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Hmetican IRut (Broves—"Hmedcan ^Fruits" Series
THE recent action of the Federal Horticultural Board on the subject of quarantine of chestnut nursery stock, as announced at the annual meeting of the Northern Nut Growers' Association has served to direct attention anew to the remarkable work done at the immense cultivated chestnut groves of Col. C. K. Sober, near Lewisburg, Pa. As shown by the letter from Acting Chairman George B. Sudworth, of the Federal Horticultural Board at Washington, which was read by President Smith at the Association meeting, the Board after a public hearing determined not to quarantine chestnut nursery stock for the purpose of preventing the distribution of the chestnut bark disease. The Board recommended that plantings of chestnut stock be carefully inspected for the presence of the disease.
Several weeks after this announcement was publicly made through a press notice issued by the Federal Horticultural Board Mr. Sudworth, who is the dendrologist of the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, sent the following letter to Congressman B. K. Focht of Lewisburg, Pa.:
United States Department of Agriculture
FOREST SERVICE Washington, August 30, 1915. Hon. B. K. Focht, Lewisburg, Pa.
My Dear Mr. Focht: I have your letter of August 26, and I shall take pleasure in seeing to it that your suggestion on behalf of Mr. Sober's enterprise reaches the proper official of the Department of Agriculture. The Bureau of Plant Industry is directly concerned in nut culture and naturally interested in Mr. Sober's wonderful accomplishment along this line.
It was a matter of very great satisfaction
With best wishes and kindest regards,
The 800-acre farm, widely known as the Sober Chestnut Grove Stock Farm, on which Mr. Sober was born in 1842 and which came into his possession in 1897, lies in the beautiful Irish valley curving like the bottom of a great dish in an area two miles in width between spurs of the Allegany mountains. The fine residence containing more than thirty rooms and the big stock barns whose spacious box stalls on either side of a wide corridor bespeak former activities in horse-breeding and racing, in connection with a $14,000 half-mile track which is a feature of the farm, are on a commanding site in the very center of the valley. From the porches of the residence as far as the eye can reach to the right or left are seen the chestnut-covered slopes of the mountain spurs. One of these groves is more than a mile in length—some 6,000 feet by actual measurement. Other groves are in scattered acreages. And every tree is a grafted tree—grafted with the Sober Paragon chestnut stock, the Sober Paragon tree having been trade-marked March 23, 1908 under the direction of E. B. Moore, U. S. Commissioner of Patents who died last month, and the Sober Paragon chestnut having been trade-marked September 12, 1908.
ECONOMIC RESULTS President J. Russell Smith, of the Northern Nut Growers' Association, who has visited the Sober groves and nurseries, in his argument for tree agriculture to take largely the place of the annual plowing of fields for the production of slender, seed-bearing stems of straw and its consequent labor, cites the great value of chestnut flour to the peasants of Italy, France and Spain. Mr. Sober believes that the future of the chestnut in Pennsylvania and other states is as promising as in Italy. The U. S. Department of Agriculture is much interested in what has been done by Mr. Sober to transform great areas of untillable mountain land into valuable crop-producing land. It has been suggested that a Federal experiment station be established at the Sober groves for the purpose of making special study of the chestnut industry and supplementing the investigation entered into by the Department officials in the summer. Sober Paragon chestnuts sell at five to twelve dollars a bushel; but it is declared that when they become more plentiful if the price should be as low as $2.50 per bushel they will pay better than wheat.
EIGHTEEN YEARS EXPERIENCE From early youth, when he had broached the subject of chestnut grafting to his father and had been chided for such an impractical thought, Mr. Sober cherished the notion and when in 1897 he had the power to put his belief into practice he went at it on a broad scale. Like the sides of mountain ranges throughout Pennsylvania and in other states, those of his farm had been denuded
Chestnut Trees for
In a few years nurserymen will be propagating chestnut trees in large quantities to supply a demand which is now being created by some of the progressive nurserymen of the country.
