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Title: The Book of Pears and Plums
Author: Bartrum, Edward
Language: English
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Historical Literature in Agriculture (CHLA), Cornell
University)



    +-------------------------------------------------+
    |             Transcriber's Note                  |
    |                                                 |
    | A quincunx is a geometric pattern consisting    |
    | of five points, four of them forming a square   |
    | or rectangle and a fifth at its center. It      |
    | forms the arrangement of five units in the      |
    | pattern corresponding to the five-spot on dice, |
    | playing cards, or dominoes.                     |
    +-------------------------------------------------+



HANDBOOKS OF PRACTICAL GARDENING--XI
EDITED BY HARRY ROBERTS



THE BOOK OF PEARS AND PLUMS



[Illustration: PEAR BLOSSOM]



  THE BOOK OF PEARS AND PLUMS



  BY THE
  REV. E. BARTRUM, D.D., F.R.H.S.

  RECTOR OF WAKES COLNE, ESSEX
  EDITOR OF "HELPFUL HINTS FOR HARD TIMES," ETC.



  WITH CHAPTERS ON CHERRIES AND MULBERRIES



  JOHN LANE: THE BODLEY HEAD
  LONDON AND NEW YORK. MCMIII



_Printed by Turnbull & Spears, Edinburgh_



INTRODUCTION


I have grown pears, plums, cherries and mulberries for many years, and
have written many articles about the first two fruits; yet, in preparing
this work, I found that I had still much to learn, and I wish
particularly to express my obligations to the new edition of Thompson's
_Gardener's Assistant_, edited in six volumes by Mr Watson, Assistant
Curator of the Royal Gardens, Kew, and brought out by the Gresham
Publishing Company. I have also derived valuable aid from the volumes of
the Royal Horticultural Society. The chapter on "cherries" is based
chiefly on the booklet contributed by Mr G. Bunyard to my _Helpful Hints
for Hard Times_ published by the S.P.C.K.

  E. B.
  WAKES COLNE RECTORY, ESSEX,
  _July 1902_.



CONTENTS


                                                         PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                                            vii

      PEARS--

  HISTORY OF THE PEAR                                       1

  SITUATION AND SOIL                                        3

  PROTECTION                                                5

  PLANTING                                                  5

  STAKING AND WIRING                                        7

  STOCKS FOR PEARS                                          8

  ORCHARD TREES                                            10

  PYRAMIDS                                                 12

  COLUMNAR TREES                                           14

  ESPALIERS                                                15

  HORIZONTALS ON WALLS                                     15

  FAN-SHAPED TREES                                         16

  BUSHES                                                   16

  CORDONS                                                  20

  ARCHES                                                   21

  PRICES OF TREES                                          22

  GARDEN ORCHARDS                                          22

  MANURES                                                  23

  PEARS FOR A PRIVATE GARDEN                               24

  EXHIBITION PEARS                                         24

  COOKING PEARS FOR EXHIBITION                             26

  PEARS FOR APPEARANCE                                     27

  PEARS FOR QUALITY                                        27

  COOKING PEARS                                            28

  EARLY PEARS                                              28

  LATE PEARS                                               29

  PEARS FOR COTTAGERS AND SMALL FARMERS                    29

  SYNONYMS                                                 30

  PEARS FOR PERRY                                          32

  GATHERING AND STORING                                    32

  PROTECTION OF FRUIT                                      33

  WINTER AND SPRING WASHES                                 34

  INSECT ENEMIES                                           37

  THINNING FRUIT                                           43

  SUMMER, WINTER, BRANCH AND ROOT PRUNING; LIFTING         43

  MARKETING AND PACKING                                    44

  PEARS IN AN UNHEATED ORCHARD HOUSE                       46

  OLD STANDARDS                                            51

  IRRIGATION                                               51

  LABELS                                                   51

  AMERICAN PEARS                                           51

  NOTES ON VARIETIES                                       52

  RECEIPTS                                                 54


      PLUMS--

  WHAT IS THE FINEST FRUIT?                                58

  ORIGIN OF THE PLUM                                       58

  SOIL AND SITUATION                                       58

  PROPAGATION AND STOCKS                                   61

  PLANTING                                                 62

  WHAT IS YOUR OBJECT?                                     62

  PLUMS FOR A PRIVATE GARDEN                               63

  PRUNING AND TRAINING                                     66

  MANURES                                                  68

  THINNING                                                 69

  GAGES                                                    69

  MARKET PLUMS                                             70

  GATHERING, PACKING, MARKETING                            72

  STORING AND KEEPING                                      74

  INSECT ENEMIES                                           75

  ORCHARD HOUSE                                            77

  DAMSONS                                                  78

  BULLACES                                                 78

  IMPORTANT POINTS                                         78

  DRYING BY EVAPORATION                                    78

  BOTTLING                                                 79

  PLUM JELLY                                               82


      CHERRIES--

  "KEEPING" FRUIT, SUITABLE SOIL, ASPECT, SORTS
    RECOMMENDED BY R.H.S. AND MR BUNYARD FOR EATING,
    COOKING AND MARKET, PROTECTION, PRUNING, TRAINING,
    CHERRIES ON WALLS, INSECT ATTACKS, DISTANCES,
    MANURES, MARKETING, DERIVATION OF THE WORD          83-88


      THE MULBERRY

  ORIGIN OF THE WORD, SOIL, SITUATION, ASPECT, SHAPE,
    CULTURE, PRUNING, TREES IN POTS, USE OF FRUIT       89-91


      APPENDIX

  THE PROPAGATION OF THE PEAR                              92



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                         PAGE

  PEAR BLOSSOM
      (from a drawing by Ethel Roskruge)       _Frontispiece_

  BERGAMOTTE ESPEREN ON WALL                               17

  PEAR--MARÉCHAL DE LA COUR                                25

  PEAR--MARGUERITE MARILLAT                                27

  PEAR--BEURRÉ DIEL                                        31

  FAN-SHAPED PEAR TREE, ONE YEAR AFTER GRAFTING, SHOWING
  THE LENGTH OF RESULTING SHOOTS                           41

  ESPALIER TRAINED TREE CUT BACK FOR GRAFTING--THE GRAFTS
  INSERTED AND CLAYED OVER                                 49

  PLUM--RIVERS' EARLY PROLIFIC                             64

  PLUM--CZAR                                               64

  A CHERRY ORCHARD                                         85



THE BOOK OF PEARS AND PLUMS

HISTORY OF THE PEAR


The Pear is my theme, and a pleasant one it is. Only those who have
planted trees, pruned them, watched their growth, plucked the fruits,
enjoyed them at almost all hours, seen them on the table month after
month as an appetising dish, can fully realise the value of the Pear. A
good Pear-tree is like a faithful friend--treat him properly and he will
not fail you. Circumstances, as for instance, a late frost, may render
him incapable of helping you; he may have nothing to offer you; no doubt
he is sorry, but with patience he will do you a good turn.

_Pyrus_ (or _pirus_), the Latin name for Pear-tree, is the name of a
genus of plants belonging to the natural order Rosaceæ. _Pyrus
communis_, the wild pear, from which the numerous cultivated varieties
have sprung, is found over a great part of Europe and Asia, within the
limits of the temperate regions. Its origin is lost in obscurity. The
lake-dwellers in Switzerland are said to have stored the fruits for
winter use. It was probably brought by the Greeks, possibly by birds,
from Asia, and after a time became a favourite with the Romans as well
as the Greeks. It is mentioned by Horace, Vergil, Juvenal, and others.
Pliny refers to numerous varieties, describing those with special
flavours. He tells us that many of the sorts were called after the
countries from which they came, such as the Syrian, the Alexandrian, the
Numidian, and the Grecian. Thus he mentions _pira nardina_, a pear with
the scent of nard; _pira onynchina_, a pear of the colour of the
fingernail, and others. These last are evidently Greek. Forty or fifty
sorts are named in Roman writers, and the Pear was appropriately
dedicated to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.

The Romans no doubt took their pear-trees northwards into Gaul and
Britain. The climate of France is so well adapted to the growth of
pears, that at one time it was thought all good pears must come from
France. I well remember many years ago seeing a garden in this country
full of pear-trees, every one of which had come from France. Happily
there is no need now to go out of England for the very best varieties. A
list published in 1628 by a fruit-grower of Orleans named Le Lectier
(there is a new variety called by his name, and probably after him)
enumerates 260 varieties. The well known Jargonelle is mentioned in that
list. Our Parkinson in 1629 refers to 64 varieties only. Seventy years
later we read of 138, and in 1829 of 630 varieties. John Scott, rather
famous as a fruit-grower forty years ago, says in his "Orchardist" that
he has above 1000 sorts worked upon the Quince Stock. He had studied
pomology at the "_Jardin Fruitier_," the fruit garden attached to the
_Jardin des Plantes_ at Paris, and, using his opportunities, learnt all
the secrets of Pear culture, and brought them from France to Merriott,
near Crewkerne, in Somerset. The last edition of Dr Hogg's "Fruit
Manual" (invaluable to the Pomologist), published in 1884, contains the
names of 647 varieties. Not a few of these were marked as worthless by
the Committee of the National Pear Conference, held at Chiswick in
October 1885. The Royal Horticultural Society in their "Fruits for
Cottagers and Small Farmers" (1892), selected eight varieties only for
eating, and two more for late keepers; four were recommended for cooking
or stewing. Fresh sorts are constantly being brought into notice, the
result of cross-fertilisation, and we may, I think, congratulate
ourselves that British pears in a favourable season are as good as those
produced in any part of the world. Let any one who doubts this statement
attend a Crystal Palace or any other first-rate Fruit Show; his doubts
will soon be dispelled.


SITUATION AND SOIL

These two points are of the greatest importance in successful
cultivation. No amount of skill will enable even a clever gardener to
grow good fruit in a bad site. Where the land is low and swampy, exposed
therefore to frosts more than ground at a higher altitude, the effort
would be useless. Stagnant water moreover produces canker, and soon
ruins trees. Pears love a deep moist soil, but not water that lies for
any length of time about the roots. On a hillside, where the slope is
more than gradual, so that in a dry season the upper part suffers from
drought, they would be a failure. Trees planted near the bottom and
properly protected from winds might succeed, yet they would probably
suffer from frost. The slope should not be more than two to three feet
in a hundred.

The aspect should be south, south-east or south-west. The Pear is of
Eastern origin, and probably retains its Eastern habit in blooming early
some time before the apple. It needs more warmth, and more protection.

To plant pears in a north aspect even on a wall is a mistake. Morello
cherries are a sure crop, pears a very doubtful one. The wood is not
well ripened, and bloom-buds are not often formed. The amount of
rainfall is also a matter for consideration. If the soil is light, more
moisture will be needed than in heavier land. Heavy clays are not good
for pears, yet much may be done to improve such soils, and some outlay
may be desirable in gardens and small plantations. Good drainage will be
necessary. The ground before planting must be well lifted and exposed to
the air; some portions should be burnt and mixed with the rest; decayed
vegetable matter should be added in abundance. After planting, when the
trees are rooted and growing, the soil should be often lifted with a
light fork, or hoed, and the air admitted to the roots. A clayey loam is
the best of all soils for the Pear, yet even that may be much improved
by exposure before planting, and the use of the fork or hoe afterwards.
In sandy or chalky soils, pears will have a poor chance even on the free
(or pear) stock, unless the ground has been previously prepared by
trenching, and then digging in a good quantity of decayed stable or
farmyard manure. Marl or clay from other parts, or turf (chopped up)
from a field, may be added with advantage. Generous treatment
subsequently in the way of liquid manure will alone make trees in such
ground a success. Should, however, the soil be shallow and the subsoil
gravel or chalk, trees must be lifted every few years, and the expense
in a large garden might be considerable.

The monks in olden days were wont to put slates or large stones below
their trees before planting, to prevent the tap-root running into bad
soil. In modern gardens a concrete bottom two or three inches thick,
sloping towards a drain in front, is sometimes made. Methods must depend
on soil and means. A concrete bottom is better than a stratum of stones
or brick rubbish. Persons content with a few small trees may lift them
frequently or root-prune annually, in which case no special precautions
are required.


PROTECTION

As the Pear needs sunshine and warmth as well as moisture, it must have
protection from cold winds. Walls and buildings are not always to be
had. Black Italian or Canadian poplars well planted and rather close
together soon form a good shelter; limes (invaluable for bees) quickly
make a good fence if encouraged to throw shoots from the lower part of
the tree and closely cut in. Hedges of damsons or the myrobalan (the
cherry plum) serve as shelters from the wind and grow rapidly. This
cherry plum blooms early, and its flower is often cut off; otherwise its
fruit (ripe in August) is useful for tarts. Protection is needed on the
south-west against the winds as well as on the north-east. The larger
trees should be placed at some distance that their roots may not absorb
the nourishment needed in the fruit garden.


PLANTING

seems a simple subject, yet the difference between good and bad work may
make the difference between success and failure. Proper planting is of
vital importance. The ground should be prepared beforehand. If it is
wet, and the water does not readily pass off, drainage is essential. The
depth of the drains must depend on the outfall. If they can be sunk
three or even four feet below the surface, they are less exposed to
danger from deep trenching or the roots above them. The drains should be
about five yards apart. The soil should then be well trenched and
exposed thoroughly to the action of the atmosphere. But beware of
opening holes some time beforehand. Should rain come, the holes will be
filled, and if the soil is heavy, may remain there for some time.
Abstain, too, from planting in wet weather. If the ground is sticky, the
roots will not have free play. Should the soil be light, well-decayed
manure may be dug in, especially if it has been well mixed some time
beforehand with turfy or good loam. In strong soil, no manure is needed.
When the trees arrive, do not unpack them until you are ready to plant.
Exposure of the roots to the air should be avoided as much as possible.
If delay occurs from rain, frost, or any other cause, put the roots in
the ground, laying the trees in a slanting position in a trench, and
covering the roots thoroughly with soil. Choose, too, a sheltered
position in the garden for the trench. Should the ground be hard from
frost, do not unpack the trees; keep them under cover, and protect them
as far as possible from cold and frost. When the ground is fit and the
weather favourable, open the earth 2 to 3 feet across at a depth of 12
to 18 inches according to the class and size of the tree and roots.
Carefully examine the roots. Cut off the points of any jagged or torn
roots cleanly with a sharp knife, and shorten all downward and coarse
roots. Cut on the under side, and towards the outside, so that the tree
may lie flat. Avoid any injury to the rootlets. The aid of a lad will be
useful to hold the tree in its place while the gardener is planting.
Spread the roots and rootlets carefully out with an upward rather than a
downward tendency. Then scatter fine soil amid them, shaking the trees
occasionally, adding more soil until it stands erect. Now tread in the
soil firmly, and fill up the hole with fresh soil, raising the earth
several inches above the ordinary level. The soil will sink after a
time, and occasionally more soil may be added subsequently. But deep
planting should always be avoided.

With pears on the Quince, it is important that all the quince stock
should be covered by the soil, as it suffers in dry weather if exposed,
and the fruit would therefore be affected. All buds on this stock should
on this account be inserted as near the ground as possible. Should the
soil be very heavy, yet pears _must_ be planted, place the roots almost
on the surface, and throw the lightest earth obtainable round the stem.
If such ground is trodden down hard, and rain should soon follow, the
ground would probably become like a brick, and the roots, kept in check,
would suffer seriously.

The best time for planting is towards the close of October and in
November. Select your trees yourself, and go only to first rate
nurserymen for pears if you want varieties on the Quince stock. Each
nursery has its specialty. Budding, grafting and double-grafting on
special stocks do not always have the attention and skill required. If
you cannot go, send your orders early, so as to secure an early choice
and good trees. Planting may continue to the end of February, but you
must not expect good trees for late orders. The roots, too, make some
progress even in winter, so that early planting is preferable in every
way.


STAKING AND WIRING

Standards should be attached to a round, strong, stout stake 2-½
inches thick or more, as soon as planted. The best plan is to have the
stake in position ready for the tree. For full sized standards, the
stakes should be 7 to 8 feet long, and driven 18 inches or more into the
ground; they should be in the centre of each hole. Choose durable wood,
as far as possible. A straw or hay band, or a piece of bagging, should
now be run round the stem, and the stake attached to it by thick string
or cord well tarred. The twigs of the willow (soft and strong,
especially the golden willow) may also be used. Protection against
rabbits must be provided at once. A wire fence round the orchard or
garden is best; where there is no fence, put a yard of wire netting
(1-¼ mesh) round each tree. This will last for years. The wire should
be 3 feet high at the least. Examine your fence every year in September
and repair. You cannot be too particular. Serious damage may be done in
a night.


