A Practical Treatise on Plum Growing; by Eliphas Cope (1888)


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A Practical Treatise on Plum Growing; by Eliphas Cope (1888)

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A Practical Treatise on Plum Growing; by Eliphas Cope (1888)

  1. 1. SB 377.C7Copy I
  3. 3. %^il0e^^iig?^if>-^ife^ii:#iifcaiii#«.*tii»-«i%iit^fe/«ii&-;y^ « J Pracfica.! Tre(Ii5e ON- PLUm * GROWING, -BY -I-I4PHAS COPE.-i^ii^$$^iit$$^i^^i-^it$$^it$^a^$^t^it$^^ii$$^iK^it^^i^^it^i^
  4. 4. J Prfc^clicixl Tre(xli5e ON^piGim v^powirpg,? :^^Tfe ©• BY EtlPHJIS • COPE.- iV4^ yi -;- Kogerg, OMo. -jj / MAh 23 ioub 7- COPYRIGHT, 188S, BY THE AUTHOR. NEW LISBON, OHIO: THE lUTCKEYP: STATE PRINT. 1 888;
  5. 5. t^
  6. 6. Index.Situation. - - - - - - iSoil, -Varieties,Planting Time, - ___.-- - - - - - 3 c^ iiCare for the First Three Years, - - 13Subsequent Care, - - - - 16The Curculio. - - - . - 20How to Plant and Care for a Few Trees, 25How to Care for an Orchard in Fruiting Time, 27Plum Rot, - - r - - 31Black Knot, 36The Borer. 39Varieties Further Considered, . - 41
  7. 7. PrefdCP.^jV^Y EXCUSE for prescntin<^ this li littleJ ^ volume at this time is the want on thepart of many who have plum trees and havenot the time nor inclination to enter into anextensive study of the obstacles in the wayof plum orrowing, of a book simple to theplanter and low in price. Avoiding profes-sional work, yet indicating our manner oflabor and care so fully that we believe it willenable those who have plum trees, or whocontemplate planting, to be successful if theywill follow the rules laid down herein. ELIPHAS COPE, • Plum Grower, Ro(,eks, Ohio.
  8. 8. VhUn * TI^EES. THE SITUATION./^wS AGAINST the i^ractice wliich vc wereJ^ formerly taught, that fruit trees should ])eplanted in sheltered places, the experimen-tal evidence is most C()nclusiely to the con-trary. Our fruit trees should be planted inexposed places, and our care for them shouldbe such that they may be well set and per-manent in their places, and by this means,besides other advantages which can be nam-ed, we escape the insects which have soughtthe shelter, and the still, hot atmospherethereabouts. We do not mean by exposedplaces, that trees should not be protectedfrom the ravages of stock, or anything thatwould in any way injure the tree, but thatwe give preference to setting trees on thehigher ground where the air most freely cir-
  9. 9. 2dilates, or where the woods or many treeswill not hinder the free moving of the air. Level ofround mav be said to be the mostconvenient and best situation for fruit trees.A southern slope is better than a northernhillside if the tree has proper care. Other-wise, if the tree is left to care for itself, thenthe north hillside is the better. As a rule,we prefer to plant on an eastern slope, orhillside, than to the west. And this rule willhold good except in case of a cov^e or a shel-ter from woods, or anything which tends tohinder the favorable circulation of the air.By experience we conclude that trees sosheltered make trees in an undue time, andout of proportions ; are not so hardy, will notlive so long, and are very much more troub-led with insect life.
  10. 10. SOIL.^^HE soil has very much to do in a reo^ular>-^and annual crop of fruit That which un-derlies the soil already worked, may be ofsuch nature that although the tree is caredfor, yet in a dry season, or in the dry part ofthe season, the moisture will not raise in it.For instance, a soil of 7 to 10 inches cover-ing a slate or hard pan of any kind, mav withgood care yield a crop of fruit every otheryear and live a long time, while a clay soilofsome feet in depth will with the same caremake an annual yield. A soil in which themoisture will raise is which the roots a soilwill penetrate. And be a natural strata if itlike the clay into which the roots can go deep,we may in this expect to get a satisfaction inplanting provided the roots are not rob-bed by some other plant, or the branches de-prived of the wind and the sun. We have grown splendid crops of plumson high level ground, and upon all hillsides,and upon clay ground, upon slate, upon fire-clay, upon soapstone, upon lime, upon sandand upon wash. But we have not received
  11. 11. 4annual crops from anv onK those ^^rown ondeep, heavy chiy. The trees here are per-manent medium size of reii^ular growth, anda fair specimen of fruit.
