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Title: The Apple-Tree - The Open Country Books—No. 1
Author: Bailey, L. H. (Liberty Hyde), 1858-1954
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Apple-Tree - The Open Country Books—No. 1" ***

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Literature in Agriculture (CHLA), Cornell University)



THE APPLE-TREE



THE OPEN COUNTRY BOOKS

A continuing company of genial little books
about the out-of-doors

Under the editorship of
L. H. BAILEY

1. The Apple-Tree               L. H. Bailey
2. A Home Vegetable Garden      Ella M. Freeman
3. The Cow                      Jared Van Wagenen, Jr.

Others about weather and the sky, scenery,
camps, recreation, quadrupeds, fishes, birds,
insects, reptiles, plants, and the places in the
open.



The Open Country Books--No. 1

THE APPLE-TREE

BY
L. H. BAILEY

NEW YORK
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1922
_All rights reserved_



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

COPYRIGHT, 1922,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published January, 1922.

FERRIS PRINTING COMPANY
NEW YORK



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                     PAGE

I. Where There is no Apple-Tree                                7

II. The Apple-Tree in the Landscape                           10

III. The Buds on the Twigs                                    15

IV. The Weeks Between the Flower and the Fruit                19

V. The Brush Pile                                             27

VI. The Pruning of the Apple-Tree                             36

VII. Maintaining the Health and Energy of the Apple-Tree      41

VIII. How an Apple-Tree is Made                               48

IX. The Dwarf Apple-Tree                                      54

X. Whence Comes the Apple-Tree?                               60

XI. The Varieties of Apple                                    66

XII. The Pleasant Art of Grafting                             79

XIII. The Mending of the Apple-Tree                           85

XIV. Citizens of the Apple-Tree                               89

XV. The Apple-Tree Regions                                    97

XVI. The Harvest of the Apple-Tree                           102

XVII. The Appraisal of the Apple-Tree                        107


[Illustration: 1. The home apple-tree]



THE APPLE-TREE



I

WHERE THERE IS NO APPLE-TREE


The wind is snapping in the bamboos, knocking together the resonant
canes and weaving the myriad flexile wreaths above them. The palm
heads rustle with a brisk crinkling music. Great ferns stand in the
edge of the forest, and giant arums cling their arms about the trunks
of trees and rear their dim jacks-in-the-pulpit far in the branches;
and in the greater distance I know that green parrots are flying in
twos from tree to tree. The plant forms are strange and various,
making mosaic of contrasting range of leaf-size and leaf-shape, palm
and grass and fern, epiphyte and liana and clumpy mistletoe, of grace
and clumsiness and even misproportion, a tall thick landscape all
mingled into a symmetry of disorder that charms the attention and
fascinates the eye.

It is a soft and delicious air wherein I sit. A torrid drowse is in
the receding landscape. The people move leisurely, as befits the world
where there is no preparation for frost and no urgent need of
laborious apparel. There are tardy bullock-carts, unconscious donkeys,
and men pushing vehicles. There are odd products and unaccustomed
cakes and cookies on little stands by the roadside, where the turbaned
vendor sits on the ground unconcernedly.

There are strange fruits in the carts, on the donkeys that move down
the hillsides from distant plantations in the heart of the jungle, on
the trees by winding road and thatched cottage, in the great crowded
markets in the city. I recognize coconuts and mangoes, star-apples and
custard-apples and cherimoyas, papayas, guavas, mamones, pomegranates,
figs, christophines, and the varied range of citrus fruits. There are
also great polished apples in the markets, coming from cooler regions,
tied by their stems, good to look at but impossible to relish; and I
understand how these people of the tropics think the apple an inferior
fruit, so successfully do the poor varieties stop the desire for more.
There are vegetables I have never seen before.

I am conscious of a slowly moving landscape with people and birds and
beasts of burden and windy vegetation, of prospects in which there are
no broad smooth farm fields with fences dividing them, of scenery full
of herbage, in which every lineament and action incite me and
stimulate my desire for more, of days that end suddenly in the
blackness of night.

Yet, somehow, I look forward to the time when I may go to a more
accustomed place. Either from long association with other scenes or
because of some inexpressible deficiency in this tropic splendor, I am
not satisfied even though I am exuberantly entertained. Something I
miss. For weeks I wondered what single element I missed most. Out of
the numberless associations of childhood and youth and eager manhood
it is difficult to choose one that is missed more than another. Yet
one day it came over me startlingly that I missed the apple-tree,--the
apple-tree, the sheep, and the milch cattle!

The farm home with its commodious house, its greensward, its great
barn and soft fields and distant woods, and the apple-tree by the
wood-shed; the good home at the end of the village with its sward and
shrubbery, and apple roof-tree; the orchard, well kept, trim and
apple-green, yielding its wagon-loads of fruits; the old tree on the
hillside, in the pasture where generations of men have come and gone
and where houses have fallen to decay; the odor of the apples in the
cellar in the cold winter night; the feasts around the fireside,--I
think all these pictures conjure themselves in my mind to tantalize me
of home.

And often in my wanderings I promise myself that when I reach home I
shall see the apple-tree as I had never seen it before. Even its bark
and its gnarly trunk will hold converse with me, and its first tiny
leaves of the budding spring will herald me a welcome. Once again I
shall be a youth with the apple-tree, but feeling more than the
turbulent affection of transient youth can understand. Life does not
seem regular and established when there is no apple-tree in the yard
and about the buildings, no orchards blooming in the May and laden in
the September, no baskets heaped with the crisp smooth fruits; without
all these I am still a foreigner, sojourning in a strange land.



II

THE APPLE-TREE IN THE LANDSCAPE


The April sun is soft on the broad open fenced fields, waking them
gently from the long deep sleep of winter. Little rills are running
full. The grass is newly coolly green. Fresh sprouts are in the sod.
By copse and highway the shad-bushes salute with their handkerchiefs.
Apple-trees show tips of verdure. It is good to see the early greens
of changing spring. It is good to look abroad on an apple-tree
landscape.

As to its vegetation, the landscape is low and flat, not tall. There
is a vast uniformity in plant forms, a subdued and constrained
humility. A month later the leafage will be in glory, but that also
will have an aspect of sameness and moderation. Perhaps the actual
variety of species will be greater than in many parts of the abounding
tropics, and to the careful observer the luxuriance will be as great,
although not so big; but as I look abroad I am impressed with the
economy of the prospect. It comes nearer to my powers of assimilation,
quiets me with a deep satisfaction; the contrasts are subdued, the
processes grade into each other imperceptibly in the land of the
lingering twilight.

In this prospect are maples and elms and apple-trees. The maples and
elms are of the fields and roadsides. The apple-trees are of human
habitations and human labor; they cluster about the buildings, or
stand guard at a gate; they are in plantations made by hands. As I see
them again, I wonder whether any other plant is so characteristically
a home-tree.

So is the apple-tree, even when full grown, within the reach of
children. It can be climbed. Little swings are hung from the branches.
Its shade is low and familiar. It bestows its fruit liberally to all
alike.

The apple is a sturdy tree. Short of trunk and short of continuous
limb, it is yet a stout and rugged object, the indirectness of its
branching branches adding to its picturesque quality. It is a tree of
good structure. Although its limbs eventually arch to the ground, if
left to themselves, they yet have great strength. The angularity of
the branching, the frequent forking, the big healing or hollow knots
with rounding callus-lips, give the tree character. Anywhere it would
be a marked tree, unlike any other.

The bark on the older surface sheds in short oblong irregular scales
or plates that detach perhaps at both ends and often at the sides,
clinging by the middle until the curl loosens them and they fall to
the ground. These plates or chips are more or less rowed up and down
the trunk and on the larger branches, yet the apple bark is not ridged
and furrowed as on the elm. The bark is not checked in squares as on
old pear-trees nor peeling as on cherries. In dry weather, the loose
old bark is dark brown-gray, often supporting gray lichens, but in
rain it is soft and nearly black, yielding pleasantly to the touch. In
the forks, the bark is not so readily cast and there the chips may lie
in heaps. On the young limbs and small trunks the bark is tight and
close, not splitting into seams or furrows with the expansion of the
cylinder but stretching and throwing off detached flakes and chips.
Under the chips various insects hide or make some of their
transformations. There the codlin-moth pupates. The old remains of
scale insects may be found on the exterior. In the furrows about the
dormant buds the eggs of plant-lice pass the winter.

To destroy these breeding and hiding places, many careful
apple-growers scrape away the loose bark, being careful not to expose
the quick living tissue; and on the younger wood the eggs of aphis and
other pests, as well as cocoons and nymphs, are destroyed by vigorous
winter spraying. The regular spraying of apple-trees, in the different
seasons, more or less sterilizes the bark. Many forms of canker, due
to fungi and bacteria, invade the bark, making sunken areas and scars,
often so serious as to destroy the tree. All these features are
discoverable in the apple-tree.

The trunk of the apple-tree is short and stout, usually not perfectly
cylindrical and not prominently buttressed at the base. In old trees
it is usually ribbed or ridged, sometimes tortuous with spiral-like
grooves, often showing the bulge where the graft was set. The wood is
fine-grained and of good color, and lends itself well to certain kinds
of cabinet work and to the turning-lathe for household objects; it
should be better known.

[Illustration: 2. The apple-tree in the landscape]

If left to itself, the tree branches near the ground, making many
strong secondary scaffold trunks; but the plant does not habitually
have more than one bole, even though it may branch from the very base;
it is a real tree, even though small, and not a huge shrub. In the
natural condition, the trunk often rises only a foot or two before
it is lost in the branches; at other times it may be four or six feet
high. Under cultivation, the lowest branches are usually removed when
the tree begins to grow, and an evident clean trunk is produced. In
Europe and the Eastern States, it has been the practice to trim the
trunk clean to the height of four or six feet; but in hotter and drier
regions the trunk is kept short to insure against sun-scald; and with
the better tillage implements of the present day it may not be
necessary to train the heads so high.

In old hill pastures, in many parts of the North, one sees curious
umbrella forms and other shapes of apple-trees, due to browsing by
cattle. A little tree gets a start in the pasture. When cattle are
turned in, they browse the tender terminal growth. The plant spreads
at the base, in a horizontal direction. With the repeated browsing on
top, the tree becomes a dense conical mound. Eventually, the leader
may get a strong headway, and grows beyond the reach of the browsers.
As it rises out of grasp, it sends off its side shoots, forming a
head. The cattle browse the under side of this head, as far as they
are able to reach, causing the tree to assume a grotesque hour-glass
shape, flat on the under part of the head, with a cone of green
herbage at the ground. Sometimes pastures are full of little hummocks
of trees that have not yet been able to overtop the grazers.

The winter apple-tree in the free is a reassuring object. It has none
of the sleekness of many horticultural forms, nor the fragility of
peaches, sour cherries and plums. It stands boldly against the sky,
with its elbows at all angles and its scaly bark holding the snow.
Against evergreens it shows its ruggedness specially well. It
presents forms to attract the artist. Even when gnarly and broken, it
does not convey an impression of decrepitude and decay but rather of a
hardy old character bearing his burdens. In every winter landscape I
look instinctively for the apple-tree.

We are so accustomed to the apple-tree as a part of an orchard, where
it is trimmed into shape and its bolder irregularities controlled,
that we do not think it has beauty when left to itself to grow as it
will. An apple-tree that takes its own course, as does a pine-tree or
an oak, is looked on as unkempt and unprofitable and as a sorry object
in the landscape, advertizing the neglect of the owner. Yet if the
apple-tree had never borne good fruit, we should plant it for its
bloom and its picturesqueness as we plant a hawthorn or a locust-tree.

In winter and in summer, and in the months between, my apple-tree is a
great fact. It is a character in the population of my scenery,
standing for certain human emotions. The tree is a living thing, not
merely a something that bears apples.



III

THE BUDS ON THE TWIGS


Now the buds begin to break. The firm winter-buds swell. Their scales
part. Tips of green appear. Tiny leaves come forth, neatly rolled
inward, growing as they expand, the stalks lengthening. Resurrection
is astir in the tree.

Several leaves issue from every bud. From some buds arise only leaves;
from others a flower-cluster emerges from the leaf-rosette, showing
faint color even before it expands. Very close together and tight
these unopened little flowers are packed as they emerge; if we had
looked at them with a lens as they lay in the bud in the long winter
we should understand why; now they escape their bonds and rapidly grow
as they are delivered, yet at first pressed together by head and stem
in their soft gray wool.

Thus are there two kinds of buds on the twig of the bearing
apple-tree,--the leaf-buds (sending forth leaves only), and the
flower-buds (bearing both leaves and flowers). And if we wish to
analyze more closely, we discover two kinds of leaf-buds,--those that
send forth a rapidly growing shoot bearing the leaves, and those from
which the leaf-cluster remains practically sessile on the branch.
These latter, or the strongest and best of them, will probably give
rise to short fruiting spurs and the others to elongated leafy
branches.

Before me as I write is an apple limb more than three feet long. It
has been a vigorous grower, for it is only three years old. The years
can be readily made out; there are two sets of "rings" separating
them. You may see these rings on all young apple limbs. They represent
the scars of the scales of the past terminal buds.

Three years ago my shoot was sent off from its parent branch; that
year it grew but four inches, bearing leaves on its sides, in the
axils of which developed buds for the winter and at the end a larger
terminal bud. Let us call this shoot 1918. Two years ago (1919),
whilst I was in a distant land, the terminal bud gave rise to a shoot
nineteen inches long; two buds near the end of the 1918 shoot pushed
out clusters of leaves and made spurs about one-half inch long; all
the other buds, five in number, remained dormant, and now they are
dead and are rapidly becoming mere scars. Last year (1920) the
terminal bud of 1919 gave rise to a shoot fifteen inches long; three
buds at the base of this two-year (1919) shoot remained dormant;
fourteen buds produced spurs. It is now the spring of 1921; the 1920
shoot has four dormant buds at its base, ten rosettes of leaves from
the other buds, and a pushing terminal shoot.

On my branch this year, therefore, are 5 plus 3 plus 4, or 12 dormant
buds of all the years; 2 plus 14 plus 10, or 26 spurs; 1 terminal bud
continuing the onward growth.

[Illustration: 3. The bloom of the apple-tree]

It is evident that the last two years were good ones for my apple
limb, for the growths were long (19 and 15 inches) and most of the
buds produced spurs. The result is evidenced also in the fact that the
limb is this year laden with potential bloom. On 1918 the two spurs
bear flowers, one of them only a single bloom and the other five
blooms. On 1919 twelve of the fourteen spurs are bearing flowers in
the following numbers: 5 flowers, 5, 5, 7, 5, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 = 63
flowers. On 1920 are no spurs bearing flowers, but the terminal bud
(as is frequent on vigorous young trees) bears five flowers. Here,
therefore, on this yard of three-year-old twig are seventy-four
blossoms.

But there will not be seventy-four fruits; some of the flowers are
small and weak; others, as the petals fall, show unmistakable signs of
failing. A few of them show the plump form of an embryo apple: I think
there are a score of such promises. But I know that others will fail
later from physiological causes, and others probably from onslaught of
insects or disease or from accidents. If six fair fruits mature on a
branch like this, the crop will be good; and probably the branch would
not have vigor enough to set as many fruit-buds the following year or
to bear as many fruits.

It is good to watch the opening of the apple bloom: pink buds swelling
and puffing out each day, the woolly stems elongating, the five
overlapping incurving petals spreading and growing big, the stamens,
about twenty, straightening up and lengthening their filaments that
are attached on the flower-rim; the big light yellow anthers shedding
pollen; the five green styles in the center. In some flowers the
styles do not develop, and we have one reason why many flowers are
sterile.

The flower-clusters differ much among themselves, in size of parts,
number of flowers, color; on some trees the flowers appear in advance
of most of the leafage, but usually they are coincident with the
leaves. Sometimes the flower-stems or peduncles are branched, bearing
two or three flowers, and in that case there may be a small green leaf
or bract where the fork arises. The placing of the petals in the bud
at the epoch of expansion may differ in two flowers on the same tree.
One petal may stand guard outside the others and free from them, both
edges uncovered, while the remaining petals are spiral with one edge
under and one edge over; or there may be two guard petals, one on
either side; or sometimes all the petals may be spiral, one margin
out, one margin in; in some cases all the petals stand free as the
flower is expanding, with no margin interlapping. Sometimes one petal
is missing, and again the petals may be six.

This infinite variety within the bonds of so great regularity lends a
subtle charm to natural objects, that is wholly absent in man's
perfected machine-work. Man aims at uniformity, two and two alike;
nature aims at endless difference, every object or even every member
of an object having its own character. Much of man's energy is
expended in trying to overcome the diverseness of nature.

Gradually and slowly the flower balloons enlarge and puff themselves
up, the petals standing together at their tips; all the variety is
united into a harmony of exuberance, color and form; then one day
there is a shower of genial rain, a warm sun, birds in the air, bees
released, grasses soft and lush, and behold! the apple-tree is in
bloom,--a great heavenly mound of white and pink exhaling a faint
delicious breath. Then the pulses stir, the dogs bark at the edges of
the wood, the fields call, the scented winds lead on forever.