STOCKS FOR PEARS

The discovery of the Quince Stock, as adapted to the Pear for budding or
grafting upon, has added immensely of late years to the popularity of
this valuable fruit. The discovery, it is true, is not a new one.
Merlet, writing in 1667 (says Mr Scott), recommends the Portugal Quince
as stronger and more favourable for working pears upon than any other
variety: "It swells equally fast with the graft, which none of the other
sorts do." Le Gendre, an author of about the same date, in _Le Manière
de cultiver les arbres Frutiers_, says: "I have been much aided by the
invention of grafting the Pear upon the Quince," and adds that he was
one of the first who helped to introduce this method. By this discovery
the well-known saying: "Plant pears for your heirs," must give way to
another:--

  "That those who plant pears
  Grow fruit for their heirs
  Is a maxim our grandfathers knew;
  But folks have learnt since,
  If you graft on the quince
  The fruit will develop for you."[1]

This stock checks excessive growth, and brings the tree into early
bearing. It is not adapted for large standards nor for light soil; in
good pear ground it is simply invaluable. Sometimes poor results occur,
but the failure is usually caused by the want of proper care, either at
the nursery or in the garden. Young trees are often overworked. Some
varieties will not thrive on the quince stock, so that double-grafting
has been introduced. Thus the strong-growing Beurré d'Amanlis is grafted
on the quince, then two years after some other sort is grafted on it. It
is said that in this way Gansel's Bergamot is made "a marvel of
fertility,"[2] but this is not my experience! The disappointing pear
Marie Louise is usually double-grafted, so is that excellent late pear
Josephine de Malines for cordons, bushes, or pyramids, and so are many
others. Strong-growing varieties like Vicar of Winkfield, Beurré Hardy,
Beurré Clairgeau, Marie Louise d'Uccle, and others, are used as
intermediate stocks. To check the vigorous Pitmaston Duchess, the weakly
Winter Nelis is employed as an intermediary. Our chief nurserymen are
studying the habits of each pear which needs double grafting, and
failure is rare on their part. Fruits grown on the Quince Stock are
often more highly coloured, and not so coarse as such as are on the Pear
Stock. Those who have a good pear soil then should plant no tree on the
Pear Stock, except in an orchard.

The varieties usually employed are the Portugal, the Angers, and the
common Quince. The Angers being compact, prolific, and easily increased,
is said to be the favourite.[3]

In some soils Pear Stocks must be used. The Quince would not thrive; it
is not strong enough. The latter is surface rooting, it emits more
fibres, and does not rejoice in the tap-root of the Pear Stock. But for
light and unfavourable soils, and also for large standards, the Pear
Stock alone will suffice. This is often called the Free Stock, as
compared with the dwarfing Quince. In former years the seeds of the
wild pear were used to raise new stocks, but at the present time pear
seedlings are sent from France to England and the United States in large
quantities. Our cousins, however, are exerting themselves earnestly to
improve the pear, and with their energy and variety of climate, will not
long be dependent upon France.


ORCHARD TREES

In good soil and a favourable, well-sheltered aspect, standard trees on
the pear stock may be a success if planters and owners can wear the cap
of patience for eight to ten years. Should it be probable that cattle
will use the ground, a strong and lasting fence must be put round each
tree, as thorns encircling them will not suffice. Iron fences made for
the purpose, with wire netting added at the top, may be the cheapest in
the end. Otherwise, put three posts (larch or oak) to form a triangle
round the tree. These should be well charred or tarred at some distance
from the lower end before being firmly driven in. The tops should slant
outwards. Then nail cross-pieces to the posts; old railway-sleepers are
sometimes cheap and useful. The standards in good soil should be thirty
feet apart or more. It is a mistake to allow the grass at any time to
grow under the trees. Moisture which pears require is absorbed, and the
air is kept from the roots. Reduce the branches after planting (in
October or November) to five or six at the most; cut these back to an
outer eye, six to nine inches from the stem. The roots will establish
themselves for the first year, and good growth will usually follow. The
strength of a tree depends mainly on its roots. These must not be
overtasked at first, or the tree will suffer seriously. Next year, late
in July, cut back to the sixth leaf all shoots springing from the main
branches which run inwards; keep the centre open, well exposed to the
light, sun and air, and allow the main branches to develop themselves
freely. In the winter cut all shoots not needed back to two or three
eyes. If more boughs are needed, shorten the leading shoots, always
cutting just above an outer eye. Make the tree as even as you can by
shortening leading shoots on opposite sides. Never allow boughs to cross
or to interfere with one another. If boughs are void of a fair
proportion of shoots and spurs, they should be stopped. Be careful to
admit the sun fully on the south side. Cut off all shoots springing from
the central part or on the lower part of the branches of old standards.
If young standard trees are well planted, carefully fed and pruned, the
stems kept clear of weeds and grass, they can be brought into
comparatively early bearing. Where irrigation is possible, let a stream
of water that has flowed some distance over the ground be turned in dry
weather on to their roots, or let liquid manure be given after rain; the
effect will be surprising. But beware of very cold or stagnant water!

Early pears are probably the most profitable for orchard planting. The
following are reliable:--

Six Market Orchard Standard Pears selected by Messrs Bunyard: Hessle,
Fertility, Williams' Bon Chrétien, Beurré Capiaumont, Durondeau,
Pitmaston Duchess.

Messrs Rivers' list of seven: Beacon, Bon Chrétien, Clapp's Favourite,
Fertility, Conference, Marie Louise d'Uccle, Vicar of Winkfield.

The list of an eminent firm in the south is as follows:--

Bon Chrétien, Hessle, Pitmaston Duchess, Louise Bonne of Jersey, Emile
d'Heyst, Marie Louise. At the Pear Conference (R.H.S.), 1885, Bon
Chrétien had 50 votes, Louise Bonne 46, B. Capiaumont 38, Hessle 30.
Thus, William's B. C. has 4 votes, Hessle 3, Pitmaston 2, Fertility 2.
Personally, I prefer Pitmaston as a bush, the fruit being so large. It
is a pear for a good market, not a coster's fruit. Ten trees of three
varieties would make a good orchard. Vicar of Winkfield or Verulam might
be added for a later Stewing Pear. The bloom of Marie Louise is so
tender that I prefer Marie Louise d'Uccle, a very good cropper; the
fruit is sometimes sold as Marie Louise. The list of 1885 is hardly up
to date. Louise Bonne does not do well with me as a standard, and I
should substitute Fertility. Clapp's Favourite is also very promising.

If the plantation is of any size, do not put two trees of the same
variety close together. Some varieties are self-sterile, yet quite
capable of cross-fertilisation from the pollen of other varieties. Bees
should be kept close at hand to fertilise the blooms.

The following is Mr Radcliffe Cook's list of orchard standards for Perry
(see his "Cider and Perry"):--

Barland, Moorcroft, Red Pear, Taynton Squash, early varieties.

Langland, Yellow and Black Huffcup, midsummer.

Blakeney Red, Butt Pear, Oldfield, Pine Pear, Rock Pear, late.

It is said that in France there are more than 1500 varieties of Perry
Pears. We must "wake up" and grow the best varieties.


PYRAMIDS

No one should plant high standards except under special circumstances;
pyramids are a part of almost every large and good fruit-garden. In
moist, strong soils they should be on the Quince Stock. In light soils
the Pear Stock alone has a chance. Some trees succeed only as bushes,
others can be trained as pyramids. The lists of the leading nurserymen
usually refer to the habits of each tree. Buy trees trained as pyramids
direct from the nursery. If you prefer maidens (trees one year old)
train as follows: In early spring, after planting, stop the tree
slightly, and encourage growth; next winter cut it down almost to the
stock. A strong shoot from the base must now be made the leader and the
central stem. Next winter cut this back to within 18 inches of the
ground. The highest shoot next season must be trained upwards by a
straight stake; the side shoots will form branches. These in September
must be brought (by stakes) into a horizontal position. The stronger
must be more depressed, the weaker may be left for another year. Bend
into position before the sap sinks. In winter reduce side shoots on
branches to two or three eyes. Cut the leading shoot 12 or 15 inches
(according to growth or soil) above the branch below it, so as to
produce fresh branches. Bend these down as before. As the tree
progresses, the leading shoot may be stopped in summer when it has grown
a foot, so as to throw out more branches; it may grow another foot
upwards by September, and also send out fresh branches. Every care
should be taken to keep an upright and straight stem. In summer pruning
check the upper branches before the lower, stopping the terminal shoots
so that they shall not spread out further than those below them. Stop
them when they have grown 8 or 10 inches, removing the top. Any shoots
from the branches (laterals) must be reduced to six or seven leaves
about mid-June (on young trees), so as to open the tree and concentrate
growth on necessary parts, and also to produce bloom-buds. These may
form near the base. In winter reduce to two or three eyes.[4] Pyramids
on the Pear Stock in strong soil reach a height of 15 to 25 feet, but
such trees are hard to manage. Weak growing sorts might be tried. The
larger trees would need annual root-pruning (half a side each year) to
secure good crops. Train pyramids from the nursery in a similar way,
keeping the upper branches in subjection to the lower, taking care to
let light into every part of the tree by summer pruning. Pyramids on the
Quince should be not less than 10 feet apart, 15 in strong soil with
strong sorts (such as Pitmaston Duchess, or Duchesse d'Angoulême); on
the Pear Stock in similar soil for strong sorts 20 feet apart. Avoid
crowding. Lift or root-prune rather than crowd. Do not plant two trees
of the same variety close together. The pollen of a different sort may
make each tree more fruitful. Have hives of bees at no great distance to
promote fertilisation.

The following are good sorts for pyramids:--

Citron des Carmes (on pear) early, Williams' Bon Chrétien, Clapp's
Favourite, Marie Louise d'Uccle, Duchesse d'Angoulême, Durondeau,
Fondante d'Automne, Beurré Hardy, Beurré Superfin, Maréchal de la Cour,
Doyenné du Comice, Princess, Josephine de Malines, Beurré Rance.

COOKING PEARS.--Bellissime d'Hiver, Vicar of Winkfield,
Verulam.

Others might be added. Some of these also do well as bushes.


COLUMNAR TREES

are pyramids on a smaller scale, kept well in check by lifting or
root-pruning, more like a column than a pyramid. In light soil this work
would not be needed. They are adapted for small gardens, and, well
managed, may be very useful. Plant from 8 to 10 feet apart.


ESPALIERS

in the open ground (according to some good growers) are the most
economical of space, but I do not care much for them. Train at first
from maidens as for a pyramid, keeping one upright shoot and guiding one
branch each side in an almost horizontal position. Cut back the leader
once a year at first at about 12 or 15 inches from the branch below to
one bud just above the buds whence the branches are to spring. From this
one bud the upright leader will grow. The branches should be about a
foot apart. Stop the topmost in summer (if very strong) to divert the
sap into other parts. Stop strong horizontals to strengthen the weak and
to promote fruit-buds. Stop shoots on the branches late in June or in
July at six full leaves, if the tree is flourishing, but not otherwise.
Equalise the sap as far as possible. Espaliers may be bought from the
nurseries, saving several years. Plant 15 or 20 feet apart according to
ground and tree. Support with rails or stout firm stakes placed 2-½
feet from the walk; place the tree 3 inches from the stake on the side
of the path. Keep the trees low to prevent shade on the garden; 5 feet
is high enough. Prune established trees in July; cutting back fresh
shoots (laterals) to six leaves, and opening the tree and fruit to the
sun, removing shoots not needed. Reduce to two or three buds in winter;
with a small saw cut back large lumpy pieces the growth of years.


HORIZONTALS ON WALLS

should be trained as Espaliers. They are better for a low than a high
wall. The branches should be about a foot (four bricks) apart. In some
old gardens, enormous Horizontals may be seen with the branches at
distant ends turned upwards. The lower branches are horizontal as far as
the space allows, then turned upwards. This change checks the sap,
lessens luxuriance, and promotes fruit-buds. But there often is
excessive growth in the upper parts. These upper shoots must be pruned
before the lower. Such trees are called Palmetto Verrier, and are
scarcely to be recommended.


FAN-SHAPED TREES

are adapted to high walls. Tomatoes or other fruits may be grown below
in the vacant spaces. By planting a standard against a high wall, it
will soon be covered if fed and duly trained. Cut the tree back as an
orchard standard after planting. Keep the boughs well away from each
other, 12 inches or more apart. If a wall is shaded with foliage it
derives little heat from the sun. Stop the gross upright shoots early in
the season to spread the sap, and summer prune in July. Keep the
branches close to the wall, and complete pruning in winter. These trees
must be on the Pear Stock. The choicest sorts, such as Doyenné du
Comice, Beurré Superfin or Diel should be selected for a south wall.
Prune the upper parts before the lower. Wires may be placed on the walls
1-½ inches out, with an interval of 12 inches or more between each
wire.


BUSHES

are of great value, either in a plantation or a garden. In good soil,
even those on the quince grow large, and may need root-pruning or
moving. In poor soil, with gravel or chalk not far below, bushes on Pear
Stock must be moved every few years, and well fed. Rotten manure
given in the autumn will attract and feed the roots. Fruit on low bushes
is less affected by strong winds. Some sorts do better as bushes than as
pyramids; bushes, too, are more under control. A maiden tree after
planting should be allowed to grow for a year unchecked, to establish
the roots. In winter cut the tree back to within a foot of the ground.
In the spring it will throw out vigorous shoots. Select three or four of
these, and fix them in position with stakes, removing the others. Next
winter cut these back to an outer eye, leaving six or nine inches of
each branch from the stem. Other branches will soon follow. Time will be
saved by buying bushes from the nursery. Keep these as open as possible,
especially on the south side and the centre. Each branch should be a
foot apart. Summer prune in July and winter as before. Stop the branches
in summer, if growing rapidly, to produce fruit spurs, and in winter cut
back to strong wood (to an outer eye). All new wood will thus be
feathered during the following year. Some bushes are very diffuse and
need much room, _e.g._ Catillac and Uvedale St Germain. Bushes on quince
should be eight to twelve feet apart; strong growers, such as Pitmaston,
Duchesse d'Angoulême, Catillac, should be even more in good soil, if
root-pruning is not to be practised. The following are good as bush
trees:--

[Illustration: BERGAMOTTE ESPEREN ON WALL]

_Dessert Pears._--Doyenné d'Été (very early), Beurré Giffard,
Jargonelle, B. d'Amanlis, Doyenné Boussoch, Louise Bonne, Pitmaston
Duchess, Emile d'Heyst, B. Diel, Forelle or Trout Pear, B. Clairgeau,
Winter Nelis, Josephine de Malines, Passe Crassanne, Easter Beurré.

_Cooking Pears._--Catillac, Uvedale's St Germain, Verulam (more
compact), Bellissime d'Hiver (grows like a cypress). Others might be
added. Some of these do well also as pyramids.


CORDONS

oblique or diagonal, on one stem only, are my favourites. The finest
fruit can be grown on them even in the open, if the situation is good
and well protected. They are usually placed against a wall, but they
also do well on wires. These should be put near a path about 18 inches
or 2 feet away, and 2 to 3 feet should be allowed the other side. If the
wires run N. and S., the best fruit will be on the S. side. E. and W. is
a better aspect, but both are good if there is shelter. On a wall, S. or
S.-W. is best. Plant single cordons in good ground, they will soon grow
and bear. Double-grafted trees are dearer, yet cheap. All in such soil
should be on Quince. On chalk or gravel soils they must be on the pear
or free stock. Older trees cost a trifle more, but never buy _old
trees_. Old trees are like old folks, they rarely transplant well. Avoid
horizontal or double cordons. The former are too near the ground, and
often in the gardener's way. The latter are not so manageable as single
stems. Sometimes single stems fail from various causes; they can be
easily removed, and a fresh tree substituted at little cost. In a year
or two the new tree, if not cropped at first, may begin to do well and
bear fruit. Plant 18 or 20 inches from each other at an angle of 45°;
when the tree reaches the top wire, train it onwards. After a time, this
wire may be crowded; then a tree here and there may be allowed (as a
single stem) to go upwards. But root-pruning (half a side only) each
year will keep gross growers in check. Stop the tops of strong growers
of any size after planting to produce fruit buds, and always remove
blossom buds at the top. All varieties do well as cordons; the most
tender should be planted in the best protected and warmest spot. The
wires (galvanised) should be stretched from iron posts, the latter
strengthened with stays. Bars of iron perforated, flat, and light, 6 or
7 feet apart, should keep the wires in position. The lowest wire should
be about 18 inches from the ground, the wires above at least 12 inches
apart. Six feet is a sufficient height for the top wire. Otherwise the
garden is shaded and the trees require a ladder. Oak posts 7 to 8 feet
long, 4 to 5 inches through, tarred or charred at the bottom, are
perhaps cheaper at first. These also require stays. In three or four
years the wires are almost covered, and good crops in a fine season
follow. Leave openings at intervals for gardeners to go through.


ARCHES

(with a cordon on each) may also be formed over paths and wires
stretched from one to another. But beware of bringing them very near to
each other. Sun and air are essential to success. A shoot allowed to run
along a high horizontal wire will often bear fine fruit. Walls too
should be covered with cordons rather than horizontals. Double the crop
is often secured in half the time. Visitors to the Chiswick Gardens of
the R.H.S. may see a large number on a high wall bearing in a hot
gravelly soil good fruit. The treatment of all such trees is simple. If
against a wall and on light soil, they must be fed well. Stable manure
should be given in the autumn and left to decay; liquid manure when the
fruit begins to swell. Summer prune in July, pinching or cutting new
growths back to the sixth leaf, reducing these in autumn to two or three
eyes, but leaving fruit buds untouched. Root prune when necessary in
late October or November. In winter, look over the trees, see that all
are tied properly, reduce with a small saw any large lumps of wood
formed in the course of years, and prepare the trees for spraying or
washing.


PRICES OF TREES

The cost of Standards is usually from 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d.; Maidens or
Yearlings 1s. 6d. each, 12s. per dozen; Bush and Pyramids on Pear or
Quince 1s. 6d. to 3s. 6d.; cordons, 1s. 6d. each, 12s. per dozen;
double-grafted trees 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d.