  12. 12. VARIETIES.T^HE plum same as other kinds of fruit thevi shows many varieties, with marked differ-ences in like kinds. Of the Damson, wehave the small size and large size, and theearlv and late varieties. We regard the earlyDamson plum as unprofitable. They are notas good" in quality, neither will they com-mand as high a price as the ones ripeningafter the time of frost. The small blue Dam-son plum which ripens late in the fall, will,because of their richness, always be in de-mand. believe the late blue Damson Weplums will give satisfaction with proper care,and that they should not be greedily pickedoff. as is the case too much, until they arefully matured. The Shopshire Damson is of fine size, ri-pens late, and is a most excellent fruit, andthe only hardy Damson plum for field cul-ture. It unites readily on peach stock onwhich it appears so far to do w^ell. There is no plum that has yet proven sogenerallv successful as the Lombard plum.Perhaps it is because they set such an enor-
  13. 13. mous quantity of fruit. And further, be-cause when the curculio begins on a tree thevwant to take it ; that this variety is foundfruiting. Because when a Lombard tree un-der certain circumstances has set only aboutwhat it could handily ripen, they are no morespared than other kinds. If the. Lombardplum tree is properly cared for in fruitingtime, about three weeks after the plums areset, they will cast perhaps the half of theirfruit to the ground, which saves thinning offruit. is much more This variety subject tothe BlackKnot than most varieties. Nearlyas much so as are the Damsons. The Lom-bard plum tree will not unite with the peachstock, neither will most ot the Damson var-ieties. The Geuii plum, which really is a DutchDamson cannot be united oii to peach stock.This Geuii plum also is quite a subject forthe Knot, and it is a great grower. It makesthe largest leaf, and literally tills with fruit.But it is less hardy than the Lombard in itsbranches. The McLaughlin plum should go with theLombard. It is one of the best varieties forfield culture, It is a size larger than the
  14. 14. 7Lombard, about the same shape, a little dul-ler in its and while the Lombard is color,somewhat red, this plum is more given to]:)urple, and in fact when there are but fewon a tree it becomes almost the color of aDamson plum. In many instances just be-fore ripening it shows a russet yellow, chang-ing to a dull purple when the tree is loaded.It is most even and solid growing tree thethat r have found, producing a top like anapple tree. It grows complete on peachstock, and will give the best satisfaction onupland thin soil. There will be strong ob-jections to its being planted on other situa-tions. Our crop of McLaughlin plums thepast vear which was estimated at So bushelsbefore picking, reached 135 bushels neat, andthe last picking just closed with the firstpicking of Lombards. Planters should becareful in setting trees of this variety. Ithas been under different names. We soldhave sold many trees under this name. It isa purple bloomed plum and ripens betweenthe loth and 20th of August. We trv to raise and keep on hands most ofthe best varieties of plum trees for sale, asthe Lombard, Pond Seedling, Imp. Gage,
  15. 15. Magnumbonum, Gen. Hand, Genii, Dam-sons and Prune Plums and a host of othervarieties, but find that the McLaughlin, andsome other varieties which are not of somuch importance as the McLaughlin, mavbe misnamed, and are sold honestly by re-sponsible nurserymen so. Now, we have nofurther proof that we have the McLaughlintrue, more than that our trees we believe an-swer the description of the original tree. The native plums should not be plantedbut sparingly, only when they have been triedand given satisfaction. North of 40 degreeslatitude we question if thev will give satisfac-tion or remuneration for la])or. The large red plums are not apt to givethe quantity of fruit that the me- small ordium show, and although finer varieties willfor canning are coarser in grain and do notpossess the quality for present use. Theirgreat beauty will get for them a high price, •and we have received a fair degree of satis-faction from the Pond Seedling plum. Thisvariety is perfectly hardy and produces thelargest plum grown. The large yellow plums have not failedalso to command a high price. The General
  16. 16. 9 Hand is But among this a very fine plum.class if care is given Yellow we believe theMagnumbonum is not only one of the mostproductive, but also one of the hardiest ofplum trees, although no better than PondSeedling for present use of the fruit. It is with the green plums that we get thebest fruit for eating from the tree. Finegrained and sugary they make the best ofbutter also. The Imp. Gage, althoughwhen fully ripe it is not altogether a greenplum, is fairly hardy, the tree is large andproductive, perhaps one of the best of thisclass. The white plums are the best for culinarvpurposes, all things considered, and perhapsshould command the highest price. Thevariety which we fruit under the nameof Washington has not proven hardy.They are a beautiful large whitish plum,with juice as nice as honey, and are re-markable for their mildness. The treesmostly have died, and we are now trying an-other variety under the same name, the char-acter of which we cannot now speak. Con-sidering that there are hundreds of varietiesof plums, and different varieties, somewhat
  17. 17. lOdiffering, classed under the same name, wehope to obtain in a class what we desire. A very rich may be made from preservethe prune plum, or from the Damson. Butperhaps a nicer, and to an unprejudiced tastea better preserve may be made from manyother varieties with the same treatment. Forbutter we strain out the skins and seeds, andfind the medium sized plums satisfactory.In canning, the fruit should be sweetened totaste when put up, the fruit boiled inthe syrup, as many have ignorantly con-demned the cooked plum bv presuming thatsugar cast in the dish will suit to the tastethis most wholesome and desirable fruit.The tartness of the plum requires^ that it l)emet to the seed with the sweet. And con-sidered with other fruit it is not costly assome have supposed, since a bushel of plumswill can about that many quarts. That a halfbushel of plums canned up fifteen quarts, hasmore than once been said, w^hich is more thana whole bushel of peaches will can. Andone quart of plum<; will nearly equal two ofpeaches when served. If this rule of count-ing Jbe true one bushel of plums should equalnearly four bushels of peaches in price.
