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Full text of "The American peach orchard; a sketch of the practice of peach growing in North America at the beginning of the twentieth century"

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AGRIC, DEPT. 



THE AMERICAN 
PEACH ORCHARD 



Other Books by the Same Author 

LANDSCAPE GARDENING 

PLUMS AND PLUM CULTURE 

FRUIT HARVESTING, STORING AND MARKETING 

SYSTEMATIC POMOLOGY 

DWARF FRUIT TREES 
THE AMERICAN APPLE ORCHARD 

THE LANDSCAPE BEAUTIFUL 
BEGINNERS' GUIDE TO FRUIT GROWING 



The American 
Peach Orchard 



A Sketch of the Practice of Peach 
Growing in North America at the 
Beginning of the Twentieth Century 



By 

F. A. WAUGH 

n 



Fully Illustrated 



NEW YORK 
ORANGE JUDD COMPANY 

LONDON 

KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., Limited 
1913 



\A) 3 



COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY 
ORANGE JUDD COMPANY 

All rights reserved 



ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL, 
LONDON, ENGLAND. 



PRINTED IN U. S. A. 



Inscribed to 
FRED COLEMAN SEARS 

Schoolmate, Friend, Colleague in Teaching 
and Partner in Peach Growing 



284592 



PREFACE 

The rapid specialization of all the fruit-growing 
industries in North America has made the produc- 
tion of peaches an art by itself. To keep pace with 
such specialization it has been found expedient to dis- 
cuss the management of the several fruit crops in 
separate monographs. Peach growing is now a 
large and important industry and deserves a book 
of its own. 

The demand for such a book has existed for sev- 
eral years, but special difficulties have been experi- 
enced in meeting it. The work of preparing such a 
book was undertaken by the late Charles Wright of 
Delaware, and by the late Prof. W. G. Johnson of 
the Orange Judd Company, but both gentlemen 
died leaving the manuscripts unwritten. The writer 
has, indeed, experienced many tedious and troublesome 
delays, but has finally brought the work to completion 
through the help of many kind friends. In writing this 
book he has called to his aid a large number of prac- 
tical peach growers in all parts of the United States 
and Canada, whose help and advice he wishes most 
cordially to acknowledge. To interpret properly their 
wide and varied experience has been the author's prime 
endeavor. 

F. A. WAUGH. 
Massachusetts Agricultural College, 1913. 



Elberta 

Last summer when we parted, sweet 

Elberta! 
You looked quite fair enough to eat, 

Elberta! 

Yet this for absence may atone, 
Since last we met you've fairer grown ; 
Yes, though you have a heart of stone, 

Elberta, you're a peach! 

Your cheeks reflect the sunset glow, 

Elberta! 
Your rounded outlines please me so, 

Elberta! 

Your breath is sweet as summer dew; 
Your life blood richly flowing through 
Imparts a matchless charm to you. 

Elberta, you're a peach! 

You've caused me many an aching pain 

Elberta! 
I swore you never would again, 

Elberta! 

Your ripening beauty tempts like wine; 
Yet though your charms were all divine 
Touch not your downy cheek to mine; 

Elberta, you're a peach! 

I would not mar your bloom so fresh, 

Elberta! 
Nor bruise the fairness of your flesh, 

Elberta! 

I promised my right worthy mate 
That I would be most temperate, 
And gaze on you with thought sedate; 

Elberta, you're a peach ! 

I would devour you with my eyes, 

Elberta ! 
But gazing never satisfies, 

Elberta! 

Soon in your flesh so rosy bright 
I'll set my teeth most sharp and white, 
For when you're peeled you're out of sight; 

Elberta, you're a peach! 

Mabel Stoartz Withoft, in American Florist 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter Page 

I. PEACH-GROWING GEOGRAPHY 1 

II. CLIMATOLOGY 12 

III. SOILS AND EXPOSURES 32 

IV. How TO GET THE TREES 43 

V. ORCHARD PLANTING 57 

VI. GENERAL MANAGEMENT 67 

VII. COVER CROPS 82 

VIII. THE USE OF FERTILIZERS 93 

IX. PRUNING AND RENOVATION 105 

X. INSECT ENEMIES 120 

XL DISEASES OF TREE AND FRUIT 134 

XII. SPRAYING 143 

XIII. MARKETING THE CROP 160 

XIV. THE FAMILY ORCHARD 179 

XV. BOTANICAL AND POMOLOGICAL STATUS 185 

XVI. CHOOSING VARIETIES 191 

XVII. VARIETY CATALOG 198 

XVIII. THE NECTARINE 210 

XIX. UTILIZING THE FRUIT 213 

XX. HISTORICAL SKETCH 233 

INDEX . ._ 237 



PEACH GROWING GEOGRAPHY 

THE peach is generally understood to be a tree of 
southern climates. Its geographical distribution, 
therefore, runs to the southward of the apple, and 
yet the difference between the northern limit of 
peach culture and the northern limit of apple culture 
is much narrower than would justify the common 
opinion. As a matter of fact, the peach will grow 
successfully in all those central latitudes Avhere the 
apple is most successful. There are a few commer- 
cial apple orchards north of the limit of peach cul- 
ture, but there are not many. 

Beginning at the northeast, a few peaches can be 
grown in protected localities in southwestern Maine. 
The line marking the northern limit of peach cul- 
ture then passes across New Hampshire, leaving a 
few orchards in the southeastern part of that state. 
Vermont is practically outside the peach district. 
Peaches may be grown in all sections of Massachu- 
setts except high altitudes and in the northern 
towns. Passing westward, we find the northern 
limit of peach culture turning northward along the 
Hudson River to about the region of Saratoga and 
Albany, N. Y. The line then swings southward 
around the mountains, and northward again to the 
region of the Great Lakes. The lake region of New 
York has long been engaged in the peach business, 
though in recent years its importance in the markets 
has been eclipsed by heavy crops from many other 
localities. 

Passing westward, the line of limitation now en- 



;2, L ;C; Yi'THB AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

ters Canada to include an important peach-growing 
section in the Niagara district of Ontario, lying at 
the head of Lake Ontario, and a less prominent one 
on the northern shore of Lake Erie toward the 
western end. The peach district also includes south- 
ern Michigan and southeastern Wisconsin. The line 
then tends southward, touching the southern border 
counties in Iowa, passes across Nebraska, Colorado 
and Utah, and after an important break in crossing 
the Cascade and the Coast ranges of mountains, runs 




TWO-YEAR-OLD MASSACHUSETTS ORCHARD 

upward along the Pacific coast into British Co- 
lumbia. 

There is a southern limit also to the cultivation of 
the peach, though this is less well marked and less 
important. The ordinary varieties of peaches will 
not succeed on the low, warm lands of Florida and 
other sections immediately bordering the Gulf of 
Mexico. Certain varieties of the Peen-to type carry 
the limit somewhat farther south, but these varieties 
have never gained any standing in the commercial 
markets. 

It will be seen, therefore, that the peach-growing 
region occupies practically the entire United States, 



PEACH GROWING GEOGRAPHY 3 

with the exception of the northern tier of states, and 
that in two places the northern limit runs up into 
Canada. It is indeed a fact that the peach is pecul- 
iarly the fruit of the United States of America. It 
is grown much more extensively and more success- 
fully in this country than in other parts of the world. 
More good named varieties have originated in the 
United States than in all the rest of the world put 
together. In Europe the peach is only a hothouse 
luxury, while in Persia, China, and Asia generally 
(the original home of the peach) its culture is so 
crude as not to compare with what we have in 
America. 

The distribution of peach cul-ture throughout the 
United States, however, is by no means uniform 
within that zone marked off by the northern and 
southern limits as described above. There are many 
places where peaches cannot be grown at all, and a 
great many more where they are not grown to any 
considerable extent. The distribution of peach cul- 
ture is extremely spotted. If one could put down 
the peach-growing regions on the map of the United 
States, it would look as though the country had 
broken out with the hives. 

These local developments of peach culture are de- 
termined by various conditions, which conditions are 
very various and deserve critical study. So far as 
the writer knows, no pomologist has yet given the 
matter the close attention it deserves, and no one 
has pointed out the reasons for the curious localiza- 
tion of peach growing, except in a few special and 
minor instances. 

Speaking very roughly, we may say that some of 
these local peach sections have been developed on 
account of favorable soil conditions. It may be that 
two or three counties or a dozen farms are espe- 



4 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

cially favored in the way of peach soils, and these 
advantages being recognized, the peach has been de- 
veloped in these particular sections. 

In other cases the cultivation of peaches has been 
localized by the presence of favoring bodies of water. 
The peach is notoriously sensitive to winter freezing 
and to damage by spring frost. Both of these elements 
of climate are ameliorated to some extent by prox- 
imity to large lakes, and this doubtless accounts for 
the development of peach culture in such regions as 
the Niagara district of New York, the lake shore of 
western Michigan, and in the Niagara district in 
Ontario. 

In a good many cases, however, the determining 
reason seems to have been extremely human. There 
have been men at the bottom of the whole business. 
These men have had faith in peach growing, faith 
in themselves, and the brains and the grit to make 
a success of the business. Nearly all industries, 
especially agricultural industries, go by neighbor- 
hoods. When two or three men succeed in a given 
line, they open up a market for their products and at 
the same time they teach their neighbors the 
methods of growing and selling. Thus a great many 
industries are developed more because there are 
suitable men to take the lead than because natural 
geographical or meteorological conditions are espe- 
cially favorable. 

It may be worth while to run over the map hur- 
riedly and point out where some of these small 
peach-growing districts are located. It is mani- 
festly impossible in a small compass to make a com- 
plete and comprehensive statement of the question, 
so the peach-growing localities pointed out in this 
essay must be accepted merely as samples of what 



PEACH GROWING GEOGRAPHY 5 

may be found on careful and detailed study of the 
map of any particular peach-growing state. 

Beginning on the northeast, with Massachusetts, 
we find that the commercial development of peach 
culture is confined almost wholly to the town of 
Wilbraham and its immediate vicinity, in the south 
central part of the state. In Connecticut, the prin- 
cipal peach-growing regions are in the Connecticut 
Valley, in New Haven and Hartford Counties, and 
to some extent along Long Island Sound. The 
towns which have received most notice are, South 
Glastonbury, Wallingford, Middlefield and Durham. 

In New York state, the principal peach-growing 
regions are along Lake Ontario, in Wayne, Monroe, 
Orleans and Niagara Counties ; along Lake Erie ; in 
the central lake regions along the shores of Lake 
Cayuga, Lake Seneca, Lake Canandaigua, and Lake 
Keuka ; and in the southeastern portion of the state, 
especially in Ulster County. In New Jersey, 
peaches are grown extensively and in most parts of 
the state, and although the southern part has had 
the reputation in the past of being the peach-growing 
region, orchards are now being developed exten- 
sively in the north central portion of the state, espe- 
cially in Hunterdon County. 

The southern central portion of Pennsylvania sup- 
plies the chief peach-growing section of that state, 
including York, Adams, Franklin and Cumberland 
Counties. The old peach-growing region of Mary- 
land was along Chesapeake Bay, where, in fact, 
peaches are still grown extensively, although there 
is no part of the state where peaches do not succeed. 
The recent successful commercial development has 
been in the mountains of the western section, espe- 
cially in Washington County. Delaware, being a 
small and very uniform state in the very center of 



6 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

the peach district, can hardly be divided up into dif- 
ferent sections. Peaches are grown commercially 
all over the state. 

As we go southward into Virginia, we find, as we 
might naturally expect, that the peach-growing 
region recedes from the coast toward the moun- 
tains. Therefore the best peach regions are among 
the foothills of the Blue Ridge, and especially in the 
Piedmont section and the Shenandoah Valley. In 
West Virginia, Hampshire, Berkeley, Morgan and 
Mineral Counties have become noted for the com- 
mercial production of peaches. This in general 
means the extreme eastern panhandle of the state, 
although peaches are grown locally in many other 
parts of West Virginia. 

In North Carolina, peaches are grown commer- 
cially in small spots, especially among the foothills 
of the mountains. The central districts about 
Southern Pines, Candor and Leavitt have grown 
the most peaches in recent years. South Carolina 
also has important peach districts in the neighbor- 
hood of Ridge Springs, in Spartanburg County, in 
Aiken County and elsewhere. 

Georgia has received more notice as a peach- 
growing state in recent years than almost any other 
spot on the map of North America. This has been 
on account of the large development of orchards in 
the central portion of the state. The points most 
mentioned have been Marshallville, Fort Valley, 
Rome and Mount Airy, the last being in the north- 
ern part of the state. 

Considerable quantities of peaches of the Honey and 
Peen-to types are now being grown in northern and 
central Florida, though the common kinds of this fruit 
are hardly known in that state. 

In Alabama, peach-growing regions have been de- 



PEACH GROWING GEOGRAPHY 7 

veloped in Cullman County, Winston County, and 
the northwestern portion of the state generally. 
Mississippi has not gone so far as neighboring states 
in modern commercial peach growing, though fruit 
is produced successfully in many parts of the state, 
particularly in the northeastern section. 

The principal peach-growing section of Ohio is 
along the shores of Lake Erie, in the northern part 
of the state. Kentucky peaches are produced mostly 
in the eastern and western portions of the state. In 
eastern Kentucky, there are many small spots along 
the foot of the mountains where peaches grow very 
successfully, although in the past the principal 
orchards have been developed along the lower levels 
in the western portions of the state. Tennessee also 
has its thousands of acres of splendid peach land, 
both along the foothills of the mountains of east 
Tennessee and in the Cumberland Valley. The 
localities where peaches are now mostly grown are 
Bradley County, Rhea County, Hamilton County 
and McMinn County. 

The peach-growing industry has been developed 
for a great many years in Michigan, the bulk of the 
crop coming from the shores of Lake Michigan and 
southwestern counties. Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, 
Grand Haven, South Haven and St. Joseph have 
been generally known as peach markets. The prin- 
cipal peach-growing regions of Indiana are in Wash- 
ington County and the southern portion of the state. 
In like manner Illinois grows most of its peaches in 
the southern one-third of the state. 

Iowa is generally considered outside the peach 
belt, but a few counties in the southern tier and 
especially in the southwest corner of the state have 
developed a considerable peach business. Missouri 
is extremely varied in topography and thus presents 



PEACH GROWING GEOGRAPHY 9 

a particularly spotted appearance with regard to the 
production of peaches. The southern counties of 
the state in the Ozark region for instance, Howell 
and Oregon Counties have made special reputation 
in the past few years. There are, however, many 
such localities throughout the southern half of the 
state and along the Missouri River where peaches 
can be successfully grown. Likewise Arkansas has 
made a mark in the peach trade during the past few 
years, the districts particularly attracting attention 
being those in the hilly northern portions of the state. 
The regions along the Arkansas River in the western 
part of the state including Crawford, Franklin, 
Sebastian and Johnson Counties have been planting 
large orchards, and bringing them into successful 
bearing. 

In Nebraska and Kansas peaches are a fairly un- 
certain crop, but they are grown chiefly in the east- 
ern counties. The eastern counties of Oklahoma 
grow peaches successfully, but no commercial dis- 
tricts have been developed to the extent of receiv- 
ing special notice. Many places in Texas grow this 
crop with success, but the most important commer- 
cial sections recently developed are in the north- 
eastern portion of the state about Tyler, Morrill, 
Jacksonville and Garrison. 

Colorado, Utah, and the other states of the Rocky 
Mountain regions grow quantities of very fine 
peaches, but the sections are usually small and con- 
fined to narrow valleys, between the mountains, 
where excellent soil, irrigation facilities, and protec- 
tion from winds combine to produce most favorable 
conditions. 

In Oregon, the conditions are somewhat the same 
as in the Rocky Mountain section ; that is, the peach- 
growing districts are highly localized by conditions 



IO THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

of soil, irrigation and protection by mountain chains. 
The noted fruit-growing sections in the Willamette 
Valley, the Hood River Valley, the Rogue River 
Valley, and the Umpqua Valley, although their rep- 
utation rests chiefly on the production of apples, also 
grow peaches very successfully. 

California has long been known as a peach-grow- 
ing state, having produced quantities of peaches for 
consumption throughout the central and eastern 
states. The Sacramento and the San Joaquin val- 
leys are generally known as the chief peach-growing 
regions, but Fresno and Placer counties, and many 
other sections of the state produce peaches commer- 
cially. 

What does all this peach geography mean to the 
man who wants to grow peaches and trade them for 
silver dollars? Does it mean that he must move into 
one of these highly developed localities and merge 
his business with that of the successful men who 
have already established reputations? This depends 
a good deal on the man and on his present sur- 
roundings. Doubtless the beginner who is foot- 
loose would do better to produce peaches where he 
knows that peaches can be grown and where some 
one else has done the pioneer work of developing 
methods and opening up markets. From the nature 
of the case, the production and marketing of peaches 
can be better managed in those localities where the 
trade is centered. 

At the same time, there is a fine opportunity for 
any man who is a level-headed fruit grower to pro- 
duce and market peaches in regions outside the pres- 
ent recognized peach districts. There are in this 
country hundreds of thousands of acres of land 
which will grow peaches successfully and which 
have never yet been tested. If a man is willing to 



PEACH GROWING GEOGRAPHY II 

make mistakes, and can afford the expense of doing 
it, he has the chance to develop a local market of 
his own and make good money out of it. It is rather 
important, however, in going into the business in 
this manner to have a suitable local market in view. 
In the big peach-growing centers the sale of the 
product depends upon long shipments, and these can 
be most successfully arranged in those districts 
where the offering of a large product gives the op- 
portunity for special fruit trains, refrigerating sta- 
tions and all the highly organized facilities of mod- 
ern marketing. 

As a matter of fact peaches ought to be grown 
much more extensively for local markets. The peach 
is a fruit which suffers severely from long ship- 
ments, and it has been in many ways a misfortune 
that the modern peach-growing industry has been 
so largely developed in the wholesale way. Those 
men who are able in the next few years to develop 
small orchards in localities where the peach is not 
now grown, and who can place their product directly 
upon the home markets, without the damage of long 
shipments, and without the expense of multiplied 
middlemen, will find more profit in it than many of 
the big growers in the most famous peach regions. 



II 

CLIMATOLOGY 

THE principal horticultural fact in the climatology 
of the peach js the relative tenderness of the tree 
toward cold. The peach is generally rated as dis- 
tinctly less hardy than the apple tree, though com- 
mercially considered this difference is less than the 
popular imagination has painted it. Practically 
speaking, the northern limit of commercial peach 
growing does not lie so very far south of the north- 
ern limit of commercial apple production. Still, 
it does lie distinctly to the south, and the peach tree 
is obviously more tender during severe winters than 
the apple. 

Twenty degrees below zero may be taken as the 
practical limit of cold resistance for the peach. 
When temperatures run lower the peach trees are 
always in danger and usually sustain greater or less 
damage. The amount of this damage is influenced 
by many collateral circumstances, chiefly the fol- 
lowing: 

1. Duration of the cold weather. Long-continued 
low temperatures do greater injury than those which 
last for only an hour or two. 

2. Varieties. Some varieties are considerably 
hardier than others. 

3. Condition of trees. Vigorous, healthy, well- 
grown trees will stand a good deal of freezing, while 
weak, starved trees and those which have been al- 
lowed to overbear will die outright in very mod- 
erate weather. It has often been claimed that peach 
trees easily make a too vigorous growth, and that in 

12 



CLIMATOLOGY 13 

such cases the new wood does not mature properly 
and is therefore especially liable to winter injury. 
The writer, by extended experiments and observa- 
tions on this point, has fully satisfied himself that 
this danger either does not exist or has been greatly 
over-magnified. The instances of trees made sus- 
ceptible to winter injury through too much vigor 
are rare ; the cases of damage through weakness and 
starvation are to be seen by thousands every year. 
Good orchard management should endeavor to se- 
cure sound wood with well-formed terminal buds 
before the leaves fall in autumn, but any further 
worry on this point would be like the anxiety of a 
man who should fear that his pigs or calves were 
growing too fast. 

4. Character of the soil. Trees on deep, well- 
drained soil will stand more freezing than those on 
thin, dry land or on heavy, wet land. 

5. Ground protection. In certain cases the pro- 
tection of the ground by snow or by a good cover 
crop helps the trees materially to withstand inclem- 
ent winter weather. 

It is possible at this point to make a distinction 
of no very great significance between two forms of 
freezing damage which occur on peach trees. The 
first form is that of twig injury, only the tips of 
young and immature twigs being killed. This may 
be really serious, but is not so grave a matter as the 
second form, which consists in the killing of main 
branches or trunks. Even in the latter type of 
damage, and in what appear to be extreme cases, 
trees may make recovery. That is, they will not die 
outright, but may be rejuvenated and made to bear 
commercial crops for several years. They will be 
weakened, however; the tops will be straggling and 
ill-balanced, the trunks will usually be black and 



14 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

dead at the core, and the trees will soon break down 
under loads of fruit or stress of wind. This ques- 
tion of the recovery of frozen trees is treated fur- 
ther in the chapter on Pruning, page 116. 

The northern limit of peach culture has been de- 
fined as the line of twenty degrees below zero. 
As a matter of fact, the peach is grown in home 
gardens in an amateur way as far north as those 
regions where twenty-five degrees below zero is an 
experience of every few years, but commercial 
orchards are hardly a safe proposition where even 
twenty degrees below zero may be expected every 
winter. 

There is also a southern limit to peach growing, 
and if this limit is not so precise, it is none the less 
positive. The southernmost areas in the United 
States, for example, are outside the peach belt. This 
fruit is practically unknown along the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, and in Florida can be grown only on the highest 
lands in the most northern counties. Peaches of 
the Honey type, and especially of the Peen-to groin 
(see page 188), may be grown much farther south 
than the common sorts ; but as these are not market 
varieties and never likely to become such, we may 
understand that the southern bound of the peach 
section runs approximately along the northern line 
of Florida, across the southern counties of Alabama 
and Mississippi, crosses Louisiana somewhere 
amidstate and sets off a zone of 50 to 100 miles wide 
all along the Texas coast. In Arizona, New Mexico, 
and California the limits of peach culture are fixed 
by a multitude of local conditions so variable and so 
complex that they cannot be safely stated in general 
terms. 

The commercial grower of peaches, however, is 
not so much interested in the extreme limits of cul- 



CLIMATOLOGY 15 

ture as in the range of profitable peach growing. 
Looking at this question, we find that this fruit suc- 
ceeds over a great range, and that the limits of suc- 
cessful commercial culture run pretty close to the 
actual bounds of physiological safety on both the 
northern and the southern edge. Perhaps it will be 
instructive to make a comparison with the apple, a 
fruit which has been much more carefully studied. 
We may say, then, that the commercial culture of 
the peach runs not quite so far north as the suc- 
cessful culture of the Baldwin apple and as far south 
as the successful culture of any kind of apple. Now 
Dr. J. K. Shaw has shown that the best development 
of the Baldwin apple lies along that line which re- 
ceives an average temperature of fifty-six degrees 
during the growing season, March to September. 
The most southern apple zone, that in which such 
distinctively southern varieties as Yates and Shock- 
ley succeed, is characterized by a longer growing 
season and by an average summer temperature of 
sixty-six to sixty-seven degrees. So we may say 
that these two thermal zones mark the real bounda- 
ries of practical peach growing. 

Our comparison with the apple ought to be car- 
ried one step further in order to bring out an impor- 
tant difference. In the studies already referred to, 
Dr. Shaw has shown that for each variety of apple 
there is an optimum summer temperature, and that 
most varieties come to their best development only 
when grown pretty closely under these conditions. 
Thus the luscious Grimes is at its best when it has 
an average summer temperature of sixty-two de- 
grees, the Yellow Newtown pippin requires an aver- 
age of sixty degrees, while Northern Spy gets along 
with only fifty-five to fifty-six degrees. 

The various varieties of peaches, however, are 



l6 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

much more versatile. Carman or Mountain Rose 
or almost any other variety may be grown in full 
perfection from central Georgia to central New 
York and Michigan. There are some varieties, of 
course, which are plainly local in their preferences; 
but such localizations do not seem to be due chiefly 
to requirements of temperature. It is possible, of 
course, that a closer study of the physiology of the 
leading varieties of peaches will reveal more definite 
preferences, and that further experience will tend to 
localize varieties, as it has in the field of apple 
culture; but it still seems fairly certain that all the 
standard varieties of peaches may be grown indif- 
ferently over a pretty wide range of territory. 

KILLING OF BLOSSOM BUDS 

The commonest form of winter injury occurs in 
the killing of the blossom buds, rather than in the 
outright killing of the trees. This trouble is more 
frequent for the simple reason that the blossom 
buds are killed by much shorter and milder periods 
of freezing. 

Bud killing falls into two very distinct cases, and 
the distinction at this point is of material impor- 
tance. In one type of injury the buds are killed by 
freezing while in a more or less dormant state dur- 
ing the winter; in the other type the buds are killed 
by frost after they have partially or fully opened. 
Temperatures of nearly twenty degrees below zero, 
sometimes more, are necessary to kill dormant buds 
of hardy varieties during the winter. On the other 
hand a frost which lowers the temperature to 
twenty-eight or thirty degrees for an hour or two 
at blossoming time will sometimes serve equally 
well to wipe out a crop and make the peach grower 



CLIMATOLOGY 17 

postpone for another year the purchase of his new 
automobile. 

These two forms of bud killing have often been 
confused in the discussions of peach climatology, 
but such confusion is wholly unnecessary. Special 
attention should be drawn to the fact that the killing 
of peach buds by late spring frosts is distinctly a 
local trouble, and that the localities seriously affected 
are much less widely distributed than is popularly 
supposed. There are thousands of square miles of 
good peach country in North America where bud- 
killing spring frosts are unknown, and thousands 
of miles more where they are so infrequent as to be 
almost negligible. There are other regions, to be 
sure, where the crop is too often lost in this stage; 
but on the whole the peach-growing industry has 
suffered a serious slander in this matter. 

Winter freezing of buds cannot be prevented by 
any methods which are practicable in commercial 
orchards. In small private gardens, where a little 
extra trouble and expense can be put to the prob- 
lem, reasonably good results can be attained. These 
methods all look toward the protection of the buds and 
the young wood from the action of the cold weather. 
The simplest attempts are made by wrapping the 
fruiting branches of the trees just as they stand in 
the garden, in much the same manner as rose bushes 
are sometimes wrapped for winter. 

One of the commonest and best materials is corn 
stalks, which are tied on the fruiting branches in 
large bundles ; or the whole tree may be completely 
encased in corn stalks until it becomes one immense 
corn shock. Coarse swale hay is also used very 
appropriately for this purpose. Other materials 
which come in suitably to this undertaking are floor 
mattings, old clothes, gunny sacks and newspapers. 



l8 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Newspaper is a famous non-conductor of heat, as 
everyone knows who has ever buttoned a paper un- 
der his coat to save him on a cold ride. A modern 
Sunday paper furnishes material enough to cover 
several trees four layers deep. The colored "art" 
supplement is especially recommended for weak and 
diseased trees. A certain farmer told me that he 
always used Republican papers on his trees, but he 
did not state that this was because of their superior 
insulating properties. 

A more elaborate method of protecting peach trees 
in that geographical zone where they are liable to 
winterkilling, consists in laying them down upon 
the ground and covering them there. The writer 
has seen this method practiced with entire success 
with such success, in fact, as to make it a profitable 
commercial transaction. With this method in view 
the trees should be headed low and should be main- 
tained with small bushy heads, but not too thick. 
The laying down should be practiced every year, be- 
ginning with the third or fourth winter. 

The method is as follows : Just before the ground 
freezes a trench is dug about 5 feet long and 18 
inches deep along the south side of the tree and 3 
feet distant from the base of the stem. A similar 
trench is dug parallel with the first and running 
along the north side of the tree. The roots encoun- 
tered in digging these trenches, especially the north- 
ern trench, are cut off with the ax. The tree is then 
pulled over to the southward until it lies practi- 
cally flat on the ground. It is pinned in this posi- 
tion by two or three forked pegs carefully driven 
over the main branches. The entire top is then cov- 
ered with any good material which happens to be at 
hand. The best of all material, wherever it is avail- 
able, is evergreen boughs. In sections where a rea- 



CLIMATOLOGY 19 

sonably heavy snowfall may be expected, the snow 
is the chief dependence, but the evergreen boughs 
are needed to catch and hold the snow. When pine, 
spruce or hemlock trimmings are not to be had, corn 
stalks, straw or waste hay can be used. Unless the 
snow drifts can be induced to lie upon the peach 
trees this covering of corn stalks or hay will have 
to be pretty liberal. 




TREES LAID DOWN FOR WINTER 

As late as possible in the spring, usually after the 
blossom buds begin to open, the covering must be 
removed and the trees set upright again in their 
places. It will be necessary to hold them erect by 
tying them to strong stakes or posts set to north 
and south of each tree ; and it is of considerable im- 
portance in making these ties to see that the ropes 
do not chafe or cut the trees. Usually the trees will 



2O THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

have to be protected with burlap bandages under 
the rope ties. Moreover, these stays usually require 
readjustment and repair several times during the 
summer. It is a taxing and puttering job, and no 
one should undertake it who does not like to be al- 
ways fussing about in his garden. There are a good 
many such men ; and it will not be quite off the point 
if I add here that I never knew a mean or dishonest 
man in the lot. 

Perhaps those who have not tried it will be shocked 
at the severe root pruning involved in the prescrip- 
tion. It is true that three or four main roots have to 
be severed in preparing some trees for laying down. 
But root pruning is just exactly what these trees 
need under the circumstances. The tops require to 
be closely pruned to keep them in bounds for the 
laying down process, and the root pruning only 
serves to restore the balance between top and bot- 
tom. If it happens to go somewhat farther in 
particular cases its influence is to induce greater fruit- 
fulness in the trees, and a high degree of fruitful- 
ness is plainly to be desired in trees with which 
so much pains are taken. The timid amateur horti- 
culturist will be further reassured when he begins 
digging for the second year's laying down, for he 
will find that the tree has very largely repaired his 
supposed injury by the formation of great masses of 
fine active fibrous roots. Thus when this practice 
is carried out annually certain trees soon become 
habituated to it, as it were, and thrive under it. 

A somewhat different method of arriving at the 
same end was invented several years ago by an old 
Vermont friend of mine, Mr. Joseph Macomber, a 
very capable horticulturist in many ways. By this 
method Mr. Macomber has been able to eat his own 
Vermont-grown peaches almost every summer for a 



CLIMATOLOGY 



21 



good many years. The tree is taken in hand during 
its first year in the garden and the main stem is bent 
to a horizontal position, the bend being made as 
near the ground as possible. The tree is then trained 
so as to develop this horizontal trunk to a length 
of 6 or 8 feet in a manner very much like that em- 
ployed in training horizontal pear or apple trees. 
It is simply necessary to have a wooden rod or pole 
set horizontally at the proper height (8-14 inches) 
from the ground, and to keep the young leader tied 
to this as the tree stem grows. This will require a 
little attention every week or ten days during the 
rush of the growing season. 

When this main stem has reached a horizontal 
length of 6 or 8 feet it is given another right-angled 
bend and turned to its natural upright direction. 
On this upright shoot the head is formed in the usual 
manner. The complete tree, therefore, consists of a 
normal bushy head connected with a normal root 8 
feet to one side by an abnormal horizontal trunk. 

By a simple, safe and 
easy process of tor- 
sion this head can 
now be turned side- 
wise down to the 
ground, staked there 
and covered in the 

***'S*WSBSBBL same manner as de - 

scribed for the fore- 
going method (page 
19). When the blos- 
soms begin to open in 
the spring the cover- 



MR. MACOMBER'S METHOD OF TRAINING 




22 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

* 

ing can be removed, the tree top easily returned to an 
upright position, tied to its necessary stake, and the 
summer begun in the pleasant prospect of a crop of 
peaches in September. 

This method of Mr. Macomber's avoids the rude 
necessity of trenching and root pruning, accomplish- 
ing the same ends by milder practices. The annual 
laying down and setting up is rather easier; but it 
need not be forgotten that this is partially offset by 
the labor of training the tree to form its peculiar 
horizontal trunk. And once more it may be observed 
that these methods are only for the devoted ama- 
teur gardener, not for the cow farmer nor the com- 
mercial fruit grower. 

DAMAGE BY SPRING FROSTS 

The killing of opening buds or expanded blos- 
soms by late spring frosts is quite another story, 
and a serious one, especially for the reason that 
it most frequently occurs in regions where peach 
growing is otherwise safe and profitable. The 
methods already outlined for the prevention of dam- 
age by winter freezing will usually serve also to 
carry the trees past danger of spring frosts, though 
not always. But these methods are too difficult 
and expensive to be of much avail in commercial 
orchards, so that when spring frost injury is to be 
directly prevented different methods are adopted. 
Those most widely used are whitewashing, smudg- 
ing and heating. 

WHITEWASHING 

The method of protecting peach trees from frost 
by whitewashing seems to have been invented by 



CLIMATOLOGY 23 

Dr. J. C. Whitten, of the University of Missouri. 
At any rate Dr. Whitten has been the chief exponent 
of this method and has made the most extensive ex- 
periments with it. It consists in spraying the bear- 
ing parts of the peach tree with whitewash during 
winter and spring on the theory that the white stems 
reflect instead of absorb the heat from the sun's rays. 
It has been shown by Dr. Whitten and other experi- 
menters that the blooming of peach trees and other 
fruits is dependent upon the local absorption of heat 
and is almost absolutely independent of root ac- 
tion. For instance, the branch of a fruit tree brought 
into a greenhouse will blossom even while the por- 
tion of the tree outside the greenhouse is exposed to 
zero temperatures and while the roots still stand in 
frozen soil. 

The experiments have shown further that peach 
twigs which have been whitened will actually main- 
tain a temperature several degrees lower than twigs 
covered with black or left in their natural color. 
Furthermore and this is by far the most important 
practical test the blossoming of peach trees is ac- 
tually retarded by this method by a period of from 
2 to 10 days. Dr. Whitten has recently stated that 
in the orchard of the Missouri Experiment Station 
peach trees have been treated by the whitewashing 
method for 10 successive years. This treatment has 
been given to alternate rows, adjoining rows of trees 
being left always without treatment. During this 
lo-year period there have been four good peach 
crops and five failures on the non-treated orchard 
and one partial crop. The whitewashed rows have 
failed but twice during the same time. In other 
words, the treated trees have yielded three crops 
more in 10 years than the untreated trees. In this 
connection one should not overlook the fact that a 



24 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

crop saved in a year of general disaster brings a 
large price in the market, so that these three extra 
crops of peaches may be credited with more than 
average returns. 

The method has not been widely adopted, though 
it is rather hard to see why it should not be more 
popular. Whitewashing is easy and cheap, and the 
results seem to be such as to pay well for the work. 

Whitewash for treating peach trees is made in the 
usual way from stone lime, the object being, of 
course, to get the heaviest coating of white lime on 
the peach twigs. It has been found that the white- 
wash will adhere better if a considerable amount of 
skimmed milk is added to the water. Salt will also 
serve the same purpose. The whitewash is always 
applied with a spray pump, using a fine nozzle. 
From two to four sprayings are commonly required, 
though the former number is likely to suffice, if ap- 
plied at the proper time; that is, just before warm 
weather may be expected in the spring. From four 
to six quarts of whitewash are required for the treat- 
ment of each tree at each spraying. Dr. Whitten 
estimates that the total cost of four sprayings does 
not exceed 10 cents a tree. 

In this connection we should not entirely lose 
sight of the fact that there are occasional beneficial 
secondary effects from this lime spraying. It has 
long been customary among unskilled farmers to 
whitewash trunks and branches of fruit trees with 
a view to kill insects and fungi. This purpose is 
actually served to a considerable extent. Mr. W. 
T. Macoun in his Canadian experiments found that 
spraying with whitewash in the manner recom- 
mended for frost protection would almost com- 
pletely clear apple trees of oyster shell bark lice. It 
would seem feasible, furthermore, to combine the 



CLIMATOLOGY 25 

whitewash treatment with the spring application of 
lime-sulphur so essential in fighting the San Jose 
scale. 

SMUDGING 

There has long been a theory among fruit grow- 
ers that orchards could be protected from late spring 
frosts by the use of smudges. The principle on 
which this treatment rests is that a heavy blanket of 
smoke lying over an orchard prevents the radiation 
of heat from the soil and that a slight economy of 
heat secured in this way at the proper time will be 
sufficient to save the trees from damage. This 
method has probably been used more frequently in the 
United States for the protection of citrus orchards 
than in any other connection. It has never proved 
very successful nor found general favor in actual 
practice. It is doubtful if any practical peach 
grower of sound judgment is placing any reliance on 
this method at the present time. 

It is to be observed in connection with this 
method, of course, that the purpose is to produce 
a smudge and not a heat. Material is used, there- 
fore, which emits a dense smoke rather than that 
which blazes and burns easily. The old-fashioned 
method is to start a series of fires along the wind- 
ward side of the orchard using good strong burning 
kindling at the outset. As soon as these fires are 
fairly under way they are blanketed with consider- 
able quantities of wet brush, wet hay, old, damp 
straw or any similar material which is conveni- 
ently at hand. 

ORCHARD HEATING 

In recent years there has come into somewhat 
extensive use in certain sections, especially in Rocky 



26 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Mountain districts, a different method, namely, 
orchard heating. This method depends upon the 
direct temperature secured by burning the neces- 
sary amount of fuel in the orchard. Four fuels have 
been generally used: (a) wood, (b) coal, (c) bri- 
quettes, (d) oil. 

Where wood is plentiful and cheap, as it is in 
many sections of the Rocky Mountain states and the 
west coast, it is prepared in convenient sizes and 
placed in piles throughout the orchard ready for 
lighting. When frost is threatened these piles are 
fired and the blaze kept going by the addition of more 
wood until the sun warms the air beyond the danger 
point. 

In many sections coal is available at a low price 
and can be used in the same manner, except that 
special fire pots are usually required. These are 
offered for sale by western manufacturers and serve 
to burn the coal rapidly and economically. The 
usual estimate is that where coal can be had at $2 
to $3 a ton, this method will be more economical 
than the use of oil at $5 to $6 the 100 gallons. There 
is a good deal of argument over this point, however, 
the estimate not being accepted by all fruit growers. 

Briquettes which are not available in many parts 
of the country, vary considerably in composition, so 
that their value cannot be easily estimated. They 
are composed of coal dust, tar, sawdust and other 
refuse materials made into the size and form of 
ordinary building bricks. If they have a consider- 
able proportion of good inflammable material, they 
will burn well and give a reasonable amount of heat. 
They are not widely used, and not likely to be. 

The standard fuel for heating is oil. However, 
there are many different kinds of oil and many 
grades in the market, and one of the most serious 



CLIMATOLOGY 2? 

problems at the present time is to secure the right 
kind. Experience agrees that only the best grade of oil 
should be used, oils with a paraffin base being 
greatly preferred to those having -an asphalt base. 
The best of these pass under various commercial 
names such as "smudge distillate" and "slop distil- 
late." Oils which leave a considerable amount of 
unburned residue are difficult to use and less eco- 
nomical than the higher priced oils. In many cases, 
also, the oils are found to be mixed with a greater or 




SIDE-HILL STORAGE FOR OIL 



less proportion of water, which is a serious detri- 
ment. The water makes the fires sputter, and in 
many cases causes the pots to boil over. In every 
case, of course, the water absorbs a large amount of 
heat from the fire during its evaporation, thus wast- 
ing the fuel enormously. 

