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The Elberta, illustrated in Fig. 7, is the most popular market
peach grown. It is a few days later than the Belle. The trees
are hardy and very productive. The fruit is yellow fleshed,
very large, oblong oval, of medium to good quality according
to the locality, firm, and excellent for shipping. The Elberta
is a freestone peach.

The Ede variety ripens at about the same time as the Elberta,
but is hardly equal to the latter as an all-round market peach.
The trees are productive and hardy. The freestone fruit is
yellow fleshed, large, roimdish oval, higher in flavor than
that of the Elberta, and has good shipping qualities. If its
season were somewhat earlier or later the variety would be in
much greater demand.

The Frances peach ripens a few days after the Elberta. It
is a promising new variety that can be used to prolong the
Elberta season. The trees are hardy and productive. The
fruit is yellow fleshed, large, roundish oval, and of high flavor
and good shipping quality. The Frances is a freestone variety.

5. Late Varieties. — The following varieties, which may
be classed as late, are described in approximately the order in
which the fruit ripens.

The Fox, or Fox Seedling, variety, which ripens from about
10 to 14 days after the Elberta, is the best commercial variety
of its season. The trees are hardy and bear well. The fruit is
white fleshed, large, oval conic, and of good flavor and shipping
qualities. The Fox is a freestone variety.



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PEACH CULTURE § 10

The Late Crawford variety is of about the same season
as the Fox. The trees are rather tender in bud and are,
therefore, variable in productivity. The fruit is yellow fleshed,
large, roundish oval, of good but rather acid flavor, and ships
fairly well. The Late Crawford is a freestone peach.

The Smock peach, which is an old variety, ripens at about
the same time as the Late Crawford. On accoimt of the
mediocre quality of the fruit, there is comparatively little
demand for the variety. The trees are hardy and bear well.
The fruit is yellow fleshed, rather dry, medium to large in size,
oblong oval, of fair flavor, and has good shipping qualities.
The Smock is a freestone peach.

The Edgemont Beauty variety ripens at about the same
time as the Smock, the Late Crawford, and the Fox. This
is a promising new variety with less acidity of fruit than
the Late Crawford. The trees are slightly more hardy and
productive than those of the Late Crawford, although they are
of the same type. The fruit is yellow fleshed, large, roimdish
oval, and has good shipping qualities. This is a freestone
variety.

The Iron Mountain peach ripens from 5 to 6 days later
than the Edgemont Beauty. The trees are vigorous, hardy,
and productive. The fruit, which sells well locally, is white
fleshed, greenish white in appearance, large, oblong oval, of
high quality, and firm. The Iron Mountain is a freestone
variety.

The Krummel October peach, which ripens 2 to 4 days after
the Iron Moimtain, is a promising new variety. The trees are
medium hardy and are productive if grown in rich soil where
the season is long. The fruit is yellow fleshed, roimd, large,
and of high quality; it stands shipment well. This is a free-
stone variety.

The Salway variety, which ripens from 4 to 7 days later
then the Krummel October, requires a long season and good
soil. The variety is illustrated in Fig. 8. If grown under
proper conditions, the trees are medium hardy and productive.
The fruit is yellow fleshed, meditim to large in size, roundish
oval, and of good flavor if the season is long enough to allow



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§ 10 PEACH CULTURE 7

proper ripening; the shipping quaHties of the fruit are good.
This is a freestone variety.

The Bilyeu variety ripens about 2 weeks later than the
Salway or about 1 month after the season of the Late Crawford.
It is grown commercially in only a few regions. The trees are
hardy and productive if grown where the season is long and the
soil is rich. The fruit is white fleshed, mediimi to large in
size, roundish oval, of fair quality, and very firm. The Bilyeu
is a freestone variety.

6. California Varieties. — ^The following varieties are
grown extensively in California:

The Brlggs, or Briggs Red May, is a standard early variety.
The fruit is of medium to large size, round, and has a white
skin with a rich red cheek. This is a semiclingstone variety.
The worst fault of the Briggs peach is that it is susceptible to
mildew.

The Alexander is a widely grown early variety in California.
The fruit is of a greenish-white color, nearly covered with red,
of mediimi to large size, firm, juicy, and sweet; it stands ship-
ment well. The Alexander is a semiclingstone peach.

