OCR Interpretation

The ranch. (Seattle, Wash.) 1902-1914, March 01, 1905, Image 4

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn98047754/1905-03-01/ed-1/seq-4/

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S. Y. Bennett, of Puget, Wash., un
der date of Feb. 17, writes as follows:
"I am a new and interested reader of
your horticultural department of The
Ranch and I would like to ask you if
you know where I could buy scions
of the Jonathan and the Arkansas
Black? Also if you know of some
good book on the subject of top work
ing? I would like very much to get
one." I do not know positively where
Mr. Bennett can get the scions that
he wants, except from myself. We
don't care to engage in that line of
business, but as a matter of accom
modation we can furnish such cut
tings at $1.00 per 10U, delivered to the
express office. Each scion will make
four or five grafts. So far as I know
there is no book devoted exclusively
to the subject of top working. There
is a good article on top working in
the Yearbook of the Department of
Agriculture for 1902, beginning on
page 245. It will pay any one who
contemplates that kind of work to
get hold of this article and read it.
And let me say, right here, that every
progressive farmer ought to get these
yearbooks. They will cost him noth
ing. How can he get them? Write
to your congressman and he will send
it to you and be glad to do so. It
costs him nothing to do so. His
"frank" carries the book- to you free
of all charge.
* * *
"The Nursery Book," by Prof. L. Y.
Bailey, of the New York experiment
station, will tell how to do this kind
of work. If you want it write to The
Ranch office, 37G Colman block, Seat
tle, Wash., and the book will be se
cured for you. While The Ranch does
not keep such books in stock, yet we
can get any good book on any phase
of farm work and furnish it at the reg
ular retail price. We do not covet
this kind of work, yet we are here
to serve.
* * *
E. G. Grindrod, of Ellensburg, Wash.,
a valuable patron of The Ranch and
a thoroughly up-to-date gardener and
fruit grower sends, under date of Feb.
= FREE =
Great Crops of
and How to Grow Them
The BOOK that Is worth its weight in
GOLD because it tells how Big Crops of
Fancy Berries can be grown every year and
how to market them at a Big; Profit. It
contains the Latest Discoveries in Plant
Breeding and has 110 beautiful engravings
of berries and berry fields, showing Actual
Results obtained by progressive growers. It
tells how to Start a Profitable Berry Farm
with a small capital. It Is invaluable to
the experienced fruit grower and gives
Plain Instructions for the beginner. Don't
order your plants until you Read Thin Book.
It Is Free. Spnd your addrpns to tho
It. M. KETXOOG CO.. Box 565.
Three Rivers, Michigan.
11, the following query: "I inclose
a copy of an article from the Scien
tific American. It will explain itself.
I have in times past read considerable
of this so-called seedless apple, but
always considered it somewhat mythi
cal, or at best as lacking complete
verification. Admitting the truth of
the said article, what do you think of
the idea of the apple being codling
moth proof on account of being bloom
less?" I have read the article in
the Scientific American referred to by
friend Grindrod. and can say that
there is no doubt that such an apple
exists. But much of the article is
the worst kind of "tommy-rot," and
this will appear before I get through
with this matter.
* * *
Before answering this query as to
the seedless apple referred to, I want
to say some things in general. Any
new thing has to run the gauntlet of
ridicule and hard knocks. This per
haps is a good thing, for in this way
the worthless is most likely to be
killed off, but not always. That which
is really meritorious is apt to win
in the long run, but sometimes, like
truth, it may be crushed to earth, but
will rise again. John F. Spencer, of
Grand Junction, Col., has introduced
the seedless apple referred to in this
article. A company has taken hold
of this apple and it is proposed to
propagate them by the thousands,
even the millions, and sell them to
the fruit growers of the world at
enormous prices. This whole thing
smacks of a commercial graft. It is
supposed by the men who are exploit
ing this apple that many fruit grow
ers will almost fall over themselves
to get this wonder. No doubt but many
a man will be deceived by this system
atic advertising into buying this apple
to his sorrow. There is but one thing
in favor of this apple that has either
truth or merit in it, and that is that
it is seedless. It is not claimed that
it is superior in quality to many ap
ples that are now grown with seeds
in them. I do not believe that any
man with any regard to truth will
claim that it is equal in quality to
many of our well known apples, such
as the Grimes, Spitzenberg, Rome
Beauty, Jonathan and many others.
The highest praise said in its favor,
so far as quality is concerned, is that
it has a flavor similar to the Wine
sap. Others claim that it is far from
being as good as this old well-known
apple. They say that it is a hard
apple, like the Lawyer or Delaware
Red Winter, and never gets mellow