At the present time it does not seem possible to 
direct any fruit grower to any particular brand of oil 
which he can buy with the certainty that it will be 
perfect. It is necessary, therefore, for every man to 
take the most stringent precautions on his own be- 
half, remembering that the high-priced oils are 
pretty certain to be better than the cheap, heavy oils. 



28 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

If a car of oil can be allowed to stand for 48 hours 
after delivery before it is drawn off from the tank, 
the oil will largely separate and leave the water at 
the bottom. The oil can then be dipped or drawn 
off the top, leaving a certain amount of water be- 
hind. This same precaution, however, ought to be 
exercised by the shippers before the oil is forwarded. 

When the oil is received it is usually necessary to 
store it in some sort of a tank. Two types of tanks 
are now in common use: (a) cement, (b) galvanized 
iron. The cement tanks are generally preferred, 
where they can be constructed. They should be 
placed at some distance from other farm buildings 
on account of the dangerously inflammable character 
of the oil which they are to hold. Such tanks should 
always be arranged so the oil can be drawn off by 
gravity into the tank from which it is distributed 
to the orchard. If the storage can be placed on a 
fairly steep side hill, it will be possible both to fill 
and to empty this reservoir by gravity. Such an ar- 
rangement is obviously most economical. 

The typical method of using is to burn the oil 
in small galvanized iron pails about the size and 
shape of a ID-pound lard pail. The ordinary com- 
mercial pail holds about one gallon of oil, but larger 
sizes are offered in the market and are preferred by 
some growers. Various modifications of this form 
have been invented and patented and are now being 
sold in large quantities. Each has its advantages 
and its disadvantages. One of the most important 
improvements is the introduction of an air draft by 
which the oil is more fully consumed. The best 
heater is the one which gives the most hot flame and 
the least smoke, for in this method the smudge is 
not sought for, the object being to heat the air di- 
rectly. 



CLIMATOLOGY 




OIL BURNERS FOR ORCHARDS 



3O THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

These fire pots are placed throughout the orchard 
early in spring before the danger season arrives. 
They are used at the rate of from 50 to 100 to each 
acre, and it seems to be good practice to lean toward 
a larger number. It is sometimes claimed that 15 
to 20 heaters to the acre will do the trick, but experi- 
ence does not sustain this view. 

Some care needs to be exercised also in placing 
the individual burners so the flame will not injure 
any tree. They should not be placed, for instance, 
directly beneath an overhanging branch. The natu- 
ral and proper place for the burner is at the center 
of the square equally distant from four trees, but 
this precise spot is not always available. In all such 
cases judgment must be exercised, which simply 
means that cheap hired help cannot be used for 
setting out the oil burners. 

It is usually desirable to have some definite plans 
for frost warning. In sensational magazines it is 
easy to read stories about automatic frost alarms 
which touch the button and ignite all the oil pots 
by an electric current, thus taking care of the or- 
chard while the owner snores comfortably in bed. 
Such stories, however, are useful only for the con- 
sumption of credulous and unsophisticated city peo- 
ple. An automatic frost alarm working like a $i 
alarm clock has its value, but should not be de- 
pended upon wholly. The local weather service and 
the telephone exchange can usually be interested in 
this matter in any fruit-growing district, and have 
been known to give invaluable help at times of dan- 
ger. At any rate, it is necessary for the orchard 
owner to be very much on his guard at the critical 
season, and if necessary to sit up nights watching 
his own orchard. 

As soon as it appears that a frost is imminent the 



CLIMATOLOGY 31 

fire pots have to be lighted. If there are several 
acres of orchard with 50 to 100 pots to the acre, this 
becomes somewhat of a chore of itself, as the work 
has to be done rapidly and at two or three o'clock in 
the morning when the land is apt to be dark and 
the work otherwise unpleasant. Special lighting 
torches have been patented and are offered for sale, 
and these are probably well worth while. At any 
rate it would be found very trying to strike a sep- 
arate match for each fire pot. 

This method of orchard heating has apparently 
come to stay. In all those regions where there is 
constant danger of late spring frosts and where con- 
ditions are otherwise favorable, this seems to be 
the most certain and economical method. Some- 
thing depends, however, upon the topography, upon 
the presence of currents of air and other local con- 
ditions. A good deal remains to be learned about 
orchard heating, and even after the general princi- 
ples are better understood than they are today, there 
will always be need of careful adjusting of the 
methods to the requirements of each particular 
orchard. 



Ill 

SOILS AND EXPOSURES 

THE American fruit books have always promul- 
gated the theory that the peach tree requires a light 
soil. In fact, a sandy soil has often been mentioned 
as the most desirabe type, though this has nearly 
always been modified to exclude poor, dry, sandy 
land and such as is deficient in plant food. Prob- 
ably this represents the popular conception of good 
peach land, but the experience of leading peach 
growers in the United States in recent years does 
not altogether bear out this theory. 

As a matter of fact, the peach tree does prefer a 
reasonably light, warm soil. A fair comparison 
would be made by saying that the peach should 
have soil somewhat warmer and lighter than that 
required for the apple. No fruit tree will flourish 
on soil that is wet. Proper drainage is absolutely 
indispensable. Both upper soil and subsoil must 
be free from water, and an impervious subsoil any- 
where within 2 or 3 feet of the surface will render 
the land worthless for peach growing. While it is 
true that peaches have been grown to some extent 
in light, sandy soil, such locations have been suc- 
cessful only when the soil contained also a reason- 
ably large amount of available plant food. 

A study of the situation as it prevails throughout 
the whole United States shows clearly that the 
lighter, warmer soils are more successful in the 
northern states, while farther south heavier soils 
are more commonly chosen. This fact appeals to 
horticultural judgment as being sound in theory 

32 



SOILS AND EXPOSURES 



33 



also. In general, however, the question sums up in 
the statement that peaches require medium soils, 
neither very light nor very heavy, and that, espe- 
cially in the southern states, any well-drained soil 
of good physical texture will be successful with 
peaches, no matter how much clay it contains. 

An old rule which has often been given by the au- 
thor for the choice of apple soils cannot go very 



CLEARING STONY PEACH LAND, HALE ORCHARDS 

tar wrong also in the choice of peach soils. Ac- 
cording to this method of judgment, one would 
choose for apple growing any soil which is thor- 
oughly well adapted to potato growing. In the 
middle and the northern states this means rich loam 
and gravelly well-drained soils. All such land, 
however, is well suited to peach growing also, and 
if we modify the rule in favor of somewhat warmer, 



34 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

lighter, sandier soils for northern climates, we will 
have marked out a standard of judgment which 
will be fairly safe in selecting peach lands anywhere 
north of Pennsylvania, Missouri and Kansas. 

In order to give a somewhat simpler basis of com- 
parison to a wider geographical range, we may say 
that so far as soil quality is concerned, land well 
suited to corn and cotton growing will prove satis- 
factory for peaches. This refers to the quality of 
the soil only and not to the location, altitude or ex- 
posure. The best corn lands, to be sure, are often 
the flat bottoms along rivers, whereas peach orchards 
succeed only on similar soils placed on higher eleva- 
tions and suitably drained slopes. 

My friend, Mr. H. J. Wilder, of the U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, when asked about this subject 
of soils for peaches, made the following statement : 

"It is a matter of common observation that 
peaches require a deep, mellow soil ; but what con- 
stitutes those conditions on a soil that could be 
classed as fairly strong, thereby favoring a satis- 
factory growth of tree to yield a maximum amount 
of high quality fruit, with lowest cost for maintain- 
ing the productivity of the soil, is not so easy to 
determine. Bed rock anywhere near the surface is 
bad, though stones do no harm. Many orchards in 
West Virginia, western Maryland and Pennsyl- 
vania are underlain by unbroken shale at 18 to 30 
inches. They suffer in all weather extremes either 
wet or dry. Impervious, clayey subsoils are nearly 
as bad. Friable clay loams or sandy clays are the 
heaviest subsoils that should be used, and when 
overlain by a foot or so of sandy loam or fine sandy 
loam, they give good results. Many of the Georgia 
orchards are so located. 

"A desirable range of soils adapted to peaches 



SOILS AND EXPOSURES 35 

might be thus stated: A surface soil ranging from 
sandy loam to a friable, mellow, light loam from 8 
to 12 inches deep, underlain by a subsoil ranging 
from heavy, sandy loam to very friable clay loam. 
Light, sandy soils underlain by subsoils equally light 
are in much less favor than formerly. They are too 
susceptible to lack of moisture to maintain a uni-- 
form tree growth, and in a dry year the average 
grower rarely secures fruit equal in size to that 
from a soil somewhat more loamy. With a loam 
surface soil the subsoil should not be heavier than 
a loam. A friable and mellow clay loam or loam 
subsoil, on the other hand, is desirable where the 
surface is a sandy loam or sand, unless early ripen- 
ing is desired, in which case a lighter subsoil might 
enable one to gain- a day or two in the marketing 
of early varieties an advantage which at times 
would prove very profitable. 

"Good color of fruit is most easily obtained on 
light, sandy soils. Good size of fruit and yield to 
the acre are most easily secured on soils more loamy, 
such as fine, sandy loams and light, friable loams. 
On the latter soils, well-balanced soil management 
and open pruning will help the coloring. In general 
such a combination will probably yield the highest 
profits, though varieties vary somewhat in their 
adaptation to soils." 

Taking up the country throughout, a great diver- 
sity of soils are available for peach growing, al- 
though they nearly all fall under the broad defini- 
tions given above. In the New England states light, 
sandy or gravelly soil is nearly always preferred. 
This is commonly spoken of as light, sandy loam, 
though it must be remembered that the soils of New 
England are so diverse and are located in such small 
areas that it is very difficult to specify closely. 



36 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

In New York state, the preference for sandy or 
gravelly loam is still more emphatic. The value of 
a clay subsoil, very widely recognized in states far- 
ther south, begins to make itself felt in the more suc- 
cessful peach regions of New York state. In New 
Jersey the sandy or gravelly type of soil is preferred, 
underlaid either with gravel or friable clay. In Del- 
aware and Maryland, the sandy loams of the Chesa- 
peake Peninsula are found to be excellent for the 
growing of peaches. About the only point to be 
guarded against in choosing soils of this type in this 
locality is a deficiency of plant food. Except in ex- 
treme cases such deficiencies can be made good by 
careful soil management, the use of barnyard 
manures, green manures, cover crops, etc. 

In the important peach regions of West Virginia 
and a part of old Virginia, special soils have been 
developed with great success. These are known as 
the black cherts and the sandy red shales. These 
soils, full to overflowing with small broken stone, 
and which seem to be on first sight almost impossi- 
ble of cultivation, have proved to be remarkably 
adapted to fruit growing, and especially well suited 
to peaches. 

In the Canadian peach regions, as one might 
expect, the sandy loams are particularly preferred, 
and open gravelly subsoils are found more satis- 
factory than softer clay. The same conditions pre- 
vail largely in the peach-growing regions of Michi- 
gan, where there are thousands of acres of sandy 
loam devoted to this crop. Gravel and clay lands 
are used more frequently than in Canada, and are 
not considered desirable unless exceptionally well 
drained and in the best of physical condition. 

In the central states, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee, the reddish clay and the roll- 



SOILS AND EXPOSURES 



37 



ing sandstone soils are generally preferred. This 
seems to be, however, more a question of topography 
than of soil composition. Throughout these central 
states the sandy and loamy soils are presented most- 
ly in flat, level prairies or in low-lying bottom lands, 




TYPICAL WEST VIRGINIA PEACH LAND 



which are unavailable for peach culture on account 
of altitude and exposure. 

The. famous peach regions of Georgia and neigh- 
boring states are mostly upon sandy loam with 
clay subsoil. There are, however, in these southern 
states many excellent peach orchards on red clay, 
meaning in this case the red soils of the rolling foot- 



38 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

hills. The light, sandy coast lands of the Carolinas 
are used to some extent for peach growing, but in 
general are not so successful as the red loams and 
clays on higher altitudes, as mentioned already. 
Once more, however, it should be pointed out that 
this is probably less a matter of soil than of topog- 
raphy. 

Texas and Arkansas are developing important 
commercial peach orchards at the present time, 
chiefly upon warm, sandy land or on sandy, alluvial 
loam underlaid with clay subsoil. In this latitude 
a certan amount of retentive clay is desirable either 
in the peach soil itself or within easy reach in well- 
drained and friable subsoil. 

In Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma light, warm, 
surface soils with strong subsoils are largely pre- 
ferred. In the mountain states where peaches are 
now an important crop the soils are extremely va- 
ried. It is impossible to specify any one type 
as representing the development of the peach indus- 
try in that section. Red, sandy loams have been 
found very successful in Colorado. The rich mesa 
soils are generally desirable, but this is partly on 
account of their value for irrigation. California has 
long produced peaches in commercial quantities, 
chiefly on deep sedimentary loams, usually of pro- 
nounced sandy type. A state, however, covering 
such a wide range of latitude and such great ranges 
of altitude, with such diversity of soil, would natu- 
rally use land of very different types. 

It ought to be said, in summing up this general 
consideration of peach soils, that the value of any 
particular type seems to depend more upon physical 
character than upon actual chemical composition. 
The plant food may easily be supplied in the form of 
fertilizer, since the peach tree is one of the easiest 



SOILS AND EXPOSURES 



39 



of all orchard trees to feed. The peach is, however, 
if anything more sensitive than the apple to defects 
of drainage or to the presence of hard, impervious 
strata of improper physical condition. 




GOOD PEACH LAND IN WEST VIRGINIA 
EXPOSURES 

All the farmers' institute speakers on orchard 
management, and on peach growing in particular, 
have from time immemorial made a great point of 
exposure. We refer here to slope, the direction in 
which the ground slants. The recommendations on 
this matter have been very positive, and the only 
trouble has been that they did not agree. A careful 
review of present knowledge shows conclusively 
that this point has been greatly over-emphasized. 



4O THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

So much would easily appear from the contradic- 
tory nature of the advice given. One peach grower 
(perhaps it would be better here to refer to peach 
lecturers rather than to peach growers) has insisted 
vehemently on an east slope; the next man has 
spoken earnestly in favor of a north slope, and has 
warned his hearers against the dire disaster which 
always comes to peach orchards on south slopes; 
while another lecturer or magazine writer has said 
that the south slope is best by all cdds. I have re- 
cently sent a questionnaire to leading growers in all 
the peach regions of Canada and the United States 
asking, among other things, which exposure they 
found best. With a deep suspicion that all this ex- 
posure worry was fol-de-rol anyway, I asked point 
blank this question, "Does exposure make any dif- 
ference?" The 152 replies to this direct question 
were distributed as follows: 

No, 60 

Yes, 49 

Not much, 43 

Probably these figures put the case quite as 
strongly in favor of the exposure theory as the facts 
would warrant. Michigan and New Jersey gave the 
largest number of votes in the "Yes" column, and it 
is fair to believe that exposure makes more real dif- 
ference in these districts than in some others. Yet 
the force of the positive answers (those voting 
"yes") is considerably weakened by the diversity of 
ideas among the voters. Some recommended north 
slopes, while other men in the same states recom- 
mended south slopes. 

As nearly as any guiding principles can be sifted 
out of this large mass of genuinely expert testimony 
the case seems to stand as follows. 



SOILS AND EXPOSURES 4! 

1. The importance of exposure has been greatly 
exaggerated. In a large majority of cases the points 
of the compass may be ignored. 

2. Nevertheless there are exceptions to this rule. 
These exceptions apply to particular localities. The 
question is an extremely local one. 

3. Slope is most important in middle latitudes, 
and in districts where weather damage (either from 
spring frosts or winter sun scald) is most frequent. 

4. South slopes may be desirable in infrequent 
cases, especially for early ripening varieties, or 
where high color is a matter of prime importance. 

3. North slopes may be best in a few cases where 
the principal dangers are climatic, especially the 
danger of sun scald. 

6. Most persons who consider exposure to be a 
factor in the location of peach orchards prefer east 
or west slopes, or frequently quartering slopes, as 
northeast, or northwest. 

7. Under any circumstances a moderate slope is 
to be preferred to a steep one, both with respect to 
the effect of the slope itself and especially with 
regard to the management of the soil. 

ALTITUDE 

The discussion of exposures is frequently con- 
fused with the question of altitudes. Sloping land 
gives much better air drainage than flat land; and 
high sloping land is therefore commonly preferred 
Tor orchards of all kinds, simply because the cold 
moist air easily runs off such territory to lower 
levels. This problem of air drainage, however, is 
quite a different one from the question of exposure 
toward particular points of the compass. All grow- 
ers prefer land slightly elevated and such as lies so 



42 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

as to have this good atmospheric drainage. Per- 
haps the value of this factor is also over-estimated 
in some cases, but it is well to be on the safe side 
in this matter. A good circulation of air probably 
has some value in keeping down certain diseases; 
and in localities where frost damage to buds and 
blossoms is to be apprehended during the spring, 
this air drainage has a most decided value. 

However, it is never safe to lose sight of facts, 
and the fact here is that many of the successful com- 
mercial orchards of the present day are growing on 
perfectly level land and sometimes at distinctly low 
altitudes. Bottom lands surrounded by higher hill 
lands do not come into this classification. 



IV 

HOW TO GET THE TREES 

THE first problem in starting a peach orchard is, 
of course, to get the trees. They may be bought or 
they may be propagated on the farm where they are 
to be grown. Each method has its advantages and 
disadvantages. Home propagation has generally 
been undertaken either by men starting large or- 
chard enterprises or by amateurs having small gar- 
dens. Those of the former class have had in view 
such advantages as reduction in cost of trees, cer- 
tainty of delivery when wanted, securing trees relia- 
bly true to name and immunity from damage which 
often occurs in shipment. Men of the amateur class 
have propagated their own trees for the sake of 
getting special varieties which they could not buy 
from nurseries, in order to have trees true to name, 
but chiefly for the fun of the work. 

Probably the home propagation of peach trees has 
fallen off considerably within the last few years, 
although it would be hard to prove this by statis- 
tics. There appears to be a growing tendency among 
the large orchard companies, however, to leave prop- 
agation to the nurserymen. The nurserymen really 
have many important advantages in growing peach 
trees, such as soils especially adapted to the busi- 
ness, experienced workmen, and all the facilities for 
digging and handling stock. The nursery business 
has been so well systematized in the last few years, 
errors in naming have been so largely eliminated, 
deliveries have so far improved, and the prices of 
nursery stock have been reduced so near to the 

43 



44 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

cost of production that it hardly seems feasible for 
the fruit grower to compete with the nurseryman. 
Either business is a big undertaking by itself and 
very few men can succeed in both lines, no matter 
how good their opportunities. 

However, the peach trees have to be propagated 
by some one, and a brief description of the best 
methods should be given here. This will be less 
directly useful to the nurseryman than to the ama- 
teur who amuses himself with a few trees in his own 
garden. This book is written primarily for fruit 
growers, and the author hardly has the presumption 
to suppose that he can teach the nurseryman any- 
thing about the propagation of peach trees. 

PROPAGATION 

The propagation of the peach tree begins with the 
planting of the seed. It must be understood at once 
that this seed is not intended to develop into a tree 
itself and reproduce its kind. The seed is simply 
planted for the growing of a stock which is after- 
wards budded to the desired variety. 

Any sort of peach seed will do, and the home gar- 
dener going at the business in a small way need give 
himself very little concern in selecting his pits. It 
will be well, of course, if he can secure seed from 
healthy, vigorous trees. Experienced growers have 
a prejudice in favor of taking seed all from one 
variety and some have especial preference for 
Crosby in this connection. However, this point is 
too trivial to occupy much attention. The two cus- 
tomary sources of supply for the big propagators 
are (a) the canning factories, (b) and the collectors 
of so-called southern "wild" seed. When peaches 
are canned at the canneries, the seeds taken out 
constitute a more or less important by-product. 



HOW TO GET THE TREES 45 

They are dried, packed and extensively sold to nur- 
serymen. These seeds vary enormously in quality. 
Some are very large and run few to the bushel ; 
others are small and give fully twice as many trees 
for each bushel of seed ; some have a high percent- 
age of viability ; others germinate very poorly. 

The southern or natural seed is collected from 
"wild" peach trees, mostly in North Carolina, South 
Carolina and Tennessee. These pits are much 
smaller than those from the budded varieties such 
as are sold from the canning factories. They there- 




YOUNG TREES INTERCROPPED WITH STRAWBERRIES 

fore yield from two to four times as many trees to 
each bushel of seed. This is a consideration of con- 
siderable importance to large propagators. The 
seed also gives a large percentage of germination 
and a very vigorous, even growth of stocks for 
budding. Nearly all nurserymen consider it dis- 
tinctly superior to the canning factory seed ; but the 
old theory that seed from a wild tree was necessa- 



46 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

rily stronger, hardier or healthier than that from 
the budded tree never was anything much but super- 
stition. 

The peach pits are bought in autumn and should 
be clean and dry when received. Customary prac- 
tice, at least among small growers, is to bury them 
in a moist, well-drained soil for the winter. They 
are placed in holes of any convenient size dug in the 
ground and covered with 4 to 6 inches of earth. The 
soil should be of such a character as to keep the pits 
moist, and the locality should be such as to prevent 
water draining into the hole and covering the pits 
during the winter. The seeds will freeze and thaw 
more or less during the winter. This has the im- 
portant advantage of cracking the hard shells and 
assisting materially in the germination. 

The pits are dug up at potato planting time in the 
spring, are sifted out of the soil and should then be 
immediately planted. In case the pits are not 
frozen, and so have not been cracked or softened, 
they may be gently cracked with a hammer before 
planting. This treatment, if carefully given, will 
greatly increase the percentage and evenness of the 
stand, but it is, of course, a slow and expensive job. 
Freezing is sometimes said to be necessary to 
germination, but this is not the fact. 

The seeds are planted in drills 3 to 3^2 feet apart 
so as to allow for horse cultivation. They are placed 
in the rows from 2 to 4 inches apart. They should 
germinate promptly and give a good even stand. 
The soil should be thoroughly and evenly worked 
and a liberal amount of fertilizer used. Indeed, the 
soil should be enriched before the seeds are planted. 
Applications of nitrate of soda between the rows 
during the early part of the summer will often be 
advantageous. It is of the greatest importance to 



HOW TO GET THE TREES 



47 



keep the young trees growing rapidly throughout 
the summer until budding time. For this reason 
seeds should never be planted except upon light, 
warm, well-drained, rich soil, in a high state of cul- 
tivation. The budding season begins, according to 
locality and weather, from August i to September 
i, and continues until perhaps the latter part of 
September. Whether they are ready for budding or 
not must be determined by inspection of the stocks 
themselves and not by reference to the calendar 
or consulting the moon. The trees should be grown 
to the size of a lead pencil or larger and be in a vig- 
orous state of growth, and the bark near the base of 
the stock should peel up easily when cut as the bark 
peels from a willow at whistle-making time. The 
easy slipping of the bark is the critical test. 

The propagator now supplies himself with a suit- 
able budding knife, with some strips of raffia and 
with scions in the form of budding sticks cut from 
reliable fruiting peach trees of the variety which 
he wishes to reproduce. Usually he takes with .him 
a healthy boy with freckles on his nose to do the 
rough work. The job then proceeds. 

The boy with the straw hat goes ahead and rubs 
the branches from the stocks for a space of 6 or 
8 inches above the ground. This work should not be 
done much in advance of the man who is setting 
the buds as it will cause the bark to "set." The 
budder carries his budding sticks over his back in a 
moistened sack, which serves the double purpose 
of keeping the scions moist and cooling his back 
against the blazing heat of the August sun. It 
really becomes something of a chore to creep along 
the ground for 10 hours a day during August with 
one's back turned directly toward the sunlight. 
Each budding stick is a shoot of the current year's 



48 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

growth, usually 12 to 18 inches in length and hav- 
ing at the base the diameter of a very small lead 
pencil. From this the blades of the leaves are 
clipped immediately when the stick is taken from 
the parent tree. The petioles of the stems of the 
leaves are left to serve a very useful purpose in 
setting the buds. 

The budder kneels or sits beside the row of stocks 
and begins his work by cutting a T-shaped incision 
through the bark of the stock, preferably on the 
shady north side and as near the surface of the 
ground as he can conveniently work. If the stock 
is in proper condition, the two lips of this incision 
peel up smoothly from the wood beneath, so as to 
allow the easy insertion of the bud. The propagator 
then cuts a single bud from his budding stick. This 
little bud has attached to it a shield-shaped portion 
of bark and the stem or petiole of the leaf. The 
shield is slipped down into the T-shaped opening 
made upon the stock and the budder slides along 
to the next tree, leaving the work to be finished 
by the boy already mentioned, who follows after 
and ties the bud securely in with a strip of raffia. 

These ties must be examined from time to time 
and should be removed as soon as the buds "take." 
This will usually be in one or two weeks. If the 
ties are not removed within a month, they will be- 
gin to choke the stocks, which continue to expand 
rapidly in diameter at this season. The tie is cut 
by running a sharp knife longitudinally up the stem 
of the stock on the side opposite to the bud. 

These buds should grow fast to the stocks within 
two or four weeks after setting, but under proper 
conditions will remain dormant through the first 
winter. They should start into vigorous growth the 
following spring. As soon as growth is assured, 



HOW TO GET THE TREES 49 

the stock should be smoothly cut off about an inch 
above the inserted bud. Care is required through- 
out the year to protect the bud from the encroach- 
ments of the stock. Very often suckers start from 
the stocks and quickly choke out the engrafted bud 
unless they are rubbed off. This work requires an 
inspection of the entire field with considerable care 
from two or four times during the early part of the 
growing season. 

JUNE BUDS 

For some years American nurserymen have been 
practicing a special method of propagating the 
peach, known as June budding. This differs from 
the process already described in the earlier inser- 
tion of the bud and in the different results which 
follow. The buds are set as early as possible in the 
season, which means in middle and southern lati- 
tudes, during the month of June. Of course the 
stocks are planted early and forced to their utmost 
growth in order to be ready for this extra early 
budding. While the bark of the stock does not 
slip as well during June as during favorable weather 
in August, it may, nevertheless, be handled success- 
fully by an expert budder. Some care is to be ex- 
ercised, moreover, in securing scions on which the 
buds are sufficiently mature for use at this time. 
It is customary to set the buds considerably higher 
in this form of budding and to leave a few good 
leaves on the stock below the bud. As soon as the 
bud has grown fast the top above the bud is cut 
away. Sometimes this is done at two or three oper- 
ations, a little at a time, as the Dutchman cut off 
his dog's tail, in order not to give the tree too severe 
a check. The raffia ties have to be removed very 



5<D THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

quickly, usually within 5 or 10 days, as the stocks 
are necessarily growing very rapidly at this season. 
The buds will now start into growth within two 
to four weeks after setting, and with a favorable 
season will make a growth of 2 to 4 feet in the same 
year they are set. Thus we come to the most im- 
portant practical advantage namely, that we can 
secure a merchantable peach tree one year earlier 
than can be done by the usual methods. These trees 
are universally known as "June buds." A few years 
ago when there was a special fever of peach plant- 
ing nurserymen produced enormous quantities of 
June buds in order to meet this special demand. 
At present the production of June buds is falling 
off considerably, partly because of reduced plant- 
ings of peach trees and also because fruit growers 
generally dislike to use them. The regular one-year- 
old trees, propagated in the usual manner, are dis- 
tinctly preferred by nearly all tree planters. June 
buds are chiefly used now in Tennessee, North Car- 
olina, South Carolina and Georgia. In the north- 
ern peach districts, such as Ontario and Michigan, 
they are practically never used. 

DWARF STOCKS 

A word should be said here with regard to dwarf 
peach trees. Few dwarf peach trees are known in 
this country. They serve, in fact, no very impor- 
tant purpose. They need not be expected ever to 
assume any importance in commercial peach grow- 
ing, but a certain number of dwarf trees are desired 
by the owners of the small gardens. Such dwarf 
peach trees are very valuable under such circum- 
stances and may easily be propagated. 

The general method of propagating dwarf peach 



HOW TO GET THE TREES 51 

trees is to set the buds on plum stocks. Almost 
any species or variety of plum will answer, but 
some are naturally much better than others. In 
Europe the Myrobalan plum is chiefly used, al- 
though St. Julien is sometimes recommended. Ex- 
perience in this country shows that native Ameri- 
can plums are usually much better adapted to this 
purpose. The two best dwarf stocks are the native 
American plum (Prunus americana) and the dwarf 
Western Sand Cherry (Prunus besseyi). Further- 




LOW-HEADED TREES HALE ORCHARDS 

more, these are the stocks which it is easiest to buy 
in a nursery. Peach buds are set upon such stocks 
in precisely the same manner as upon peach stocks. 
They grow very rapidly for the first year or two. 
Sometimes their growth even outstrips that of sim- 
ilar varieties on regular peach roots, and the gar- 
dener begins to wonder whether he has not been 
fooled on his dwarfing process. The second or third 
year, however, the dwarfing shows itself unmistak- 



52 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

ably. The trees, if properly handled, develop low 
round-topped bushes and come into bearing earlier 
than standard trees of the same varieties. 



BUYING TREES 

Most peach growers will find it strictly to their 
advantage to buy their trees from some reliable 
nurseryman. In saying this, however, we have 
given the most important specifications. If one deals 
with a thoroughly reliable nurseryman (and this in- 
cludes a great majority of the firms engaged in the 
business), most other matters may be referred to 
the judgment and advice of the man who sells the 
trees. 

There is a strong prejudice among peach growers 
in many parts of the country favoring locally grown 
nursery trees. This prejudice is particularly strong 
in the northern states. It is doubtful if it has any 
foundation whatever. Experience seems to show 
conclusively that the best trees will make the best 
growth regardless of where they spent their in- 
fancy. Conditions in the nursery trade are such at 
the present time that a large majority of all peach 
trees are grown in the southern and south-central 
states. These are distributed to all parts of the 
country, and very often the buyer who supposes 
he is getting northern grown trees simply because 
his bill is made out on a northern letterhead, is 
really planting stock which grew in Huntsville, Ala. 
Usually he is much better off than if the trees had 
been grown at the North Pole. The only advantage 
of buying trees from a local nursery is gained by 
minimizing the possibilities of injury in transit. A 
good many trees are carelessly packed, and when 
delayed during long freight shipments, dry out and 



HOW TO GET THE TREES 53 

are thereby seriously damaged. This danger is, of 
course, reduced by buying trees near home. There 
is, moreover, some satisfaction in dealing with a 
nurseryman who is one's own acquaintance, particu- 
larly if it so happens that the nurseryman is an old 
and trusted neighbor. These considerations need 
not be overlooked, but at the same time it is not 
necessary to claim that such home-grown trees are 
intrinsically superior to those grown a thousand 
miles farther north or south or east or west. 



AGE OF TREES 

Peach trees are planted at one year old. They are 
usually dug in the nurseries in the fall, sorted, 
graded, put into bundles and heeled in or placed in 
cold storage. Sometimes they are left standing in 
the nurseries and are dug early the following spring 
immediately before transplanting. In any case the 
important point is to see that they come through the 
winter in good condition. If they are frozen while 
standing in the nursery rows, or if they dry out in 
the trenches or in the storage house, they will come 
to the planter with distinct evidences of these in- 
juries, usually in the form of blackened bark. Some- 
times the bark is dead and will slip off the tree when 
pinched by the fingers. All storage damages of this 
sort are serious, and trees of this kind should be 
refused whenever offered.. 

A few growers still prefer a two-year-old peach 
tree, but in most cases it is safe to say that such 
preference indicates a distinct ignorance of the busi- 
ness. It is the opinion of nearly all fruit growers 
that any peach tree more than one year old is worth- 
less for planting. The June buds are here included 



54 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

as one-year-old trees, but as a matter of fact they 
are only half a year old. 

GRADES OF TREES 

Peach trees are graded in various ways. Some- 
times they are offered as first grade, second grade 
and third grade. In fact, this is a common method 
of selling. Doubtless it is feasible for a nurseryman 
to sort any block of trees into these three grades. 
First grade would then mean the best trees ; second 
grade would mean those of smaller size and less 
well-branched tops ; third grade would mean those 
which were still smaller and less symmetrical. Be- 
low these three grades there should still be certain 
culls to be thrown on the fire and burned. 

From the standpoint of the buyer, however, this 
classification into first, second and third grades is 
not satisfactory, and it has now been given up by 
most wholesale handlers in favor of the classification 
based strictly on the size of the tree. This is usu- 
ally given with respect to the height. Trees will be 
offered at 5 to 6 feet high at a certain price; those 
4 to 5 feet high constitute the next grade and are 
offered at a very slightly lower price ; those 3 to 
4 feet high form another grade; those 2 to 3 feet 
high another grade. Trees I to 2 feet high are sel- 
dom offered, but are by no means unknown in the 
trade. This grading into even feet is not recognized 
as having any special significance. Indeed, nursery- 
men often quote trees \y 2 to 3 feet high or 2^ to 4 
feet high according as their stock may justify. This 
is the best basis on which to classify and buy trees. 

Sometimes the measurement is given from the 
diameter of the stock just above the bud. Trees 
4 to 5 feet high should caliper y 2 to % inch and other 



HOW TO GET THE TREES 55 

grades in proportion. If one has given the height 
and the caliper measurement of trees, he can form 
some judgment as to whether they are tall and 
spindling, or short and stocky. Otherwise the cali- 
per measurements are of very little interest to the 
buyer. 

The important issue of the whole transaction is 
to secure healthy, vigorous, clean trees grown in a 
section where yellows is not prevalent, and other- 
wise free from diseases and insects such, as San 
Jose scale. It is also important, of course, to secure 
the varieties ordered true to name and to have the 
deliveries made when the trees are wanted. In ac- 
tual orchard experience these questions come up fre- 
quently and sometimes with great seriousness. 

NURSERY INSPECTION 

Along with the handling of peach trees as with 
other fruit trees the question of nursery inspection 
arises. At the present time some kind of nursery 
inspection is provided in nearly every state of the 
Union and most states require a certificate of such 
inspection before trees will be admitted to the state 
from outside. This inspection system has been the 
outgrowth of a good many years of careful experi- 
ment, both as to its practical entomological and its 
legal aspects. At the present time we have a fairly 
well-matured system, which is probably as efficient 
as any such system can be. Doubtless this inspec- 
tion serves to prevent to some extent the dissemina- 
tion of San Jose scale, yellows, rosette, little peach 
and other insects and diseases. At the same time 
it has its limitations. 

It is well known that this inspection is not per- 
fect, and nobody expects it ever will be. No in- 



56 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

spection will absolutely guarantee the freedom of 
the trees from diseases and insects, and most of all 
it does not pretend to say whether the trees are true 
to name and whether they are in a good merchant- 
able condition. In other words, the fruit planter 
must be the final and the most important judge of 
his own trees. If he cannot tell a dead or a diseased 
tree from a live and healthy one, he had better go 
into the retail clothing business. Peach growing is 
no profession for him. 



ORCHARD PLANTING 

THE planting of a peach orchard is as fine and de- 
lightful a job as a man ever undertook on a farm. 
The fruit grower comes to it with high hopes and 
bright anticipations. The work is pleasant in itself, 
and when well-organized goes on rapidly. 

The ground should be thoroughly prepared be- 
fore planting begins. This will usually require thor- 
ough, though rough, plowing the fall previous. Then, 
if planting is to be done in the spring, the land 
should be carefully fitted with the most appropriate 
tools immediately before planting begins. This 
selection of tools will depend largely on the char- 
acter of the soil. The choice may be either the 
spading harrow, the disk harrow, the spring-tooth or 
the smoothing harrow, or the land may be replowed 
if it is not too soddy. 

It is very important that the land be in a good 
state of cultivation and well plowed to a consider- 
able depth. This enables the young trees to make 
a good start, a thing which is very important in the 
setting of a peach orchard. Deep cultivation also 
increases the water-holding reservoir. This is im- 
portant throughout the life of the peach orchard. 
Thorough fitting of the land by the use of the tools 
already named is of great value also. A field in 
first-class surface condition can be more rapidly and 
neatly planted than one which is rough, half plowed, 
full of stones and stumps. 

The soil should be dry enough to work without 
puddling. Planting in wet, muddy soil may be a 

57 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 




ORCHARD PLANTING 59 

serious damage to young peach trees and is sure 
to cause a large percentage of loss in land which 
has a natural tendency to bake. On the other hand 
the soil should not be dried out to a powder. 

At this point we may refer to the old practice of 
watering the trees at planting time. There is no 
serious objection to the practice, nor is there any 
great advantage in it, especially if it is carelessly 
done. If watering is to be done at all a liberal 
amount should be given to each tree after the first 
shovelfuls of soil are thrown in, but before the filling 
in about the tree is completed. The water can be 
poured on at this middle stage of the planting, al- 
lowed to soak away and a fine soil covering applied 
a few minutes later. This, of course, causes extra 
trouble, and while it may be desirable when planting 
on a small scale, it is usually disregarded with profit 
when large orchards are being put out. 

TIME TO PLANT 

There has been a good deal of argument as to 
whether fall planting or spring planting is best for 
peach trees, but the question seems to settle itself 
practically without much difficulty. In some peach- 
growing latitudes fall and spring plantings succeed 
almost equally well. It depends a good deal on 
when the trees can be secured and the ground put 
into condition. Whenever good trees can be put 
into well-prepared ground anywhere between late 
fall and the beginning of the growing season, they are 
apt to succeed. Fall planting is undesirable in the 
most northern latitudes. It is very rarely or never 
practiced in Canada, Michigan, New York state and 
New England. It is also undesirable on heavy, cold 
land ; but such land should never be used for peach 



6O THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

orchards anyway. Fall planting is largely pre- 
ferred in middle latitudes, particularly in southern 
New Jersey, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, 
etc. In the most southern commercial peach dis- 
tricts, as Georgia and Alabama, winter planting is 
generally practiced, and is correct. There are sub- 
stantial advantages in fall and winter plantings 
where it can be safely practiced. The work can be 
done more leisurely and the trees become fixed to 
a considerable degree in the soil before they are 
called upon to begin their spring growth. 