IV

THE WEEKS BETWEEN THE FLOWER AND THE FRUIT


The petals expand broadly, usually losing most of their pink. The
blade is oblong and rounded at the end, at first cupped and then
nearly flat, three-fourths of an inch long, narrowed at the base into
a short stem-like part and usually hairy there, the edges perhaps wavy
but entire. The expanse of the flower may be one and one-half to two
inches. The brush of stamens, erect in the center, sheds its pollen
and the anthers collapse.

Then the petals fall, like flakes of snow, borne often by the wind.
There remain the stout woolly flower-stems an inch or more long and
bearing minute dry bracts, with the young fruit at the summit topped
by the five recurving woolly sepals and the pencil of stamens and
styles. The bloom being gone, the flowering system of the apple is
thenceforth little observed. Not until the fruit begins to color do we
come back to the apple-tree to look at it closely; yet in these
intervening weeks some of the most interesting transformations take
place, and on the exact observance of them depends to a large extent
one's success in the rearing and saving of a good crop of apples.

Here is the flower of the apple-tree (Fig. 3). It is a comely
blossom, fragrant and pinky white, flatly spread to the sky, carrying
the spirit of the cool of the spring. What concerns us now, however,
is the cluster of stamens and pistils in the center, for these organs
are directly concerned in the production of the fruit. The petals soon
fall, but the remains of these interior organs persist, even unto the
ripening of the fruit.

The anther is attached at the back of its base or middle to the top of
the filament in the suture separating the two large cells. These
anther-cells split along the outer margins, releasing the
pollen-grains.

[Illustration: 4. Longitudinal section of the flower.]

In the center of the ring of stamens are the five style-branches,
which are united at the base into a short hairy column; the column is
borne on the ovary, which is sunken deep into the receptacle or stem
(Fig. 4). It is down these style-branches that the pollen-tube passes
on its way to the ovules or embryo seeds. The top of the style is
expanded into a cupped stigma on which are many glutinous points. One
can observe the browning and ripening of the stigma after pollen has
been deposited by wind, bees or other agencies. When the ovules are
fertilized, the forming fruit enlarges regularly unless it meets with
misfortune or is crowded out for lack of room and nourishment.

If one cuts across the ovary or embryo fruit below the recurving
sepals, one will see under a lens that it is neatly five-celled (Fig.
5). In each cell are two ovules; these, if all goes well, will ripen
into ten seeds. These five cells comprise most of the diameter in the
cross-section: but as the ovary enlarges and the young fruit grows,
one may see that the inner part comprising the cells begins to have a
character of its own and to be differentiated from the surrounding
flesh.

[Illustration: 5. Cross-section of the ovary.]

The "blossom" falls. In reality only the petals fall. What is left is
well shown in Fig. 6. Here remain the upstanding stamens with the
empty anthers, and in the center one could see the five styles if the
specimen were in hand. Here also are the calyx-lobes, widely spreading
and even recurved. The photograph for Fig. 6 was taken May 3. On May
17 another cluster was photographed from the same tree (Fig. 7). Three
of the flowers have produced sturdy young apples. The stems or
pedicels have become stouter, and they begin to spread. Note that the
calyx now is closed, the old stamens protruding, a circumstance that
will have special significance when we become acquainted with the
codlin-moth. Note also that one flower has failed, and remains as it
was two weeks earlier; it will soon fall. The young apples begin to
take shape. They show a glow of red on the cheek. They are fuzzy all
over. One of them is already injured on one side, having been stung by
a curculio or other insect: there are keen senses about the
apple-tree.

[Illustration: 6. May 3--When the petals have fallen]

[Illustration: 7. May 17--When the young fruits begin to show]

Two weeks later (May 31) still another cluster was taken from the same
tree (Fig. 8). Here are three fruits erect on their stems; one of them
is more than an inch in diameter either way, sturdy and unblemished;
another shows deformity due to insect puncture; the third remains
small and presently will drop. A scar in the leaf-axil marks the
failure of another flower. Four blossoms were in this cluster, but
only one fruit now has a chance to come to uninjured maturity, and two
have already failed. The big apple has now lost most of its fuzziness
and begins to assume a delicate "bloom" on its surface; the smallest
one--the one that soon will perish--still holds some of its fuzz. A
section of this smallest fruit discloses empty cells; apparently it
was not fertilized.

[Illustration: 8. May 31--The success and failure]

[Illustration: 9. June 14--The one big apple]

Another two weeks have passed. It is June 14th. From the same tree is
taken the photograph, Fig. 9. Here is a big apple, 1-1/2 inch in
diameter; and there is a dead shrivelled fruit that dropped when I
touched it. Of the several flowers in the cluster, all have failed but
one. This one fruit has now passed the danger of the blossom-end
infection by the codlin-moth and it has no blemishes. The many whitish
spots characteristic of the variety are now conspicuous all over the
surface. The ribs begin to show. There is a faint blush on the upper
side. The fuzz has disappeared and the bloom is becoming evident. The
calyx is tightly closed, although the tips of the sepals are spread
widely. The stem is stout. The weight of the apple inclines it nearly
to the horizontal. Yet this good apple is not symmetrical; one side is
larger than the other. I cut it crosswise and find two cells on the
larger side developing two strong seeds each, whilst those on the
smaller side have a single seed each and one of these seeds is small
and perhaps would not have matured. The fleshy part of the apple,
outside the core, now occupies about as much of the diameter as the
core itself and much more than one-half the bulk of the fruit.
Already my apple, now half grown, shows many of its distinctive
characteristics.

Yet another fortnight has come and gone, and it is June 28th. It has
been good "growing weather." Summer is here, full-orbed, regal,
bringing the abundance of the earth. Here are two stout apples hanging
on their stems (Fig. 10), for they are now too heavy to be held erect.
The larger fruit is a trifle more than two inches in diameter. The
feature spots are now still more prominent on these apples, the ribs
more pronounced, the blush against the sun more warm. Both these
fruits, from one spur, will mature; but the smaller one will be
blemished, for the apple-scab fungus has established itself on the
crown and about the calyx. Already the growth is checked in that area,
and the apple looks flattened. There is no evidence in either apple of
codlin-moth invasion. The adjoining spur, not clearly shown in the
photograph, is barren; it gave no flowers this year, and it shows no
indication of a blossom-bud for next year. The leaves are thick and
vigorous, yet they bear marks of insect injury and one of them has
been extensively skeletonized. On the whole, however, the fruits have
the mastery, and they now make a brave show.

[Illustration: 10. June 28, and the apples have taken their form]

July has passed this way. Tomorrow it will be August. The odor of
apples is now in my tree. There are big striped apples on the ground,
plucked by the wind, the hold loosened by bugs for they too have felt
the fullness of July. Three apples, one of them three inches through
and two and one-half inches high, and the others nearly as big, hang
at the level of my eyes. You may see them in Fig. 11. Here rises again
my boyhood spent in an orchard now passed away, as father and mother
have passed, as playmates have fallen one by one, the old place
holding only memories. Here is my boyhood because the earth is always
young and repeats her miracles for the children by my side as it did
for me so many many years ago. Yet the miracles are greater now than
they were then. They have more meaning. Now are they part of some
great order. They are not separate. Without moving my feet, I lay my
hands on apples, Virginia creeper, asparagus, marigold, sweet sultan,
oxalis, plantain, crab-grass, white clover, all growing securely in
one place, and everyone like unto itself alone. Here is the
everlasting miracle before my eyes, and all miracles are mysteries.
Once I thought I should understand such things when I was "grown up,"
but I find myself still a boy.

[Illustration: 11. July 31, and the apples are getting ripe]

These three apples on the last of the days of July look fair and
sound, partly hidden in the leaves, the deep red colors covering them
in broad splashed stripes and relieved by light dots. Yet when I raise
the leaves or when I lift the apples apart, I find the burrows of
insects. They know that these apples are good. It is astonishing how
nature covers up the wounds, how she conceals the sore places, and how
fair she makes everything look. Were it not that she covers the
depredations of man, the earth would not long remain habitable by him.

Summer is ended. Today the sun is on the equator, and we are at the
equinox when nights are equal to the days, as the word testifies. The
harvest is over. The apples are no more. Yet the tree still is active
and preparing for another year (Fig. 12). The spurs are now thick and
stout, bearing sturdy hard leaves. The bud in the center is a big
one, already recognized as a fruit-bud: here is the promise of
speckled, furrowed, striped apples next August. Thereby I learn that
it is not enough to be good to the tree in the year in which I desire
its fruit: I must begin the year before, and the year before that, and
even back at the time when the tree is planted; and if the tree at
planting-time is not a good tree, it will be at a disadvantage perhaps
all its life long.

[Illustration: 12. September 22, and the buds are formed for the next
year's crop]

Finally the apple is ripe and ready. At the stem end is the "cavity,"
a depression, deep or shallow, according to variety, in which the stem
is set. At the blossom end is the "basin," also with the
characteristics of the variety as to depth and width and contour, in
which the calyx-lobes persist, and inside the calyx are the remains of
the dead stamens and styles; the calyx may be "closed" or "open," the
character being a mark of the particular variety.

Cut the apple through the center lengthwise (Fig. 13); note the curved
outline of the core (the pistil) extending half or more across the
fruit; if you do not see this outline, cut an apple until you do;
carefully open the five cells or compartments and within the parchment
walls find the two seeds attached by their points which are directed
toward the stem end; perhaps one of the seeds has failed, but probably
a cavity marks its place; perhaps both seeds have failed; perhaps the
cell has more than two seeds.

[Illustration: 13. The apples in section]

Cut an apple cross-wise: note the five radiating cells of the core,
the number and attachment of the seeds; note the ten points, imbedded
in the flesh, marking the outline of the core. Cut an apple cross-wise
above the core and beneath it; note where these points vanish and try
to harmonize them with the core-outline as seen in the lengthwise
section; probably you will discover why you may not see the
core-outline in all the lengthwise sections you make. Before you leave
the fruit, note whether single seeds in a cell are the same shape as
the two seeds in a cell.

The flesh outside the core-outline is interpreted to be stem structure
rather than pistil structure. Sometimes an apple bears a scale-like
leaf on its exterior, suggesting that the outer part of the fruit is
stem. The older morphologists interpreted the apple flower to comprise
a hollowed calyx (calyx-tube) inside which is the pistil and on the
rim of which are the petals and stamens. The structure now is regarded
as a hollowed receptacle or stem (hypanthium), with the pistil inside,
the petals and stamens on its rim. We noted in the flower that the
ovary part of the pistil is solidly imbedded in this receptacle, but
that the five styles are free. The pear and quince are of similar
structure, but the peach, plum and cherry are simple ripened pistils.

Here, in this chapter, we have discovered some of the epochs in the
life of the apple. Usually we let the imagination run only to the
mature fruit, thinking of the harvest, but in all the weeks before the
harvest the apple has been growing and taking form. As these weeks
have not been blank to the apple-tree, so shall they not be blank to
me.



V

THE BRUSH PILE


Today I visited the brush pile back of the orchard. Here the trimmings
of the winter are placed, waiting to be burned when dry. How many are
the archives that will be destroyed! Here are histories in every bud
and twig and scar, of the seasons, of the accidents and deaths, the
records of the tree as there are records of families.

These records are not written in numbers or in letters, nor yet in
hieroglyphs; yet are they understandable. Alphabet is not needed, and
the key is simple.

From the brush pile of records I took one. I must describe it in part
by a picture (Fig. 14). On the living trees at this writing the petals
mostly have fallen and the leaves are nearly full grown. This branch
was cut in winter. It has lain in the snow and rain, putting forth no
flowers or leaves. Yet we can read it.

It is May, 1921. The terminal shoot is obviously of 1920; we shall
name it No. 1. It is a foot long, smooth and glossy, terminating at
the base (_o_) in a "ring" and at a short stub or branchlet. If we
count the buds on all sides of the shoot and at the tip we find them
to be 13. The largest one is at the tip, and they are mostly
successively smaller toward the base. Apparently the growth-energy was
expended in the upper parts of the twig, making large full buds. In
fact, the three or four lowermost buds are scarcely developed and
would not grow unless the limb were broken off above them; they are
dormant buds.

[Illustration: 14. A three-year record.--In a leisure hour, trace the
history of these parts; it will open your eyes.]

Looking along the shoot, I find that every six buds stand in the same
line: the sixth bud is over the first, seventh over the second, eighth
over the third. If I were to fasten a string to bud No. 1 and wind it
around the stem to my left, passing over every bud until I had reached
the sixth, I should find that it had made two circuits of the stem
(passed twice around it) and had passed over five spaces between buds.
This is the leaf-arrangement or phyllotaxy of the apple-tree,
expressed by the fraction 2/5. The space between two buds is
two-fifths of a diameter, and two circuits (ten-fifths) must be passed
before a bud comes over the one from which we started. The 2/5
leaf-arrangement obtains on cherry, peach, apricot, pear, raspberry
and many others; but a very different order is that of the linden,
grape, currant, lilies, elm, maple.

We cannot understand this simple unbranched terminal twig (No. 1)
until we know what took place last year. A year ago, in the spring of
1920, a terminal bud that had formed in 1919 expanded and gave rise to
this rapidly growing shoot. By the end of May or early June this shoot
had grown to twelve inches long, for the growth in length on the twigs
of trees is usually completed that early. This shoot bore leaves on
the 2/5 arrangement; in the axil of every leaf was a bud, the
strongest buds being with the strongest leaves at the middle and top
of the shoot; in the autumn of 1920 these leaves fell, but the buds
remained, persisted the winter, and were ready to "grow" in the early
spring of 1921. We see them on No. 1 (Fig. 14).

[Illustration: 15. The growing shoot, with a bud in each axil, and a
spur on last year's growth.]

In 1921 these buds on No. 1, then, would have grown. New leaves would
have come from the bud itself; in fact, the winter buds of the apple
are packed with miniature leaves and sometimes with flowers as well.
The shoot coming out of the bud may remain very short, constituting a
"spur," or grow with long internodes, making a slender twig. Fig. 15
shows a branch with new elongated growth, _b_ to _a_, and a shoot or
spur (_c_) arising from a bud of the previous year. Note the "ring,"
or division beyond _b_, marking the turn of the year.

It will be noted in Fig. 14 that the buds are of two shapes and sizes,
such as _a, a, a_, representing one kind and _b, b_, the other kind.
The former, small and pointed, are leaf-buds; from them will arise a
shoot bearing only leaves. The latter, _b_, large and rounded and
usually more fuzzy, are flower-buds (fruit-buds): from them will arise
a short shoot bearing leaves and a cluster of flowers; and we hope
that at least one of the flowers will set fruit.

We are now ready to resume our lesson with the branch before us. We
have identified the slender terminal part, No. 1, as the growth of
1920. We are now to account for all the remaining buds and branchlets.

If No. 1 grew in 1920, then the main shoot of No. 2 grew in 1919, from
the point _o o_. It is also one foot long. Near its base are four
small buds that remained dormant in 1920. There are nine branches
(_d_) of various lengths besides the terminal shoot No. 1, all of
which grew in 1920, for they are naturally a year younger than the
main axis from which they arise; these branches are the same age as
No. 1, with buds that would have produced shoots in 1921. But the
terminal buds of eight of these lateral shoots (all but the lowermost)
bear blossom-buds at the end; note their size and shape. Had not the
branch been cut, these buds would have bloomed in 1921; the eight of
them would have produced probably forty to fifty flowers; perhaps two
or three good fruits would have resulted. Note that two of the lateral
branches or spurs are short and weak: these would soon perish. The No.
2 branch has a dead end (_e_); in some way the terminal bud was
destroyed, and No. 1 sprang from a lateral bud beneath it, changing
the direction of growth.

If No. 2 grew in 1919, then No. 3 grew in 1918. It also grew about one
foot in length, showing that the conditions in the three years must
have been very uniform. There are remains of five dormant buds at its
base. There are seven side branches. As the main axis is three years
old, so these lateral shoots are two years old; they are the same age
as the axis No. 2. The lower one (_s_) grew less than an inch in 1919,
and made a fruit-bud; in 1920 it blossomed and one fruit set as is
shown by the square scar at the end; as the scar is small and the twig
weak, we are safe in assuming that the apple was very small or else
did not mature. A bud formed at the side of _s_ to continue the growth
of the spur next year (1921), but it is a leaf-bud; apparently there
was not sufficient energy to bear flowers and to make a fruit-bud; so
there would have been no more fruit on this spur earlier than 1922:
thus do we see that the alternate bearing of the apple-tree may have
some of its origin in the fruit-spur.

The side spur _f_ produced a terminal blossom-bud in 1919. In 1920 six
flowers opened,--I could count the scars. One of the flowers produced
a fruit, as I tell by the square scar at the end; the thickened stem
also indicates fruit-bearing. The side bud in this case is a
fruit-bud, but it is small and weak and is probably incapable of
producing a fruit. There are no strong leaf-buds to take up the work,
and this spur (_f_) would probably soon have died, as also would spur
_s_.

