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 total failure in this county of the crop of stone fruit, Cherries, Plums, Apricots, Nectarines, and Peaches, in consequence of the severe cold days of January 13th and February 8th, 1861, may possibly be compensated for in the destruction of the Curculio or Plum Weevil.
The fact that there is no stone fruit this year for this insect to lay its eggs in, and thus perpetuate its species, gives the cultivators hope that it may be exterminated, for a few years at least, and that much good may arise from an apparent evil. This insect has already laid its eggs in apples, pears, and other fruits, but without producing the same effect as upon the plum and other kindred fruits. The Apple and Pear, after being impressed with this c, grow over, and show only a slight wound, which soon disappears; while the stone fruit, after being perforated by the insect and the eggs deposited, fall; the larva then leaves the fruit and enters the ground. Although this is known as the Plum Weevil, yet it destroys the Cherry and injures the Peach, and is enabled to perpetuate its species on these when there are no plums. I have upon my place, Keewaydin, one hundred and sixty-five plum trees, and for six successive years have had no fruit except one season, when I gathered only enough for the use of my family. If the Plum Weevils are destroyed, I shall consider it a great blessing to have been deprived of other stone fruit for a single year. Let us watch the result.
If my anticipations are realized, we shall have "some plums" in 1862. Advise your readers to bear with their plum trees another year before cutting them down as cumberers of the ground.
[We could wish that the law of compensations had full sway here; but we fear, notwithstanding all our wishes, that Mr. Woodward has over-estimated its present force in the instance under consideration. It is true that we have no stone fruit, in which the Curculio most readily perpetuates itself; but in the absence of these it betakes itself to others, such as the Apple, Pear, etc. Though many of the nits are thrown out in these fruits, especially in the Pear, enough are hatched to insure the destruction of the ensuing crop of stone fruit. The evil is somewhat lessened in respect to the Plum, but not eradicated. It has occurred to us, however, that the law of compensations may act in another way here, the loss of the Plum insuring a crop of Apples. The present season having demonstrated more clearly than ever, that the Curculio attacks the Apple in force when deprived of the Plum, it becomes interesting to imagine how far the destruction of the Plum insures the safety of the Apple. It seems to us certain that nearly one half of the present small crop of apples will be lost through the attacks of the Curculio; never before have we seen this insect work on the apple in such a wholesale manner. Fruit growers should give their attention to this matter.
It may hereafter be found a wise economy to plant a belt of Plum trees around our apple orchards, as a safeguard against the attacks of the Curculio- - Ed].