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The ranch. [volume] (Seattle, Wash.) 1902-1914, November 01, 1910, Image 4

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn98047754/1910-11-01/ed-1/seq-4/

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(All inquiries for information from this
Department should be addressed to
No. 3 Howe Street, Seattle.)
Stephen Peter, Gault, Colorado,
writes under date of Sept. 12th, the
following interesting letter: "For
a year and a half 1 have been a sub
scriber to The Ranch, and for a little
while before an occasional reader of
that very good publication. The oc
casional reading of the Horticultural
Department of The Ranch was the
chief thing that led me to become a
subscriber. I have always prized
these articles for their manifest in
tegrity and high degree of common
sense. Though lam not yet a fruit
grower, but expect to be shortly, still
I have been more or loss in touch
with it in different places where 1
have lived.
In one of yoor articles early in 1909
you called attention to an apple named
Smokehouse that was supposed to be
a seedling of the old Vandevere of
Doleware and Pennsylvania because
of its resemblance to that variety. I
have thought that this apple (the
Smokehouse) is the same as that
grown in the first orchards in north
oentral Indiana that were planted 60
or 70 years ago, and which we called
the Little Vandevere to distinguish it
from the large Vnndevere or Vandevere
pippin. When a good sized boy 25 or
30 years ago 1 remember distinctly of
picking those apples for winter use
and enjoying their good qualities. As
1 remember the two apples were
similar in some respects. The Little
Vanderere of course was smaller and
of different shape, being a little longer
from stem to blossom in proportion
to its cross diameter than the Vande
vere pippin, and had more red, in
fact, it was a very well colored apple,
and while its flavor was similar to the
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The JR^anclv
horticultural Department
Edited by F. Walden.
large Vandevere, its meat was of the
character of the Rome Beauty. Its
keeping qualities, I believe, were
But the large Vandevero or Vande
vere pippin, regarded as one of the
very best apples for winter and late
keeping 1 have ever known, and why
it is not generally grown is more than
I can understand, unless it would be
because it may be a shy bearer. But
1 hardly think this the case, for the
only tree I have seen of it since leav
ing Indiana, over 120 years ago, at
Sheldon, Washington, ten years ago,
was loaded with good sized healthy
looking apples. It was a large apple
in shape and color about like the
Rome Beauty, but in quality much
better. It was one of the very best
cooking apples, its meat was yellow,
very firm and juicy, and along in
February its eating qualities were
Another apple that I prized equally
well if not better as an eating apple
was what we calJed the little Bell
flower. It had a color that would
rival the "Banana," and an aromatic
flavor that would dispute the plaoe of
honor with the much-boomed Deli
cious as a high class dessert apple.
Would appreciate exceedingly your
comments in The Ranch—or by letter
—on what you know of these apples.
A Pennsylvania writer deolares
Mazzard roots for propoßating cherries
are the only satisfactory one for the
orchard. He says that while Mahaleb
roots do best in the nurseiy row, and
nuiserymon prefer to grow them for
that reason, they are absolute failures
in the orchard because of their short
life. Would you kindly explain in
The Ranch the terms Mazzard and
Mahaleb and state which is preferable
tor the orchard."
The interest shown by Mr. Peter and
the amount of information he has
secured about such matters shows
him to be the right man to grow fruit
and 1 believe lie will succeed admir
ably. One trouble with far too many
men who go into the business of fruit
growing is tbat they do not take
enough interest in the matter and do
not post up on such matters. I pre
dict a brilliant success for Mr. Peter.
If he will.pardon the pun, 1 think he
will never "peter out."
The preentage of the appple known
as the Smokehouse is not known. The
original tree was a chance seedling
found growing in the garden of
William Gibbons, Lampeter township,
Lancaster county, Pa. The original
tree grew near Mr. Gibbons' Smoke
house, hence the name. There is no
evidence that it is a seedling of the
old Vandevere and the only grounds
for such a conjecture is the fact that
it resembles that variety, but it might
do that without the seed from which
the original tree grew having been
produced by the Vandevere. The
book styled "Apples of New Yoik"
says that the apple known as the
Vandevere and commonly called the
old Vandevere is different from the
Vandevere pippin.
What Mr. Peter called the little
Vandevere which he knew in north
central Indiana, could not have been
the Smokehouse for I have the Smoke
house and the old Vandevere both
growing in my experimental orchard
and they are practically of the same
size but differ in other respects. They
differ in shape and in color. The
Smokehouse is the longer of the two
apples and has a more distinctly
yellow color. What he says about the
high quality of the old Vandevere
both as a cooking and dessert apple I
can fully indorse. The reason why
the Vandevere is not grown to a
greater extent is in my judgment the
faot that it is not a red apple. With
the exception of the Yellow Newtown
and the YeJlow Bellflower no apple
will sell as well in the markets of to
day if yellow or white as those varie
ties that are red. Even the Golden
Russet, so veiy high in quality, is
passing out of use. "The Big Ked
Apple" is all the ro now. Whether
this condition will continue 1 do not
now but suspect that it will. The
Yellow Bellflower is more or less
slighted in Seattle markets because of
its color. Only the Yellow Newtown
among all of the light colored apples
is holding its own and this famous
apple is not doing that in some local
ities. What apple is meant by fiiend
Peter which he calls the little Bell
flower Ido not know. It might be
the Golden Russet but that is a mere
The Mazzard and the Mahaleb
cherries are two varieties of seedling
cherries that are imported from
Southern Europe, mostly from France,
.■mil are used for stocks upon which
to bud our commercial cherries both
sweet and sour. The chief ground of
their use is that they do not sprout
as other seedlings do. I know that
the Mazzard is regarded as the better
of the two but that the tree* grow on
Notwithstanding the very heavy
plant of fruit trees in our own nur
sery and in practically every other
nursery in the Northwest, it now
seems apparent that there will be
just as great a scramble for many
varieties as prevailed last season
when long before planting time,
nearly every nursery was out of
standard sizes.
The facts are, the stand of trees
in nearly all nurseries is consider
ably less than last year, and the de
mand keeps on apace. Instead of a
75 to 90 per cent stand such as was
common last year, many blocks
today show 50 per cent or less.
In our own case we planted more
than twice the trees we put in in
1909, so notwithstanding the less
percentage we still have trees to
sell in most varieties. However,
it's not wise to wait. If our sales
man fails to see you at once, drop
us a line.
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