The side shoot _g_ grew to _h_ in 1919 and made a flower-bud. In 1920
this bud gave blossoms and one fruit resulted; the scar is prominent
and there is an enlargement of the tissue indicating that the fruit
probably attained good size; in 1920 also, two side spurs were formed
each with weak blossom-buds, also a terminal shoot (beyond _h_) with
leaf-bud at the end.

The other shoots have similar histories: the long shoot _i_ bore a
fruit-bud at _k_ in 1919 and a fruit in 1920; in 1920 it also made
three lateral shoots and a terminal shoot, with flower-buds
terminating two of them. Shoot _l_ bore flowers at its point in 1920
but did not carry the fruit to maturity; it also made two side growths
and one terminal growth, all terminated by flower-buds, to be blown in
1921. The shoot _m_ is a short spur that made a flower-bud in 1919 and
in 1920 carried three little fruits for a time and made a flower-bud
in 1920. Shoot _n_ remained very short in 1919, making a terminal
leaf-bud; in 1920 it grew two inches and made a weak flower-bud.

If shoot No. 3 grew in 1918, then No. 4 grew in 1917; but the branch
is severed and I cannot trace the record farther. We could trace the
family history many years if we had the unpruned tree before us.

Here, then, in my yard-long manuscript are forty bud-records on the
main axis, counting the terminals on No. 2 and No. 3. I can find
record of 144 buds on the side shoots. This makes a grand total of 184
buds. There is a total growth in length of 108 inches, or 9 feet. Each
of the buds that has already "grown" has produced an average of
probably ten leaves, or say 340 leaves in total. If there were an
average of five flowers to the cluster, then about 150 flowers would
have been carried on my branch, with the potentiality of 150 fruits;
but in fact not more than three or four maturing fruits would have
been produced in these years: and I should think this a good
proportion as blossoms and apples go. Certainly the branch has done
its part. There have been three eventful years.

I would not have my reader to suppose that one may always distinguish
leaf-buds and fruit-buds at a glance. I may be mistaken in some of the
above determinations, but they are essentially correct for I have the
twig before me. In some varieties of apples the differences between
the two kinds of buds are less marked. The certain way is to dissect
the bud: one may then see what it contains.

It now remains to determine how the branch was placed in the tree. It
must have been upright or very nearly so, for the main axis is
essentially straight and the branchlets are about equally developed on
all sides; moreover, there is no indication in the bark that one
exposure was the "weather side." The big twig _i_ apparently found a
light and unoccupied space into which to develop, but its extension is
not greatly out of proportion. I suppose, however, that my branch was
not topmost in the tree; there is no indication in very long growth or
strong upward tendency of the branchlets to mark the branch as a
"leader."

Years ago I became fascinated with the study of knots and knot-holes
in the timber of wood-piles. They are excellent records of the events
in the life of trees. In print I have tried to show what they mean. I
also worked out the life-histories of twigs and published them in
nature-study leaflets and elsewhere. Hundreds of children were
interested in the twigs and buds, finding them unusual, every one of
them a different story, and yet not difficult to read. These lessons
gave meaning to trees and seasons. Such observations have always meant
much to me, even when made in the most casual way in the midst of
constraining activities. And now in this later day I come back to a
bare twig with all the joy of youth. The records of the years are in
these piles of brush.



VI

THE PRUNING OF THE APPLE-TREE


We have found that not all the buds grow. We also know that some of
the spurs and shoots perish, not alone from accident but from defeat
in the struggle to live. The chances of success are relatively few.
The pruning process begins early in the life of the tree, and it
continues ceaselessly until the end.

To the apple-tree in the wild, strict pruning is the assurance of
success. No tree can reach maturity unless more parts perish than are
able to live. The young forest tree has branchlets and leaves along
its side and at the top. All these perish as the trunk rises, often
leaving marks on the bark, curls in the wood, and knot-holes large and
small. Thousands of perished buds and branches are the price of a
straight bole and great clear sheets of boards. Yet these perished
parts bore their burden in their day and time, and contributed to the
ultimate success: there could have been no tree without them.

Any tree-top discloses the pruning in action if one looks intently.
Part of it is recorded in the buds that never put forth a leaf; more
of it in little shoots left behind; and there are large and small
limbs, dead and dying, yellowing apparently before their time, hanging
on till the last hold is broken. Were it not for the benevolent
processes of decay, the ground would be strewn with the fallen parts
accumulating through the years.

In nature, the great result is to yield abundant quantity of seeds,
that the species may propagate itself after its kind. Man may desire
fruits relatively few, but large of size and excellent of quality,
without spot or blemish; this means greater opportunity and care to
the single fruit. Pruning is essential, to converge the energy of the
plant into fewer branches, to give the fruits space and light, to
increase the efficiency of measures for the control of diseases and
insects. Part of the pruning consists in removing certain branches,
and part of it in eliminating the fruits themselves by the careful
process of thinning.

The pruning of nature is fortuitous. The tree has the irregularity and
abandon of the picturesque. The pruning of man is for a different end,
and it produces the comely well-proportioned tree of the orchards. The
tree becomes a manipulated subject, comforting to the eye of the
thrifty pomologist.

Branch-pruning is essentially the removal of superfluous
branches,--those that crowd, that cross each other, that are so placed
as to be profitless, that are in the way, that are injured or
diseased. For the most part, the branches should be removed when they
are small; but it is not possible to foresee all that may be needed in
the training of the tree and, therefore, the frequent advice to prune
only with a hand-knife cannot be followed. One needs a sharp
pruning-saw and sometimes a chisel on a long handle. Usually it is not
necessary to remove branches more than an inch or one and one-half
inch in diameter if pruning is carefully practiced every year; but
sometimes even well-pruned trees must be shaped, corrected and
improved by the cutting of larger branches.

Pruning is usually best performed in early spring. The branch should
be cut close to the main limb or trunk and parallel with it, leaving
no stub; the healing process is then likely to proceed more rapidly.
The wound should be smooth and clean, without breaks, splinters or
splits; the knot-holes in logs and trunks are usually the consequence
of long "stubs" and torn injured parts. The tree is to be left
shapely, with a uniform distribution of branches, plenty of
fruit-bearing wood, easy to spray and from which to pick the fruit, of
the form characteristic of the variety.

In all the usual customary pruning of the apple-tree, dressing of the
wounds is not necessary. It is much more important to give the added
attention to the proper making of the wounds and the thoughtful choice
of the parts to be removed. Wounds two inches and more in diameter may
be protected with good paint, so that they will not check and
therefore not hold water, until the callus covers them. Good judgment
in pruning is more profitable than recipes to repair damage.

Fruit-pruning, or thinning, is the removing of so much fruit, when it
is small, as will allow the remainder to mature to its best and
constitute a maximum yield; it reduces the quantity of inferior fruit,
lessens the number of culls and the labor at packing time, conserves
the energy of the tree by preventing the maturity of great numbers of
seeds, diminishes diseases and pests. The overloading of the tree not
only imposes a heavy tax on its vitality but is likely to break the
limbs and to work much physical damage.

Thinning may consist in removing part of the fruit in the cluster (in
the case of varieties that tend to mature more than one fruit from
each flower-cluster), in picking all the fruits from certain clusters
or pairs of clusters, or in cutting away some of the fruit-spurs
before blossoming time.

The removal of the fruit itself is usually performed after the
"June-drop," when the extent of the crop is evident. The fruits are
pulled off by hand or cut with thinning-shears, the latter practice
being the better since it is not so likely to break the fruit-spurs.
The least promising fruits are taken away and the remaining apples are
left at least five or six inches apart in most varieties. The extent
of thinning must be governed by the variety, thrift of the tree,
result desired, and other conditions. To secure the best results, the
apples should be thinned when still small.

Thinning by early-spring removal of fruit-spurs is a very special
practice. It is employed on dwarf trees and on those specially
trained. It should be undertaken only by a careful and experienced
man. It is not to be inferred that the fruit of the apple is all borne
on spurs, for some of it may be derived from terminal buds on the new
axial growths or even from lateral buds; but the spurs are conspicuous
and readily recognized. Of course the ordinary pruning of the tree
removes fruit-bearing wood and is therefore a thinning process.

Within sensible limits, therefore, pruning is an invigorating process
in the sense that it deflects the energy to remaining parts of the
tree. What is called too heavy pruning, whereby the tree throws out
abundance of water-sprouts, is illustration of this fact: the tree is
thrown into heavy growth of adventitious shoots. The tree may not
produce more pounds of substance, or even more total feet in length,
but new energy is developed in certain parts.

In the restoration, or so-called renovation, of old neglected trees,
the two primary considerations are to prune vigorously and to till and
fertilize the land. Sometimes old trees must be mended as explained in
Chapter XIII. Of course they must be sprayed for what ails them. If
the variety is poor, the tree may be top-grafted (Chapter XII). In
some cases, it is hardly possible to make neglected trees bear
satisfactorily, for they were never of value: there is nothing to
restore. It may be a question of soil and location, of lack of
pollination, of trees so weak or so misshapen that effort on them is
wasted. But tillage, pruning, spraying, should produce worth-while
results in most cases.

In the care of the fruit-tree there is no practice which brings the
grower into such intimate knowledge of the plant as that of pruning
and thinning. The operator sees the tree as a whole, taking it all in;
then he sees it in small detail in all its parts, even to the spurs
and buds. With simple good tools, sharp and keen, and with a practiced
eye, he applies a deft and swift handicraft, cutting true, making a
fair clean wound, leaving the tree comely and ready for its highest
effort. The pride of good workmanship may find expression. The
operator feels also the sense of mastery that is in him, whereby he
corrects the tree, removes the wayward parts, keeps and encourages all
that is best. To engage in this kind of education requires that one
approaches the work with due preparation of mind and I think also with
consecration of heart.



VII

MAINTAINING THE HEALTH AND ENERGY OF THE APPLE-TREE


The apple-tree starts life fresh and vigorous. It grows rapidly. The
shoots are long and straight. The wood is smooth and fair and supple.
The leaves are usually large. It is good to see the young trees
acquire size and take shape.

Room in the ground and in the air is ample with the young apple-tree.
It is free to grow. Probably the ground was newly prepared and tilled
when the tree was planted; at least, a hole was dug and fine good
earth was placed about the roots. Probably insects had not found
permanent encampment on the tree. It had been well pruned, so that it
carried the minimum of superfluous and competing parts.

But in time the difficulties come. The tree probably slows down. It
becomes too thick of branches. The land is not tilled. It is not
manured. Insects and fungi make headway. The tree overbears. As the
years go on, the tree is thrown into alternate bearing, one year a
crop too heavy, one year a crop too light. The tree becomes broken,
diseased, gnarly, unshapely.

We have seen that the fruit-spur in bearing is likely to make a
leaf-bud for the next year's activities rather than a flower-bud. It
is assumed that the making of a flower-bud requires more energy than
the making of a plain leaf-bud; if this is true, there may not be
energy enough to carry a flower-cluster and to make a new flower-bud
at the same time. But if the tree is in proper vigor, is well fed,
protected from noxious organisms, not allowed to overbear, it should
have sufficient energy to make a crop every year, frosts and accidents
excepted. It is assumed, of course, that self-sterile varieties have
good pollinizing varieties near them; it is always well to plant two
or more kinds near together. Whether the continuity of bearing is
exhibited on the same fruit-spurs or whether there may be an
alternation in the spurs on the same tree, is of no moment in this
discussion. It is enough to say that there is no reason in the nature
of the case why an apple-tree should bear only every other year; it is
probably a question of nutrition.

The first essential to continued health and vigor is to start with a
strong unblemished tree. It is to be planted before its vitality is
lessened by exposure and hard usage. The more direct the transfer from
nursery to orchard, the better. It is to be placed in good ground,
well drained and deeply spaded or plowed. The apple-tree thrives on
many kinds of land, but light sand, hard clay, and muck are equally to
be avoided. "Good corn land" is commonly considered to be good apple
land. Certain soils and regions are particularly adaptable to
commercial apple-growing, but the amateur may plant quite
independently of this fact. The observant man notes the many
conditions under which the apple-tree may be grown with satisfaction.

If the land is not uniformly prepared, then the hole dug for the tree
should be larger than demanded by spread of roots, and the earth
fined in the bottom of it. Trees should be planted when perfectly
dormant, preferably in spring, at least in the northern parts.

The roots should be cut back to sound unsplintered wood, and very long
roots may well be shortened. The reader is aware that roots have no
regular order or arrangement as do the buds from which branches arise.
It is not necessary to try to shape the root-system to any formal
regularity.

As a good part of the root-system is destroyed when the tree is dug,
so is the top reduced to insure something like a balance. Half or more
of the top, on a three-year-old tree, is cut away, the long growths
being shortened to perhaps three or four good buds. If limbs are left
to form the framework of the future top, they should be alternate with
each other at some distance apart so that weak crotches do not form.

The tree is planted snugly, the earth being filled among the roots so
that no air-holes remain. The tree is shaken up and down to settle the
earth densely. Once or twice in filling, the earth is packed with the
feet. The purpose is to keep the tree firm and stiff against winds,
and to give all its roots close contact with the earth. Properly
planted, so that it will not whip or dry out, the tree gets a hold
quickly and begins to grow strongly. The first start-off of the tree
is important.

Apple-trees are held in vigor by plenty of room. For the standard
varieties in regular orchards, the recommended distance either way is
40 feet, or 35 x 40 feet. Some varieties may go as close as 30 feet;
and in regions (as parts of central and western North America) in
which the trees are not expected to attain such great size as in the
eastern country, the planting may be even less than this of the
upright-growing kinds. The spaces between the trees may be utilized
for a few years with other crops, even with other fruits, as peaches
or berries. Orchardists sometimes plant smaller-growing and
early-bearing varieties of apples between the regular trees as
"fillers," taking them out as the room is needed. Of course all kinds
of double cropping require that extra attention be given to the
tilling and fertilizing of the plantation.

The general advice for the growing of strong apple-trees is to give
the land good tillage from the first and to withhold other cropping
after the trees come into profitable bearing. Clean tillage for the
first part of the season and the raising of a cover-crop in the latter
part, to be plowed under, is a standard and dependable procedure.
Trees live long in continuous sod and they may thrive, but they may be
expected to show gains under tillage. Vast areas of apple plantings
are in sod, but this of itself does not demonstrate the desirability
of the sod practice. Allowing trees to remain in sod usually leads to
neglect.

There is a modification of sod-practice in some parts of the country
that gives excellent results, under certain conditions. The grass is
cut and allowed to lie, not being removed for hay. Manure and
fertilizer are added as top-dressing, as needed. This method is known
as the "sod mulch system." It is not a practice of partial neglect,
like the prevailing sod orchards, but a regular designed method of
producing results. Its application can hardly be as widespread as
clean tillage, on level lands.

It is a common opinion that hillsides and more or less inaccessible
slopes should be planted to apples. This may be true in the sense
that apples will grow on such areas and that such plantations are
better than fallow land. In fact, many such lands are profitable in
orchards. When they do not allow of tillage, easy spraying, and
economy in harvesting, however, they cannot compete with level
orchards.

To maintain the health and energy of the apple-tree, the land should
be enriched. This may be accomplished by the application of animal
manures, chemical fertilizers, or cover-crops, or preferably by a
combination of these means. Not many persons possess sufficient farm
manures to supply the general crops and the apple-orchard; but every
application the orchard receives is all to the good. Five to ten tons
of good stable manure to the acre annually is a good addition for an
orchard in bearing. This may be supplemented by cover-crops and bag
fertilizers in years in which the manure is not available. Experiments
are yet inconclusive on the fertilizing of apple-trees, but it is fair
to assume that on most lands, particularly on old lands, the addition
of chemical fertilizer is advantageous. A bearing apple-tree may
receive two to eight pounds of nitrate of soda (depending on its size
and on soil) applied to the full feeding area of the roots, five to
nine pounds of acid phosphate, two or three pounds of muriate of
potash; always ask advice.

The pasturing of orchards is often defensible and sometimes even
desirable. If the trees are growing too rapidly, they may be "slowed
down" by seeding to grass for a time; and pasturing with hogs, and
possibly with sheep, may afford a way of keeping the area in condition
and of adding fertilizer. Sheep that do not have access to
drinking-water and salt gnaw the trees. Hogs root up the ground and
thereby provide a rude kind of tillage. If animals are fed other food
in the orchard, the fertilizer increment will be considerable.

In house-lot conditions, the apple-tree usually receives sufficient
food if the land is well enriched for garden purposes; but trees in
sod should have liberal top-dressings of fertilizer every year and of
stable manure every other year.

The apple-tree should have a good supply of moisture. Planted on banks
and in hard places about buildings, it may suffer in this respect. The
land should be so graded that the rainfall will not run off. In
orchard conditions, the moisture is conserved by the addition of humus
to the land, and by thorough judicious tillage; and in dry regions it
is supplied by irrigation.