DISTANCES FOR PLANTING 

Peach trees are always grown relatively close 
together in orchard practice. The tree is naturally 
smaller than the apple tree, it is shorter lived and 
usually receives more restrictive pruning. Where- 
as 30 to 35 feet may be looked upon as a standard 
distance for planting apple trees, 18 by 18, or 20 by 
20 feet should be regarded as a standard distance 
for planting peach trees. There is even more varia- 
tion in practice among fruit growers, however, re- 
garding the planting of peach trees than regarding 
the planting of apple trees. No very settled prac- 
tice is followed in any peach-growing region. This 
variation may be seen somewhat from the following 
tabulation of replies received from peach growers 
in various parts of the United States. About 200 
replies were received. Among them there were a 
good many scattering votes, suggesting irregular 
distances and giving other information which could 
not easily be tabulated. A fair view of the situa- 
tion, however, can be secured from the table which 
shows the number of times each method was voted 
for: 



ORCHARD PLANTING 6l 

15 by 15' 5 times 

16 by 16' 19 " 

i6*/ 2 by i6V 2 ' 4 " 

17^2 by 17^2' i time 

1 6 by 20' 15 times 

18 by 18' 30 " 

18 by 20' 10 " 

20 by 20' 39 " 

24 by 24' 2 " 

25 by 25' 2 " 

30 by 30' 2 " 

It may be remarked that the most advanced and 
expert growers show a tendency toward the smaller 
distances; but it may be laid down as a general 
recommendation for beginners and for those whose 
own personal experience does not settle this ques- 
tion, that 18 by 18 feet is a safe distance. 

PEACH TREES AS FILLERS 

Thus far we have spoken only of pure peach 
orchards, that is, those made up of peach trees 
alone. The practice of planting peach trees as fillers 
in apple orchards remains to be noticed. It is a 
practice by no means rare. The men who make 
these mixed plantings are mostly apple growers 
seeking a quick profit from the temporary peach 
trees while their apple trees are growing. Still, in 
the aggregate there are hundreds of thousands of 
commercial peach trees now growing in these mixed 
stands. From the standpoint of the apple orchard 
the method has its disadvantages as well as its ad- 
vantages, and, of course, cannot be adopted as prima- 
rily suited to peach growing. When this styje of 
planting is used the apple trees should be set about 



62 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

40 feet apart, with peaches between in both direc- 
tions. This makes 27 apple and 81 peach trees to 
each acre. 

THE WORK OF PLANTING 

When the trees are on hand and the ground ready, 
the planting enterprise should be organized and 
directed with considerable care. The field to be 
planted should first be laid off accurately. The best 
method of doing this is to mark out the first row 
carefully on the long side of the field, taking the 
measurements with a surveyor's chain, a strong tape 
line (steel preferred) or a light bamboo pole cut 
to 16 or 18 feet, or to whatever distance has been 
decided upon for spacing the trees. At right angles 
with this first base line another row of trees should 
be laid off. The second row may be along one end 
or across the middle of the field, and should be laid 
and spaced with equal care, considerable pains be- 
ing given also to see that it lies at right angles 
with the first base line. From these two base lines 
intersecting at right angles, the entire field may be 
rapidly laid off. 

A common way, and perhaps the best one, is to 
have at hand two light poles cut to the necessary 
length representing the distance between trees. Be- 
ginning with these poles at the intersection of the 
two lines already mentioned, a second row can be 
laid out parallel with the first one in the following 
manner: The first pole is laid at the second tree 
of the base line, the second pole is laid at the sec- 
ond tree of the cross line, and the free ends of the 
two poles brought together. At the point where 
they meet a stake is set representing the second tree 
in the new row, forming, with the poles lying toward 



ORCHARD PLANTING 63 

the other trees, a complete square. With this new 
peg as a point of departure the poles are moved up 
one space. The end of one pole rests on the peg, 
the end of the other pole on the third tree in the 
base line, and where the tips of the poles meet, a peg 
is set representing the third tree in the second row. 

Two men working together with these poles can 
set out the pegs for each succeeding row as fast as 
they can walk across the field, and with a little time 
given to correcting irregularities, these rows can be 
made very straight, ^ Pole I8 Feet 

and the work will ? = 
check up with sur- 
prising accuracy at 
the finish. Of course, 
this method does not 
work so well on un- 
even land, but on such 
land the greatest ac- 
curacy is not expected 
anyway. 

It is common prac- 
tice in many places to . 

lay off the field with ~ Pfg 

a plow and a steady METH OD OF LAYING OFF ORCHARD 
team of horses or a 

good mule. Stakes are set at the ends and across 
the middle of the field by which the driver of the 
horses or the mule is able to sight. He then plows 
furrows lengthwise of the field representing the new 
rows. Stakes are then set crosswise of the field, 
enabling the planters to sight out the rows at right 
angles to the furrows. Trees are put in some- 
times without the preliminary work of setting 
stakes. This method is not as accurate as the 
former, but is a little cheaper and more rapid. 



64 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

When a field has been set out with stakes repre- 
senting the points at which the trees must be 
planted, it is necessary to use a planting-board for 
getting the trees in the exact positions of the stakes. 
This convenience has been so frequently described 
that it hardly needs to be referred to again. The 
planting-board or tree-jack consists of a light, 
strong board about 4 feet long and 4 inches wide cut 
with a notch in either end and a third notch exactly 
in the middle. 

In use this tree-jack is laid on the ground with the 
middle notch set upon the peg which marks the posi- 
tion of the prospective tree. Two light stakes are 
then driven in the notches at the end of the plant- 
ing-board, after which the board may be taken to 
the next peg and the transaction repeated. After 
these end stakes are set the hole for the tree may 
be dug, the center peg being taken up and thrown to 
one side. After the hole has been dug large enough 
for the roots, the tree may be placed precisely in 
its correct position by bringing back the planting- 
board, placing it on the two end pegs in its former 
position, and holding the stem of the little tree 
firmly in the center notch while the roots are cov- 
ered and trodden down. This method sounds a lit- 
tle bit complicated, but can be used rapidly in the 
field by experienced workmen. 

HANDLING TREES 

The trees are taken from the bundles and pruned. 
This pruning consists in removing all broken roots 
and in cutting back the tops. The most common 
practice nowadays, and the one by all means best, 
is to prune each tree top to a whip or a stub. All 
side branches are removed and the main stem is cut 



ORCHARD PLANTING 65 

back to any height which suits the taste of the fruit 
grower, from 6 to 30 inches. It should be said, how- 
ever, that some fruit growers prefer to do this prun- 
ing after the trees are planted in the orchard. In 
the opinion of the writer the work may be done more 
cheaply and expeditiously before planting. It is a 
great deal easier to prune a thousand peach trees 
on a saw horse at the sunny side of the barn dur- 
ing the afternoon than it is to walk all over six 
acres of new-plowed land and look them up later. 

At this point it may be well worth while to notice 
the Stringfellow planting method, which has caused 
a good deal of discussion in this country and even 
in Europe. It is by no means as unreasonable as 
it sounds. According to Mr. Stringfellow, the best 
method of handling trees, and particularly trees of 
this kind, is to cut off all roots except the tap root, 
shorten this latter to the length of 4 inches, then cut 
off all the top, except about 4 inches of the main 
stem. The tree is thereby reduced to the form of a 
mere cutting, except that it has portions of both 
root and stem from the original nursery tree. 

It is, furthermore, specifically recommended that 
these trees be planted in holes made by a crowbar 
and not in soil loosely dug up with a shovel. The 
soil is firmly trodden down about the newly planted 
stubs. This method has been extensively tried by 
experimental and practical fruit growers, and al- 
though it has not proved a great discovery and 
has not even achieved any special popularity, it has 
proved to be successful in a large number of cases. 
On good, light, warm soil it succeeds admirably. Of 
course, it has some manifest advantages. The trees 
are easier to handle and the holes are cheaper to 
dig. While the present writer does not give the 
Stringfellow method a general recommendation, he 



66 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

believes that it is entitled to great respect ; and this 
seems to be the general attitude of the best men who 
have investigated the subject. 

The trees should not be exposed to sun and air 
any longer than necessary during the planting proc- 
ess. As fast as they are prepared for planting they 
should be placed in a tub or a barrel of water, to 
which may well be added a considerable amount of 
loose soil. The tub of water, therefore, becomes a 
tub of thin mud. This mud adheres and effectually 
prevents the roots of the trees from drying out dur- 
ing the planting process. The tub or barrel can be 
put on a stoneboat or a suitable wagon and car- 
ried into the field. This makes a convenient man- 
ner of distributing the trees about the field for plant- 
ing. 

The work of planting can be done very rapidly if 
the men are properly assigned and given a little 
preliminary training. The work should become al- 
most automatic. The planting gang should consist 
of three men, one to carry the trees and two to use 
shovels. The two men with shovels will sight the 
tree into its position, one sighting off in one direc- 
tion and the other in the cross direction. While the 
two shovelers throw in the soil the third man holds 
the tree and tramps it into place. A thorough 
tramping of the soil about the roots is a matter of 
serious importance. A light surface cultivation 
should be given the land as soon as the trees are 
planted. 



VI 
GENERAL MANAGEMENT 

A SYSTEM of management for an orchard consists 
of a series of practices nicely adjusted one to an- 
other. These several practices cannot be consid- 
ered separately, although it is a common defect of 
discussion and practice to try to do so. Cultivation 
will be influenced by the cover crop, and the applica- 
tion of fertilizer will depend similarly upon the 
amount of nitrogen secured by this means. Even 
spraying will be influenced by cultivation. It is 
necessary for every fruit grower to have a fully con- 
sidered system of practice in which each several 
operation dovetails into the others, all co-operating 
toward one great result, namely, the production of 
a crop of marketable fruit. 

Several of these cultural practices are of such im- 
portance that they have been considered in separate 
chapters of this book. This may also be because 
they are difficult or involve a certain amount of de- 
tail which requires elucidation. Other practices 
which do not require so much discussion are grouped 
together in the present chapter, but this is not neces- 
sarily an indication that they are of minor impor- 
tance. 

TILLAGE 

Cultivation of the soil is now generally recognized 
as one of the most important features of agricultural 
practice, but the application of this gospel to the 
business of fruit growing has been rather tardy. Al- 

67 



68 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

though there has been some disposition in influential 
quarters during the last few years to deny the neces- 
sity of cultivation as a regular orchard practice, the 
great majority of opinions still stand in favor of 
tillage. Moreover, the leading insurgents against 
the tillage program have hardly dared to recom- 
mend a system of mulching or no-tillage for peach 
trees. The necessity of thorough annual cultivation 
for peach orchards is still almost universally recog- 
nized. 




THE SPADING HARROW 

In the old view of cultivation the work was done 
wholly for the purpose of killing weeds. Accord- 
ing to the modern view there are many other and 
more important purposes to be served. In the first 
place, good tillage deepens the available soil in 
which the trees may profitably forage. This not only 
opens up a larger area for the action of the roots and 
a larger amount of plant food is made available, 
but the water-holding reservoirs are deepened and 
enlarged. This is of the utmost consequence, since 



GENERAL MANAGEMENT 69 

the trees suffer for water oftener than for plant food. 
Proper cultivation does not merely allow the soil 
to catch and hold more water in the first place, but 
it helps to conserve the water when it is once taken 
up by the soil. This is particularly the office of 
surface cultivation. 




ORCHARD DISK HARROW 

As a general statement we may say, therefore, 
that the first tillage of the year should be a good 
plowing; that is, as deep as can be practiced in 
fruit orchards. The intention of this is to loosen 
the soil to a considerable depth, to provide the wa- 
ter-holding capacity required and to loosen up plant 
food to the action of water and air. The subsequent 
cultivations will be of a different character. They 



70 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

will be given with light tools and applied to the sur- 
face, the intention being merely to maintain a light 
dust mulch upon the land. The purpose of this dust 
mulch is to prevent the evaporation of water. 

It is well understood at the present time that the 
soil is a great laboratory in which all kinds of chem- 
ical and even biological processes are going on, all 
of which processes are infinitely important to the 
peach tree. These chemical and bacteriological proc- 
esses cannot take place except when a certain 
amount of moisture is present, and .especially do they 
require a constant supply of air. The presence of 
fresh air enables the bacteria to live and thrive and 
serve their various beneficent uses in the soil. The 
air also assists in the necessary chemical changes, 
and especially in the conversion of nitrogen in the 
soil into available forms as nitrates. Until the nitro- 
gen is changed into these available nitrates it can- 
not be taken up by the trees. The necessity of these 
changes brought about by action of the air applies 
to much of the nitrogen which is given in the form 
of fertilizer. 

Of course, it is still recognized that tillage kills 
the weeds and that this is an important office. No 
man wants to have a weedy orchard unless he pur- 
poses to leave a heavy stand of weeds in the latter 
part of the summer to take the place of a better- 
grown cover crop. The handling of the cover crop 
is discussed elsewhere, but it is to be observed at 
this point that the cover crop following at this pe- 
riod has a definite part in the program of orchard 
work. The scheme of management will, therefore, 
provide for a heavy plowing in early spring, for sev- 
eral successive surface cultivations at periods of 5 
to 10 days apart, and finally for the introduction of 
a cover crop. The time when this cover crop will 



GENERAL MANAGEMENT 71 

be sowed depends largely upon latitude. In the 
southern states it is customary to sow the cover crop 
in May, June or July, the proper month being re- 
garded as June. In the northern states the practice 
is to put in the cover crop about the middle of July, 
although this should be regarded as the latest feasi- 
ble date. 

TILLAGE TOOLS 

Various tools are required to carry out the tillage 
herein recommended. Early plowing in the spring 
may be done with a light turning plow. A good, 
steady team and a plowman of temperate Christian 
habits are required. In other words the work has 
to be done carefully, slowly, with great restraint 
and in such a manner as not to injure the trees. 
Of course, this plowing will not be so deep nor so 
thorough and smooth as practiced in the preparation 
of the field for crops outside of the orchard, but it 
may be made efficient for the purposes in hand. In 
most loose, workable soils the early spring tillage 
may be given with a spading harrow. * Such a har- 
row can be made to cut the soil to a depth of 6 
inches, or even more. This will be sufficient in any 
orchard. It has many substantial advantages over 
a plow where it can be used, but it will always be 
well to keep the plow in mind and put it in where 
a more thorough tillage of the soil is required than 
can be given with a spading harrow. 

The disk harrow, which does not cut so deep as 
the spading harrow, may be used on hard soils for 
second, third and fourth cultivation and may be 
brought into use at other times when the judgment 
of the fruit grower dictates. As a rule the disk 
harrow is not used for preparing and maintaining 
a dust mulch. 



72 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

The spring-tooth harrow is especially adapted to 
heavy gravelly soils or those which have a con- 
siderable amount of loose stones. On such land it 
is invaluable and is to be used almost exclusively 
for everything except the early spring cultivation. 

On gravelly land, or soils subject to surface bak- 
ing, the acme harrow often serves a very useful pur- 
pose. It is particularly adapted to the production of 
a suitable dust mulch on refractory soil. But the 
use of this tool seems to be largely a matter of per- 
sonal taste, some men preferring it, while other men 
choose not to use it at all. 




SPRING-TOOTH HARROW 



The smoothing harrow or spike harrow is most 
efficient of all for producing and maintaining a dust 
mulch on light land which is in a good state of cul- 
tivation. It will cover more acres of land in a day 
with less wear and tear of horse flesh than any 
other. 

Various weeders are supplied by dealers and are 
well liked by some men. As a rule they are avail- 
able only for very light cultivation, unless the soil 
is in the very pink of condition. 



GENERAL MANAGEMENT 



73 



THINNING THE FRUIT 

This practice of thinning out the fruit crop by 
hand is everywhere recommended, but seldom 
adopted. It has been shown, however, by repeated 
experiment and by careful test under commercial 
conditions that this is one of the most profitable 
practices that can be undertaken by the ordinary 
fruit grower. Thinning out the fruit increases the 
vitality of the tree by lessening the production of 
seed, tends to cause the tree to bear crops more 




THE USEFUL SPIKE-TOOTH HARROW 

regularly, lessens the loss caused by rot and other 
fungous diseases by eliminating the danger of infec- 
tion by contact, brings larger and better-colored 
fruit which can ripen up more uniformly, produces 
a more salable and higher-priced fruit and pre- 
vents the breaking of overloaded branches. In 
nearly every case where a fair test has been made it 
has been shown that the tree carefully thinned will 
produce a larger quantity of first-grade fruit than a 
tree from which no fruit has been taken. 

It has been shown, moreover, that it is almost 
impossible to overdo this work of thinning; that is, 
that no ordinary man would remove too much fruit 



74 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

at thinning time. In other words, it seems to be 
profitable at an early thinning of the tree to remove 
not merely one-half or two-thirds, but perhaps three- 
fourths of the crop then hanging. A common rule 
is to leave fruit every 4 inches on the branches, but 
it seems the better practice in most cases to thin the 
fruit out to 6 or even 8 inches apart. Some men say 
as much as 10 or 12 inches apart is better and pro- 
duces more first quality fruit which will sell at a 
higher price. 

This work should De done rather early in the sea- 
son, at least as soon as the June drop is completed 
and when the fruit is not larger than small walnuts. 
Early thinning seems to be much more satisfactory 
than late thinning. The best way of doing this 
thinning is to prune the tree, but trees which have 
received rather strenuous pruning will still require 
thinning of the fruit after fruit-setting time. This 
work must be done by hand. Any such makeshift 
as taking off the fruit with a hand rake or a base- 
ball club has been found to be unsatisfactory. 

JUNE DROP 

In speaking of artificial thinning we have already 
mentioned the June drop, which name has been given 
to the natural thinning of the crop which takes place 
every year during the early part of the growing sea- 
son, usually in June. During this period a consid- 
erable portion of the fruit set falls to the ground. 
The amount may vary from 2 per cent to 95 per 
cent, or the whole crop. As a rule, however, the 
amount runs from 5 to 50 per cent. 

June drop is due to various causes, the most im- 
portant ones being as follows : ( I ) The curculio, which 
undoubtedly is responsible for much the largest por- 



GENERAL MANAGEMENT 75 

tion in most cases. The fruits, in considerable 
number, though not nearly all of those punctured 
by the curculio, fall to the ground at this season. 
(2) The monilia, or fruit rot, which attacks fruit 
and twigs, and which causes a certain proportion 
of the young fruit to fall. (3) The leaf curl, an- 
other disease which also injures fruit twigs and 
stems and causes a certain amount of drop. (4) A 
lack of pollination, which in other fruits, as the 
plum, causes a large proportion of June drop, and 
may have some influence also on the peach, al- 
though it certainly cuts a much smaller figure here 
than in the case of the plum. (5) There is further to be 
considered the natural crowding of the fruit thickly to- 
gether upon the stem. Once more, as so frequently hap- 
pens in Nature, it is the survival of the fittest. The 
best and strongest fruits cling to the stems and 
crowd off the smaller and weaker ones. 

June drop is often spoken of as if it were a dis- 
ease. It is not. It is simply the result of a series 
of causes working together on the overstocked tree. 
The June drop is also often spoken of as though it 
were something very detrimental to a fruit grower's 
interest and something which he should prevent if 
possible. Quite the contrary is the fact. The June 
drop is usually one of the fruit grower's best friends. 
Very rarely, indeed, does it remove such a propor- 
tion of the crop as seriously to reduce the final har- 
vest. In the very large majority of cases these natu- 
ral causes take off a large part of the fruit which 
very much needs to be removed, and by so much 
diminishes the important and almost necessary labor 
of hand thinning which would come soon after the 
time of the June drop. 



76 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 




WEEPERS SUITED TO SURFACE CULTIVATION 



GENERAL MANAGEMENT 77 

t 
ORCHARD ENEMIES 

Besides the insect and plant diseases which are 
considered in their appropriate chapters, there are 
some other peach enemies which deserve mention- 
ing. In certain sections rabbits are so numerous 
as to do considerable damage, although this is 
always less on peach than on young apple trees. 
When rabbits are numerous, trapping and shoot- 
ing should be resorted to, but the best and most sat- 
isfactory protection is furnished by tying up the 
trunks either with corn stalks, newspapers, or with 
strips of thin wood veneer especially made for the 
purpose. These thin wood veneer strips sell at $5 
a thousand, and are certainly the best means of pro- 
tection. They should ~be removed in the spring after 
growth starts. In fact, any other protection which 
is tied upon the tree trunk should be removed at 
this time. 

In many of the states, and curiously enough in the 
older settled eastern states, wild deer have done 
much more damage than rabbits during the last few 
years. There seems to be no practical method of 
circumventing the deer. Fencing them out has 
proved ineffective. Keeping a good dog will often 
hold the deer at a distance, but if the dog should 
happen to chase the deer, the owner of the dog 
would become liable to the owner of the deer; that 
is, he is liable to be arrested by the officers of the 
state and heavily fined. A number of instances of 
this kind have been known. There is a manifest 
tendency at the present time to protect the farmer 
rather better by legislation than he has been pro- 
tected in the past, but for the present the men who 
set out young orchards have to take into considera- 
tion the presence of these deer, which may be, in- 



78 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

deed, a very serious problem in many of the best 
orchard sections of the northeastern states. 




WOOD VENEER STRIP PROTECTOR 

Wind and ice storms also do considerable dam- 
age to young orchards at certain times and also to 
old and decrepit orchards. The use of windbreaks 
has been strongly recommended as a means of re- 



GENERAL MANAGEMENT 79 

ducing the damage by wind storms, but this method 
is now largely given up especially by the planters 
of large orchards. It is perfectly feasible to estab- 
lish a good windbreak for the protection of small 
family orchards, but it is manifestly impracticable 
in the case of plantations which cover hundreds or 
even thousands of acres. There seems to be no way 
of preventing or mitigating the damage done by 
ice storms. The orchardist simply has to take them 
along with his regular year's medicine. 

ORCHARD ROTATION 

It may be well to mention here in connection with 
the general management of a peach orchard the 
fact that some sort of rotation of trees has to be 
practiced. There is a feeling among the old-timers 
who used to plant apple trees for their grand- 
children that an orchard is a permanent investment 
that a plantation of trees once set out will last 
forever. This is not the case with any sort of or- 
chard and least of all with a peach orchard. As we 
have elsewhere pointed out, the peach is a compara- 
tively shortlived tree and cannot be expected to 
thrive and bear profitable crops more than 12, 15 
or 20 years. The man who goes into the business, 
therefore, with the intention of staying and making 
it a permanent success should bear this in mind and be 
prepared to dig up old orchards when they become 
unprofitable and eventually to replace them with 
young and more profitable plantations. Such a rota- 
tion has, in fact, been already worked out and put in- 
to more or less definite practice by many of the best 
peach growers. Professor Bailey in the "Cyclopedia 
of Agriculture" makes some interesting suggestions 
which are worth quoting. He says : 



8o 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



"Rotation, between the fruit plantations them- 
selves, may be very desirable in some cases. If one 
has a hundred-acre farm on which he wishes to make 
a specialty of peaches, he might set aside six fields 
of 10 acres each, and set them in 1 2-year rotations 
or blocks, planting a new orchard every three years. 
In this way there would always be a new orchard 
coming into bearing, the grower could apply the 
experience of one orchard to the succeeding one, 
and he could prepare the land thoroughly in advance 
of each setting. This preparing of the land is ex- 
ceedingly important in most cases and is usually 
neglected. It often should include thorough under- 
drainage. The following display shows how this 
plan would work out. The black face figures 

ROTATION SCHEME OF PEACH ORCHARDS 
Black figures represent bearing years 



First 
Orchard 


Second 
Orchard 


Third 
Orchard 


Fourth 
Orchard 


Fifth 
Orchard 


Sixth 
Orchard 


1900 1 












1901b 












1902c 












1903 


1903a 










1904 


1904b 










1905 


1905c 










1906 


1906 


1906a 








1907 


1907 


1907b 








1908 


1908 


1908c 








1909 


1909 


1909 


1909a 






1910 


1910 


1910 


1910b 






1911 


1911 


1911 


1911c 








1912 


1912 


1912 


1912a 






1913 


1913 


1913 


1913b 






1914 


1914 


1914 


1914c 








1915 


1915 


1915 


1915a 






1916 


1916 


1916 


1916b 






1917 


1917 


1917 


1917c 


1918a 






1918 


1918 


1918 


1919b 






1919 


1919 


1919 


1920c 






1920 


1920 


1920 


1921 


1921a 






1921 


1921 


1922 


1922b 






1922 


1922 


1923 


1923c 






1923 


1923 


1924 


1924 


1924a 






1924 


1925 


1925 


1925b 






1925 


1926 


1926 


1926c 






1926 


etc. 


etc. 


etc. 









GENERAL MANAGEMENT 8l 

show orchards in bearing; it will be seen that there 
are always three orchards in bearing after the plan 
is in full working maturity. It is assumed that six 
years intervene between the plantings on the same 
ground. The letters a, b, c, show how the elements 
in a three-course crop-rotation would combine with 
the orchards, if it is assumed that it would be safe 
or desirable to crop the orchard lightly for the first 
three years. The blank or treeless years would be 
used in general field-crop practice. It must be un- 
derstood that this plan is not recommended, but is 
given to illustrate the discussion and to suggest a 
line of study." 



VII 
COVER CROPS 

PROBABLY cover crops of some kind have been 
grown by careful fruit growers ever since peach 
orchards have been planted in this country, but the 
cover crop as a definite, rationalized part of a sys- 
tem of cultivation is comparatively new. The name 
itself was not brought into use until 1893, and the 
practice has attained general recognition since 1900. 
Even yet there are many men who have not adopted it. 

A cover crop may be defined as any temporary crop 
sown at the end of the tillage period and plowed into 
the soil at the beginning of the tillage period the 
following spring. A permanent growth of grass or 
clover does not constitute a cover crop, and a heavy 
stand of oats or buckwheat sown in the orchard and 
cut and removed for hay at maturity does not con- 
stitute a cover crop. 

The cover crop is definitely and intimately related 
to the practice of tillage, and is always to be consid- 
ered in relation to the cultivation of the soil. The 
usual practice is to sow the cover crop broadcast 
at the time of the last cultivation, viz., from July 
10 to 20. The crop then grows more or less vigor- 
ously according to its nature, the fertility of the soil 
and the temperature ; it stands upon the land during 
the winter, at this time performing a valuable ser- 
vice ; it is plowed into the soil as soon as cultivation 
can begin in the spring, then performing additional 
services. 

USES OF THE COVER CROP 

The various benefits which the cover crop renders 



COVER CROPS 83 

relate both to the physical nature and the chemical 
qualities of the soil. They may be summarized as 
follows : 

1. The cover crop prevents the erosion of the soil. 
Well-cultivated fruit lands are apt to wash away 
rapidly during spring rains and especially at the 
time when the snow goes off. Inasmuch as peach 
orchards are frequently planted on light loose soil 
and more especially upon high rolling land, they are 
particularly subject to spring erosion. Very serious 
damage of this character is to be observed in many 
American orchards. The erosion trouble is so great, 
in fact, that it cannot be wholly prevented by the 
growing of cover crops, but at any rate these crops 
do serve a very important purpose in preventing the 
loss of the most valuable upper strata of the cul- 
tivated soil. Probably the mild forms of surface 
erosion which can be prevented by cover cropping 
are in the aggregate much more serious than the 
formation of deep cuts and gullies, which have to 
be corrected by more strenuous measures. 

2. The cover crop also prevents the puddling and 
baking of the soil. These difficulties are not seri- 
ous on most soils, especially at the period when the 
land is occupied by the cover crop. Nevertheless 
many of the light soils used for peach growing do 
bake, and bake hard, during the latter part of the 
summer. Such a condition is in a high degree detri- 
mental to the soil and the growth of the tree. It 
can be almost wholly prevented by the cover crop. 

3. The cover crop catches the snow and holds 
it on the land during winter. It thus prevents the 
roots from freezing as the frost does not penetrate 
so deeply into the soil when it has a liberal snow 
cover. In some northern sections this is a very 
important matter. The snow itself melting slowly 



84 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

in the spring is of some value to the land. The soil 
always comes out in better condition after a 
heavy snowfall than when it stands bare during the 
winter. The cover crop also catches the fall rains 
and allows them to sink slowly into the soil instead 
of running off. This may also be of considerable 
value in certain cases. 

4. The cover crop is valuable in catching and 
holding soluble fertilizers. The nitrates in partic- 
ular leach away rapidly into the soil. This loss 
is particularly great during the late autumn when 
the tree roots are not active. At this time soluble 
nitrates are almost certain to pass away in the drain- 
age water, or to leach down out of reach unless they 
are taken up by the roots of cover crops. If taken 
up by the cover crops, they are held in the roots 
or the tops and subsequently returned to the trees 
in a highly available form when the cover crop rots. 
While this action is important with respect to 
nitrates, the same process takes place with all other 
soluble plant foods. 

5. The cover crop adds fiber and humus to the 
soil. This also is a matter of prime importance. 
The most serious criticism which can be made of 
a general system of constant tillage in orchards 
is that cultivation depletes the humus and vegetable 
matter of the soil. The water-holding capacity of 
soil is greatly reduced by this means and presently 
the land becomes dead and lifeless. If it has a 
tendency to puddle and bake, this tendency is 
greatly increased. A good heavy cover crop grown 
annually on an orchard will prevent any trouble of 
this kind. 

6. The cover crop may add to the soil nitrogen 
which is the most expensive kind of plant food. All 
the leguminous crops (those belonging to the pea 



COVER CROPS 85 

family) have this characteristic of appropriating 
nitrogen from the atmosphere. Under proper man- 
agement practically all of this nitrogen collected 
by a cover crop becomes eventually available for the 
fruit trees. In spite of scientific investigations there 
is still a great deal of question as to how much nitro- 
gen any particular crop actually secures from the 
air. It is easy, of course, to analyze cowpeas or clover 
plants and determine the amount of nitrogen con- 
tained; multiply this by the amount of growth in 
tons to the acre, and say that the crop contains so 
much nitrogen. The fact is, however, that only a 
part of this nitrogen really comes from the atmos- 
phere, the balance being taken from the soil. In 
a great many cases the amount taken from the at- 
mosphere is small or insignificant. 

Most of the leguminous crops do not form the 
necessary nodules to begin the bacterial action re- 
quired for nitrogen assimilation until the soil has 
been inoculated with the appropriate bacteria. This 
inoculation conies about naturally, though slowly, 
after a" time, but in many cases practical growers 
have found it desirable to use artificial inoculation. 
This is best accomplished by the distribution of 
inoculated soil over the orchard tract. For example, 
if one is to grow soy beans on land where they have 
never been grown before, he should commence by 
sowing a small amount of soil secured from a field 
where soy beans have been established for some 
time. By this means the necessary bacteria are in- 
troduced and the soy beans thrive from the start and 
(what is more important) are able to assimilate con- 
siderable quantities of atmospheric nitrogen. In 
actual practice too much faith is placed in the legu- 
minous crop as such, and not enough attention is 
paid to bringing the cover crop up to its highest 



86 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

degree of efficiency as a nitrogen gatherer. At all 
events, such excellent cover crops as cowpeas, soy 
beans and the various species of clover do collect 
hundreds of dollars' worth of nitrogen and present 
it to the fruit grower without money and without 
price. 

7. The cover crop also makes other plant foods 
available. In the course of time the cover crop 
breaks down considerable quantities of mineral 
matter, and takes up itself such portions of potash 
and phosphoric acid as are necessary to its growth. 
When it is plowed into the land these fertilizing 
elements are offered to the fruit trees in the most 
available forms. 

8. The cover crop checks the late growth of the 
trees. In the opinion of the writer this point has 
been over-emphasized by many people, but at any 
rate it is desirable that the trees should stop growth 
not later than the middle of August, devoting the 
remainder of the summer to ripening up their wood 
and buds. Peach trees are particularly apt to make 
late summer growth and to go into the winter with 
large quantities of unripened wood and half-formed 
buds. Such immature growth is pretty sure to be 
frozen during the winter, and the tree may be seri- 
ously weakened in this way in certain cases. Usu- 
ally, however, a tree making such vigorous growth 
will need to be severely pruned, and all the frozen 
portions will be removed during this pruning, so 
that the net result is of no serious consequence. 

The cover crop may occasionally present some 
disadvantages. It is, of course, a matter of addi- 
tional work and expense. The cost of seed itself 
is an item which cannot be overlooked, as it may 
amount to $3 or $4 per acre. Perhaps the greatest 
damage ever done by a cover crop comes in those 



COVER CROPS S/ 

cases where the crop has been started relatively 
early under trees bearing a load of fruit. If it be- 
gins to make a vigorous growth at the time when 
the fruit is swelling and ripening, and especially if 
the weather proves to be dry, the amount of mois- 
ture taken from the ground by it is necessarily 
stolen from the peach trees to the very great detri- 
ment of the fruit. In cases of extreme drouth, when 
it is plain that the cover crop exercises this malefi- 
cent influence, it will be a good practice to check 
the growth of the cover crop by running over it with 
a roller or even with a mower. It is customary, in- 
deed, in apple orchards to mow such cover crops as 
buckwheat just before the picking begins, though 
this is usually for a somewhat different purpose. 

THE VARIOUS CROPS 

In view of the fact that the leguminous crops col- 
lect nitrogen from the air, they are always to be 
chosen when possible. It is a fact, of course, that 
certain non-leguminous crops have especial advan- 
tages and may be the best in certain emergencies. 
Doubtless buckwheat is the most common exception 
because it possesses advantages of germinating 
rapidly late in the summer in dry soils, and is espe- 
cially valuable in breaking up rough soils before 
they are in a good state of cultivation. The clover 
crops in particular cannot be successfully used until 
the land is in a thoroughly good state of tillage. 
The following are the most important cover crops 
for use in peach orchards : 

i. Cowpeas are used more than any other crop in 
southern latitudes and are unquestionably the one 
best crop. They are adapted to nearly all soils, 
though they are especially at home on light land. 



88 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 




COVER CROPS 89 

They are valuable in the improvement of run-down 
soils. They require a long growing season and can- 
not be used successfully north of New York city 
and Omaha. In fact, their best use is to be found 
in the country south of Mason and Dixon's line. 
As cover crops, nearly all varieties such as Clay, 
Whippoorwill, Red Ripper and Black, are used. The 
use of cowpeas in fruit growing and in land salvage 
generally should be strongly urged on all farmers 
in the southern states. 

2. Soy beans take the place of cowpeas in the 
North. Care should be exercised to secure the early 
maturing varieties, as a rapid growth is very de- 
sirable in handling the cover crop. They succeed 
better when they are planted in drills rather than 
when sown broadcast. In the short growing sea- 
sons of northern states, it is desirable to make the 
tillage season lap over on to the cover crop season 
by cultivating the beans between the drills once or 
twice after they come up. In a good many places 
this method constitutes a substantial improvement 
of the usual cover crop practice. 

3. Other kinds of peas and beans wherever they 
may be grown are satisfactory as cover crops. Com- 
mon field peas, or Canadian peas make an excellent 
cover crop and are used to some extent in Onta- 
rio, New York and Michigan. 

4. All kinds of clover are excellent as cover crops. 
On natural clover land in northern states the mam- 
moth red clover is probably the best variety to use. 
Crimson clover is the great favorite in New Jersey, 
Delaware and Pennsylvania. In all parts of the 
country where it succeeds well it is one of the very 
best crops. It is especially valuable on poor, worn- 
out soils. Alsike clover and sweet clover make fairly 
good cover crops, but are not to be preferred above 



90 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

mammoth clover and crimson clover. One or the 
other of these better crops can usually be grown in 
any soil. Alfalfa is sown sometimes as a cover crop, 
but is not to be recommended for this purpose. 

5. The vetches are in some respects the best of all 
cover crops. They form a close solid mass of herb- 
age which kills out weeds and holds the soil. The 
winter vetch lives through the hardest winters and 
makes a quick growth in the spring. The vetches 
accumulate great quantities of nitrogen under favor- 
able conditions. A great drawback with these crops 
is the high price of seeds, especially in the case of 
winter vetch, which costs from $7 to $8 a bushel and 




COVER CROPS OF WINTER VETCH 

can then seldom be obtained pure. Aside from the 
difficulty of securing seed, however, the vetch is to 
be highly recommended as a cover crop in peach 
orchards. 

6. Buckwheat has already been mentioned as one 
of the best of the non-leguminous cover crops, 



COVER CROPS 91 



though this preference refers chiefly to the northern 
and northeastern states. It leaves the soil in ex- 
cellent condition, and is to be especially recom- 
mended on new land which has not been brought 
into a good state of cultivation. 

7. Rye, oats, barley and other cereals are occa- 
sionally used as cover crops, but are not to be 
recommended. Oats are especially detrimental to 
the land and should never be used. Rye may be 
sown in emergencies. 

8. Corn and cotton are grown to a considerable 
extent between the peach rows in young orchards 
in the southern states. These do not constitute a 
genuine cover crop, however. They are grown, not 
primarily for the benefit of the trees, but for the 
sake of producing a marketable product aside from 
the peaches. They have scarcely any more value as 
cover crops than cantaloupe, watermelons or pota- 
toes. 

9. Rape is sometimes used as a cover crop, and 
has two genuine advantages; first, that the seed is 
very cheap (about 20 cents an acre as compared 
with $1.50 for buckwheat or $3 for soy beans) ; and, 
second, that it lives over winter and comes on 
promptly in the spring as good as new. It is sown 
broadcast rather late, say August I to September 
i. Turnips may also be used as a cover crop. 

10. Weeds are often allowed to come up in the 
orchard after the end of cultivation and occupy the 
soil until the beginning of tillage the following 
spring. A good growth of weeds does constitute 
a genuine cover crop, and is really considerably bet- 
ter than nothing. 

The following table will show the usual amounts 
of seed to be used on an acre when cover crops are 
sown: 



92 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

QUANTITY OF SEED PER ACRE 

Mammoth clover, pounds 12 

Common red clover, pounds 12 

Crimson clover, pounds 15 

Alsike clover, pounds 12 

Alfalfa, pounds 20 

Cowpea, bushels i y 2 -2 

Soy bean, bushels 1/^-2 

Broad English bean, bushels i-i/^ 

Summer vetch, bushels i l / 2 

Winter vetch, bushels i 

Canada pea, bushels i l / 2 

Buckwheat, bushel i 

Rye, bushels i l / 2 

Barley, bushels 1^2-2 

Barley and peas, bushel, each i 

Rape, pounds 2 



VIII 
THE USE OF FERTILIZERS 

ADVANCED agriculture now recognizes everywhere 
that plant food cannot be removed from the soil in- 
definitely in the form of crops without jeopardizing 
the success of subsequent crops. It must eventually 
be replaced in part by the addition of fertilizers. 
Moreover, it is perfectly safe to say, as it probably 
will not hurt anybody's feelings, that no good fruit 
grower at the present time has any idea of contin- 
uing in the business without some sort of fertiliza- 
tion. He expects to feed his trees. There are a 
good many men, of course, who do not do any fertil- 
izing, but they are either just going into the business 
or just going out of it, usually the latter. 

ELEMENTS OF PLANT FOOD 



The elementary principles of plant nutrition are 
now pretty well understood by farmers and espe- 
cially by men who are sufficiently advanced to un- 
dertake the commercial growing of peaches. It is 
known that the important elements of plant food which 
the tree takes from the soil are nitrogen, phosphoric 
acid and potash. While other elements are of great im- 
portance, and in fact indispensable to plant growth, 
they are always present in sufficient quantities so that 
the farmer or the fruit grower pays no attention to 
supplying them. The fertilizer business is based 
entirely upon the problem of supplying to the grow- 
ing plants the three elements named. 