GARDEN ORCHARDS

Bush trees on the Quince are best for these. They come soon into
bearing, are interesting and sometimes profitable. Heavy fruits have a
better chance than those on standards or on pyramids. These latter
require more time, and are more exposed to the wind. Pyramids can soon
be converted into bushes by cutting out the central branch within 2 or 3
feet of the ground. Begin by enclosing your orchard with a wire fence,
then form a hedge of damsons. Plant your pears 8 to 12 feet apart. Keep
avenues open for the transit of manures; one hard path or road may be
very useful. Use intermediate spaces for other crops while the bushes
are young. As crops cannot be expected every year, grow gooseberries,
strawberries, currants, salads, etc., in a large plantation. Trees of
the same variety should not be planted next each other. Pollination is
often promoted by a different variety being close at hand. The following
are reliable and saleable:--Beacon, Clapp's Favourite, Bon Chrétien, B.
d'Amanlis, Souvenir du Congrès, Louise Bonne, Fertility, B. Hardy, D. du
Comice, Durondeau, Pitmaston Duchess, B. Diel, Josephine de Malines, and
(cooking) Verulam. No one growing for market should plant all these
sorts except in a large plantation, a first rate soil, and a well
sheltered position. For market only take Bon Chrétien, Amanlis,
Fertility, Durondeau, Pitmaston Duchess, Josephine de Malines, Verulam.
Bon Chrétien does not suit every soil. Clapp's Favourite might be
better. Fertility, Durondeau and Pitmaston are a good three; Hessle,
Beacon and Fertility, if earlier pears are desired.


MANURES

The artificial manures recommended by the R.H.S. are as follows: 4 oz.
of Basic slag and 1 oz. of Kainit per square yard (as far as the roots
extend) in the autumn; follow these in February or March with 2 oz. of
superphosphate and 1 oz. of sulphate of ammonia. Liquid manure
stimulates growth of wood, roots and fruit. Soot (1 peck to 30 gallons
of water) allowed to stand till the liquid is clear, given once or twice
a week, is very helpful. Every fruit-grower should have a good supply of
some kind at hand. Not a drop from his stables, etc., should be wasted
in summer. In a drought it may save his trees.

But rank or fruitless trees of any age, as a rule, need no manure. If
there is a heavy crop, feed well when the growing season is over. Pears
are gross and thirsty feeders. Messrs Rivers[5] recommend "that a peck
of soot should be strewed on the surface in a circle 3 feet in diameter
round each (dwarf) tree in March. Pears on the Quince in a light, dry
soil should have the surface round the tree covered during June, July
and August, with short litter or manure, and in dry weather be drenched
once a week with guano water (1 lb. to 10 gallons), and equal parts of
soot, which must be well stirred before it is used. Each tree should
have 10 gallons poured gradually into the soil. Lime rubbish or chalk
should be added wherever there is any deficiency." If it be possible, in
dry weather allow a stream of water to flow by their roots, or in any
case give liquid manure. The roots should never be dry; cracking often
follows rain just after a drought if the roots are dry. Soot is a
safeguard against insects, and is supposed to give colour. Dr Griffiths
(in "Special Manures for Garden Crops," p. 101) says: "Nitrogenous
manures are requisite for backward, potash and phosphates for forward
trees; the former aids growth, the latter develops bloom, the sugar in
the fruit, and the ripening of the wood. Pear trees are aided by a
manure containing four parts (by weight) of kainit and one part of
superphosphate--4 lbs. of this mixture to be given in the spring to each
tree after pruning. If the trees are backward, water once a week with a
solution containing 1 oz. of nitrate of soda to 2 gallons of water." If
basic slag and kainit are given, autumn is the time, as their action is
slow. Nitrate of soda is good on hot, dry, and chalky soils.


PEARS FOR A PRIVATE GARDEN

If the space is small, try cordons or bushes. If three are enough,
Fertility, Pitmaston, Josephine de Malines; if six, add Durondeau, Bon
Chrétien, Comice; if nine, add B. Hardy, B. Superfin, Verulam; if
twelve, B. d'Amanlis, Louise Bonne, B. Clairgeau; if fifteen,
Jargonelle, Clapp's Favourite, B. Diel; if twenty, Doyenné Boussoch,
Marie Louise d'Uccle, Maréchal de la Cour; if twenty-three, Glou
Morceau, Winter Nelis, Passe Crassanne; if twenty-six, Comte de Lamy,
Dana's Hovey, Thompson's; if thirty, Doyenné d'Été, Emile d'Heyst,
Baronne de Mello, Easter Beurré or Olivier de Serres.


EXHIBITION PEARS

Size is of importance as well as perfection in every point. Coarse pears
of inferior quality rarely win. Choice must depend on the time of year
when you compete. The same fruits cannot be sent to several shows; they
are certain to be bruised and to suffer in some way. The following are
the chief pears for exhibition:--

[Illustration: PEAR--MARÉCHAL DE LA COUR]

              _August and September._

  Beacon.                    Souvenir du Congrès.
  Flemish Beauty.            Clapp's Favourite.
  Bon Chrétien.              Marguerite Marillat.


           _September and October._

  B. d'Amanlis.              Bonne d'Ezée or Brockworth Park.
  Beurré de l'Assomption.    Triomphe de Vienne.


                  _October._

  B. Hardy.                  Marie Louise d'Uccle.
  D. Boussoch.               B. Superfin.
  Louise Bonne.


             _October and November._

  Beurré Alexandre Lucas.    Maréchal de la Cour.
  Emile d'Heyst.             D. du Comice.
  B. Diel.                   Pitmaston D.
  Beurré Fouqueray.          Magnate.
  Duchesse d'Angoulême.      Conference.
  Durondeau.                 Marie Louise.


            _November and December_.

  Thompson's.                B. Sterkmans.
  Nouveau Poiteau.           B. d'Anjou.
  Princess.                  Glou Morceau.
  Fondante de Thirriott.     General Todleben.
  B. Baltet Père.


                _January, etc._

  Nouvelle Fulvie.           Passe Crassanne.
  Bergamotte Esperen.        President Barabé.
  Olivier de Serres.         Easter Beurré.
  B. Rance.


COOKING PEARS FOR EXHIBITION

             _December and April._

  Uvedale's St Germain.      Bellissime d'Hiver.
  Catillac.                  Directeur Alphand.
  Verulam.

Size is the chief point in cooking pears, then equality of excellence.
Size is produced by careful culture and good feeding in good soil.

The dates above are only approximate.


PEARS FOR APPEARANCE

[Illustration: PEAR--MARGUERITE MARILLAT]

Doyenné Boussoch is perhaps the most handsome of all pears, but does not
last long. Marguerite Marillat (September) is large and handsome, so are
B. Clairgeau, B. Sterkmans, B. Mortillet, Souvenir du Congrès, B. Baltet
Père (very turbinate), B. Giffard, B. Hardy, Louise Bonne, and others.


PEARS FOR QUALITY

Much depends on the season, soil and situation. In a cold season, even
pears of good quality are only fit for cooking. Thus used, they are
often excellent. The sweetest of all pears is Comte de Lamy. Dana's
Hovey (of American origin) is perhaps its equal. D. du Comice, B. Hardy,
Marie Louise, Josephine de Malines, Winter Nelis, Bon Chrétien, B.
Superfin, Thompson's, Fondante d'Automne, are among the best. A warm
autumn makes a vast difference. B. Diel then becomes first rate, so do
Passe Crassanne, Olivier de Serres, Bergamotte Esperen, B. d'Anjou, B.
Sterkmans, and others.


COOKING PEARS

Growers should keep in mind that dessert pears often cook well if
gathered before they are ripe. Stewed pears are excellent food in every
way; pears that do not ripen well can be utilised thus. There are
special sorts pre-eminently good. Verulam and Bellissime d'Hiver, very
fertile as bushes or cordons, keep and cook well. Catillac and Uvedale's
St Germain are very large, the latter often enormous; the fruit
sometimes exceeds 2 lb. if the tree is well fed. The two last are
spreading as bushes, but do well as cordons. Bellissime d'Hiver was the
favourite C. pear of the famous Dr Hogg. Vicar of Winkfield is also
good, but not so lasting. Cooking pears should begin in September and
last until April. B. Clairgeau is regarded by the R.H.S. as a cooking
pear. It is free-bearing and handsome, but not lasting. Directeur
Alphand (new) is described as very large, but needs sun to ripen.


EARLY PEARS

These are not important (except for sale), as so many fruits of other
kinds are usually abundant. Doyenné d'Été is the first in.
Double-grafted on the Quince, it is very fertile. Next comes Citron des
Carmes, a great French favourite. The fruit of this is said to be fine
when the tree is double-grafted. Crawford, a favourite Scotch pear, is
regarded as its superior north of the Tweed. Jargonelle is also a
Scotch favourite, especially in Perth, where every vacant wall space is
said to be soon occupied by this pear. It is grown, too, as a standard
on the free stock, but does not love the Quince. If double-grafted, the
leading shoot pinched as well as the side shoots two or three times in
the season, it will bear well. Beacon and B. Giffard are also August
pears. Later on come Clapp's Favourite, Bon Chrétien, and many others.
Early sorts should be gathered before they are ripe. Mr G. Bunyard
recommends that early pears as well as early apples should be laid in
heaps, covered with nettles or straw, and "sweated," to improve their
appearance. They are said to colour well treated thus.


LATE PEARS

Are often worthless until they are in the kitchen; yet a warm autumn
makes some of them delicious. The best of all is Josephine de Malines.
The tree does well as a standard or bush, and the demand for the fruit
is sometimes great. With care it will last to March. Next comes Winter
Nelis, not so hardy; then follow Nouvelle Fulvie, Madame Millett, Passe
Crassanne, Olivier de Serres, Easter Beurré, and B. Rance. A new sort,
President Barabé, has received a First Class Certificate from the R.H.S.
Late varieties must be allowed on the trees as long as possible, and be
_well_ protected from birds. Great care must be taken in handling and
storing. Bruised pears soon rot.


PEARS FOR COTTAGERS AND SMALL FARMERS

The following were selected in 1892 by the R.H.S. on the advice of forty
experts: _for eating_, Jargonelle, Bon Chrétien, B. d'Amanlis, Louise
Bonne, Durondeau, Marie Louise, D. du Comice, Pitmaston Duchess; _for_
_cooking_, B. Clairgeau, Catillac, Uvedale's St Germain, Verulam. But
Marie Louise is a poor and uncertain bearer.


SYNONYMS

When fruit trees have numerous names, they certainly are popular,
probably good.

Passe Colmar has twenty-eight, chiefly French; grown in a rich warm soil
it is a first-rate dessert pear (November). The tree is vigorous and
makes a good pyramid.

B. Diel has thirteen: among the French it is Beurré Magnifique. It
requires a good season here.

Uvedale's St Germain (Belle Angevine of the French) has twenty-two,
chiefly French. Yet it was raised in 1690 by Dr Uvedale, a Schoolmaster
of Eltham in Kent.

Windsor, a very old English pear, mentioned in 1629, yet of French
origin, has eleven. The fruit is large and greenish-yellow, flushed, but
soon becomes dry and worthless. In good soil it grows and bears well
(August).

White Doyenné has fourteen, a fairly good September and October pear,
rather large, a good bearer, "flesh white, but somewhat acrid and
gritty" (Barron).

Vicar of Winkfield has twelve. A long large fruit often twisted, fairly
good for baking, from November to January, "second rate" (Barron).

B. Rance has six. A long, largish, late pear, sometimes very good.

Wardens, a name given to pears which never melt, are long keeping, and
used for cooking only. The name comes from the Cistercian Abbey of
Warden in Beds. Parkinson's Warden is now Black Worcester. There are
Spanish, White and Red Wardens.

Bishop's Thumb was originally called Bishop's Tongue, It was a
favourite in 1690, and is still a favourite. The tree is hardy and a
good bearer, the fruit long, firm, melting, sweet (October, November).

Brown Beurré has ten; an old favourite, which requires a wall or very
warm site (October).

Chaumontel has nine, requires a very warm climate. Better in Jersey than
in Britain.

[Illustration: PEAR--BEURRÉ DIEL]

Easter Beurré has twenty-two, most of them French. Good if grown in good
soil and in a good season. It does not grow well on the Quince.

Flemish Beauty has seventeen. The fruit is large and sometimes russetty
and flushed crimson; good only when gathered before it is ripe
(September and October).

Louise Bonne has seven. Raised at Avranches in Normandy (1788), it
curiously is called L. B. of Jersey.

Maréchal de la Cour has six, large and good. "One of the finest" (Dr
Hogg).

Napoleon has fourteen. "Second rate" (Barron).

Red Doyenné has eleven, chiefly French. The fruit is superior to White
D. (November).

Glou Morceau has twelve or thirteen, chiefly French. It is excellent in
a warm soil and site (November and December).


PEARS FOR PERRY

Our people are beginning to discover that we can and ought to make as
good Cider and Perry as is made in any country. Mr Radclyffe Cooke in
his "Cider and Perry" gives the following list:--

  _Early Varieties._

  Barland.
  Moorcroft.
  Red Pear.
  Taynton Squash.

  _Midsummer._

  Langland
  Yellow and Black Huffcap.

  _Late._

  Blakeney Red.
  Butt Pear.
  Oldfield.
  Pine Pear.
  Rock Pear.

Sixty varieties appear in the List sent to the Pear Conference of the
R.H.S., October 1885.


GATHERING AND STORING

Mid-Season and late pears should be gathered in dry weather as soon as
they come easily from the tree. Lift gently, and gather by degrees as
the fruits ripen, those on south side first. Use padded baskets, and
treat good fruits with loving care. Beware of piling a large quantity in
one basket, of turning or rolling out instead of handling by the stems.
With high pyramids Heathman's combined ladder-steps may be needed. Pears
should be put away quite dry in a dark and dry place, where the
temperature is as even as outside wooden or other walls, and thatch
above can make it. Perfect and fine fruit should be wrapped in tissue or
other paper and placed singly on shelves or in shallow drawers or boxes.
Boxes are excellent for late fruit. For storing they should be only deep
enough to hold one layer of fruit. Scott recommends clean bran, others
dry silver sand, to put among the fruit so as to absorb any moisture.
The ripening may be hastened by placing the fruit in a gently warmed
room, or on hot water pipes in a greenhouse. "Sorts dry and tough
carefully ripened in warm drawers or on the shelves of a warm cupboard
become deliciously melting and rich. A heat from 60° to 70° is about the
proper temperature" (Scott). Fruit pecked, bruised, or injured in any
way should be kept apart and got rid of without storing. White tissue
paper,[6] glazed on one side, the fruit resting on the glazed side with
another sheet on the top, the glazed side downwards, is useful where a
large amount of fruit is stored on shelves or trays. Orr's Patent Trays,
sold by John P. White, Bedford, are excellent for storing. The trays fit
on each other, and single trays are readily moved, so that the fruit on
each tray can be examined without being handled.


PROTECTION OF FRUIT

As trees must be protected against hares and rabbits, so must fruit be
from other enemies. Birds in some seasons are most destructive,
attacking the finest fruit, pecking a piece out near the stalk. Such
fruit soon decays. Wasps and blue-bottle flies feast on ripe or injured
fruit. Mr Cheal in his "Fruit Culture" recommends that galvanised wire
netting be put over the whole ground. This may do for small plantations,
not for large, nor for places where the trees rise beyond 7 feet. Many
use the Cloister Fruit Protector of perforated celluloid. This protects
peaches, apples, pears, etc., from birds, wasps and snails, but the cost
is heavy. Muslin bags kept carefully from year to year are good. The
fruit rests in them and grows. Nets made in different sizes might be put
over bush trees on stakes. They last if kept dry. The gardener, too,
should have a gun and use it at dawn and daily. Messrs Bunyard recommend
a trap like a lobster pot made by Gilbertson & Page, Hertford, to be
baited with soaked bread. This trap takes birds alive. The house-sparrow
and the bullfinch are the chief, but not the only, enemies. Robins,
hedge-sparrows,[7] etc., might be released. Cut ivy carefully back, and
encourage winter nets and sparrow clubs. Frost is another foe. Cordons
might be protected by hoops covered with tiffany, Russian canvas, mats,
or netting; bushes by nets, mats, etc. A movable coping over a wall is
often useful. But if strong colonies of bees are close at hand, they
will rarely fail to fertilise some blossoms. In fine intervals bees come
out in crowds, and do great good. Queen wasps and wasps' nests should be
sought and destroyed. Country children will find them for a small
reward.


WINTER AND SPRING WASHES

If the fruit-blossoms survive frost, cold winds and rain, enemies of a
different kind await them. It is necessary to spray or wash the trees if
these enemies are to be kept at bay.

1. The following mixture is recommended by the Board of Agriculture: "To
prepare caustic alkali wash, first dissolve 1 lb. of commercial caustic
soda in water, then 1 lb. of crude potash (potashes or pearl ash of
oilmen) in water. When both have been dissolved, mix the two well
together, then add ¾ lb. of soft soap or agricultural treacle, stir
well, and add sufficient water to make up 10 gallons." As the wash has a
burning effect on the hands, the sprayer should wear gloves and be
careful. The Eclair hand-spraying pump, supplied by Clark & Co., 20
Great St Helens, E. C., sends a spray like a mist. The cost is about
35s. We have used it for years, and the same firm repairs it well. This
mixture with us, though easily sprayed, has not been a great success. If
used, it should be applied in February, just before the buds open.