The energy of the apple-tree, and its ability to produce, is conserved
by holding all diseases and noxious insects in check. The means at the
command of the apple-grower are now many. No longer is the man
helpless, nor does he need to appeal to the moon or to "atmospheric
influences" for reasons. The natural histories of fungi and insects,
that do so much damage, are now a part of common understandable
knowledge. To acquire at least a working understanding of the
commonest of these subjects is in itself a great satisfaction and
gives one a sense of dominion. The good books and bulletins are
sufficient to keep one well informed. All these organisms are tenants
of the apple-tree, and from the naturist's point of view alone they
are not to be overlooked.

It is not to be inferred that all apple-trees will yield equally well
with equally good treatment. There is difference in trees as there is
in cows. We may not know why. But even so, it is our part to do the
best we can: this is our privilege.

The tillage and care of plants lessen the struggle for existence. So
is the apple-tree protected from the crowds, from contest for moisture
and food, from insects, and from the competition within itself.
Thereby is it able to express all its possibilities. Even the dormant
potentialities may be wakened, and the plant makes a wide departure
from its native state. This is not an original state of sin, but a
state of repression in which it is held in a world that is full of so
many things beside apple-trees. I may till my orchard ever so well,
manipulate the trees ever so promptly, yet if the plantation then is
allowed to run to neglect the processes of depreciation gain the
mastery; the struggle for existence is restored.

To keep one's apple-tree in the pink of perfection is as joyful an
enterprise as to do anything else well. It is only the well-conditioned
tree that yields its glorious harvest year by year.



VIII

HOW AN APPLE-TREE IS MADE


If the seeds of a Baldwin or Winesap apple are planted, we do not
expect to get a Baldwin or Winesap; we shall probably raise a very
inferior fruit. The apple has not been bred "true to seed" as has the
cabbage and sweet pea. To get the tree "true to name," of the desired
variety and with no chance of failure (barring accident), is one of
the niceties of horticulture. This is accomplished with great
precision and despatch.

The apple-tree is started from the seed. It cannot be grown freely by
means of cuttings, as can the grape and currant. In commercial
practice the seeds are collected mostly from cider mills or from
pomace. The seeds may be washed from the pomace, allowed to dry, and
then mixed in sand, charcoal, sawdust or other material to prevent
dessication and kept until spring, when they are sown. Or, if the land
is not so wet in winter that the seed will drown or be washed out, the
seed in the pomace (not separated) may be sown in autumn. The seeds
are sown in drills, after the manner of onions or turnips, one to two
or even three inches deep. They germinate readily in the cool of
spring, and the plants should reach a height of twelve inches and more
the first year.

If these plants were grown directly into bearing trees, it is
probable that no two trees would produce the same kind of fruit. Some
of the fruit might be summer apples, some of it winter apples, some
red, yellow or striped, some of it flat, oblong or spherical, most of
it sour but perhaps some of it sweet. Probably every kind would be
inferior to the parent stock or to standard varieties, although there
is a fair chance that a superior kind might originate from a field of
such plants.

Therefore, it is not the variety (that is, the top) that is wanted in
the raising of these numerous plants, but merely the roots, on which
desired varieties may be grown by the clever art of graftage. Yet not
even all the roots may be wanted, for the growing plants may differ or
vary in their stature and vigor as well as in their fruit. The
discriminating grower, therefore, discards the weak and puny treelings
at the digging time; or if the weak plants seem still to have promise,
they may be allowed to grow another year before they are dug for the
grafting.

This digging time is the autumn of the first year, when the plants
have grown one season. They are then to be used as "stocks" on which
to graft Baldwin, Winesap or other varieties. The growing of these
apple stocks is a business by itself. Formerly, most of the stocks
used in North America were imported from France, where special skill
has been developed in the growing of them and where the requisite
labor is available. But now the stocks are grown also in deep rich
bottom lands of the Middle West, as in Kansas, where, in the long
seasons, a large growth may be attained.

The methods of graftage of the commercial apple-tree are two--by
cion-grafting whereby a bit of wood with two or three buds is inserted
on the stock, by bud-grafting (budding) whereby a single bud with a
bit of bark attached is inserted under the bark of the stock.

Cion-grafting is practiced in winter under cover. The stock is cut off
at the crown and the cion spliced on it, or the root may be cut in two
or more pieces and each piece receive a cion. The union is made by the
whip-graft method (Fig. 16). The cion is tied securely, to keep it in
place. The piece-root method is allowable only when the root is long
and strong, so that a well-rooted plant results the first year. The
cion is a cutting of the last year's growth (as of No. 1, in Fig. 14).
However accomplished, the process is to supply the cion with roots; it
is planted in another plant instead of in the ground.

[Illustration: 16. The whip-graft before tying.]

The cion-grafts are now planted in the nursery row in spring. The cion
starts growth rapidly, only one shoot being allowed to remain; this
shoot forms the trunk or bole of the future tree. At the end of the
first season, the little tree is said to be one year old, although the
root is at least two years old; at the end of the second year it is
two years old; the tree is sometimes sold as a two-year-old, but
usually a year later as a three-year-old having a four-year-old root.
In fact, however, the root and top may be considered, in a way, to be
of the same age, particularly if only a piece of the root is employed,
for the cion grew on its parent tree the same year the root was
growing in the nursery.

The tree grew from the seed but it is no longer a "seedling" or a
"natural;" it is now a grafted tree, destined to produce a named
recognized variety of apple, maybe York Imperial, maybe Jonathan. We
find seedling trees in old fields, in fence-rows, and in woods. These
have grown from scattered seeds and have come to fruit without the
arts of the propagator. They bear their own tops or heads, rather than
the heads that a thrifty horticulturist would have put on them. Now
and then such a tree produces superior fruit; then a discriminating
pomologist discovers it, names it a new variety, and propagates it as
other varieties are propagated. Thus have most of the prized varieties
originated, without knowledge on the part of man of the ultimate
processes. But now with the accumulating knowledge of the
plant-breeder we hope to be able to foresee and probably to produce
varieties of given qualities.

[Illustration: 17. A "bud" before tying.]

Bud-grafting is practiced in summer. The young trees, obtained from
the grower of apple stocks, are planted regularly in nursery rows in
spring, the top having been cut back to the crown so that a strong
vigorous shoot will arise. In July and August or September, when this
shoot is the size of a lead pencil and larger and the bark will peel
(or separate from the wood), a single bud is inserted near the ground
(Fig. 17). This bud is deftly cut from the current year's growth of
the desired variety; it grows in the axil of a leaf (Fig. 15). The
leaf is removed but a small part of the stalk or petiole is retained
with the bud to serve as a handle. A boat-shaped or shield-shaped
piece of bark is removed with the bud. This piece, known technically
as a "bud," is inserted in an incision on the stock, so that it slips
underneath the bark and next the wood, with only the bud itself
showing in the slit; it is then tied in place.

The stock on which the bud is inserted has a two-year root, and the
root is entire. For this reason, budded trees are usually very large
and strong for their age when compared with piece-root trees grown
under similar conditions of climate, tillage and soil.

The bud does not grow the year it is inserted in the stock; it is
dormant until the following spring, as it would have been had it
remained on its parent branch; but soon after it is inserted it
attaches itself fast to the stock: it is a bud implanted from one twig
to another. The following spring, if the operation is successful, the
bud "grows," sending up a strong shoot that makes the trunk of the
future tree. The top of the stock is cut away; in the merchantable
tree, the bend or place may be seen where the stock and cion meet.

As in the case of cion-grafting, we now have a top of a known variety
growing on the root of an unknown kind. The tree is sold at two or
three years, counting the age of the top; and of course the tree is no
longer called a seedling, and it produces its implanted variety as
accurately as does the cion-grafted tree. Equally good trees are
produced by both cion-grafting and bud-grafting.

The apple-tree is now "propagated," and is ready for the planting.
Great hopes will be built on it, and the tree will probably do its
part to justify them. Nobody knows how a bud from a Baldwin tree holds
the memory of a Baldwin or from a Winesap tree the memory of a
Winesap. Neither does anyone know why of two seeds that look alike one
will unerringly produce a cabbage and the other a cauliflower. So
accustomed are we to these results that we never challenge a twig of
apple or a seed of cabbage: we assume that the twig or the seed
"knows." Nor have we yet approached this question in our elaborate
studies of plant-breeding. Here is one of the mysteries that baffles
the skill of the physiologist and chemist, yet it is a mystery so very
common that we know it not, albeit the life on the planet would
otherwise be utter confusion.



IX

THE DWARF APPLE-TREE


We have learned that many kinds of apples and apple-trees may come
from a batch of seeds. Differences are expressed in the tree as well
as in the fruit. In fact, stature is usually one of the
characteristics of the variety. Here I open Downing's great book, "The
Fruits and Fruit-Trees of America," and find the description of a
certain variety beginning: "Tree while young very slow in its growth,
but makes a compact well-formed head in the orchard," and another:
"Tree vigorous, upright spreading, and productive." We know the small
stature and early bearing of the Wagener (wherefore it is often
planted in the orchard as a filler), and the great wide-spreading head
of the Tompkins King with the apples scattered through the tree.

Now it so happens that in the course of time certain great races of
the apple-tree have arisen, we do not know just why or how. There is
the race or family of the russets and of the Fameuse. So are there
several races very small in stature, remaining perhaps no larger than
bushes. If we were to propagate any of the ordinary apples on such
diminutive stocks, we should have a "dwarf apple-tree."

The dwarf apple, then, is not a question of variety but of stock. Any
variety may be grown as a dwarf by grafting it on a plant that
naturally remains small, although some varieties are more adaptable
than others to the purpose.

If seeds of the natural diminutive apple-tree are sown, a variety of
trees and apples may be expected. The fruits would probably be
inferior. Probably the stature would vary between different seedlings.
If we are to get the effect of dwarfness, we must be sure that the
stock is itself really dwarf. Therefore, to eliminate variation and
also because seeds of natural dwarf apples may not be had in
sufficient quantity, the stocks are propagated by layers rather than
by seeds.

The diminutive tree, when well established, is cut off near the
ground. Sprouts arise. Some kinds sucker very freely. If earth is
mounded up around the sprouts, roots form on them and the sprouts may
be removed and treated as if they were seedling stocks. Usually the
mounding is not performed until the shoots have made one season's
growth. Gooseberries and some other plants are often propagated by
mound-layers. In the case of the gooseberry, however, it is desired
that the layer reproduce the parent--it may be Downing or
Whitesmith--and therefore it is planted without further manipulation.
But in the case of the apple, we do not want the layer to reproduce
the parent, for the parent would probably bear an inferior fruit since
it does not represent an "improved" or recognized variety; therefore
the layer is grafted or budded with the particular variety we desire
to grow as a dwarf tree.

Dwarf trees are grown in America, if at all, only in gardens, where
extra attention may be given them. Only high-class kinds should be
attempted on dwarfs, for the quantity-production of commercial apples
must be obtained by less intensive methods on cheaper lands.

Better fruits often are grown on dwarf than on standards, for two
reasons: It is usual to propagate only the best varieties on dwarf
stock; the little tree must receive extra care in pruning and in every
other way. Its bushel of apples must be choice, every one, to make the
effort of growing the tree worth the while. Under European conditions
where land is high-priced and labor has been relatively cheap, it is
possible (and common) to raise apples on dwarfs for market, as it is
profitable to terrace the hillsides with human labor; but in North
America the conditions are practically the reverse and the dwarf tree
cannot compete with the standard orchard tree.

The growing of a dwarf tree is essentially a gardening practice. It
requires great skill. The spurs are produced and protected to a
nicety. Every fruit may be the separate product of handwork. The
fertilizing, mulching, watering, are carefully regulated for every
tree. Often the trees are trained on cordons, espaliers, trellises or
walls. The individual fruits may be tied up or bagged. All this is
very different from the raising of apples by means of tractors and
other machinery, gangs of pruners and pickers, broadside extensive
methods, with highly organized systems of handling and marketing, in
all of which the money-measure is the chief consideration. It is for
all these reasons that the growing of a few dwarf apple-trees may
afford such intimate satisfaction to a careful man who prizes the
result of his skill.

The dwarfs are grown as little trees branching near the ground, headed
in at top and side and kept within shape and bounds. If they are of
the dwarfest dwarfs and not trained on trellis or wall (as they
usually are not in America), the fruit may be gathered by a man
standing on the ground, even from old trees. The dwarfs are planted
eight to ten feet apart when grown in regular plantation.

Be it said that certain kinds of stocks produce trees only semi-dwarf;
and in all cases if the tree is planted so deep that roots strike from
the cion, the top will probably outgrow the stock, being supplied in
part or even entirely by its own roots.

This brings us to a consideration of some of the kinds of dwarf
stocks, or dwarf races of the apple-tree. Be it said, in understanding
of the subject, that there are naturally dwarf forms of many plants,
and probably all ordinary plants are capable of producing them. Thus
there are very compact condensed forms of arbor-vitae, Norway spruce,
peach-tree. These have originated as seed sports and are multiplied by
cuttings. So are there dwarf tomatoes, dwarf China asters, dwarf sweet
peas, all coming more or less true from seeds, for these species (of
short generations) have been bred to reproduce their variations. The
inquirer must not suppose, therefore, that the races of dwarf
apple-trees are an anomally in the vegetable kingdom.

It is customary to speak of two classes or races of dwarf apple-trees,
the Paradise and the Doucin. The former kinds are the smaller, the
trees on their own roots sometimes reaching not more than four feet in
height at full bearing maturity. On the Paradise stocks, the grafted
apple-tree is very small; it is a true dwarf. The Doucin trees are by
nature larger, and apples grafted on them make semi-dwarf trees,
midway in stature between the real dwarfs and the common standard or
"free" apple-trees.

The case is not so simple, however, as this brief statement would make
it appear. There are many kinds of Paradise stock, as also of Doucin.
If one were to bring together living plants of all the kinds of
natural dwarfs and semi-dwarfs that could be found in nurseries and
growing collections, one would undoubtedly find a nearly complete
series, so far as stature of tree is concerned, from the very dwarf to
the full-sized standard tree. To say that a person is growing grafted
dwarf apple-trees does not signify how large the trees may be expected
to grow, for one may not know the particular kind of stocks on which
the variety is grafted. In fact, it is considered even in Europe,
where dwarf apples are chiefly grown, that the proper identification
of dwarf stocks is still a subject for careful investigation.

When the Paradise dwarfs first came into existence is undetermined.
They appear to have been known in the Middle Ages. The many races, as
the Dutch, French, Metz, Nonsuch, Broad-leaved, indicate an ancient
origin. We cannot be too certain what apple-trees were meant in the
early references to the Paradise apple. The fruits of the present
natural Paradise apple-trees are not sufficiently attractive to
justify us in considering them the "Tree of Paradise" or apple of the
Garden of Eden, which circumstance is supposed by some to account for
the name. "Paradise" was originally a park or pleasure ground, applied
also to the Garden of Eden, and later to horticultural gardens. John
Parkinson wrote his great treatise on horticulture, 1629, under the
title, "Paradisi in Sole Paradisus terrestris; or, a Choice Garden of
all Sorts of Rarest Flowers, etc." Now we use the word for gardens of
bliss.

The word Doucin, from the Italian, is supposed originally to have
designated apples of sweet flavor, but it now applies technically to a
class or race of semi-dwarf apple-trees.

For the purpose of this little book, however, the interest in the
dwarf apple centers not so much in the origin of the stock as in the
natural-history of the tree itself and the good skill of hand and
heart that one may expend in the growing of it. If one would come
close to a plant, knowing it intimately in every season, causing it to
respond to sympathetic treatment through a series of years, then a
garden collection of dwarf apples may satisfy the desire. It is too
bad that we do not have time to cultivate the dwarfs often in the
yards and gardens of North America. We are more familiar with the
raising of dwarf pears (which are grafted on quince stocks since there
is no similar race of natural dwarf pear-tree), but we do not give
them the thumb-and-finger care that is demanded for the choicest
results. The abundance of apples in the market should only stimulate
the desire of the connoisseur to have trees and fruits that are wholly
personal. The market produce can never gratify the affections.



X

WHENCE COMES THE APPLE-TREE?


If the dwarf apple-tree goes back to the Middle Ages and perhaps
farther, then whence comes the apple originally? No one can surely
answer. Carbonized apples are found in the remains of the prehistoric
lake dwellings of Switzerland. When recorded history begins, apples
were well known and widely distributed. The apple-tree is wild in many
parts of Europe, but it is difficult to determine whether, in a given
region, it is indigenous or has run wild from cultivation. Wild
apple-trees are common in North America, but no one supposes that the
orchard apple is native here.

Expert opinion generally considers that the apple is native in the
region of the Caspian Sea and probably in southeastern Europe. Perhaps
it had spread westward before the Aryan migrations. It had also
probably spread eastward, but it is not a cultivated fruit in China
and Japan except apparently as introduced in recent time. The apple is
essentially a fruit of central and northern Europe, and of European
migration and settlement.

