The ground should be prepared for these, the same as for the other fruit trees, such as Apples and Pears, and as fully explained in the opening chapter of this book. The Plum is very important, valuable and profitable when properly grown. There is always a good market demand for a high grade of this desirable fruit. With a judicious selection of varieties, proper pruning, spraying and thinning of the fruit, one can produce the Plums quite as successfully and cheaply as the Peach. For the last few years past the orchard cultivation of this fruit has received a stimulus with the introduction of the Japan varieties. We therefore, for the benefit of our readers, think best to divide the Plums into two separate classes, namely: The European and the Japan Varieties. In selecting varieties from both these families, we will not deviate from our original purpose thus far faithfully adhered to with all the fruits we have written about. To cut down the list of varieties as far as possible and practicable, without omitting any sort that is reliable and valuable under varied climatic conditions in any section of the country where the fruit can be produced. We have a great surplus of varieties of all fruits, many of them having only a local value near their origin, or where grown under some special favored conditions and treatment; then we have many others that are quite valueless no matter where grown. These should never have been put on the list in the beginning, but should now be discarded at the earliest possible moment. Then such a voluminous list of good, bad and indifferent varieties serve only to confuse the beginner or amateur fruit grower, besides being a constant source of annoyance to the professional. The writer has for many years past in his semi-annual publications and writings strongly advocated the cutting down of this unnecessary and inexcusable long list of fruits, the complete and entire weeding out and destruction of these needless inferior sorts. We are pleased to observe for some time past the tendency in this direction by many leading nurserymen, authorities on horticultural matters, and even the best and most progressive up-to-date fruit growers, especially those who are in the business for commercial purposes are confining their plantings to a few of the leading, trustworthy, standard kinds. The disseminators and introducers of new fruits are public benefactors and their work is at all times commendable. However, when after a fair trial a new fruit proves a failure it is a duty and a blessing to all interested to discard it promptly.