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 white, melting, buttery flesh, not Wanting in richness, and of delicious flavor, combined with the thin, smooth skin of a lemon yellow; with great luxuriance of growth in the tree, bearing uniformly abundant crops, and hanging well, in spite of high winds, to the period of maturity, has led me to purpose working many of my trees, the coming spring, with this variety. No pear, all things considered, has given me greater satisfaction; its great beauty and sterling worth highly commend it to the orchardist as a market pear.
This pear, like the Bartlett, should never be worked on the quince, so imperfect is the union. A fine ten-year-old Columbia blew down the other day, showing a mere granulated protuberance, without any union of the stocks. The pear itself I find both poor and worthless.
In passing through the pear-grounds of a neighbor, some weeks since, my attention was called to the sickly and declining appearance of several large-sized dwarf trees, and an opinion desired as to the cause. In a moment I detected it and replied, "The trees were starved to death." "Starved? impossible I The soil is some of the richest and best on the farm." " Well, sir, we will prove it." Upon taking up the trees they were found to be completely riddled by the borer.
For some years past the Saperda Bivattata has been very destructive through our neighborhood.
The Apple, Quince, Mountain Ash, and the shrubs belonging to the genus aronia and amelanchier, have alike suffered, requiring the most active watchfulness. During the examination of a young apple orchard, of some two hundred trees, I found at least twenty per cent. more or less affected. The attack is not alone about the collar of the tree; I found several where the worm had entered at the base of the first tier of branches, and readily pierced them with a piece of copper wire. Here let me suggest to those gentlemen who have so signally failed with dwarf pear culture, that here may lie a cause, among others, for such failure. The insidious operations of this beetle are not readily observed without more than ordinary examination. The pear, they do not, so far as J know, touch, and an almost universal fault with amateur cultivators of the dwarf is, to leave more or less of the quince stock exposed to view. Hence it is readily got at by the Saperda, while the frequent raking and stirring of the soil disperses any little discharge of wood powder there may be.
The eggs of this beetle are not larger than the head of a pin, are laid the latter part of Jane to the middle of July, and in ten or twelve days are hatched, when, with the dwarf pear, they burrow downward, and by the fall are safely domiciled for the winter. Here they cut up the sap wood in zigzag lines, destroying the circulation of the sap, and frequently eating the entire substance of the tree. The full grown worm is, perhaps, an inch and a half long, white, with a very small black head. It has eleven segments, or rings, besides those of the head and tail. It continues in the tree for some three years, when it effects its transformation, and, gnawing through the bark, escapes into the air.