It is a fertile retrospect to conceive of the apple as an attendant of
the course of Western civilization. Without voice and leaving no
record, it has nevertheless followed man in his wanderings, encouraged
his attainment of permanent habitations, succored him in his
emergencies. What the apple has contributed to sustenance can never be
known, but we are aware that it yields its fruit abundantly, that it
thrives in widely unlike regions and conditions, that the tree has the
ruggedness to endure severe climates and to provide food that can be
stored and transported. In the ages it must have stood guard at many a
rude camp and fireside. It would be fascinating to know what the
apple-tree has witnessed.

These early apples must have been very crude fruits measured by the
produce of the present day. But other food was crude and man was
crude. The North American Indians found the apple to be worth their
effort; remains of some of the so-called Indian orchards of the Five
Nations in New York persisted until the present generation. These were
seedling apple-trees, grown from the stocks introduced by the white
man. The French missionaries are said to have carried the apple far
into the interior, and early settlers took seeds with them. The
legends and records of Johnny Appleseed, sowing the seeds as he went,
are still familiar. My father, like other pioneers, took seeds from
the old New England trees into the wilderness of the West; the
resulting trees were top-grafted, some of them as late as my time; I
can remember the apples some of these seedling trees bore, the like of
which I have never seen again, probably poor apples if we had them in
this day but to a boy at the edge of the forest the very essence of
goodness. As early as 1639, apples had been picked from trees planted
on Governor's Island in Boston harbor. Governor John Endicott of
Massachusetts Colony had an apple-tree nursery in the early day; in
1644 he says that five hundred of his trees were destroyed by fire.
So the apple came early to be a standby on the new continent.

The apples of the colonists were not all for eating, but for drinking.
The butts and barrels of cider put in cellars in the early times seem
to us most surprising. Herein are suggestions of old social customs
that might lead us into interesting historical excursions. The oldest
book I possess on the apple is "Vinetum Britannicum: or, a Treatise of
Cider," published in London in 1676; it treats also of other beverages
made from fruits and of "the newly-invented ingenio or mill, for the
more expeditious and better making of cider." The gradual change in
customs, whereby the eating of the apple (rather than the drinking of
it) has come to be paramount, is a significant development; the use of
apple-juice may now proceed on another basis, on the principle of
preservation and pasteurization rather than of fermentation.

It is the custom to call the apple _Pyrus Malus_. This is the name
given by the great Linnaeus, with whom the modern accurate naming of
plants and animals begins. The nomenclature of plants starts with his
"Species Plantarum," 1753. Pyrus is the genus or group comprising the
pears and apples, and Linnaeus included the quince; Malus is Latin for
the apple-tree. Together the names represent genus and species,--the
malus Pyrus.

These statements are easy enough to make, but it is impossible to
demonstrate whether the common pomological apples are derived from one
original species or from two or more. Many technical botanical names
have been given in the group, but we need not pause with them here. It
is enough for our purpose to know that the natural-history of the
apple, as of anything else that runs to time immemorial, passes at
the end into obscurity. We seem never to reach the ultimate origins or
to find an end to our quests.

There are other apples than the common pomological orchard types.
There are the crabs. In general usage, the word "crab" designates an
apple that is small, sour and crabbed. Such apples are wildings or
seedlings. They are merely depreciated forms of _Pyrus Malus_, and
probably much like the first apples known to man. What are known to
horticulturists as crab-apples, however, are other species of Pyrus,
of different character and origin. We need not pause with the
discussion of them, except to say that the commonest kinds are the
little long-stemmed fruits of _Pyrus baccata_ (berry Pyrus), native in
eastern Europe and Siberia. These are the "Siberian crabs." The leaves
and twigs are smooth, and the calyx falls away from the fruit, leaving
a bare blossom end. These little hard handsome fruits are used in the
making of conserves. Certain larger crab-apples, in which the blossom
end is not clean or bare, as the Transcendent and Hyslop, are probably
hybrids between the true crabs and the common apple; this class
provides the main crab-apples of the markets.

When the settlers came to the country west and south of New England,
they found another kind of crab-apples in the woods, truly native. The
fruits were hard and sour, but they could be buried to ripen. The
trees are much like a thorn-apple,--low, spreading, twiggy, thorny;
but the pink-white large fragrant flowers are very different. The wild
crab-apple was called _Pyrus coronaria_ by Linnaeus, the "garland
Pyrus." On the prairies is another species, _Pyrus ioensis_; it yields
a charming double-flowered form, "Bechtel's crab." In the South are
other species. In fact, _P. coronaria_ itself may not be a single
species. These wild crabs run into many forms. In the northern
Mississippi and prairie country are native apples good enough to be
introduced into cultivation under varietal names. These are _Pyrus
Soulardii_, a species bearing the name of J. G. Soulard, Illinois
horticulturist. These crab-apples are probably natural hybrids between
_Pyrus Malus_ and the prairie crab, _P. ioensis_. Had there been no
European apple to be introduced by colonists, it is probable that
improved forms would have been evolved from the native species. In
that event, North American pomology would have had a very different
character.

There remains a very different class of apple-trees, grown only for
ornament and usually known as "flowering apples." They are mostly
native in China and Japan. They are small trees, or even almost
bushes, with profuse handsome flowers and some of them with very
ornamental little fruits. They have come to this country largely from
Japan where they are grown for decoration, as the cherries of Japan
are grown not for fruit but for their flowers, being of very different
species from the cherries of Europe and America. The common apple
itself yields varieties grown only for ornament, as one with
variegated leaves, one with double flowers, and one with drooping
branches. These are known mostly in Europe; but these forms do not
compare in interest with the handsome species of the Far East.

All these differing species of the apple-tree multiply the interest
and hold the attention in many countries. They make the apple-tree
group one of the most widespread and adaptable of temperate-region
trees. It will be seen that there are three families of them,--the
Eurasian family, from which come the pomological apples; the North
American family, which has yielded little cultivated material; the
East-Asian family, abundant in highly ornamental kinds. There are no
apple-trees native in the southern hemisphere.

The apple-tree, taken in its general sense, has a broad meaning. What
may be accomplished by breeding and hybridizing is beyond
imagination.



XI

THE VARIETIES OF APPLE


Every seedling of the pomological apples is a new variety. Some of
these seedlings are so good that they are named and introduced into
cultivation. They are grafted on other stocks, and become part of the
great inheritance of desirable apples.

It is to be expected that in the long processes of time in many
countries the number of varieties will accumulate to high numbers. No
one knows all the kinds that have been named and propagated, but they
run into many thousands. No one book contains them all, although some
of the manuals are voluminous. Varieties drop out of existence, being
no longer propagated; new varieties come in.

So the lists of varieties gradually change. A list of one hundred
years ago would contain many names strange to us. Thus, of the sixty
apples in "A Select List of Fruit-Trees" by Bernard M'Mahon, published
in "The American Gardener's Calendar," in 1806, not more than six or
eight would be understandable to a planter of the present day.

With the standardizing of practices in the commercial growing of
fruits, the tendency is to reduce the number of varieties to small
proportions; it is these varieties that the nurserymen propagate.
Here and there over the country are still trees of the extra-quality
but uncommercial varieties known to a former generation. If the
amateur now wants to grow these varieties, he must find cions as best
he can by patient correspondence, and graft them on his own trees.
When I planted an orchard twenty-five years ago, I found cions of
Jefferis here, of Dyer there, of Mother, Swaar and Chenango in other
places.

In the enlarged edition of Downing's "Fruits and Fruit-Trees of
America," 1872, are descriptions of 1856 varieties, of which 1099 are
American in origin, 585 foreign, 172 of origin unknown. The lists are
not only much smaller in these days, but the foreign element tends to
pass out. With the introduction of the Russian apples for the cold
North in the latter part of the past century, the importation of
foreign varieties practically ceased, as it ceased also for the pears
at an earlier date with the introductions of Manning, Wilder and
others. The epoch of the "testing" of varieties passed away, and with
it has gone an appreciative attitude toward fruits and even toward
life that constitutes a sad lack in our day.

About thirty years ago (1892) I compiled an inventory of all the
varieties of apple-trees sold in North America, as listed in the
ninety-five nurserymen's catalogues that came to my hand. The inventory
contains 878 varieties. In the present year, however, perhaps not more
than 100 varieties are handled by nurserymen in Eastern United States.
Probably the dealer and grower would consider even this small number
much too great. The highly developed standardized business of the
present day, aiming at quantity-production, naturally reduces the
variety of products, whether in manufacturing or horticulture, and
aims at uniformity. Under the influence of this leadership, we are
losing many of the old products, varieties of apples among the rest.

Why do we need so many kinds of apples? Because there are so many
folks. A person has a right to gratify his legitimate tastes. If he
wants twenty or forty kinds of apples for his personal use, running
from Early Harvest to Roxbury Russet, he should be accorded the
privilege. Some place should be provided where he may obtain trees or
cions. There is merit in variety itself. It provides more points of
contact with life, and leads away from uniformity and monotony.

The leading varieties of apples, that have become dominant over wide
regions, have been great benefactors to man. The original tree should
be carefully preserved till the last, by historical or other
societies; and then a monument should be placed at the spot. Monuments
have been erected to the Baldwin, Northern Spy, McIntosh and other
apples. We should never lose our touch with the origins of men,
events, notable achievements, outstanding products of nature.

I fear it is now a habit with many fruit-growers to minimize the
interest in varieties, placing the emphasis on tillage, spraying and
management of plantations. Yet, the only reason why we expend all the
labor is that we may grow a given kind of apple; the variety is the
final purpose.

In this little book we cannot discuss varieties at length. There are
special books on this fascinating subject. But we may have before us a
compiled list by way of interesting suggestion. The list is sorted
from the Catalogue of Fruits of the American Pomological Society,
1901, the last year in which the catalogue was published with quality
rated on a scale of 10. On such a scale, Ben Davis ranks 4-5; Baldwin,
5-6; Wealthy and York Imperial, 6-7; Rhode Island Greening, 7-8;
Northern Spy, 8-9; Yellow Newtown (Albermarle Pippin) 9-10. There is
no apple in the entire catalogue of 324 kinds (not including
crab-apples) rated wholly lower than 4 in quality except one alone and
this is grown for cider only, although several varieties of minor
importance bear the marks 3-4. Only two varieties are rated
exclusively 10, the Garden Royal, a Massachusetts summer-fall apple,
little known to planters, and the familiar Esopus Spitzenberg. Of
course judgments differ widely in these matters, as there are no
inflexible criteria for the scoring of quality; yet this extensive
list is probably our soundest approach to the subject.

The varieties in the catalogue of the American Pomological Society are
starred if "known to succeed in a given district" and double-starred
"if highly successful." North America is thrown into nineteen
districts for the purposes of this catalogue (which comprises other
fruits besides apples). For our purposes we may combine them into six
more or less indefinite great regions: n. e., the northeastern part of
the country, Delaware and Pennsylvania to eastern Canada; s. e., the
parts south of this area and mostly east of the Mississippi; n. c.,
north central, from Kansas and Missouri north; s. w., Texas to
Arizona; mt., the mountain states of the Rockies west to the Sierras,
including of course much high plains country; pac., the Pacific slope,
Washington to southern California.

Of the varieties starred and double-starred in these various
geographical regions there are 107; these are listed herewith. Of
course the intervening twenty years might change the rating of some of
these apples, other varieties have come to the front, and certain ones
of these older worthies are receding still further into the
background; but the exhibit is suggestive none the less.

Arkansas--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt.
Bailey (Sweet)--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Baker--n.e.
Baldwin--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt., s.w., pac.
Beach--s.e.
Belle Bonne--n.e.
Ben Davis--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt., pac.
Bietigheimer--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Bledsoe--s.e.
Blenheim--n.e., n.c.
Blue Pearmain--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Bough, Sweet--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Bryan--s.e., mt.
Buckingham--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Canada Reinette--n.e., n.c., mt.
Clayton--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Clyde--n.e., n.c.
Cogswell--n.e.
Cooper--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Cracking--s.e., n.c.
Doyle--s.e.
Early Pennock--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Esopus (Spitzenburg)--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt., pac.
Ewalt--n.e., s.e., mt.
Fallawater--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Fall Harvey--n.e., mt.
Fall Jenneting--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Fall Orange--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Fall Pippin--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt.
Fanny--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w.
Farrar--s.e.
Foundling--n.e.
Gano--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt.
Gilbert--s.e.
Golding--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Gravenstein--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt., s.w., pac.
Hagloe--n.e., s.e.
Hoover--s.e., n.c., mt., pac.
Hopewell--n.c.
Horse--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Hubbardston--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w.
Hunge--s.e.
Huntsman--s.e., n.c., s.w., mt.
Isham (Sweet)--n.c.
Jacobs Sweet--n.e.
Kent--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Kernodle--s.e.
Lady Sweet--n.e., mt.
Lankford--n.e., s.e.
Lawver--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Lilly (of Kent)--n.e.
Lowe--s.e.
Lowell--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
McAfee--n.e., s.e, mt.
McCuller--s.e.
McMahon--n.e., n.c., mt.
Magog--n.e.
Maverack--s.e.
Milwaukee--n.c.
Minister--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Monmouth--s.e., n.c., mt.
Newell--n.c.
Nickajack--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Northern Spy--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt., pac.
Northwestern (Greening)--n.e., n.c., mt.
Oconee--n.e., s.e.
Ohio Nonpareil--n.e., s.e.
Ohio Pippin--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Ortley--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Paragon--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Patten (Greening)--n.c.
Pease--n.e.
Peck (Pleasant)--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Peter--n.c.
Pewaukee--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Porter--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Pumpkin Sweet--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Quince--n.e., n.c.
Ramsdell (Sweet)--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Red Astrachan--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt., pac.
Rhode Island (Greening)--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt., pac.
Ridge (Pippin)--n.e.
Rolfe--n.e.
Rome--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt.
Stark--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt.
Starkey--n.e., s.e.
Stayman Winesap--n.e., s.e., n.c.
Sterling--n.e., n.c.
Summer King--n.e., s.e.
Swaar--n.e., n.c., mt., pac.
Taunton--s.e.
Titovka--n.e., mt.
Tompkins King--n.e., s.e., mt., pac.
Twenty Ounce--n.e., s.e., s.w., mt.
Utter--n.c.
Vanhoy--n.e., s.e.
Virginia Greening--s.e., mt.
Washington (Strawberry)--n.e., s.e., mt.
Watson--s.e.
White Pippin--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt., pac.
Wine--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Wistal--s.e., s.w.
Wolf River--n.e., s.e., n.c., mt.
Yellow Bellflower--n.e., s.e., s.w., mt., pac.
Yellow Newtown--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt., pac.
Yopp--s.e.
York Imperial--n.e., s.e., n.c., s.w., mt.

There are many odd varieties of apple not found in any list but about
which questions are likely to arise. One of these is the
Sweet-and-Sour. There is an old ribbed variety of this name, the ribs
having an acid flesh and the furrows sweetish; it is little known and
of no special value. Apples are sometimes found that are sweetish on
one side and sourish on the other. The reasons for this kind of
variation are no more understood than are those responsible for
variance in color or shape or durability. One yet sometimes hears the
pleasant fable that sweet-and-sour apples are produced by splitting
the bud when the tree was propagated.

The Surprise is a small whitish apple with light red flesh. It is
indeed a surprise to bite into such an apple, but it has little merit.
It is an early winter variety.

One is frequently asked about the Sheepnose apple, particularly by
older people who remember it from early days and who deplore its
infrequency in these latter times. The sheepnose shape--long-conical--is
an infrequent variation, as apples go, and apparently none of these
forms chances to have sufficient merit to keep it in the lists. The
name is often applied to the Black Gilliflower, an old apple more than
three inches long, dark red, of light weight perhaps because of the
large core, ripening late in autumn to midwinter. It seems to be
specially prized by children, perhaps in part because of its unusual
shape and in part by its aromatic fragrance; but it is not a high-class
apple, and is now little seen. With the Rambo, Vandevere, some of the
russets, Early Harvest, Jersey Sweet and other old worthies, it
probably will pass away unless rescued here and there by the amateur.
To the lover of choice fruit nothing is old; every succeeding crop is
as choice and new as is the new year itself, and one waits for it
again and again.

One hears of seedless and no-core apples, as also of pears. The core
is present but greatly reduced in size, and the seeds may be few and
small. I have also raised practically seedless tomatoes. All these are
infrequent variations that may be propagated by asexual parts
(cuttings, cions), but as yet none of them has any outstanding value.

The reader will now ask me about the water-core apples, so much sought
and prized by youngsters. The water-core is not characteristic of a
variety, although occurring in some varieties more frequently than in
others. It is a physiological condition, supposed to be associated
with a relatively low transpiration (evaporation) so that excess water
is held in the fruit. In certain seasons this condition is marked, and
also in cloudy regions and often on young trees that have an
over-supply of moisture. Yet such cores occur in old trees and
sometimes with more or less regularity. What the physiological
inability may be in such cases to dispose of excess moisture appears
to be undetermined.