  18. 18. II PLANTING TIME./|)wS A RlLE I would advise planting in the ^ spring of the year. Not because it will give the best results with care, but that the buyer may be safer in his planting. The best time to reset a plum tree or any fruit tree is in the late fall or early winter after the frost hasfully prepared the tree for winter. Trees re-moved time of year without injury to the thisfiber roots by too much exposure will notlose anything. Rut most nursery stock asrequire freezing to drop theirleaves, and ri-pen up the branch for w inter, and tree menare anxious to get their stock out of the reachof the freeze, this stock has got to be strippedof its leaves, called by nurserymen stripping.Trees that have been stripped by hiuid areobjectionable, as are also trees whose fiberroots have been subjected to any degree offreezing. In accepting plum trees for planting, ifthe branches are light and fine, cut off a limb. ; the heart of it be brown or dark color thistree is objectionable. A plum tree to payfor planting should have a full round limb
  19. 19. 12ofieen throuo^hout, full bud with heavy shoul-der. Many plum trees have been put on themarket which have been a subject of drouth.The hole for setting the tree is not apt to betoo large or too deep, or is there apt to betoo much strong soil, leached ashes, or bonesput in the ground on planting the tree pro-vided you do not intend to give any furthercare. But if the tree is to have proper care,see that the roots are all got under and puresoil well firmed about them. Keep manurefrom the roots, and for a top dressing ashesor coal dust is valual^le and will keep downweeds. And the general rule is to trim allside limbs, leaving the main branch, and soset that at the soonest possible time it maycover its body with branches aud most par-ticularly to the southwest.
  20. 20. 13CARE OF TREES FOR THE FIRST THREE YEARS.fF A TREE is hardv at the end of the third year after phmting. it may after that be ex-pected to give satisfaction. It turns out in manycase^ that about the third year from plantingeven the hardiest trees find something wrongwith them ; that the fourth year after plant-ing the tree instead of growing is simplydead, or nearly so. I am sure if these treeshad been handled the fall before, they wouldhave been found light and rattling. Theamount the soil has been worked even in set-ting the tree is quite sure to hold a moisturefor two years. If during the third year fromthe first working or moving of the soil, thissoil is not touched it will become sufficientlysolid to transmit heat from particle to parti-cle. And during the hot summer, as the lastof July and August sun bear upon this work-ed and settled soil, the effect of the heat willbe carried as deep as the root, and the soilwill be robbed of all the moisture which itshould have to sustain the tree. So that theamount of moisture that is required to keepup the leaf and the branch, in a hot atmos-
  21. 21. Hphere reduces the tree to a state of worth-lessness which is easily distinguished from atree of the same kind whose roots are stand-ing in a soil not lacking in moisture. AVehere state that this is the direct cause of yel-lows peach trees. We have never seen inthe yellows on peach trees with proper care.Let him who will object to our experrencedig down by a tree in h(H August weatherwhere weeds and gi^ass are standing aroundand see if he will not acknowledge our prac-tice yes, and wonder how those leaves can ;be keept gieen with a soil dry deep down asthis must be. Such trees when they have re-ceived the stroke will generally come out thefollowing summer, but cannot grow much,and at best show but a yellow leaf. Theplum mostly dies outright, although it is notuncommon even for them to show a coatingof yellow leaves before they die. Some soils the moisture rises in, but anysoilcan be kept moist by keeping the surfacemellow, which may be done either by work-ing or by mulching. Then a tree should be kept straight. Should it get to leaning withthe wind, the time to straighten it is in thespring ; stack plenty of dirt around it until it
  22. 22. 15holds this position. Keep down all sproutsand cut off such branches as are straggling,or that go beyond the limits of convenienceor care for the tree.
