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.
I have before spoken of the production of new varieties of fruits adapted to our country. But as it is "line upon line, and precept upon precept," that makes a durable impression, let me remind you again that the future success and progress of American Pomology must rest mainly upon the introduction of new kinds raised from the seed upon our own soil. Let me, then, encourage you in your laudable enterprise.
Is there any reason why we can not produce winter varieties of pears of the finest quality, as beautiful and smooth as the favorite Bartlett or Louise Bonne de Jersey? The Beurre Langlier and Glout Morceau, in regard to beauty, are of this class. Why cannot we have, instead of the rough exterior of some of our late sorts, those of fair skins and ruddy colors? And then in regard to flavor, why not be able to produce those of a rich character, like the Seckel, Belle Lucrative, and Passe Colmar? From the seed of the latter many varieties were raised by the late Mons. Esperin, of Malines. Some of these are even superior in saccharine matter and richness to the parent, but unfortunately not well adapted to our climate. Why should not our popular Bartlett be the mother of a race equal in quality and hardier in character? Of the seedlings raised in this vicinity, those on exhibition from Mr. Richardson, of Dorchester, Mass., are striking illustrations of the value of this variety as a parent from which to originate good native sorts.
The experiment of the late Mr. Clapp, of Dorchester, in the union of the Bartlett and Flemish Beauty, as is believed, produced the Clapp's Favorite, a pear of equal size and beauty, entirely hardy, and pronounced by the best judges to be superior to the variety first named. The seedlings raised by Mr. Dana, of Boxbury, Mass., are all good. Some of them are superior, and evince a constitution and vigor which adds much to the value of their excellence. When we reflect upon the little effort which has been made to produce native varieties, it is wonderful what progress has been made.
In the production of new sorts we should aim first, at a strong, hardy, robust, vigorous habit, and thus overcome a difficulty which now exists with many of the best fruits, namely, a weak, straggling growth. Others are constitutionally wayward and unhappy in their growth, like Beurre Bosc, so as to render them scarcely obtainable from our nurseries. For instance, instead of trees with the feeble wood of the Winter Nelis, we could have the same fruit from a tree like the Doyenne Boussock, or Buffum, the former of which, in Europe, attains the height of fifty to sixty feet, and here both are scarcely less vigorous or hardy. This is only to be obtained by the choice of parent varieies to breed from, one of which, at least, possesses like vigorous habits.
To be continued.