Now and then one finds a double apple, with two fruits grown solidly
together, two blossom ends and a single stem. A seedling tree I knew
as a boy bore such apples frequently, sometimes a score of them among
the crop of the year. This, of course, is a malformation or
teratological state. Apparently two flowers coalesce to form these
fruits. On the tree of which I speak, the two fruits were about equal
in size, making a large, widened, edible apple, but I have known of
other cases in which a diminutive undeveloped fruit is attached to the
side of a normal one.

Perhaps the oddest of them all is the "Bloomless apple." It is said to
have no flowers. In fact, however, the flowers are present but they
lack showy petals and are therefore not conspicuous. The bloomless
apple is a monstrous state, the cause of which is unknown. Now and
then a tree is reported. It was described at least as long ago as
1768, and in 1770 Muenchhausen called it _Pyrus apetala_ (the
petalless pyrus). The flowers have no stamens, and apparently they are
pollinated from any other apples in the vicinity. In 1785, Moench
described it as _Pyrus dioica_ (the dioecious pyrus, sexes separated
on different plants). The ovary is also malformed, having six or seven
and sometimes probably more cells, and bearing ten to fifteen styles.
The resulting fruit has a core character unknown in other apples but
approached in certain apple-like fruits, as the medlar. The fruit has
a hole or opening from the calyx (which is open) into the core; and
the core is roughly double, one series above the other. The fruit, in
such specimens as I have seen or read about, has no horticultural
merit; but it is a curiosity of great botanical interest. It appears
now and then in widely separated places, the trees probably having
originated as chance seedlings. The fruits from the different
originations are not always the same in size and form, but the flowers
apparently all have the same malformed character.

The apple is preeminently the home fruit. It is not transitory. It
spans every season. In an indifferent cellar I keep apples till apples
come again. The apple stands up, keeps well on the table. Children may
handle it. In color and form it satisfies any taste. Its rondure is
perfect. The cavity is deep, graceful and well moulded, holding the
good stem securely. The basin is a natural summit and termination of
the curvatures, bringing all the lines together, finishing them in
the ornaments of the remaining calyx. The fruit adapts itself to the
hand. The fingers close pleasantly over it, fitting its figure. It has
a solid feel. The flesh of a good apple is crisp, breaking, melting,
coolly acid or mildly sweet. It has a fracture, as one bites it,
possessed by no other fruit. One likes to feel the snap and break of
it. There is a stability about it that satisfies; it holds its shape
till the last bite. One likes to linger on an apple, to sit by a
fireside to eat it, to munch it waiting on a log when there is no
hurry, to have another apple with which to invite a friend.

Now I am not thinking of the Ben Davis apple or any of its kind. I do
not want to be doomed to one variety of apple, or even to half a dozen
kinds, and particularly I do not want a poor one. There are enough
good apples, if we can get them. The days of the amateur fruit-growers
seem to be passing. At least we do not hear much of them in society or
in many of the meetings of horticulturists. There may be many reasons,
but two are evident: we give the public indifferent fruits, and
thereby neither educate the taste or stimulate the desire for more; we
do not provide them places from which they can get plants of many of
the choicest things. Yet on a good amateur interest in fruits depends,
in the end, the real success of commercial fruit-growing. Just now we
are trying to increase the consumption of apples, to lead the people
to eat an apple a day: it cannot be accomplished by customary
commercial methods. To eat an apple a day is a question of affections
and emotions.

We have had great riches in our varieties of apples. It has been a
vast resource to have a small home plantation of many good varieties,
each perfect in its season. The great commercial apple-growing has
been carried to high perfection of organization and care. More perfect
apples are put on the market, in proportion to numbers, than ever
before,--carefully grown and graded and handled. I have watched this
American development with growing pride. The quantity-production makes
for greater perfection of product, but it does not make for variety
and human interest, nor for high-quality varieties. We shall still
improve it. Masterful men will perfect organizations. The high
character and attainment of the commanding fruit-growers, nurserymen
and dealers are good augury for the future. But all this is not
sufficient. Quantity-production will be an increasing source of
wealth, but it cannot satisfy the soul.

The objects and productions of high intrinsic merit are preserved by
the amateur. It is so in art and letters. It is necessarily so. A body
of amateurs is an essential background to the development of science.
The late Professor Pickering, renowned astronomer, encouraged the
amateur societies of star-observers, and others. The amateurs in the
background, disinterested and unselfish, support appropriations by
legislatures for even abstruse public work. The amateur is the
embodiment of the best in the common life, the conservator of
aspirations, the fulfillment of democratic freedom. I hope pomology
will not lag in this respect. In all lines I hope that professionalism
will not subjugate the man who follows a subject for the love of it
rather than for the gain of it or for the pride of it. In
horticulture, when we lose the amateur, who, as the word means, is the
lover, we lose the ideals.

Naturally, the nurseryman cannot grow trees of all the good apples
that may be wanted. The experiment stations cannot maintain living
museums of them, for their function is to investigate rather than to
preserve. Arboretums are concerned with other activities. Is there not
some person of means, desiring to do good to his successors, ready now
to establish a fructicetum _in perpetuum_ for the purpose of
preserving a single tree of at least one hundred of the choicest
apples, to the end that a record may be kept and that amateurs may be
supplied with cions thereof?



XII

THE PLEASANT ART OF GRAFTING


If I procure cuttings of a good apple, what shall I do with them that
they may give me of their fruitage?

The cuttings will probably be dormant twigs of the last season's
growth. They may not be expected to grow when placed in the ground.
They are therefore planted in another tree, becoming cions. The case
is in no way different in principle from the propagating of the young
tree in the nursery, of which we already have learned. The nurseryman
works with a small stock, a mere slip of a seedling one or two years
old. The grower would better not attempt the making of nursery trees.
It is better for him to purchase regular nursery trees and to graft
the cions on them; or he may put the cions in any older tree that is
available.

I have spoken of my own collecting of certain dessert apples. I
"worked" them on young Northern Spy trees, purchased when two or three
years old; they were grafted after they had stood a year in the
orchard. These Northern Spy trees, used in this case as stocks, were
regularly grown by nurserymen. The Northern Spy was chosen because of
its hardiness and straight, clean, erect growth, making it a vigorous
and comely stock. Weak-growing varieties are usually rejected for this
purpose. Some growers use Oldenburg as stock, and there are other
good kinds.

From the young stock, the old head is to be removed and a new head
(the new variety) grown in its stead. The tree, therefore, will be
combined of three kinds of apple,--the root of unknown quality; the
trunk or body under a varietal name; the top, of the variety desired.
Any number of different kinds of apple wood may be worked into the
tree if the tree is large enough. If the operations are well performed
so that there are no imperfect unions, and if the pruning is
judicious, the tree may be grafted many times, in whole or in part.

I have said that my father brought apple seeds from New England and
that the resulting seedlings were top-grafted. One of these trees was
early top-worked to "Holland Pippin," which seldom bore. It stood in
the yard near the smoke-house, where it found abundant nourishment. It
grew to great size. In time I became a grafter of trees for the
neighborhood, and often as I returned at night would have cions of
different kinds in my pockets. It became a pastime to graft these
cions in the old tree. More than thirty varieties were placed there.
It was with keen anticipation, as the years came, that I looked for
the annual crop, to see what strange inhabitants would appear in the
great tree-top. I do not remember how many of these varieties came
into bearing before the tree was finally gathered to the wood-box, but
they were a goodly number, probably more than a score. I used often to
wonder how it was that the nutrients taken in by the roots of the
Vermont seedling and transported in the tissues of the Holland Pippin,
combined with the same air, could produce so many diverse apples and
even pears (for I had pears in that tree) each with the marks and
flavor proper to its kind. The little cions I grafted into the tree
were soon lost in the overgrowth, and yet all the branches that came
from them carried the genius of one single variety and of none other.
And I often speculated whether there were any reflex action of these
many varieties on the root, demanding a certain kind of service from
it.

The cions (sometimes still called "grafts") are cut in winter or early
spring, when well matured and perfectly dormant. Placed in sand in a
cool cellar so they will not shrivel, they are kept until grafting
time, which is early spring, usually before the leaves start on the
stock. The cions may be placed on the tree by several methods, but
only two are commonly employed,--the whip-graft and the cleft-graft.
The former is adapted to small stocks, the size of one's finger or
smaller; it is the method employed in root-grafting in the nursery,
and Fig. 16 explains it.

The requirement is to cause the cion and stock to grow together
solidly, making one piece of wood. The growing plastic region is
associated with the cambium tissues underneath the bark. It is
necessary, therefore, to bring the "line betwixt the wood and the
bark" together in the two parts, and to hold the junction firm and
also well protected from evaporation until union takes place. The
method of putting the parts together, the form of whittling, is a
matter of convenience and practice.

The case was put in this way by old Robert Sharrock, "Fellow of
New-College," in his "History of the Propagation and Improvement of
Vegetables by the concurrence of Art and Nature" (I quote from the
second edition, Oxford, 1672): "Grafting is an Art of so placing the
Cyon upon a stock, that the Sap may pass from the stock to the Cyon
without Impediment." Batty Langley, in 1729, gave this direction in
the "Pomona": "The Stocks being cleft, you must therefore cut the Cion
in the Form of a Wedge, which must always be cut from a Bud, for the
Reasons aforesaid; and then with a Grafting-Chizel open the Slit, and
place the Cion therein, so that their Barks may be exactly even and
smooth."

Still earlier (1626) did William Lawson, in "A New Orchard and
Garden," set forth the rationale of the practice in his Chapter X, "On
Grafting," in this wise: "Now are we come to the most curious point of
our faculty: curious in conceit, but indeed as plaine and easie as the
rest, when it is plainly shewne, which we commonly call Graffing, or
(after some) Grafting. I cannot Etymoligize, nor shew the original of
the word, except it come of graving and carving. But the thing or
matter is: The reforming of the Fruit of one Tree with the fruit of
another, by an artificial transplacing or transposing of a twig, bud
or leafe, (commonly called a Graft) taken from one tree of the same,
or some other kind, and placed or put to, or into another tree in due
time and manner."

If the whip-graft is to be below the ground, it is sufficient to tie
the parts tightly with string and cover with earth; if above ground,
wax is applied over the string to prevent drying out. On the small
shoots of young trees, the whip-graft is often employed, but it is not
used in large trees.

The cleft-graft is shown in Fig. 18. The trunk or branch is cut off;
two cions are inserted in a cleft made with a knife. The "stub" is
covered with grafting-wax (Fig. 19). Cleft-grafting is the usual
method for the orchardist.

[Illustration: 18. The cleft-graft.]

[Illustration: 19. The cleft-graft after waxing.]

In either kind of grafting, the cion carries about three leaf-buds. If
"wood" (cion-shoots) is scarce, only one bud may be taken, but this
reduces the chances of success. One bud may not grow, or the young
shoot may be injured. The lowest bud is usually most likely to grow;
it pushes through the wax.

In young trees set for the purpose of top-working, the trunk may be
cut off at the desired height and two cions inserted. The entire top
is then removed at once; this is allowable only on young trees.
Probably the better practice is to graft the main small side limbs and
the main trunk or leader higher up. Usually it is better to leave some
of the branches on the tree, not removing them all till the second or
third year.

In old apple-trees, the main branches are grafted, where they are an
inch or two in diameter. Care is taken so to choose the branches that
a well-shaped free-headed tree will result. Only a small part of the
top is removed the first year, and three or four years may be required
to change the top all over, the old branches being removed as the new
ones grow. In about three years, or four, the grafts should begin to
bear,--about as soon as strong three-year-old trees planted in the
orchard.

Any variety of the pomological apples will grow on any other variety,
but apples do not take well on other species, as does the pear. The
pear may be made to grow on the apple, but the graft is short-lived
and the practice is not recommended. Boys may graft indiscriminately
for practice, but grown-ups, having arrived at the unfortunate age of
discretion, must operate only on those kinds known to succeed when
joined. I have never known a boy who did not want to graft anything,
as soon as his attention was called to the operation. The boy does not
take it for granted: he wants to try.



XIII

THE MENDING OF THE APPLE-TREE


Many accidents overtake the apple-tree. The hired man skins the tree
with the harrow; fire runs through the dry grass; hard winters shatter
the vitality, and parts of the tree die; borers enter; rabbits and
mice gnaw the bark in winter; loads of fruit and burdens of ice crush
the tree; wind storms play mischief; bad pruning leaves long stubs,
and rot develops; cankers produce dead ragged wounds; fire-blight
destroys the tissue; a poorly formed tree with bad crotches splits
easily; grafts fail to take, and long dead ends are left; the tree is
injured by pickers; vandals wreak their havoc. All these accidents
must be met and the damages repaired. The surgeon must be summoned.

We must first understand how a wound heals on a tree. Note any
wound,--knot-hole on the trunk, place where wood has been removed. The
exposed wound itself does not heal; it is covered and inclosed by
tissue built out from the edges or periphery of the wound. This tissue
is like a roll. It is the callus. Eventually the tissue meets in the
center, and the lid is thereby put on the place, and it is sealed. The
exposed wood has died, if it is the cross-section of a branch or a
deep wound, and it remains under the callus a dead body. If the wood
has not started to decay in the meantime, the place is safe, but too
often invasion has begun before the process is complete, the rot
disease finally extends to the heart of the tree, causing it to become
hollow. If the center of the wound falls in, the callus cannot cover
it, and an open sore remains. In these cavities birds may sometimes
build.

Therefore there are two points for the surgeon to consider in respect
to the wound itself--whether it is so placed on the tree that the
callus forms readily; whether the wound is kept healthy during
exposure.

All ragged tissue being removed, deep-wound surfaces should be kept
aseptic. For ordinary cases, white-lead paint with plenty of linseed
oil is a good protective from the germs of decay. On old wood, no
longer active, creosote is good, perhaps followed by coal-tar.
Usually, however, paint is quite sufficient. Small exposures usually
receive no dressing. When the fresh surface wood is exposed by removal
of bark, it is necessary to keep the tissue from drying out, and
antiseptics are usually not applied. Bandaging with cloth is the usual
practice, after the wound is cleaned and trimmed.

The repairs fall into two classes,--those that require merely removal
of injured parts and treatment of the wounds, and those that demand
the ingrafting of new wood.

We have learned, in the discussion of pruning, that long projecting
ends of severed branches do not heal. The branches to be removed
should be cut back close to the larger branch or to the juncture with
another. In repairing injured trees, all projecting parts that do not
have life in themselves must be removed. All wounds should be left
smooth, without splinters or hanging bark. Decaying wood is to be
removed, and the area cleaned out and disinfected.

The nature-lover may find much to interest him in the observation of
knot-holes as he comes and goes. Every knot-hole has a history; this
history usually can be traced by one whose eye is keen and who becomes
practiced in connecting cause with final result. One prides oneself on
the ability to work out the obscure cases. An old neglected apple
orchard thereby affords much entertainment.

If a very large branch breaks off, the remaining part is cut back to
fresh hard wood; antiseptic is applied; the other part of the tree may
be shortened-in to aid in restoring the proportion or balance.

Deep cavities caused by rot are cleaned out, disinfected with bordeaux
mixture, gas-tar, or other material, and the place filled completely
with cement.

In some cases, new wood is added in the form of cions of last year's
twigs. Such cions may be set around the edge of a stub, thrust between
the bark and the wood, to start new branches where an important one
was broken off. The cions are cut wedge-shape (much as those in Fig.
18) and a bandage is tied around the stub to hold them in place; the
exposed parts are covered with grafting-wax. The operation is
performed in spring.

Sometimes cions are used to bridge a girdle. Usually a girdle heals
itself if the injury does not extend into the wood, and if it is bound
up to prevent drying out; but when the injury is deep and the exposed
wood has become dry and hard, the cions may be used. The cions are
somewhat longer than the width of the girdle. The edges of the girdle
are trimmed to fresh tight bark; cions are cut wedge-shape at either
end; the ends are inserted underneath the bark at bottom and top of
the wound; edges of the wound are securely bandaged; entire work is
covered with wax. The cions are many, so close that they nearly touch.
The buds on the cions are not allowed to produce branches. This
process is known as bridge-grafting.

With some experience, the cultivator soon learns to make many deft
applications of ingrafting. Sometimes a piece of bark may be used as a
patch. In the bracing of crotches in young trees, the two trunks may
be joined by uniting a small branch from either one, twisting them
together to form a bridge like a bolt; they can be made to grow
together, forming a solid union. Bolting the parts with iron rods, or
holding them together by means of chains, is the usual and commonly
the better method. The iron is not to go around a limb, however, for
girdling results; the rods or chains should be secured by bolts bored
through the wood and pulling against large heads or washers.

