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.
WE have had a very fruitful season. Although the apple crop has not been a large one, it has been more than an average, and the fruit unusually fair and free from worms. This is the reverse from what we might have expected, last year and this being unusually warm and dry seasons, we might have expected such seasons productive of insects. I have pastured my orchards with hogs, but my neighbors' orchards not pastured, are also comparatively free from the codling moth. It is observed by most of us, that whilst we have a full crop of most of our summer varieties, many of our winter varieties are quite short.
I am of opinion that we Western men have been too fraid of high cultivation of our orchards. It is evident that our fruit trees do best on our thin oak soil, and if the rest of our trees could talk they would tell us why. Let us get down to the root of the tree and pee what is the matter. This will be a subject of further investigation by me, and my conclusions will be only suggestive and not of binding force on the rest of the world. Suffice it to say here, that the roots, not only the " spongioles," but all the rest of our fruit trees must have a certain degree of compactness, porousness and freeness, touching every part of the bark of the roots, and giving moisture to every part of the roots as well as the "spongioles".
Of pears, I never saw a more beautiful crop, nor finer fruit, and so early that our Bartletts are nearly gone the sixth of September, and our White Doyennes and Seckels ripe. My neighbor, Gen. J. G. Gordon, was bragging about his large Bartletts weighing 8, 12, and one up to 15 2/3 ounces; I went home and took down from the shelf a Flemish Beauty, in a decaying state, and some of the juice lost, and it weighed 15½ ounces. This weighed fully a pound when perfect.