94 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



The plant uses nitrogen chiefly in making its 
growth of wood and leaves. This element is of very 
great importance and must always be present in 
sufficient supply. It is easily exhausted, and such 
exhaustion quickly shows in the growth of the tree. 
At the same time there is an inexhaustible supply of 
nitrogen in the atmosphere, though unfortunately 
it is not readily available. The use of the legumin- 




YEARLING TREES HALE ORCHARDS 

ous cover crop is the one well-known method of 
tapping this atmospheric supply. It is a method 
which should be used in fruit growing everywhere, 
and especially in peach growing. In fact, all the 
nitrogen necessary to many peach orchards upon 
good soils may be taken from the air by growing 
good cover crops of cowpeas, crimson clover or 
mammoth clover. 



THE USE OF FERTILIZERS 95 

Nitrogen is in many ways one of the simplest of 
plant foods to handle; that is, it is very easy to 
know when the trees need an additional supply of 
nitrogen. This may be told both from the growth 
of stems and the color of the foliage. Whenever 
a tree is not making reasonably good growth, and 
when the foliage is sparse and yellow, the need of 
nitrogen is indicated. Of course, nitrogen may be 
present in the soil, but unavailable because the roots 
of the tree stand in water, or for some other reason. 
Lack of drainage will always interfere with the 
availability of nitrogen. On the other hand, when 
a tree is growing vigorously and when the foliage 
is a thick, heavy, dark green, it is practically sure 
evidence that no additional supply of nitrogen is 
necessary In this way the fruit grower is enabled 
to keep close track of his nitrogen and to add more 
whenever it is needed. 

Phosphoric acid is especially required in building 
up the fruit and should be given in relatively liberal 
quantities when trees have fruit ready for matur- 
ing. Potash is valuable for the assistance it gives 
in the physiological processes of growth, enabling 
the leaves to take up the carbon in the atmosphere. 
There is also a general theory that potash is very 
much needed in the formation of seeds and that it 
should be used liberally, therefore, upon a peach 
orchard when a crop is maturing. It is thought also 
to help in giving color. In fact, the general preju- 
dice is strongly in favor of the use of a liberal 
amount of potash in fertilizers for peaches. 

FORMS OF FERTILIZERS 

These various chemical elements are available to 
the farmer in various forms. Nitrogen, for instance, 



96 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

can be bought in the form of nitrate of soda, nitrate 
of potash, tankage, etc., or it may be applied in barn- 
yard manure. Certain forms are cheaper, while other 
forms are more effective. Generally the best 
form in which nitrogen can be bought is in 
nitrate of soda. This is being used by all prac- 
tical and up-to-date 'growers, and while the cost by 
the ton is rather high, it needs to be used in only 
small quantities. 

Nitrate of potash costs considerably more than 
nitrate of soda, but the potash is available for plant 
growth as well as the nitrogen, and for this reason 
as well as for others a few growers have undertaken 
the use of this rather rare chemical. 

Tankage is a form of nitrogen which can be used 
in some cases. It is much less soluble than nitrate 
of soda, and its action is, therefore, spread over a 
longer time. It is also not so liable to be lost by 
leaching. Barnyard manure has an excess of nitro- 
gen, and for this reason is not generally well adapted 
to the needs of orchard trees. However, it gives 
splendid results with peach trees where it can be 
supplied. On most fruit farms it is not available in 
sufficient quantities for orchard requirements, and 
on general farms it will often do more good applied 
to other crops, leaving the peach trees to be supplied 
their quota of nitrogen in the form of tankage or 
nitrate of soda. 

The most common form for phosphoric acid is 
acid phosphate. This is known everywhere in the 
fertilizer trade, and is satisfactory for use on peach 
orchards. Its slight acidity is thought to be ob- 
jectionable on land which is already sour. On this 
account a good many growers prefer to use basic 
slag (Thomas phosphate powder), which instead 
of being acid, has some lime in it, which helps to 



THE USE OF FERTILIZERS 



97 



correct the acidity of the soil. This fertilizer is 
now becoming available in the United States at 
fairly reasonable prices. While the phosphoric acid 
still seems to cost slightly more a pound than it does 
in acid phosphate, practical growers prefer to pay the 
difference in a good many cases. Bone is a popular 
form of phosphoric acid. In many cases its use 
is economical and advisable. Its composition varies 
considerably, however, according to the method by 
which the bone is treated. Steamed bone contains 






TWO-YEAR ORCHARD INTERCROP SQUASHES 

relatively less nitrogen and relatively more phos- 
phoric acid than that which has been ground with- 
out steaming. 

The form of potash used most is muriate, which in 
the various grades contains from 45 to 62 per cent 
of actual potash. The muriate, however, is nearly 
always mixed with other salts, so that as it is ap- 
plied to the land there is seldom more than 50 per 
cent of actual potash available. 

Two sulphates of potash are known commercially 



98 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

as high grade and low grade. These are sometimes 
used as substitutes for muriate. Many good grow- 
ers prefer them in spite of the fact that they cost 
somewhat more than the muriate. The old-fash- 
ioned potash supply came from wood ashes. These 
are still widely advertised for use on fruit trees, and 
there is a strong popular prejudice in favor of them, 
wherever they may be obtained. As a matter of 
fact, they can be secured only in certain places, and 
never in sufficient quantity for the needs of fruit 
growers. Moreover, wood ashes vary so greatly in 
potash content that they are extremely unreliable. 
As a rule potash costs more a pound in the form 
of wood ashes than in muriate or sulphate. The use 
of ashes has, therefore, been largely abandoned by 
the most careful fruit growers. 

A few words ought to be said in regard to certain 
other kinds of fertilizers of which one occasionally 
hears. For instance, lime is often recommended 
upon fruit plantations, and certainly has its uses. 
Lime is particularly needed to correct the acidity 
of certain soils, for when the soil is acid it is inimi- 
cal to all the physiological processes of growth in 
the fruit tree. For the purpose of correcting the 
acidity of the soil, lime may be applied at the rate 
of half a ton or more to the acre. 

Kainit is a native potash-bearing rock which 
comes from Germany. It supplies a crude form of 
potash fertilizer and has been used to some extent 
because it sells for such a low price by the ton. The 
amount of real potash in it, however, is so small 
that the actual cost of plant food is considerably 
greater than in the more expensive forms of potash 
fertilizer. It is now never recommended and is 
not popularly used. 



THE USE OF FERTILIZERS 99 

ACTUAL PRACTICE 

It will be very interesting at this point to see what 
the fruit growers of the country actually do in fer- 
tilizing their peach orchards. In a recent inquiry 
which the writer made among the peach growers of 
the United States and Canada, about 150 gave 
definite statements regarding their methods of fer* 
tilization. The following tabulation shows the num- 
ber of times each type of fertilization was mentioned 
in the replies : 

None whatever 69 

Barnyard manure 43 

Mixed commercial fertilizer 7 

Cottonseed meal 2 

Tobacco dust I 

Lime 4 

Nitrate of soda : . 6 

Ground fish I 

Potash, mostly muriate 47 

Nitrate of potash i 

Sulphate of potash 4 

Kainit 3 

Ashes 22 

Acid phosphate 13 

South Carolina rock 4 

Bone 30 

"Potash" 10 

One of the most remarkable things in this tabu- 
lation is the amount of bad practice shown. The 
fact that something over one-third of the peach 
growers who testified admitted that they used no 
fertilizer whatever is a very bad showing. The 
fact that 43 others used barnyard manure, which 
is not well adapted to the practical needs of 



IOO THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

peach trees, and one of the most wasteful that 
a farmer could use, is also very depressing. Not 
one grower mentioned basic slag, which is known 
to be one of the best peach tree fertilizers, and only 

six men mentioned 
nitrate of soda, 
which is also one of 
the best things a 
fruit grower can 
have on hand and 
one which .every 
fruit grower ought 
to use from time to 
time. The number 
of times which .ashes 
are used also indi- 
cates a poor state of 
practice in this mat- 
ter. 

SPECIFIC FORMULAS 

If we take up 
now the problem as 
to just how much of 
which kinds of fer- 
tilizers are to be 
applied annually to 
a peach orchard, we 
will find various re- 

DUPLICATE LEAVES INDICATING romm ptiHatinn* 
GREAT VIGOR 

given by different 

men. The discrepancies, however, are not very serious, 
and are to be explained very largely by differences in 
soil and climatic conditions under which these recom- 
mendations have been given. Prof. M. A. Blake, of the 




THE 

New Jersey Experiment Station, recommends that 
the following kinds and amounts of fertilizer be ap- 
plied to each acre of the peach orchard annually 
and plowed under: 

Sulphate or muriate of potash, 150 pounds. 

Ground bone, 100 pounds. 

Acid phosphate, 200 pounds. 

Where the soil appears to be deficient in nitro- 
gen, especially if the trees fail to make a satisfac- 
tory growth the first season, he recommends that 
150 pounds of nitrate of soda to the acre be added 
to the above formula. For the first two or three 
years, during which time a vigorous growth is espe- 
cially to be desired on young peach trees, the addi- 
tion of a fair supply of nitrate of soda is rather 
important with this formula. When the trees come 
into bearing it is necessary to reduce the amount of 
nitrogen, or at least the proportion of nitrogen. It is 
possible for bearing trees to make too much growth. 
Excessive growth may interfere with the ripening 
of the current crop, and also with the formation of 
fruit buds for the succeeding crop. 

Voorhees states in his textbook on fertilizers that 
on good soil no added plant food is needed on peach 
trees until the third year, but this must be under- 
stood with reference to potash and phosphoric acid 
rather than with reference to nitrogen, for a certain 
amount of nitrogen will certainly be required. On 
poorer soils, he would use equal parts of raw ground 
bone, acid phosphate and muriate of potash, applied 
at the rate of 400 to 600 pounds to the acre annually. 
He recommends that this amount be somewhat in- 
creased, and from 100 to 150 pounds of nitrate of 
soda added in those years when a heavy crop is 
expected. However, he emphasizes the danger of 



IO2 



AMERICANA REACH ORCHARD 



excessive wood growth caused by late applications 
of soluble nitrogen. 

jVlr. George D. Leavens, fertilizer expert, recom- 
mends the use of Thomas phosphate powder (basic 
slag) in connection with sulphate of potash. His 
general method of procedure would be to apply the 




WELL-GROWN WELL-FORMED TREE 

phosphate powder first at the rate of 1,000 pounds 
or more to the acre. After the first annual appli- 
cation 500 to 600 pounds an acre a year is thought 
to be sufficient. The first application of sulphate of 
potash he would give at the rate of 200 to 300 pounds 
an acre, reducing this to 200 pounds an acre a year 
after the first application. He would also use nitrate 



THE USE OF FERTILIZERS IO3 

of soda, as would be indicated by the wood growth 
from year to year. Following the customary prac- 
tice among good growers, he recommends the use 
of a cover crop such as cowpeas, clover or vetch to 
furnish as much additional nitrogen as can be se- 
cured in this way. Mr. Leavens also believes that 
nitrate of potash may be valuable in some cases. 

In our own orchard our practice is to give each 
tree one ounce of nitrate of soda at the time it is 
set out. This is sprinkled on the soil about the 
tree as soon as the planting is done. The orchard 
is gone over later in the summer and a second ap- 
plication of nitrate is given to such trees as seem to 
be needing a little help. The second application 
may be from one-half ounce to one ounce to the tree. 
Soon after the first application of nitrate the trees 
are given one pound each of a mixture made from 
300 pounds sulphate or muriate of potash and 500 
pounds of basic slag. 

The second year each tree gets from one to two 
ounces of nitrate, depending upon the indications. 
It is expected to get also two pounds of the mix- 
ture of muriate and slag mentioned above. In suc- 
ceeding years the amount of nitrate is regulated 
chiefly by the growth of the trees, while the amount 
of the potash and slag mixture is increased at the 
rate of about one pound to each tree for each suc- 
ceeding year. When the trees come into bearing, 
however, they are expected to have approximately 
800 pounds an acre a year of the mixture already 
described ; that is, three parts of muriate or sulphate 
of potash with five parts of basic slag. 

The fact is that no very definite rule can be laid 
down for the fertilization of any crop, least of all 
for such a crop as peaches. Soils and climates vary 
greatly, and the variations of the soil and soil till- 



104 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

ing have a great influence on the methods of fer- 
tilization. Furthermore, the tastes and ideas of men 
vary, and these personal factors have to be taken 
into account also. They are of the greatest signifi- 
cance in fruit growing, for after all the man is more 
important than the soil, the climate or the peach 
tree. 



IX 
PRUNING AND RENOVATION 

THE peach tree requires more pruning than al- 
most any other orchard fruit. It grows rapidly and 
is subject to many diseases and accidents which 
make pruning desirable. While many apple grow- 
ers find it possible to continue in business with 
some profit for years without pruning their orchards, 
no one thinks of conducting a peach orchard in 
this manner. 

It must be admitted, however, that with all this 
need of pruning no very definite or very reliable 
system has been evolved in the United States. We 
cannot even say that any practical peach grower in 
the country has settled upon a complete and satis- 
factory pruning system. Even the best growers, 
while they have fairly definite ideas of what they 
are trying to do, are ready to confess that there is 
a good deal more that they do not know. They are 
still blundering along pretty much in the dark. Out 
of this general mass of ignorance and diverse prac- 
tice it is very hard to generalize a system of rules 
which may be confidently recommended to the 
novice. A few suggestions can be made, but the 
pruning of peach trees has got to be worked out 
largely by experience, every man for himself. This 
may not be a very encouraging way to put it; and 
certainly one who writes a book on peach culture 
ought to pretend to know all about the subject, but 
such a pretence would be the merest hypocrisy. 

Pruning begins, of course, the moment the tree 
is planted, or even before. The tree is cut back 
at the time it is set with a special view to the 

105 



io6 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



FORMING THE TREE 

formation of a new head. We may say that on 
this one point the practical peach growers of Amer- 
ica are fully settled, that is, on the desirability of 
forming the head very low. While a few growers 
of apples and pears and plums still believe in de- 
veloping forest trees with tall trunks, the peach 
growers have learned better. In the replies to a re- 
cent questionnaire from which the author received 
much valuable information from peach growers all 
over the United States, this desirability of form- 
ing the heads low was repeatedly asserted. Many 




PROPERLY FORMED TREE AT TWO YEARS 



PRUNING AND RENOVATION 



107 



of the growers specified the height at which they 
preferred to have the heads formed. Out of 280 
replies given in definite figures the very great ma- 
jority believed in forming the heads at 2 feet or less. 
It is interesting to look over a tabulation of these 
replies, which stands as follows: 

Number of 
Head at 
6 inches, 
12 
18 




A GOOD LOW-HEADED TREE 



io8 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



While this table shows a very striking preference 
for low heads, it does not do full justice to that 
opinion as expressed by my correspondents. A large 
number, in reply to the question as to how high they 




'HEADED TO THE GROUND AT PLANTING 



PRUNING AND RENOVATION 



109 



would head young trees, simply said "low" or "very 
low." There was some reason to suspect, also, that 
most of the men who recommended heads 4 to 5 feet 




LEFT UNPRUNED AT PLANTING 



IIO THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

high misunderstood the question. The writer tends 
strongly toward the minimum heights here men- 
tioned. His recommendation would always be to 
head young peach trees at a height of 6 to 12 inches 
from the ground. 

The advantages of low heading are many, and are 
more serious in the case of peach than of any other 
fruit tree. The peach tree forms poor, weak, brit- 
tle crotches which are particularly liable to split 
down when weighted with a load of fruit. When the 
head is formed at the surface of the ground or very 
near it the crotches are stronger than when the head 
is high. All sorts of damage by overloading of fruit 
or ice is greatly reduced. 

FORMING THE HEAD 

After the tree has been started on its very short 
trunk, the fruiting head has next to be formed. 
Different growers have different ideals as to what 
form these heads should take, though -it must be said 
that a good many men's ideals are extremely vague 
on this point. Many of the correspondents already 
referred to gave their opinions also as to the forma- 
tion of peach tree heads. Fourteen spoke definitely 
in favor of the vase form, which is the most widely 
known and definitely recognized form for growing 
peach trees in orchard plantations. Other growers 
spoke of growing trees in pyramidal form or cone 
form ; and it may be suspected that they had in mind 
the cone or the pyramid inverted, as there is really 
no such thing as a pyramidal peach tree in bearing. 
Among these curiosities of nomenclatures were also 
nine recommendations for the "umbrella-shaped" 
tree. These men probably had a vague idea of the 
vase-formed peach tree. Adding together the num- 



PRUNING AND RENOVATION III 

ber of men who spoke for vase, pyramid, cone and 
umbrella-shaped trees, we have 26, or enough to say 
that this is widely recognized as a proper shape to 
give a bearing peach tree. 

Several growers said that they pruned their trees 
in such a manner as to secure a spreading tendency 
of the top, and somewhat the same idea obviously 
belongs to those men who recommended an open 
top. The largest number of replies in the whole 
series definitely recommended the open top. A very 
large number also spoke emphatically in favor of the 
low top. These replies may be summarized briefly 
as follows: 

FORMS OF BEARING TOPS 

Spreading tendency desired 6 

Upright tendency favored I 

Low heads desired 35 

Open heads desired 66 

Vase forms 26 

Goblet or globe forms 3 

Dehorn every four or five years I 

Not much of any pruning 3 

This little tabulation really gives a pretty fair 

view of modern American practice in peach tree 

pruning. 

THE FRAME WORK 

When the task of forming the head in any desired 
shape actually begins, it is necessary first to secure 
a suitable framework. This is commonly built upon 
three or four supporting branches set out from the 
original stem as near as possible to the surface of 
the ground. These main laterals should be formed 



112 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

during the first year of growth in the orchard, and 
considerable pains should be spent at this time to 
see that a proper beginning is made. 

In the first place, the tree should be kept growing 
vigorously in order that a sufficient number of 
straight, clean branches may be thrown out. It is 
then well worth the time and money which it costs 
to go through the orchard two or three times during 
the growing season, rubbing out by hand weak, 
misplaced shoots. Early in the season the tree 
grower can select the three, four or five desired 
main shoots, seeing that they are symmetrically 
placed. All the others can be quickly snipped out 
or broken out with the bare hands. It is much more 
difficult to make such selections if the work is left 
until the following spring, and if it be neglected for 
two or three years, a proper framework can never 
be designed. 

At the beginning of the second spring each young 
tree should, therefore, consist of a very short cen- 
tral stem surmounted by three, four or five, prefer- 
ably four, fine, strong, fairly upright lateral shoots. 
These should be symmetrically placed so as to carry 
the well-balanced head. The shoots should vary in 
length from 8 inches to 2 feet, a fair average growth 
being 12 inches. Early in the spring they should be 
gone over with a pair of hand pruning shears, the 
main shoots shortened in one-third to one-half the 
previous year's growth, and the whole head shaped 
up as smoothly as possible. The orchard should 
then be gone over from one to three times during 
the growing season of the second year. At these 
prunings, the growth of the tree can be consistently 
regulated, the general ideal being to secure two or 
three clean, straight, well-placed secondary branches 
on each of the main laterals of the year before. 



PRUNING AND RENOVATION 113 

After the second year, attention will be given 
merely to keeping the heads clean and open, to re- 
moving injured and crossing branches and to the 
general development and maintenance of whatever 
ideal the fruit grower has set before him. 

Of course, the most precise and definite forms 
ever given to peach trees are those developed in 
formal fruit gardens of the European style. These 
trees are usually dwarfs, being preferably propa- 
gated on some species of plum stock. They are then 
trained against walls or trellises or along wires 
in hothouses. The fan form is the one usually 
adopted for the peach or the nectarine, though the 
simpler espalier forms may be developed if suffi- 
cient care is given. However, these artificial forms 
for the training of peach trees have little value in 
American practice, and none whatever in commer- 
cial peach growing. 

HEADING IN 

It is very desirable to keep the peach tree heads 
within the smallest practicable compass. I have 
seen large orchards of thousands of trees in full 
bearing where the entire crop could be harvested 
without the use of a single stepladder. This is a 
great advantage and economy in every way. In or- 
der to keep trees within this small compass, though, 
it is necessary that the head should be frequently 
and rather severely cut back. On the desirability' 
of this point there seems to be little difference of 
opinion, but a considerable diversity of practice in 
the methods of securing the result. 

Many growers recommend that the annual growth 
of the tree be headed in from one-third to one-half 
its entire length. This is perhaps as good practice 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



as can be stated in a single rule and in general terms. 
However, even at this rate the trees will still soon 
outgrow their bounds and will require additional 
shortening. In districts where an occasional crop 
is lost through frosts or winter freezing, advantage 
is taken of the fallow year to cut back the trees 
much more severely. Considerable portions of the 
heads are removed, the operator cutting back into 
wood two, three or even four years old. Such 
severe pruning, however is hard on the trees and 
tends to make them shorter lived. It may be worth 
doing in spite of that fact, inasmuch as the peach is 
a short-lived crop under any circumstances. 

SUMMER PRUNING 

This necessity for the repression of growth in the 
peach tree has caused many practical men to experi- 
ment carefully with 
summer pruning. 
In fact, this method 
of summer pruning 
is coming into con- 
siderable favor in 
the best peach- 
growing sections, 
though it must be 
confessed that no 
one has a very sat- 
isfactory and well- 
settled system of 
carrying on the 
work. 

Summer pruning 
should be practiced relatively early in the growing 
season, that is, when the shoots have made about 




TWO-YEAR PEACH TREE 



PRUNING AND RENOVATION 115 

two-thirds of the annual growth. In central lati- 
tudes, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, this 
will mean June I to 15. In southern latitudes the 
work will fall from two to four weeks earlier. 

The summer pruning gives an opportunity for 
curing any defects of growth ; so the first work to 
be given to each tree should be directed to the removal 
of suckers, water sprouts and badly placed limbs. 
The remaining work is of two sorts; first, the re- 
moval of entire undesirable branches; second, the 
heading back of well-placed branches which are to 
be left. Both methods are extensively used. 

The removal of entire branches may be very 
rapidly done, usually with gloved hands instead of 
with pruning tools. This is the best opportunity 
of all for keeping the center of the tree open. The 
center of the tree will usually be found filling up 
with soft, weak shoots which take more food ma- 
terial from the growth of the tree than they return. 
These can be broken out very rapidly and effectively 
with the hands. 

Especially on young trees, however, the method 
of heading back growing shoots may have consid- 
erable value. Well-placed shoots which have made 
a growth of 2 feet or more will be much better off 
if the tops are broken or snipped off during this gen- 
eral pruning. Commonly a few side buds will start 
into growth, but the shoot will ripen up and will 
become much stockier than if left to grow through- 
out the season. When left without heading back, 
a large part of the shoot has to be removed and 
thrown away the succeeding spring. 

In theory, this summer pruning has a tendency to 
check the superabundant growth of the tree, to en- 
courage the formation of fruit buds and to make the 
tree generally more fruitful. When the work is done 



Il6 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

carefully, it doubtless has this result. It is possi- 
ble, however, by summer pruning to force a weak 
growth from side buds which might otherwise de- 
velop into fruit buds. Such a course naturally tends 
to diminish the fruitfulness of the tree. 



SPECIAL PRUNING PROBLEMS 

It often happens that trees are seriously damaged 
by wind storms or ice storms or are badly broken 
down under heavy loads of fruit. Such injuries have 
to be remedied as far as possible by pruning. Dead 
and broken branches have to be taken out. No 
directions have to be given about this work, as it 
is a matter of individual judgment in each case. 

Another problem which arises frequently is that 
of handling orchards that have been severely in- 
jured by winter freezing. Trees in such orchards 
are usually very much weakened. They always re- 
cover with difficulty, but in many instances die. 
Rather extensive experiments have been made all 
over the country in dealing with cases of this kind. 
It has been found that a moderate heading back is 
the best pruning treatment which can be given. 
Trees severely headed back or dehorned rarely re- 
cover and never make desirable trees even when 
they live. On the other hand, frozen trees which 
are left without any pruning are not able to sup- 
port the entire old top. The growth starts very 
weakly and irregularly. Trees which are headed 
back rather evenly to wood of two or three years 
usually make a well-balanced growth and soon 
recover. The recovery is not always complete, but 
is nearly always better than under other methods 
of pruning. 



PRUNING AND RENOVATION 



117 



The reclamation of old, neglected peach orchards 
is sometimes worth while. It is not, however, so 
promising or profitable a practice as the renovation 
of old apple orchards. Peach trees, which have simply 
been neglected for two or three years, which are on 
good land, which are good varieties, which are under 10 
or 12 years of age, and which are not seriously at- 
tacked by yellows, little peach or San Jose scale, can 








A "DEHORNED" TREE IT HAS FAILED TO MAKE A NEW HEAD 



Il8 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

be brought around for a few years of profitable busi- 
ness. 

Efforts should first be directed to cleaning up the 
ground and putting the soil under a good system of 
clean cultivation. The trees should then be moder- 
ately headed back, the pruning following rather 
closely the lines suggested above for the treatment 
of frozen trees. A severe spraying campaign should 
follow, directed toward the subjugation of scale and 
other insects and the elimination of fungus diseases. 
This work can usually be begun in the fall or the 
winter. Profitable results should show within two 
years. Two or three market crops, however, are all 
that any man should expect to receive from any 
orchard saved from a term of serious neglect or ex- 
perience of severe winter freezing. 

PRUNING TOOLS 

Probably the best of all pruning tools is the 
human hand. The important work of summer prun- 
ing can be very largely accomplished with it alone ; 
and if the workman finds it a trifle wearing on his 
bare palms, he can put on a pair of coarse gloves 
such as western cornhuskers wear. Then the work 
will go as easily as any labor ought to. 

Next to the original implement the best pruning 
tool is the hand shears. These are made in various 
sizes and at various prices, but the shears of medium 
weight and very best manufacture are best. At 
least it does not pay to buy the cheap hand shears 
sometimes offered in the department stores. 

Larger shears to be operated with two hands are 
sometimes convenient. More generally useful, 
however, is the tool known in all the catalogs as a 
pole pruner. This has a handle in the form of a 



PRUNING AND RENOVATION 



119 



pole 6 to 12 feet long. The cutting blade works 
within a sort of hook at the top, and is actuated 
by a wire running down to a hand lever near the 
base. 

Pruning saws should seldom be used in the peach 
plantation, but in some instances they are, of course, 
necessary. They should be light and strong, of the 
best steel, with coarse teeth and wide "set." The 
coarse-grained brittle character of the peach wood 
makes the coarse saw almost indispensable. 




BROKEN DOWN BY OVER-BEARING 



INSECT ENEMIES 

IT is often said that the insect enemies of all crops 
are constantly multiplying in these latter times and 
that the modern farmer has a great deal more to 
contend against than his grandfather used to have. 
While this view of the case is usually exaggerated, 
it still has some foundation. At any rate, to grow 
regular crops of fancy fruit which will grade up to 
the requirements of the best markets, requires con- 
stant vigilance. The fruit grower today must be 
acquainted with a considerable number of insect 
enemies, must be able to recognize the work of each 
at a distance and must be ready to meet these foes 
in an effective manner. 

The most serious enemies of the peach are the 
San Jose scale, the peach borer, the peach lecanium, 
the plum curculio and the fruit bark beetle. For- 
tunately there are few orchards where all these in- 
sects operate at once, yet the orchards which are 
free from serious attacks by some of these are even 
more rare. 

SAN JOSE SCALE 

Unquestionably the San Jose scale should be 
awarded the first place among injurious fruit insects. 
Its geographical range is almost exactly the same as 
that of the peach tree. Thousands of peach orchards 
have been killed out entirely by this enemy; others 
have had their lives seriously threatened; many 
crops have been ruined; others have been partly 

120 



INSECT ENEMIES 121 

damaged. Everywhere the scale is a source of ex- 
pense and anxiety to the peach grower. 

The scale is most easily seen on the fruit, which 
when attacked is marked with small red circles 
around the scales. The fruit, however, is not at- 
tacked until the tree is already pretty well infested. 
The fruit grower must learn, therefore, to recognize 
the presence of the scale on the twigs. Here it may 
be seen as a rough, grayish, scurfy covering readily 
recognized after one has become acquainted with it. 

The San Jose scale need not be mistaken for any 
other scale insect. It is much smaller than the other 
kinds commonly seen on fruit trees, being rather 
smaller than a pinhead. It differs also from most 
other scales in being distinctly circular, whereas 
most species are oblong or oyster-shaped. It is also 
black with a dot or pimple in the center, giving it 
somewhat the appearance of a fungus pustule. 

The insects hibernate under these scales and be- 
gin their activities about the time the sap starts in 
the spring. Early in the summer the adult insects 
emerge and the females produce their young, which 
resemble small yellowish mites, and which move 
about on the tree looking up fresh fields and pastures 
new. As soon as they find suitable territory, they 
settle down and work their beaks into the bark or 
the young fruit and proceed to suck the juices of the 
tree. They begin at the same time to form waxy 
coverings which rapidly harden, turn dark colored 
and constitute the protecting scale over them. They 
are extremely prolific. The progeny of a few scat- 
tering San Jose scale will infest a whole orchard 
within a year or two. 

Fortunately this insect can be successfully held 
in check by constant and persistent spraying. Ex- 
perience indicates that the so-called soluble oils and 



122 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

the lime-sulphur mixtures are the most effective 
remedies. Extensive experiments have been made 
in summer spraying, especially with the lime-sul- 
phur sprays. While a few careful operators have 
shown excellent results by these methods, it can- 
not be said that summer spraying- has proved a gen- 
eral success against San Jose scale. Present prac- 




BOILING LIME-SULPHUR 



tice puts the chief emphasis on the theory of a 
thorough spring spraying, which is given about the 
time the snow goes off the ground and before the 
buds start into growth. In cases of very severe in- 
festation, it is feasible to spray the orchard heavily 



INSECT ENEMIES 



I2 3 



late in the fall after the leaves have dropped and 
again in the spring in the usual manner. 

Orchards which require a systematic San Jos6 
scale campaign should first be thoroughly pruned. 
The tops of the trees should be shortened and old 
broken branches cut out, reducing the area to be 
sprayed and facilitating the work of the sprayer. Where 
a regular annual spraying is given, as it must be 
in the San Jose scale districts, it is highly important 
to keep the trees pruned in this compact form and 
to keep the heads open and clean. 

LIME-SULPHUR WASH 

This spray solution is used chiefly for killing the 
San Jose scale, and has been found on the whole the 
most efficient spray for that purpose. The recipe 
is as follows : 

Fresh stone lime 16 pounds 

Flowers of sulphur, or sulphur flour 15 pounds 

Water 40 gallons 

Flowers of sulphur usually cost a little more than 
the sulphur flour, but should be preferred when the 
solution is to be cooked over a fire in the kettle. 
When the solution can be cooked with live steam, 
which is the better way, the cheaper grades of sul- 
phur are equally available. 

Begin by slaking the lime in a small amount of 
water in a large iron kettle. When the slaking lime 
generates a considerable amount of heat, sprinkle 
the sulphur in gradually, thus utilizing the heat of 
the lime in cooking the sulphur. At this stage, a 
fire should be made under the kettle and the solu- 
tion kept up to the boiling point, adding the water 
a little at a time. Vigorous boiling should be main- 



I2 4 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



tained for about an hour, at the end of which time 
the solution will become a dark orange color and 
should have very little sediment at the bottom. 
Whether it shows sediment or not, the solution 
should be strained through a fine strainer into the 
spray tank and used while still hot. 

There are several forms of ready-made lime-sul- 
phur on the market; some of these are fairly good, 




COOKING PLANT FOR LIME-SULPHUR 

but none of them has yet been found equal to the 
freshly made solution described above. 



SELF-BOILED LIME-SULPHUR 

Another method of making the lime-sulphur spray 
produces what is called the self-boiled mixture, 
which seems to have properties considerably differ- 
ent from the mixture described above. This self- 



INSECT ENEMIES 125 

boiled mixture seems to be especially valuable as a 
fungicide, particularly on the peach. It controls the 
leaf curl, the brown rot, the scab, and, when arsen- 
ate of lead is added at the spraying after the blos- 
soming season, the curculio also. The most recent 
methods of making this mixture, as worked out by 
Scott and Ayres of the United States Department 
of Agriculture, are as follows : 

The 8-8-50 formula is recommended. .This mix- 
ture can best be prepared in rather large quantities 
say enough for 200 gallons at a time, making the 
formula 32 pounds of lime and 32 pounds of sul- 
phur, to be cooked with 8 or 10 gallons of water, and 
then diluted to 200 gallons. 

The lime should be placed in a barrel and enough 
water poured on almost to cover it. As soon as the 
lime begins to slake the sulphur should be added 
after first running it through a sieve to break up the 
lumps. The mixture should be constantly stirred 
and more water added as needed to form a thick 
paste at first, and then gradually a thin paste. The 
Iim6. will supply enough heat to boil the mixture 
several minutes. As soon as it is well slaked, water 
should be added to cool the mixture and prevent fur- 
ther cooking. It is then ready to be strained into 
the spray tank, diluted and applied. 

The stage at which cold water should be poured 
on to stop the cooking varies with different limes. 
Some limes are so sluggish in slaking that it is diffi- 
cult to obtain enough heat from them to cook the 
mixture at all, while other limes become intensely 
hot on slaking. Care must be taken not to allow 
the boiling to proceed too far. If the mixture is al- 
lowed to remain hot 15 or 20 minutes after the slak- 
ing is completed, the sulphur will go into solution, 
combining with the lime to form sulphides, which 



126 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

are injurious to peach foliage. It is very important, 
especially with hot lime, to cool the mixture quickly 
by adding a few buckets of water as soon as the 
lumps of lime have slaked down. The intense heat, 
violent boiling, and constant stirring result in a uni- 
form mixture of finely divided sulphur and lime, 
with only a very small percentage of the sulphur in 
solution. The mixture should be strained to take 
out the coarse particles of lime, but the sulphur 
should be carefully worked through the strainer. 




SPRING SPRAYING FOR SCALE 



Arsenate of lead used with this mixture should be 
added at the rate of two pounds to 50 gallons. 



SOLUBLE OILS 



Many orchardists prefer to use the soluble oils. 
These are now extensively offered in the market, 
mostly under various trade names. They are 
products of the kerosene industry, the oil being 
made up to approximately the same specific gravity 



INSECT ENEMIES 127 

as water and in such a manner that it will mix with 
water readily under favorable conditions. The usual 
way of applying is to put these oils into the spray 
tank with water in the proportion of one gallon of 
oil to 15 or 16 gallons of water. The solution is then 
stirred vigorously by pumping it back into the bar- 
rel. It is then ready for immediate use. 

This ease of mixing forms a great argument in 
favor of the soluble oil as compared with the lime- 
sulphur sprays. Furthermore, it is much less caus- 
tic when it strikes the hands or the face of the 
operator. This is also an important advantage. One 
of its most serious defects is that it cannot be seen 
on the tree as the lime-sulphur mixture can, and it is 
difficult, therefore, to tell when the tree is fully 
covered. 

A very common practice among peach growers, 
and one which is on the whole to be recommended, 
is the use of soluble oil and lime-sulphur in alternate 
years. When heavy spraying is to be done in cases 
of severe and neglected infestation, lime-sulphur 
should be used in the fall and the soluble oil in the 
spring. 

PEACH TREE BORER 

Probably the peach tree borer has caused more 
profanity than even the San Jose scale. It is a par- 
ticularly troublesome and annoying insect and the 
methods of discouraging its attacks are such as to 
draw heavily on a fruit grower's religious fortitude. 
It is much more difficult, as a matter of fact, to over- 
come the attacks of the peach tree borer than to 
clean out the San Jose scale. This insect occurs all 
over the eastern United States in practically every 
orchard, and many competent men believe it to be 



128 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

responsible for more actual damage than all other 
peach insects combined. It is the cause of the dying 
out of many orchards at 10 to 15 years of age when 
they should otherwise live to 20 to 25 years of use- 
fulness. 

The larvae or grubs of this insect live on the ten- 
der inner bark of the roots and lower portion of the 
trunk. The tree is often completely girdled by these 




SPRAYED WITH LIME-SULPHUR 

borers. In such cases the leaves turn yellow and the 
tree soon dies. The presence of the insect is shown 
usually by gummy gelatinous material exuding from 
the wounds. The eggs are laid in July or August 
by a pretty black moth, usually on the lower part of 
the trunk near the ground. The eggs hatch in about 
10 days and the little borers work in through cracks 
in the bark. At this time they throw out minute 
quantities of fine brown dust from the holes and this 
will give a clue to their presence, providing the in- 



INSECT ENEMIES 129 

spection is sufficiently careful. They hibernate dur- 
ing the winter and begin to work again during the 
spring, at which time the exuded gum becomes ap- 
parent. 

One method of righting this insect is to wrap the 
trunk of the tree with stout building paper, the soil 
being mounded up over the base of this protecting 
sheet and the top of the paper being tightly tied to 
the trunk. These protectors have to be adjusted 
every fall and removed every summer. This is a 
troublesome and expensive labor and the method is 
not altogether efficient as a protection. 

A great many different kinds of washes have been 
tried, including such concoctions as the stewed liver 
of a black cat killed in the dark of the moon. In- 
deed, a good many of the remedies recommended 
are built on this plan and they all seem to be equally 
effective. They have been generally abandoned by 
practical peach growers. 

The only satisfactory method of fighting this in- 
sect is that of removing the grubs with a small sharp 
knife. The operator goes through the orchard, pref- 
erably during November and again in the spring 
just before the leaves begin to grow. Each tree 
trunk is minutely examined, and if signs of the borer 
are found, they are followed up with a knife and the 
borer dug out. This is -often a tedious and difficult 
job and considerable damage results to the tree dur- 
ing the operation. However, no equally effective 
method has yet been discovered. 

This work may be facilitated considerably if the 
soil is mounded up about the trunks of the trees in 
summer just before the eggs are laid. This has 
a tendency to make the moth deposit her eggs higher 
up on the trunk where the borers are easily dug out. 
The mounds of earth should be drawn away from 



130 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

the trees at the time of the first spring cultivation. 
At the winter meeting of the Virginia State Hor- 
ticultural Society in 1912 the dregs of lime-sulphur 
wash were highly commended as a preventive of 
peach borer troubles. The thick dregs were 
swabbed on the trunk about the time when the adult 
insects would normally be actively laying eggs. It 
was claimed that the work was effective and that no 
injury resulted to the trees. This method seems 
worth trying experimentally, at least. 

THE LECANIUM SCALE 

This insect is very bad in certain parts of the 
country and in certain parts of particular orchards. 
It is, however, a local insect and not so well known 
or generally found as the San Jos6 scale or the peach 
tree borer. Nevertheless, it occasionally becomes 
so bad as to take all the profit out of a good crop. 
A sooty, moldy fungus forms on the excretions of 
the insect. When this appears to a considerable ex- 
tent on the fruit, it makes the product unmarket- 
able. It occurs most frequently in certain parts of 
Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and Georgia. 

This minute scale hatches about the middle of 
June. The best time to treat it is when the young 
are spreading over tree and fruit. At this time it 
may be sprayed with a solution of whale oil soap, 
made up in the proportion of one pound of soap to 
four or five gallons of water. It may also be treated 
with a 15 per cent solution of kerosene emulsion. 
Either treatment is difficult and noisome and of 
limited effect. 