The usual repairs are easily made. When trees are badly injured, and
particularly when the tree is low in vitality, it may not be worth
while to engage in surgery. It may be better to plant a new tree.
Saving very old trees by the mending processes is not likely to be
satisfactory. The grower should transfer his affection to a young
tree. If the tree has had good care throughout its life, it probably
will not need much surgery in old age. The grower will be willing,
when the time comes, to take a photograph for memory's sake and to let
the tree come to a timely and artistic end.



XIV

CITIZENS OF THE APPLE-TREE


Many years ago, my old friend, the late Dr. J. A. Lintner, State
Entomologist of New York, compiled a list of 356 insects that feed on
the apple-tree. Later authorities place the number at nearly five
hundred species. It must be a good plant that has such a host of
denizens. The number of fungi is also large; and the tree often
supports lichens, algæ, and other forms of life.

The apple-tree is not single in its denizens. No plant lives alone. It
has association with its fellows, perhaps contest for space and
nourishment. It provides habitat for many organisms, many of which
live on its bounty. I have never seen a bearing apple-tree that was
not a colonizing place for other living things. We accept these things
as matters of course, as being in place, living their part in nature.
Therefore, one cannot understand the apple-tree unless one knows
something of its citizenry.

Probably the most prominent citizen of the apple-tree is the
codlin-moth. Its larva is the apple-worm, the one that makes "wormy
apples," the burrows going to the core and out again. The insect is
native in Europe, but has been known in North America nearly two
hundred years, and is widespread in the apple countries of the world.

If one has screens in the apple cellar, one is likely to find small
moths on them in the spring, larger than a clothes moth, about
three-fourths inch in spread of the soft gray watered-silk wings. This
is the imago or mature form of the insect known as the codlin-moth (it
lives on codlins or apples). The larvæ or "worms" were brought into
the cellar in the apples; some of them crawled out, spun themselves in
a cocoon and pupated; in due season the moth emerged, ready to lay the
eggs for other larvæ. Ordinarily the fruit-grower does not see the
moth, for it is a small object amidst the foliage of apple-trees; the
larva or apple-worm he knows well.

There may be two or more broods of apple-worms, depending on the
length of the season. In the northern apple regions of North America
there is usually only one brood, with a partial second brood. The
first brood is hatched from eggs laid by moths that emerge in spring.
The moths come from larvæ that have lain in cocoons all winter, hidden
under bark on the trunks and main branches of the apple-tree, in
crevices in nearby posts and fences, and sometimes in the ground. The
pupæ are the transformed larvæ or worms that left the apple of the
previous year, usually before it fell, and crawled down the tree to
find a place to spin the silken brown cocoons in which they wrapped
themselves to undergo the wonderful transformation.

So is the cycle complete: egg laid in early spring, mostly on the
leaves; larva hatched in about one week, crawling to the young apple
to feed, where it lives for perhaps a month; larva departed from the
fruit to form a cocoon and to remain quiescent till it pupates the
following spring (if there is no second brood) when it transforms into
a moth; the moth alive for one week or ten days, laying perhaps as
many as one hundred eggs or even more. If there is a second or third
brood, the pupa resurrects in ten days or so into the moth; eggs are
laid; larvæ are hatched; pupæ again are formed; and thus is the
process continued. But the winter stage is the larva, although perhaps
in store-houses the moths may emerge earlier and survive till spring.

The eggs of the first brood are commonly laid on the leaves and fruit.
The young larva or worm eats very little on the foliage. It usually
crawls into the blossom end of the apple. The young apple stands
erect, with the calyx open (Fig. 6); later the calyx closes and
protects the larva that hatched there, forming a good cover for its
operations (Fig. 7). The worm drives for the core, where it eats the
young seeds and burrows extensively; then, when nearly grown, it sets
out for the surface, eating a straight burrow; an opening is made
through the skin of the apple, but this exit is plugged until the
animal is ready to leave the place and to crawl down the tree to
pupate. The larvæ of later broods may enter at the side of the apple,
where a leaf affords protection or where two fruits come together; but
the life-history is the same, varying in its rapidity.

This account discloses the vulnerable point in the life-history, if
one is to destroy the insects and to grow fair fruit; if poison is
lodged on the erect open-topped little apple, the young larva will get
it before he injures the fruit. If the application of the poison is
delayed until the calyx closes (Fig. 7), there will be small chance
of reaching the worm. The best way to reach the second brood is to
destroy all the first brood. The standard practice, therefore, is to
spray the trees soon after the petals fall, with the idea of
depositing arsenic in the blossom end.

But the season of egg-laying is long, often extending over a period of
three or four weeks, for the moths do not all emerge from the cocoons
simultaneously. It is customary, therefore, to spray again about two
weeks after the first application, with the hope of catching the young
worms on their way to the fruit.

There is no question about the efficacy of spraying. Its value has
been demonstrated time and again. The methods and the materials may be
learned from the experiment station publications in any State, wherein
the advice is kept up-to-date.

In the days before the perfecting of the spraying processes, the
codlin-moth was controlled by catching the pupating larvæ. Taking
advantage of the habit of the worm to find lodgment under the bark on
the trunk, it was the practice to scrape the loose bark from bole and
large branches to destroy the hiding-places and then to tie a band of
cloth around the trunk. Under this band the worms were taken, as they
spun themselves up in the cocoons. This is a lesson taken from the
industrious woodpeckers, who, in the winter, search the trees for the
pupæ and make holes through the flakes of bark to get them. The
scraping of apple-trees is not much recommended now for the reason
that this special necessity is passed, and because the better tillage
and care together with the soaking of the branches and trunk in the
spraying operation, tend to keep the tree vigorous and the bark
properly exfoliated.

So the worm in the apple has a delicate and interesting history. From
egg to imago the transformations proceed with regularity, and they are
marvelous. Had we not traced the sequence, no man could tell by
appearances that the larva, the pupa and the moth are one and the same
animal. They seem to have nothing in common. So is the egg stage as
different as the other three, but we are measurably prepared for this
epoch, since we know seeds so well; the egg and the seed are
analogous. That a moth in the air should come from a crawling worm in
an apple is indeed one of the miracles of nature. The worm leaves the
apple ere it falls; how the worm knows the time is again a mystery. By
some instinct, it is able to cognize a dying apple. The later worms,
either the lastlings from the early brood or the product of subsequent
broods, may remain in the apple when it is harvested, particularly in
an apple picked before it is quite mature and from which the worm has
not escaped.

The apple-worm ruins the crop by killing many of the fruits and by
blemishing the remainder. Seldom are there two worms in an apple. They
seem to respect each other's hunting-ground. From the worm's point of
view and from man's, one is enough.

If man has dominion and if he needs apples, then is he within his
rights if he joins issue with the insects. Yet is the insect as
interesting for all that. I think we should miss many of the
satisfactions of life, and certainly some of the disciplines, if there
were no insects. My apple-tree is a great place for a naturalist. Van
Bruyssel wrote a book on "The Population of an Old Pear-Tree." "When
certain blue spirits begin to flit about me," he writes, "I depart
from my study to go and read, in what I am allowed, even by my
clerical uncle, to call my book of devotions. The devotions I mean are
not in my book-case. No publisher, if he ever thought of such a thing,
could bring them out. They are a page of the book of Nature, opened in
the country, under blue sky, displayed at all season." What a
marvelous company Van Bruyssel found on his old pear tree; and what
inexhaustible worlds did Fabre discover in the lives of the spider,
the fly, the caterpillar, the wasps, the mason-bees and others!

Therefore we need not pause with the other four hundred and more
insect citizens of the apple-tree. Some of them, as the San José
scale, are not peculiarly apple-tree insects. My tree has another crew
of inhabitants, and to this company we may now have introduction.

The spots on the leaves and fruits are not deposits of dirt nor are
they caused by mysterious conditions in the atmosphere, as once
supposed, nor is it in the nature of leaves to be spotted and of
fruits to be scabby; nor are the one-sided dwarfed fruits merely
accidents. The organism responsible for these blemishes is less
evident than the codlin-moth; yet what fruit-grower knows the eggs of
the codlin-moth? But the organisms are as definite as are the insects;
no longer are the fungi things without form and without positive
cycles.

On the ground are apple leaves, shed in the autumn. On the leaves are
spots or lesions,--injured or "diseased"--infected with the apple-scab
fungus. Under a good microscope the investigator finds immature
fruiting bodies in these areas. In the early days of Spring, these
bodies or winter-spores mature. A rain discharges them in astonishing
numbers. Rising in the air (for they are incredibly light), these
spores lodge on the unfolding leaves and flowers of the apple, and
there begin to germinate, invading the tissue. The tissue is
penetrated and killed so rapidly that the practiced eye soon discovers
a "spot." The leaf, if badly infected, may not reach full size; it may
curl; it may die and fall; the tree thereby is injured.

From the fungus in the active diseased areas, another kind of spore
develops rapidly. It is the summer-spore, which may be produced in
prodigious numbers, and being discharged carries the disease
elsewhere.

All summer the process of spore-formation and distribution keeps up.
If conditions are favorable, the tree is invaded in foliage and fruit.
The flower-stems in the unfolding buds are attacked by the
winter-spores and the flower falls. The apples become spotted from the
invasion of the summer-spores, perhaps misshapen. Late infections may
not show at picking time, but develop on the fruit in storage. The
affected leaves are cast in the autumn, the winter-spores begin to
form, the snows come and hide the processes, in spring the spores
mature; and so does the round of life go on and on.

There are beautiful forms in these fragile fungus threads that eat
their way into the tissues of the host. There are fascinating
phenomena in the growth and reproduction. Even so and for all that,
man protects his tree by spraying it with poison, and thereby again
does he have dominion.

The spraying for apple-scab is with lime-sulfur to which may be added
arsenate of lead. This treatment, properly timed, may suffice also
for the codlin-moth. As the fungus may attack the flower-stems and
kill them, so is the first application made when the flower-buds open
and the stems begin to separate, but before the flowers expand; the
operator has a period of one to three days in which to spray. A second
spraying is given just after the blossoms fall, as for codlin-moth; if
the season is wet, a third application may be made ten to fourteen
days later; if the fungus seems to spread, a fourth spraying may be
applied in midsummer. These sprayings, variously modified, control not
only the codlin-moth and the scab fungus but also scale, blister-mite,
plant-lice, leaf-roller, case-bearer, bud-moth, red-bug and others.

In the tropics one sees trees bearing great burdens of orchids and
bromeliads and ferns and mosses, and one wonders at the strange and
exuberant population. Yet here is my apple-tree supporting epiphytes
and parasites and insects, protector and nurse of a goodly company;
and birds nest on the branches thereof.



XV

THE APPLE-TREE REGIONS


The northern hemisphere is the home of the apple, particularly Central
Europe, Canada, the United States. In certain regions in the southern
hemisphere the temperature and humidity are right for the good growing
of apples, mostly in elevated areas. In New Zealand and parts of
Australia, apple-growing is assuming large proportions. Their export
trade to Europe and parts of South America has come to be important
and undoubtedly is destined greatly to increase.

In Europe, where land is often limited and high in price, apple-trees
may be planted closer than in America, even in field conditions, and
more attention is given to pruning, heading-in, and the development of
fruit-spurs in the interior of the tree-top. I noticed this practice
in New Zealand, also. In these directions, the Europeans have much to
teach us in the careful growing of good apples. In Europe, the
definite training of the apple-tree begins in the nursery;
quantity-production, with standardization, is not there the aim.

In North America the general practice is to let the tree take its
course, reaching its full natural stature. The pruning is mostly
corrective, to keep the tree in shape and to prevent the top from
becoming too thick, rather than in the development of fruiting wood.
The consequence is that our trees become very large, specially in New
York and New England where they are long-lived. In the western
country, as we have learned, the apple-tree tends to be shorter-lived
and does not usually attain such great size. In the New York apple
country, orchards may be in good bearing at forty to sixty years from
planting, and individual trees may be productive much longer than
this. The trees come into good bearing in ten to fifteen years. In the
irrigated regions of the West, the trees may be expected to bear a
good crop two to five years earlier; to what age they may attain, in
large plantations, it is yet too early to state.

The commercial apple regions of North America are in Canada and the
northern United States, comprising about two or three tiers of States,
with important extensions southward into the mountains and in special
parts. The Southern States are not known as apple-growing country,
except in special restricted elevated areas, although there are
considerable plantations near the Gulf of Mexico.

The geography of apple-growing on the North American continent cannot
be better displayed than by copying the table of contents of the
larger part of Chapters III and II in Folger and Thomson's excellent
recent book, "The Commercial Apple Industry of North America:"


_Commercial Apple Production in Canada_

    Nova Scotia
    Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick
    Quebec
    Ontario
    British Columbia.

_Leading Apple Regions of the United States_

    Western New York
    Hudson Valley
    New England Baldwin belt
    The Champlain district
    New Jersey
    Delaware
    Shenandoah-Cumberland district
    Piedmont district of Virginia
    Minor regions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia
    Mountain region of North Carolina
    Mountain region of Georgia
    Ohio
      Southern Ohio, Rome Beauty district
      Minor regions in Ohio
    Kentucky
    Michigan
    Illinois
      Southern Illinois early apple region
      Mississippi Valley region of Illinois
    Ozark region
    Missouri River region
    Arkansas Valley of Kansas
      Southeastern Illinois
    Colorado
    New Mexico
    Utah
    Montana
    Washington
      Yakima Valley
      Wenatchee North Central Washington district
      Spokane district
      Walla Walla district
    Oregon
      Hood River Valley
      Rogue River Valley
      Other apple districts in Oregon
    Idaho
      Payette district
      Boise Valley
      Twin Falls
      Lewiston section
    California
      Watsonville district
      Sebastopol apple district
      Yucaipa section
    Wisconsin
    Minnesota

The varieties of the South and the North, and largely also of the West
and the East, are prevailingly different. Canada has a set of apples
quite its own. These differences are marked when one visits
exhibitions in the various regions. Let the visitor who is a good
judge of apples in Michigan and Ohio attempt to judge them in an
exhibition in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, in the Province of
Quebec, in North Carolina, in Minnesota, in Oregon. He will be
impressed with the wonderful diversity, as well as the undeveloped
resources, of the continent.

Southward, apples do not keep well. There are no true winter apples in
the Southern States, outside mountain regions. A winter apple of the
North becomes a fall apple in the South. In fact, there are marked
differences in keeping quality within a single State. On gravelly
lands or warm slopes in the southern part of New York, the Northern
Spy may become practically a late autumn apple; in the northern parts
of the State it is a firm crisp all-winter keeper. In the winter
apple, the ripening process proceeds in storage. When the season is so
long that maturity is reached on the tree, the subsequent duration is
relatively short.

It is not to be inferred, however, that apples are to be grown only in
regions and soils naturally well adapted. Such adaptations should be
controlling in commercial plantations; but if man has dominion he
should be able to accomplish much in untoward or even in hostile
conditions. Even the city lot may be able to yield a harvest, if the
occupant of it is minded in fruits rather than in other things. Every
observant traveler has noted cases in which good results in the
rearing of plants and animals have been attained in places that no one
would choose for the purpose: the man has overcome his obstacles. I
was impressed with this fact in visiting a greenhouse in the Shetland
Islands. Cultivation has been carried far beyond the optimum regions.
The merit of the man's performance is measured in the excellence of
his result rather than in the quantity of it. The application of skill
is the highest test of ability in plant-growing, and this is often
expressed in the most difficult places.

Whatever may be the adaptability of any general territory to the
growing of apples in a large way, the probability is that a man of
resources and skill will be able to raise good apples for himself,
unless, of course, the region is prohibitive. The amateur may be a law
unto himself in many of these matters, delighting in the ingenuity
that enables him to overcome.



XVI

THE HARVEST OF THE APPLE-TREE


Finally the apple is ripe, a fair goodly object joyous in the sun,
inviting to every sense. Hanging amidst its foliage, bending the twig
with its weight, it is at once a pattern in good shape, perfect in
configuration, in sheen beyond imitation, in fragrance the very
affluence of all choice clean growth, its surface spread with a bloom
often so delicate that the unsympathetic see it not; and yet the rains
do not spoil it.

The apple must be picked. Do not let it fall. Probably it is over-ripe
when it falls; the hold is loosened; its time is up. Wormy apples may
fall before they are ripe; the worm injury, if it begins early, causes
them to ripen prematurely. A premature apple is not a good apple,
albeit the small boy relishes it but only because he may get his apple
earlier; in the apple season, when ripe fruits are abundant, the boy
does not choose the wormy one.

Pick the apple from the tree. It will do you good. It is ever so much
better than to pick it from a box on the market or out of a quart-can
in the ice-chest. You will feel some sense of responsibility when you
pick it, some reaction of relationship to its origin. We know that we
understand folks better when we see them at home.

In varieties that mature before winter, the apple is of best quality
when it ripens on the tree and is picked when fit to eat. In this
respect it differs from the pear. One reason why store apples are
usually poor is because they must be picked long before ripe to stand
shipment. In my experience it is most difficult to find a man who will
pick apples when ripe; he is usually possessed to pull them green,
thinking that if the fruit is full grown and has a red cheek it is
therefore ready to be plucked.