The Foster variety is widely grown in California, where
it ripens at about the same time as the Early Crawford. The
trees are hardy and productive. The fruit is yellow fleshed,
tmiformly large, rich, juicy, and of good flavor. The Foster is
a freestone peach.

The Oldmlxon variety ripens at about the same time as
the Foster. The fruit is white fleshed, large, roundish, or
slightly oval in shape, juicy, and of excellent flavor.

The Mulr variety ripens about the same time as the Old-
mixon or a little before. The trees are strong growers and bear
well. The fruit is yellow fleshed, large to very large, and of
excellent flavor. The peaches are valuable for both ship])ing
and canning, and, because of the sweetness and density of the
flesh, are particularly well adapted for drying. The Muir is a
freestone peach.

The Newhall variety ripens at about the same time as the
Muir. The fruit is yellow fleshed, very large, and of rich



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8 PEACH CULTURE § 10

flavor that is somewhat vinous. The trees are hardy, healthy,
and vigorous. This variety is not much affected by peach-
leaf ciu-1. The Newhall is a freestone peach.

The Yellow Tuscany is a late variety that is grown exten-
sively in Southern California. The fruit ripens about 2 weeks
later than that of the Muir. The peaches are yellow fleshed,
large, and especially desirable for canning. The trees are
strong growers and very productive. The Yellow Tuscany is
a clingstone variety.

The Staley is a late variety that ripens about 3 weeks after
the Salway. The fruit is white fleshed, very large, juicy,
tender, and of deUcious flavor. This is a freestone variety.



PEACH PESTS AND INJURIES



DISEASES

7. The peach is attacked by a number of diseases, some of
which are extremely puzzling. The diseases of the peach that
are rather well understood are: brown rot, leaf curl, peach
scab, shot-hole fungus, mildew, crown gall, blight, and root rot.
The diseases that are -not understood and consequently cannot
be successfully combated are: peach yellows, little peach, and
peach rosette. The last three diseases are so serious that they
are dreaded by all peach growers. Peach yellows has been
more or less prevalent in this country since before 1790 and
yet its real nature is still imdetermined. Little peach and
peach rosette have not been prevalent as long as peach yellows,
but, like the latter, their true nature is still in doubt. All
three diseases are ^apparently similar in character, yet they have
some distinct differences. They are equally destructive, and
a tree is worthless after it is once attacked by any one of the
three diseases.

8. Brown Rot. — The fungous disease known as brown
rot attacks the. fruit of the peach, the plum, and the cherry,
causing decay. It is most severe in moist, hiunid regions.



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§ 10 PEACH CULTURE 9

where it often causes a complete loss of the fruit crop. In the
case of the peach, the stage usually noticed by the casual
observer is that illustrated in Fig. 9; peaches affected with the
disease will, if they remain on the tree long enough, assume this
appearance at ripening time. Often, however, the fruit decays
when it is small and green. When serious rotting of the fruit
occurs, the twigs and
leaves also are frequently
killed. A ntmiber of the
peaches that decay on
the trees at ripening time
dry and cling to the
branches during the dor-
mant season. The ap- ^
pearance of these dried



Pig. 9

peaches, usually spoken

of as mummified peaches,

is illustrated in Fig. 10.

A close examination of

mummified fruits will

disclose the fact that they

are covered with a brown,

powdery substance. This ^^°* ^°

powder * consists of brown-rot spores. The spores pass the

\^nnter on mummified fruit and also in the crevices of the bark,

and are distributed in the spring to the leaves, blossoms, and

young fruit. From this statement it may readily be deduced

that all mummified peaches should be destroyed.



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10 PEACH CULTURE §10

If hot, moist weather conditions prevail at blossoming time,
brown rot may destroy some of the blossoms. The blossoms
killed by the disease may be readily distinguished, as they cling
to the tree after becoming dry and are covered with spores.
Also, when blossoms are killed by brown rot, there is an exuda-
tion of gttm at the base of each, and sometimes a cankered spot
on the twig.

One way in which brown-rot spores are spread is by the
plimi curculio. This insect attacks the leaves and fruit of
peach trees, and in crawling about over infected parts it comes
in contact with brown-rot spores, which adhere to it, and when
feeding on yoimg peaches it innoculates them with these spores.
From the point attacked by the curculio, the rot spreads until
it involves the entire fruit. It is obvious from these statements
that the control of the curcuho is closely associated with the
control of brown rot. This point will be discussed later.