Eighteen years of specializing enables the undesigned to propagate successfully in great quantity the
Sober Paragon Chestnut
Sweet as the native
Bears second year from graft. Commercially profitable in five years. Commission men's demand is ten times stronger than the supply, and increasing.
Let me bear the burden
I will supply the stock if you will sell it. Have 300,000 prime grafted trees and many more coming on. Sober Paragon nursery stock brings highest prices. Prominent nurserymen are taking it now. Write at once for particulars. Can ship promptly.
C. K. SOBER, Lewisburg, Pa.
Pecans, Japan and Black Walnuts, seedlings and budded trees. Get my wholesale prices before you buy supply for fall deliveries. My root pruned, Pennsylvania Grown trees have good lateral roots—not the long tap roots as usually grown and sent out. Such stock pleases your customers and is satisfactory to handle because your customers get RESULTS.
J. F. JONES, The Nut Tree Specialist
Directory of Nurserymen
Plant Quarantine Rules and Regulations (Federal).
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of valuable pine, oak and chestnut and under second growth timber were considered practically as waste places. Gradually he cleared large tracts of forest land and on the sturdy sprouts which sprung up around the chestnut stumps he grafted the Paragon originated by W. L. Shaffer of Germantown, Pa., from a nut supposed to have been brought to this country from Europe, perhaps from France or Spain, and comparing favorably in sweetness and delicacy of flavor with the native chestnut, with the marked advantage of size. The work thus begun eighteen years ago has continued with increased vigor and is still in progress. The chestnut grows rapidly and the grafted trees as produced by Mr. Sober are precocious bearers. He has had trees bear at 18 months from the graft. All over the farm little trees planted last year are bearing this fall. Trees five, six, seven and eight years old are commercially profitable; that is to say, from such trees and some that are older Mr. Sober harvested last year 3,000 bushels of chestnuts. This year his crop will be about the same. Every bushel is practically sold and he could dispose of ten times as many nuts if he had them. A decade hence these groves will be producing many times the present crop. Among the orders received at the farm during the visit we are describing was one from Seattle, Wash., for a carload of the nuts.
PIONEER WORK When one views these clean, thrifty heavily-bearing chestnut trees he sees only the results; he does not see any indication of the difficulties which a pioneer must surmount. Step by step Mr. Sober has met these difficulties and thus has blazed the
way for all who are to follow. Only his indomitable perseverance and his ready original methods have time and again changed failure to success. His motto is: "If one method fails, try another." It is doubtful that he has ever been completely balked. All over his farm are practical evidences of his original thought in the face of obstacles. He is the inventor of a number of devices, only a portion of which have to do with chestnut culture; but among the latter is his chestnut threshing machine which threshes a bushel of nuts in fifty-four seconds. This machine was illustrated on page 56 of the second volume of the American Nut Journal. Chestnut grafting is a subject upon which Mr. Sober has expended much time and study. He uses now only the tongue graft method. Budding the chestnut is not successful. He used grafting wax of the consistency of soft putty. His demonstration of his method of grafting, for the benefit of his visitor last month, was particularly interesting; for a large measure of his success in chestnut growing hinges on this operation. Indeed, so important is this branch of the industry that he has offered to bear the burden of propagation for nurserymen, most of whom are inexperienced in this particular work, and to supply nursery trees successfully grafted and brought to salable age. This offer is being accepted by some of the largest nursery concerns in the country who are advertising the Sober Paragon trees extensively and are procuring their supply from him.
California Walnut Crop
The lowest prices on walnutsestablislied in many seasons were announced October 1, by C. Thorpe, manager of the California Walnut Growers' Association, after a meeting of the association's directors at 823 Traction avenue, Los Angeles. The decrease in price, according to the statement, is due to a 40 per cent increase, in crop over that of last year, which, it is predicted, will make the returns to the growers the largest in the history of the industry.
Soft-shelled walnuts of the No. 1 grade will market at 13.6 cents a pound; No. 2's at 10.6 cents, "jumbos" at 16.6 cents, and budded at 17 cents. "The necessity of moving the larger crop makes these prices advisable," said Mr. Thorpe. He continuel:
"The growers were almost unanimous in their agreement, as they wanted to avoid the possibility of carry-overs. The return to the growers, it is estimated, will amount to $3,500,000 or $4,000,000. Last year it was $2,700,000.
