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.
Me. Editor: Io fulfilment of my promise, I annex descriptions of a few modern pears, which promise to be worthy of extensive cultivation. Although we are indebted to Europe for many of our best fruits, and, by a judicious selection, shall continue to add other fine kinds to our catalogues, yet it is to the production of new kinds from seed that I especially look for those adapted to our soils and climate. Whatever may have been the disappointment of foreign cultivators in this branch of pomology, there can no longer be a doubt as to its success in America. Excuse this digression, and upon which topic I may address you hereafter.
Size, large, about three and one-fourth inches long by three inches broad. Form, obovate, obtuse-pyriform, broad at the base, tapering gradually towards the stem. Stem, three-fourths to one inch in length, fleshy, inserted in a slight cavity. Calyx, rather small, set in a shallow, irregular, wide basin. Skin, green, a little rough, dotted, and flecked with russet, and tinged with crimson on the sunny side. Flesh, yellowish-white, buttery, and melting. Flavor, sweetish, pleasantly perfumed. Season, October, but may be prolonged for some weeks. Class, "very good." Tree, vigorous and productive. Growth, upright. Shoots, erect and stout. Succeeds well either on the pear or quince stock. This variety was imported from France ten or twelve years since, and being of foreign origin, it is somewhat singular that it has thus far had no synonym.
Size, large, or very large. Form, obtuse-pyriform, varying from that of the Beurre Diel to the Bartlett. Calyx, closed, set in conrsely-plaited basin, nearly even with the base of the fruit. Stem, short, sometimes scarcely rising above the apex, inserted in a small, wrinkled cavity. Skin, green, coarsely dotted, and with some splashes of russet, especially at the stem and calyx, dull yellow at maturity, and frequently marked with brownish-red cheek. Fkesh, yellowish-white, melting and juicy, a little granular at the core. Flavor, rich, with slight astringency, resembling that of the BeurreDiel. Seeds, small, light brown. Quality, "very good." Tree, hardy, vigorous and prolific. Origin, Dorchester, Mass., supposed to to an accidental cross of the Bartlett and Beurre Diel, both of which are growing in the grounds where the Shephard was raised.
Size, above medium, sometimes large. Form, obtuse-pyriform, outline irregular, surface a little uneven and knobby. Calyx, closed, set in a ribbed cavity. Stem, rather stout and short, planted with little or no depression. Color, dull green, becoming yellowish at maturity, covered with dots and traces of russet, and occasionally reddened on the side next the sun. Flesh, yellowish-white, melting and juicy. Flavor, rich, saccharine, not sweet, with a very agreeable, piquant, vinous flavor, resembling the Beurre d'Aremberg. Seeds, small, long, narrow, sharply-pointed. Season, October to November. Class, " best." Tree, hardy, tolerably vigorous, a little thorny, and manifestly a seedling from the Calebasse class. This variety was produced from seed by Major Esperen, of Malines, fruited first in 1847, and was dedicated to "Emile," the son of our worthy Pomologist, Mr. Berckmans, of New Jersey. Its bearing qualities are not ascertained, but it promises to be sufficiently productive, and will, without doubt, take a high rank among our best late pears.
Size, medium. Form, pyriform, inclining to turbinate; some specimens much flattened at the poles. Calyx, sunk in a moderately deep cavity. Stem, about one inch in length, planted on the apex, sometimes in a fleshy ring or protuberance. Color, brownish-green, clouded with a gauze-like covering of russet, stippled with red and gray .dots; at maturity, yellowish, suffused with a mixture of brown and crimson on the sunny side. Flesh, yellowish-white, melting and juicy. Flavor, sweet, rich, agreeably perfumed. Season, October 1st to 15th. Quality, "very good;" may prove "best." Tree, not yet proved on the pear stock, but sufficiently vigorous on the quince. A new Belgian variety, described in the Annales de Pomologie. The fruit is borne in clusters, and adheres strongly to the branches during the autumnal gales.