  23. 23. SUBSEQUENT CARE. T IS NOT out of the order that a tree the fourth year after plantings puts on a fullload of plums. It is a question whether ornot it is best for a tree to bear so youno^.We are sure it is not g^ood without the treeis under proper care, since itwill most surelyhinder the tree from attaining to full propor-tions. A full crop of plums on a younjr treesets the size, or in other words, causes thetree to enter in life as a full grown tree andthereafter will attain like proportions ingrowth. We have no objections under])roper care to the smaller trees. While wegrow them closer together, say only about 12or 14 feet apart, we can also gather most allthe fruit from the ground, and also catch thecurculio with much greater ease. It is aquestion if all soils can be held in shape togrow these small trees. The nearer, how-ever, that the soil returns to the state of Na-ture in which it was when the woods stoodover it, the hardier and more satisfactory theorchard will be. There is doubt but that the burden of
  24. 24. 17the tree is to perfect the kernel which thepulp of the fruit surrounds ; and I questionin a full crop if it can, without great dangerto the tree, except the soil is covered, or hasa retreat from the continued effects of thehot sun. Boards, buildings, bricks, or any-thing that will catch the rays. I doubt ifthere anything however that will give the isreturns which a generous and continued useof the hoe will do under e cry part of thetree which the drag or cultivator may notget ^V c[uart can of salt cast under each at.tree before the hoe begins, every year or two,gives advantages in more than one way.Those insects know where to get better forthemselves than we may tell them, and theyknow where to not get and they do not need ;us to them of a soil tell that will not pro-duce them congenially. We understand thatan inch of soil thoroughly pulverized all overevery part of the ground under a tree, withthe balance of the orchard cultivated, willretain that life and moisture which the inex-perienced has not conceived. However, wedo not care to have the ground hard, pro-viding clean of all weeds or grass dur- it ising Mayand the first of June, or whenthe curculio is most effective in his work.
  25. 25. Cut water sprouts, (except there is off allneed of a limb) which sometimes make theirappearance in profusion, and let all manuresthat may be used be cast in the fall and hoedor cultivated in. Perhaps the best resultswill be found from a liberal use of potashand bone. Bone must be used. Themany seeds which the tree must perfectdemands it. It is not uncommon tokill trees by putting- barnyard manure inciuantity arovind them in the spring. Wehave done the like. Or to begin to workthem in hot summer with the plow when theyhave not had proper care for a time. To in-duce bearing, and to hinder the excessivegi"owth, and produce hardiness in a tree,there is nothing better than to plow as closeto the tree atone side as the tree will seemto permit, and that deep, cutting all the rootspossible. But in no case do this only inearly winter. The following summer a fewfurrows thus plowed to the tree will fill fullof fibrous roots which will be a great stay.Moreover, the tree will by root pruning notmake long strides of growth which is alwaysan uncalled for burden under the Augustsun. Trees which have failed under thepower of the hot sun, and which have thereby
  26. 26. 19received a perpetual injury, should not bepropaj^ated from, since trees giovvn frombuds taken from these sickly trees are theSfet or inheritors of this- constitutional weak-ness and must necessarily be more liable tothe effects and are less capable to withstandthe same power which subdued the parenttree.
  27. 27. 20 OF THE CURCULIO.J^HE enemy of the plum tree in propagat-^— ing by way of the seed, is the cur- itselfculio. The curculio, by nature, seeks to de-velop itself in one of its forms in the plum.The plum is a direct home and perfectionto its purpose. From a little nit depositedunder the skin of the plum it hatches intoa worm in favorable weather in about sevenor eight days, and makes its home in the plumuntil it fully develops in this worm or larvaestate, driving as a rule straight ahead as wellas it can in the green pulp of the fruit. Theplum, by its work, becomes its victim andmust go from the tree by common laws, andis lost, while the further purposes of the cur-culio are only enhanced. If we want to raise plums we want to knowthe ways of this little bug or beetle so thatwe mav successfully stand between him andthe plum. For there is no question that ifthe season is favorable and the soil congen-ial, that he will bounce every plum on thetree in his reproductive proclivities and it is;