THE PLUM CURCULIO 

THE insect becomes very troublesome in certain 
years, its work being particularly noticeable when 



INSECT ENEMIES 13! 

the crop of fruit is light. This insect occurs every- 
where and feeds upon various kinds of fruit, espe- 
cially stone fruits, although it often attacks apples 
also. Some energetic peach growers have thought 
it profitable to maintain an active campaign against 
this insect, but it seems to be a more common prac- 
tice to let the curculio take what fruit it will and 
trust to the June drop or to hand thinning to elim- 
inate the greater portion of the infested fruits. 

The adult insect is a small hard beetle with a short 
snout. This beetle comes nosing around about the 
time the fruit trees bloom. The female lays her eggs 
in the young fruit, making a small crescent-shaped 
puncture in which to place each egg. The eggs 
hatch in from three to five days and the larvae bore 
into the fruit. They usually complete their damage 
in two or three weeks. By this time the fruit often 
falls to the ground. The larvae enter the soil, where 
they pupate. Here they change again to beetles, 
emerging two or three weeks later to feed on the 
ripening fruit. 

Good care and clean cultivation in summer tend 
to reduce the damage of the curculio to some extent. 
By gathering and destroying fallen fruit a large 
number of insects are removed from the orchard. 
The regulation textbook method of fighting the cur- 
culio is to jar the trees during the early mornings 
of May and June and to catch the beetles upon 
sheets spread under the trees. During the cool 
mornings the insects are sluggish and easily fall 
from the tree when it is shaken. 

A regular piece of apparatus for this sort of work 
is made by constructing a canvas umbrella about 
12 feet in diameter. This umbrella has an open 
slit on one side reaching from the circumference to 
the center. The umbrella is then mounted in an in- 



132 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

verted position upon a wheelbarrow or some sim- 
ilar truck so as to have the open slit at the forward 
end of the circular catcher. This big canvas is then 
run under each tree and the tree jarred so as to 
cause the beetles to fall into it. The beetles are then 
easily collected and burned. In some cases this 
method doubtless pays its way. The energetic fruit 
grower must be his own judge as to whether he 
can afford this expense of jarring the entire orchard 
five to 15 times during the growth of the crop. 

Really the most practical method of meeting the 
attacks of the curculio is by spraying with arsenical 




THE CURCULIO CATCHER 

poisons. White arsenic, paris green or arsenate of 
lead may be applied in the usual manner with the 
spray pumps. Two or three treatments are required. 
The first should be given very soon after the blos- 
soms fall, the second treatment two weeks later, 
and the third treatment, if one is given, two weeks 
after the second. As paris green 'is apt to injure 
peach foliage it is not recommended, though careful 
applications, especially in combination with lime or 
well-made Bordeaux mixture, may do no harm. 
Arsenate of lead is by all odds the safest and best 
of the arsenical poisons, and is now generally super- 
seding all others in orchard treatment. 



INSECT ENEMIES 133 

In the large peach sections of the central and the 
southern states where the best peach growers are 
adopting the practice of summer spraying with self- 
boiled lime-sulphur, the poison is added to this solu- 
tion and applied at the same time. Scott and Quaint- 
ance recommend that this combined mixture be 
made of a strength of eight pounds of lime and eight 
pounds of sulphur to each 50 gallons of water and 
the arsenate of lead added at the rate of two pounds 
to each 50 gallons of the mixture. If the poison is 
used without the lime-sulphur spray there should be 
added a certain amount of lime, say two pounds of 
lime to 50 gallons of water. 

The use of the combined poison and lime-sulphur 
spray is referred to further in the chapter on Plant 
Diseases, page 140. 

FRUIT BARK BEETLE 

The fruit bark beetle and the peach tree bark 
beetle, two different, but very similar insects, do a 
good deal of damage, especially in the central states. 
They bore holes in the tree trunks, making the bark 
look as though it had been struck by a charge of 
bird shot. These insects seem to be much worse on 
orchards which are otherwise in poor condition, and 
they are generally regarded as hardly worth the 
attention of the best fruit growers. In other words, 
general good care and constant attention are de- 
pended upon to prevent damage by these insects. 

In this connection it is important to remark that 
general good care goes a long way toward keeping 
in check all kinds of insect and fungus pests. 
These cause their greatest damage on neglected 
orchards. 



XI 
DISEASES OF TREE AND FRUIT 

ALTHOUGH the peach is fully acclimated to the con- 
tinent of North America and seems to be perfectly 
at home here, it is by no means such a sturdy and 
healthy tree as the apple. It seems to be a short- 
lived, weak and uncertain tree subject to various 
accidents and diseases. While an apple orchard is 
expected to live and thrive during more than a man's 
natural lifetime, a peach orchard is hardly expected 
to be profitable for more than 15 or 20 years. This 
relatively early disappearance of the trees is brought 
about by various causes, but largely by the insidious 
attacks of several serious diseases. Most important 
of these are (a) yellows and its close relative, the 
rosette, (b) a somewhat similar disease recently dis- 
covered and known as "little peach," (r) the brown 
rot, (d) the scab and (e) the leaf curl. 

THE YELLOWS 

This is one of the most serious diseases which 
attacks the peach tree and one of the most difficult 
to meet, and part of this difficulty lies in the fact 
that the cause of the disease is still unknown, although 
many of the best scientists of the world have studied 
the subject for many years. The following interest- 
ing characterization of the disease is made by Prof. 
L. H. Bailey : "The yellows is a distinct disease. It 
is not a condition. It attacks peach trees of all ages 
and in all conditions of vigor, seeming to have a 
preference for those that are thrifty. It is incurable 

134 



DISEASES OF TREE AND FRUIT 135 

and its termination is always fatal. It is communi- 
cable from tree to tree. The means of communica- 
tion is unknown, but it does not spread through the 
soil, it probably does not originate in the roots, it is 
evidently not conveyed from flower to flower, and 
it is probably not transferred by means of pruning 
tools. It may be disseminated by buds, even by 
those from branches that do not yet show signs of 
the disease. The one unmistakable symptom of yel- 
lows is the red-spotted character of the fruit. The 
flesh is commonly marked by red lines or splashes 
beneath the spots. These peaches generally ripen 
prematurely." 

Another striking symptom of the disease, one 
which often first meets the grower's eye, is the tufty 
growth of weak, young shoots which appear along 
the sides of the old branches. These crowded shoots 
are small and yellow with small, narrow leaves. 
The appearance is wholly abnormal, is never seen 
on healthy trees and is an unmistakable symptom 
of yellows. 

As soon as the tree is attacked, it begins to show 
a distinct loss of vigor, the leaves turn yellow and 
fall prematurely, the fruit is small, poor, tasteless, 
ripens early and is more fuzzy than the normal fruit. 
The tree succumbs to the disease the second or third 
year, depending somewhat on its general physical 
condition. When the yellows strikes a neglected 
orchard, it makes short work of it. 

There has been a great deal of discussion among 
fruit growers as to the degree in which yellows is 
contagious. Some have denied that the disease 
spreads from tree to tree or from orchard to orchard, 
others have felt convinced that it spreads seriously 
throughout any peach-growing section when it is 
once introduced. In many states there are now laws 



136 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

dealing with peach yellows, rosette and "little 
peach." These laws commonly authorize the de- 
struction of affected trees. 

The only practical treatment thus far known is to 
dig out and burn every affected tree the moment the 
disease is definitely diagnosed. This means the en- 
tire destruction of an orchard in some cases, but the 
best and most experienced fruit growers consider it 
far safer to dig out and burn an orchard than to keep 
one in which a large proportion of the trees are 
dying of this disease. 

A strong difference of opinion exists also as to the 
practicability of replanting peach trees in land where 
the yellows has killed an earlier stand of peach trees. 
Some growers claim that the disease will certainly 
reappear in the new trees, while other practical men 
believe that the disease is not retained in the soil 
at all and that trees planted on such land run no 
more risk of infection than on virgin soil. Most of 
the large peach growers who are in the business to 
stay have made up their minds that an orchard may 
be abandoned on account of yellows or other dis- 
eases, the land cleared thoroughly, cultivated to 
cereal crops for a few years and put back to peach 
trees with every prospect of success. A definite 
rotation of this kind is actually planned and carried 
out by some of the best men in the business. 

Rosette is so nearly like the yellows that it is re- 
garded as being the same disease, manifesting other 
slightly different symptoms. It is characterized 
chiefly by the formation of small tufts or rosettes of 
weak shoots and leaves along the sides of the 
branches ; somewhat resembling the tufts of shoots 
formed in later stages of the yellows. It conies upon 
tree and fruit in much the same manner as yellows, 



DISEASES OF TREE AND FRUIT 137 

being incurable and fatal in all cases. The treat- 
ment for rosette is precisely the same as for yellows. 

"LITTLE PEACH" AND "BIG PEACH" 

Little peach is a disease that has recently appeared 
in Michigan and is hardly known outside of the 
Michigan peach belt, though it has been found in a 
few places in New Jersey and western New York. 
The characteristic feature is the smallness of the 
fruit, which instead of expanding with the season's 
growth remains small, hard and worthless. The 
trees lose vigor, the leaves are small and weak and 
the tree dies after two or three years of misery. The 
cause of this disease is quite as obscure as the cause 
of the yellows and of the rosette. It is probably of 
the same general nature. It is equally incurable and 
almost as promptly fatal. The proper treatment is 
to dig out and burn the trees as soon as the disease 
is discovered. 

Big peach is a new malady which has appeared in 
some New Jersey peach orchards. The fruits en- 
large enormously, often to twice or three times nor- 
mal size. Orchardists have so far resorted to cutting 
and burning, since they have not been able to learn 
the cause or preventive methods. 

LEAF CURL 

This has been one of the most serious diseases in 
recent years in northern and central latitudes. It 
has caused serious concern to all peach growers and 
more active attention has been given to it than to 
the yellows for the reason that the disease seems to 
be preventable. It is caused by a definite, well- 
known fungus. Proper spraying will check the 



138 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

trouble. In fact, the disease may be almost com- 
pletely eradicated under favorable circumstances. 

The disease, characterized by the curling or 
crumpling of the leaves, usually shows soon after 
the first foliage has attained its full size. These 
curled and puckered leaves soon take on a grayish 
appearance,^ due to the ripening of the fungus spores. 
The leaves then soon fall off and the tree is thereby 
greatly weakened. The fruit also follows the leaves 
and the trees may be left entirely bare by the first 
of July. If the disease recurs during two or three 
successive years the trees will be killed outright. 

The spread of this disease is greatly dependent 
upon weather conditions, cool, wet, muggy weather 
being especially favorable to it. Usually the disease 
is not noticed until the damage is nearly done ; that 
is, until the leaves are curled or until they begin to 
drop. At this time nothing can be done to help the 
situation for the current year. As the disease is 
pretty apt to appear in succeeding years, however, 
adequate arrangements should be made for spraying 
the following spring. 

Any of the standard fungicides, if properly ap- 
plied, will mitigate the ravages of leaf curl. Strong 
solutions of Bordeaux mixture are satisfactory if 
given very early in the season. The application 
should be made before the opening of the buds in 
spring and the second application should follow just 
before the blossoms open. The first application, 
which is the most important, can well be made with 
the plain copper sulphate solution, three pounds of 
copper sulphate in 50 gallons of water. 

A few years ago it was noticed that the leaf curl 
was much less severe on trees treated with the lime- 
sulphur spray for the San Jose scale. Continued 
experiments have proved that the lime-sulphur mix- 



DISEASES OF TREE AND FRUIT 139 

ture has a very considerable fungicidal effect, and 
that when thoroughly applied in early spring before 
the opening of the buds, as is the proper practice in 
fighting the scale, the leaf curl will be greatly 
checked. Thorough annual sprayings of this char- 
acter will practically cut the leaf curl out of the 
list of dangerous orchard troubles. 

BROWN ROT 

The brown rot appears most prominently on the 
fruit, but attacks also the flowers, buds, twigs and 
foliage. It is due to a well-known fungus and can 
usually be prevented by proper spraying. 

It is conspicuous on the fruit which it attacks 
late in the growing season, usually about the period 
of maturity. It often works on the fruit even after 
it is picked and sent to market. It shows on the 
fruit in the form of small brown spots which enlarge 
rapidly, causing the whole fruit to decay. During 
warm damp weather the disease is very severe, 
often destroying an entire crop just when it is ready 
to pick or when it is already picked and on its way 
to market. Fruits left on the tree dry and shrivel. 
Many hang on the tree all winter, while others fall 
to the ground. The fungus remains dormant in 
dried fruits as well as' in the twigs of the tree, and 
from these sources the infection spreads the follow- 
ing year. 

Spraying with the ordinary remedies will do much 
to check the ravages of this disease, providing the 
work is begun early. Sprayings with Bordeaux mix- 
ture should be given first before the buds open, 
second before the blossoms open and third a week 
after the blossoms fall. Recent experiments seem to 
show, however, that the weak solutions of self- 



I4O THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

boiled lime-sulphur offer the most satisfactory 
means of fighting this disease. This spray has been 
extensively investigated by Scott and Quaintance 
who find that the fruit rot, the scab and the curculio 
may all be fought with the same series of sprayings. 
Their very interesting conclusions with regard to 
the treatment of these troubles may be quoted in 
full. They say : 

"Most of the peach orchards in the eastern half 
of the United .States should be given the combined 
treatment for brown-rot, scab and curculio. This is 
particularly true of the southern orchards, where 
all these troubles are prevalent. In some of the 
more northern orchards the curculio is not very 
troublesome, but as a rule it will probably pay to 
add the arsenate of lead in at least the first lime- 
sulphur application." 

"The self-boiled lime-sulphur mixture referred to 
in the following outlines of treatment should be 
made of a strength of eight pounds of lime and eight 
pounds of sulphur to each 50 gallons of water, and 
the arsenate of lead should be used at the rate of 
two pounds to each 50 gallons of the mixture or of 
water. When the poison is used in water there 
should be added the milk of lime made from slaking 
two to three pounds of good stone lime. When used 
in the lime-sulphur mixture additional lime will not 
be necessary." 

"Midseason varieties The midseason varieties of 
peaches, such as Reeves, Belle, Early Crawford, El- 
berta, Late Crawford, Chairs, Fox and Beers Smock 
should be sprayed as follows: (i) With arsenate of 
lead alone, about 10 days after the petals fall, or at 
the time the calyxes are shedding, (2) with self- 
boiled lime-sulphur and arsenate of lead, two weeks 
later, or four to five weeks after the petals have been 



DISEASES OF TREE AND FRUIT 14! 

shed. (3) With self-boiled lime-sulphur alone, four 
to five weeks before the fruit ripens." 

"Late varieties The Salway, Heath, Bilyeu, and 
varieties with similar ripening period should be 
given the same treatment prescribed for midseason 
varieties, with an additional treatment of self-boiled 
lime-sulphur alone, to be applied three or four weeks 
after the second application." 

"Early varieties The Greensboro, Carman, Hiley, 
Mountain Rose, and varieties having the same ripen- 
ing period should receive the first and second appli- 
cations prescribed for midseason varieties." 

"Where the curculio is not particularly bad, as in 
Connecticut, western New York, and Michigan, the 
first treatment, which is for this insect alone, may 
be omitted. Also for numerous orchards through- 
out the Middle States where the insect, especially in 
the younger orchards, is not yet very troublesome, 
orchardists should use their judgment as to whether 
the first application may be safely omitted. Where 
peach scab is the chief trouble, the brown-rot and 
the curculio are of only minor importance, as may 
be the case in some of the Allegheny Mountain dis- 
tricts, satisfactory results may be had from two ap- 
plications ; namely, the first with self-boiled lime- 
sulphur and arsenate of lead four to five weeks after 
the petals fall, and the second treatment of the 
above schedule with self-boiled lime-sulphur alone 
three to four weeks later. These two treatments, if 
thoroughly applied, will control the scab and the 
brown-rot, especially of the early and midseason 
varieties, and will materially reduce curculio inju- 
ries. Even one application of the combined spray 
made about five weeks after the petals fall would 
pay well, although this is recommended only for 
conditions where it is not feasible to do more." 



142 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

The cost of this treatment will vary from three to 10 
cents a tree, five cents being a fair average for medium- 
sized trees under usual labor conditions. A very 
slight increase in the crop will pay handsomely for 
this investment. 

SCAB 

Taking it the country over, scab stands next to 
the brown rot as destructive peach fungus. The dis- 
ease is common throughout all the peach-growing 
districts, at least to the east of the Rocky Mountains. 
It is present in nearly all orchards, and especially 
in wet seasons causes enormous damage. It is more 
common in the central and southern states than in 
the northeastern states. 

This disease, known also as spot and sometimes 
as mildew, is caused by a fungus which occurs in the 
skin of the peach. It produces small, rough, black 
spots which give the fruit a smutty appearance and 
which usually cause the skin to crack open in a very 
unsightly fashion. The fruit is stunted in size and 
remains hard and tasteless instead of ripening prop- 
erly. The fungus also attacks the twigs. 

Different varieties vary greatly in their suscep- 
tibility to the attacks of peach scab. Late varieties 
usually show the disease worse than early varieties. 
Those sorts which are commonly grown in the cen- 
tral states Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, 
West Virginia seem to be more subject to damage 
than the varieties which are popular northward, 
such as Greensboro, Carman, Champion, etc. 

Early sprayings with Bordeaux mixture or other 
fungicides tend to prevent this disease by killing the 
spores and preventing early infections. The most 
practicable treatment, however, seems to be that 
recommended by Scott and Quaintance and already 
outlined under the head of brown rot. 



XII 
SPRAYING 

THE practice of spraying is still somewhat new. 
Many excellent men now living have never seen the 
work done, and a good many who still have fruit 
trees think the work unnecessary. Successful fruit 
growers, however, know it to be indispensable. No 
time need be spent now arguing in favor of spray- 
ing. The San Jose scale and the peach leaf curl 
keep up that argument all the while. And their 
arguments are convincing, irrefutable. 

We may observe, however, that spraying will 
never cure any disease. It is only preventive in its 
action. Practically the same situation exists with 
respect to insects; for though the scale can be 
brought under control after it is pretty well estab- 
lished, the rule is that any fight against insects, to 
be successful, must be well under way before the 
insects become established. 

SPRAYING MACHINERY 

A spraying outfit consists of a tank of some sort, 
a pump, a nozzle or nozzles and connections. As 
in every technical undertaking it is important that 
each part be carefully chosen and properly adjusted 
to all the other parts. 

A good tank holding 100 to 200 gallons can be 
bought of the manufacturers of spray machinery 
cheaper than it can be made at home. It is suited 
to use with a power sprayer or with the heavier 
equipments of hand pumps. For small outfits a bar- 
ns 



144 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



rel serves best. Any good strong barrel will do, 
but convenient barrels are sold also by the dealers 
in machinery. 

The pump may be either run by hand or by a gas- 
oline engine. Other types of power have been 
largely experimented with, such as compressed air, 
gas, the steam engine, traction from the wagon 

wheel, etc. ; but while 
some of these have proved 
satisfactory in certain 
hands, the only generally 
successful pumps are 
those here recommended. 
For 20 acres of orchard 
or more the gasoline 
motor is to be recom- 
mended. For less than 20 
acres hand power is likely 
to prove most economical. 
Nozzles are of many 
kinds, though for all prac- 
tical discussion they may 
be reduced to two types ; 
viz., the Vermorel and the Bordeaux types. The 
general style of these is shown in the accompanying 
illustrations, pages 148, 150, 152. Nozzles of the im- 
proved Vermorel type are generally regarded as 
best for careful spraying, especially for the spring 
applications of lime-sulphur. They are also more 
economical of the solutions used. 

The selection of proper hose presents some special 
difficulties. The corrosive solutions soon spoil 
almost any rubber hose, and the purchase of a new 
supply entails constant expense. Some men prefer 
to buy cheap cotton hose and replace it as fast as it 
gives out. Others recommend buying the best. 




HEAVY HAND PUMP 



SPRAYING 145 

Small hose, about half an inch in diameter, is better 
than larger and heavier sizes. 

Rods for directing the nozzles are always re- 
quired. The best rods are of bamboo, and may be 
bought in various lengths from the purveyors of 
spray machinery. Four feet is long enough for 
young trees, but 6 or 8 feet will be required on 
trees of bearing size. 

Every outfit must also include a strainer. The 
strainer should be large and fitted with copper wire, 
20 meshes to the inch. 

SPRAY SOLUTIONS 

A great many fungicides and insecticides have been 
introduced and tested in the last few years. Many 
of these have good qualities, while a few are practi- 
cally worthless. For use on peach trees, however, 
we may settle down pretty comfortably to three 
sprays; viz., soluble oil, lime-sulphur and Bordeaux 
mixture. Even the Bordeaux mixture is now largely 
abandoned by many of the best growers, who have 
substituted for it the self-boiled lime-sulphur spray. 

There are various ways of making up the lime- 
sulphur mixture. The proportions of the ingredi- 
ents vary more or less with different workers. The 
following formula is fully tested and has been found 
satisfactory : 

16 pounds unslaked lime, 
16 pounds flowers of sulphur, 
50 gallons water. 

In small quantities this mixture can be most easily 
prepared in a large iron kettle, such as is used for 
cooking food for hogs. To make up the full recipe 
as given a 5o-gallon kettle is necessary. Such an 



146 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



equipment is perhaps the cheapest and most conve- 
nient arrangement for handling a small orchard, say 
up to five acres of trees. When an orchard gets to 
be as large as 10 acres it will probably be best to put 
in some sort of apparatus for cooking with live 
steam. 

The making of the lime-sulphur mixture is begun 
by slaking the lime in the kettle, using hot water. 

The fire under the 
kettle should be 
started at this time. 
As the lime slakes 
add water slowly. 
When the slaking 
is well under way 
the sulphur should 
be added. The heat 
generated by the 
slaking lime will 
help to melt it, and 
this is a help of 
some importance. 
At this stage the 
kettle should con- 
tain only 10-15 gal- 
lons of water. Vig- 
orous and constant 

stirring of the mixture is necessary during this 
period, which will occupy about 15 minutes. When 
the lime is thoroughly slaked and the sulphur dis- 
solved the rest of the water may be added, preferably 
hot. The whole is then brought to the boiling point 
and vigorously boiled for 40 minutes to an hour. Thor- 
ough boiling is very important. During this cooking the 
mixture changes to a dark reddish-orange, very 
characteristic and easily recognized after once being 




BARREL SPRAY PUMP 



SPRAYING 147 

seen. The appearance of this peculiar color is one 
of the best tests for a well-made mixture. 

Some sediment will usually be found in the bot- 
tom of the kettle. This is mostly undissolved parti- 
cles of lime, or unburnt bits of limestone. Any con- 
siderable amount of this sediment, however, indi- 
cates a poor grade of lime. The solution must be 
strained before using. It should be strained directly 
into the sprayer and used hot off the fire. The hot- 
ter the solution can be put on the trees the better. 

Whenever large quantities of the lime-sulphur 
mixture are to be used it is best to provide a steam 
cooking plant. This consists merely of any sort of 
steam boiler for generating the steam, and a hose 
for conducting the live steam into the barrels in 
which the cooking is done. The illustration, page 
124, shows the arrangement of the various elements 
in the scheme. Such an equipment is comparatively 
inexpensive, and will produce a better grade of lime- 
sulphur mixture than can be made in any other way. 

Good lime is very important in making up this 
recipe. Air-slaked lime or half burnt lime should 
never be used. In any case when the quality of the 
lime is in doubt the quantity ought to be corre- 
spondingly increased. An excess of lime will do no 
injury, and it is a slight advantage. At least it whit- 
ens the trees and helps to show how far the spray- 
ing has advanced. 

Good clean flowers of sulphur should be used. 
The so-called "sulphur flour" is a trifle cheaper, but 
is not so good, particularly when one has to cook the 
mixture in a kettle. When live steam is used the 
difference is less important. Whenever possible sul- 
phur should be bought in barrel lots. Barrels hold 
about 200 pounds. Purchases should always be 
made by sample. Early in the winter the fruit 



148 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



grower shouM write to leading supply houses and 
wholesale dealers in drugs and chemicals for sam- 
ples and prices. 

Lime-sulphur is the nastiest, dirtiest and most 
humanly unpleasant spray ever devised. Perhaps 
this is one reason why it makes the scales so uncom- 
fortable. Every fruit grower must become inured 
to the annual hardship of the lime-sulphur cam- 
paign, and as far as possible he must try to inure 
the hired men to it. Let him 
remember, though, that it is 
a vile experience, and let 
him have some patience, 
especially with green men. 
The man who sprays with 
lime-sulphur for four weeks 
in the spring is entitled to at 
least a half day off the 
Fourth of July. The solu- 
tion is very hard on the skin, 
and harder on some men 
than on others. Care must 
be taken to prevent the solu- 
tion falling on the hands and 
face. The hands ought to be 
protected with coarse, cheap 
SINGLE "VERMOREL" NOZZLE cotton gloves, which can be 

thrown away as fast as they 

wear through. Even the horses or the mules at- 
tached to the spray wagon are entitled to the pro- 
tection of a good blanket. The sulphur spray will 
injure the harness as well as the horses. 

This solution is used chiefly for the early spring 
campaign against the San Jose scale ; but it has very 
distinct fungicidal properties and serves to check 




SPRAYING 149 

some of the most serious plant diseases, such as fruit 
rot and leaf curl. 

There are now on the market any number of com- 
mercial mixtures of ready-made lime-sulphur. Some 
of these are very good, others very poor. No one 
should use these mixtures extensively without posi- 
tive proof of their efficiency, which proof can hardly 
be secured in any other way than by careful tests 
in one's own orchard. Only reliable manufacturers 
should be patronized, and new schemes held in 
grave suspicion. Good home-made lime-sulphur is 
better than the best commercial ready-made brands. 

SELF-BOILED LIME-SULPHUR 

For summer spraying the lime-sulphur is also 
useful, but it is used in weaker forms and is usually 
prepared by the self-boiling process. The most ex- 
tensive experiments with this spray have been made 
by Messrs. Scott and Quaintance of the United 
States Department of Agriculture. Their directions 
for making it may well be quoted : 

"The standard self-boiled lime-sulphur mixture is 
composed of eight pounds of fresh stone lime and 
eight pounds of sulphur to 50 gallons of water. In 
mild cases of brown rot and scab a weaker mixture 
containing six pounds of each ingredient to 50 gal- 
lons of water may be used with satisfactory results. 
The materials cost so little, however, that one should 
not economize in this direction where a valuable 
fruit crop is at stake. Any finely powdered sulphur 
(flowers, flour, or "commercial ground" sulphur) 
may be used in the preparation of the mixture. 

"In order to secure the best action from the lime, 
the mixture should be prepared in rather large quan- 
tities, at least enough for 200 gallons of spray, using 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



32 pounds of lime and 32 pounds of sulphur. The 
lime should be placed in a barrel and enough water 
(about six gallons) poured on almost to cover it. 
As soon as the lime begins to slake the sulphur 
should be added, after first running it through a 
sieve to break up the lumps, if any are present. The 
mixture should be constantly stirred and more wa- 
ter (three or four gallons) added as needed to form 
at first a thick paste and then gradually a thin paste. 

The lime will sup- 
ply enough heat 
to boil the mix- 
ture several min- 
utes. As soon as 
it is well slaked 
water should be 
added to cool the 
mixture and pre- 
vent further cook- 
ing. It is then 
ready to be 
strained into the 
spray tank, diluted 
and applied. 

"The stage at 
which cold water should be poured on to stop the 
cooking varies with different limes. Some limes are 
so sluggish in slaking that it is difficult to obtain 
enough heat from them to cook the mixture at all, 
while other limes become intensely hot on slak- 
ing, and care must be taken not to allow the boiling 
to proceed too far. If the mixture is allowed to re- 
main hot for 15 or 20 minutes after the slaking 
is completed, the sulphur gradually goes into 
solution, combining with the lime to form sulphides, 
which are injurious to peach foliage. It is there- 




DOUBLE "VERMOREl." NOZZLE 



SPRAYING 151 

fore very important, especially with hot lime, to 
cool the mixture quickly by adding a few buckets 
of water as soon as the lumps of lime have 
slaked down. The intense heat, violent boiling, and 
constant stirring result in a uniform mixture of 
finely divided sulphur and lime, with only a very 
small percentage of the sulphur in solution. It 
should be strained to take out the coarse particles 
of lime, but the sulphur should be carefully worked 
through the strainer." 

In the use of this mixture it is often desirable to 
add some insecticide, which should always be arsen- 
ate of lead. Messrs. Scott and Quaintance, already 
quoted, give the following suggestions regarding 
the use of the arsenate of lead with the self-boiled 
lime-sulphur: "Arsenate of lead is to be found on 
the market both as a powder and as a putty-like 
paste, which latter must be worked free in water be- 
fore it is added to the lime-sulphur mixture. The 
paste form of the poison is largely used at the rate 
of about two pounds to each 50 gallons of the lime- 
sulphur wash and is added, after it has been well 
worked free in water, to the lime-sulphur spray pre- 
viously prepared. As there are numerous brands of 
arsenate of lead upon the market, the grower should 
be careful to purchase from reliable firms. A de- 
cided change in color will result when the arsenate 
of lead is added to the lime-sulphur mixture, due to 
certain chemical changes which, in the experience of 
the writers, do not injuriously affect the fungicidal 
and insecticidal properties of the spray or result in 
injury to the foliage. 

"In large spraying operations it will be more con- 
venient to prepare in advance a stock mixture of 
arsenate of lead, as follows: Place 100 pounds of 
arsenate of lead in a barrel, with sufficient water to 



152 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



work into a thin paste, diluting finally with water 
to exactly 25 gallons. When thoroughly stirred, 
each gallon of the stock solution will thus contain 
four pounds of arsenate of lead, the amount neces- 
sary for ico gallons of spray. In smaller spraying 
operations the proper quantity of arsenate of lead 
may be weighed out as needed, and thinned with 
water. In all cases the arsenate of lead solution 
should be strained before or as it is poured into the 
spray tank. The necessary care should be exercised 
to keep the poison out of the reach of domestic and 
other animals." 



SOLUBLE OILS 

In the universal campaign against the San Jose scale 
a considerable figure is cut by the soluble oils. 

These are simply vari- 
ous preparations of 
coal oil made up to a 
specific gravity prac- 
tically equal to the 
specific gravity of wa- 
ter and in a form that 
they will readily mix 
with water. The 
usual method of using 
consists simply of 
mixing the oils with 
the water in the spray 
tank. This is so very 
much easier than mak- 
THE "MisiRY" NOZZLE ing lime-sulphur mix- 

ture, and their use is 

attended with so much less annoyance, that many 
growers prefer them. They are not generally so 




SPRAYING 153 

effective, and are harder to put it on thoroughly, 
especially due to the fact that they leave no trace 
on the tree, and it is hard to tell when a tree has 
been fully covered. They have no fungicidal proper- 
ties as the lime-sulphur has. 

A common practice, and one to be indorsed, is to 
put on a spray of soluble oils in late fall or early 
winter for the treatment of very light infestations 
of scale and when fungus diseases are not feared. 
This will mean principally the treatment of young 
orchards of one or two years' growth. Or the solu- 
ble oils may be used for a fall spray on badly in- 
fested orchards when they can be followed with a 
thorough spring spraying with the regulation lime- 
sulphur. This double dose is not too much for bad 
cases of San Jose scale, and serves as the best gen- 
eral method of bringing them promptly under con- 
trol. 

BORDEAUX MIXTURE 

While Bordeaux mixture is the best known of all 
fungicides, and often of value in peach growing, it 
has less use here than in apple culture. The changes 
in the formula have been very few and of a minor 
nature, showing that Bordeaux mixture is as nearly 
perfect as such things can be. The mixture is made 
in various strengths for various purposes, but prob- 
ably the best formula for spraying dormant peach 
trees is the standard mixture, as follows : 

4 pounds copper sulphate (blue vitriol), 
4 pounds lime, 
50 gallons water. 

To make up the mixture first dissolve the copper 
sulphate. This process can be very much hastened 



154 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

by using hot water. The usual method, however, is 
to put the copper sulphate into a gunny sack and 
hang it on a fork handle in the top of a barrel or a 
tub, so it will just barely be immersed in the water. 
As fast as it dissolves it sinks toward the bottom of 
the vessel. If only 50 gallons (say one barrel) of 
mixture are to be made it is well to dissolve the 
copper sulphate in 25 gallons of water. 

The next step is to slake the lime. This should 
be done by adding a little water at a time, just 
enough to keep the lime slaking, but not enough to 
dissipate the heat generated in the process. When 
the slaking is finished more water can be added, 
making the lime into a thick cream. It can then be 
diluted so as to make 25 gallons or half a barrel of 
solution. If necessary, it should be strained. With 
good lime, however, the straining can be omitted. 

The two solutions are now ready the copper sul- 
phate in one tub or barrel and the lime in another. 
To make the mixture, dip or pour the copper sul- 
phate into the lime, or else pour both solutions at 
once into a third barrel. In either case the mixture 
must be stirred vigorously during the pouring. Un- 
der no circumstances should the process be reversed 
and the lime poured into the copper sulphate. This 
little detail, which is of no obvious importance what- 
ever, really makes the difference between a good 
and a very bad mixture which may ruin the foliage 
on every tree it touches. 

When a big campaign of spraying is on and much 
bordeaux has to be made, the best plan is to make 
up stock solutions. To do this dissolve say 40 
pounds of copper sulphate in 40 gallons of hot water, 
and set it aside for use. Then in a suitable box slake 
40 pounds of lime, and add enough water to make 
40 gallons of this solution also. With care these 



SPRAYING 155 

solutions will keep for some time ; if they stand for 
several weeks they become considerably concen- 
trated through evaporation of the water. 

To use these stock solutions in making up a bar- 
rel of bordeaux for spraying take four gallons of 
the copper sulphate solution and dilute it to approx- 
imately 25 gallons. Then take four gallons of the 
lime solution and dilute it in another barrel, making 
approximately 25 gallons. Then pour the copper 
sulphate solution into the lime solution as before 
directed, stirring thoroughly. 

No matter how the Bordeaux mixture is made it 
should be strained before using. To do this put it 
through cheesecloth as it goes into the spray tank. 

In making up large quantities of Bordeaux a great 
amount of labor can be saved by a convenient ar- 
rangement of barrels or tanks. The usual way is to 
build a platform, preferably in two stories, say 6 and 
12 feet high. The stock solutions are made up in 
tubs, barrels or tanks on the upper platform. They 
are also ladled out and diluted on this upper stage. 
They are then allowed to run together into a trough 
conducting them to a barrel on the lower platform. 
They mix as they run together into the trough, and 
this mixture should be vigorously stirred in the 
barrel during the operation. The mixture thus com- 
pleted is drawn off by gravity into this spray tank, 
passing through the cheesecloth strainer on its way. 

This staging must be made high enough so that 
the completed mixture will run down into the 
mounted spray tank. There must be arranged a 
convenient water supply, sending water easily up to 
the top platform. This staging can be used in mak- 
ing and handling other sprays, though it is espe- 
cially adapted to the manufacture of Bordeaux. 

A word needs to be said about the chemicals used. 



156 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Copper sulphate is seldom adulterated, though 
sometimes it is not so clean as it ought to be. The 
granulated, form costs about one-half cent more a 
pound than the lumps, and is easier to dissolve. If 
the amount of work to be done will justify it the 
copper sulphate should be bought by the barrel. 
A barrel contains in the neighborhood of 200 pounds 
and costs from 6^4 to 7J^ cents a pound at present, 
with a tendency for the price to go higher. 

The proper selection of lime is more important. 
The lime must be of good quality, well burned and 
not air slaked. The fine lime sometimes preferred 
by masons should not be used. Lumps are better. 

Always use lime enough. The quantity recom- 
mended in the formula already given will be suffi- 
cient, if good lime is used ; but in case of doubt more 
lime can be used. It is customary in books and 
bulletins to recommend the so-called ferro-cyanide 
test, but in actual practice it is better to rely on 
good lime. The idea of this ferro-cyanide test is to 
determine whether the lime has completely neutral- 
ized the copper sulphate. A solution of potassium 
ferro-cyanide (yellow prussiate of potash) is made 
by dissolving say one ounce of the ferro-cyanide in 
six ounces of water. A few drops of this solution 
may be dropped into the Bordeaux mixture to be 
tested, when, if the copper sulphate. has not been 
neutralized, it will instantly give a deep brownish- 
red color. If the mixture is properly neutralized no 
color will appear. This test is very accurate and 
reliable, provided the Bordeaux is evenly mixed ; but 
it is too much bother for practical use in the field. 

Bordeaux mixture is nowadays seldom used on 
peach trees when in foliage; but in case it is to be 
applied to the leaves it should be made considerably 



SPRAYING 



157 



weaker than the standard formula already given. 
The following recipe may be used : 

2 pounds copper sulphate, 
4 pounds lime, 
50 gallons water. 

THE SPRAYING CAMPAIGN 

In order to make spraying effective it is always 
necessary to organize a vigorous campaign. A 



.__ 




THE PEACH HARVEST IN A SMALL ORCHARD 

definite program of operations must be laid off, 
every item based on careful study and on all avail- 
able experience, and this program must be steadily 
followed. 

This program can be somewhat definitely stated 
for the care of peach orchards. In its broad outlines 
it is as follows : 



158 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

1. Fall or winter treatment with soluble oil on 
young trees with light infestation of scale, or on 
old orchards with severe infestation. (See page 152.) 

2. Spring treatment with lime-sulphur for San 
Jose scale, leaf curl and monilia. (See page 145.) 
Bordeaux mixture is sometimes used for this spring 
treatment when scale is not present. 

3. Summer treatments with self-boiled lime- 
sulphur for peach scab and monilia; or with 
lime-sulphur plus arsenate of lead for curculio. 
(See page 149.) 

GENERAL SUGGESTIONS 

There are many things to look after in spraying. 
One must be ever on the alert, and must be well 
informed as to the purposes and methods of his 
practice. The following specific suggestions are 
based on long experience, and should always be 
borne in mind: 

1. Have a definite knowledge of the life and habits 
of the insect or the fungus to be fought. Be sure 
to understand in particular the vulnerable points, 
the points at which the foe is to be attacked, and the 
way it is to be circumvented. Spraying with paris 
green to kill San Jose scale is as useless as voting 
for the American Express Company in order to in- 
troduce parcel post. 

2. Spray thoroughly. Sloppy, slovenly work is 
bad enough anywhere, but carelessness in spraying 
defeats the whole object of the work about as fully 
and promptly as anything can. 

3. Spray annually. It is like taking a bath every 
summer whether a man needs it or not. The chances 
are he will need it. Spraying is a sort of an insur- 
ance. One cannot wait till insects are devouring his 



SPRAYING 159 

trees or disease has taken hold of the crop, and then 
start his spraying. He has to get there first. 

4. Be prepared early. This is good advice with all 
sorts of farm work, but in spraying, where a delay 
of even a day or two may spell ruin to the crop, 
nothing should be put off, nothing overlooked, noth- 
ing taken for granted. Every bit of apparatus and 
all needed chemicals should be inventoried and the 
list scrupulously checked before spraying time 
comes round. 