2. The Bordeaux Mixture is used for spraying by some, and is recommended
by Messrs Bunyard. It is a good fungicide as well as insect-enemy. The
following is the receipt: Sulphate of copper 6 lbs., unslaked lime 4
lbs., water 50 gallons.

Dissolve the sulphate of copper in a wooden vessel, pouring in
sufficient water to cover the coarse bag in which the sulphate should
have been placed. Attach the bag by means of a string to a rod placed
across the vessel, and let it hang in the water. In another vessel add
water gradually to the lime until a thick paste is formed; when cool mix
the two together in a third vessel, and add water up to 40, 50 or 60
gallons. If the mixture is properly made, a clean knife blade held for
one minute in the solution should remain unchanged; if coated with
copper, add more lime until no copper adheres to the blade. Stir the
mixture constantly while spraying and use it fresh. Spray the trees when
the buds are first expanding. Messrs Bunyard (Fruit Catalogue, 1901-2)
recommend "6 lbs. of pure sulphate of copper, 4 lbs. fresh unslaked
lime, and 22 gallons of water, the sulphate to be put in a piece of
sacking or light cloth, and hung by a string from the top of a barrel
containing 18 gallons of water, a few inches below the surface so as to
dissolve. Then slack 4 lbs. of fresh lime in as small a quantity of
water as possible, the water being added very slowly, until slaking is
completed; then slowly make up to 4 gallons. When cool, thoroughly stir
and strain slowly the milk of lime into the copper solution, stirring
well while mixing for another minute or two; it is then fit for use as a
winter spray. It should be used when freshly made, (_a_) Apply before
buds start to all fruit trees with the 22 gallons mixture. This can be
diluted to a 30, 50 or 60 gallons mixture for spring or summer use.
(_b_) Spray again just as the petals drop with the 60 gallons mixture.
If made and applied as above (within ten or twenty hours) it adheres
closely to the wood and foliage; treacle need not be added." This
adhesion is of vast importance, as lime is abhorred by stem-borers
(_e.g._, the goat and leopard moths) as well as by all insects. The
double application of lime is also helpful. In the United States Paris
Green is sometimes added, and is no doubt useful; the proportion must be
very small.

3. For many years I have painted my trees in winter with the following
mixture: one bushel of lime, half a bushel of soot, a quart of paraffin,
a pail of cow dung, a pail of clay; melted grease is sometimes added,
and the whole worked into a paint and then put on the trees. Treacle
might be substituted for the cow dung and grease. This has proved a
valuable preventive. The lime and soot gradually falling off, leave the
bark clean, and enrich the soil below. But painting is a much longer
process than spraying with (1) or (2). Apples have subsequently been
sprayed with Paris Green, and pears might also be.


INSECT ENEMIES

1. The pear oyster scale is very injurious, especially on walls, if not
checked at an early stage. The covering of the female is like a small
oyster scale, hence the name. Scrape off any rough bark in winter, and
apply the alkali or one of the other washes as a preventive. In May and
June affected parts might be brushed with ¼ lb. of soft soap in a
gallon of water. Tobacco or lime water might also be applied. Paraffin
largely diluted may be used, but is dangerous in excess. Messrs Rivers
in "The Miniature Fruit Garden" (p. 144) say: "Washing the parts
affected with a mixture of soot, lime and sulphur will remove the
roughness and restore the tree to health; the above mixed with skim milk
is more enduring." As a believer from experience in soot and lime, I
prefer this receipt, if the trees were not washed in winter.

2. The Blister Moth makes brown blisters on the leaves. It may be kept
from laying eggs on the tree by syringing occasionally with soap-suds.
Spraying with Paris Green just after the fruit is formed will do good.
Half an ounce of best paste to 10 or 12 gallons of water, with some
fresh lime added, will suffice for small gardens. Spray only in fine
weather just after the petals have fallen. Paris Green is arsenic, and
may poison bees if used too soon. The sprayer should avoid breathing
over the mixture when making it up, should use gloves, work from
windward, and not allow any spray to reach his flesh. A second spraying
for this and other insects is often useful. Blundell, Spence & Co.
(Ltd.), Hull, supply good paste. Price ½ lb. 1s., less for larger
quantities. See also No. 3.

3. The Pear Leaf Mite causes small blisters on the leaves, but not the
tunnels or galleries of the Blister Moth. It winters in the bud scales,
and emerges in the spring. If the trees are washed and syringed, the
attacks will be lessened. In (2) and (3) collect the blistered leaves as
soon as seen, burn them and spray or syringe at once.

Miss Ormerod recommends a dilute paraffin emulsion sprayed over infested
leaves. Dissolve ¼ lb. of soft soap in a gallon of water, add this
while boiling to two gallons of paraffin, churn the whole with syringe
or small pump for ten or fifteen minutes to make a perfect mixture. For
spraying add 12 gallons of water to each gallon of the emulsion. Stir
well while spraying, and try the mixture on a branch or two lest it be
too strong; if so, add more water. This emulsion is good for the Blister
Moth and the Slug-worm.

4. The Slug-worm is so called from the similarity of the larva of this
sawfly to a small black slug. The worms feed on the upper surface of the
leaves. Dust with quick lime two or three days in succession, or syringe
with strong soap-suds and some tobacco water. Clean with pure water in a
few days. The paraffin emulsion (No. 3) might also be used. Quick-lime
scattered around the roots and forked three or four inches into the soil
may destroy their cocoons. But beware of excess. The remedy may be worse
than the disease.

Insects that attack leaves will also eat the skin of the young fruits if
conveniently placed for them.

5. The Pear Sucker is a jumping plant-louse which early in the season
sucks the juices of the tree about the axils of the leaves. They are
covered with the exudations of the sap, which often drops on the ground.
The visits of the ants should call attention to this pest. Syringe well
with soft soap and water, ½ lb. to 4 gallons, and add tobacco water.
Remove all rough bark (their hiding-places) in winter.

6. The Pear Gnat Midge (_Diplosis pyrivora_) may readily ruin a crop if
unchecked. It is a recent importation among us. Both here and in the
United States it is spreading with alarming rapidity. It is a small
two-winged fly, with a black body having lines of yellow hair. The
female pierces the flower-buds and lays her eggs in them. These soon
hatch, and the young tiny grubs eat their way into the embryo fruit,
keeping to the fleshy part, leaving the core and seeds alone. The pears
turn brown, and then black. Cut them open, you will notice maggots. The
fruit bursts or falls, the maggots form silken cocoons in the soil in
which they pupate, and remain till the blossoms begin to expand next
spring. Mr J. Fraser (editor of _Gardening World_) has kindly sent these
details, and recommends (1) that the injured fruit be gathered and
burnt; (2) that two inches of the ground beneath the trees should be
taken up and burnt; (3) that kainit should be distributed round the
trees in autumn. Kainit is said to keep off wireworm, and is recommended
in the United States as a preventive against this pest. I think the
mixture No. 2 or No. 3 should also be used, as insects may be deterred
by the scent. Lime and soot spread over the ground in winter would
probably do good.

7. Weevils devour leaves, buds, young shoots, even the skin of fruit.
They feed by night, and may be shaken into a cloth off bushes. Lime and
soot may lessen their attacks, either as a wash No. 2 or 3, or spread
lightly round the stems, or as a powder over the leaves.

A special bellows for distributing any dry powder (as sulphur, lime,
soot, etc.) can be had from De Luzy Fréres, 44A Harold Street,
Camberwell. The price is 7s. 6d., carriage paid.

As a general rule insecticides should be applied in the evening or after
the sun is down. Early and late visits to the trees are best for finding
them feeding.

8. _Wasps_, after a dry spring, may be very numerous. Their nests often
hold many thousands. Large numbers may be destroyed thus: place a
hand-light upon bricks, make a small hole in the top of this, and over
it put a sound and closely-fitting one. Fruit cut open should be thrown
beneath the lower light. The wasps often go up through the hole, and do
not return. Their buzzing attracts others. Destroy by burning sulphur
beneath, or by drowning. A glass destroyer on a similar principle is
sold in china-shops. Open-mouthed bottles filled with beer sweetened or
water sweetened with treacle will lure many to destruction. Queen wasps
in spring and wasp-nests must be noticed and destroyed. Fasten a piece
of cloth soaked in a solution of cyanide of potassium (a small quantity
dissolved in hot water), and put it in the nest; all the wasps will be
killed. Dig out the grubs. This is a deadly poison, and should be
handled only by an expert. The emanation from the solution must not be
breathed. Tar does almost as well. A nest may be partly dug and flooded
at night. A clean wine bottle (half-filled with water) inserted in the
place of the nest (the top of the neck level with the surface of the
ground) will probably capture all stragglers. Some make a heap of
injured fruit and syringe the wasps with nicotine soap, eight ounces to
a gallon of hot or cold water. This plan kills quickly, but the fruit no
longer attracts. Squibs a half-inch in diameter, three inches long, made
of gunpowder moistened with water, one-fourth of flowers of sulphur
added, mixed into a paste, wrapped in brown paper, and tied at one end,
are good for the work. After dark, light the squib, push the lighted end
into the hole, put a sod over, and ram it in to confine the fumes. In a
few minutes dig up and destroy the grubs, then fill up the hole. If the
nest is high up, attach the squib to a stick, light, and keep it close
(while burning) to the entrance. Young gardeners enjoy this squibbing
process.

[Illustration: FAN-SHAPED PEAR TREE, ONE YEAR AFTER GRAFTING, SHOWING
THE LENGTH OF RESULTING SHOOTS]


THINNING FRUIT

If you wish for fine fruit or a crop every year, trees must not be
overworked, especially in their earlier days. Thin whenever there is a
large crop, but do not begin too soon, as some fruits are not fully
fertilised, and may fall. Never let fruits touch each other. As the
fruits mature, give any grub-eaten to the pigs, and use inferior pears
for cooking purposes. Grub-eaten fruit must not lie on the ground.


SUMMER, WINTER, BRANCH AND ROOT PRUNING; LIFTING

Summer pruning rests chiefly on the principle that the trees should
always be open more or less while in leaf to the sun, the light, and the
air. So cut out _at any time_ branches that crowd the tree or threaten
to cross other boughs. Cut from below, so as not to tear bark away.
Pears do not bleed from being cut. In July, when the growing time is
almost over, cut back to six or seven leaves any strong shoots springing
from a main branch, or in cordons, from the stem. If they shoot again,
they should again be stopped. In late autumn or winter look over the
trees, reduce the shoots to two or three eyes, taking care not to remove
bloom buds. Early in the summer, and at any time, remove from the trunk
and boughs any shoots threatening to crowd or shade the centre. Keep the
tree (especially the centre) open to sun and light. Even large standards
are improved by summer pruning. Tree-pruners should be used where the
shoots are out of hand-reach. Root pruning is also essential in strong
soils where trees are too rank in growth and produce wood rather than
fruit. Trees of all kinds may be root pruned with advantage in such
soils, and also where the lower soil is bad. Open a trench 20, 30 or 40
inches from the stem (according to size of tree) until the coarse roots
are reached. One-third the distance from the stem that the trees are in
height is a rule suggested by a recent writer.[8] Cut back such roots
with a sharp knife; drive the spade under the stem (if possible) to cut
the tap roots, and any others going downwards. Open a trench half round
one year, and if necessary attack the other half next year. Be careful
not to prune too hard at first, or to injure the fibres. Begin in
mid-October. If the ground below is very dry, give warm or rain water.
Fruit blooms will probably appear next autumn. If young trees grow very
luxuriantly, they may be lifted at the end of October with advantage.
Cut the tap root and replant at once. Exposure of the roots is dangerous
to vitality. Persons who prune their trees only in winter usually grow
wood rather than fruit.


MARKETING AND PACKING

Marketing depends greatly on the neighbourhood. Colour, size and quality
ensure a sale everywhere, but only a constant supply of good fruit will
attract retail dealers or the London salesmen. Poor stuff will not sell
at a good market. The early fruits may be sent in flats (with tops) lent
by the salesmen. But these are often lost and involve trouble and
expense. Non-returnable boxes to contain half a bushel or a bushel are
now in use, but such boxes are too large for the better fruits.
Californian pears come to us in good condition in boxes containing each
a few dozen fruits, each fruit being separately packed in tissue paper.
French pears are also sent in boxes evenly graded and packed in one,
two, or three layers. Small boxes bought by the gross are not dear. The
following list is taken from Watson, vol. v. p. 369.

                                                  Gross.
  Length.           Width.          Depth.        S.   D.

  11-½ in.         10-½ in.        7-½ in.        32   6
  15    "           6    "         7-½  "         31   6
  15    "          11    "         7    "         50   0
  15    "          13    "         4    "         53   6
  16    "           8    "         4    "         28   6

                                             --BLACKNELL.

In the larger boxes, strong paper should be put round inside to prevent
bruising. All fruit, however sent, should be even in size, of good
quality, not diseased or bruised. Pears are more attractive when well
packed than apples. Placed with their heads against the two opposite
sides in two rows with the stems toward each in a box of suitable size,
they may be made to fit closely so as to travel safely. The better and
later sorts should be bedded in wood-wool and wrapped in tissue paper,
white or coloured, with a sheet of paper between each layer, and the
whole firmly packed. Loose fruit are sure to suffer. The contents of
each box must be made so firm as not to be moved in the slightest
degree. The G.E. and other railway companies provide cheap boxes of a
suitable size and allow similar boxes also to be used if nailed. They
must not be corded. Wire hinges and a fastening in front have been
suggested. Nos. 3, 4 and 5 (G.E.R.), 2s. 6d., 3s., and 4s. per dozen are
the best sizes. They will hold 18 to 24 fruits. On G.E.R. 20 lbs. can be
sent for 4d. to London; 1d. extra is charged for every additional 5
lbs.; delivery is included. Such boxes could be readily stamped with the
grower's name. The companies assist growers by publishing the names of
those who have produce to sell.


PEARS IN AN UNHEATED ORCHARD HOUSE

With skill and care pears may be successfully grown in an unheated
orchard house. They may have apples for their companions, but not
cherries, peaches, plums or apricots. The most convenient house is a
span-roof from 20 to 24 feet wide, 10 to 12 feet high to the ridge of
the roof, and 4-½ to 6 feet at the sides. Ventilators should run round
the sides 18 inches wide, and hinged at bottom; the top ventilators
should be 3 feet wide by 15 inches, 7-½ feet apart, on alternate sides
of the ridge (Mr T. Somers Rivers, in _Royal Horticultural Journal_,
vol. xxv., parts i., ii.). A good length for this breadth is 50 to 60
feet. A half-inch wire protection over the ventilators and an inner
wired door may be as necessary (as a protection against birds), as it is
for cherries. There should be a path made hard with clay and gravel
through the centre. Some advise a concrete floor; others prefer to
plunge their pots inside as well as out. A lean-to house from 6 to 9
feet wide against a south wall may be of great service. Cordons can be
grown on the wall, or planted outside and trained indoors, like vines,
near the glass. Trees in pots can also be placed there. With either
house, some ground to which the trees in pots can be removed when all
danger from frost is over is required. It should be warm and well
sheltered. Maiden plants may be put into 8 or 10-inch pots in September,
and cut back later on, but time is saved by purchasing older trees of
nurserymen; 15 to 18-inch pots will be needed in a few years. If there
is a concrete floor, the pots must be raised on bricks, that surplus
water may pass off. If the pots are plunged, care must be taken that the
water can run away. In June take them into the open air, plunge them in
the ground within three inches of the rim, to keep them warm and moist,
and to protect the trees from the wind. After the fruit is gathered,
the trees should as a rule be repotted. Prepare a fresh pot with broken
flints, etc., at the bottom, place a piece of turf on them, next a
handful of soot, and some fine soil on that. Have ready some new soil
made chiefly of good turfy loam, to which old mortar rubbish or road
scrapings, wood ashes, guano, and bone-dust have previously been added.
The whole should be well mixed. Then take the tree out with a ball of
earth, remove the soil all round the ball with a pointed stick, shorten
the rootlets around, and cut any coarse roots away with sharp pruning
scissors. Place the topmost roots an inch and a half below the rim, then
shake this compost among the roots, finally ramming the soil hard down
into the pot. In two or three days soak the ball with rain or warm
water. The trees are better in the house until re-established. Sprinkle
the leaves daily with soft water. Close and keep the house moist. The
pots can then be taken out and plunged once more. The house will
probably be wanted. They must be carefully protected in severe weather;
place ashes, earth, or manure around them. Another plan is to lay the
pots on the ground and cover them with mats. Take them back to the house
before the buds begin to move. Shape the trees in winter, and summer
prune as may be necessary. They require syringing as well as rich
feeding when carrying a crop. A mixture of poultry droppings or night
soil (half a barrowful) added to the same amount of sifted soil and of
wood ashes, with a peck of soot and a peck of bone dust, all made into a
compost a few days before use, is a strong surface-dressing. A layer
half an inch thick when the fruit is swelling should be given two or
three times, and be watered down with a fine rose. Messrs Bunyard
recommend cow manure mixed with malt combings, and (as an artificial)
sulphate of ammonia.

