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.
There is no better guide to the trimming and pinching of cherry-trees than Barry's fruit Book, and, generally, we may say with a neighbor: "It is about the only book that can be generally understood".
The Golden Hamburg Gbape, which it was expected would have been offered to the public last fell, has not yet been "let out," but Messrs. Veitch, of England, advertise it as to be ready on the 15th of this month (July), price twenty-one shillings each - "one over or three to the trade, with special terms when twenty-five and upwards are ordered at the same time." There is no doubt of its great value. It is a superb fruit, and the advertisers, who are backed by the awards of numerous societies, say: -
"In hardiness of constitution, freeness of setting its fruit, size of bunch and berry, and fineness of flavor, it is equal to the Black Hamburg, with the distinction of being, when fully ripe, of a beautiful amber color, thus at once showing it to be a first-class fruit, altogether distinct from all other light-colored grapes, and well adapted either for a greenhouse or for forcing".
P. Barry being called upon said he would recommend, as a select list for family supply, the Barly Purple Guigne, Belle d'Orleans, Governor Wood, Mayduke, Black Tartarian, Black Ragle; and, for good late sorts, Belle Magnifique and Large English Mo-rello. L. F. Alien inquired of him why, if this list were enough, he cultivated and offered so many sorts for sale? He replied that, if twelve different men were to select for themselves, they would each choose different lists, and probably consume all the different kinds they had; and, in fact, they had constant inquiries for sorts they did not propagate. L. F. Allen stated, as a proof of the difference in taste, as controlled by habit, that he had offered a man from the West, who had never seen fine fruit, some of his most delicious plums, when he replied, " I would rather have one wild prairie plum than a bushel of your sorts," and he positively refused to take them as a gift.
The Cerasus Mahaleb, Bois de Sainte Lucie, or Perfumed Cherry, has been long employed on the Continent as a stock for dwarf cherries; it will grow well in calcareous and shallow soils, unfavorable to the common cherry stocks. It is a very good stock for trees for potting; when grafted or budded on it, they form beautiful dwarf bushes: the May Duke and Morello cherries, of which there .are several varieties, do much better on it than the Bigarreaus and Hearts, which are apt to gum, and grow too rapidly in proportion to the stock. Cherries are well known to be difficult to force, or to grow under glass: the blossoms generally fall without setting their fruit; but in pur well-ventilated orchard houses, this is not the case.
Their potting, compost, and treatment may be exactly the same as that recommended for apricots: the tree should be formed into a nicely-shaped bush, with regular divergent branches; on each branch the shoots, all but one leader, must be pinched back in June to a spur of about two inches, and the leading shoot shortened in August to about six inches, till the tree has attained the size desired; the leader may then be shortened to one inch annually, and the size of the tree, if it becomes too bulky, reduced by the knife. The best early cherries for the orchard house are, the May Duke, the Archduke, the Belle de Choisy, and the Royal Duke, - which ripen in succession. Then of the Heart Cherries and Bigarreaus, the very earliest of all is the Belle d'Orleans; then the Early Purple Guigne; Knight's Early Black; the Black Eagle; Elton; Bigarreau Napoleon; the Bigarreau; and the Florence: I have placed them as nearly as possible in the order of their ripening. Of late cherries of the Morello tribe, which succeed admirably as dwarf bushes, there are Heine Hortense, a large and delicious sweet cherry; the Late Duke, also sweet, and of the highest excellence; Griotte de Chaux; Coe's Late Carnation, a most delicious late cherry; Belle Magnifique, a very large Morello-like cherry, but not very acid; and the Morello, which, when fully ripe, and black, in September, is not to be despised as a dessert fruit.
All these may be made to supply the dessert through August, September, and, indeed, great part of October, by enclosing each bush in a. muslin bag, tied tightly round the stem near the ground: the dry air preserves them from mould, and the warm climate gives them a flavor very superior to that of late cherries cultivated in any other mode. Cherries under glass are very liable to the attacks of the black aphis. There are two remedies for this pest: brushing the shoots, as hereinafter directed; dipping them in strong tobacco water; or covering the bush with a sheet of tiffany or calico, and placing ignited tobacco paper in a small flower-pot under it, so that the draught through the aperture at bottom is open. This a good method of fumigation.
In wooded districts it is almost impossible to taste cherries fully ripe, so numerous and destructive are birds: in such places cheap orchard houses might be built for their sole culture, in which the ventilators should be kept constantly open as soon as the fruit begins to color, but the openings must be covered with netting to keep out their winged enemies. They grow remarkably well in pots, and in a few years become most fruitful, every spur giving a bunch of blossoms; nothing can be imagined more cheerful than a cherry orchard house when the trees are in full bloom in April and. May.
Dr. Grant, Mr. Prince, and others, will accept our thanks for fine collections of cherries, embracing several new kinds. Drawings of some of the latter, we shall give hereafter, with notes of comparison.
We are indebted to Mr, Cay wood, of Modena, N. Y., for a box of Great Bigarreau and Bigarreau of Mezel Cherries. They were large and fine. The Great Bigarreau is one of our best Cherries.