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.
TO the Editor of the Horticulturist: - The June meeting of the Michigan State Pomological Society was held at Kalamazoo, on the 25th, 26th and 27th. Notwithstanding the extreme severity of the past winter, which seriously injured the trees of the more tender varieties, oftentimes even in sheltered localities, and also the severe drought recently prevailing in this State, the display of cherries and strawberries was exceedingly fine. The attendance was large, and especially so from the Lake Shore region.
Valuable papers were contributed by Prof. Beal, of the Michigan State Agricultural College, on the Agency of Insects in the Fertilization of Plants; by Prof. Cook, of the same institution, on Insects Injurious to the Strawberry; and by Prof. Kcdzie, on the Importance of Timber Protection. Also others, on the Production of Seedling Fruits; the Elevating Influence of Horticulture; the Strawberries recommended by the Society, with modes of culture, etc., etc.
Reports were received from many sections of the State respecting the injuries of the past winter and the present prospect for a fruit crop. These reports were, in the main, more favorable than many persons had been led to anticipate.
Apples were reported as varying from a third to half a crop - in some cases more. Trees of Baldwin, Roxbury Russet, Swaar, and some other of the more tender varieties, were represented as badly injured, and in some cases killed outright; although the hardier varieties were generally represented to be sound.
Pears were reported as badly injured, especially those on dwarf stocks. Very little was stated respecting the comparative immunity of varieties. Sound trees are said to be carrying more than an average crop.
Sweet cherries were also said to be badly decimated, and it had been supposed that the fruit buds had been totally ruined; but the sound wood has produced a partial crop of fruit, though generally of smaller size than usual, from the effect of drought.
Duke cherry trees are more or less winter killed, and are showing a thin crop of fruit.
Morellos are generally uninjured, and are carrying a good crop of fruit.
Peaches were reported as badly injured or totally ruined throughout the older and unsheltered portions of the State. In timbered or protected regions, as along the lake shore, many trees are killed or seriously injured, yet in many localities they are so thickly set with fruit that it is found necessary to reduce the crop by thinning.
Grapes, when left upon the trellis, are reported as sadly injured, although in favorable situations, and in all cases when covered, they have escaped, and the sound vines are represented to be showing an unusually fine crop of fruit.
Of the smaller fruits, strawberries seem not to have suffered from the winter, although sadly pinched by the drought. The great mass of the market berries are Wilson's, although a few Triomphe de Gands are offered, and occasionally others.
Black Caps are represented as entirely uninjured; and the same may also be said of the Philadelphia.
A committee of the Society, constituted six months since, reported at this meeting upon lists of fruits for general cultivation; and, in submitting their report, remark that such report is a compromise, and not fully satisfactory to any one of them; adding the suggestion that the time must soon come, if, indeed, it has not already arrived, when it will be found necessary to district the State and provide local lists.
The sessions were enlivened with vocal music, and also an original poem, by Mrs. Wheaton, of Kalamazoo; and the meeting was, on all hands, conceded to be a thoroughly enjoyable as well as profitable occasion. T. T. Lyon.