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 rapid and marked progress of horticulture in the Northwest, for the last ten years, is worthy of special note. Neither is it confined to isolated localities, favored situations, or peculiar tact of certain persons. The entire country has been alive with enthusiasm in the cause of tree planting. To one who has not been a close and constant observer of these things, the story of progress made would hardly seem creditable. The failures of early settlers is not to be wondered at, when we remember that Minnesota and Wisconsin were mainly settled by emigration from Ohio and New York; and the eagerness with which these parties called for and planted the good old Spitzenberg, Rhode Island Greening, Baldwins, and other eastern varieties. And to this day, many there are who will yet call for these, and feel aggrieved because they find them not, and almost doubt the honesty of nurserymen when assured of the worthlessness of these for this climate.
But happily wo have been traveling in* the right direction. Upon the verge of despondency, but eager for fruit, the anxious inquirer took to the crab varieties, as better than nothing. These succeeded, grew and fruited finely. This was a start in the right direction. Taste and desire enlarged, and knowledge increased. The first lesson learned from this was, that we must seek hardiness - quality and quantity even to be added afterwards. Varieties were selected upon this principle, and from it more knowledge as to treatment of varieties in general. The late meeting of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society developed such a state of progress in that State, as was little looked for. At this meeting, held January 14 to 17, there was a very fine display of fruit, many exhibitors placing twenty or more varieties on the tables; and these included many sorts usually considered tender, but by the experience of years in selection of location, they were a success. The experience of all was well told, and the merits of varieties well discussed. It was not thought advisable to recommend a large list for general planting; better a few well tried certain sorts - with these growing satisfactory, the list on every farm would be rapidly increased.
The society unanimously recommended, for general planting - early, Tetofsky and Duchess of Oldenburg: fall, Fameuse, Haas and Plumb's Cider; winter, Ben Davis; for trial, Bed Astrachan, St. Lawrence, Autumn Strawberry, Sax-ton, Price's Sweet, Talman Sweet, Golden Russet and Bomanite; pears, Flemish Beauty. The annual address was delivered by Philip S. Harris, of the Land Department of the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. This was a masterly effort. In good plain English, without any attempt of the spread eagle, Mr. H. set forth the merits and claims of Minnesota.
Passing from this meeting, we come to Wisconsin's annual gathering, held at Madison, February 4 to 7. This meeting was unusually well attended. The fruit display was not as large as that of Minnesota, and was made up mostly of new varieties, which promised special merit, or seedlings. In this collection was the Pewau-kee, which promises to be a very valuable acquisition to the West, and to take tho place of the Rhode Island Greening at the East. It is a seedling of the Duchess of Oldenburg, which it resembles very closely in tree, an enormous bearer, and following in season the Fameuse - supplies a place before deficient. The Ben Davis, fair as the fairest, was on the table, more beautiful than ever. This variety is being called for very extensively throughout the West, on account of its hardiness in both nursery and orchard, abundant bearing qualities; and the very fine appearance and late keeping qualities commands for it a ready market.
There was also a good display of grapes. A good deal of attention is now being paid to the cultivation of the grape, and many are succeeding very well in keeping them till mid winter, when the fruit is in demand at remunerative prices.
There were a large number of very practical papers read. The fruit and tree lists were thoroughly revised, and the following lists presented to the public as the result of the deliberations of those present:
Red Astrachan, Duchess of Oldenburg, St. ^Lawrence, Fam-euse, Utter's, Plumb's Cider, Westfield, Seek-no-Fujjther, Talman Sweet, Golden Russet, Willow Twig.
Red Astrachan, Utter's, Fameuse, Pewaukee, Ben Davis, Wal-bridge, Willow Twig.
Tetofski, Duchess of Oldenburg, Haas, Fameuie, Plumb's Cider, Ben Davis.
Flemish Beauty, Ananas d'Etc, Early Bergamot, Bartlett, Swan's Orange, Seckel, Winter Nellis.
Delaware, Concord, Lindley (Roger's No. 9), Agawam (Roger's No. 15), Salem (Roger's.No. 22), Wilder (Roger's No. 4), Janesville, Worden, Eumelan.
For Continued Trial - Lombard, Imperial Gage, Hinkley (or Miner), Red Egg, Yellow Egg, Eldridge.
Philadelphia, Davison's Thornless, Mammoth Cluster.
European Larch, Green Ash.
The culture of pears was very thoroughly discussed, and much conflicting testimony was given. The following resolution expresses the sense of those present:
Resolved, That we recommend the planting of pears upon high, airy locations in well drained soils of only medium richness or those decidedly lean, with culture enough to secure a fair but not excessive growth. That if soils are excessively rich, their growth should be checked by root-pruning in summer, or grassing the surface adjacent.
The election of officers resulted in the re-election of most of the old officers, Geo. E. Morrow taking the place of Mr. Wiiley as recording secretary. Of Mr. Willey's fitness, and labors in the past, the Western Farmer says-:
14 The late recording seoretary, 0. S. Wiiley, of Madison, declined a re-election to the position he has held since 1866. Mr. Wiiley has done a large amount of work for the society, more than most persons would have been willing to have done for the merely nominal pay he has reoeived. We have had good opportunities for knowing how he performed his work, and we believe that' the society owes much of the suo-cess of its meetings, of late years, to his energy and diligence. In recognition1 of his services, the following appropriate resolution was unanimously adopted:
" Resolved. That this society, recognizing the eminent services of Mr. 0. S. Wiiley in the past, and that our present position is due, in a great measure, to his efforts in its behalf, do hereby tender to him our thanks, and that as a partial recompense we hereby elect and constitute him a life member of this organisation."