Title: Garden and forest. / Volume 7, Issue 311 [an electronic version]
Collection: Garden and Forest
Garden and Forest. obtained from seeds or layers. When the latter plan is adopted, care must be taken to let the end of the shoot remain out of the ground to continue growing; young plants will then start from each of the branches along the stem. South Lancaster, Mass. E.O. Orpet. Correspondence. Misconception as to Forest-growth. To the Editor of GARDEN AND FOREST: Sir, —The last thing I should attempt to do would be to say a word in discouragement of honest efforts to arouse our people, and especially our farmers, to the importance of the art and science of forestry. It has been a subject of interest to me from boyhood, and all my life I have been planting trees. Nevertheless, I have thought that some writers upon forestry have a tendency toward extreme statement, which really may injure the cause they are trying to advance. One would think, from their statements, that a tree once cut down could never be replaced; or, at least, not for centuries. The impression is given that our forest-trees grow much more slowly than they really do, and also that second-growth trees are of very small account as timber. Yet, while I am sure that the study of scientific forestry should be made an important part of the curriculum of every agricultural school, and should also have a conspicuous place in agricultural literature and journalism, I can but deprecate the impressions which are produced, to the effect that we are losing forever all our best timber, and that it cannot be reproduced at any moderate cost. The impression is often given that centuries are required to produce timber of any real value. Such a belief is far from true. Here, in the latest settled portions of Vermont, we can show, upon what were wheatfields sixty years ago, as handsome Sugar-maples, trees as large and sound as those still standing in the untouched forest. And this is not alone true of the Sugar-maples. Good timber of other native varieties is being reproduced with noticeable rapidity. I have on my own farm Canoe Birches, sixty to seventy feet high, and a foot to eighteen inches diameter, straight and handsome, which cannot be more than forty to fifty years old. My father, were he now alive, would be about ninety years old; and last year I was examining a considerable number of trees planted by him between i828 and i840. Among them are Horse-chestnuts sixty feet high, and from twenty to twentyfour inches in diametier six feet from the ground, together, with Maples and Elms, but slightly less in their dimensions. Trees set by myself, since the close of the war, are, in numerous instances, over a foot in diameter; and I have Butternuts, grown from seed, planted much later, which have been fruiting abundantly for six or seven years. I was led to take up the subject just at this time by reading, in a bound volume of The Vermont Farmer for I87I, a report of a meeting of a farmers' club in Caledonia County, in this state, from which I make the following extracts to show the views held by practical tillers of the soil more than, twenty years ago: J. P. Foster said: " I would have all rocky places reset with trees. I planted Maples in Waterford twenty-five years ago that have been used for sugar-making for several years. Cedar (Arbor-vitze) can be grown on rough upland that is dry and hard, with very little expense; it is becoming valuable." John Bacon said: " What better legacy to leave to our children than fruit trees planted with our own hands? And what of forest-trees? One of my neighbors has now a good Sugarbush on land once cleared, and the men are yet living who harvested from it a good crop of wheat. In New Hampshire I knew a piece of land when it grew a good crop of corn, which now carries forty cords of wood to the acre." B. P. Brown said: "I came to what is now Passumpsic fiftyfive years ago. I then planted two Maple-trees that are now nearly two feet in diameter. I would say, encourage your boys and girls to plant trees. I feel better for planting those trees." O.' G. Harvey: "I believe that forest-trees can be grown at a profit. White Pine on light soil, worth next to nothing for cultivation, could be planted at little expense, and in thirty years would be more valuable than the average tillage-land of our farms. Some fifty years ago my father sowed land to wheat which afterward grew to wood. Twenty years after we cut ten cords to the acre, leaving the best. It has been thinned twice since, and there are now twenty cords per acre upon it of good growing wood." Andrew Warden: " Some two years ago, while passing over the road near the mouth of Ives' Brook, in Barnet, in company with Mr. James Ferguson, who is now over one hundred years old, he said:'Andrew, I helped to reap wheat where those Pines stand, seventy-five years ago.' Now those Pines are two to three feet in diameter, and would cut from 40,000 to 50,0ooo feet of lumber to the acre." I send you these notes to show that our New England farmers are not, and for many years have not been, indifferent to forestry matters. They need instruction in forestry, without doubt; but it is plain that they are by no means totally ignorant or indifferent as regards the great questions involved in the care of our forests. It may be said with truth that nearly all our best farmers are intelligently interested in a proper care and preservation and increase of our woodlands. Newport, Vt. T. H. Hoskins. Protecting Orange-groves from Frost. To the Editor of GARDEN AND FOREST: Sir,-On page 30 of issue of GARDEN AND FOREST forJanuary I7th an account is given of the means employed to counteract the effect of the late "freeze" in southern California. Another method was used by my son on his ranches at Riverside. On Saturday night the thermometer fell to twenty-six degrees, and on Sunday night to twenty-eight degrees. He kept the water running through his groves throughout these nights. The temperature of the water when drawn from the flume was fifty-six degrees; when drawn off after flooding the ranches it was thirty-six degrees. Out of twenty oranges removed from the trees and tested, but two showed signs of having been touched by 1he frost. Boston, Mass. yames C. White. Meetings of Societies. The Western New York Horticultural Society. —II. PRESERVATION OF FRUIT. PROFESSOR CALDWELL, of Cornell University, began an address on this subject with a concise account of the chemical changes which go on in fruit to ripen it. These same agencies keep at work in the ripe fruit, and when it is already at its best the only change they can bring about is to make it poorer. Besides this, there are armies of living organisms which are ready to start decay wherever there.is a weak or broken skin. These organisms, friends of the farmer or gardener in a great many instances, are enemies which he must fight all the time if he keeps his milk or fruit from spoiling. Concerning these bacteria, Dr. Caldwell went on to say: Nothing is safe from them, for the dust of the air is charged with them; and they are always ready to begin work afresh whenever, as they are borne hither and thither by currents of air, they settle down on any dead vegetable or animal matter. Fruit, when separated from its vine or shrub or tree, becomes dead vegetable matter, and therefore is open to the attacks of these unfriendly bacteria. In a museum, on a holiday, when a large number of people were moving about, the number of bacteria falling on a square foot in a minute was found by an English chemist to be 1,750. To satisfy my curiosity as to the number of these little people likely to be found on fruit as usually exposed, I asked one of my students to find out for me how many bacteria there were on an apple, about as big as my fist, which I took from a basket of the fruit that had recently been left in my cellar by the grocer. He reported I I5,ooo; quite a good-sized city on a very small piece of land, one would say, and yet not much more thickly settled than a western prairie, since it would take 40,000,000ooo of these beings to cover one square inch of surface. But they were there, nevertheless, ready for work whenever a place should be opened or weakened in the skin, where they might begin. Beset, then, as ripe fruit is from within so that it cannot grow better, but must grow poorer, if it changes at all, and beset with worse enemies from without, is it any wonder that the soft, ripe strawberry or blackberry or peach, or the mellow apple or pear, is hard to keep? There is but one really effectual and practicable way to meet this double evil tendency, and that is to heat the fruit to the temperature of boiling water; thus all power for evil of the ferments working within and of the bacteria without is permanently taken from them, and we have only to prevent exposure to air completely, so that no fresh bacteria-dust can come in contact with the fruit. This is the familiar process of canning fruit. Complete drying also stops the action of the ferments and bacteria 58 [NUMBER 311.