(To be continued).
To have superior winter fruit on the dwarf trees, give them a thorough soaking of weak guano-water once a week, unless the weather should prove very wet; if so. sprinkle a handful or two of guano over the roots, and cover it by hoeing or slight forking of the soil. Thin the fruit, also, where the crop is heavy. Heavy cropping has tended much to throw discredit on dwarf trees, retarding their growth, and inducing weakness and disease. Prepare for planting by trenching, and see that the compost heap is ample and thoroughly decomposed for use.
We are indebted to Mr. Carpenter (nurseryman at New Rochelle, N. Y.) for a box of Church and Huntingdon Pears. The first is the best, and a valuable fruit; it is firm and buttery, and may be safely recommended. It is small this year, and we are assured that, in good seasons, it is double the present size. The Huntingdon has a more peculiar flavor, but is second to the Church, which, with the Ontario, are now fairly introduced. The Parsonage Pear we do not esteem as highly as the others.
The Beurre" Superfin, figured some time since in the Horticulturist, promises to become a valuable variety; Beurre Sterckman, very handsome; Abbott, another very excellent native pear; Henkel,of great merit; St. Michael Archange, large and fine; Merriam, of remarkable excellence; Supreme de Quemper, from Messrs. Hovey, proved one of the best early pears - quite equal to the Doyenne1 d'Ete, and much larger; Beurre Clairgeau is likely to prove equal to its reputation when the trees are more advanced. Age is undoubtedly required with this as well as many other pear-trees, to establish the true qualities.
Walker, Jalousie de Fontenay, Andrews, Belle Lucrative, Jackson's Seedling, Kirtland, Summer Bon Chretien, Urbaniste, Flemish Beauty, and a pear from Pittsburg, named by the convention Fort Duquesne, are commended.
Maiden's Blush, Carolina Red June, and Hagloe underwent favorable examination; and the opinions advanced in a discussion which took place on the deterioration of the apple fruit, by which many fruit-growers were becoming discouraged, is valuable. Mr. Bateham believes in the necessity of employing fruits of Western or Southern origin, especially of winter varieties. The discussion was closed by a remark from the President, which, while it marks the modesty of the speaker, should serve to stimulate all to continued investigations. He said: "For his own part he could only say that every year's experience only serves to exhibit the more clearly to his own mind how little he already knows in comparison with what remains to be known".
At the Columbus meeting the discussions assumed a very interesting character, and were devoted, in part, to the opinions respecting the value of kinds of fruit in different localities, where our space does not allow us to follow, but are of sufficient importance to receive attention from every newspaper in that fine State.
The Delaware Grape is thus noticed: "Specimens exhibited by Mr. Campbell, of Delaware; kept two months past their season, in very fine condition; the berries a little shrunk and their sweetness increased by evaporation of some of the juice. The bunches had been simply kept in a garret, thinly spread to prevent moulding. Deo. 10th".
In a communication from R. Buchanan, Esq., of Cincinnati, he gives his experience regarding the keeping of apples. He found a covering of six or eight inches of hay an excellent protection against severe weather when the thermometer was down to 6° above zero; others covered with a thick quilt were frozen hard, but, by leaving the cover on and keeping the room dark, the apples thawed without apparent injury. Above zero with this treatment he thinks they would be safe covered with eight or ten inches of hay.
The quantity of dried apples exported from Ohio is remarkable. One merchant in Portage County had already purchased twenty-Jive tons at an average price of six and a half cents a pound; and it was estimated that in the valley of Ravenna, with about six stores, there would be purchased last season one hundred and twenty-five tons of dried apples at the same average price. Beat this who can; it is equal to the income from a good wine district. From Lake County there was exported the past season $25,000 worth of green and dried apples; and from Kelly's Island, Erie County, 7,000 pounds of grapes and 3,600 gallons of wine are exported annually 1
The report closes with a summary headed.