and delicious. But if it should prove
to be all that is claimed for it —
good as the Winesap—it still must
take its place a long way from the
top of the list. I would much rather
have a good apple with seeds than a
poor one without.
* * *
This apple has been pretty thor
oughly discussed in the leading fruit
and farm journals of the country, such
as the Rural New Yorker, the West
ern Fruit Grower, the Pacific Fruit
World, the Practical Fruit Grower
and many others that come to The
Ranch office as exchanges. The lead
ing horticulturists of the United States
have had their say and with scarcely
an exception have condemned the ex
travagant claims put forth in favor
of this so-called new apple. It has
been abundantly shown that seedless
apples are no new thing under the
sun. I have picked seedless apples
in my own orchard quite frequently
and can do it again. Such things are
freaks of nature. If Mr. Spencer can
originate a seedless apple as good as
the Spitzenberg or the Jonathan, as
prolific, as large and as good a keeper
as the Ben Davis, then we will take
off our hats and cry "bravo." But
if he can't do that, but will originate
such an apple with seeds in it he can
still have the distinction of being at
the head of the class. So long, how
ever, as your apple is of medium qual
ity and possibly worthless, has never
been tried away from Grand Junction,
may not be a good keeper and possi
bly in some localities not prolific, you
will have to wait awhile, brother i
Spencer, before you take your place
with Luther Burbanks or Peter M.
But if the apple is worm proof is
not that a great thing in its favor?
Yes, but it is not. The writer in the
Scientific American has this to say
on this point: "Still, what is more to
the point of economy, apples without
seeds are also wormless, for it is
well known to growers that worms
in apples obtain their sustenance not
from the meat, but from the seeds;
hence it is evident that if a worm
was hatched in a seedless apple, it
could not live." It would be a difficult
thing to crowd more misstatements
into the same space than is done here
if the attempt were made. Worms
are not hatched in apples, but always
outside of the apples. Again, worms
do not live on seeds, but on the meat
of the apples. It is true that they
sometimes eat into the seeds while
they are young and soft, but more than
one-half of the worms that enter the
apples never touch the seeds at all.
The last brood of worms scarcely ever
touch the seeds. If any one thinks
differently let him examine their work
as I have done and he will see that
this is true. After the seeds become
black and hard the worms do not eat
them. If it were true that without
eating the seeds the worms could not
live it would be a blessed thing for
fruit growers for most of the last
brood would die off. We find worms
in our apples to some extent as late
as November and they are lusty and
healthy, but have never touched a
seed. The Scientific American is a
very able and valuable paper, but hor
ticulture does not usually come within
the scope of its investigations. The
management of the paper has, in this
case, been imposed upon by some one
who is as ignorant of practical horti
culture and entomology as a goose is
of astronomy.
This codling moth question is so
vital to the fruit growers of our warm
valleys that I will be excused just
here in making some corrections that
seem to be intimated in the study
of this seedless apple question. When
the life history of this insect began
to be studied quite a number of mis
takes were made that more careful
study has corrected. As many of the
first brood of worms were found to
enter the apples at the blossom end
it was guessed that the fly laid its
eggs in the blossom end at the time
of blooming. Nobody yet had found
the eggs anywhere, so this was pure
conjecture and has been proven false.
The facts are that the eggs are laid
mostly on the leaves during the egg
laying of the first brood and mostly
on the apples in the second period.
Then they are not laid at the time
the trees are in bloom. This is not
guess work but the result of close
and careful study of this insect at
work in our orchards. Now to the
proof of this. In March, 1903, that
prince of men and one of the best
entomologists in the country, Prof. C.
V. Piper came into the Yakima valley
to prepare the way for the study of
this insect in our orchards. He visit
ed the writer and staid over night
with him, when our plans were com
pleted. After returning to Pullman
college, where he held the position of
professor of entomology, he wrote me
and proposed to have one of his as
sistants come to my place and make
his headquarters with me while he
studied the codling moth in the Yaki
ma valley. At my suggestion his as
sistant made his headquarters at
North Yakima, but made my orchard
one of his points of study. Eldred
Jenne was chosen for this work and
I doubt if a better man could have
been found for this difficult task. He
is studious and most thoroughly de
voted to his work. He spent four
months in carrying on his investiga-
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* * *
* * *

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