Brown rot is likely to be serious if hot, moist weather prevails
at the ripening time of the fruit. In fact, so rapidly does the
disease develop that a few days of such weather may result
in the total loss of a crop of peaches. When dry, bright weather
prevails, the disease seldom becomes serious except on very
susceptible varieties such as the Alexander, the Early Rivers,
and the Triumph; as a rule, these varieties should not be
planted.

9. Until recently brown rot was difficult to control, because
of the lack of an effective fungicide that could be used with
safety on peach foliage. However, the discovery of the possi-
bilities of self -boiled lime-sulphur as a summer spray has been
of great value to peach growers, and this is the best remedy
for brown rot known at the present time. The following
control measures are recommended for combating the disease:

1. Avoid orchard sites where the air drainage is poor.

2. Do not plant varieties known to be especially susceptible
to the disease.

3. Prune and train the trees so that plenty of sunlight can
reach all fruiting branches and twigs.

4. Remove and destroy all mummified fruit.



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§ 10 PEACH CULTURE 11

5. Spray as follows: (1) Just as the calyxes are being shed
from the newly set fruit, apply self-boiled lime-sulphur and
lead arsenate. The mixttire should be made by adding 3 poimds
of lead-arsenate paste to each 50 gallons of water used in making
the self-boiled lime-sulphur mixtiu-e. (2) About 3 weeks after
the first spraying make a second application of self -boiled lime-
sulphur, omitting the lead arsenate. (3) About 3 weeks after
the second spraying make a third application of self-boiled
lime-sulphtir, omitting the lead arsenate. (4) In the case of



Pig. 11

late varieties, it may be advisable to make a fourth application
about 3 weeks after the third spraying, but no spray should be
applied within 3 weeks of the ripening time of the fruit, as it
might give the peaches a whitewashed appearance when they
are ready for market.

10. Leaf Curl. — The disease known as leaf curl attacks
the leaves of the peach tree in the spring as they unfold from
the buds. Leaves affected with leaf curl become curled and
distorted, as illustrated in Fig. 11, turn a yellowish green,
become much thickened, and finally wither, turn brown, and



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12 PEACH CULTURE § H)

fall to the ground. In severe cases the trees are nearly defoli-
ated, which condition affects the setting fruit, causing much of
it to drop. Leaf curl is especially likely to cause damage in
regions where cool, moist weather prevails in early spring
during the time that the leaves are developing; but if warm,
dry weather prevails after the disease appears, its development
is greatly checked. The spores of the disease remain on the
trees over winter and are ready to develop in early spring.

11. After the leaves become curled it is useless to spray
to control the disease, as the fungus is already established in
the leaf tissues. However, if spraying is done in time, leaf
curl may be readily controlled. Any good fimgicide is effective.
Bordeaux mixture was used as a remedy until it was demon-
strated that lime-sulphur could be used with as good results;
the latter is now almost universally employed. The disease
can be controlled by the regular spraying with lime-sulphur
spray in early spring for the control of the San ]os6 scale, the
details of which are given later. The soluble oils, which are
frequently recommended for controlling the scale, are not as
effective against leaf curl as lime-sulphur.

1 2. Peacli Scab. — The disease known as peach scab causes
considerable damage in some peach-growing regions. The
disease appears in the form of minute grayish-black spots on the
upper side and the ends of the fruit. In New Jersey the spots
can first be detected on fruit of early varieties such as the
Greensboro, the Carman, and the Mountain . Rose from the
first to the middle of June; it is seen somewhat later on late
varieties such as the Elberta and the Fox. The spots
rapidly increase in size and are frequently so numerous as to
form a black, sooty blemish on the fruit; when peaches are
severely affected in this way they frequently crack open and
decay ra[)i(lly. Fig. 12 illustrates the appearance of scab on
the fruit and of the cracks formed.

A microscopical examination of a [)each-scab spot shows the
skin of the fruit to be cracked beneath the spot. These cracks
allow brown-rot spores to enter and cause decay; this explains



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§ 10 PEACH CULTURE 13

why fruit affected with scab decays so quickly as a result of
attacks of brown rot.

