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.
THE readers of the Western Pomologist for 1871, will recollect a communication from H. Gregg, Downey, Iowa, in the use of kerosene for expelling the curculio from his plum trees, and in the course of which he said:
" Last season (1870) I rolled up woolen cloths and saturated them with kerosene and hung them in the tops of the trees, and my plums were all perfect - ripening up a very full crop last season. This season I have tried a different method with equal success. I took strips of cotton cloth and wrapped around the trunks of the trees some 18 or 20 inches from the ground, and then saturated the cloth with kerosene, and repeated the application once in ten or fifteen days during the curculio season. I neglected to put the cloths on the trees until after the curculio had commenced operations this season, consequently some few plums were stung and fell off; but I do not think one plum was injured after the kerosene was applied. The trees are so loaded with plums (August 12) that I have had to prop and tie up almost every limb. They are just beginning to ripen and look splendid.
"Now, others may not have the success with kerosene that I have. If that has saved my plums, and I think it has, it is worth a trial by every one who would save their plums at a trifling outlay."
We are sorry to learn, as we now do, from Mr. Gregg, that his crop of plums was saved only at the expense of the lives of his trees. He has no trees left; says: " Kerosene around the trunk of a tree, is death to it, but applied in woolen cloth, hung in the trees, as done the previous season, I still believe will save the plums without injuring the trees. No one else about here has the Lombard in bearing, consequently there is not much mischief done with kerosene, only what I have experienced myself, and that is bad enough sure."