Liquid manure (not strong nor cold) must also be given two or three
times a week. The fruit must be thinned, and the trees never
over-cropped. Large trees in 16 or 18-inch pots need the annual renewal
of the soil rather than repotting. The flowers should be fertilised by
the admission of bees, by shaking the trees in fine weather about
mid-day, or by passing a light brush gently over the blooms from flower
to flower. Change of diet as well as air, and frequent syringing with
clear water (say Messrs Bunyard) are very necessary ("Modern Fruit
Culture," p. 23). But a dry atmosphere is best when pear and plum trees
are in flower. Syringing in the open air is good for all trees in dry
weather after the fruit has set. The following is a good wash to be
applied when the trees are brought into the house in January or
February. Put a peck of fresh soot into a coarse sack, and hang it in a
tub containing 30 or 40 gallons of water; leave it there for eight or
ten days; then remove it and throw in half a peck of fresh lime. Mix
well, then take off the surface scum. A decoction of quassia made by
boiling 2 or 3 ozs. of chips to a gallon of water for twenty-five or
thirty minutes (or steeped in soft water for twenty-four hours) added to
the above is a useful insecticide. Syringe with this before the buds
appear, but not again until the fruit is set, then once a week, or
oftener, as occasion may require.

_N. B._--Never repot until you have learnt that the ball and roots of
the tree are thoroughly moist. Soak the ball, if necessary, for twenty
minutes. In surface-dressing leave a space near the tree open, that you
may see what water is wanted. Never give _strong_ liquid manure. As
severe frosts and dull weather sometimes occur in March when the trees
are in bloom, some hot-water pipes (two rows of 4-inch) may be added if
means allow. A span-roof house should run north and south. Only the
choicest sorts should be deemed worthy of a house, such as Bon Chrétien,
Souvenir du Congrès, B. Brown, B. Superfin, Louise Bonne, B. Hardy,
Maréchal de la Cour, Marie Louise, D. du Comice, Josephine de Malines,
Winter Nelis, Passe Crassanne, Bergamotte Esperen, and others.

[Illustration: ESPALIER TRAINED TREE CUT BACK FOR GRAFTING--THE GRAFTS
INSERTED AND CLAYED OVER]


OLD STANDARDS

Old Standards that have ceased to produce good fruit should be cut down
to within a few feet of the stem. The young wood will soon bear better
quality. The trunk should be well cleaned and washed.


IRRIGATION

Wherever possible, irrigation should be applied in dry weather. An
aero-motor pump or engine of some kind may raise the water to a tank. It
should be allowed to run over the ground for some distance to be warmed
and aerated. Apply in strong soil only when the growing season is over.


LABELS

Labels add greatly to the interest and pleasure of a garden. Acme labels
are popular. Those sent out by John Smith, Label Factory,
Stratford-on-Avon, are also good. They may be attached by his copper
wire, but those of the form of the rose labels with the name affixed at
the top of a long spike are less likely to be lost.


AMERICAN PEARS

The chief pear in the States is the Bartlett, corresponding with our Bon
Chrétien. A schoolmaster named Wheeler, of Aldermaston (Berks), raised
it about 1770. A nurseryman named Williams brought it out. In 1799 one
Enoch Bartlett, of Dorchester, near Boston (U.S.), introduced it into
America, and now it is cultivated so widely that it is on sale for three
or four months in the year, and exported also to England. Seckle, a good
October pear, but small, we have from the States; the original tree is
said to be near Philadelphia, about 100 years old. Clapp's Favourite
(August) comes from Dorchester, Massachusetts; Dana's Hovey, "a
veritable sweetmeat" (November and January), also comes from the same
State. It is sometimes called Winter Seckle. Most of our good sorts are
grown in the U.S., and Californian pears are now coming to us in great
quantities. They are sent in wooden boxes, properly graded and packed.
Every fruit is in paper, with the name of the grower on it, and the name
of the variety on each box. The excellent quality and careful packing
ensure a good demand at a high price. Good American sorts are Lawson or
Comet, Block's Acme, Sugar Pear, Bloodgood, and others. Our growers may
learn a useful lesson from Californian pears in the London market.


NOTES ON VARIETIES

Emile d'Heyst is said to be equal to Marie Louise in quality, to be
hardier, and to be a better bearer. It is not a grand grower on the
Quince, nor does the fruit keep long (October, November).

Althorp Crassanne is often a first-rate pear. Mr Knight (very eminent a
century ago) called it the best of all. It lasts from October to
December. The tree is hardy, and a good bearer, but the fruit is hardly
large enough for exhibition.

Brockworth Park, almost identical with Bonne d'Ezée, was once a pear of
great repute, being large and showy, but the flesh is coarse
(November).

B. Bosc is largely grown in Kent as a market pear. It succeeds on a
chalky, warm soil. It is sometimes "first rate," Barron (October,
November).

Beurré Mortillet (new) (D. G., _i.e._ Double Grafted) is a large and
handsome September pear; gather before it is ripe.

Conference (Rivers), comparatively new, is large, handsome, and a good
bearer, but not first rate (November).

Fondante de Thirriott, or Thiriot (new), grows and bears freely, fruit
large and good. "First quality," Barron (November and December).

Madame Treyve is a good September pear, red and yellow, in chalky soil.
It bears freely, but is not first rate.

Bon Chrétien should be gathered gradually before it is ripe, and laid on
the shelves. It is said that you must sit up all night to eat it just at
the right time.

D. du Comice is regarded as the best all round Dessert pear grown. Marie
Louise is tender and unreliable. Thompson's, some think, the best for
flavour. It is smaller, and bears best on the Pear Stock.

Marie Benoist is recommended in many lists as a good late pear, but my
experience has not been favourable. It is late and large when it bears.

General Todleben is large and handsome, but usually only fit for cooking
(October and November).

Princess (new) is a late Louise Bonne, large and good; the tree bears
well.

Beurré or Doyenné Sterkmans is a medium-sized, late pear (December,
January, February), flushed bright red on one side; "second rate,"
Barron.

Beurré de Jonghe is a good Christmas Pear, but a slow grower, and needs
a wall or orchard house.

Beurré Bachelier is large, handsome, a good bearer, but quite second
rate (November).

Hacon's Incomparable is large and handsome, but second rate (November).

Swan's Egg was a popular pear fifty years ago for market, as the tree is
hardy, bears well, and the fruit is good, but rather small (October).

Noveau Poiteau is a good exhibition pear, of vigorous growth, and bears
well; the fruit is excellent but does not keep well (November).

Pitmaston Duchess is an increasingly popular pear for market. It is very
large, and on a cordon often handsome; in warm seasons of good quality,
golden yellow when ripe. Bush trees on Quince bear well (October,
November).

Duchesse d'Angoulême was a great favourite formerly, the tree growing
and bearing well. Fruit often very large, but coarse and gritty. Crossed
with Glou Morceau it has given us a child Pitmaston superior to the
parents.

Josephine de Malines is pronounced by Mr Barron to be "always good."
Hardy, and bears well on Quince (January-April).

Fouqueray is a large, good pear, an improved B. Bachelier (October).

B. Hardy is a great favourite with birds; they prefer and peck the best
fruit.

B. Alexandre Lucas is large and handsome; pyriform, the tree is a good
grower (October, November).

Triomphe de Vienne is a large and handsome September pear tree (D. G.),
grows and bears well, comparatively new.

Marguerite Marillat, a very large, handsome September pear, bears well:
comparatively new.

Michaelmas Nelis is a new variety, of which a specimen fruit has just
been sent me by Messrs Bunyard. It is as delicious as the Winter Nelis
pear (December and January).


RECEIPTS (from Cassell's "Dictionary of Cookery," slightly
abridged)

1. _To bake Pears._--Rub half-a-dozen large hard pears with a soft
cloth. Put them on a buttered baking tin into a slow oven, and let them
bake gently for five or six hours. When tender, they are done enough,
and are excellent if eaten with sugar. Probably cost 4d. Sufficient for
three or four persons.

2. _Another way._--Pare very smoothly a dozen large baking pears. Halve
them, take out the cores, put them side by side into a well-brightened
block-tin saucepan with a closely fitting cover. Pour over as much cold
water as will cover them, add the thin rind of a small lemon, a
tablespoonful of strained lemon juice, an inch of stick cinnamon, and
fifteen grains of allspice. Put on cover, place the dish in a gentle
oven, let it remain until the pears are tender, add a little white wine
if liked. If such a saucepan is used, no cochineal will be needed. Time
to bake six hours. Probable cost 1s. 8d. Sufficient for eight or ten
persons.

_To Preserve Pears._--Gather the pears before they are quite ripe, pare,
halve, core and weigh them, put into a deep jar, allowing 3 lbs. of
sugar to every 4 lbs. of pears, and just enough water to moisten the
sugar, and to keep the fruit from burning. The strained juice and
thinly-pared rind of a lemon and an inch of whole ginger may be put with
every 2 lbs. of pears. Place the jar in a saucepan of boiling water, and
let the fruit steam gently for six or seven hours. Turn it into jars,
and at once fasten these down securely, and store in a dry, cool place.
Two or three drops of cochineal added to the pears after they are cooked
improve their appearance. Pears preserved thus will not probably keep
good more than three or four months. Probable cost 8d. per lb.

_Pears Preserved, Red._--If in preserving pears it is wished to give a
deep pink tinge to the fruit and syrup, use a perfectly bright block-tin
saucepan. If this is not convenient, add three or four drops of
cochineal to the syrup or a small proportion of Red Currant or Red
Gooseberry juice.

_Pears Stewed._--Pare, core, and halve eight or ten good-sized pears,
leaving on the stalks or not, according to taste; put them into a tinned
saucepan, with 6 ozs. of loaf sugar, 6 cloves, 6 whole allspice, ¾ of
a pint of water, and a glassful of port (?). Let them boil as gently as
possible until quite soft but not broken. Lift them out, put them on a
glass dish, and when the syrup is cold, strain it over them. Some cream
or custard added is a great improvement. Time to stew the pears from
two-and-a-half to three hours. Probable cost 1s. 4d. Sufficient for five
or six persons.

For Compôte of Pears, Pears Frosted and Iced, Pears Pickled, and other
such receipts, see same dictionary.

For another method of preserving, see plums.

_To Preserve Pears_ (from an old author).--Pare them very thinly and
simmer in a thin syrup; let them lie a day or two in the syrup. Make the
syrup richer, and simmer again, and repeat this process till they are
clear; then drain and dry them in the sun or a cool oven a very little
time. They may be kept in syrup, which makes them more moist and rich,
and dried as wanted. Jargonelles are said to be the best for this
purpose.

_To Bake Pears._--These need not be of a fine sort; but some taste
better than others, and often those that are least fit to eat raw are
best for baking. Wipe, but _do not_ pare, and lay them on tin plates,
and bake in a slow oven. When soft enough to bear pressure, flatten them
with a silver spoon. When done thorough, put them on a dish. They should
be baked three or four times, and very gently.

_To Stew Pears._--Pare, halve or quarter large pears, according to their
size; throw them into water, as the skin is taken off, before they are
divided to prevent them turning black. Pack them round a block tin
stewpan, and sprinkle as much sugar over as will make them pretty sweet;
add lemon-peel, a clove or two, and some allspice cracked; just cover
them with water, and add a little red wine. Cover them close and stew
three or four hours; when tender, take them out, and strain the liquor
over them.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] _See_ Cheal, "Fruit Culture," p. 8.

[2] Rivers.

[3] See an excellent article on Pears in new edition of Thompson's
"Gardeners' Assistant," by R. L. C.

[4] See elaborate account in the "Watson's G.'s Assistant," vol. iv. p.
116.

[5] See "Miniature Fruit Garden," p. 64.

[6] See Watson, vol. v., "Storing."

[7] Hedge-sparrow smaller, duller in colour, eggs bluish green, builds
in hedges; house-sparrow, eggs white, with brown spots, nests in trees
and buildings.

[8] John Wright, "Profitable Fruit Growing."



PLUMS AND DAMSONS


What is the finest fruit in the world? The secretary and the
superintendent of the R.H.S. (in vol. xxvi., parts ii. and iii. of the
_Journal of the R.H.S._) agree in thinking that Goldoni, a yellow
nectarine raised from a peach by the late Francis Rivers is, when
properly ripened, without exception, the finest fruit in the world. It
has not been my privilege to taste it, yet I venture to think that a
thoroughly ripened plum of one of the best varieties must come near it.
The incessant demand for greengages is a testimony to the popularity of
the plum as a dessert fruit. Next to the apple, it is the most useful of
our fruits.


ORIGIN OF THE PLUM

Eminent botanists are of opinion that our plums and damsons have had
their origin in the _Prunus Communis_ found in various parts of Europe
and Asia, but others consider that the _Prunus Domestica_ is the parent
of the majority. Mr A. H. Pearson of Chilwell, Nott. (_v. Journal of the
R.H.S._, vol. xxi. part ii.), thinks that "the blood" of more than one
species is found in the plums of the present day, as varieties closely
resembling one another demand different stocks for their well-being when
propagated by grafting. The cherry plum is _Prunus myrobalana_, and of
this species there are several varieties, as St Etienne, Mirabelle
Précoce, _i.e._ the Early Mirabelle, Mirabelle Petite, and others.
Rivers' Early Prolific is said to be of the same race.

The Bullace is classed by some botanists under the _Prunus Instititia_,
and they place the damson in the same species, but the latter is round,
the former oval. The damson, a small plum, may be safely classed with
the _Prunus Communis_. It derives its name from the city of Damascus.
Damascena is the word used in Pliny for the district round Damascus, and
damson originally meant the Damascus plum. The Chinese have for
centuries cultivated plums, and in the United States plums from Japan
are coming rapidly into use, and appear to be more successful there than
in the British Isles. We find the word _prunum_, a plum, in Vergil,
Ovid, Martial, and other Roman writers. _Prunus_, a plum tree, is
derived directly from the Greek; _prunus silvestris_, in Columella and
Pliny, is supposed to mean the black thorn or sloe tree. These
illustrations prove that the plum has been known for ages, and that its
value is recognised in every part of the world. Our word plum is plainly
derived from the Latin (probably through the Anglo-Saxon), and the word
prune is almost identical with _prunum_.


SOIL AND SITUATION

The plum is not so particular as the pear about soil, yet it has its
preferences. It is not so deep-rooting as the apple and pear are; the
character therefore of the lower soil is not so important. But
stone-fruits require lime. In planting for profit, no site should be
selected for a large plantation if the soil is deficient in lime. It is
true that lime can be added, but this plan may suit a private garden,
not a large plantation for profit. The plum being hardier than the pear
will flourish in most soils, even in a heavy loam, but not in light
sandy or gravelly soil. In the latter case, something may be done by
heavy manuring and frequent removal. The trees in the R.H.S.'s garden
at Chiswick are a triumph of skilful culture, as good crops are raised
on many trees in a hot and gravelly soil. Some damsons, however, do not
thrive there. But such culture is costly. In soils of an intermediate
character, much may be done by adding other materials as suggested for
pears. If there is any doubt about the amount of lime in the soil, an
analysis should be obtained, and special notice taken of the trees in
the neighbourhood. The plum (like the pear) will not thrive in a low,
wet, undrained locality, nor in one that is very dry or exposed.
Drainage is essential to success. If, in a rainy season, water in a clay
soil is allowed to remain round the roots, canker or gumming is pretty
sure to follow. Excessive moisture is as bad as extreme dryness. The
slope of the ground, therefore, is a matter of importance. In Essex
there is often land quite level with a heavy clay soil difficult to
drain; such soil would not suit plums, though it might suit quinces. The
aspect as well as the slope must also be considered. For the better
class of plums, _i.e._ dessert varieties, where sweetness is expected, a
position open to the southern sun is best, but they will also thrive if
the aspect is S.-E. or even S.-W. Culinary and hardy varieties might be
planted in the colder aspects to the N., N.-E. or N.-W. Proper shelter
must by no means be forgotten. Bitter north winds may injure the bloom
almost as much as frost or rain; strong winds from the E. or S.-W. may
do great damage to heavy crops. Mr Lewis Castle in "Plums for Profit"
(edited by myself, S.P.C.K.) suggests that "Canadian and Italian poplars
make a good break if tall growers are required, but cherry plums, the
myrobalan, will grow into a strong hedge in two or three years' time if
the height be sufficient." Damson hedges serve a double purpose and
afford good protection. He also suggests that some of the ornamental
crabs are similarly useful for protection. Of these the Transcendant
and Hyslop or Dartmouth produce good crops of lovely fruit which are
excellent for cooking purposes and would probably sell well.


PROPAGATION AND STOCKS

The usual method of propagation is by budding and grafting. The stocks
on which the different varieties are grafted are raised from stones. Mr
Pearson states that six kinds of stocks are used in the best
nurseries--_i.e._ the common plum, the Brussels, the Mussel, the
Brompton, the Damas Noir or St Julien, and the Myrobalan. The secret of
success is to work the stock with a variety which is of common
parentage. Nearly all plums will grow upon the common plum stock, though
some of them thrive much better upon other stocks. Prince Englebert and
Diamond flourish upon Mussel, but not upon the Brompton. Belgian Purple
will not grow upon either Brussels or common plum, but succeeds upon
Damas Noir, Mussel, or Myrobalan. The accurate knowledge required points
to the wisdom of purchasing trees only from nurserymen who make such
trees a specialty.