5. Spray early. If the work is allowed to lag and 
come along two weeks or a month late, it is likely 
to be much less effective or wholly worthless. 

6. Do not spray while the trees are in bloom. It 
is never necessary, it is even dangerous to the blos- 
soms, and it is always dangerous to bees. 

7. Solutions of sulphur or copper sulphate are 
hard on tin or galvanized iron. They should always 
be stored in wooden, earthen or glass vessels. Pump 
cylinders should be of brass for use with Bordeaux 
mixture, but for lime-sulphur should be of iron. 

8. Several of the spray chemicals, as arsenate of 
lead, are deadly poison. They should be treated as 
such. They should always be fully labeled, marked 
"POISON," and kept well out of reach of children, 
preferably under lock and key. 



XIII 



MARKETING THE CROP 

The peach is one of the most difficult of the tree 
fruits to market properly. It is perishable and very 
delicate. The crop must be handled rapidly and at 
the same time very carefully. For this marketing 
large quantities of labor are required. These neces- 
sary laborers must be employed for a short time 
only, so there is not much opportunity to organize 
and train them for the difficult work they have to 
perform. The shortness of the harvest season and 
the fact that peach harvest cannot be relied upon 
even every year also increase the difficulty. 

PICKING 

It requires considerable experience to judge ac- 
curately the time 
when a peach is ready 
to pick. The maturity 
will depend a good 
deal on the market 
for which the fruit is 
destined. If to be 
used at home it will 
be allowed to ripen on 
the tree, and of 
course, under these 
circumstances it will 
attain a finish and a 
quality which it can- 
not have under any 
other conditions. The 




HALF-BARREL PICKING BASKET 



160 



MARKETING THE CROP 



161 



fruit which has to be handled in the open market 
can never be allowed to become thoroughly soft 
and ripe. The man who meets the market 
must have a pretty definite idea of how many 
days must elapse between picking and consumption 
of the fruit, and allowance must be made for this at 
picking time. The picker tells whether a peach is 
ready to pick or not by feeling it with his hands, or 
by observing the color of the fruit. 




HAULING TO THE PACKING SHED 

When a considerable amount of fruit has to be 
handled, the organization of the picking gang be- 
comes a serious problem. The men have to be 
found hurriedly, and there is not sufficient time to 
train them as they ought to be trained for their diffi- 
cult task. In the South, where negro labor is 
abundant, it is widely employed and is generally 
found to be satisfactory. In districts where Italian 



l62 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

labor is available it is also found to be very satis- 
factory. Near manufacturing centers women and 
girls can usually be employed, and when the proper 
ones are found, they make very good pickers. In 
most districts, however, the picking gang is mis- 
cellaneous and nondescript in the extreme. In gen- 
eral the workers receive their wages by the day. 
These wages will vary with the locality, running 
from 75 cents to $2 a day or even more. In most 
large orchard enterprises pickers are paid by the 
basket. Where half-bushel baskets are used for 
picking the wages are from two to five cents a 
basket. 

SORTING 

As soon as the fruit is picked it must be carried to 
the packing house. For this purpose nothing is bet- 
ter than the regulation fruit wagon as made by sev- 
eral manufacturers. This wagon has good springs, 
and broad flat bed on which the fruit baskets are 
piled. 

A convenient packing house centrally located is 
of great importance in handling a peach crop. Its 
arrangement is a problem upon which the fruit 
grower can well spend considerable thought and 
some money. A small packing house should be ar- 
ranged to receive the fruit at one side ; to handle it, 
sort it and pack it near the center of the house ; and 
pass it out to wagons or cars on the opposite side. 
A large packing house should be arranged to re- 
ceive the fruit from two sides if not three, to have 
it sorted in two ranges of sorting tables and deliv- 
ered to a center aisle. The fruit should then be in- 
spected and passed along the center aisle to the end 
of the house from which it is handed directly into 
the cars. 



MARKETING THE CROP 



i6 3 



The actual work of sorting requires considerable 
skill and experience. Women and girls have been 
found especially useful at this task. Some men make 
good fruit packers; others are useless. 

Mechanical graders and sorters have been put 
upon the market from time to time and have been 
carefully tested, but so far as the writer knows no 
machine of any sort has ever proved satisfactory. 



PACKAGES 

One of the most important problems in handling 
the peach crop is the selection of proper packages. 
Those most commonly used are the quart berry 
basket, the four-quart till basket, the two-and-a- 
half-quart bale bas- 
ket, the climax bas- 
ket of various sizes, 
the Georgia carrier, 
the Jersey basket 
and the bushel bas- 
ket. 

The quart basket 
precisely as made 
up for handling 
strawberries, is 
sometimes used in 
selling peaches, 
especially in the 
retail market. It is 
not a good pack- THE JERSEY BASKET 

age, however, and 

should never be recommended. It is used only for 
second grade peaches, which properly ought to be sold 
in larger quantities. Where really good peaches are to 
be sold on fruit stands at retail they should be sold by 




164 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

the piece or the dozen. Nevertheless the quart 
basket is cheap and convenient and will doubtless 
continue to be used. 

The four-quart till basket as used in the Georgia 
carrier is also frequently used without the carrier 
as a retail package. Four quarts is a convenient 
amount to be handled in a retail market. Many re- 
tail dealers make a practice of sorting up fruit from 
larger packages into the four-quart basket and 
passing them out to their customers in this form. 




THE GEORGIA CARRIER 

As a rule the package is not so convenient for the 
fruit grower on account of the difficulty of handling 
into the market without the crate. It really requires 
the crate to transport it. 

The two-and-a-half-quart bale basket is not much 
used, but deserves more attention. It has the form 
of the Jersey peach basket, but has also a small wire 
bale. It has proved to be very convenient in retail 
markets. It is attractive to the customer and cheap 
for the fruit producer. It seems strange that so 



MARKETING THE CROP 165 

good a basket should not have received more wide 
attention. 

The climax basket is one of the most convenient 
packages of all to handle and this, no doubt, has ac- 
counted somewhat for its wide popularity. It is also 
one of the first baskets known in the peach trade, 
and so has had a certain prestige on account of its 
age. Climax baskets are made in various sizes, 
mostly one-fifth, one-sixth, one-eighth, one-tenth 
bushel sizes. They seem to be much more popular 




THE CLIMAX BASKET 

in Michigan than elsewhere, although the markets 
centering about Chicago use them rather freely. 
They are much better adapted for local markets 
than for long shipments. 

The package par excellence for long shipments is 
the Georgia crate or peach carrier. This crate holds 
six four-quart till baskets or 24 quarts of peaches. 
No other basket has been found which stands ship- 
ment so well and delivers its fruit in such good con- 
dition at the end of long journeys. This package 



i66 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



has the additional advantage that the fruit may be 
sold out in four-quart parcels, the amount which 
seems to be especially attractive to most consumers. 
The next most important basket in the market 
is the Jersey basket, made in the form of a truncated 
cone. This basket is cheap and easily handled. The 
quantity of fruit which it carries is satisfactory to 




THE BUSHEL BASKET 



most consumers, so the package may be handled 
directly from the orchard to the consumer without 
being re-sorted in any way. These Jersey peach 
baskets have been made in various sizes all the way 
from two quarts to two bushels, but the correct and 
popular size is the i6-quart or half-bushel basket. 
In a good many states this size has been legalized, 
and in some all other sizes have been ruled out by 
law. 



MARKETING THE CROP 167 

The bushel basket would seem to be the last thing 
in the world in which to handle peaches, but it has 
been found very satisfactory in certain northern 
markets, particularly in Michigan and western New 
Yorjc, where a good deal of fruit is shipped, even to 
considerable distances, in this package. The basket 
is made with staves and not braided and is supplied 
with a substantial wooden cover which tends to pro- 
tect the fruit from damage in shipment. 

Recently the California, Oregon and Colorado 
shippers have been sending fancy peaches to the 
eastern markets in a special box, measuring 5 x 11^2 
x 1^/2 inches inside. The ends are made of ^-inch 
stuff, and bottoms and sides of ^-inch pine. The 
fruit is nearly always paper wrapped, carefully 
graded and packed. It may be shipped and. handled 
long distances in this package without damage. The 
package, however, is a trifle expensive and should 
be used only for very fancy trade. 

All of these packages are what are known as the 
gift packages, that is, they are used up by the con- 
sumer and are never returned to the shipper. In 
fact, the returnable fruit packages have now almost 
wholly gone out of use in the United States and 
Canada. 

TRANSPORTATION 

The railroad service cuts a big figure in the 
handling of large peach crops. Closely linked with 
the railroad transportation is the refrigerator car 
service. Of course, every manager of a peach 
orchard must find transportation for his crop; and 
where the refrigerator service has to be depended 
upon, he must make the necessary arrangements for 
this also; but these are general questions upon 



i68 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



which profitable advice can hardly be given in a 
brief book on peach growing. 



SELLING METHODS 



Aside from direct retail selling in home markets, 
which will be discussed later, there are two prin- 
cipal methods of selling fruit crops. The most com- 




mon method is by consignment to commission men. 
The problem of the commission man has been dis- 
cussed with great fervor in fruit growers' meetings 
from time immemorial. The commission man has 
been damned for nearly everything that ever hap- 
pened in the peach orchard, including the work of 
the borers and the damage by the neighbor's cows, 
yet in a good many cases it has seemed as though 



MARKETING THE CROP l6g 

he deserved all the blame that could possibly be laid 
upon him. At any rate he has sometimes done his 
best to earn all the condemnation that could be offered 
him. Large growers, however, are apt to fare 
better at the hands of the commission man than 
small ones. At the present time the tendency is to 
regard the commission man as a necessary evil, and 
the fruit grower deals with him if he cannot do 
better.* 

A better way of selling whenever it can be adopted 
is that of turning the peaches over to buyers who 
pay cash at the railroad station. Such buyers ap- 
pear in considerable numbers at harvest time in the 
large fruit districts. Unless they prove to be a 
crowd of sharpers, or there is some other defect in 
the marketing organization, they offer the best op- 
portunity for disposing of the crop. Of course, the 
grower need not jump at the conclusion that it is 
always better to sell for cash in hand at railway 
stations. These men who buy in this way have to 
take some chances, and necessarily they must leave 
a margin between the price which they pay on the 
ground and that which the fruit may be expected to 
bring in the city markets. Very often the shrewd 
fruit grower can make good money for himself by 
passing over the cash bidder at the railway station 
and consigning his fruit to some commission man in 
the city. He must be his own judge on this point, 
and must remember that some risks have to be run. 
He cannot win in every instance. There is some 
gambling in the peach business, and the man who 
gambles must be prepared to lose occasionally. 



* For a full discussion of commission dealing and of selling 
methods in general, see Waugh's "Fruit Harvesting, Storing, 
Marketing." 




170 



MARKETING THE CROP 171 

Doubtless the best method of all for handling 
large peach crops is through the organization of co- 
operative selling associations. These have now been 
formed in all of the best peach districts, as well as 
in many other fruit-growing regions. Some of the 
best of these are in the state of Colorado. The de- 
scription as given in the "Cyclopedia of American 
Agriculture" by Mr. James B. Morman is worth 
quoting : 

"There are two methods of packing and grading 
fruit, as practiced by the Colorado associations. 

"(i) The association does the packing. In this 
case the growers deliver the fruit direct from the 
trees to the packing houses. Here the assocation's 
packers sort, grade, and pack the fruit into boxes 
or crates, the culls being returned to the grower. 
The grower's number, which is given to him at the 
beginning of the season, is marked on each pack- 
age with the grade of the fruit. When loaded into 
cars a strict account is kept of the number of boxes, 
varieties, and grades of each grower's fruit. In this 
way the price for each box of fruit in any car is 
easily determined. 

"(2) The growers do the packing. This occurs 
when there is a large amount of fruit to be handled. 
When the growers do the packing the association 
hires an inspector whose duty it is to inspect every 
load as it is delivered. This he does by opening 
the boxes on the side in the case of apples. If the 
pack is satisfactory, not more than two boxes are 
usually opened. If, on inspection, the pack is found 
unsatisfactory, the entire load must either be placed 
in a lower grade or the whole repacked. In this 
case, likewise, each one's fruit is designated by num- 
ber. Most of the associations have now adopted the 
latter method as the more satisfactory, for the rea- 




172 



MARKETING THE CROP 173 

son that when a grower does his own packing 1 he 
has a respect for the judgment of the inspector. To 
repack a load of fruit is found to be rather expen- 
sive, as is also the placing of fruit in a lower grade. 
One experience is usually sufficient. Notwithstand- 
ing so much care, poorly packed fruit sometimes 
finds its way into the market. 

"The association charges a commission on all 
sales to defray expenses. This is usually five per 
cent, and when the packing is done by the associa- 
tion, an additional charge is made to cover the cost 
of box and labor of packing. The surplus, if any 
remains, is distributed as premiums. 

"The system of selling has been somewhat 
changed during the past few years. Formerly all 
fruit was consigned to commission men, but on ac- 
count of dissatisfaction with the returns made by 
the consignees as to the condition of certain ship- 
ments of fruit made by the associations, the plan of 
selling f. o. b. is largely practiced, consignments 
are made only to well-known firms, and much of 
this fruit is sold at auction. 

"Even with this arrangement difficulties some- 
times occur, so the custom of the associations send- 
ing agents to the most important distributing points 
has arisen. It is the duty of the agent to inspect all 
cars that come into his territory, as near the destina- 
tion as possible, and thus protect the association 
from dishonest buyers, and adjust differences that 
arise when fruit actually reaches the buyer in poor 
condition. This is the system practiced when fruit 
is sent by freight in carload lots. 

"Shipments by express are made only to nearby 
points. In such cases the growers receive exactly 
what the fruit brings, less the express charges and 
the association's commission. This practice is con- 




174 



MARKETING THE CROP 175 

fined largely to early fruits, but the business by 
express is exceedingly limited on account of high ex- 
press rates." 

THE HOME MARKET 

Thus far we have spoken only of wholesale selling 
in large and relatively distant markets. This is the 
way in which a large proportion of the peach crop 
is handled, but the best of the markets after all are 
those which are near home, and this is peculiarly 
true in handling the peach crop. True, considerable 
quantities of peaches are sold in home markets every 
year, but this amount ought to be greatly increased. 

Mr. J. H. Hale, well known throughout the United 
States as one of the most extensive operators in 
large peach orchards, has recently been quoted as 
saying, that "while commercial peach orcharding 
on a large scale is undoubtedly being overdone in 
some sections of our country, one branch of the 
business has been sadly neglected the little home 
markets that dot this great country of ours by the 
tens of thousands. Everyone loves a luscious peach, 
and nearly all who own land can grow peaches if 
they will. While I would be glad to see from one to 
a dozen peach trees in every garden, I fully realize 
that that happy day is yet a long way off. There- 
fore there is a great money-making opening for com- 
mercial peach growing in a small way in and around 
every center of population. 

"The little home market orchard may have 50, 
100, 200 or 500 trees, depending on surrounding pop- 
ulation, and should be planted with varieties suit- 
able to the climate, covering early and late ripening 
kinds. One has little idea how many peaches can be 
sold to neighbors until they try it. I know of many 
peach orchardists who annually sell $500 to $1,000 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

worth of peaches to farmers within easy driving dis- 
tance of the orchard, and this direct sale is nearly all 
profit. There are no freight or express charges to 
pay, no commissions on sale and no waste of any 
kind. When peaches fully mature on the trees they 
turn out more bushels of better quality and sell at 
top prices. Customers are satisfied and sales stead- 
ily increase. It is a great business opening too long 
neglected." This statement by Mr. Hale will be em- 
phatically indorsed by everyone who understands 
the conditions throughout the country. 

The great objection which has to be overcome 
here is that which lies against peddling. A great 
many farmers have a fierce prejudice against any- 
thing of this sort, and would rather work by the 
day cleaning out somebody else's horse stables than 
to peddle fruit. On the other hand, a good many 
men feel the folly of such an attitude and have 
brought themselves to the wisdom of supplying 
good fruit to their friends and neighbors in country 
and in town and making a good profit out of it for 
themselves. 

The fruit is hauled from the orchard direct to the 
consumer and is sold either by the peck or the 
bushel or in suitable baskets. The i6-quart Jersey 
basket is by all odds the best package for handling 
fruit in this way, although a few scattering peaches 
could be handled from climax baskets or from the 
two-and-a-half-quart bale basket already described. 
It is worth while to consider also the use of paper 
boxes or cartons for this home market. These could 
be used especially for various fancy fruits. Already 
packages of this kind have been adopted by many 
growers of fancy apples and have been found satis- 
factory in meeting the retail trade. They are equally 
well adapted to the handling of fancy peaches. 



MARKETING THE CROP 



177 



In this connection a word ought to be said regard- 
ing the value of advertising. Many of the large 
fruit-selling associations have adopted definite ad- 
vertising plans and have found it possible to expand 
their business largely by the use of numerous ad- 
vertising methods. Even the man catering to a 
small home retail trade can use various methods of 




THE ULTIMATE RETAIL MARKET 

advertising to advantage. The local newspaper will 
be his friend and should be liberally patronized in 
an advertising way. The farmer should not be sat- 
isfied simply to please the editor by a present of a 
peck of peaches, for which he gets a two-line notice 
in the news column, but should put in a good read- 
ing advertisement weekly. This should call atten- 
tion to the good qualities of his peach crop, to his 



178 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

methods of delivery and should make a special point 
of describing the good methods of using peaches. 

Of course, the largest amount of fruit is used in 
the way of canning, but there are many other ways 
of cooking and serving peaches which can be advan- 
tageously advertised. Every little thing of this kind 
which serves to call attention to the crop or to offer 
new methods of consumption will add to the trade. 
The handling of a peach crop is always a difficult 
matter, and the man who succeeds at it must keep 
his eyes and wits about him and must use all the re- 
finements of modern business. He must be strictly 
on the job day and night from the time the first 
Greensboros ripen until the last Late Crawfords are 
gone and the money is all collected and safely in the 
bank. 



XIV 
THE FAMILY ORCHARD 

THE business of peach growing has been so highly 
specialized of late years that the production of 
peaches for home use has been almost forgotten. It 
has gone so largely into the hands of the big grow- 
ers men and companies with hundreds of thou- 
sands of trees that the plain farmer who keeps a 
dozen trees is ashamed to mention the fact. This is 
a great pity, for the home-grower of peaches is just 
as good a man as the specialist with a thousand 
acres, and there are a good many more of him. 

Then, again, the peach is one of the finest fruits 
for the home garden. It is easily grown. Over a 
large territory it is a sure and abundant cropper. It 
comes early into bearing. The best varieties are 
easily obtainable, and mistakes in variety selection 
are much harder to make than among apples, plums 
or pears, where the beginner stands an enormous 
chance of going wrong. The home-makers, subur- 
banites and amateur horticulturists everywhere, 
ought to be encouraged to plant more peaches. 

I do not refer here to the general farmer who 
grows a few peaches to sell about town off his milk 
wagon or along with his Plymouth Rock eggs. That 
man also is to be encouraged. For the present let 
us consider the needs of the man with the family 
orchard, who wants peaches for his own home use 
and who never expects to sell a bushel to anybody. 

Of course, such a man must forego some of the 
refinements of modern specialized peach growing. 
He cannot do all the things that the big growers do. 

179 



l8o THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Yet some of these omissions he can make good in 
other ways, by intensive culture and personal care. 
He cannot pick and choose a climate especially 
adapted to peach growing. He has to live and grow 
peaches where his home is. But he can choose an 
elevated spot with good air drainage instead of 
planting his peaches and other fruit trees in a low, 
frosty pocket. He cannot have the widest choice 
of soils, but he can use the best he has, preferring 
a warm, light, well-drained side hill to a heavy clay 
bottom. He cannot have a power sprayer, but he 
can do just as good work with a hand pump, and he 
can watch his few trees more closely to see what 
their particular needs are. He cannot have a pick- 
ers' strike at harvest time, and he is quite likely to 
be satisfied without it. 

The maker of a family orchard should begin by 
selecting a favorable site, reasonably convenient to 
the dwelling house. It should be on high land, with 
a good slope. The soil should be coarse, perhaps 
gravelly, but rich in plant food, without being silty, 
clayey or heavy. It should be well drained ; and if 
the drainage is not perfect enough, tile should be 
put in to make it so. The area should also be capa- 
ble of thorough cultivation. The home acre should 
be a garden rather than an orchard; but a good 
orchard requires that perfect tillage proverbially 
characteristic of a garden rather than that general 
neglect represented in many so-called orchards. The 
various systems of neglect, known as seeding down, 
mulching, etc., widely practiced in apple orchards, 
are wholly unsuited to the management of peach 
trees and particularly bad in a family fruit garden. 
After the best bit of land about the farm has been 
selected it must be put in the pink of condition and 
kept so. 



THE FAMILY ORCHARD l8l 

If the would-be peach grower is a suburbanite 
with a half-acre or less of land at his disposal, he has 
naturally no choice at all, but must use that soil 
he has. If his soil is too unpropitious, he had bet- 
ter give up peach growing altogether ; but ordinarily 
by tile drainage, deep working, adding vegetable 
matter and by other approved methods of soil im- 
provement, he can make a promising start. 

In the family fruit garden peaches will be grown 
along with other fruits. The spacing and arrange- 
ment will therefore be a compromise calculated to 
meet the needs of all sorts. A good plan is to adopt 
the square rod as a unit. Standard apple trees can 
then be set two rods apart with fillers between, con- 
sisting of dwarf apples, peach trees, plums or what- 
ever may be required. Peaches in a block by them- 
selves following this unit would stand at one rod 
i6y 2 feet apart each way. If space is extra valua- 
ble and care is correspondingly good, bush fruits 
such as currants and gooseberries can be grown in 
these smaller spaces, at least for the first few years. 

The farmer who puts out peaches for family use, 
and with whom land is not a serious matter, should 
be urged to "get a plenty while he's gittin'." He is 
apt to shy at 50 cents a tree asked by the tree ped- 
dler; and not being used to tree planting an order 
for a dozen trees looks bigger to him than a thou- 
sand looks to a real fruit grower. But peach trees 
can be had for much less than 50 cents apiece, and 
two dozen trees are not too many for the smallest 
farm family. I should want a hundred ; but perhaps 
this is the judgment of a man inured to fruit grow- 
ing, and perhaps I couldn't eat so many peaches any- 
way. 

Spring planting will be safest for beginners. But 
the novice should observe with particular care the 



182 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



practice good peach growers follow in cutting back 
their nursery trees at time of setting out. In subur- 
ban gardens I often see peach trees spoiled by be- 
ing planted without heading back. The experienced 
planter cuts off all the side shoots and cuts the main 
stem back to a straight stub 6 to 20 inches long. 
Roughly stated, the better peach man he is the 
shorter he heads them back. 




PICKING TIME 

The novice need not undertake any fancy system 
of pruning or shaping the heads of his trees, and 
quite the less so seeing that the experts themselves 
do not agree on these points. However, he can keep 
his trees headed low, can keep the centers open, pref- 
erably by June pruning, and can cut out dead or 
broken branches. So much is safe ; any more is not 
strictly necessary. 

Along with good tillage the trees should be given 



THE FAMILY ORCHARD 183 

a fair supply of plant food. Nitrogenous barnyard 
manures are not particularly good for fruit trees, 
except to keep up the supply of vegetable matter 
when that is being depleted, and they are more prej- 
udicial to the health of the peach tree than to any 
other species of fruit. Supposing the soil to have 
plenty of humus or vegetable matter, mineral fer- 
tilizers should be given to the peach trees. Of these 
potash is the most important, and after that phos- 
phoric acid. The potash can be given in the form 
of wood ashes, but more economically in the form of 
muriate of potash. The phosphoric acid can best be 
applied in the form of basic slag meal (Thomas 
phosphate powder). 

Young trees and such as show sparse yellow foli- 
age should have a limited amount of nitrogen. On 
moderately good soil a young peach tree ought to 
thrive on a ration consisting of one ounce of nitrate 
of sodaj one pound of slag meal and one pound of 
muriate. A five-year-old tree bearing a good crop 
of fruit should have two ounces of nitrate of soda, 
three pounds of basic slag and three pounds of mu- 
riate. In any case these plant foods should be sowed 
under the trees, but not too near the trunks, say in 
a zone from I to 8 feet in radius; and should be 
raked or harrowed into the surface of the soil. 

Some cover crop should always be sown in the 
family orchard. In the southern states this ought 
to be cowpeas; in the middle states it ought to be 
crimson clover ; in the northern states it ought to be 
mammoth clover or winter vetch. Winter vetch 
seed is so expensive as almost to preclude its use in 
commercial orchards, but need not be seriously con- 
sidered in the family garden. 

The family orchard will properly contain a wide 
selection of varieties some early, some late; some 



184 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

yellow, some white; some free, some cling; some 
for eating and some for canning. A larger number 
of varieties may be wisely planted than in a com- 
mercial orchard ; and in their selection one should 
pay more attention to fine quality and less to hardi- 
ness, health and productiveness. 

The case may be summed up in a sentence by 
saying that good peaches and plenty of them can 
be grown by anyone who is physically and morally 
capable of garden work of any sort, all that is re- 
quired being reasonably good garden conditions, 
reasonably sound horticultural instincts and rea- 
sonably decent care. 



XV 
BOTANICAL AND POMOLOGICAL STATUS 

THE peach is one of the newest of cultivated fruits, 
much newer to garden culture than the apple and 
the pear, at least so far as European civilization 
is concerned. All the evidence goes to show that 
the peach originated in China (although the old 
opinion used to be that it came from Persia) ; and 
Chinese civilization is so much older than that of 
Europe that no one can tell how long it has lasted. 
The peach and many of the allied fruits have been 
grown and cultivated in a rough sort of way by the 
Chinese people for centuries immemorial. The 
peach eventually made its way to western Europe 
by the Persian route, having been grown and highly 
esteemed in India and Persia before it was carried 
to Greece and Italy. In these latter countries, it 
made its appearance shortly after the beginning of 
the Christian era. The fact that it was received 
directly from Persia is commemorated in the Latin 
name (Prunus per sic a, or Amygdalus per sic a), and 
gave rise to the original impression of a Persian 
nativity. 

The species to which the peach belongs has been 
variously referred to the genus Prunus, of which the 
plum-is the type, and more doubtfully to other gen- 
era. All of this has no interest whatever for the 
practical grower of peaches and kas very little bo- 
tanical significance. The question rests merely 
upon the scientific definitions of these closely related 
genera. 

185 



l86 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

NECTARINE 

The nectarines should always be considered with 
the peaches because they are very closely related. 
In fact, nectarines not infrequently grow on the same 
trees with peaches. Several authentic cases have 
been known where nectarines have originated 
directly by bud variation upon the branches of 
peach trees. Yet in some botanies the nectarine has 
been given a separate scientific name, being held to 
be a separate species. Such arrangement is of 
doubtful validity. The nectarine c(pes not come suf- 
ficiently true from seed to maintain the definite and 
fixed characters which should be attributed to a sep- 
arate species. About the only recognized distinc- 
tion between the nectarine and the peach is that the 
former has a perfectly smooth skin like the plum, 
whereas all varieties of peaches have some sort of 
tomentum, or "fuzz," on the surface of the fruit. 

NEAR RELATIVES 

The nearest botanical relatives of the peach are 
the small dwarf Chinese species, Prunus davidii, 
which is rarely grown as an ornamental in this 
country, but which has no apparent horticultural 
importance, and the Simon plum, Prunus simonii, 
which has been planted to some extent in this coun- 
try as a commercial plum, and which has been used 
extensively, especially in California, in hybridizing 
with Japanese plums. 

CLASSIFICATION OF PEACHES 

Systematic study of varieties of peaches in this 
country is of recent origin. Apparently, Prof. R. H. 



BOTANICAL AND POMOLOGICAL STATUS 187 

Price made the first important contribution to the 
subject in his Texas Experiment Station Bulletin 39, 
published in 1896. In this he proposes to divide the 
cultivated peaches into several natural groups. 
These groups he characterizes fully, and into them 
he distributes a majority of the varieties then known 
in Texas. All the more recent classifications have 
been founded on this one, and are like it in some 
degree. In his "Cyclopedia of American Horticul- 
ture" (iii., 1227), published in 1901, Prof. L. H. Bailey 
gives a natural classification for peaches very closely 
modeled on the Price classification. The present 
writer, in turn, has outlined a natural classification 
of peaches,* which, with a few changes of names 
and descriptive terms, follows the same outline. It 
seems best, under the circumstances, to give only 
one of these outlines here, and doubtless the latest 
one can be properly offered. This divides the cul- 
tivated varieties into five natural groups, named and 
characterized as follows : 

1. Persian Group (or typical peaches) These are 
round, more or less pointed, marked with an indis- 
tinct suture ; flesh yellow or white, and characteris- 
tically soft and juicy; pits roundish or elliptical, 
pointed, deeply corrugated, mostly clinging to the 
flesh or only partially free. This group includes all 
the commonest old-fashioned varieties, such as the 
Crawfords, Oldmixon, Alexander, Amsden, Salway, 
Chair Choice, etc. 

2. Chinese Cling Group Trees broad-headed, 
open, spreading or even drooping, usually very vig- 
orous, hardy, and prolific ; foliage large, flat, almond- 
like, dark green, retaining its color late in the fall, 
when it changes to a grayish-green tint; glands 

*Waugh, "Systematic Pomology," p 175. 



l88 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

reniform in the pure type; flowers very large, light 
pink in the pure type, but smaller and darker colored 
in some of the mixed descendants ; fruit large, often 
enormously so, generally long oval and compressed, 
creamy white, with a delicate blush in the pure type, 
but white or yellow in the mixed descendants ; skin 
very delicate and thin in the pure type, with a deli- 
cate marbled or stippled appearance, but firmer in 
many of the recent varieties ; flesh fine grained, soft, 
juicy, melting in the pure type, but firmer in mixed 
descendants ; stone somewhat flat, with medium cor- 
rugations, adhesion various; season variable, but 
early varieties predominating. Chinese Cling is the 
type of this group; but Belle of Georgia, Waddell, 
and Hiley are, perhaps, the best known commercial 
types. Elberta, best known of all, belongs to this 
group, but its characters do not conform nicely to 
those of the pure type. 

3. Honey Group Fruit long and irregular in 
form, with a deep suture, and usually with a long, 
pointed apex; pits long, corrugated, and sharply 
pointed. Tree not hardy, suitable for planting only 
in the extreme southern states, along the Gulf of 
Mexico. The variety, Honey, is the one commonly 
grown. 

4. Columbia Group Mostly large trees (Colum- 
bia itself being an exception to this rule) ; fruit late, 
firm, often streaked and mottled; pits small, oval, 
pointed. The variety Columbia, taken as the type, 
has been long known in the United States, but has 
never been cultivated on an extensive scale. Other 
varieties are Cabler, La Reine, Lula, Texas, and Vic- 
toria. 

5. Peen-to Group Tree large and vigorous, wil- 
lowy, with long, slender branches ; leaves long and 
narrow; fruit much flattened endwise. (Though 



BOTANICAL AND POMOLOGICAL STATUS 189 

this is the most striking characteristic of the variety 
Peen-to itself, the seedlings raised from this variety 
seldom show this peculiar form.) Skin white and 
mottled with red, much as in the Chinese Cling 
group, flavor sweet but peculiar; stone flattened 
endwise like the fruit. This is said to be a distinctly 
southern type, ranging farther south than any of 
the other peaches. Until very recently it was sup- 
posed to be too tender to be grown outside of 
Florida; but in 1902 the variety was discovered 
growing thriftly and fruiting nicely on the grounds 
of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, Amherst, 
Mass. The variety is said to grow in China as far 
north as Tien-Tsin. These things suggest that the 
Peen-to group may have a northern range much be- 
yond that now assigned to it. 

The peaches are unusually easy of classification 
on purely arbitrary lines, and such classifications 
have accordingly been in most general use. The 
one which we may take as representative of them 
all, and which is, at the same time, one of the best 
yet devised, is the classification of John J. Thomas. 
This arrangement was used in the various editions 
of "The American Fruit Culturist." The "Synopsis 
of Arrangement" follows, a few varieties being 
named in each group by way of illustration. These 
varieties are named and classified here exactly as 
given in Thomas' book. Many varieties of recent 
introduction might, perhaps, be used better by way 
of illustration ; but this would require not only a 
thorough study of the varieties in question, but per- 
haps also some readjustment of the scheme of 
classification. 

I. Freestones, or melters; flesh not clinging to the stone. 
1. White flesh, or nearly white. 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



(a) Glandless leaves, which are deeply and sharply 

serrate Tillotson, Red Rareripe. 

(b) Leaves crenate, with globose glands Belle- 

grade, George IV, Hale Early, Troth. 

(c) Leaves with reniform glands Brevoort, 

Morris White. 
2. Flesh deep yellow. 

(a) Leaves crenate, globose glands Barnard, 

Crawford Early, Crawford Late. 

(b) Leaves with reniform glands Bergen. 
II. Clingstones, or Pavies. Flesh adhering to the stone. 

1. Flesh pale or light colored. 

(a) Leaves serrate, without glands Newington. 

(b) Leaves crenate, glands globose Oldmixon 

Cling. 

(c) Leaves with reniform glands Heath. 

2. Flesh deep yellow. 

(a) Leaves serrate, without glands Orange 

Clingstone. 

(b) Leaves with reniform glands Lemon Cling, 

Tippecanoe. 

3. Flesh purplish crimson. 

(a) Glands reniform Blood Cling. 



XV 
CHOOSING VARIETIES 

THE American list of varieties of peaches harmon- 
izes with the whole American business of peach cul- 
ture. That is, it is larger and more liberal than the 
list of varieties offered in any other country where 
peaches are known. Furthermore, it is distinctly 
American. So far as I can recall there is not a sin- 
gle well-known variety in cultivation in America at 
the present day which did not originate on this con- 
tinent. In the entire list of about 200 varieties 
recommended by the American Pomological Society, 
six are of European and one of Chinese origin. Of 
the six European sorts, Rivers (Early Rivers) is 
probably the only one which could be found in any 
current nursery catalog. The Chinese variety, 
Chinese Cling, is best known as the parent of many 
of our promising modern varieties such as Greens- 
boro, Carman and Champion. The situation in this 
respect is very different from that which we find 
in the apple list or plum list. In the apple orchard 
or the plum orchard we find growing many impor- 
tant varieties of European or Asiatic origin. 

This excessive preponderance of American varie- 
ties in our peach list shows that this fruit has been 
very fully acclimatized on this continent. To all in- 
tents and purposes it is an American fruit. The 
mere fact that its distant parentage traces back to 
Asia hardly counts. Very few of us who grow 
peaches can trace our parentage back very far with- 
out ceasing to be Americans. 

191 



192 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

This constant introduction of American varieties 
still goes on. New sorts are coming out continually. 
A remarkably large number of those which have 
been introduced during the last decade give prom- 
ise of permanent value. As these new and better 
varieties come into culture, the older and less valua- 
ble sorts diminish in popularity, disappear from 
the nursery catalogs and finally join forever the 
ranks of the has-beens. In that excellent standard 
fruit book, "Barry's Fruit Garden," in the edition 
of 1883, out of 80 varieties described, 25 or nearly 
one-third are of foreign origin ; and a large number 
of varieties named, both foreign and American, are 
now unknown and could not be discovered with a 
pomological search warrant anywhere in America. 
The list of varieties for profitable market orchards 
given in the book referred to ("Barry's Fruit Gar- 
den/' page 410), shows in a very striking way how 
rapid has been the progress in the adoption of new 
varieties. The list is as follows : 

Waterloo, Jacques' Rareripe, 

Alexander, Morris White, 

Early Rivers, Reeves' Favorite, 

Hale's Early, Oldmixon Free, 

Mountain Rose, Crawford's Late, 

Large Early York, Red Cheek Melocoton, 

Cooledge's Favorite, Stump the World, 

Foster, Smock. 
Crawford's Early, 

This list does not contain a single variety now re- 
garded as a leading market sort. It does contain 
several varieties now generally accepted as of sec- 
ondary importance. It also contains a few sorts 
now entirely discarded. 

The most striking event in the history of peach 
varieties in America was the introduction of the 
Chinese Cling. This variety and the seedlings from 



CHOOSING VARIETIES IQ3 

it began to be known in a very small way during 
the '705, but not until the introduction of Elberta, 
Carman, Champion and Belle of Georgia during the 
'903 did the commercial value of this group dawn 
upon the peach-growing and peach-consuming 
public. There was considerable conservatism shown 
at first in adopting these varieties, particularly on 
account of the white flesh of the leading sorts. 
There had been (and to some extent still is) a 
prejudice against white-fleshed peaches. Ignorant 
buyers fancy that the yellow-fleshed sorts are richer. 
At any rate they look better to the eye, and a large 
section of the fruit-buying public still makes its pur- 
chases on eye-judgment. 

These varieties, however, had such important 
good qualities, both in tree and fruit, that they 
rapidly made their way and are now regarded as the 
most important of our market sorts. The fruit is 
found to be of definitely superior quality, and this 
fact is slowly wearing its way into the consciousness 
of consumers. The fruit is beautiful indeed, for 
though it is not yellow, it usually ripens with a 
beautiful red blush, which makes it fully as attrac- 
tive to the unprejudiced eye as any yellow peach. 

The Elberta which, though somewhat off the reg- 
ular type, still represents a yellow form of the 
Chinese Cling group, meets the demand for a variety 
with yellow flesh and skin, and at the same time 
maintains very important commercial qualities of 
enormous value. The Elberta has easily become the 
leading market peach of North America. It takes 
the same rank among peaches that Ben Davis takes 
among apples, except that it is better in quality and 
actually serviceable over a wider range of territory. 

At the present time there are opportunities still 
open for improvement. New varieties are needed to 



194 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

fill gaps in the present list or to supply qualities 
which do not exist now in proper combinations. 
Varieties resembling Champion and Carman, but 
with better shipping quality, would be extremely 
desirable. Additional yellow-fleshed sorts of the 
Elberta type would be acceptable, and there is very 
practical need of good yellow market varieties com- 
ing earlier than Elberta, and especially of one or two 
yellow market varieties coming later than Elberta. 
It is to be hoped and expected that ambitious 
American pomologists will extend our peach lists still 
further and that the complementary discarding of 
old varieties will go on as of old. 

The Elberta is far and away the most popular 
peach in America. Though the plantings of this 
variety have been materially cut down during the 
last few years, it is still probably true that there 
are as many trees of this variety now being set as of 
all other varieties in the list. Furthermore, this 
prominence of the Elberta extends over the entire 
peach-growing region from New Hampshire to 
Texas. 

Next to Elberta the white flesh varieties of the 
Chinese Cling group seem to be most popular and 
profitable. The order of their popularity seems to 
be: Champion, Carman, Belle of Georgia, Waddell 
and Greensboro. One important quality which has 
recommended these varieties to commercial grow- 
ers, especially in the northern states, is the relative 
hardiness of their buds. They certainly will stand 
colder winter weather than most other varieties, and 
appear to be able to withstand more severe spring 
frosts also. 