"California produces more walnuts than any other country except France. When the recent plantings come into bearing it will take first place.
"The experiment, began August 1, of shipping our product in one and two-pound packages has met with encouraging success. We have already sold 3,000,000 such packages, and have reason to believe that
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soon all California walnuts will be sold in this way.
'The wisdom of the method is apparent. California nuts are of a higher quality than any other, but formerly no one knew that they came from California. English walnuts, bought in the bulk, are supposed by many to come from England. Now the consumer will know how to buy, our product being labeled as California grown.
"We handle 75 per cent of the California crop."
Chestnut in Kansas
Kansas has never been known as the chestnut state, but it took a gold medal for the finest chestnuts at the St. Louis world's fair, and they were grown not far from Wellington.
Last month W. A. Maxey, of the Wellington Produce Company, was in Haysville on business with J. P. Fagar & Son, orchardists. To his surprise he learned that right there they raised the chestnuts that took the gold medal at St. Louis. Mr. Fagar satisfied his curiosity by driving him to the orchard, about a half a mile above Haysville, where he saw 50 beautiful and healthy chestnut trees just beginning to bear. The burs yield from two to four nuts each, and some were sent a few weeks ago to the Panama-Pacific Exposition.
W. C. Reed, Vincennes Nurseries, Vincennes, Ind., last month received an order from Maidstone, England, for budded pecan trees and budded chestnut trees.
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To all American Nurserymen and Seedmen desiring to keep in touch with commercial horticulture in England and the continent of EuropYour best means of doing this is to take in the
Our circulation covers the whole trade In (ireat Britain and the cream of the European firms. Impartial reports of all novelties, etc. Paper free on receipt of 75 cents, covering cost of postage yearly. As the H. A. is a purely trade medium, applicants should, with the subscription, send a copy of their catalogue or other evidence that they belong to the nursery or seed trade.
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FOR FALL OF 1916
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Nurseries and Orchards in the Argentine Republic
WALTER FISHER in Pan American Union Bulletin
THE apple is little grown in Argentina at the present time. The mountains of Cordoba, lying in about the same latitude south as does New Orleans in t lie north, and about 400 miles by a straight line due northwest of Buenos Aires in the interior of the country, once produced large quantities of apples said to have been of good quality. The region is subtropical in its location and only the high altitude with its resulting low temperatures could have made apple growing possible, but at the present time the apple has practically disappeared from the Cordoba Mountains. In the islands near Tigre, an hour by train from Buenos Aires, where the almost frostless subtropical climate would be considered most unfavorable for the growth of the apple, the apple is still most largely grown at present. The inundations caused largely by the meeting of the waters of the river and the tides and the isolation of the orchards probably do much to prevent the development and spread of the woolly aphis, a pest which has attacked nearly every apple tree in the Republic and which is undoubt edly responsible for the extermination of the apple from Cordoba. The variety most seen in the markets is a medium-sized, somewhat flattened green apple with brown blotches bearing the rather inelegant but very descriptive name of "cara sucia" or "dirty face." It seems to be also the variety imported so largely from Uruguay and is evidently a good keeper, as it is found on sale as late as November (May).