Peach scab is most serious in level, sandy areas where the
air is warm and moist. It seldom occurs as a serious trouble in
districts where the land is rolling and there is a continuous
circulation of air. Provided no spraying is done to control it,
the disease may cause more or less damage from Central New
Jersey to Georgia in the Atlantic-coast peach-growing district,



Fig. 12

and in the south central part of the Gulf States district. Peach
scab seldom occurs in the Great Lakes district or the Pacific-
coast district; when it does occur in these districts it is usually
confined to late seedling peaches that are of little importance
commercially. In sections where it is likely to occur annually,
it is most severe in sheltered locations where the trees are
planted closely, and especially where the tops of the trees are
dense and the foliage is vigorous.



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14 PEACH CULTURE § 10

Before the possibilities of self-boiled lime-sulphur as a spray
were discovered, peach scab caused severe losses to growers in
some districts. The disease is now being very effectually
controlled, however, by thorough spraying with this material.
The method recommended for spraying to control brown rot
applies also to peach scab.

13. Shot-Hole Fungrus. — The shot-hole fungous disease
of the peach attacks the leaves, but when the trees are kept
vigorous by proper fertilization and. thorough cultivation of
the soil, it seldom causes much injury. However, in certain
seasons when much warm, moist weather prevails in spring,
followed by hot, dry weather, the disease may cause a loss of
foliage even in well-managed orchards, but it is seldom serious.

The disease first appears in the form of small reddish-brown
spots on the leaves. These spots are dead parts of the leaf
tissues that fall away from the imaffected parts of the leaf,
leaving a shot-hole effect. The spots develop in large numbers
along the midrib of the leaf, which soon turns yellow and falls
to the ground.

If self -boiled lime-sulphur is applied to control brown rot
and peach scab, no additional spraying is necessary for the
control of the shot-hole fungous disease.

14. Mildew. — Damage is sometimes caused to peach
foliage by mildew, but the annual injury is largely confined
to a few regions and localities. The disease is likely to occur
when there is a wide range in temperature during the day,
and sudden changes from hot to cool weather. It is usually
confined to the foliage at the tips of the branches. Mildew
may be effectually controlled by the application of self -boiled
lime-sulphur whenever weather conditions are such that the
disease is likely to occur.

15. Crown Gall. — Peaches, like apples and other tree
fruits, are affected with crown gall, which may occur either in
the nursery or on mature trees. Instances are on record where
a serious attack of this disease has occurred when peaches have
been planted on the site of an old red-raspberry plantation.



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§ 10 PEACH CULTURE 15

The only way to control crown gall is to plant trees only on
ground known to be free from the disease, and, when planting
an orchard, to discard all nursery trees that show evidence of
being affected.

16. Blight. — ^Peach trees are subject to a blight that
is perhaps more prevalent in the West than in the East. In
the winter dead spots appear on the young shoots of affected
trees, especially at the buds. As, a result, the buds and much of
the previous season's growth soon die, causing a loss of fruiting
wood. Spraying as described in the following paragraphs will
control peach blight:

1. Spray with Bordeaux mixtiu"e in November.

2. In the spring just before the buds open, spray with
Bordeaux mixture or with lime-sulphur of the strength usually
recommended for dormant spraying.

17. Root Rot. — The root rot, or toadstool, disease
described in a previous Section as affecting the apple is also
injiuious to the peach. The remedy is the same in the case
of all kinds of fruit trees.

18. Peach Yellows. — The disease known as peach yellows
appeared in the vicinity of Philadelphia previous to 1790,
and quickly spread through the peach district of New Jersey,
Delaware, and Maryland. From there it gradually spread north
to Connecticut and Canada, and northwest to Michigan, and
now occurs as far south as North Carolina, but has never been
foimd in Georgia, California, or in any foreign country.

During certain periods the ravages of the disease have been
so serious as nearly to wipe out the peach industry in some of
the older districts. It is now believed that these so-called
outbreaks are due in no small measure to the failure to eradi-
cate all diseased trees as soon as they are detected. It has
been observed that trees grown on wet soils are especially
susceptible to yellows, and this fact should be kept in mind
when the location for an orchard is being considered.