So far nothing has been said about the Crawfords. 
A few years ago Early Crawford and Late Craw- 
ford were considered to be the leading varieties, 



CHOOSING VARIETIES 195 

both for home use and for market. They are still 
much planted, especially the Early Crawford. Late 
Crawford is used to some extent by planters, espe- 
cially in New Jersey and Maryland. Their unques- 
tionable high quality makes these varieties favor- 
ites of the best customers. Housewives who are 
in the habit of canning fancy peaches for home use 
still insist on Crawfords, and rightly object when 
Elbertas are offered as a substitute. On account of 
this demand from discriminating customers, many 
of whom are willing to pay a higher price for what 
they want, the Crawfords are still grown by some of 
the best peach men. 

Other varieties of secondary commercial impor- 
tance which are still planted and which we could 
not afford to discard are Oldmixon Free, a white 
peach of the highest quality ; Reeves, a good yellow 
sort, which has a considerable vogue in Delaware 
and Maryland; Mountain Rose, which is still con- 
siderably planted, although in most cases it might 
be practicably supplanted by Greensboro and Car- 
man; Salway, an old-fashioned sort still consider- 
ably grown in New York, Michigan and Canada; 
Smock, also frequently grown in New York and 
Michigan, especially for home use; Fox, a good 
white peach from New Jersey, which many growers 
still fancy; Foster, a yellow peach of particularly 
fine quality suitable for the home garden. 

If a list should be made on the basis of quality 
with a view to providing the home garden with 
those sorts which are the very best and which can 
be produced only by devoted amateurs, this list 
will certainly contain : Foster, Early Crawford, Late 
Crawford, Champion, Oldmixon. To this list each 
individual would be at liberty to add particular 
varieties of his own preference or such as might be 



196 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



especially adapted to his locality. It is always 
important to make a selection of this sort in putting 
out varieties for home use. 

Along the northern limit of peach-growing varie- 
ties have to be selected largely with reference to 
their hardiness. This has given cause from the be- 
ginning for a demand for particularly hardy kinds. 
The Triumph was largely propagated a few years 
ago on account of its hardiness, but in quality it has 
proved to be so thoroughly inferior that it has been 
discarded. Fitzgerald is a newer and perhaps better 
sort which has been widely disseminated on account 




PEACH GROWN AGAINST A WALL 

of its hardiness and which enjoys considerable favor, 
especially in Ontario. In the Canadian fruit-grow- 
ing section the Yellow St. John is also a distinct 
favorite. In selecting varieties for hardiness, the 
Chinese Cling type already referred to should never 



CHOOSING VARIETIES IQ7 

be forgotten. Although Greensboro, Carman, 
Champion, Waddell and Belle of Georgia may be a 
trifle less hardy than Fitzgerald and Triumph, they 
are still distinctly superior in this respect to such 
sorts as Early Crawford and Oldmixon. 

In making up an effective list for orchard planting 
certain principles may well be borne in mind. The 
rules of choice will be very different in making up 
a family orchard from what they will be in making 
up a commercial orchard, and perhaps it is best to 
state these rules, therefore, in simple antithetical 
form. 

RULES FOR CHOOSING VARIETIES 

Commercial Orchards. Home Orchards. 

Use as few varieties as possi- Select several or many varie- 

ble. ties. 

Give only second thought to Choose family favorites. 

quality. Give first attention to quality. 

Choose varieties which ship Provide succession of varie- 

well. ties. 

Choose varieties which ripen D O not discard a good variety 

in succession. on account of defects in 

Choose only hardy and tree or shy bearing. 

healthy sorts. Test promising novelties and 

Plant no novelties nor curi- get some curiosities such as 

osities. nectarines. 



XVII 
VARIETY CATALOG 

Acampo A California introduction; early, yellow, handsome. 

Albright Medium size, round, white skin, cling, good quality, 
late; use, dessert and market; originated in North Caro- 
lina. 

Alexander Small, round, red and white skin, creamy white 
flesh, semi-cling, poor quality, very early ; use, dessert and 
market; originated in Illinois; formerly much planted 
on account of its earliness, but now commercially obsolete. 

Allen October Medium size, round, red and yellow skin, red 
and yellow flesh, freestone, poor quality, late ; use, dessert 
and market; originated in Missouri. 

Alton Closely resembles Minnie, and thought by some to be 
identical with that variety. A large white peach, with 
red cheek, earlier than Carman. 

Amelia Medium size, round ; red and white skin, white flesh, 
freestone, good quality, early; use, dessert and market; 
originated in North Carolina. 

Ameliaberta Medium size, yellow skin, yellow flesh, free- 
stone; originated in Georgia. 

Angel Medium size, round, red and white skin, green white 
flesh, freestone, good quality, early; use, dessert and mar- 
ket; originated in Florida. 

Arp or Arp's Beauty A yellow market variety said to be 
liked in Oregon and Washington. 

Augbert Originated in Texas (?); round, large, yellow red, 
freestone, good quality. 

Bailey (Friday Seedling) Originated in Iowa; freestone, 
good quality. 

Banner Originated in Ontario; round, large, yellow red, 
freestone, very good quality, early. 

Barnard (Early Barnard) Originated in Illinois; round, 
medium large, red yellow, freestone, very good quality, 
medium early. 

Beers Smock Medium size, oval, red and yellow skin, red 
and yellow flesh, freestone, poor quality, late ; use, dessert 
and market; originated in New Jersey. 

Belle (Belle of Georgia) Originated in Georgia; round ob- 
late, medium large, white red, freestone, very good qual- 
ity ; dessert, kitchen and market use ; mid-season or a little 
later. A fine market peach of the hardy Chinese Cling 
type. 

198 



VARIETY CATALOG 199 

Bequett Cling Medium size, green white and red skin, cling- 
stone, good quality, medium early ; use, market and 
kitchen ; originated in Texas. 

Bequett Free Medium size, green white and red skin; free- 
stone, good quality, medium early; market; originated in 
Texas. 

Bergen Yellow Large, round, red and yellow skin, yellow 
flesh, freestone, very good quality, medium season; use, 
dessert. 

Bidwell Early Small, oval, red and white skin, green white 
flesh, clingstone, medium quality, very early; use, dessert 
and kitchen; originated in Florida. 

Bidwell Late Small, oval, red and white skin, green white 
flesh, clingstone, good quality, late; use, dessert and 
kitchen ; originated in Florida. 

Bilyeu Medium size, round, green white skin, white flesh, 
freestone, medium quality, very late ; use, dessert, kitchen 
and market; originated in Maryland, where it is still a 
favorite variety. 

Bishop Early Medium size, round, white skin, freestone, good 
quality, medium late; use, market; originated in Cali- 
fornia. 

Blood Cling Large, round oval, yellow skin, red and yellow 
flesh, clingstone, medium quality, very late; kitchen use; 
a favorite curiosity and fancied by many for pickling. 

Blood Free Large, round oval, yellow skin, red and yellow 
flesh, freestone, very late; kitchen use; originated in 
America; medium quality. 

Bokhara Introduced by the late Professor Budd from Tur- 
kestan, but not valuable aside from its superior hardiness. 

Brandywine Large, yellow green red skin, freestone, medium 
quality, medium early; market use; originated in Dela- 
ware. 

Brett (Mrs. Brett) Originated in New York; round, medium 
size, white red, freestone, good quality, very late. 

Brigdon (Garfield) Medium size, round oval, red and yel- 
low skin, red and yellow flesh, freestone, good quality, 
season medium; dessert and market use; originated in 
New York. 

Briggs (Briggs' May) Originated in Massachusetts, round, 
very large, white red, freestone, very good, early medium 
season. 

Cable (Cable's Late) Originated in Ohio, round, very large, 
yellow red, freestone, very good, medium late. 

Cabler Indian Large, round, red skin, red flesh, clingstone, 
poor quality, season medium; kitchen use; originated in 
Texas, and suited to extreme southern planting. 

California (California Cling) Originated in California; 
round, large, yellow red, clingstone. 



f 

200 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Carman Originated in Texas; round, large, white, good, 
early ; one of the finest sorts for home use or market. 

Carpenter (Carpenter Cling) Oblong, medium size, creamy 
white blushed, clingstone, good quality. 

Chairs Choice Medium size, round, red and yellow skin, red 
and yellow flesh, freestone, medium quality, medium sea- 
son; kitchen and market use; originated in Maryland. A 
good canning variety and a good shipper. 

Champion Medium size, round, creamy, red skin, white flesh, 
freestone, good quality, medium early; dessert and mar- 
ket use; originated in Illinois; a first-class sort of the 
Chinese Cling type. 

Charlotte (Early Charlotte) Originated in Europe; oval, 
large, green white red, freestone, very good quality, early 
medium season. 

Chili, Hill's Medium size, oval compressed, red and yellow 
skin, red and yellow flesh, freestone, medium quality, me- 
dium early ; market use ; originated in New York ; widely 
planted. 

Chilow A cling of the Lemon Cling type. 

Chinese Cling Very large, round compressed, creamy, white, 
red skin, clingstone, very good quality, medium season, 
kitchen and market use; originated in America, from 
Chinese seed and the parent of more important commer- 
cial varieties. 

Chinese Free Round, large, white red, freestone, good qual- 
ity, medium season. 

Climax (Horn's Hybrid) Originated in Florida, round oval, 
medium size, yellow red; freestone, good quality, early. 

Coleman Compressed, small, creamy white blushed, free- 
stone, good, medium early. 

Columbia Medium size, round, white skin, yellow flesh, me- 
dium quality, freestone, medium late; market use; orig- 
inated in Georgia. 

Conkling (Conklin) Round, medium large, yellow creamy 
red, freestone, good, medium season. 

Connett Southern Early Large, oblate, white skin, semi- 
clingstone, good quality, medium season; market use; 
originated in North Carolina. 

Countess Originated in^ Florida, round, large, white red, 
freestone, good, medium season. 

Cox Cling Medium size, round, green white skin, green 
flesh, clingstone, good quality; dessert and market use; 
originated in Texas. 

Crosby Medium size, round, red and yellow skin, yellow 
flesh, freestone, good quality, medium season, market 
use ; originated in Massachusetts ; formerly a great fav- 
orite, but now waning in popularity. 



VARIETY CATALOG 2OI 

t 

Delaware (Delaware Rareripe) Originated in Delaware (?) ; 
round, medium size, creamy white blushed, freestone, 
good, medium early. 

Deming (Deming's September) Oblate, large, yellow red, 
clingstone, medium season. 

Dewey (Admiral Dewey) Originated in Georgia; medium 
size, yellow, freestone, good, early. 

Early Barnard Medium size, round, red and yellow skin, 
yellow flesh, medium quality, medium season ; market use ; 
originated in Illinois. 

Early China Medium size, oval, white skin, white flesh, free- 
stone, good quality, very early; dessert and market use; 
originated in Texas. 

Early Crawford Large round oval, yellow red skin, yellow 
flesh, freestone, very good quality, medium season ; dessert 
and market use ; originated in New Jersey. 

Early Michigan (Husted No. 15) Originated in Michi- 
gan (?) ; round, medium size, green white blushed, semi- 
clingstone, good. 

Early Toledo Medium size, round, white red skin, white 
flesh, early ; dessert and market use ; originated in Ohio ; 
freestone. 

Early York Medium size, round oval, white red skin, white 
flesh, freestone, very good quality, early ; dessert and mar- 
ket use; originated in England. 

Eaton Medium size, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, 
clingstone, medium quality, medium season; dessert and 
market use ; originated in North Carolina. 

Ede (Captain Ede) Originated in Illinois; round oval, me- 
dium size, yellow red, freestone, medium season. 

Edgemont Beauty Yellow, with red cheek, somewhat like 
Late Crawford. 

Elberta Large, round compressed, yellow red skin, yellow 
flesh, freestone, good quality, medium late; market use; 
originated in Georgia. Easily the leading variety for 
market. 

Emma Large, round compressed, yellow red skin, freestone, 
very good quality, medium late; market use; originated 
in Georgia. 

Emperor Originated in New Jersey; large, yellow red, free- 
stone. 

Engle (Engle's Mammoth) Originated in Michigan (?); 
round, large, yellow red, freestone, very good, medium 
late. 

Everbearing Originated in Georgia; oblong, large, creamy 
white, freestone, good. 

Eureka Recommended by Stark Brothers' Nurseries. 

Excelsior (Prince's Excelsior) Originated in New York; 
round oblate, large, yellow, freestone, good, late. 



2O2 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Family Favorite Medium size, round oblate, green white 
skin, green flesh, semi-clingstone, good quality, early; 
dessert and market use; originated in Texas. 

Fitzgerald Medium size, oval, red yellow skin, yellow red 
flesh, freestone, very good quality, medium early ; dessert 
and market use ; originated in Canada ; very hardy. 

Florida (Florida Crawford) Originated in Florida, oval 
compressed, late, yellow, freestone, good, medium season. 

Florida Gem Originated in Florida, round, medium size, 
white, freestone, good quality, early. 

Forrester Large, round, yellow red skin, very good quality, 
medium season; dessert and market use; originated in 
Georgia. 

Foster Very large, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, free- 
stone, best quality, medium season ; dessert and market 
use ; originating in Massachusetts, remarkable for high 
quality and worth planting for home use. 

Fox Medium size, round, white skin, creamy white flesh, free- 
stone, good quality, late; market use; originated in New 
Jersey, and heavily planted in that section. 

Frances Originated in Ohio; round oval, large, yellow red, 
freestone, medium early. 

Galveston Small, round oblate, yellow green skin, yellow 
green flesh, clingstone, late; dessert use; originated in 
Texas, medium quality. 

George IV Originated in New York; round, large, white 
red, freestone, very good ; dessert use ; medium season ; 
an old-time favorite. 

Globe Large, round oval, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, free- 
stone, good quality, medium season; market use; orig- 
inated in Pennsylvania. 

Golden Cling Large, oval compressed, yellow red skin, yel- 
low flesh, clingstone, good quality, late; kitchen and mar- 
ket use; originated in California. 

Gold Drop (Golden Drop) Originated in Michigan (?), 
round oval, medium size, yellow red, freestone, very good. 

Governor Hogg Originated in Texas (?), round, large, 
creamy white, semi-clingstone, good quality. 

Greensboro Medium size, round, red skin, white flesh, semi- 
clingstone, good quality, early; market use; originated in 
North Carolina; one of the very best early varieties, tree 
hardy, prolific and an early bearer. 

Hale Small, round, green white red skin, green white flesh, 
semi-clingstone, medium quality, early; market use; orig- 
inated in Ohio. 

Hall (Early Yellow Hall) Originated in Maine; round, 
large, yellow red, good, early. 



VARIETY CATALOG 2(>3 

Heath Cling Large, round oval, white red skin, white flesh, 

cling, best quality, very late; kitchen and market use; 

originated in Maryland. 
Heath Free (Freestone Heath) Originated in Massachusetts; 

oblong, large, green white, freestone, good, medium late. 
Henrietta Medium size, round oblate, yellow red skin, yellow 

red flesh, clingstone, medium quality, late; market and 

kitchen use ; originated in District of Columbia. 
Hiley (Early Belle) Originated in Georgia; round, large, 

creamy white red, freestone, early. 
Honey Small, oval, creamy skin, white red flesh, freestone, 

very good quality; dessert and kitchen use; originated in 

New York, but more suitable for southern growing. 
Hynes Surprise Small, round, red skin, creamy flesh, semi- 
clingstone ; medium quality, late ; dessert and market use ; 

originated in Kentucky. 

Illinois Described as a fine white market peach. 
Imperial (White Imperial) Originated in New York; round, 

very large, white yellow red, freestone, very good, early. 
Ingold, Lady Medium size, round, yellow red skin, yellow 

red flesh, freestone, good quality, medium early; dessert 

and market use ; originated in North Carolina. 
Iron Mountain Originated in New Jersey; round oblong, 

large, yellow green, semi-clingstone, good. 
Japan Dwarf (Japan Dwarf Blood) Originated in Japan; 

round, medium size, yellow red, very good, very early. 
Jacques (Jacques' Rareripe) Originated in Massachusetts, 

round, compressed, large, yellow red, freestone, good, 

medium late. 
J. H. Hale is a new peach originated by the man whose name 

it bears. It is a yellow fruit of the Elberta type, probably 

a seedling of that variety, larger and probably better, 

about the same season ; smooth and very attractive. The 

originator and introducer claims great things for this 

variety. 
Kalamazoo Medium size, oval, red yellow skin, yellow red 

flesh, freestone, very good quality, medium early; dessert, 

market and kitchen use; originated in Michigan, and 

largely planted there. 
Kerr, Jessie Medium size, oval, white red skin, white flesh, 

medium quality, very early; market use; originated in 

Maryland. 
Keyport Medium size round oval, white red skin, white flesh, 

freestone, poor quality, late; market use; originated in 

America. 
Klondike Originated in Pennsylvania; large, white yellow, 

good, late. 
Krummel, or Krummel's October Described in glowing terms 

by Stark Bros. Late, yellow, freestone. 



2O4 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Lagrange Originated in New Jersey; round oblate, green- 
yellow red, large, freestone, very good, late. 

Large York Medium size, round, white red skin, white flesh, 
freestone, good quality, early; dessert and market use; 
originated in England. 

Late Admirable Large, round oval, green red skin, white 
flesh, freestone, very good quality, medium season; dessert 
use; originated in France. 

Late Crawford Large, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, 
freestone, very good quality, late ; dessert and market use ; 
originated in New Jersey ; a fine old favorite and widely 
accepted as the standard of quality. 

Late Rareripe Medium size, round oval, yellow red skin, 
white flesh, freestone, very good quality, medium season ; 
dessert and market use; originated in America. 

Lee, General Large, round oblate, green skin, green flesh, 
clingstone, good quality, early; market use; originated in 
America. 

Lemon Cling Large, round oval, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, 
clingstone, very good quality, medium season ; dessert and 
market use; originated in South Carolina. Extensively 
used by the California canneries. 

Lemon Free Large, oblate, yellow skin, yellow flesh, free- 
stone, very good quality, late; dessert and market use; 
originated in Ohio. 

Levy (Henrietta, Levy's Late) Originated in District of 
Columbia; round, late, yellow, clingstone, very good; mar- 
ket and kitchen use ; very late. 

Lewis Medium size, round, red white skin, creamy flesh, 
freestone, good quality, late; dessert, kitchen and mar- 
ket use; originated in Michigan. 

Louise Medium size, round, red skin, white flesh, freestone, 
good quality, early; dessert and market use; originated 
in England. 

Louisiana Round, large, white, freestone. 

Lolo, Miss Medium size, round, red white skin, creamy flesh, 
freestone, good quality, early; dessert and market use; 
originated in Texas. 

Lone Tree Originated in Iowa; medium small, yellow, free- 
stone, very good, medium late. 

Longhurst Originated in Canada ; oval, medium large, yellow, 
freestone, good. 

Lorentz Originated in South Carolina; round, medium large, 
yellow, freestone, good. 

Lovell Medium size, round compressed, yellow red skin, yel- 
low flesh, freestone, good quality, late; kitchen and mar- 
ket use ; originated in California. 

Lovett (Lovett's White) Originated in California; very 
large, yellow red, clingstone. 



VARIETY CATALOG 2O5 

McDevitt (McDevitt Cling) California; oblate compressed, 
very large, yellow red, clingstone, very good; kitchen and 
market use ; medium season. 

Mclntosh Round, large, creamy white, semi-cling, very good, 
medium early. 

McKevitt California; white, clingstone. 

Mamie Ross Medium size, round oblate, white skin, yellow 
flesh, clingstone, good quality, early; dessert and market 
use; originated in Texas. 

Maggie (Maggie Burt) Texas; oval, large, wnite, clingstone, 
good, very early. 

Mary Choice Large, round, yellow red skin, yehow red flesh, 
freestone, very good quality, late; market use; originated 
in Maryland. 

Mathews (Mathews' Beauty) Round, large, yellow, free- 
stone, good. 

Mayflower A very early, bright red, promising new variety. 

May Lee An early cling variety. 

Miller (Miller Cling) Very large, yellow, clingstone. 

Morris White Medium size, oval, creamy white skin, white 
flesh, freestone, medium quality, medium season; kitchen 
and^ market. 

Mountain Rose Medium size, round, white red skin, white 
flesh, very good quality, freestone, medium early; orig- 
inated in New Jersey; dessert and market use. 

Muir Large, yellow skin, yellow flesh, freestone, very good 
quality, medium season ; dessert, kitchen and market use ; 
originated in California. 

New Prolific Round oval, large, yellow, freestone, very good. 

Niagara Originated in New York; large, freestone, very 
good, medium early. 

Nichols (Nichols' Orange) Originated in California (?); 
large, yellow, clingstone. 

Oldmixon Cling Medium size, round oval, creamy skin^white 
flesh, clingstone, good quality, medium season; kitchen 
and market use. 

Oldmixon Free Medium size, round oval, creamy skin, white 
flesh, freestone, very good quality, medium season ; des- 
sert and market use ; a fine variety and a great favorite in 
its neighborhood. 

Onderdonk Medium size, oval, white skin, white flesh, free- 
stone, good quality, medium season; dessert and market 
use ; originated in Texas. 

Orange Cling Medium size, round, yellow skin, yejlow flesh, 
clingstone, medium quality, medium season; kitchen and 
market use. 

Orman Originated in Texas (?). 

Ovieda Originated in Florida (?) ; compressed, medium size, 
green white blushed, freestone, very good, medium early. 



2C)6 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Pallas Medium size, oval, white skin, white flesh, freestone, 
early; dessert and market use; originated in Georgia. 

Parham Small, round, yellow white skin, white red flesh, 
freestone, medium quality, late; market and kitchen use; 

Parks (Parks' Late Cling) Originated in Illinois; round ob- 
late, very large, creamy yellow red, clingstone, good, very 
late. 

Peen-to Small, form very oblate, white skin, white flesh, 
clingstone, good quality, early; dessert use. This is a 
Chinese type of which several forms are known in Amer- 
ica. It is suited to southern climates, particularly Florida, 
though it has been fruited as far north as Massachusetts. 

Peninsula Large, oblate, yellow skin, yellow flesh, freestone, 
good quality, medium late; market use; originated in 
Maryland. 

Phillips Cling Medium size, oblate compressed, yellow skin, 
yellow flesh, clingstone, good quality, medium late ; dessert 
and market use; originated in California. 

Picquet Medium size, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, 
freestone, medium quality, late; dessert use; originated in 
Georgia. 

Prize Medium size, oblate, yellow skin, yellow red flesh, 
freestone, good quality, late; market use. 

Ray Originated in Mississippi; round, medium size, creamy 
white red, early medium season; a very good market 
variety. 

Red Bird A very early cling variety recommended for Cen- 
tral States. 

Red Cheek Melocoton Medium size, round oval, yellow red 
skin, yellow flesh, freestone, medium quality, medium sea- 
son; dessert and market use. 

Red River Originated in Texas; round, medium large, 
creamy white, semi-clingstone, good quality, early. 

Reeves Favorite Large, round oval, yellow red skin, yellow 
flesh, freestone, good quality, medium season ; market use ; 
originated in New Jersey; widely planted. 

Richmond Large, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, 
freestone, medium quality, medium season; market use; 
originated in New Jersey. 

Rivers Medium size, round compressed, creamy white skin, 
white flesh, freestone, good quality, early; dessert and 
market use ; originated in England. 

Robert Originated in Delaware (?) ; round, medium, yellow, 
freestone, very good. 

Royal George Small, round, white red skin, white flesh, free- 
stone, best quality, medium season; dessert use. 



VARIETY CATALOG 

Russell Medium size, round, white red skin, white flesh, free- 
stone, good quality, early; dessert, kitchen and market 
use; originated in Nebraska. 

Salway Medium size, round oval, yellow red skin, yellow 
flesh, freestone, medium quality, late; market use; orig- 
inated in England. 

Sellers (Sellers Golden Cling) Originated in California; 
very large, yellow, cling, late. 

Slappey Round, medium size, yellow, freestone, very good, 
early. 

Smock Medium size, oval, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, free- 
stone, medium quality, late; market use; originated in 
New Jersey. 

Sneed Medium size, oval, green white skin, white flesh, cling- 
stone, poor quality, very early ; market use ; originated in 
Tennessee. This variety was formerly much planted as a 
first-early market sort, but has been very properly aban- 
doned by progressive growers. 

Snow Medium size, round, white skin, white flesh, freestone, 
medium quality, medium season; dessert and market use. 

Stevens Rareripe Medium size, round oval, creamy white 
skin, white flesh, freestone, good quality, medium late ; 
market use; originated in New Jersey. 

Stinson (Stinson's October, Stinson's Late) Originated in 
Mississippi (?); round oval, large, creamy white red, 
clingstone, good, late. 

St. John (Yellow St. John) Medium size, round, yellow red 
skin, yellow flesh, freestone, good quality, early; market 
use; originated in 'America. A great favorite in the On- 
tario peach district. 

Stonewall Jackson Medium size, round oblate, green yellow 
skin, green flesh, clingstone, medium quality, early; 
kitchen and market use; originated in Texas. 

Strawberry Small, oval, red skin, white flesh, freestone, good 
quality, early medium ; dessert and market use ; originated 
in New Jersey. 

Stump Large, round oval, white red skin, white flesh, free- 
stone, medium quality, medium late, market use; orig- 
inated in New York. 

Suber Originated in Florida (?); round, medium size, 
creamy white red, clingstone, good, early. 

Success Originated in Texas; round, large, .yellow, freestone, 
good. 

Susquehanna Very large, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, 
freestone, best quality, medium season; dessert and 
kitchen use; originated in Pennsylvania. 

Taber Originated in Florida (?); round medium size, 
creamy white blushed, clingstone, good, medium season. 



2O8 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

Tarbell Originated in Massachusetts; round, very large, yel- 
low red, freestone, very good, medium late. 

Taylor Originated in District of Columbia; round, large, 
yellow, clingstone, very good. 

Texas Small, round oblate, yellow green skin, green flesh, 
semi-clingstone, poor quality, late ; dessert use ; originated 
in Texas. 

Thompson (Mrs. Thompson's Golden Free) Originated in 
Florida; yellow, freestone. 

Thurber Medium size, round oval, white red skin, white 
flesh, freestone, good quality, early; dessert use; orig- 
inated in Georgia. 

Tillotson Small, round, white red skin, white flesh, freestone, 
good quality, early; dessert use; originated in New York. 

Tippecanoe Large, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, cling- 
stone, medium quality, late; dessert and market use; 
originated in Pennsylvania. 

Toledo (Early Toledo) Originated in Ohio (?); round, 
large, yellow white, freestone, good, early. 

Triumph Small, round, yellow red skin, yellow red flesh, 
semi-clingstone, poor quality, early; market use; orig- 
inated in Georgia. Tree and bud very hardy, prolific, but 
fruit is small and very poor in quality. The variety is 
hardly worth growing except in the coldest regions. 

Troth Small, round, white green red skin, white red flesh, 
freestone, poor quality, medium early; market use; orig- 
inated in New Jersey. 

Tuskena Large, oblate compressed, yellow skin, yellow red 
flesh, clingstone, good quality, early; dessert, kitchen and 
market use; originated in the South. 

Victor Round, medium size, creamy white, semi-clingstone, 
good, early. 

Victoria (Early Victoria) Originated in England; round,, 
medium size, yellow red, freestone, very good, early. 

Waddell Oblong, medium large, creamy white, freestone, 
good. A first-class midseason market peach of the 
Chinese cling group. 

Wager Small, oval, yellow skin, yellow flesh, freestone, poor 
quality, medium season; market use; originated in New 
York. 

Waldo Small, oval, white skin, white flesh, freestone, me- 
dium quality, early; dessert and market use; originated 
in Florida. 

Walker, Free Large, oblate, white red skin, white red 
flesh, freestone, good quality, late; dessert and market 
use; originated in Delaware. 



VARIETY CATALOG 2CX) 

Ward Late Medium size, round oval, white red skin, white 

flesh, freestone, good quality, very late; dessert and 

kitchen use. 
Washington An old variety, which some growers recommend 

for the family orchard. 
Waterloo Small, round, white red skin, green white flesh, 

semi-clingstone, poor quality, very early; dessert and 

market use; originated in New York. 
Wheatland Very large, round, yellow red skin, yellow flesh, 

freestone, medium quality, medium season; dessert and 

market use; originated in New York. 
Wonderful Originated in New Jersey; round, large, yellow 

red, freestone, late. 

Yazoo (Yazoo Cling) Originated in Mississippi; clingstone. 
Yellow Rareripe Medium size, red skin, yellow red flesh, 

freestone, good quality, medium season; dessert and mar- 
ket use. 



XVIII 
THE NECTARINE 

THOUGH well known in Europe and a decided favor- 
ite in England, the nectarine is a stranger in 
America. It is practically unknown here. Probably 
not one fruit grower in a hundred has ever seen a 
nectarine. It is very hard to account for this strange 
neglect of a good fruit. 

The nectarine is simply a smooth-skinned peach 
a peach without the fuzz. This definition itself 
would imply that it was a good thing. The fuzz on 
the peach certainly has no culinary value ; we may 
even doubt its having any commercial value. The * 
fruit being otherwise the same as the peach, the 
nectarine would seem to have a decided advantage 
over this splendid and well-known fruit. Neglect 
of the nectarine in America seems to arise largely 
from the fact that varieties adapted to American 
conditions have not been introduced. For the most 
part the varieties which are listed in the fruit books 
have originated in England and are not adapted to 
our section any more than European varieties of 
peaches are. Could we have nectarines of the qual- 
ity of the Early Crawford peach or of the Foster or 
Champion, they certainly would find many friends 
in this country. 

The nectarine used to be regarded by botanists as 
a separate species, but it is now known definitely 
to be the same as the ordinary peach, with the ex- 
ceptions already described. Nectarines have fre- 
quently originated from peach seeds, and conversely 
peaches have originated from nectarine seeds. The 

210 



THE NECTARINE 



211 



most convincing evidence, however, of their identity 
lies in the fact, well authenticated in several cases, 
that nectarines originate by bud variation from 
peach trees. Furthermore, these nectarine trees 
sometimes revert to the peach character by bud 
sporting. 

This interchangeability of peach and nectarine 
shows their identity and indicates definitely the fact 
that they are to be 
propagated, culti- 
vated and man- 
aged in all ways 
alike. At this 
time it will be un- 
necessary, there- 
fore, to give any 
special directions 
for the propaga- 
tion or cultivation 
of the nectarine. 
We may simply 
reiterate the state- 
ment that what 
we need in this 
country are some 
good varieties 
adapted to Amer- 
i c a n conditions. 
We may hope for 
something of this 
kind in the future. 
Several new va- 
rieties of very 
fine quality have 
recently been in- 
troduced in Eng- NECTARINE GROWN UNDER GLASS 




212 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

land, and it is impossible to see why similar ad- 
vances cannot be made in this country. 

In England the nectarine is largely grown under 
glass, for which use it is often preferred to the peach. 
Its comparative popularity in that country may be 
indicated roughly by the fact that Robert Hogg in 
his Fruit Manual, edition of 1875, named and de- 
scribed 35 varieties of nectarine exclusive of syno- 
nyms. These were classified into 12 different 
groups. On the other hand a careful search through 
the current catalogs of American nursery firms has 
found only one which offered any nectarines what- 
ever. W. T. Smith, of Geneva, N. Y., include 
three varieties, named and described in their catalog 
as follows : 

Early Violet, medium size, yellowish green, with 
a purple cheek, flesh pale green, highly flavored, last 
of August. 

Elrudge, medium size, pale green covered with dark 
red, flesh greenish white, melting, very juicy with a rich, 
high flavor, beginning of September, freestone. 

Gawny, medium size, pale orange, dark cheek, 
flesh orange, melting, rich, the very best early va- 
riety, ripening the first of August. 

Professor Wickson in the Cyclopedia of Ameri- 
can Horticulture, states that the nectarine is grown 
in California almost exclusively for drying and can- 
ning, and even for these uses is of but minor im- 
portance. As compared with peaches, for canning, 
the output of nectarines is only about one-eighth 
of one per cent of that of the peach, and for drying 
only about one per cent of that of the peach. The 
varieties grown for both canning and drying are the 
white nectarines, because they do not color the 
syrup in canning and because when sulphured they 
make a beautiful translucent amber color. 



XIX 
UTILIZING THE FRUIT 

The peach is pre-eminently a fruit to be eaten 
fresh and raw. The ripe, juicy, luscious peach in 
the hand is worth two in the compote. Great quan- 
tities of the fruit meet their final market in this 
form. It is the ambition of honest American fruit 
growers to produce peaches so cheaply that any 
honest, industrious workingman may give his family 
a good filling up every year. Peaches can be and 
should be eaten fresh in large quantities by every- 
one. 

Then come peaches and cream ! The words have 
become the universal synonym for everything rich 
and luscious to the palate. Good thick cream, and 
plenty of it, at peach time will make any peach 
grower's family completely happy. There is a com- 
mon prejudice in favor of the yellow varieties for 
this sort of consumption. This prejudice has no 
fair foundation, aside from the fact that yellow fruit 
looks better on white china than white fruit does. 
Yellow varieties like Late Crawford or Foster are, 
of course, unsurpassable; but the best white varie- 
ties such as Carman, Champion or Oldmixon, are 
just as good to the taste. Perhaps the housewives 
of the future will arrange to serve them on yellow 
saucers, or even on red ones, in order to help out the 
color scheme, seeing that is all that now stands in 
their way. 

CANNING 

Next to the raw, fresh peach the canned fruit is 
the most acceptable; and probably one-half the en- 

213 



214 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

tire American peach crop annually finds its way into 
cans. Doubtless everybody knows how to do the 
trick, but for fear someone may look into this book 
expecting suggestions for canning, I will insert the 
recipe and directions given by Mrs. Maria Parloa, as 
follows : 

8 quarts of peaches, 
1 quart of sugar, 
3 quarts of water. 

Put the sugar and water together and stir over the fire until 
the sugar is dissolved. When the syrup boils skim it. Draw 
the kettle back where the syrup will keep hot but not boil. 

Pare the peaches,* cut in halves, and remove the stones, 
unless you prefer to can the fruit whole. 

Put a layer of the prepared fruit into the preserving kettle 
and cover with some of the hot syrup. When the fruit begins 
to boil, skim carefully. Boil gently for ten minutes, then put 
in the jars and seal. If the fruit is not fully ripe it may re- 
quire a little longer time to cook. It should be so tender that 
it may be pierced easily with a silver fork. It is best to put 
only one layer of fruit in the preserving kettle. While this 
is cooking the fruit for the next batch may be pared. 

It is most important that the jars, covers, and rubber rings 
be in perfect condition. Examine each jar and cover to se? 
that there is no defect in it. Use only fresh rubber rings, for 
if the rubber is not soft and elastic the sealing will not be 
perfect. Each year numbers of jars of fruit are lost because 
of the false economy in using an old ring that has lost its 
softness and elasticity. Having the jars, covers, and rings 
in perfect condition, the next thing is to wash and sterilize 
them. 

Have two pans partially filled with cold water. Put some 
jars in one, laying them on their sides, and some covers in 
the other. Place the pans on the stove where the water will 
heat to the boiling point. The water should boil 10 or 15 
minutes. Have on the stove a shallow milk pan in which 
there is about 2 inches of boiling water. Sterilize ^the cups, 
spoons, and funnel, if you use one, by immersing in boiling 
water for a few minutes. 

*Some cooks insist upon silver knives for paring, because they claim that 
steel knives injure the fruit. If the fruit is fully ripe, and if it is scalded 
before paring, this dictum may be disregarded. For scalding the water 
should be in considerable quantity and boiling hard ("galloping," the cooks 
call it), and only a small number of peaches should be immersed at a 
f'me. A frying .basket is an excellent utensil to use. From 30 to 90 sec- 
ris' d'p is enough. The skin will peel off in great sheets, thus reducing 
labor, 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 



215 



When ready to put the prepared fruit in the jars slip a 
broad skimmer under a jar and lift it and drain free of water. 
Set the jar in the shallow milk pan and fill to overflowing with 
the boiling fruit. Slip a silver-plated knife or the handle of 
a spoon around the inside of the jar, that the fruit and the 
juice may be packed solidly. Wipe the rim of the jar, dip 
the rubber ring^in boiling water and put it smoothly on the 
jar, then put on the cover and fasten. Place the jar on a 
board and out of the draft of cold air. The work of filling 
and sealing must be done rapidly, and the fruit must be boil- 
ing hot when it is put into the jars. If screw covers are used, 
it will be necessary to tighten them after the glass has cooled 




SMALL CANNING OUTFIT 

and contracted. When the fruit is cold wipe the jars with 
a wet cloth. Paste on the labels, if any, and put the jars on 
shelves in a cool, dark closet. 

In canning, any proportion of sugar may be used, or fruit 
may be canned without the addition of any sugar. However, 
that which is designed to be served as a sauce should have 
the sugar cooked with it. Fruit intended for cooking pur- 
poses need not have the sugar added to it. 

Large growers of peaches everywhere have ex- 
perimented seriously with various methods for dis- 
posing of waste peaches or of taking up any excess 
in times of glut when it may easily happen that for 



2l6 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

several days at a time a reasonable profit cannot 
be realized by shipping even good grades of fruit. 
Canning always seems to be one of the most prom- 
ising methods of utilizing such peaches, and many 
growers have therefore established their private 
canneries, some on a large scale, some in a smaller 
way. 

The net result of many years of experience the coun- 
try over seems to show that such private canneries are 
not always a success, and that they are most likely to 
be of use to owners of small or medium-sized orchards. 
The extensive growers can usually arrange to turn 
their surplus over to some established canning fac- 
tory; and on the other hand the relatively large 
canning plants which they would require for their 
own use and the large personnel which they would 
be obliged to organize hurriedly in case of need, 
make too big and complicated an undertaking to 
carry. The writer knows of one large orchard in 
which a fully equipped cannery was installed at an 
expense of several thousand dollars. It was used 
one year during a glut ; but owing to inexperienced 
management and untrained operatives, no profit was 
realized. During the six years next succeeding, the 
peach crop moved to market properly without any 
glut, and the cannery was not called into requisi- 
tion. Whan the time came again that the plant 
might have been used, it was altogether worthless 
the woodwork had rotted down and the ironwork 
rusted out. Practically it was a total loss. This 
experience is not universal, of course, but it seems 
to be fairly typical. 

On the other hand, the small grower who has 
no very well-established shipping market, but who 
depends largely on peddling his peaches to his 
neighbors, is sure to find some year that peaches are 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 217 

plentiful and his neighbors all- have enough. Thus 
he is left with a big crop on his hands. Then, with 
a good canning outfit, he and his family, the 
hired man and the hired girl can put up the bulk 
of the crop in good tin cans, turning them off dur- 
ing the winter and converting a dead loss into a 
clean and handsome profit. 

Such home canning outfits are obtainable on the 
market at all prices from $5 up to several hundred. 
A good farm outfit, capable of putting up 3,000 cans 
a day or more, can be bought for $100. It is easily 
set up and easily operated by anyone who has rea- 
sonable mechanical ingenuity and who is capable of 
any good clean piece of work at any other job. The 
full directions for installing and operating these out- 
fits are supplied by the manufacturers, so that fur- 
ther details need not be given here. 