  28. 28. 21really how bright and agile he surprising-seems vou watch him moving up to his asbusiness. To those who have not seen himlet them spread a table cloth under a fruitingplum tree in the latter part of May, give thetree a sudden, solid jar, then look uponthe cloth and you will most likely catch sightof a little beetle, near the size and color of abuckwheat grain, with a probocis like anelephants trunk which he uses to make anew moon on the plum. This is him, per-haps playing possum already leave him ;alone and he will run off like a diminutiveelephant. This curculio, like the striped cucumberbiig, is sensitive of heat and cold. In thecool morning it can not fly. In the heat ofthe day it is excellent on the wing. There istherefore no use bothering about him whenit is hot, sav 80 deg. Fahrenheit, since he iseasily scared and will fly right out and there ;is no way to keep him out then without youstay by the tree more than you will like else ;make the plum and branches offensive else ;keep the soil such that it will not furtherhis purposes. All things considered, thereis none of these we have found to be sue-
  29. 29. 22cessful alone. Of the curcuHo, its life andhabits, there is sufficient written, and it isthe etomologists work. We want howeverto show how to keep him off of the plums.We do make a curculio catcher of our owninvention, and by having our trees in propershape we can speedily most surely catch ^indthem while they are indormant state. theThis is before the heat of the sun makesthem active. About one hundred trees perhour can handily be cleared of all insectsinjurious. This work begun with the morn-ing twilight is the most pleasant and surest tomake perfect work. We put say two quartsof new lime in a half bucket of water in awooden pail. This bucket is left in thecentre of the row. From there we go to theend and back the next row to it. The in-sects are lodged in the center of the catcher,and dropped into the lime water. Passingto the other end and back the next row, andas before the insects are dropped into thewater and stirred. This water will be founduseful at the foot of the tree when the workis done. By a convenient arrangement which wecall a door the tree passes about to the center
  30. 30. 23of the catcher, which is Init a slight hindranceto the carrier, who can open and close it atwill. The catcher, on the ground which restsat the foot of the tree, is carried by twohandles under the carriers arms, and is lightand convenient to handle. The jar is apole of sufficient length to jar the tree,large or small, as may be. Near the end itof this pole is wooden pin through the acentre. With the use of twine we make ahall of wadding on this. end, of at least eightinches in diameter, all sewed solid to itsplace, and bv this the tree or limbs as arerequired are jarred without bruising the barkon the wood. mav be understood that we have heard Itof manv curculio remedies l)ut our experi- ;ence with him is such that we know that toget a favorable crop of fruit which is salable,and leave the tree in proper condition, wehave bugs as a rule. We know to catch thethere are cold wet springs which favor thefruit, and that the first coming of the curcu-lio has been very unfavorable to them, andthat in such seasons the first and principlework of the curculio is but very slight and we ;are well aware that there are certain spots
  31. 31. 24and situations of land where he does not mo- but very little, and that circum-lest the fruitstances may cause situations to be offensiveto him ;but we have yet to believe that anorchard will in an ordinary season bear ageneral crop of plums of any kind or varietywhatsoever, without catching the curculioand killing them, and the time to catch themiswhen they are inactive as at early morning,when it will not require more than a coupleof fair strokes with the jar to dislodge them,as experience will show.
  32. 32. ^:)HOW TO PLANT AND CARE FOR A FEW TREES.IN PLANTING a few trees let them be as^ near the form of a square as possible, sothat the ground may be kept in a measuremore clean. If convenient cast a fencearound them, see that the hogs are in thisenclosure the three weeks following the mid-dle of May, also the last three weeks of July.Let some oats, wheat bran, or shelled corn,be sown each morning under the trees for thehogs to hunt up. These will require butvery little trouble beyond the proper care ofthe hogs. But circumstances alter cases, andit may be more convenient to use a coop inwhich is an old hen with a lot of chickens.If several trees, there should be more thanone brood of chickens. In such cases asthis it is required that the surface of theground be cut clean with a hoe and if need beswept, and a Kttle bran scattered about un-der the trees. We do not doubt the efficacyof this plan with some care, since it wouldbe offensive the same as the hog lot, and thecurculio which are not caught cannot find
  33. 33. 26their home. If either of these plans can-not be had, then get a table cloth, sheet, orwhat is better, three or four yards of goodbrown muslin, divide it and sew the edges to-gether half way then tack slats around these ;edges to handle it by. And just befcn-e thecalyx that covers the plum has passed off letthe tree passup to the center of this muslincatcher where it was sewed to, and with a jaras before described dislodge the curculio andburn them. Three times will rid them for afew days, when the same operation may berepeated in the morning, at evening, and the-next morning, &c. Again, it will be ob-served that all cool or rough weather, andalso that the most of June and the first ofJuly the curculio will not be found. Thelast of July will require much care again.