Argentine fruit growers and nurserymen have not been oblivious to what is going on in their line in other parts of the world. A hasty glance into any Argentine nursery catalogue or a look into private collections will easily prove this. There are several large and many small nurseries owned and worked principally by Italians or their descendants, using generally the same stocks as we do here. Many American varieties are already listed, but they are obtained for the most part indirectly via Italy or France, countries which already supply the majority of the varieties handled by them. There is a regular agency for New Zealand trees in Buenos Aires, where the stock is gaining in favor over that imported from Europe or North America, as the identity of seasons does away with so many difficulties in transplanting. Chilean nurseries are often patronized for the same reason and on account of their proximity. New Zealand ap
ple trees sell at 1 peso ($0.42) apiece, in large or small quanties. The Government is doing something to help promote the wider planting of fruit trees. Aside from a large school, with a station for viticulture, in Mendoza, other agricultural schools, such as those of San Juan and Cordoba, have a horticultural department giving special attention to instruction in fruit growing. Unfortunately the tendency in some of these places with European instructors is to give undue attention to the espalier type of training and pruning, so much in vogue in gardens and yards in the thickly settled parts of western Europe and which has no practical application in a new and sparsely settled country. The section of markets of the Federal department of agriculture is endeavoring to establish co-operative action among fruit growers, with the object of eliminating the middleman. A few years ago the Argentine department of agriculture imported a large consignment of nursery stock, containing nearly a hundred'varieties, from a firm in the United States. In this shipment there were about 30 kinds of apples alone, which were all saved In spite of having arrived in midsummer under very trying conditions for the plants. And in this connection it might be well to advise those wishing to export nursery stock to the extreme south to dig only well-matured plants in the late fall or early spring; keep in cold storage until March or May, according to whether the plants are destined for the warmer or colder latitudes, allowing thus about a month for the voyage and the arrival of the shipment in the fall of the Southern Hemisphere.
There is undoubtedly a future for the production of apples in all that part of Argentina south of the Rio Colorado, or which used to be known as Patagonia, wherever water for irrigation is available and wherever communication with Buenos Aires is possible. By the time orchards could come into bearing, some of the railroads probably will have been extended to tap the almost inexhaustable timber regions of southern Chile, not far distant, and thus have opened up a supply of material suitable for the making of boxes and barrels. Just to the west of Rio Negro, in the Territory of Neuquen, and where there are also many fertile valleys fit for cultivation, wild apple trees have been known as far back as over a hundred years ago to bear large quantities of good fruit and to be growing throughout a
large district; all probably descended ami spread by natural means from a few trees planted by the Jesuit missionaries more than a century before. Although no American varieties are known to be bearing in that region at the present time, jiilgiu:; from the data of the climatic table given above, from the remarkable spread and thriftiness of the wild apples found there, and further from the appearance and behavior of both apple and pear trees in the Rio Negro Valley, one is led to conclude that the great market varieties of the irrigated sections of the Western States will succeed there. These would then find a ready market at high prices in Buenos Aire; and other towns of the Republic, and even in Uruguay and South Brazil, not competing with but following apples of the same grade now imported from the United States.
A True Michigan Story
S. L. Conrad bought an Allegan. Mien., orchard six years ago for $2,000. Those who lived in that vicinity and knew of the unprofitable orchard referred to him as an easy mark, and the parable of the fool and his money was in their minds and on their lips.
But S. L. Conrad was a farmer who used his brains as well as his hands. He cleaned up the orchard and trimmed and sprayed the trees and gave just such careful attention to ground and trees as is necessary in order to secure success in any other line of action.
He sold the first crop of apples from the rrchard for more than he paid for the entire property, and a few weeks ago he sold the entire orchard to G. H. Karricote, of Tetroit, for $15,000.
And that which has been actually true of the experience of the Allegan county orchard and its owner is prospectively true of a thousand other orchards in Michigan.
Big Alabama Orange Development
One of the most encoura ging things connected with the development of Mobile and Baldwin counties, Alabama, and the entire gulf coast country has been the rapid planting of orange orchards. In the past four years over 30,000 acres in this region have been set out in Satsumas. On this acreage two and one-half million trees have been set out. Last fall 750 acres were cleared and 750,000 trees were set out The year before 1,000,000 trees were planted, and the business of the nurseries is growing so rapidly that they are constantly expanding their output and others are coming in to participate in the business.
'The fig crop has been successful in the Alvin district and thousands of cases of preserves have been shipped to northern and eastern markets.