As has been previously stated, the exact nature of peach
yellows is still xmknown. The most certain and prominent



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IG PEACH CULTURE § 10

symptoms of the disease are the premature ripening of the
fruit and the development of characteristic sickly, wiry shoots
on the trunk and main branches. The fruit of diseased trees
ripens from a few days to 3 weeks before the normal time, and
instead of a uniform blending of colors, the fruit is blotched and
spotted with red, and the flavor is usually insipid and some-
times bitter. The flesh of the fruit also may be spotted with
red and is usually a deep red about the pit. Fig. 13 illustrates
the characteristic spotted and blotched appearance of affected
fruit. Although the characteristic shoots commonly develop
as suckers on the tnmk and main limbs, they may also occur
at the tips of the branches. The leaves on these shoots are
very narrow and commonly yellowish-green in color. Fig. 14



Pig. 13

illustrates a tree nearly dead from yellows and shows the
characteristic sickly, wiry shoots.

Trees affected with yellows commonly indicate it by the
yellowish green color of the foliage, but this in itself may be
misleading, as the foliage of the trees may become yellowish-
green from other causes. Early stages of yellows are now
readily recognized by those familiar with the disease, and
affected trees may be detected before any of the advanced
characteristics appear. Early stages of the disease can fre-
quently be detected by a peculiar drooping of the leaves in the
center of the tree. Such leaves are commonly a yellowish-
green in color, and shorter, stiffer, and more hardened than
normal leaves. An early stage of little peach may appear much
the same, however, and often it is impossible to distinguish



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§ 10 PEACH CULTURE 17

between the two diseases. But this is not important from the
standpoint of a peach grower, because the trees should be
removed if affected with either disease.

Any check to the growth of a tree in early stages of yellows
is likely to bring out the advanced symptoms of the disease
within a short time. Neglect of fertilization and ctdtivation,



Fig. 14

dry weather, injuries by borers, and excessive fruit bearing may
reduce the vigor of a tree and cause an early stage of yellows
to develop suddenly into an advanced stage. Before early
stages of the disease were recognized, this led to much mis-
imderstanding as to the cause of yellows. Peach growers fre-
quently noted a large nimiber of diseased trees in seasons of

249—3



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18 PEACH CULTURE § 10

very heavy crops and attributed the cause of yellows to excess-
ive fruit bearing. In most cases of this sort the disease was
already present, but a heavy crop served to bring out the
advanced symptoms more prominently.
Another peculiar feature of yellows is that one branch of a
ay show the effects of the disease by producing pre-
: fruit and the other branches may appear to be per-
tiealthy. Yet buds taken from the apparently healthy
es will invariably produce yellows when propagated
Ithy nursery stock. The removal of a diseased branch
tree does not apparently delay the progress of the
, for it seldom fails to appear the following season in the
3S that previously appeared to be healthy.
5 once affected with yellows are worthless and may be
ans of affecting adjoining healthy trees.

A ntmiber of eradication tests have been made to deter-
hether yellows can be successfully controlled by annual
ion of orchards and prompt destruction of all diseased
I a locality. The results have been very encouraging,
certain orchards the average annual loss of from 8 to

cent, has been reduced to about 1 per cent, or less.

little or no attention is given to diseased trees, an
ing proportion becomes affected each year. For the
suits, peach growers in any one locality need to organ-
l see that all diseased trees are promptly destroyed.
; eradication in any one orchard is of value, but if such
lard is surrounded by orchards where diseased trees are
[ to remain, the best results cannot be secured. Jap-
)lums also are attacked by yellows, and any affected
lould be destroyed, not only to check the progress of the

in i^lum orchards, but in peach orchards as well,
re trees are removed because of yellows, other trees
3 replanted without much danger of incurring the dis-
In old orchards, however, it would be of doubtful econ-

reset trees, as they are not likely to come into bearing
most of the other trees become unprofitable because of
d decline in vigor. It has recently been proved that



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§ 10 PEACH CULTURE 19

yellows is sometimes distributed in nursery stock, and for this
reason nurserymen should use much care in the selecting of
buds for propagation.

20. Little Peacli. — ^The disease known as little peach,
as has already been said, appears to be of the same general
nature as peach yellows. It was first observed in Michigan
about 1895, and was thought for a time to have originated
there, but an infestation has recently been discovered in New
York State that appears to have been in existence even longer



Online LibraryInternational Correspondence SchoolsPeach culture: plum culture; grape culture; strawberries; raspberries ... → online text (page 2 of 35)