  34. 34. 27 HOW TO CARE FOR AN ORCHARD IN FRUITING TIME. ^^ITE g^rouiul should be cleaned around the ^-^ trees in the spring before the curculio puts in his appearance, and unnecessary limbs re- moved also all such limbs as would be in ; the road of the catcher. The trees, or at least a portion ofthem should be jarred while the blossoms are yet on them to catch such curculios as are to be found. The groundI should be stirred in the spring before the moisture from the winter is out of the soil, and perhajDs the best thing to do it with is the one horse plcjw, and with care not to cut too man- roots this tinae of the year. That which is not reached with the plow should be put in order with the hoe. This soil be- ing cut as above stated will be much easier attended to later in the season. As the little plums begin show themselves see that the to curculio are caught out of the orchard, and if there is negligence in this work it will be observed by examining the plum ; for as soon as aplum isstung the place will turn dark, and show a new moon, or properly said, a
  35. 35. 28crescent shaped incision near the ])lossom endof the fruit. This is done by the curculio,and the nit is deposited under the skin of theplum which is cut loose, and secures to it asafety which it could not have were it de-posited otherwise. If there is some fine variety of which fruitis wanted to be saved, it can be done evenafter it is stung by using the point of a knifeor the thumb nail, and push off the skin ofthe plum within the crescent shape. Thiscan be done speedily, and if you wish to seethe contents of the nit press the thumb nailbackward towards the stem upon the skin ofthe plum under which is the egg, and its con-tents will rush upon the surface of the plum.This work will not injure the fruit in thespring, as it will speedily grow over again ;l)ut such work will not do in the heat of thesummer as it will be likely at such time torot. After the orchard is once cleared of thecurculioit will require repeated tests to seeifhe comes again. In such cases it will benecessary to go to the skirts of the orchard, testonly the warmer and unexposed places in theorchard, or that part of the orchard nearestto other fruit trees, and in case but few are
  36. 36. 29found no need to look fur- there will bether, and the main work will now be foundaround the edges of the orchard for a time.The middle of July, sooner or lat^r as theseason mav require, (there will be four orfive weeks previous to this date that curculiowill be scarce), throughout the orchard thecatcher should be used, as the curculio mayb^ found now coming until the plums arepicked. Wehave caught curculio after se-vere frost in the fall. It must be remember-ed that the main fight is to be waged on thecurculio in the spring, and if successful thenthe battle is fairly won. Some trees bear more fruit than theyshould, not only for the good of the fruit, butfor their own good. The question how tomeet this is not handily solved. We havefound it as hard on the tree to pick the greenfruit from the limb as it was to ripen thefruit. We would prefer heading in brancheswith the knife which were overloaded. An-other season we will trim certain branchesclean of fruit, leaving the others untouched.Above all this we prefer the perfect workingaround the tree, whereby it will assumestrength to care for itself. Yet it so hap-
  37. 37. 30pens that certain trees fail to cast a portion oftheir unbearable load, in which case the knifeshould be freely used to save the tree.
  38. 38. 31 PLUM ROT.tf^ERITAPvS there is nothing so vexatious in the plum business after all as the plumrot. Instead of getting a nice lot of plums, tosee them all rotting instead of ripening. Weobserve that there are two kinds of plum rotwe have to contend with. One is the rotfrom the calyx or covering over the little plumin May, the other is the rot before the ripeningtime in the latter part of July and August.This rot from the calyx is not universal, as itonly goes with those varieties which have aheavy blossom. We have not seen thevarieties with a light blossom and a thincalvx injured by Damsons, the Lombard it..and the Geuii, most of the Gages, and manyother varieties might be named which escapethe rot from the calyx. But some of the bestvarieties will lose more or less in wet seasonseven with the best of care, as the McLaugh-lin, Pond Seedling and all the heavy blos-somed varieties. McLaughlin, although oneof themost profitable of all varieties withcare, suffers themost from the calyx rot.This heavy fur-like coating over the little
  39. 39. 32plum seems so slow about getting off, thatbefore the plum has lost his coat it generallygets caught in the rain. It does frequentlyprove one or two days about that time to rainof the year, and when this coating is loosefrom its natural place it is ready to decayand turns brown. The little plum at thisseason enlarges very fast, and a few daysdamp and rainy weather fastens it in theskin of the tender plum, and is equivalent asa rule to a rot. When such trees are in moistplaces, or sheltered places with dense foliage,this calyx is rendered tough in dampweather, and fastens itself on the plum,so that three out of four of the plums willbe lost, which is equivalent to a failure forthe season. In no instances have we had afailure only in such places as before de-scribed. J^v this it will be observed that it isbetter for the trees to have the sun and theair,and that the ground should be kept cleanunder the tree. But in case we find treesshut out from the sun, then move the obsta-cles as much as possible, following the rulewe down. Much can be done in jarring laidthe limbs and moving this covering off indry spells. The most objectionable and universal plum
  40. 40. 33 rot occurs just before the plums are ripe. Itis time of the year when heat will produce adecay superior to the healing powers, and the decay is sensitive to the touch.effects of thisIn other words the rot grows on another plumreaching to its bounds the same as it growsin itself. We regard the sting of the curcu-lio at this season of the year as a two-folddanger, first because it endangers the plum torot by opening its pores, endangering it todeadly particles by which it will begin to rot,and secondly, because of the nit in its devel-opment in the plum. This first what we w ish to avoid danger isin this do so we must also chapter, and tokeep the fruit from the second danger; andin order to avoid the second we must see toit in time and not after the plums are toomuch rotten. Let the curculio be caught orlet the plums rot. We for other reasons tryto keep our trees clean, and find that in aterm of years we are not troubled with a hostof insects which were there when the firstcare was given. W^orms of all shapes andsizes, and many varieties of ants, bugsand beetles and spiders, seem to be gone.The green leaf louse or big black antemires
  41. 41. 34nest, which would stop the growth of thetwigs in the spring, millers and caterpillars,most all disappeared, since plum leaves havenot, as might be understood, proved a suffi-ciency for them, all of which is no little thingin favor of plum growing. When this rot isseen on a plum the sooner it is removed thebetter, for it will be a hardy plum that wontrot with it if they can get together Whenthis rotting first appears pick it all off, eventhough it is but a mere speck to be seen in theplum, and about two days after repeat thework again, watching it up for a fortnight, oruntil the stung fruit is removed. It will beobserved that we have not advocated the de-stroying of the stung plurns. But on theother hand the catching of the curculio andthe keeping of the soil in such care so that itwill not be a nest for its further develop-ment. The Wild Goose plums when firstintroduced, were said to be curculio proof,and in fact many varieties have certain pleasfor them of like character when first intro-duced. Considering the many styles andvarieties of fruit which we have fruited, th^planter may rest assured with us that to at-tempt to put upon him a curculio proof plumis a nonsense oi a nuisance and that a va- ;
  42. 42. 35riety may be said to be curculio proof onlybecaUvSe of the peculiar situation in which itis found, since we are sure that a variety ofplums exempt from the attacks of the curcu-lio, as a rule must be a nuisance and not de-serving the name.
