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 Society held its regular Conversational Meeting at the Athenaeum on Tuesday evening, April 23d, President Degrauw in the chair. The evening was occupied mainly by Dr. Trimble, of Newark, N. J., with a very interesting lecture on "Insects injurious to Fruits," especially the Curculio. Not having been present, we take the following account from the Brooklyn Eagle:
"This little insect, (the Curculio) about the size of a house fly, attacks all the apricots, plums, and nectarines, and three-fourths of the apples. The apricot is as hardy as the peach, lives longer and bears every year, but is seldom seen because cut off by this insect, not from any preference the curculio has for the apricot, but because it blossoms before any other fruit, and therefore is more exposed to its attacks. None of the remedies published in the papers as curculio remedies ' are of any use; smoking the trees is no use, because the insects flies away and returns again. Mr. Thomas's plan of placing sheets under the tree, and jarring the tree with a mallet, has some effect, for the insect, when the tree is shaken, folds its wings and lets itself drop to the ground, where it remains, looking like a dead plum bud, till you leave it, when it flies back to the tree. This plan is very troublesome, and has to be often repeated. The curculio stings the fruit and deposits its eggs in it; these eggs hatch into grubs in five days; the grub feeds on the fruit till it falls, when it works its way out and enters the ground, whence it soon emerges as a beetle, and lives in the bark of the tree till next spring.
The most effective protection is to hare your trees so that hogs may be let in among them to eat the fruit as it falls, and the insect with it. If you have no hogs, gather your fruit by hand, and if you can not do that, cut your trees down. The knot in plum trees is caused by the curoulio. There are some in-sects that come at stated intervals, and others that are very uncertain. The com-ing of the seventeen year locust may be calculated with great certainty, bat grasshoppers, Hessian flies, and caterpillars come suddenly, and as suddenly vanish. All the caterpillar class and many of the flies have enemies called ichneumon flies or parasites; these flies deposit their eggs in the living bodies of insects; these eggs hatch, and the grubs feed on the insect, gradually exhausting it, but touching no vital part, till at last the insect gives up. Our pine forests are saved by these flies, which destroy the borer. Dr. Trimble does not think that our shade trees will be much infested by the inch worm this summer, as the ichneumon flies are helping us with them.
"Mr. Brophy gave some remarks on ants and their pro-slavery notions.
"The President, Mr. Degrauw, stated that to-morrow their exhibition took place, but it might be the last one they would have. The society has been in existence nine years, but its list of members has fallen off so, that unless the friends of horticulture would help it it would have to give up, and Brooklyn will lose what she will have hard work to get back again. The terms of membership are only three dollars a year, admitting to several general exhibitions and twenty-four conversational meetings. Surely the people of Brooklyn will not let it die out. The next meeting will be on the 2d Tuesday in May. Subject - 'Native Fruits, Flowers, and Shrubs.'"