in a fit state to be identified. We think it cannot be the "Apple Borer" known as such. Send us another specimen in a small box, so that it will not be crushed. You will find descriptions of the Apple and Peach borers in all the fruit books.
(J.W.G., Hillsboro, Ohio.)
The Borers sent us are not the Apple tree Borer described in the books, (Saperda bivittata,) but, as Dr. Fitch informs us, a larvae of the Bupretis family, probably the Chrysobothris femorata, or thick-legged Snapping Beetle, which, Dr. Fitch sap, you will find on your trees next June. Try to get some, and send us specimens. The remedies usually recommended for the Borer will apply to this.