  43. 43. 36 BLACK KNOT.©LxA.CK KNOTS on plum trees may be said to be another obstacle af]^ainst thephmting of this fruit ; and, indeed, manytrees are lost, and others, most unsightly ob-jectsbecause of this disease. It is a trouble,however, that does not affect varieties alike,since there are but few varieties which seemaddicted to it. The Damson varieties give themost trouble, and the Lombard and Gueiiare not so much affected, yet they requirecontinual watchfulness. We have occasion-ally seen a knot on a Pond vSeedling or Mc-Laughlin, but have not seen knots on anyother varieties, although we allow that anyvariety, without it be the natives, may knot.Yet we believe the three kinds named are theonly ones that will require watchfulness.When there are knots showing on a tree cutthem off and see that they are burned exceptin cases where it is necessary that the branchshould remain. In this case, with a knife orsome sharp instrument first remove all theknot visible second, cut out all the little ;white, round, porous specks which can be
  44. 44. 37seen : third, and last, observe a dark brownred streak in the snrface of the wood, reach-n<j!; up or down from the knot, cut back tillthis will notbe seen. When the above ruleis followed the knot cannot come there again,and bv covering the cut w ith wax it will soongrow Obser e if the brown streak is over.left the knot will most likely break out anew.We do not find the knot troublesome ontrees of regular habits or on trees that donot sport in growth. But excess in growththe same as excessive bearing means a timeof diminished strength as well as a time ofdiminished life. Overgrown trees meanssoft wood, and overburdened trees meansinferior life in wood. And the same in eachcase means more inviting to the enemy andless capable to withstand the enemy. The above is a true meaning and the onlyway to arrive at a satisfactory solution of theinarching of the enemy into the branches ofour fruit trees. We therefore wish to be un-derstood that a tree in soil made right andunder due care is a guard of itself and isclean from receiving, while a tree left toitself in an uncared condition to sport or towilt will most likelv be found sheltering an
  45. 45. enemy, thesame ultimately producing whatis truly termed disease, since it is no moreclear.
  46. 46. 39 OF THE BORER.ti,(5)e:hav;E lost many by a little trees^^ w hite w worm we will which at- call it,tains to near an inch in length, which worksunder the bark of the tree. This borerworks on the body of the tree and mostseriously effects those trees which are forked.To this end see that in planting time the trees are trimmed to one straight branch, upon which may come out the side limbs. Itjoften happens that the south side of a tree is affected by the suns rays so that there will })e a spot actually killed, and that if this })lace is not cleaned off and waxed theseworms will sodner or later get started inthe injury, and if left alone will likely killthe tree during the coming summer. Per-haps the tree should be washed with a solu-tion of carbolic acid if there is serious troubleresulting thereby. This borer has done us serious injury,since many of our trees were left in planting sothat there were two main branches, in whichfork he seems most easily to get his hold,doing much damage to the iree before we
  47. 47. 40were able to dislodge him with the knife.We do not find it advisable to shelter thebody of the tree with other than its ownnatural branches, since any close artificialprotection is likely to result in a rough heavyporous bark which is not desirable like theclean tough bark fully exposed to the air.It is in the crevices of this rough porous barkthat the miller deposits the nit which makesthe borer. And it is only in case of themany nits and very fine worms which arelikely to escape notice that we have advisedthe acid to destroy them. Perhaps there isno better month in the year than October towork with this enemy to the plum tree.Persons who fear the autumn leaf blight,wherein the branches ripen up and cast theirleaves in early autumn, will find an actualenemy in this borer which works betweenthe ground and branches. By our practicethe leaf blight will not be found an injury.
  48. 48. 41 VARIETIES FURTHER CONSIDERED. UR PURPOSE in this book is not so ^-^ much to mark or distinguish varietiesas it has been to indicate the proper care forplum trees. There are many good varietieswhich we are not enough acquainted with tospeak of them in particular. There are somenew varieties also for which much merit isclaimed which w^e are just now testing. Webelieve the Wild Goose plum to be the bestof the native varieties, and that it may profit-ably be grown where it will fruit. But asfar north as Columbiana county, Ohio, itwill notpay to giow. Since this plum treegrows so well here and does not carry fruitmuch beyond the blossom, it has beencharged that it should be planted with othervarieties, as it is apparently a pistillate, orwithout fertilizing power. We do not ac-cept this theory, but believe the blossom isperfect, and on account of the cold it is ren-dered weak and insensible of the powers ofgrowth, and thus the tree becomes abortiveand the fruit is cast as soon as it comes intoform.
  49. 49. 42 We here give first a list of blue plumswhich may be successfully planted whereplums do well, naming Shopshire Damson,Quackinboss, Geuii, Blue Imperatrice, Ger-man Prune. Purple and Purple Bloom Plums Mc- —Laughlin, Smiths Orleans, Richland. Ship-pers Pride, Duanes Purple. Green and Yellowish Green Plums Im- —perial Gage, Moores Arctic, Reine C. D.Bavay, Spalding. Yellow and Greenish Yellow Plums Gen. —Hand, Jefferson, Huling Superb, PrincesYellow Gage, Scuyler Gage, Magnumbo-num. White Light Yellow Plums Wash- or —ington, Coes Golden Drop. Red and Red with Blue Bloom or Scar-let — Pond Seedling, Lombanl. Wild (Joosc.Red Gage. We might name many other desirable va-rieties. Bleekers Scarlet plum, which is theLombard, should not be confounded withBleekers Gage, which is a yellow plum,productive and good fruit. Some varietiesare not hardy in body. This will be noticed in the Washington, Imp. Gage, and some other varieties not so much.Other varieties
  50. 50. 43arc not hardy in the branch while the bodyshows no failure. This is much noticed inthe Duanes Purple, the Gueii, the ShopshireDamson, the Bradshaw, and some other va-rieties, more or less, the giowth of lastyear often being killed half way back. Other varieties the borer works in, whilethe ones named are not troubled by it. Thereis no varietv we have tried which the borerworks on so much as the McLaughlin the ;Lombard next; the Washington and theMagnumbonum are not free from him. Wehave lost several good McLaughlin trees andsome of the other varieties before we knewthe white, creeping bark eaters were slowlyworking their way around the body, and inthe crotch of the tree underneath the bark.vSuffice it to say, when we are awake to thedemands of that which is before us to do, andunderstand the enemies which we must en-counter in the way, the victory is fairly won,since we are enabled to meet him upon ourown grounds. The obstacles in theway of plum growingare doubtless in the way of the slothful. Itcan scarcely pay any planter to set plumtrees in the face of these obstacles which hemay but vainly hope to escape, without
  51. 51. 44he also proposes to for them the caresame as a horse or a cow, be cared for at tothe proper time. A man may feel more im-jDclled to care for his live-stock than to carefor the live trees. Truly his feelings shouldnot be so apace from humanity as to be easywith stock suffering by his negligence. Butas far as the gain in dollars and cents is con-cerned, we do not question, by the examina-tion of orchards and fruits and fruit treesplanted, that the loss through negligence onthe part of not caring for the trees when theyneed feed and shelter, far surpasses to quietthe conscience of greedv man in case thewhole substance and value of the neglect wasset before him. We add in conclusion, that he who with us})elieves in attainments through victory notfor the sake of greed, but for glory in victory,can see no objection to obstacles which hecan overcome, but rather pleased with theobstacles lest he be found sleeping in thesame bed as the slothful. There is there-fore no excuse in accepting a failure anddrinking out of the same cup which a grum-bler takes up, when a clean bed can be hadwith that which is good in store. That whichis best is in abundance and it will never run
  52. 52. 45out. And it is not very far from these bor-ders where that the wisest are found, andwhere the foolish are not found. •<F1N1S.!>-
  53. 53. 46 We fill Send Complete in Every Respect a Model of OnrGURCULID CBTGHER, Delivered Free at our Express Office to any Address on Receipt of $2.00. This Model is a Diminitivk Yktt^Tt nnnm •B- UiVL Uj i CATCl Mth the Jar, put up in a small box and any person who can make a gate can make one by it pur- chaser to pay express — charges. J^v our Catcher 15 Trees can be Jarredand the Curculio Destroyed, all in tenminutes in common practice. ELIPHAS COPE, Rogers. Ohio.
  54. 54. 47 ^Vrile ^ for ^ Term5^ o< TO >>VAUGHN. BONSALL & CO., -< MANUFACTURERS OF >Pure Bone Meal, Bone Meat Phosphate,Banner Hone Pliiispliate, Dissolved * Bone, •<ANDt>» CKUSHEI) mi POULTRY FOOD,PLUM AND PEACH TREES A SPECIALTY.
  55. 55. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS DDDD^D=^17bE w^r^jm