The late Archdeacon Lea in his excellent book "Small Farms" dwells
strongly on the folly of buying cheap stuff. Trees on unsuitable stocks
or not true to name bring bitter disappointment after a few years.
"Never purchase trees because they are cheap. Visit the nurseries, and
pick out trees with clean healthy bark, even though they are smaller
than others." If you cannot go or send a reliable man, write in good
time and get an early choice. Select and accept only young trees not
more than two or three years' old. Budded trees are better than those
grafted, as a general rule, the union being better; indeed grafting is
usually adopted because budding has failed. In trees that have been
budded, there will probably be less gumming.


PLANTING

Planting is a matter of supreme importance, but the rules for pears and
plums are very much the same. Especial care must be taken if the soil is
heavy and loaded with moisture. Put the trees on arrival in a trench
(see before), and wait until the ground is fit and the soil as fine as
possible so that the roots may run freely through it. Get the stakes
ready and place them in position before planting. Bind the tree, if
tall, at once when planted to the stake by soft willow twigs or other
means, taking every care that the bark is not rubbed by the stake. Old
cloth or carpet may be used for this purpose, tarred twine or cord being
passed round it. Dry stakes well tarred, often last as long as they are
needed.


WHAT IS YOUR OBJECT?

What is your object? Before choosing varieties, or planting, it is
advisable to ask yourself, what is my object? On the answer the form of
plantation and the choice of trees must depend. If for a private house
only, the answer is easy. Then comes the question, Is there a wall, and
if so, what is the soil and the aspect? Is there an Orchard House? If
for market, for what market are you preparing? In the Midlands, the
Pershore (= Gisborne's) is a great favourite; in London, the Early
Orleans and the Egg Plum; in the North, the Black Diamond, the Wydale
and others. In planting damsons the same question should be put. The
Midland people won't have the Farleigh Prolific so popular in Kent, and
they are right; the Shropshire folks think their damson the best of all
and many agree with them. Are you near a jam factory? What plums do they
desire or require? Local circumstances and wants should have great
weight. If you are near a wood and birds are numerous, you may be wise
in not growing greengages, yet otherwise they may be the best sort for a
large outlay as the demand for them is universal.


PLUMS FOR A PRIVATE GARDEN

Let us suppose that the soil is fairly good; the choice of trees is not
difficult. We have a selection made in 1892 by a committee of the
R.H.S., consisting of forty experts, and their choice has been confirmed
in a remarkable degree by a report of the trial of plums at the Chiswick
Garden of the R.H.S. in 1901. At this trial on a soil that in a good
year is said to suit them generally, ninety-five varieties were tested,
and a good account was given of the following ten:--

Plums for Eating.

_Rivers' Early Transparent Gage._--"Green or greenish yellow, flushed
with red, the finest early dessert plum, a good cropper, habit bushy,
compact, vigorous."--R.[9] August 21.

_Dennistoun's Superb Gage._--"Green and of greengage flavour, a
first-rate dessert variety, of exquisite flavour, cropping well as a
bush tree in the open air, habit erect, compact, vigorous."--R. August
26.

_Jefferson's._--"Fruit larger than the two former, yellow, covered with
small red dots, habit erect, compact, very vigorous, the best 'all
round' table kind, succeeds in every form."--R. September 6.

In the list of 1892 _Belgian Purple_ was named as a plum for eating, but
it is only fit for the table in warm seasons, "dark purple, of medium
size, bears well, habit erect, compact, vigorous."--R. August 19.


Plums for Cooking.

[Illustration: PLUM--RIVERS' EARLY PROLIFIC]

_Rivers' Early Prolific_, a dark purple fruit, rather small but one
which comes in early so that it is often first in the market; thus the
tree has time to rest and recover before winter. "A very early and
valuable cooking plum; of fair quality for dessert, a great and constant
bearer." The tree does not thrive everywhere, nor is it very
vigorous.--R. July 23.

[Illustration: PLUM--CZAR]

_Rivers' Czar._--"Dark red or purple, of medium size, very good bearer,
habit erect, compact, vigorous."--R. August 2.

_Victoria_, "Fruit large and bright red, very heavy cropper, the most
popular plum and best for general purposes."--R. August 22.

_Cox's Emperor_, or Denbigh, or Denbigh Seedling, "a large dark red of
the Orleans type, habit erect, compact, vigorous, a very good free
bearing plum that always cooks well."--R. August 22.

_Gisborne's_ (like Pershore), "Fruit deep yellow, rather large, habit
erect, compact, vigorous, a great bearer."--Early September.

_Rivers' Monarch_, "Fruit large, bluish-purple, the best late C.
(Cooking) plum, habit rather diffuse and vigorous."--R. September 13.

These ten varieties have borne the test of time, and won approval from
the R.H.S. in 1892 and 1901. The descriptions are those of the R.H.S. Mr
Lewis Castle omits Cox's Emperor and adds;--

_Early Orleans_, "medium size, reddish purple, good bearer and good C.
variety, habit diffuse and moderately vigorous."--R. August 2.

_Greengage._--If this is planted, choose July greengage, "rather large
for a greengage, habit erect, compact, vigorous, better bearer than old
G., fine-flavoured Dessert plum."--R. August 7.

_Diamond_, "very large, blue-black, very heavy cropper, habit bushy,
compact, vigorous, good C. plum."--R. August 23.

_Pond's Seedling_, "Fruit very large, deep red, habit bushy, compact,
vigorous, rather late, free bearing C. plum."--R. September 7.

_Prince Englebert_, "Rather large, dark purple, habit erect, compact,
vigorous, reliable C. plum."--R. August 13.

_Coe's Golden Drop_, "Fruit large, pale yellow, habit bushy, compact,
vigorous, a delicious late D. plum, an indifferent bearer on bush trees,
most reliable on walls."--R. September 13.

These remarks are based on the Report of trials at Chiswick in 1901.

If one plum only is wanted, choose Victoria, if three, Early Prolific,
Victoria and Monarch; to these Dennistoun's Superb and Jefferson might
be added for dessert if five are desired.

All these varieties may be planted as Standards, but are better as
half-standards or bushes. If as cordons they must be two feet or more
apart, and lifted about once in three years. There is no dwarfing plum
stock like the paradise for apples or the quince for pears.

If the dessert varieties are on walls, special attention must be given
to pruning and to root-pruning. The growth of coarse thick stems and
branches is often fatal to the prospect of good crops.


PRUNING AND TRAINING

Plums as a rule do not need nor will they bear as much close pruning as
pears and apples. But they need special attention in early life.

STANDARDS.--These must be planted, when other crops are to be grown
beneath. Quincunx fashion is the best. The rows, as a rule, should be 24
feet apart, and the trees in each row about 20 feet. Plums do not shade
as much as apples and pears, yet it is always wise to avoid overcrowding.
Some sorts are not as spreading or as vigorous as others. Weak growers
like the Early Prolific might be placed between Jefferson and Monarch.
Good trees in six or seven years should bring good returns, but the
intermediate space may meanwhile be utilised for strawberries,
gooseberries, and so on. Standards should be 6 feet high or more. After
planting, cut back the shoots to about one-third of their length, the
weakest still more, to promote vigorous growth, and cut just above an
outer eye. Keep the centre open. In later years stop gross or robber
shoots in June, clipping some leaves of the latter, if necessary. Never
allow boughs to cross, and keep all the tree fairly open. When the tree
begins to bear, little pruning is necessary. But stopping luxuriant
shoots about midsummer is good for the other branches, and for the
production of fruit buds before winter. Complete pruning early in
August. In winter cut out dead wood, and shorten boughs wherever fresh
wood is required. The wood of the Victoria plum is very brittle, and
requires special treatment. Shorten the strong growing luxuriant
branches of this variety in July; otherwise later on they will break
when loaded with fruit. Messrs Bunyard's choice of six for market
standards is: Rivers' Early Prolific, Czar, Early Orleans, Victoria,
Pond's Seedling, Rivers' Monarch.

HALF STANDARDS (3-½ feet to 4 feet high) are better, and more
manageable. Planted 12 feet apart, gooseberries, etc., may be placed
around them; otherwise they may be nearer, even up to 6 or 8 feet. These
should be pruned in August unless strong shoots require pinching back.
Stop new side shoots at the sixth leaf to produce fruit-buds. Avoid
excess. Wounds made in August have a better chance of healing while the
sap is still active. Pyramids are not as useful as bushes; the former
require a central stem and special training.

IN BUSHES, keep the tree open, stop strong shoots at midsummer,
prune new (side) shoots back to six leaves about mid-August, and take
out wood that is not wanted, admitting the sun and air. In winter cut
back any boughs where fresh shoots are wanted to a wood bud at an outer
eye.

TREES ON WALLS.--Plums are usually put on east walls, but the
best repay a south as well as a west aspect. They require and repay
care and skill in training. If the wall is low, the horizontal form is
best. The branches should be taken several inches below the line along
which they are to be trained, and not at right angles; the sap will flow
better, and the tendency of branches to die off will be lessened. The
first branch should be 1 foot from the ground, the rest 9 inches apart.
Coarse stems and branches must be avoided by moderate root-pruning. The
wood must be kept near the wall, that wood and fruit may be better
ripened. The fan system is better for a high wall. Train shoots on the
tree from the nursery in regular order at equal intervals, cutting back
only to ripe wood. Pick off growths on the side next the wall, and
others badly placed. Lay in new wood every year, and in August or Early
September cut out unsightly branches or spurs if there is other wood to
replace them. Prune upper part of tree first, and encourage foliage and
fruit spurs over every part. Stop strong growing branches at midsummer,
and pinch back side shoots to six leaves about mid-August. Fruit buds
will follow. Wire on the wall should be 1-½ inch out, with an interval
of 1 foot between each wire.


MANURES

The absence of moisture and the consequent exhaustion have a serious
effect on plums, and should never be allowed. Mulch newly-planted trees
in light or poor soil; give liquid manure or irrigate in dry weather.
Should the crops be heavy, and the soil at all deficient in lime, the
deficiency should be made up by scattering lime some distance around the
stems and working it gently in. "An annual dressing of decayed vegetable
matter, old manure and lime-rubbish, laid about a yard round the stems,
produces very satisfactory results" ("Plums for profit"). Supply this
in November. The artificials recommended by R.H.S. for pears are also
good for plums. Dr Griffiths recommends cow dung and a mixed manure,
composed of 5 parts of kainit, 1 part of magnesium sulphate, 2 parts of
superphosphate; 7 lbs. of the mixture to be applied to each tree in
autumn, two more pounds in the spring.

Established trees in full health need no aid in an ordinary season if
they carry no crop. Damsons should be fed as well as plums.


THINNING

must be carried out severely if the crop is thick. In a good plum
season, only very fine and first-rate fruits fetch a good price, and
these can only be obtained by thinning the fruit and feeding the trees.
An annual crop (if frost does not interfere) may then be expected. Half
the crop in some years should be taken off long before the fruit is
ripe. The jam-makers utilise green and half-ripe plums.


GAGES

These are dessert plums, some of the highest excellence, but they
usually require a wall or the best soil and situation. The demand for
them is very great. Preserved with proper care, they last until plums
come again, and often fetch a higher price than the red or dark plums.

The following are the five best:--

1. July Greengage (see before) early in August.

2. Dennistoun's Superb (see before) mid-August.

3. Early Transparent (see before) end of August.

4. Reine Claude Comte d'Althann, briefly Comte d'Althann, a
comparatively new plum from Bohemia. First-class certificate R.H.S.
"Medium to large, greyish green, deeply flushed and dotted with red,
covered with a beautiful white bloom, very heavy crop, habit bushy,
compact, vigorous, remarkably good dessert plum, succeeding equally well
as a wall tree, bush, or standard, remarkably prolific." R.H.S., R.
August 22.

5. Jefferson (see before).

6. If more are wanted M'Laughlin's Gage is "rather large, pale yellow,
flushed with red, a good cropper, habit erect, compact, vigorous, one of
the finest dessert plums." R. August 17.

7. Guthrie's Late Green, "very good cropper, habit bushy, compact,
vigorous, a most delicious dessert plum." R. August 30.

Nos. 2, 5 and 6 are splendid specimens of American plums, No. 7 is
Scotch, named after the late Mr Guthrie of Dundee.

The following are well known but not so good in some respects: Bryanston
Gage, Oullin's Golden Gage, Golden Transparent. Coe's Golden Drop has
been described. Angelina Burdett is sometimes classed with the gages. It
is "dark red, shaded with purple, a good cropper, habit bushy and
compact, a delicious dessert variety that hangs well in the trees for
some time after it is ripe." R. August 22.


MARKET PLUMS

If a planter prefers to grow gages, he must protect his trees from
bullfinches and other birds. The former often carry off the buds in
winter, and ruin all hopes of a crop. Such a plantation near a wood
would usually be a failure. If the trees are washed in early winter with
No. II. mixture, the buds will have some protection. Lime should be
thrown over the branches on a damp day. The gun in many cases must be at
work from dawn to dusk. The gardener must learn to distinguish between
friend and foe. Mr Lea's list in "Small Farms in the Midlands" is as
follows: Early Prolific, Victoria, Black Diamond ("the wood is
remarkably tough"), Pond's Seedling ("tolerably tough"), Pershore Egg
Plum, _i.e._ Gisborne ("hardiest of all plums, surest cropper, comes
early into bearing, the wood tough, and though the price is low, pays
well"). He also mentions Prince Englebert and Jemmy Moore ("alias Cox's
Emperor, alias Denbigh"), but wisely adds, these come in about the same
time as Victoria, when there is a glut. Early or late varieties usually
sell best. A new variety, Bittern, raised (as so many varieties have
been) at Sawbridgeworth, by the late Francis Rivers, seems well worth
trying: "Fruit rather large, deep purple, very heavy crop, habit bushy,
compact, vigorous, excellent early free-bearing variety. R. August 2."

Curlew is another "early free-cropping purple plum, habit erect,
vigorous," also raised by Francis Rivers. Monarch is a late, good, and
very saleable plum. It is said that 75 per cent. or more of the plums
planted in recent years have been Victorias. Planters should avoid the
Victoria glut. Pond's Seedling, red and very large, coming in after
Victoria, often sells well. Put up in a small basket it is inviting, and
sells for an eating though properly a cooking plum. Early Prolific is
also largely planted, but does not suit all soils. The white Magnum
Bonum or egg plum (very large), good for cooking and preserving, sells
well in London, but needs a strong soil. It is an early September fruit.
Wyedale is popular in Yorkshire, valuable for its lateness, and for
keeping sound on the trees when ripe; its habit is diffuse, size rather
small, a good cropper. Mr Pearson names Goliath, a large reddish purple
plum, "a good cropper, habit diffuse and vigorous, a very useful cooking
plum. R. September 7."

At the Plum Congress held at Edinburgh in September 1889 an election of
sorts was made with the following result:--

              _Dessert Plums_
                                             Votes.
  Jefferson                                    72
  Coe's Golden Drop                            69
  Green Gage                                   57
  Kirke's                                      57
  Early Transparent                            25
  Oullin's Golden Gage                         16
  Reine Claude de Bavay                        14

                _Culinary_
                                             Votes.
  Victoria                                     74
  Pond's Seedling                              54
  White Magnum Bonum                           52
  Early Prolific                               40
  Goliath                                      31
  Early Orleans                                27

The friend who sent me this list remarks: "Newer plums supersede some of
these. Czar does not crack with the wet as Orleans does. I prefer
Diamond to Goliath." Kirke's is better on a wall than in the open. The
same may be said of Oullin's; neither are grand croppers. Reine Claude
de Bavay is a late gage, richly flavoured, but not a good cropper.


GATHERING, PACKING, MARKETING

A step ladder or a Heathman's combined ladder is best for gathering as
plum wood is often brittle. Look over the trees several times and gather
gradually. Fruit for home use should not be gathered until it is ripe,
but for market it should not be quite ripe. Early morning when the
fruit is cool is the best time. Dessert fruits generally should be
handled as little as possible, otherwise the bloom on them and the
appearance are spoilt. Plums are often sent away in round baskets, or
oblong flat baskets. The former in the London markets are termed sieves
or half-sieves. A sieve holds seven imperial gallons; the diameter is 15
inches, the depth 8 inches. Flat baskets with lids protect the fruit
from injury. Stout and strong paper, above, below and around, assist in
saving it. Oblong baskets with handles and without a lid are used in the
Midlands and the N. They are called "pots," and local inquiry as to
weight should be made. Strong brown paper is useful on the top. The cost
per ream is from 10s. to 20s. But non-returnable boxes are better. The
baskets are often missing or lost. The sizes of unplaned boxes with lids
to be nailed on are usually as follows:--[10]

                                              Gross.    Doz.
  lbs.  Length.       Width.       Depth.     s. d.     s. d.
  14    10-¾ in.     10-½ in.     6-¼ in.     26 6      2  6
  28    22    "      10-¾  "      6-¼  "      46 0      4  2
  42    27    "      15    "      8    "      84 0      7  6

                                                   --GLOVER.

