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 seems to be a great outcry amongst fruit growers generally that the very prolific fruit year of 1872 will be followed by a season of great scarcity. We do not entertain such ultra views, yet, judging from careful observation, and the views of many prominent peach growers in this State and in Delaware, I think the crop will fall short at least one-half, compared with last year, which, in my estimation, is a pecuniary benefit to the growers, for the cost of transportation and gathering will be no more per basket than when the trees were overloaded, while they will bring much more per basket clear. The consumers will, too, be benefited; for they will have good, eatable fruit in place of much of the worthless trash which was consumed last year under the name of peaches, although they may have to pay something more per basket.
During our observation, it has been a noticeable fact that orchards planted where they are under the immediate influence of large bodies of water, other things being equal, are promising a generous yield of fruit, while other plantations, though more remote, and where they would be denominated as inland orchards, will not produce any more than half a regular crop.
It seems that above the latitude of Smyrna, Delaware, the peaches have suffered severely from the unusually severe winter, while below that the general impression entertained is that a full crop will be marketed. Now, whether this be due to difference in cultivation, difference in management, the youthful or aged state of the trees, I am not at present prepared to say, but such is the case, and I believe is well founded. Perhaps some of our older peach orchardists can explain the why. My opinion is that the aggregate crop may fall short about one-third, and the coming season will prove how far wrong my conjectures have been. So dejected have some large peach growers become, they have said they were willing to sell out for little or nothing. One in particular, offered to sell the whole of his large orchard for six cents a tree. I think he will change his tune before the middle of May.