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Plant Breeding on the Pacific Coast
In his discussion of plant breeding problems before the American Genetic Association, at its Berkeley, Cal., meeting, as reported in the Journal of Heredity, Prof. C. I. Lewis, Corvallis, Oregon, said:
"We need a walnut that is immune from the ravages of the walnut blight. We need pears which can survive the attack of the fire blight. We need cherries that are never attacked by gummosis. We need prunes, especially In the Northwest, that mature earlier, are sweeter, and, if possible, larger. We need a red apple in the spring. While it is true that we have the Winesap, it is nevertheless a fact that the Winesap is very exacting in its requirements and is restricted to a rather limited area. We need an apple of wide adaptability, such as the Ben Davis, but having at the same time the qualities of the Esopus (Spitzenberg) or the Winesap, and this apple to be in its prime for the late winter or early spring market. We need cherries which escape the rainy season. Especially do we need a flesh-colored cherry of better shipping quality than is possessed by any variety we have at the present time. These are only a few of the suggestions that could be made for the practical plant breeder.
"The men who are working in the field of genetics on the Pacific coast at the present time can be divided into two great classes. The first class may be called that of the plant-lover, or so-called practical pro fessional breeder. The aim of these men is to produce some new plant by chance or otherwise. Most of the fruits or horticultural products that have been obtained so far have come very largely by accident. 1 refer to the work of the Lewelling brothers, Hosklns, Logan, Burbank, Father Schoener, and many others who might be mentioned. I would in no way belittle the work of these pioneers in our field. They have contributed some of the world's choicest fruits. To Burbank we owe much; he has shown us the possibility of obtaining great variation in plants by change of environment, has taught us the value of working with large numbers and has demonstrated a wonderful aptitude and ability in segregating the valuable plants from the hosts of worthless.
"One cannot help feeling, however, how much better it would be if, in connection with the origin of such cherries as the Lambert and Bing, something could be known in regard to their parentage, and the tendency of these parents to produce such fruit. Such facts would make a contribution to plant breeding well worth while, as we would have laid down fundamental foundation stones for future investigators to build on.
"The second class of workers are our experiment station workers, research men, so to speak, who fall naturally into several divisions. First, there are those men who devote their time largely to testing certain theories of evolution; to working out certain laws of heredity; men who are attacking the fundamental problems of genetics, those which deal with the very principles of the science. A goodly number of such men will be found on the Pacific coast who will be willing to devote their lives to thi>; work.
"Second, there are those men who are dealing with problems of a somewhat indirect nature, but having a close relation to the fundamental problems of genetics. I r^ntion the pollination studies, such as
have been conducted at Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. Some of these studies have already been published in four bulletins.
"The work on the cherry has been of special interest to plant breeders, since it has shown that in the Northwest, at least, the possibility of using the Napoleon (Royal Ann), the Lambert, and the Bing is somewhat restricted, as they are sterile, and are also intersterile, so that wherever cherry seedlings are produced, they will not come as the result of crosses of these three varieties, but may come from the crossing of these varieties with others of perhaps not as great commercial value. Then there is a splendid work that Shamel is doing in southern California on the bud variation studies of citrus.
"A third class consists of those workers who are forced to take up some problem having for its aim a definite commercial need, but coupled with foundation studies in genetics. I refer to the work that Webber has done with the citrus fruits, cotton, etc., to the work with the pear that is being done at the Southern Oregon Experiment Station where over twenty species of Pyrus have been collected, and where over 1,000 varieties of pears are being tested, to note first, their resistance to the fire blight, and secondly, to work out their value as parents in producing immune or resistant varieties of pears.
"Other work is being done at the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station with apples, cherries, prunes, etc., much along the same line as that which is being done with
the pears, but of course with different aims."
Southeast's Business Stride
Under date of Oct. 18th Industrial Index said:
The Southeast has swung into its business stride and is happy on the way. It is happy over the large and increasing volume of present business and over the substantial prospects of continued improvement in the near future. It is happy in the belief that the coming year will bring it a larger measure of prosperity.
This belief is by no means founded wholly upon what may occur in Europe or what may happen in other parts of this country, even. The South is finding itself.