Choice dessert plums sent in light boxes (one or two layers only in a
box) placed in wood-wool, and with tissue paper covering the inside of
the box, and lying between each layer, often sell well. White paper-lace
(such as is used for honey sections) sets off good fruit, and makes it
more attractive. Pink tissue paper is often used for light fruits. The
boxes should be uniform in size and quality of fruit as far as possible.
Tissue paper can be bought at 2s. 6d. to 5s. or more a ream, and should
not be grudged. The best wood-wool ranges from 18s. to 25s. per cwt. A
few visits to Covent Garden, the best shops, and the Crystal Palace
Fruit Shows, will not be time or labour lost.

Plums and damsons for market should be gathered and sent before they are
quite ripe; if soft and pulpy on arrival, they are valueless. Sort in
size and quality as even as possible: keep back all inferior stuff. Only
good produce, well sorted and properly packed, placed on the market in
good condition, is likely to sell well. Foreigners as well as neighbours
compete for custom. In large establishments a packing room with every
convenience close at hand is necessary.[11] The market-agent should
daily advise what goods are needed.


STORING AND KEEPING

Plums, as a rule, do not remain good for any length of time after being
gathered. They will however last a week or two if laid out in a cool,
dark, well constructed place. Slate slabs assist to keep baskets and
fruit cool. Some of the late dessert varieties gathered before they are
quite ripe, wrapped in paper, will last in a dry place for a long
period. Dr Hogg says that "Ickworth Impératrice," a large late dessert
variety, if allowed to remain on the tree until it shrivels, then wrapt
in silk paper and placed in a dry shelf, will last for many weeks. It is
a richly-flavoured plum. The remark is probably true of other late
varieties; _e.g._, the lovely Golden Transparent, "a delicious plum
grown against a wall, but not a success in the open" (R. September 12),
or Reine Claude de Bavay, which is late, but a poor bearer. The Ickworth
Impératrice was not tested by the R.H.S., and is not now often grown.
Guthrie's late Green, "a most delicious dessert plum and the heaviest
cropper here (_i.e._ Chiswick R.H.S.) of all the gages," is probably
one of the best sorts for keeping as described above. Angelina Burdett
(see gages) "if allowed to hang till it shrivels becomes a perfect
sweetmeat" (Hogg).


INSECT ENEMIES

1. APHIDES are often a great trouble. There are three sorts or
more, one called the plum aphis. They attack in spring and cause the
leaves to curl up, and so check growth. Steep 4 ozs. of quassia chips in
a gallon of soft water for twenty-four hours. Dissolve 2 ozs. of soft
soap in this mixture, and add to the infusion. Apply by a painter's
brush, and carefully wash the under side of the leaves (Rivers). On a
larger scale: "Boil 1 lb. of chips in a gallon of water for twenty
minutes, strain off the chips and add 38 gallons of water. Put 1 lb. of
soft soap in a gallon of water until dissolved, then add to the rest.
Apply by a syringe or sprayer. Where the foliage is young follow the
spraying by syringing half-an-hour afterwards" (Castle). Tobacco water
made as follows is also a good remedy: "Pour soft boiling water at the
rate 1 gallon to 2 ozs. of the strongest shag tobacco, allow it to stand
till cool. Its efficacy is increased by dissolving 2 ozs. of soft soap
in each gallon at the time it is poured on the tobacco" (Wright). This
mixture may be applied with some force by the garden engine. The great
point is to syringe or paint with one of these remedies as soon as the
evil is perceived.

2. RED GRUB is often very injurious. The moth measures about
½ inch across, the caterpillars are pale red, with brown neck and
black head. They pierce and drop with the fruit, seek shelter in the
bark, where they spin a cocoon and pass the winter. If the trees have
been scraped, then washed with a mixture of lime and soot, paraffin and
grease (see No. III. pears), or sprayed before the buds open with
Bordeaux mixture (see No. II.), and also afterwards, they probably will
not suffer. Lime and soot scattered over the ground under the trees will
also be useful. If the plums are attacked, collect all fallen fruits and
shake the trees every morning, burn the fruits affected or give them to
the pigs.

3. The PLUM SAWFLY also attacks the fruit, laying an egg in the
calyx of each flower. The grub is whitish, with brown head. It enters
the fruits, feeds on the stone, and causes them to drop. A spraying of
the modified mixture No. II. after the fruit has set would be useful,
but as the grub pupates in the soil, lime and soot will again be
serviceable. Collect and destroy fallen fruit daily.

4. RED SPIDER, a spinning mite, is a great pest in dry summers.
It must be checked by the free use of the syringe or water engine as
soon as seen. Yellow spots on the leaves are a proof of its presence.
Mix 4 gallons of soft soap solution with ½ lb. of flowers of sulphur;
apply with syringe. Strong soap-suds, or even clear water forcibly given
are better than nothing.

FUNGOID ATTACKS injure the trees. The Bordeaux mixture (No.
II.) is the best preventive and remedy if there are any signs of fungus.
Cut away all diseased twigs, boughs and branches, and burn them. Fungus
spores are scattered by the wind and spread the disease. Drench the
trunk and bark in winter with this mixture before the buds swell. Care
must be taken not to apply the mixture in full strength to tender leaves
and buds.

For the fungus mildew, half an ounce of sulphide of potassium mixed in a
gallon of water and applied by a syringe is recommended (Wright).
Finely-powdered quick-lime mixed with sulphur (double the quantity of
the former), and distributed by a special bellows (see before, page 39),
is also said to be a good remedy.


ORCHARD HOUSE

For dimensions see under pears. Plums are best in pots or tubs, as they
can be taken out when at rest. They are very liable to attacks from
aphides, but the insecticide for pears in pots is good also for plums.
The house must be fumigated, and the trees syringed on the least
appearance of aphis. Place the pots on bricks (_v._ pears). When growth
is being started the temperature should be from 45° at night to 50° by
day. Soft or tepid water should be given freely. Fumigate again just
before the flowers come out. As the buds increase, raise the temperature
5° to 10° and syringe once or twice a day with tepid water. But a dry
atmosphere is important while the trees are in flower. Admit air as well
as bees in the forenoon, and pass a camel-hair or light brush over the
flowers about the middle of the day. When the fruit is set, syringe at
least once a day; if the weather is hot, twice or even three times a
day, and give all the air possible. Thin the fruits (if the crop is
large) with scissors; mulch and feed with weak liquid manure (see
pears). The shoots must be pinched if the trees are of any age, at the
fifth or sixth leaf. Not much heat is needed generally, but when the
stoning period is passed, the ripening process may be hastened by a
higher temperature. The house may be closed at an earlier hour if
necessary. Avoid extremes. As the fruits ripen, cease gradually to
syringe, but keep the house moist by sprinkling water over the paths,
etc. Choose the choicest dessert sorts: Early Transparent, Dennistoun's
Superb, July Greengage, Jefferson, Count Althann, Coe's Golden Drop,
Guthrie's Late Green, Angelina Burdett, Bryanstone Gage, and Golden
Transparent; and if darker colours are desired: Early Prolific, Belgian
Purple and Czar. Bryanston Gage was recommended by the R.H.S. in 1892,
and is a very richly-flavoured dessert variety, but is not a good
cropper in the open, and needs a wall or house.


DAMSONS

are often very valuable, and also make good outside hedges. Bradley's
"King of the Damsons" is the best. The fruit is large, the tree
"free-cropping, bushy, vigorous, erect." R. September 20. Frogmore
Prolific (earlier) is also large and free-bearing. R. September 9. Both
these are late. Mirabelle and Rivers' Early Damson are August damsons,
small, the former vigorous.


BULLACES

Shepherd's is the best, and hangs late on the tree. A few trees in a
large garden are useful. R. September 20.


IMPORTANT POINTS

Good sorts on suitable stocks in good soil and proper aspect; lime in
the soil, added or otherwise; winter washing or spraying; thinning
fruit; early training; moderate pruning; root-pruning in very strong
soils; lifting in shallow soils; liquid and other manures; immediate
action if aphides or red spider appear.


DRYING BY EVAPORATION

This important subject cannot be treated here at length. In a hot season
with abundant crops, good results may be obtained with some prospect of
profit. But the apparatus has been expensive. Mr Udale's Report to the
Worcestershire _C.C._ on dried fruits, vegetables and herbs, with the
article in _Journal of R.H.S._, vol. xxvi., part ii., should be
consulted, and "Fruit Preserving," by R.L.C., in Watson, vol. v.
Thick-skinned plums, _e.g._, Czar, Prince Englebert, Diamond and Monarch
are best for the purpose. Plums placed on trays, dried in a very slow
oven, and allowed to cool several times, are often equal to French
prunes.


BOTTLING

This is a simple and most useful process. Plums well bottled will last
for years. Gather clean and dry fruit before it is quite ripe, that the
heat may not crack the plums. Remove the stalks and pack closely in
bottles not over 11 inches high, without bruising, up to shoulder of
bottle. Provide a boiler a foot deep; place hay or canvas at the bottom,
then put the bottles in the boiler with hay or canvas around them to
prevent fracture. Now fill the boiler up to the necks of the bottles,
and place it on a slow fire. Heat very gradually until the water is at
boiling point. Then take each bottle out with a cloth, fill with boiling
water kept close at hand, and cover _while boiling_ with air-tight
stoppers. Another method is to fill the bottles nearly full with cold
water or thin syrup, and boil for fifteen minutes. Messrs De Luca have
received silver and bronze medals from the R.H.S. for self-closing
bottles now sold by Messrs Abbott of Southall, near London. Their method
is as follows: "Pour in water or cold thin syrup (one tablespoonful of
crystalised cane-sugar to the pint) sufficient to cover the fruit.
Adjust the indiarubber in the groove made for it on neck of the bottle,
place the disc on it, and _lightly_ screw down the outer ring. (Steam
must be allowed to escape.) Boil as before for twenty minutes; take out
each bottle, and at once screw the outer ring as tightly as possible.
Leave bottles until cold. Next day examine by unscrewing the outer ring,
and try whether the disc is firmly fastened down. If so, replace the
ring, screw down tightly and store away in a cool place, standing them
upright. The bottles by having new discs and indiarubber rings may be
frequently used."

The Rev. W. Wilks, secretary of the R.H.S., recommends pears, especially
Pitmaston D., as suitable for bottling. "Bottled it is delicious." He
thinks fifteen minutes from the time the water boils sufficient for
plums. Messrs De Luca mention an hour as the time for pears.

Messrs Lee & Co. of 19 Knightrider St., Maidstone, have received medals
from the R.H.S. and others for their fruit bottling apparatus and
bottled fruit.

They supply a patent economic fruit bottling apparatus at 21s. A
thermometer at the side records the temperature of the bottles and of
their contents. The following is the method given in the _Journal of the
R.H.S._

"The fruit must, of course, be fresh and good and the bottles clean. The
fruit is first packed into the bottles, which are then filled up to the
neck with cold water, or if preferred, with thin syrup made by
dissolving ½ lb. of loaf-sugar in hot water and leaving it to cool.
The bottles are then put into the cooking pot where they must remain for
certainly not less than two hours at a temperature of between a minimum
of 145 degrees and a maximum of 160 degrees. This low sterilising
temperature being maintained for two, three, or four hours will destroy
all germs without cooking the fruit, and is the great secret of
successful bottling. No actual harm is done by the heat rising above 160
degrees, but if it does the fruit will probably burst, lose its shape,
and not look so nice. Vegetables may be preserved in exactly the same
way, but they must be done twice over with an interval of twenty-four
hours to allow of their becoming quite cold. Jams and fruit jellies can
be preserved fresh and good for years in the same way."

Success in bottling and preserving fruit depends chiefly on two points:
(1) The destruction of every germ of mildew, etc., by keeping the
bottles at a certain temperature for a certain time; (2) the absolute
prevention of any possible re-entry of air into the bottles afterwards.
The bottles must be hermetically sealed while in the steam or standing
in almost boiling water (see _Journal R.H.S._, vol. xxvi. part iii. p.
365).

BOTTLING OR CANNING IN SYRUP.--This is done by boiling together
at the rate of 3 lbs. of cane-sugar to 1 quart of water and the white of
1 egg; pour the fruit whole into the syrup while boiling, and continue
to boil together for only a few minutes, then pour into bottles or cans,
and stopper or seal air-tight immediately whilst boiling. Pears may be
preserved in the same way. Cheal, _Journal of R.H.S._, vol. xxi. 1.

PLUM JAM makes a rich preserve. Take equal quantities of fruit
and cane-sugar; boil quickly half to three-quarters of an hour, then put
into hot jars and cover well at once. Exclude the air as much as
possible. The colour of the flesh is said to make a difference in the
sale. Red jam is usually preferred, but greengage is also popular. Coe's
Golden Drop or Autumn Compôte (September, hardy, fairly productive, but
the fruit often splits) are good for yellow ("Amber"--Dr Hogg) jam;
Belle de Septembre (September, "a good late cooking variety," good
bearer, but fruit prone to split) for crimson colour. Free-stones are
better than cling-stones. The following are free-stones: Bittern, Coe's
Late Red ("fruit small, good bearer, a very useful late cooking plum"),
Early Orleans, Early Transparent Gage, Old Greengage, Orleans, Oullin's
Golden Gage, Red Magnum Bonum, Comte d'Althann, Victoria. The following
are nearly so: Early Prolific, Czar, Cox's Emperor, Jefferson.

Belle de Septembre is a cling-stone. Damsons make good jam, the colour
being a dark rich red.


PLUM JELLY

Plums are rich in "vegetable jelly." 1. Boil alone for half-an-hour,
then strain the juice through a fine sieve or cloth; add 2 lbs. of
cane-sugar to each quart of juice, boil again for twenty minutes, pour
into jars and glasses, cover at once. A firm, clear and bright jelly
should result (Watson).

2. "During the preserving season I generally have a few pots of jelly
made from each pan of preserves without spoiling my jams. I make
currant, gooseberry, and plum jelly this way.

"For all common preserves I allow ¾ of a pound of loaf-sugar to each
pound of fruit. The sugar must be broken small. Put the fruit and sugar
into your pan, let the sugar melt, then boil quickly for twenty to
thirty minutes. Skim carefully, take the pan off the fire, take from it
three or four cupfuls of juice, or as much as you think can be spared
without making your jam dry. Strain the juice through a small gravy
sieve into small jars. This will be found to jelly well. In this way a
nice stock of jelly can be procured, and no fruit is wasted." (From
Weldon's "Menu Cookery Book," 1s., published by Weldon, 31 Southampton
Street, Strand.)

FOOTNOTES:

[9] The dates refer to the time when the fruits were "ready" (ripe, fit
for gathering) at the Chiswick Garden of the R.H.S.

[10] From Watson, vol. v. p. 369.

[11] For many useful details see Watson, vol. v.



CHERRIES


It is useless to plant cherries unless the fruit can be protected from
the birds. The cost of "keeping" a few trees would absorb all profit. In
planting for sale, select two or three varieties only; and these should
come in together, if possible, to lessen the cost of "keep." They should
be intermingled, for reasons already mentioned (see pears, p. 12).

Cherries like a deep, mellow, and rather sandy soil, but they also
thrive on a good loam lying on chalk. Stiff moist soils and dry gravelly
soils are not suitable. The trees require much moisture, especially
sorts with large leaves, such as the Bigarreau and Heart Cherries. Plant
varieties to suit the soil. Inquire carefully what sorts do best in your
neighbourhood. Cherries do well in open ground, not shaded nor in a
valley. They prefer a south aspect, but Morellos thrive on a north wall.
Kentish and Late Duke might also be tried there. Plant as you would
pears or plums. Protect your trees from rabbits by wire, and from cattle
by "cradles," 6 feet high at least,[12] or iron guards. Cattle fed on
cake are useful in cherry orchards, and improve the produce.

CHERRIES FOR EATING, recommended by R.H.S. in 1892, are:--

_a._ DUKES.--(1) _May Duke_, dark red and early; (2) _Archduke_
(large blackish red), mid-season, both tender-skinned, and so beloved by
birds. Both are close growers.

_b._ YELLOW-FRUITED (_i.e._ White Heart or Bigarreau).--(1)
_Elton_, very early, good on heavy soil, tree spreading; (2) _Kent
Bigarreau_, early, large, hardy, makes a large tree, best for general
crop.

_c._ BLACK-FRUITED.--(1) _Black Eagle_, very large, travels
well, free grower, mid-season; (2) _Early Rivers_, first-rate, earliest
black, a good cropper and grower.

COOKING CHERRIES.--(1) _Kentish_, bright red, mid-season, a
compact grower, best for jam; (2) _Morello_, very late, only fit for
wall, fence, or bush.

Other good sorts are _Governor Wood_ (mottled red, early) and _Black
Tartarian_, a strong grower, fruit large, late. _Florence_ is very large
and late, succeeding the Bigarreau, but requires a warm soil and aspect.

Where there is no wall, Morellos and other sorts should be planted as
bushes in a garden 5 or 6 feet apart. They should be covered with nets
when the fruit is colouring. Morellos last a long while on a north wall,
protected by a net. These are often in great demand, and in a plantation
succeed as standards. But the cost of "keeping" for a long time would be
excessive.