One would expect the best summer and fall apples to come from nearby
local orchards, but practically this is not the case because the
grower will not allow them to remain on the tree until they are fit.
Of course the really ripe apple will not keep long and it does not
stand rough handling, but this does not affect the fact that, for
eating, an apple should be naturally ripe. In every city, small or
large, a good trade can be built up for local ripe hand-picked fruit
of the first quality, in competition with the best commercial supply.

Winter apples are picked in the Northern States in October, sometimes
late in September. They are then full grown, but are hard and
inedible. The red varieties are full colored; the green ones show more
or less yellow. Light early frost does not injure them on the tree.
Usually they are placed at first in piles or windrows; and from these
piles they are barreled or boxed for market. If the choicest grades
are to be made, they should be taken to a packing-house.

The apple is an easy fruit to pick. The stem parts readily from the
spur or twig. Yet if the harvester is choice of his trees he will work
deftly rather than roughly, not to injure the bearing wood. The fruits
are placed in baskets as they are plucked, sometimes in a bag slung
over the shoulders but this is not the best way when the apples are
ripe. In the packing-house, the fruits are sorted into uniform grades
if they are for market.

The better the trees are tilled, pruned and sprayed, the more uniform
will be the crop, and particularly if the fruit is thinned on the
tree; yet the second-class and even cull apples will be many under
ordinary conditions. The purchaser, noting the price of extra-grade
apples, may not realize that he buys only the remainder in a long
process of grading, extending really over the season or even
throughout the life of the orchard. In all this time, the grower has
borne the risks of frosts and hail, insect and fungus invasions, lack
of help, and disastrously low prices. A finished product of high
quality is always expensive.

The usual apples on the open market are not the kind I have here tried
to describe. They are the product of indifferent orchards or of
careless handling. They are purchased for cooking; and the eating of
apples out of hand because they are attractive and really good is an
unknown experience with great numbers of our people. The polished
shiny apples of the fruit-stands are a delusion. The practice of
burnishing the fruits produces a most inartistic result, destroying
the natural bloom and violating the appearance of a natural apple. It
is one thing to clean a fruit if it is soiled (which is seldom the
case with boxed or barreled apples); it is quite another thing to rub
and furbish an apple as if it were a billiard ball or glass marble and
not a living object that grew on a tree,--it sets false standards
before the children. Yet all this is in line with much of our practice
whereby, in cookery and manipulation, we disguise our foods and show
our lack of appreciation of the products themselves.

For home use, winter apples may well be stored in boxes in a cool
moist cellar if such a place is available. For best results in long
keeping, the temperature should be maintained below 40 degrees F. In a
cellar containing a furnace, the fruits shrivel from too much
evaporation, as also in an attic or other dry room. If the fruit must
be stored in such places, it is well to keep the box or barrel tightly
closed, and the individual apples may be wrapped in thin paper.

The apples must be sorted now and then, to remove the decaying ones;
if the fruit was carefully sprayed, handled and graded in the first
place and not too ripe, the necessity of frequent sorting will be
considerably reduced. But in any case, the keeping of apples, except
under good cold-storage, is at best a process of continually saving
the most durable fruits. An "outside cellar," if properly ventilated,
usually is a good place in which to keep apples. With the use of
furnaces for heating and the cramped quarters of city apartments, the
keeping of apples for home supply is constantly more difficult.

There is no apple like the one that comes up fresh from the cellar on
a winter night, cool, crisp, solid yet ready. It is the fruit of the
home fireside. I often wonder whether one in a hundred of the people
know what a really good and timely apple is.

The yield of an apple-tree depends on many factors,--age, size,
thriftiness, care it has received, whether it has escaped frost and
other injuries; and some varieties are much more prolific than others.
Some apples are "shy bearers," and for this reason soon are lost to
propagation unless they have some superlative merit; Yellow
Bellflower is an example of a shy, or at least an irregular, bearer.
The great commercial varieties are of course good bearers, as Baldwin,
Ben Davis, Stayman, York Imperial, Oldenburg, Rome, McIntosh, Wealthy,
Yellow Transparent, Jonathan.

An apple-tree at full bearing is a wonderful sight at the harvest,
particularly in such varieties as McIntosh and Baldwin, in which the
fruit is highly colored and hangs well toward the outside of the
tree-top. While the first bearing year may yield only a half dozen
fruits, the crop increases rapidly with the added years,--one peck,
one bushel, five bushels, ten bushels, thirty bushels, even to sixty
and seventy bushels on large sturdy old trees of some varieties. The
amateur, however, first prizes the quality and regularity of his
product for the sheer joy of it; then every added bushel is so much to
the good.



XVII

THE APPRAISAL OF THE APPLE-TREE


Now, therefore, in these sixteen little chapters have I tried to
explain what I feel about the apple-tree. It is a version to my
friend, the reader, not a treatise.

As the interpretation is in the realm of the sensibilities, so do I
aim not directly at concreteness. Yet as it is now the fashion to
"score" all our products by a scale of "points," I make a reasonable
concession to it. But I do not like the scoring of the fruit
independently of the tree on which it grew as if the fruit were only a
commodity. I know we cannot bring the tree to the exhibition-room, yet
the perfect measure, nevertheless, is the tree and the fruit together.
In these later times we have said much against the use of the museum
specimen to the exclusion of the living object in its natural place:
let us be cautious, then, that we do not forget apple-trees in our
studies of apples.

Here I shall not arrange numerical scales of points for the
apple-tree. Sufficient for this occasion is the naming of the points,
letting the reader place his own percentage-value on each of them; for
I am trying to teach, not to instruct.

Yet I must insert, for the reader's benefit, certain good rules and
scores that have been adopted for the "judging" of the fruit by those
experienced in these matters. This excellent exercise of judging
fruits at exhibitions has gained much headway. Students of schools and
colleges are trained for the "judging teams," and great technical
perfection has been attained.

To be exact is an exigency of science. I fear that we make exactness
an end, but that is neither here nor there on this occasion and I
shall not now pursue the subject further; I hope the judging trains
the judge to see what he looks at in other things as well as in
apples, that it leads him into the pleasant paths of causes and
effects, that it opens the eyes of the blind.

The customary judging of plants and animals and their products
consists in assessing the attributes against a scale of perfection.
Thus, if "form" or "conformation" is worth 10 points in the hundred
(by the estimation of good authorities), the judge must decide whether
the particular animal before him merits 6 or 7, more or less. So if
"flavor" in an apple is considered to be worth 20 points of the
hundred, the judge makes up his mind what rating, within that limit,
he shall accord to the fruit he is testing. The arrangement in tabular
form of the features for any product, with the number of points stated
for each, all summing 100, constitutes a "score-card." Thus there may
be a score-card for Merino sheep, another for Shropshires, one for
apples, and for any other objects whatsoever.

At competitive exhibitions, the element of comparison comes in.
Perhaps it is the only criterion to be considered in a particular
case,--whether this apple is better than that or than any number of
others, which of several "plates" or samples of apples merits first
mention, which of two or more collections of varieties is altogether
most worthy of a prize. In these cases, the different fruits or
collections may be scored by the card, and the total footings
determine where the award shall go. Or, the different entries may be
judged in general, "by the eye;" this is the usual method, and is
satisfactory in the hands of persons whose standing and experience
carry conviction.

If one is to evaluate an apple-tree against a scale or code, these are
some of the features, in relative order of importance, to be
considered:

     1. Whether the tree is typical of the variety, in shape,
     manner of growth, character of foliage and bloom.

     2. Whether it is sound of all injury and disease, and free
     of blemish.

     3. Whether it is duly vigorous and productive.

     4. Whether its fruit is characteristic of the variety or
     kind.

     5. Whether the pruning has been good; the thinning; the
     spraying.

     6. Whether the performance of the tree has fulfilled
     reasonable expectations.

The judging of fruits is facilitated by such score-cards and
explanations as the following:

     1. For comparison of different dessert varieties.

Conformation              10
Size                       5
Color                     20
Core                       5
Uniformity                 5
Durability (keeping)      10
Condition                  5
Freedom from blemish      10
Quality                   30
                        ----
                         100

     2. For comparison of plates or samples of the same variety.

Form                      15
Size                      15
Color                     25
Uniformity                25
Freedom from blemish      20
                        ----
                         100


DIRECTIONS FOR JUDGING PLATES OF APPLES IN AN EXHIBITION

Following are directions and explanations issued to judging teams in
exhibition contests, by an agricultural college:

     (1) _Form_: The shape and conformation of the apples on any
     one plate should be typical for the variety, the region of
     growth being somewhat considered. All specimens on a plate
     should be uniform in shape. When competition is close, a
     careful comparison of the more minute characteristics of the
     basin, cavity and stem are made.

     (2) _Size_: The specimens on any one plate should be uniform
     in size and of the size most acceptable on the market for
     the variety. A plate may be marked down for being either
     under or over the accepted commercial size. In many
     exhibits, the ideal size is given in the premium
     announcements.

     (3) _Colors_: All specimens in an entry should be uniformly
     colored in the way that is considered perfect for the
     variety in the district where grown. In judging color, one
     should consider (_a_) the depth and attractiveness of the
     ground color, (_b_) the brightness and attractiveness of the
     over-color, (_c_) the amount of the over-color. In a yellow
     or green apple, the yellow or green should be clear and even
     all over, considering the maturity of the specimen. In
     varieties that are typically blushed, (e. g., Maiden Blush)
     the specimens should show a distinct tinge of red on the
     cheek exposed to the sun. With such apples as Rhode Island
     Greening, that are only sometimes blushed, the presence or
     absence of the blush should not detract except that the
     apples on any one plate should be uniform. With apples
     typically over-colored, an intense color for the variety is
     desirable.

     The _bloom_ may be wiped from apples, but in no case should
     polished specimens be given the preference. Some exhibits
     have special rules regarding polishing of apples.

     (4) _Conditions_: Refers to the degree of ripeness. An apple
     to be in perfect condition should be firm for the variety
     and free from the withering that comes when apples are
     picked too green or when the fruit is over-ripe or has not
     been stored properly.

     (5) _Freedom from blemish_: All specimens should be free
     from blemishes of all kinds. One should look particularly
     for (_a_) marks of fungous or other disease, including
     stippin, (_b_) injury from insects of all kinds, (_c_)
     mechanical injury, including loss of stem. Unmistakable
     evidence of codlin-moth injury or San José scale should
     disqualify a plate. Other blemishes are considered important
     in about the order named: Side worms, scab, stippin,
     curculio or red-bug, skin punctures, bruises, stem pulled,
     russet (not typical for variety) and limb rub. The extent of
     scab spots should be considered. Minute spots are not as
     serious as some other blemishes, while spots which deform
     the apple should disqualify the plate.

     _Other information_: Five specimens constitute a plate,
     except when the rules of the contest or exhibit state
     otherwise. Any variation from this rule disqualifies the
     plate.

     When a plate is not labelled with the correct variety name,
     it should not be judged, but is disqualified and if possible
     the correct name is applied. If one specimen on a plate is
     not as labelled, the whole plate is disqualified.

     In some judging contests, the plates are not labelled with
     the variety name, and the contestant is supposed to make the
     identification.

     _Precaution_: Avoid pressing the specimens with the thumb
     and finger so as to bruise the fruit. The degree of firmness
     can be determined by gentle pressure with the inside of the
     whole hand.

     Defects, apparent or otherwise, should not be probed with
     the finger nail, pin, or other hard object.

     Special care should be exercised to replace all specimens on
     the right plate.

Having in mind these definite criteria, the reader will know what is
meant by a "good apple" and also a good apple-tree. Measurements of
perfection aid us to estimate the deficiencies.

       *       *       *       *       *

He who knows the apple-tree knows also its region. The landscape is
his in every blessed year; he sees the chariots of the months come
down from the distances and pass by him into the twilights. Clouds are
his and the repeating shadows on the hills. The morning when the
blossoms are laden with the fragrance of the night, high noon when the
bees are busy, the gloaming when the birds drop into the boughs, these
are his by divine right. The smell of new-plowed fields is his, with
the urgent promise in them. Seed time and harvest, as old as the
procreant earth and as new as the latest sunrise, are his to conjure.
The verities are his for the asking, the strong things of cultivated
fields and of wild places. And mastery is his, that comes of the
amelioration of the land and the education of the tree. All these are
everyman's, and yet they are his alone.



INDEX


                                 PAGE

Acid phosphate                     45

Age of apple-trees                 98

Alternate bearing                  42

American Pomological Society       66

Apple-scab                         95

Appleseed, Johnny                  61

Arsenate of lead                   95

Australia, Apples in               97


Bacteria                           12

Bark of apple-tree                 11
  of cherry                        11
  of elm                           11
  of pear-tree                     11

Bearing year                       42

Black Gilliflower                  73

Bloomless apple                    75

Bolting trees                      88

Bridge-grafting                    88

Brush pile                         27

Budding                        50, 51

Buds                       15, 19, 27


Calyx-tube                         26

Canada, apples in                  98

Canker                             12

Cherimoya                           8

Cherry, bark of                    11

Christophine                        8

Cider, treatise on                 62

Cion-grafting                  50, 79

Citrus fruits                       8

Cleft-grafting                     82

Coconut                             8

Codlin-moth                    12, 89

Custard apple                       8


Diseases                           46

Distance apart                     43

Double apples                      74

Doucin stocks                      57

Downing, quoted                54, 67

Dwarf apple-trees                  54


Elm, bark of                       11

Endicott, Gov.                     61

Enriching the land                 45

Exhibitions                       108


Fertilizing                40, 44, 45

Fig                                 8

Flower, structure of               20

Folger and Thomson, quoted         98

Fructicetum                        78

Fruit-spurs and bearing            42

Fungi                              12


Girdles                            87

Graftage                       49, 79

Grafts                             81

Guava                               8


Harvesting                        102

Hillsides for orchards             44

Hogs in orchards                   45

Hypanthium                         26


Insects                        46, 89


Judging apples                    108


Knots                      11, 85, 87


Land for apples                    42

Langley, Batty                     82

Lawson, William                    82

Leaf-arrangement                   29

Lichens                            11

Lime-sulphur                       95

Linnaeus                           62

Lintner, J. A.                     89


Malus                              62

Mamone                              8

Mango                               8

Manning, mentioned                 67

M'Mahon, quoted                    66

Medlar                             75

Mending trees                      85

Moench, cited                      75

Mound-layering                     55

Muenchhausen, cited                75


Natural trees                      51

New Zealand, apples in             97

Nitrate of soda                    45


Origin of apple-tree               60

Ornamental apples                  64

Ovary                              20


Paint for wounds                   86

Papaya                              8

Paradise stocks                    57

Parkinson, John                    58

Pasturing                          45

Pear, bark of                      11

Phosphate, acid                    45

Phyllotaxy                         29

Picking apples                    102

Piece-roots                        50

Pistil                         20, 26

Plant-breeder                      51

Planting                       42, 43

Plant-lice                         12

Pollen-tube                        20

Pollination                        40

Pomegranate                         8

Propagation of apple-tree      48, 54

Pruning               36, 40, 86, 104

Pyrus baccata                      63
  coronaria                        63
  diocia                           75
  Ioensis                          63
  Malus                        62, 63
  Soulardii                        64


Receptacle of flower               26

Regions for apples             97, 99

Repairing trees                    85

Root-grafting                      50

Roots                              43


Scale insects                      12

Scale of points                   108

Score-card                        108

Seedless apple                     74

Seedling trees                 48, 51

Seeds, planting                    48

Sharrock, Robert                   81

Sheep in orchards                  45

Sheepnose                          73

Sod in orchards                    44

Soil for apples                    42

Spraying              40, 91, 95, 104

Star-apple                          8

Stigma                             20

Stocks                             49

Storing                           105

Struggle for existence             47

Style                              20

Surgery                            86

Surprise                           73

Sweet-and-Sour                     73


Thinning                       38, 39

Thomson and Folger                 98

Tilling               40, 44, 47, 104

Tree surgery                       86


Varieties                          66
  list of                          70


Water-core                         74

Whip-graft                         50

Wilder, mentioned                  67

Wormy apples                  89, 102



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

Some illustrations have been moved from their original positions to
avoid breaking up the text, and to put them in numerical order.

Variations in spelling and punctuation have been retained from the
original book except for the following changes:

Page 51: Both instances of "varities" changed to "varieties".

Page 74: "occuring" changed to "occurring".

Page 75: "dioecious pyrus" was originally typeset with an oe ligature.

Page 91: "foilage" changed to "foliage".

Page 93: "analagous" changed to "analogous".

Page 94: "or" changed to "nor". "investigatior" changed to
"investigator".

Page 100: "gravly" changed to "gravelly".

Page 113 (Index): "Appleseed, Johny" changed to "Appleseed, Johnny".
"Bark of Cheery" changed to "Bark of Cherry".

Page 115 (Index): "Linnæus" changed to "Linnaeus" to match text.





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