The good prices which are being received for cotton are causing selling generally, not only of cotton produced this year, but also of large amounts held from last year. Cotton is bringing millions of dollars into the South, and because of changed conditions, a greater percentage of cotton money will remain in the South, to be spent and invested here, than ever before. This is true because great quantities of corn and other grain have been grown in the South and more live stock has been raised than ever before in the history of this section. The millions which heretofore have been sent elsewhere for these things will be kept at home.
A total of thirty-seven new corporations were formed during the week with minimum capital stocks aggregating $716,000.
Present indications point to a big increase in the orchard acreage of the Hollister valley, California, with this winter's planting of young trees. One agent for a San Jose nursery reports the sale of $1000 worth of apricot and prune stock.
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Prominent business and professional men of Tacoma and Seattle recently visited the largest single unit irrigated apple orchard in the world, in the Okanogan country, the property of the Boston-Okanogan Apple company.
The party was met at Okanogan by a delegation headed by C. C. Richardson, president of the Okanogan Commercial club; N. E. Whitworth, president of the Commercial bank; O. H. Woody, editor of the Independent; Dr. C. S. Emory and others and taken in automobiles to Boston Heights. The day was occupied in inspecting the 600acre apple orchard, coming into bearing this year. The orchard holds 68,000 trees and is regarded as a model apple farm.
EVERY TREE NUMBERED
Every tree on the place is numbered and should attention be needed at a certain tree the tree readily can be reached. The sanitary barn has various economic and labor saving devices, such as ventilators, automatic drainage cups, to save leading stock to water, shower baths for horses and other practical devices. Gov. Lister recently visited the orchard and declared the barn the most complete and practical barn in the Northwest.
A half million dollars of Boston money has been spent on the reclaiming and development of the 703 acres embraced in the project. None of the land is for sale, it Is said. Only six varieties of apples have been planted, half Winesaps, one-sixth Staymaus, one-sixth Delicious and the balance Jonathan, Rome Beauties and a few Winter Bananas, and 45 acres in pears. One-third of the trees were planted in 1911, one-third
in 1912 and one-third in 1913, and the oldest
HUGE STORAGE RESERVOIR
The water supply is derived from Loop Loop creek, which has been diverted through flumes into Leader lake. The lake has been dammed and is used as a huge storage reservoir, furnishing an ample supply of water for all purposes by gravity. There are 14 miles of underground pipe line of the project for the distribution of water. A club has been erected for employes where they can go when off duty.
Further developments of a substantial character are under way or planned, including houses for employes and a spur track one mile long to avoid drayage of the heavy future product to the railroad.
Texas May Be an Apple State
In the opinion of a fruit expert who has recently toured Texas, that state may take a prominent place among the apple-producing states of the Union.
Notwithstanding disappointments, experimentation has been going on in North and North-Central Texas until today these sections have some exceptionally fine orchards which will bear heavily this year. Some of these orchards are kept up after the most scientific methods and will produce a high quality of fruit. The orchards of the Whites
boro Fruit Company at Whitesboro, Tex., are a model in their arrangement.
Probably Erath county has more acreage given over to apple growing than any other county in Texas. There is one orchard ui 600 acres at Stephenville which last year produced several hundred carloads of Jonathan and Ben Davis apples which were of fine size and color. This orchard will have a big crop of apples this year and for the first time much of the fruit will be graded and packed in boxes.
There is in the vicinity of Dublin, Le Leon and Gorman some 800 acres in apples, and the crop this year is said to be unusually fine, witli some 60,000 to 70,000 bushels to market. The crop consists principally of Winesaps, Jonathan and Ben Davis varieties which have proven best adapted for that section. NearDublin is the orchard of J. M. Higginbotham, who is an asknowledged authority on apple growing.
There are other larger orchards in West Texas, especially those near Fort Stockton, which are being well cared for and which promises to produce heavily this year. Gaines county, bordering on New Mexico, also has some fine orchards which year after year have been successful in carrying off the prize at the state fair.
Those who are deeply interested in apple growing in Texas assert that the industry is just in its infancy, although the experimental stage has been passed and they say that within a few years West Texas apples will be as widely and favorably known throughout the country as are East Texas peaches.
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