PRUNING AND TRAINING

Allow the trees to grow a year before pruning them. Then cut back the
branches to about 1 foot in length to an outer eye; the Bigarreau to 15
inches. Encourage two shoots from each branch, one at the end, the other
3 inches from the stem, and on the outside. Thus the branches will not
grow into each other. Maintain the chief branches at nearly equal length
for some years. Standards do not require much pruning. Cut back in
summer (July) all shoots crowding the tree or threatening to cross
others. In winter look over the trees again. Keep the trees open to
sun and air. Cherries on wall should be on the fan system, and pinched
back in July. The branches should be 9 inches apart for Duke Cherries,
12 for Bigarreau. If trained horizontally or as espaliers, shorten the
shoots on the upper branches a week or two before those on the lower.
Keep the shoots near the wall. When sufficient main branches are formed
to cover the wall, do not cut back the leaders again. Be sparing with
the knife. After two or three years fruit spurs will form, but not much
surplus wood. Morellos require special treatment. The fruit is usually
found on the wood of the previous year. Train young shoots in to replace
the old, and cut out, when the fruit is off, all the old that can be
spared. In standards, pyramids and bushes, thin out the branches.

[Illustration: A CHERRY ORCHARD]

APHIDES are the chief enemy, especially on walls. Syringe with
tobacco water made by pouring 1 gallon of soft boiling water on 2 ozs.
of strong shag tobacco; add 2 ozs. of soft soap to the water when poured
on the tobacco. Strain off and use cold. This solution is also good
against the pear slug-worm, which attacks cherries as well as pears.
Follow this prescription by a good syringing of cold water the following
morning. The roots of cherries are near the surface so that the ground
above them must not be dug.


STANDARDS

in strong soil should be 30 feet apart, 24 feet in lighter ground. They
are best on grass which is used for pasture. The trees then should be 30
feet from each other. The Kentish Red are sometimes 15 or 18 feet only.
Between standards at 24 feet apart bush trees of various kinds may be
planted (apples, pears, plums), the two former on dwarfing stocks; there
should be two between each standard 8 feet apart.

Ordinary manure is not often given. It may cause rank growth. Dr
Griffiths recommends the following artificials: 3 parts weight of
kainit, 2 parts of superphosphate, 1 part of nitrate of soda. Three lbs.
of this mixture should be applied to each tree shortly before active
growth begins. If the land is deficient in lime or chalk some should be
given to each tree.

W. C. (in Watson): "Superphosphate of lime, 5 lbs., sulphate of potash,
2 lbs., sulphate of magnesia, ½ lb., chloride of soda, ½ lb. Apply
during mild weather in February at the rate of 4 ozs. to the square yard
of border, or the full quantity 8 lbs. to each rod of orchard ground."

Gather fruit dry before it is quite ripe. Cherries are usually sent to
market in baskets which contain 24 lbs. nett; very choice fruit in 12
lb. baskets.

The word cherry comes from the old English cheri, chiri, and that
probably from the French cerise, that from the Latin cerasus, and that
from the Greek (κερασός) kerasos. "Cheri or chiri was a corruption of
cheris or chiris, the final _s_ being mistaken for the plural
inflection; the same mistake occurs in several other words, notably in
pea as shortened from pease, Latin pisum" (Skeat).

FOOTNOTE:

[12] Cradles in Kent are often made of chestnut wood split, and last as
long as they are needed. For form see pears, p. 7.



THE MULBERRY


The mulberry is a very handsome tree well worthy of cultivation in a
large garden, if only it receives the care and culture which it
deserves. Its proper name derived from the Latin through the Anglo-Saxon
is Murberry. Mulberry is certainly more euphonious. It is said to be a
native of Persia, but it has been known in this country for three
centuries and a half at least. It is stated that there are trees still
living among us several centuries old. The black mulberry is the one
commonly grown in England; the white does better in a warmer clime, and
has been largely planted in France and other lands, where the leaves are
required for silkworms. The white, however, can be grown in this
country. The mulberry will thrive in any good soil, but the ground
should not be very wet. It should be placed in a sheltered southern
aspect, and is likely to do well in the south rather than the north of
England. It is propagated by layers, cuttings and seeds. Trees with good
straight stems should be had from the nurserymen, and a few shillings
spent in buying a straight, strong tree may save years. Plant in late
autumn without manure with the usual care (see planting pears); the
roots should not be exposed to frost or cold winds. Brick and
lime-rubbish below in a heavy wet soil should be given. In a lighter
soil put decayed manure round the tree after planting. In spring fork
the soil up lightly, as trees thrive better when the soil is stirred. If
you plant early in November under favourable circumstances leave four
branches only, and cut these hard back to an outer eye. If you plant
late, don't prune until the following winter. The first branches if cut
back to three or four inches will probably throw out strong shoots. In
August choose four of the best placed and strongest of these, cutting
out the rest that those left may grow and the wood be ripened. The tree
bears on short-jointed young wood, and on spurs, not on gross shoots.
Keep the tree open, especially the middle, removing weak, watery spray,
and train the shoots upwards. It will be a pleasure to go under the tree
in time and enjoy its shade. The sun and air must have free access if
the fruit is to ripen. Sometimes the berries fall prematurely. Drought
or want of food may be the cause. Liquid manure in summer as the fruit
comes on, and the artificial manures recommended for all fruit trees
(see pears) will be helpful. In the winter-pruning, cut out all cross
boughs, beginning from below, so as not to tear the bark. Check only
branches that are rampant and running away from others. Keep the tree as
uniformly round as you can. When the tree has (in four or five years)
gained size and fruits well, grass may be grown around the tree, but it
should be kept closely mown, especially when the fruit is ripening. All
coarse grasses should be spudded out. If the fruit were thinned and the
tree well fed, no doubt the berries would be finer. In any case feed
well in July. The fruit is not very marketable, as it does not travel
well, nor last long. But in cider counties it is sometimes mixed with
apples, to make mulberry cider. The trees bear forcing in pots, and give
good fruit in July. They will bear a high temperature. The fruit mixed
with apples in a tart or pudding is described as "delicious." If it is
gathered perfectly dry, it can be used to make a jelly in a similar
manner to red currant jelly, and used for light puddings, etc. Mulberry
syrup is said to be good for sore throat; mulberry water to be
refreshing as a drink in cases of fever, mulberry vinegar to be
efficacious for medicinal purposes just as raspberry vinegar, which it
somewhat resembles. "Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery" explains these
details, and also how to make mulberry preserve.



APPENDIX


THE PROPAGATION OF THE PEAR

It is not proposed to enter into elaborate details with reference to the
propagation of the pear, for the general cultivator is far more
concerned with and interested in its successful treatment when
established than before, for he can now obtain prepared trees so readily
and cheaply from nurserymen, who propagate them by the thousand, that it
is not at all worth his while to attempt their propagation himself.

Pear trees are propagated either by budding or grafting. The first
mentioned process is performed during July and August, and grafting is
done in the month of March.

Budding consists in removing a bud from one tree and inserting it under
the bark of the stock or branch of another tree. This work is done in
the months of July and August, because the bark is during that time more
easily raised, and a union more easily effected between the cambium (an
inner growing layer) of both bud and stock. The buds inserted are taken
from the current year's shoots, choosing shoots that are firm and
short-jointed. After having removed a shoot, say nine or ten inches
long, and cut the leaves to half their lengths, next proceed to cut out
a bud. This is done by inserting a knife below the bud at a distance of
about half an inch, and then drawing it upwards behind the bud, emerging
again about half an inch above the bud. The cut must, of course, turn
inwards--that is to say, towards the centre of the shoot. When removed,
the bud therefore will be about an inch long, with the "eye" in the
centre, and with a certain amount of wood attached to it behind. This
should be removed, and the best way to do it is to insert the point of
one's knife just underneath, so as slightly to raise the wood. Then,
with the blade of the knife and one's thumb above, it can easily be
removed with a slight jerk. Take great care that the root of the bud is
not removed also. The stock to be budded should have a T-shaped incision
made in the bark. With the ivory handle, which a proper budding knife
will have, raise the bark on either side of the longitudinal slit,
commencing at the corners just below where it joins the transverse
incision. Take great care that the knife handle does not penetrate
beneath the inner bark, but press it against the latter, slipping it
along. When the bark is sufficiently raised, carefully insert the bud
beneath, taking hold of it by the remaining portion of the leaf stalk.
It must not be forced down, but introduced as gently as can be,
otherwise there will be danger of injuring the vital cambium layer,
where the union is effected. Afterwards tie the bud around with matting,
to keep it in position and to prevent the entrance of air. Tie both
above and below the "eye," leaving this of course free. An excellent
indication as to whether or not the bud has taken is afforded by the
petiole (leaf stalk). If this, a few weeks afterwards, falls completely
away, one may be fairly certain that the bud has taken; if, on the other
hand, it withers away, one may be almost equally sure that the operation
has not been successful. The buds that have taken will commence to grow
in the following spring, and then the stocks must be cut back to within
a few inches of where the buds are inserted. Many nurserymen, if they
find that the bud has not taken, graft the same stock in the following
spring, instead of waiting to bud again in summer.

_Grafting_ consists in so attaching one shoot to another that they unite
and grow together. There are many different methods of grafting, but
that most usually employed in the grafting of pear trees is tongue or
splice grafting. This is done in the month of March, with firm growth of
the preceding year. First cut the stock in a sloping direction, and so
that the cut may terminate just above a bud if possible. "Great care
must be taken that the scions fit the stocks," is the recommendation of
one of our large nursery growers of pear trees, and one that should be
closely followed. Therefore choose a graft as nearly as possible of the
same size as the stock. Having cut the graft to a suitable length, say
nine or ten inches, cut the lower end (that is, the thicker one) exactly
as the top of the stock was cut, so that when placed together they will
properly fit upon each other. The essential point is, of course, to make
sure that the inner bark of the one coincides with the inner bark of the
other, as then the cambium layers will also coincide. The graft should
be carefully and securely tied on to the stock with raffia, and then
covered over with either clay or grafting wax, so as effectually to
prevent the entrance of air. It is advisable to place moss over the
clay, so that in dry weather this can be watered to prevent the clay
from becoming dry. Unless there were a covering of some material capable
of holding moisture, it would be impossible to keep the clay in anything
like a moist condition. When it is seen that the graft commences to grow
freely, the clay may be partly removed so as to allow of the ligatures
being loosened. It is wise to tie the graft to a stake attached to the
stock when the clay is finally removed, as in rough weather it might
possibly be broken off.

_The above is reprinted from "The Book of the Apple" in the present
series of handbooks._



Handbooks of Practical Gardening

Under the General Editorship of

HARRY ROBERTS

Crown 8vo. Illustrated. Cloth.

Price 2s. 6d. net per volume. Price $1.00 net.

_SOME OPINIONS OF THE PRESS._

      _Scotsman_--"A series which has already elicited warm
      recognition."

      _Western Daily Mercury_--"The invaluable series."

      _Literary World_--"In every respect these Handbooks will
      delight the heart of the gardener. They are written by men
      of wide experience, and are well got up and well
      illustrated."

      _Churchwoman_--"Delightfully got up, well and freely
      illustrated, and full of useful and practical information
      simply expressed."

      _Bradford Observer_--"An elegant and compendious series, the
      great excellence of which is that they are written by men
      having special authority, and that they convey in succinct
      and practical form what the cultivator wants to know."

      _Pilot_--"The series is remarkable for the amount of
      practical information and advice compressed within each
      volume."

      _World_--"This very useful series should by no means be
      missed from the library of the sincere gardener."

      _Liverpool Courier_--"A useful and attractive series."


      Vol. I.--THE BOOK OF ASPARAGUS. With sections also on
      Celery, Salsify, Scorzonera, and Seakale; together with a
      chapter on their cooking and preparation for the table. By
      CHARLES ILOTT, F.R.H.S., Lecturer on Horticulture to the
      Cornwall County Council.

      Vol. II.--THE BOOK OF THE GREENHOUSE. By J. C. TALLACK,
      F.R.H.S., Head Gardener at Shipley Hall.

      Vol. III.--THE BOOK OF THE GRAPE. Together with a chapter on
      the History and Decorative Value of the Vines. By H. W.
      WARD, F.R.H.S., for twenty-five years Head Gardener at
      Longford Castle.

      Vol. IV.--THE BOOK OF OLD-FASHIONED FLOWERS. By HARRY
      ROBERTS, author of "The Chronicle of a Cornish Garden."

      Vol. V.--THE BOOK OF BULBS. By S. ARNOTT, of Carsethorne,
      near Dumfries.

      Vol. VI.--THE BOOK OF THE APPLE. By H. H. THOMAS, Assistant
      Editor of "The Garden," late of the Royal Gardens, Windsor.
      Together with chapters by the Editor on the History and
      Cooking of the Apple and the Preparation of Cider.

      Vol. VII.--THE BOOK OF VEGETABLES. By GEORGE WYTHES, V.M.H.,
      Head Gardener at Syon House. Together with chapters on
      History and Cookery, by the Editor.

      VOL. VIII.--THE BOOK OF ORCHIDS. By W. H. WHITE,
      F.R.H.S., Orchid Grower to Sir Trevor Lawrence, President of
      the Royal Horticultural Society.

      VOL. IX.--THE BOOK OF THE STRAWBERRY. With chapters
      on the Raspberry, Blackberry, Loganberry, Japanese Wineberry
      and allied fruits. By EDWIN BECKETT, F.R.H.S., Head Gardener
      at Aldenham Park.

      VOL. X.--THE BOOK OF CLIMBING PLANTS. By S. ARNOTT,
      F.R.H.S., author of "The Book of Bulbs."

      VOL. XI.--THE BOOK OF PEARS AND PLUMS. By the Rev.
      E. BARTRUM, D.D.

      VOL. XII.--THE BOOK OF HERBS. By LADY ROSALIND
      NORTHCOTE.

      VOL. XIII.--THE BOOK OF THE WILD GARDEN. By S. W.
      FITZHERBERT.

      VOL. XIV.--THE BOOK OF BEES. By CHARLES HARRISON.



BOOKS FOR COUNTRY HOUSES


BY "E. V. B."

Author of "Days and Hours in a Garden."

Seven Gardens and a Palace. Illustrated by
F. L. B. GRIGGS and ARTHUR GORDON. _Third Edition._

Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50.


BY HARRY ROBERTS

The Chronicle of a Cornish Garden.

With Seven ideal Illustrations by F. L. B. GRIGGS.
Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50 net.


BY FRANCIS BACON

Of Gardens: An Essay. With an Introduction
by HELEN MILMAN and a Cover Design and Frontispiece
by EDMUND H. NEW.

Price 2s. 6d. net.  Demy 16mo.  Price 50 cents net.


BY MRS LESLIE WILLIAMS

A Garden in the Suburbs. With Eight
Illustrations.

Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.25 net.


BY MARY P. MILNE-HOME

Stray Leaves from a Border Garden.

With Eight Illustrations by F. L. B. GRIGGS.

Price 6s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50 net.


BY HELEN MILMAN

In the Garden of Peace. With 24 Illustrations
and Cover designed by EDMUND H. NEW.  _Third Edition._
Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50.

Outside the Garden. With 24 Illustrations and
Cover by EDMUND H. NEW.
Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50.

My Roses and How I Grew Them.
With a Cover designed by EDMUND H. NEW. _Third
  Edition._
Price 1s. 6d. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price 75 cents.

From the Heart of the Rose. With a
  Frontispiece in Photogravure.
Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50 net.

In a Tuscan Garden. With numerous Illustrations,
  and a Cover Design.
Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50 net.


BY CANON ELLACOMBE

Author of "In a Gloucestershire Garden," &c.

In My Vicarage Garden. With illustrations
by F. L. B. GRIGGS.

Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50 net.


BY FORBES WATSON

Flowers and Gardens. With Photogravure
Portrait of the Author. Edited, with a Biographical Note,
by Canon ELLACOMBE.

Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50 net.


BY JOHN D. SEDDING

Garden-Craft Old and New. With a
Memorial Notice by the Rev. E. F. RUSSELL, and nine
full-page Illustrations. New Edition.

Price 7s. 6d. net.  Demy 8vo.  Price $2.50 net.


BY E. H. POLLARD

The Natural History of Selborne. Edited,
with an Introduction, by GRANT ALLEN. With nearly
200 Illustrations by EDMUND H. NEW.

Price 5s. net.  Crown 8vo.  Price $1.50 net.


BY IZAAK WALTON AND CHARLES COTTON

The Compleat Angler. Edited, with an Introduction,
by RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. With Photogravure
Portraits of Walton and Cotton, and over 250 Illustrations
and Cover designed by EDMUND H. NEW.

Price 15s. net.  Fcap. 4to.  Price $6.00.


BY CHARLES HENRY LANE

All About Dogs. A Book for Doggy People.

With 85 Full-page Illustrations (including nearly 70
champions) by R. H. MOORE. Gilt top.

Price 7s. 6d. net.  Demy 8vo.  Price $2.50 net.


JOHN LANE: LONDON: VIGO STREET, W.
           NEW YORK: 67 FIFTH AVENUE.



    +------------------------------------------------+
    |             Transcriber's Note:                |
    |                                                |
    | Some inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in  |
    | the original document have been preserved.     |
    |                                                |
    | Typographical errors corrected in the text:    |
    |                                                |
    | Page   22  Josephines changed to Josephine     |
    | Page   24  Cornice changed to Comice           |
    | Page   28  it's changed to its                 |
    | Page   51  Josephines changed to Josephine     |
    | Page   54  Marrillat changed to Marillat       |
    | Page   61  Engelbert changed to Englebert      |
    | Page   63  Denniston's changed to Dennistoun's |
    +------------------------------------------------+





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