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.
ED. Western Horticulturist: - In regard to Bartlett and F. Beauty, on the White Thorn, I have quite a number of fine, large trees of each sort. Some of them are grafted into the limbs of large thorn trees, others again I sawed off five or six feet from the ground and then grafted the new shoots. I have ascertained that they should, by all means, be allowed to grow two years after being sawed off in this way, in order to obtain vigor and thriftiness, otherwise the stock is apt to fail sooner or later, thus, of course, killing the entire tree. Again, by keeping the Thorn tree closely pruned, after grafting in the limbs, it will die. Again, one or more limbs of the Thorn may fail from too close pruning, thus giving the appearance of blight. Some, perhaps, without investigating, would think it was blight, still I am satisfied I have had more or less limbs on my trees to die of blight. When blight attacks a limb it docs not, necessarily, injure the tree much, merely confines its ravages to that particular limb, descending only till it comes to the Thorn stock; it can then be removed without damaging the rest of the tree.
I have not thus far been damaged any of consequence by blight.
If I had known many little things when I commenced grafting on this stock that I know now, I could have many more trees than I have; for instance - experimenting with fifty or more varieties, but few of which would do on the Thorn; grafting many others the first year after sawing off; keeping others too closely pruned, not allowing them leaves enough to elaborate the sap thrown into the tops of the trees, thus killing them out. In this way many valuable stocks were lost, and much labor and expense incurred that I could avoid now. I would not graft but very few varieties of the Thorn out of all I have tested.
In orchard nearly all my trees are on Pear stocks, imported from France. Would have no trees on American stocks. This idea might not be popular among some nurserymen, but I notice some of the leading American nurserymen are advertising trees on foreign stocks for sale this fall, Hanford, of Columbus, Ohio, among the number. He has found out that he can raise trees successfully on no other stock. M. B. Bateham, his predecessor, tried many years to raise Pear trees, and expended thousands of dollars without accomplishing anything. The point, though, is not simply to raise trees in nursery, but in orchard.
I have never yet seen a sound and perfect American Pear stock, while foreign ones are as pure as could be desired. No nicer trees can be raised than may be grown on Mountain Ash, but what are they worth?
I believe in Anger's Quince for dwarfs. No other Quince will answer. For standard imported Pear stock, no other Pear seedlings for me. It might be well to experiment with Mountain Ash, Thorn, Juneberry. etc., much might bo learned by it.