THE CANNING INDUSTRY 

The practice of canning fruit for winter use is 
peculiar to America. In many countries it is hardly 
known, and nowhere is it practiced to the same ex- 
tent, or anywhere near it, as in the United States 
and Canada. The peach is the prime favorite for 
canning, whether in the home kitchen or in the 
biggest canning factories. It is the easiest to handle, 
it keeps the best and it comes out in the winter in 
the most acceptable quality. For all these reasons 
it is put up in enormous quantities. Gould and 
Fletcher have compiled statistics to show somewhat 
of the extent of this industry, and these figures are 
given herewith as showing the amounts of peaches 
put up in 1904 by the commercial canning factories. 
The amount put up in home kitchens cannot be esti- 
mated, but it may be roughly guessed at 50 per cent 
of the amount canned in factories. 



2l8 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

QUANTITY AND VALUE OF PEACHES PACKED IN VARIOUS STATES. 



State. 


Canning season of 1904. 


Value, 
season of 
1899. 


Cases.* 


Value. 




6S,269 
30,086 
17,845 
1,302,715 
744,715 
352,244 
12,762 
10,060 
9,767 
57,128 


179,838 
52,989 
43,868 
$3,894,272 
2,640,524 
753,003 
35,134 
39,399 
19,370 
130,147 


102,504 
60,775 
3,362 
$4,283,165 
3,103,775 
758,919 
10,940 
72,591 
2,500 
167,799 




Texas 


Utah 


United States 




Ohio 


New York 




All other States 





*A case is generally understood to hold 24 cans. 

In the statistics for 1904 "all other states" includes 
Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, 
Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, 
Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, 
and West Virginia, together with small lots in still 
other states not named, amounting to 14,576 cases, 
valued at $36,452. 

PEACHES FOR VINEGAR 

Waste peaches, those too poor or too ripe for 
shipping or canning, or those partially decayed, may 
be utilized by pressing out the juice and fermenting 
it for vinegar or brandy. The United States bureau 
of chemistry, reporting on this matter, shows that 
peaches contain sufficient fermentable sugar for use 
as vinegar stock, and that they can be successfully 
handled by machinery already in use for making ap- 
ple cider and vinegar. Other points of interest are 
as follows: First, but little variation was found in 
the composition of the same variety of peaches 
when obtained from different localities. Second, 
the peach juices analyzed were found to be rich in 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 219 

sugar, but were about one per cent lower in sugar 
than average apple juices. They were considerably 
richer than apples in sucrose and in acid. Third, 
it was found that the use of pure culture yeasts was 
not necessary to insure rapid alcoholic fermentation. 
Fourth, the ciders prepared from peaches were con- 
siderably poorer in alcohol than apple ciders on ac- 
count of the fact that peaches contain less total 
sugars than apples. Fifth, the presence of brown 
rot was found not to interfere with the alcoholic 
fermentation of the ground peaches, but a large 
proportion of the sugars was wasted by allowing 
the fruit to rot before fermenting. Sixth, well- 
flavored vinegars were produced by the use of a 
small quick-process generator. These vinegars were 
of acceptable quality, though turbid, and did not 
possess the distinctive peach flavor. 

PEACH WINE 

The following directions for making peach wine 
are taken from a French cookbook : 

Press the juice from the fruit and use five gallons of water 
to every bushel of fruit ; in other words, dilute the juice pretty 
freely. To each gallon of juice add two pounds of sugar. 
Put this mixture in an open cask or a stone jar. Allow it to 
ferment, skimming off the scum which rises. When no more 
scum appears, draw off the liquor, preferably with a siphon, 
so as not to disturb the sediment, placing it in a keg, which 
should be laid on its side in a moderately cool cellar. A sec- 
ond fermentation, slower than the first, will now follow, dur- 
ing which time the keg should be kept nearly but not quite 
closed and perfectly full. A small quantity of the juice should 
be kept at hand in a separate vessel for this purpose. This 
slow fermentation will last^ for three to six months, and its 
completion may be easily judged by the fact that no more 
gas is given off. The cask may then be tightly bunged up, 
or the wine drawn off into clean bottles and tightly corked. 
Further aging in wood or glass improves the appearance and 
the flavor. 



22O THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

PEACH BUTTER 

This is one of the good old-fashioned farm prod- 
ucts. As made at the factories it is usually called 
peach marmalade, and that is also what the modern 
college-educated housewife usually calls hers. Gen- 
uine peach butter, however, is something which 
ought not to be allowed to go out of remembrance, 
and so we would better include a good working 
recipe recently given by Mrs. Fred Telford in the 
"Country Gentleman," as follows : 

Peach butter can be made from peaches that are overripe; 
that is, from peaches that are not decayed, but that are too 
ripe to put upon the market. First-class peach butter usually 
retails at about 75 cents a gallon, and since but little sugar 
need be added in its manufacture there is a very good profit 
in it for the producer when peaches are cheap. It also makes 
an excellent spread for children's school lunches as well as 
a good dish for the table. 

Wash the peaches thoroughly, cut out all decayed spots, 
peel and remove the stones. Place them in a preserving ket- 
tle and add enough water to prevent them from burning. 
Boil the peaches slowly, stirring them constantly, until they 
are well cooked down and smooth. Then add a little cinna- 
mon and about a cupful of sugar for each quart of butter. 
The taste of people varies, so that a little more or less sugar 
may be required. Continue the slow cooking and constant 
stirring until the entire mass is free from lumps and as 
smooth as it can be made by stirring. While the butter is 
still boiling hot, put it in glass cans and seal it immediately, 
using new rubbers and perfect covers. 

It is true that butters of this sort keep if placed in unsealed 
jars, but they are almost sure to mold. The mold does not 
entirely spoil the butter for use as food, but it makes any 
sort of food unattractive, and in addition lessens the food 
value. These mold filaments soon penetrate the entire con- 
tents of a quart can; and while they are usually invisible, 
unless a microscope is used to detect them, they soon pro- 
duce flavors noticeable to the discriminating taste. If the 
butter is kept in an unsealed jar, melted paraffin should be 
poured over the top. 

The labor of constant stirring may be partly eliminated in 
the following manner : Stew the prepared peaches until they 
become soft and then run them .through a colander. Add the 
same proportion of sugar as for the stirring method, and 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 221 

stir it into the butter until it is thoroughly dissolved and 
mixed. Place the butter in a stone crock, set it in a moder- 
ately hot oven, and stir it about every 15 minutes. This 
method produces just as smooth a butter, lessens the labor and 
the danger of burning, and eliminates burns on the arms and 
hands from the spattering of the hot butter. 

PEACH MARMALADE 

Those who prefer to make peach marmalade may 
safely follow Mrs. Rorer's recipe which is as fol- 
lows: 

Rub the peaches, but do not pare them. Cut them in 
halves, remove the stones, and to every pound of peaches 
allow a half-pound of sugar. Put the peaches in a porcelain- 
lined kettle, add sufficient water to cover the bottom of the 
kettle; cover, and heat slowly to boiling point; then stir and 
mash the peaches until fine, add the sugar and three or four 
of the peach pits or kernels (to every quart of marmalade) 
blanched and pounded to a paste. Boil and stir continually 
for 15 minutes, then stand over a more moderate fire, and 
cook slowly 20 minutes longer. Stir occasionally, that it may 
not scorch. Put away in stone jars. 

PEACH JELLY 

Peaches are not supposed to make jelly, but the 
following directions ought to work, as they are 
given on the eminent authority of Mrs. Rorer, being 
taken from her celebrated cookbook : 

"Pare, stone, and slice the peaches, put them in a stone jar, 
and to each half-peck of peaches allow one cup of water. 
Crack a dozen of the kernels and throw them in with the 
peaches. Stand the jar in a kettle of boiling water^ cover 
closely, and boil for one hour, stirring until the fruit is well 
broken, then turn into a flannel jelly-bag, and ^ hang up to 
drip. To every pound of this juice allow the juice of one 
lemon and one pound of granulated sugar. Put the juice into 
a porcelain-lined kettle, and bring it quickly to a boil; add 
the sugar, stir until the sugar is dissolved, then boil rapidly 
and continuously until it jellies, skimming the scum as it 
comes to the surface; 20 minutes is usually sufficient, but 
sometimes I have boiled it 35 minutes before it would jelly 
properly. 



222 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

"It is wise to commence testing after 15 minutes' boiling. 
To do this, take out one teaspoonful of the boiling jelly, pour 
it into the bottom of a saucer, and stand it in a cold place for 
a moment; then scrape it one side with a spoon if jellied, 
the surface will be partly solid; if not, boil a few minutes 
longer, and try again. As soon as it jellies, roll the tumblers 
quickly in boiling water, then fill them with the boiling liquid. 
Stand aside until cold and firm (about 24 hours). Then, if 
you have jelly-tumblers, put on the lids; if not, cover with 
two thicknesses of tissue paper, and paste the edges of the 
paper down over the edges of the tumblers. Then moisten 
the top of the paper with a sponge dipped in cold water. This 
moistening stretches the paper, so that when it dries again 
it shrinks and forms a covering as tight and smooth as blad- 
der skin. 

"I do not recommend jelly being covered with brandied 
paper^ as in^my handset has never been satisfactory. The 
jelly, in cooling, forms its own air-proof covering, and if the 
top of the tumbler be well secured, it is all that is necessary. 
Keep in a cool, dark place." 



PRESERVED PEACHES 

Peaches make splendid preserves. Mrs. Lincoln's 
Cook Book tells how to do it thus : 

"Pare the peaches; or remove the skins by plunging the 
peaches into boiling lye (two gallons of water and one pint 
of wood ashes). When the skins will slip easily, take the 
peaches out with a skimmer and plunge them into cold water ; 
rinse in several waters, and there will be no taste of the lye. 
Weigh, and add three-fourths of a pound of sugar to each 
pound of fruit. Halve them, and use some of the pits, or 
leave them whole as you please. The stones improve the 
flavor. Make a syrup by adding as little water as possible 
to the sugar about one cupful to each pound of sugar. When 
it boils, skim till clear, then add the peaches, and cook until 
transparent." 

GREEN PEACH PRESERVES 

The writer has not tried it, but he has often heard 
of making preserves of green peaches, and he there- 
fore thinks it safe to introduce the directions given 
in a French cookbook. It is said that the fruit can 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 



223 



be used when quite green, even the fruit taken at 
thinning time when two-thirds grown (it really 
ought to be thinned sooner) being said to make per- 
fectly edible and even delectable preserves. 

Green peaches, 5 pounds; 

Sugar, 1 pound for every pound of juice; 

Water enough to cover fruit. 

Preparations : First, take off the stems, place the peaches in 
a kettle, pour over enough water to cover well, and boil until 
the peaches are tender. Second, empty the kettle on a sieve, 
placing a dish under it to receive the juice. Third, weigh the 
juice, pour in the kettle, add as many pounds of sugar as you 
have pounds of juice, and let boil while skimming until the 
syrup is cooked to the degree called the great thread, which 
you try as follows : Dip the hand into cold water and dip 
the skimmer in the syrup, touch it with thumb and fore- 
finger, and instantaneously open it. If the preserves are 
cooked enough a thread of sugar will be obtained. Fourth, 
during the time that the syrup is cooking arrange the peaches 
in jars, and when the syrup is ready, pour it over the fruit, 
let cool, and seal tightly. 




DRYING PEACHES CALIFORNIA 



22 4 



THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 



SWEET PICKLED PEACHES 

Here we have a favorite farm home product which 
ought to be put up every year. Clingstone varie- 
ties are to be preferred, and those with red flesh 
are particularly recherche (which is a French word 
meaning greatly sought for). Mrs. Farmer's Bos- 
ton Cooking-School Cook Book is authority for the 
recipe. 



Yi peck peaches, 

2 pounds brown sugar, 



1 pint vinegar, 
1 ounce stick cinnamon, 
cloves. 



Boil sugar, vinegar, and cinnamon 20 minutes. Dip peaches 
quickly in hot water, then rub off the fur with a towel. Stick 
each peach with four cloves. Put into syrup, and cook until 
soft. 

DRIED PEACHES 



Dried peaches are 
a staple article of 
commerce, though 
they are by no 
means plentiful nor 
cheap. The fact 
that they cost so 
much of the grocer 
leads many people 
to suppose that the 
surplus crop can 
easily be worked 
up in the drier at a 
profit, but this has 
not been the experi- 
ence of most of the 
men who have tried 
it in the eastern 
states. The com- 




HOME DRYER 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 225 

mercial drying of peaches is an industry confined 
almost wholly to California, where the drying is done 
largely under the sun in the open air. It hardly 
seems practicable here to enter into a discussion 
of the methods used in that work. 

In the eastern states peaches when dried are usu- 
ally put through one of the regular fruit evaporators. 
These may be bought in various sizes, some de- 
signed to be operated on top of a kitchen stove, and 
others fitted with furnaces of their own. The com- 
mercial fruit evaporators, of course, are even more 
ambitious than these, and consist of houses or kilns 
built especially for the work. Anyone who wishes 
to try the ready-made driers of any size can get full 
and reliable directions for operating from the manu- 
facturers ; and anyone who wants to build a regular 
drying factory had better consult the evaporation 
engineers. 

Peaches may be home dried with excellent results. 
The freestone varieties are best for this purpose. 
Mrs. Fred Telford gives the following directions : 

Peel the peaches, remove the stones, and spread the fruit 
upon drying frames that have previously been covered with 
clean wrapping paper. Place the frames in the direct sun- 
shine and cover the peaches with mosquito bar or wire netting. 
Place the frames far enough from the street or the road to 
prevent dust from falling on the fruit. Each day place the 
frames under cover just before sundown. Turn the peaches 
several times during the first day of exposure. After they 
have dried for some days the contents of several frames may 
be placed together on one frame. Peaches may be dried 
without peeling, but the product is not so well flavored or 
tender when it is cooked in the winter. Nor do the unpeeled 
dried peaches sell so well as the peeled fruit. After^the 
peaches have become thoroughly dry they should be kept in a 
cool, dry place, in something that will prevent all insects from 
reaching them. A thick paper sack, such as corn meal or pan- 
cake flour comes in, is excellent for this purpose. 



226 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

SHORT CAKE 

One of the good old-fashioned home cookery lux- 
uries which is never remotely imitated in the res- 
taurants is the peach shortcake. Now, the wrong 
way to make a shortcake is to prepare as a basis 
a sponge cake or some other sweetened substratum 
of the same general sort. This is what they do in 
cheap hotels. The right way, and the way they 
practice on good farms, is to make a batch of dough 
just as though there were to be biscuits for supper. 
Sometimes it is made a little shorter, but this is 
hardly desirable. This dough is baked in square or 
round baking tins, which ought to be big and gener- 
ous. 

There should be at least two of these tins of cake 
baked, and better three. They should be fully baked 
but with only a very slight browning. When done 
they are removed to a big platter, and between the 
layers of unsweetened cake are spread liberal strata 
of very ripe sweet peaches, peeled, stoned and sliced 
thin. The fruit stratum is always heavily sweetened 
with sugar, and may be touched up a bit with nut- 
meg or other spices if desired. Some rural gour- 
mets dress their portions with thick yellow cream ; 
other more delicate persons say their stomachs will 
not stand the treatment. For shortcomings of this 
sort we recommend 12 active hours a day pick- 
ing, packing and shipping peaches to market. 

PEACH PIE 

Peach pie is probably the best known way of 
cooking peaches. Here is a good New England 
recipe, from the land where they know what pie is : 

Remove skins from peaches. This may he done easily after 
allowing peaches to stand in boiling water one minute. Cut 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 2.2J 

in eighths, cook until soft with enough water to prevent burn- 
ing; sweeten to taste. Cool, and fill crust previously baked. 
Cover with whipped cream, sweetened and flavored. 

PEACH COBBLER 

In the country where peaches are cheap as air, and 
where home consumption is the main feature of the 
peach market, the people who really know what the 
peaches are good for make the fruit harvest memo- 
rable with a peach cobbler. Apparently this is not 
an aristocratic piece of cookery. The present writer 
has searched all the most approved cookbooks in 
vain for directions or even for a mention of peach 
cobbler. But it is too good a thing to be overlooked, 
so in the absence of any cookbook recipe the author 
will tell how he has himself made a peach cobbler 
which met with liberal indorsement from hungry 
children, who ought to know about such matters. 

A peach cobbler is simply a peach pie on a large 
and liberal scale. Instead of being built up in a 10- 
inch pie tin, it is baked in the biggest dripping pan 
the house affords one which will barely go into the 
oven. A heavy crust is provided, made shorter than 
biscuit dough, but not so short as the usual pie crust. 
Some cooks put in a lower crust for the foundation 
of the peach cobbler, while others prefer to do with- 
out the lower crust. The writer follows the former 
practice. Good peaches, ripe but not soft, of some 
rich-flavored variety, are chosen, pared, pitted and 
sliced. The cobbler is rilled fairly full of these sliced 
peaches, which are then freely dressed with sugar, 
also with nutmeg and any other spices which the 
cook's taste may fancy; the top crust is put on, 
some ventilating holes made as in ordinary pie de- 
signing, and the thing shoved carefully into a mod- 
erate oven. It is baked till the crust is done. Every- 



228 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

body gets a piece on his plate about as big as a pack- 
age of corn-flakes ; and a good many folks pour Jer- 
sey cream over theirs. Doesn't that make your 
mouth water? Try it. 

PEACH FRITTERS 

Two medium-sized sour peaches, powdered sugar, batter. 

Batter : 1 1-3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, *4 tea- 
spoon salt, 2-3 cup milk, 1 egg. Mix and sift dry ingredients, 
add milk gradually, and egg well beaten. 

Pare peaches, cut in eighths, slice eighths, and stir into bat- 
ter. Drop by spoonfuls and fry in deep fat. Drain on brown 
paper, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve hot on a 
folded napkin. 



PEACH DUMPLINGS 

1 quart of flour, 1 large tablespoonful of but- 

2 heaping teaspoonfuls of ter or lard, 

baking powder, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 

T/2 pint of milk. 

Pare the peaches, but do not take out the stones. Put the 
pot over the fire with just enough water to half cover the 
dumplings ; or if you are going to steam them, which is much 
the better way, have the steamer over the pot, which should 
be half full of boiling water. Now put the flour into a bowl, 
and rub into it the butter or lard, then add the salt and baking- 
powder. Mix well, and moisten with the milk, using more 
or less, as the flour requires to make a soft dough ; that is, a 
dough that will roll out nicely without being sticky. Take the 
dough out on a baking board, roll it out about a half-inch in 
thickness. Now cut out the dumplings or the covering for the 
peaches with a large round cutter, about the s : ze of a common 
saucer; put one peach in the center of each piece, add a little 
sugar, and carefully work the dough over the peach. 

If you boil them, tie each one in a floured cloth, or put 
them into netted dumpling bags, plunge them immediately into 
the boiling water, and boil 30 minutes. If you steam them, 
place them on a dinner plate a little smaller than the steamer, 
stand the plate in the steamer and steam 40 minutes. Serve 
on the plate on which they were steamed. Serve hot, with 
hard sauce or sweetened cream. From Mrs. Rorer's Cook 
Book. 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 



BAKED PEACHES 

Mrs. Farmer gives directions as follows for bak- 
ing peaches : 

Peel, cut in halves, and remove stones from six peaches. 
Place in a shallow granite pan. Fill each cavity with one tea- 
spoon sugar, one-half teaspoon butter, few drops lemon juice, 
and a slight grating of nutmeg. Cook 20 minutes, and serve 
on circular pieces of buttered or dry toast. 

BRANDIED PEACHES 

There are a great many good people in this world, 
and some of them temperate to a fault, who fancy 
the flavor of brandied peaches. This is one of the 
standard methods of preparing this fruit, and need 
not be allowed to go out of use, though perhaps 
some other name might be chosen more acceptable 
to the W. C. T. U. The directions following are 
from Mrs. Rorer's Cook Book: 

"Take large white or yellow freestone peaches. (They must 
not be too ripe.) Scald them with boiling water; cover, and 
let stand until the water becomes cold. Repeat this scalding, 
then take them out, lay them on a soft cloth, cover them over 
with another cloth, and let them remain until perfectly dry. 
Now put them in stone jars, and cover with brandy. Tie 
paper over the toos of the jars, and let them remain in this 
way one week. Then make a syrup, allowing one pound of 
granulated sugar and a half-pint of water to each pound of 
peaches. Boil, and skim the syrup, then put in the peaches, 
and simmer until tender. Then take the peaches out, drain, 
and put them in glass jars. Stand the syrup aside to cool. 
When cold, mix equal quantities of this syrup and the brandy 
in which you had the peaches. Pour this over the peaches, 
and seal. 

PEACH BAVARIAN CREAM 

1 pint can or nine fresh Y 2 box gelatine, 

peaches, ^ pint of cold water, 

1 pint of cream. 

Cover the gelatine with the water and let soak a half hour. 
Press the peaches through a colander; if fresh, first stew and 



230 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

sweeten them. Stir the gelatine over boiling water until dis- 
solved. Whip the cream. Add the gelatine to the peaches, 
mix, and turn into a tin basin; stand the basin in a pan of 
cracked ice, or snow, and stir constantly until the mixture 
begins to thicken ; then add the whipped cream, stir carefully 
until thoroughly mixed ; turn into a mold and stand aside to 
harden. Serve \\ith whipped cream heaped around the base. 
Mrs. Rorer's Cook Book. 

PEACH TAPIOCA 

1 can peaches, Boiling water, 

l /4 cup powdered sugar, l /2 cup sugar, 

1 cup tapioca, l /2 teaspoonful salt 

Drain peaches, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and let stand 
one hour; soak tapioca one hour in cold water to cover; to 
peach syrup add enough boiling water to make three cups ; 
heat to boiling point, add tapioca drained from cold water, 
sugar, and salt ; then cook in a double boiler until transparent. 
Line a mold or a pudding dish with peaches cut in quarters, 
fill with tapioca, and bake in moderate oven 30 minutes; cool 
slightly, turn on a dish, and serve with cream sauce. Miss 
Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cook Book. 

PEACH LAYER CAKE 

Cake. 

YZ pound of butter, Y 2 pound of sugar, 

5 eggs, 2 ounces of corn starch, 

6 ounces of flour, 1 teaspoonful of vanilla, 

J4 teaspoonful of mace, 2 tablespoonfuls of sherry, 

1 teaspoonful of baking powder. 

Beat the butter to a cream; add the sugar gradually, beat- 
ing all the while, then add the yolks of the eggs, then the well- 
beaten whites, then the flour, cornstarch and baking powder; 
beat well; add the flavorings, mix well. Grease three deep 
jelly tins, pour in the cake, and bake in a moderately quick 
oven 15 minutes. When done, remove carefully from the 
pans, and stand the cakes on a towel for a few minutes to 
cool. 

Pare the peaches, cut them in thin slices. Beat the whites 
of two eggs lightly, add, gradually, four tablespoonfuls of 
powdered sugar, and then beat vigorously until stiff enough 
to stand alone. Put a layer of this over the top of one cake, 
then a layer of sliced peaches, stand another cake on top of 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 231 

this. Put the remainder of the white filling over the top of 
this cake, then another layer of peaches. Now place the re- 
maining cake on top of this, press down lightly, dust the top 
over with powdered sugar, and it is ready for use. Mrs. 
Rorer's Cook Book. 

PEACH AND CANTALOUPE COCKTAIL 

Cut the ends off Gem, Jenny Lind, Rocky Ford or any good 
musk melon ; remove the seeds ; fill with cubes of peaches 
nice and ripe, adding other fruit if desired, such as bits of 
pineapple, orange, apple, etc. ; cover with French dressing 
made with lemon juice; add a dash of nutmeg and a tea- 
spoonful of fine currant jelly to each melon; serve very cold 
in crushed ice. In prohibition states these melons sometimes 
get a big spoonful of sherry each just before coming to the 
table. 

PEACH SHERBET 

At the soda fountain one often encounters peaches 
and near peaches, sometimes as dressings for college 
ices, sometimes in other forms. Peach ice cream as 
usually prepared is not a howling success, but peach 
sherbet can be made so as to satisfy the criticism of 
the best palate : 

Let best peaches, say Waddell or Late Crawford, ripen 
thoroughly on the tree. They should be just as soft as good 
peaches can get without spoiling. Peel and stone a peck of 
these fruits, handling very carefully. Put them into an ice 
cream freezer with about one-third their weight of sugar and 
nothing else. Stir them thoroughly while freezing. Here 
you have a most delectable dessert. It should not be frozen 
too stiff, though tastes vary at this point, and everyone should 
please his own. 

PEACH MERINGUE 

Pare and stew one dozen peaches, and press through a col- 
ander to remove the stones. Line two deep pie dishes with 
plain paste; sweeten the peaches to taste; fill the dishes even 
full, and bake in a quick oven 25 minutes. Then beat the 
whites of six eggs and six tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar 
to a stiff froth, add a teaspoonful of vanilla. Cover the pies 
with this meringue about three-quarters of an inch thick, and 



232 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

>ut back in the oven until a nice brown. Mrs. Rorer's Cook 



put oa 
Book. 



PEACH SPONGE 



y*, box of gelatine. 1 pound of sugar, 

1 pound of peaches, Grated rind of one and juice 

3 eggs, of two lemons. 

Y-2. pint of boiling water, 

Boil the sugar and water until clear, take the scum from the 
surface. Pare the peaches, and slice them into this syrup. 
Stew until tender. Cover the gelatine with cold water and 
let it soak while the peaches are stewing; add the gelatine to 
the peaches when they are done, then press the whole through 
a sieve, add the rind and the juice of the lemons, and stir until 
cold and slightly thickened. Beat the whites of the eggs to 
a stiff froth, stir them into the peaches and beat until cold 
and thick, then pour into a mold to harden. Make a vanilla 
sauce from the yolks of the eggs. Serve the sponge in a des- 
sert dish, with the sauce poured around it Mrs. Rorer's Cook 
Book. 

JELLIED PEACHES 

Soak two ounces of gelatine in a cup of cold water. Boil 
a cup and a half each of sugar and cider, and the rind of one 
lemon, for 10 minutes ; pour the syrup over the gelatine. Put 
a layer of sliced peaches and blanched almonds in the mold ; fill 
with the syrup; chill; garnish with whipped cream. Con- 
solidated Library of Modern Cooking & Household Recipes. 

PEACH CANAPES 

Saute circular pieces of sponge cake in butter until delicately 
browned. Drain canned peaches, sprinkle with powdered 
sugar, few drops lemon juice, and slight grating nutmeg. Melt 
one tablespoon butter, add peaches, and when heated, serve 
on cake. Miss Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cook Book. 

ICED PEACHES 

Any good peaches may be easily iced by dipping first in the 
beaten white of an egg, then in sugar finely pulverized, and 
again in egg, and so on until you have the icing of the de- 
sired thickness. Peaches should be pared and cut in halves, 
and treated in this way. 



XX 
HISTORICAL SKETCH 

Scientific opinion now leans to the belief that the 
peach is native to southern China. In former times 
it was supposed to have originated in Persia. The 
oldest names which we know signify this Persian 
origin. But Persia was probably only a way-sta- 
tion in the spread of the peach from China to Europe 
and thence to North America. 

Although at the time of the first settlements in 
America the peach was not nearly so well known 
nor so highly regarded as it is today, plantings were 
made on this continent at a very early date. It is 
hardly worth while to review the records of these 
early plantings here ; but the general trend of peach 
culture, its rapid spread, and the unexpected man- 
ner in which this fruit made itself at home in Amer- 
ica can be judged from the following transcript 
from a famous fruit book published in Philadel- 
phia in 1803. This was the American edition of 
Forsyth's "Culture and Management of Fruit 
Trees," in which it was said: 

"Peaches are in some variety, and ripen to great 
perfection in the middle and the southern states; 
as with but a little attention they would in the more 
northern states of America. It is a fruit that is so 
natural to the country of these states, that they are ap- 
plied as food to hogs, also in making brandy, and 
for culinary purposes. They are in succession, one 
sort coming after another, from July to November. 
In some of the states, kilns are erected for drying 



234 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

and curing apples, pears, peaches, and other fruits 
in great quantities ; where pies are made into moun- 
tains of crust, thick, essential, and cheap ; and given 
to hirelings, as an agreeable food for all laboring 
people in the country, and which needs but little 
or no sugar. The dried fruit is packed in casks for 
family use ; and is sometimes exported as merchan- 
dize. They are generally divided into clear-stone 
and cling-stone peaches. The cling-stone sorts are, 
in France, called pavies. In a list of thirty-nine 
choice sorts of peaches, given by Mr. Forsyth, only 
six are received by the French as pavies or cling- 
stones; and, it seems, in France and England the 
clear-stone sort is preferred at their tables. 

"But of all peaches, perhaps of all fruits, there is 
none equal in flavor to the American Heath Peach, 
a cling-stone. It is large, weighing near a pound in 
common : with but a moderate attention, the editor 
believes, they would very generally weigh a full 
pound. It is backward in ripening northward of 
the Susquehanna; and is one of the last sort that 
ripens ; many weigh a full pound. Peachley's form 
of a vinery would perfect the ripening, and secure 
the fruit from thieves. 

"Within the states of America, clear-stone 
peaches are preferred for food to hogs, and for mak- 
ing brandy; perhaps also to be eaten in country 
families, with milk; but the cling-stone sorts are 
preferred when of a good sort, well ripened, to be 
eaten as fruit undressed. 

"It is a common fault, after having planted out an 
orchard of peach trees, to leave the trees to shift 
for themselves and travel down with old time, with 
scarcely any culture or attention ; and the trees are 
taken from the nursery, where they had become full 
grown, crowded and stunted, so as to be now unfit 



UTILIZING THE FRUIT 235 

for giving good fruit when transplanted: and they 
are left to themselves, without any training or prun- 
ing; and heading-down is scarcely thought of, if 
known : in consequence, the fruit they yield is mean, 
and the orchard in the end is given up." 

The remarkable manner in which the peach be- 
came naturalized here is shown further by the fact 
that the botanical explorer, Nuttall, found the spe- 
cies growing wild as early as 1812 and as far west 
as Arkansas. For years beyond memory it has 
been one of the common wild trees all through the 
southern Appalachian mountains, these trees having 
been for many years the source of the commercial 
"wild" seed so much liked by the nurserymen. 

The development of peach orchards in the modern 
manner began about 1820, though a large proportion 
of the early plantations were of seedling trees. Ex- 
tensive plantings of budded trees were not made 
until about 1870. From this period to about 1890 
many good orchards were established, particularly 
in Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and 
Maryland. 

Later the introduction of the Honey type of 
peaches, and of the Peen-to, direct from China, as 
well as of the Spanish race (see page 188), gave a 
new impetus to peach culture in the South and ex- 
tended the plantings over large new areas. From 
1890 to 1900 there came into prominence another 
new and distinct type of peaches, the Chinese Cling 
race, brought direct from China. These new varie- 
ties, mostly from seedlings originating in this coun- 
try, were found to possess qualities of great value 
adapting them to commercial cultivation over the 
entire North American peach belt. The introduc- 
tion of the Elberta, in particular, gave a genuine 
boom to the peach-growing industry. Large, new 



236 THE AMERICAN PEACH ORCHARD 

areas were developed, notably in Georgia and Texas, 
but in many other states also. 

In spite of the extraordinary plantings made be- 
tween the years 1895 and 1905, the actual bearing 
area has recently declined. In 1900 there were, in 
round numbers, 100,000,000 peach trees in the United 
States. In 1910 the number had fallen to 94,500,000. 
There were, however, 42,266,000 trees growing and 
not yet of bearing age ; but the short-lived character 
of the peach tree, and the ravages of San Jose scale 
and general neglect are amply shown in these fig- 
ures. At the present time it would appear that new 
plantings just about balance the annual losses. 



INDEX 



Page 

Acid Phosphate 96 

Acme Harrow 72 

Age of Trees 53 

Altitude 42 

Barry, P., quoted 192 

Basic Slag 96 

Big Peach 137 

Blake, M. A., quoted 100 

Bone 97 

Bordeaux Mixture 153 

Bordeaux Mixture, Dilute 157 

Botanical Status 185 

Brandied Peaches 229 

British Columbia Peach Grow- 
ing 2 

Brown Rot 139 

Buckwheat 90 

Bud Killing 16 

Budding 47 

Bushel Basket 167 

Buying Trees 16 

California Peach Growing 10 

Canada Peach Growing 2 

Canning 213 

Canning Industry 217 

Canning Outfits 215 

Chinese Cling Group 187 

Choosing Varieties 191 

Classification of Peaches 186 

Climatology 12 

Climax Basket 165 

Clover 89 

Columbia Group 188 

Connecticut Peach Growing 5 

Co-operative Selling 171 

Cover Crop, Purposes 82 

Cover Crops 82 

Cover Crops, Disadvantages. 86 

Cowpeas 87 

Curculio 130 

Curculio Catcher 131 

Deer Damage 77 

Delaware Peach Growing 5 

Derivation of Peach 185 

Disc Harrow 71 

Diseases 134 

Distances for Planting 60 

Dried Peaches 224 

Dumplings 228 

Dwarf Stocks 49 

Elberta 193 

Elements of Plant Food 93 

Exposures 32 

Exposures 39 

Family Orchard 179 



Page 
Fertilizer Practice 99 



Fertilizers 
Florida Peach Growing. 
Florida Peach Growing. 
Forming the Head 



.. 93 
2 
6 

.. 110 
Formulas for Fertilizers ....... 100 

Ill 
13 



Frame Work of Trees 

Freezing Trees 

Fritters ...................... 228 

Frost Warning ............... 30 

Fruit Bark Beetle ............ 133 

General Management .......... 67 

Georgia Peach Carrier ......... 165 

Georgia Peach Growing ....... 6 

Geography of Peach Growing. . 1 

Grades of Trees .............. 54 

Ground Production ........... 13 

Hale, J. H., quoted ............ 175 

Handling Trees .............. 64 

Hardy Varieties .............. 196 

Heading In .................. 113 

Heading the Tree .............. 107 

Heating Orchards ............ 25 

Historical Sketch ............. 233 

Home Garden ............... 179 

Home Market ................ 175 

Honey Group ................. 188 

Hose ........................ 144 

How to Get Trees ............. 43 

Improvement of Varieties ..... 193 

Inoculation of Soil ........... 85 

Insect Enemies .............. 120 

Iowa Peach Growing .......... 2 

Iowa Peach Growing .......... 7 

elly ........................ 221 

ersey Basket ................ 166 

une Buds .................. 49 

une Drop ................... 74 

Kainit ...................... 98 

Kansas and Nebraska Peaches.. 9 

Kentucky Peach Growing ...... 7 

Killing of Blossom Buds ...... 16 

Laying Down Trees ........... 19 

Laying off the Orchard ........ 63 

Leaf Curl ................... 137 

Leavens, Geo. D., quoted ...... 102 

Lecanium Scale .............. 130 

Lime ........................ 98 

Lime-Sulphur Mixture ......... 145 

Lime-Sulphur Wash ........... 123 

Little Peach ................. 137 

Local Markets ................ 11 

Local Nurseries .............. 52 

Local Peach Culture ........... 3 

Low Heads .................. 108 



2 3 8 



INDEX 



Page 

Macomber Method 20 

Macoun, J. C., quoted 24 

Maine Peach Growing 1 

Management 67 

Marketing 160 

Marmalade 221 

Maryland Peach Growing 5 

Massachusetts Peach Growing. . 5 

Methods of Selling 168 

Michigan Peach Growing 7 

Missouri Peach Growing 9 

Monilia 139 

Morman, Jas. B., quoted 171 

Muriate of Potash 97 

Natural Seed 45 

Nectarine 186 

Nectarine 210 

New Hampshire Peach Growing. 1 

New Jersey Peach Growing 5 

New York Peach Growing 1 

New York Peach Growing 5 

Nitrate of Potash 96 

Nitrate of Soda 96 

Nitrogen 94 

Nitrogen from the Air 84 

North Carolina Peach Growing. 6 

Northern Limit Peach Culture. 14 

Nozzles 144 

Nursery Inspection 55 

Ohio Peach Growing 7 

Orchard Enemies 77 

Orchard Heaters 28 

Orchard Planting 57 

Orchard Rotation 79 

Oregon Peach Growing 9 

Packages 163 

Peach Borer 127 

Peach Butter 220 

Peach Cobbler 226 

Peach Trees for Fillers 61 

Peen-to Group 188 

Pennsylvania Peach Growing... 5 

Persian Group 187 

Personal Equation 4 

Phosphoric Acid 95 

Picking 166 

Pickled Peaches 224 

Planting Operations 62 

Planting Out 57 

Pomological Status 185 

Potash 95 

Preserved Peaches 222 

Propagation 43 

Pruning 105 

Pruning Tools 118 

Quality of Varieties 195 

Quantity of Seed Per Acre 92 

Rabbits 77 

Rape 91 

Reclamation of Old Orchards... 117 

Relatives 186 

Rosette 136 

Rotation of Fruit Plantations.. 79 



Rotation Table 

Rye as Cover Crop , 

San Jose Scale , 

Scab , 

Scott and Ayres, quoted , 

Scott and Quaintance, quoted . 
Scott and Quaintance, quoted . 
Scott and Quaintance, quoted . 

Seed for Propagation , 

Self-boiled Lime-Sulphur 

Self-boiled Lime-Sulphur 

Short Cake , 

Smoothing Harrow 

Smudging 

Soil Effects 

Soils 

Soils and Exposures, Summary. 

Soils, Local Character 

Soils, Physical Character 

Soluble Oils 

Soluble Oils , 

Solutions for Spraying 

Sorting 

Southern Limit Peach Culture. 

Soy Beans 

Special Pruning Problems 

Spray Pumps 

Spray Tanks 

Spraying 

Spraying Campaign 

Spraying Machinery 

Spring Frosts 

Spring Frosts 

Spring-Tooth Harrow 

Sulphate of Potash 

Summer Pruning 

Tankage 

Thinning the Fruit 

Thomas, John J., quoted 

Tillage 

Tillage Purposes 

Tillage Tools 

Time of Planting 

Tree-Jack 

Utilizing the Fruit 

Variety Catalog 

Variety, Rules for Choosing . . . 

Variety Selection 

Vetches 

Vinegar 

Virginia Peach Growing 

Weeders 

Weeds as Cover Crop 

Whitewashing 

Whitman, J. C., quoted 

Wild Peach Trees 

Wilder, H. J., quoted.. 

Wind and Ice 

Wine from Peaches 

Winter Freezing 

Winter Freezing 

Winter Protection 

Yellows 



Page 

80 

91 

120 

142 

125 

133 

140 

149 

44 

124 

149 

226 

72 

25 

13 

32 

41 

35 

38 

126 

152 

145 

162 

14 

89 

116 

144 

143 

143 

157 

143 

17 

22 

72 

97 

114 

96 

73 

189 

67 

70 

71 

59 

64 

213 

19S 

197 

191 

90 

218 

6 

76 

91 

22 

23 

45 

34 

116 

219 

n 

116 

17 

134 



YB 47638 




UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY