The Pear is now esteemed as one of the indispensable luxuries connected with a suburban or country residence. It is, therefore, not only important that the amateur and the novice should have information on the character and relative value of the fruit, its time of ripening in our climate, that he may select judiciously, but that he should also be somewhat informed on its adaptation to soil, and its cultivation, with the necessary care to protect the tree against the vicissitudes of climate, and the maladies to which it is subject.

The tree is not a native of our country. It is said to be of Europe and Asia, where it lives to great age, and grows to an immense size, with other native trees. In that condition, it is hardly recognizable as the parent of the present luscious and high-flavored fruit, but is small, austere, puckery, and unfit for the palate. It is to the skill of cultivators, that we are indebted for this great change and improvement in its character; and to none so much as to the late Van Mons, of Belgium. Chance or accident have not been idle in the work of adding many excellent varieties to the list; but the improvement of the fruit has (though not always), been at the expense of the hardiness and durability of the tree. This point has been too much overlooked by propagators; its tenderness being seen, scientific cultivators are giving more attention to correct it in their future additions.

The cultivation of the tree is very simple; it readily adapts itself to any soil or location, so that it be not a swamp or marsh. A deep, rich, clayey loam, with a porous subsoil, and a full exposure to light and air, is the best for its full development The tendency of the tree is to throw down strong tap-roots; it is, therefore, important to know something of the nourishment it will find to feed on there. This tendency is overcome by growing it on the Quince, the natural disposition of which is to spread its roots, and luxuriate on the surface soil; though the tree is dwarfed, and the duration of its life shortened, still it is better for shallow soils, and gardens where not much room can be afforded. The fine sorts, with few exceptions, succeed well and produce abundantly on the Quince. These are usually trained in pyramid form, branching.

When grafted or budded on their own stocks, they require more room, and are usually longer coming into bearing.

The cultivation of the tree has, however, its drawbacks. It is not hardy; or, if you do not like the term, it is subject to be cut off and destroyed by death at any time, when seeming in full vigor of health and growth. On the cause, there has been much speculation, without seeming to come to any satisfactory conclusion.

Long experience, observation, and much reflection, have established in my own mind the cause. I do not know that I can make this clear or satisfactory to you, and other minds, but I may open a door to a new, or rather an unexplored field for thought and reflection, both to the practical and the scientific investigator. Perhaps there is no spot in this, or any other country, where a greater opportunity has been afforded for an observance of the diseases to which the Pear tree is subject - especially that form which we understand as fire blight - than here.

Scientific gentlemen, with some exceptions, have generally followed each other in attributing it mainly to Insects, and some to an exhaustion, or absorption of those particles from the soil which are essential to the health and life of the tree, and the perfect development of its fruit, admitting, at the same time, the existence of other extraordinary causes for its disease and death.

Without denying that insects are sometimes injurious to the Pear tree, even to its destruction, I must be permitted to question the general correctness of the theory, and also that of an exhausted soil. To my mind, facts do not warrant such conclusions, as applicable to our region. To make out the latter theory, it should not be left to rest on doubtful speculation, but it should be shown to harmonize with matters of practical fact, as they continually occur. The ingenuous mind never should allow itself to lose sight of these.

Though, unquestionably, the working, or grafting on bad stocks, such as suckers, and planting in bad soil, will facilitate the destruction of the Pear tree - as the same cause would any other - they are only local, and lay not at the root of the evil. To suppose the adventitious existence of some substance in the soil, to remove difficulties out of the way of a favorite theory, is not satisfactory.

It has been advanced that the cracking of the White Doyenne is owing to an exhaustion from the soil of those particles necessary to its perfect development; that the tree would resume its former habit of the production of perfect fruit, if these substances were supplied to the roots. Among many reasons for dissenting from this position, let me say, that for eight or ten years, I have hardly had a perfect fruit on trees of this variety, many of which formerly bore fine fruit, until last summer, when, on all of them, it was as fine as I ever saw it any where; and this without any application whatever to their roots. The trees are scattered over my grounds; some in grass, the sod of which has not been disturbed for years. I attributed this remarkable effect to atmospheric influences - with which the composition of the soil had nothing to do. It was, during the growth of the fruit, unusually dry for our climate. Let us now examine the analysis of the Pear tree, as a correct and reliable basis to overcome the malady to which the tree is subject Loudon, and other eminent writers on the subject, would have us to understand that there is a strong analogy in the life principle of plants and animals.

It is, therefore, fairly inferable that, as animals of the same species do not wholly depend on one class of food for life and health, but that, to a certain extent, choice is left to select from, producing the same results, that this is equally applicable to plants. When we, therefore, have the analysis of Prof. Emmons before us, showing that the ash of the sap-wood of the Pear tree contains more than twenty-seven per cent of phosphate of lime, twenty-two of potash, and a number of other inorganic elements, though perfectly correct, are we sure that a tree grown in a different soil will not produce different results! I shall show that this is the case in other species of trees, and therefore infer it is so with the Pear. It is very certain that the color of fruits is affected by substances in the soil and taken up by the roots, not essential or detrimental to the health of the tree.