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.
Mr. Thomas had once adopted the opinion that standard pear trees were the best for orchards, and dwarfs were the best for small patches of land. This opinion prevailed extensively, and was very difficult to root out. Dwarfs do well in large orchards if well treated.
Mr. Frost, of Schuyler, spoke of a very usual custom of setting dwarfs on each side of a walk in a garden; and this afforded a phrase concerning the tillage, whether in fields, orchards, or elsewhere, "Dwarf pear trees must receive garden culture".
Mr. Langworthy inquired whether it would even be admissible to have any crop whatever grown among the trees of a dwarf orchard.
Mr. Thomas replied that "the impediment was greater than all the benefit".
Mr. Pinney was strongly in favor of the dwarf pear - he had some 1500 trees under cultivation. The Bartlett was always one-third larger on dwarf than on standard trees. Raising pears at present prices is the most profitable business a man can follow in Western New York.0 The quince root does, when properly treated, spread over a large space, and absorb nourishment from considerable land. Has dwarf Bartletts eight or nine years old, which have not lessened at all in the quantity they bear.
Mr. Fisk spoke of the " most frequent causes of the failure of pear," and said one was the want of proper cultivation.
Mr. Barry spoke of opinions opposing high cultivation as those, as quite the common notion. The trouble is that the great bulk of the people know but little of what good cultivation means. Look at our grapes. Some magnificent ones are shown here to-day. See how superior some of them are to others. What makes them thus? We must answer, cultivation. But will any one say it is too high cultivation 7 Are those vines over-fed? The magnificent Sheldon pears exhibited on the tables by Mr. L. A. Ward - how did they become so? Was it by extreme cultivation? Does any one know of any one who has, while cultivating judiciously, cultivated a tree too highly! (Quite a pause; but no answer.) Mr. B. continued - The time is coming when such things as we now show, when such fruits as we now are proud of, will not be called good at all. There is no danger in manuring, provided the manure be well prepared, not too fresh and rank.
The subject of stocks was discussed, because there is some difficulty and danger in crossing one tree upon another. Putting the pear upon the quince stock is not exactly a natural operation; hut art is art, and must bring its ends to pass by the means of art. Horticultural art resorts to all these, and many more processes. The success of art in the horticultural field is its warrant for going further. Let those who decry horticultural skill cease to eat of the fruits thereof; let them turn from such a show of enormous and highly flavored fruits as are on our table to-day, and return to Fox grapes, Choke pears, and such other natural fruits.
* Extract From Hovey's Magesine For October.
"It is the surplus product of these amateurs which creates so much admiration, and forms the basis of some of the almost fabulotis stories of the profits of pear culture".
Mr. Ainsworth said that the main thing, after having the land good and the trees good, was to keep it thoroughly pulverized. A horse hoe between the rows of trees, once each week during the summer, is none too often.