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Fig. 15, is used almost ^'''' ^^

exclusively in Ontario and to some extent in Michigan. For
local use these baskets do fairly well, but for long-distance
shipments they are not very satisfactory, as they can easily be



Fig. 15



opened by thieves and the fruit is more likely to be bruised than
if packed in Georgia carriers or in boxes.



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42 PEACH CULTURE §11

46. Peach Packs. — When Delaware baskets are used for
the commercial packing of peaches, attempts are seldom made
to place the fruit in the baskets in a regular arrangement. '
It is well, however, to sort the peaches according to size, and
to face the top layer of each package with the most attractive
side of the peaches uppermost.

If the bushel basket is used as the commercial package,
no regular arrangement of the fruit in the body of the package
is made, but the top is faced as in the case of Delaware baskets.
Fig. 16 shows a faced bushel basket of peaches.

When Climax baskets are used as commercial peach packages,
a system of packing is adopted that accords with the size of

the fruit. If the

peaches are small

three are placed side

by side across the

basket, as shown in

Fig. 17 (a), enough

layers being used to

fill the basket. If the

fruit is too large to

be arranged in three

tiers, two tiers are

placed along one side

^'*^-^® to make the first

layer, as shown in (b) ; the second double row is placed along

the opposite side of the basket, as shown in (c) ; the layers are

thus alternated until the basket is full. At the top of the

illustration is shown a basket filled with peaches that are

arranged in three tiers.

47. The form of pack used in the Georgia carrier varies
according to the size and shape of the fruit. In the case of small
peaches a 2-2 pack is best. To make this pack, a peach is
placed in one of the lower comers of the till and another midway
across the end; this constitutes the first cross-row. Succeeding
cross-rows are alternated until the layer is complete. The
second layer is placed in the same manner as the first, except



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§ 11 PEACH CULTURE 43

that the peaches are placed over the spaces between those of
the bottom layer. The third layer is packed like the first.
For most peaches three layers will be sufficient to fill the basket.
Fruit of mediimi to large size requires a 3-tier, 2-1 pack. This
is illustrated in Fig. 18. Each layer in this pack is made
alike, the second being placed directly over the first and the
third directly over the second.

Fruit, to be suitable for rapid packing in carriers, should be
uniform in size; consequently, it is necessary that it be carefully




graded. The packing must, of course, be done by hand. Pack-
ing tables that are well padded to avoid bruising of the fruit are
needed; and the fruit should be spread out on these tables so
that each peach can be quickly seen. This enables packers to
work rapidly. A form of pack should be used that will bring the
top layer of fruit in each till about f inch above the top, other-
wise the crate will be slack and the peaches will shake out of place
and become bruised in transit. When the cover is nailed on the
crate it should have a bulge of about J inch; this can be
secured by having the center till slightly higher than the end tills.



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44



PEACH CULTURE



§11



When the peaches are tiniform and of good size, a rapid
packer can pack from 175 to 250 crates a day. An ordinary



Fig. 18



workman should be able to pack from 125 to 150 crates a day.
In both cases, however, in order to pack the mmiber of crates
just given, a packer must be kept supplied with peaches and




oHdHd
dMD
o>tKo



(aj



(b)
Fig. 19




crates and have a convenient packing table. Peaches of
varieties such as the Elberta can be packed much more rapidly



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§ 11 PEACH CULTURE 45

than those of varieties like the Greensboro and Champion, as
they are more uniform in size and maturity.

48. The packing of peaches in the flat Pacific-coast boxes
is much the same as the packing of apples in bushel boxes.
The peaches are carefully graded to size, wrapped in paper, and
arranged in layers. Generally they are arranged in two layers,
but in the case of very small peaches three layers are sometimes



(a)



(b)

Fig. 20

necessary to fill a box; as a rule, however, it does not pay to
pack extremely small peaches in boxes. As explained pre-
viously, the boxes are of various depths; the height of box to
use will, of course, depend on the size of the peaches to be
packed. A convenient packing table is necessary, and the
sheets of paper, which are usually 7 in. X 7 in. or 8 in. X 8 in.
in size, should be placed where they are convenient to the packer.

24^—7



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46



PEACH CULTURE



§11



As a rule, the diagonal style of pack is employed, the peaches
being arranged in the so-called 2-2, 2-3, or 3-3 packs, which
are illustrated, respectively, in Fig. 19 (a), (6), and (c), which
show the arrangement of the peaches in the first layer. In
each form of pack the second layer is arranged so that the
peaches do not come directly over those in the first layer.
Fig. 20 illustrates the appearance of boxes of peaches after
being packed; in (a) is shown a 2-3 pack and in (b) a 2-2 pack.

49. The nimiber of peaches in the rows that run lengthwise
of a box, or the tiers as they are commonly called, will vary,
of coiu-se, with the size of the fruit and the method of packing.
The nimiber of peaches in a box will vary with the style of
pack and the nimiber of peaches in the rows. In Table I is
given data concerning the commonly used box packs.

TABLE I
DATA CONCERNING BOX PACKS



Packs


Number of Peaches
in Tiers


Number of Peaches
in Box


3-3


9-8


I02


3-3


8-8


96


3-3


8-7


90


3-3


7-7


84


3-3


7-6


78


3-3


6-6


72


2-3


7-7


70


2-3


7-6


65


2-3


6-6


60


2-3


6-5


55


2-3


5-5


50


2-2


5-5


40


2-2


5-6


44


2-2


6-6


48


2-2


6-7


52


2-2


7-7


56



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Pig. 21



47



Pig. 22



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48 PEACH CULTURE § 11

The peaches should be pressed into the box firmly so that
each layer is snug and the sides are slightly bulged. The cover
should press firmly on the top layer so that each peach in the
box will be held in position.

50. Labeling of Peach Packages. — A comparatively
recent practice among growers of peaches is to place an attract-
ive label on each package of fruit. This practice is to be highly
commended, as a label not only adds to the attractiveness of a
package but is a means of advertising the product of individual
growers. However, it pays to label only uniform, high-grade,
well-sorted, and carefully packed fruit; there is little to be
gained by labeling inferior fruit. Some peach growers have
their labels registered in the United States Patent Office. This
gives them exclusive use of the label. In Fig. 21 are shown
forms of labels. The two small labels at the top are used
as supplementary'' labels to specify the grade of fruit in a
l)articular package. These labels are red and white, and are
very attractive. Another form of label is shewn in Fig. 22.



MARKETING

51. Methods of Selling. — The selling of peaches differs
somewhat from the selling of apples and pears. Peaches are
so i)crishablc that they must be sold soon after reaching the
market. In view of this fact, there is alway the possibility of
o\'crstocking the market at receiving centers. Individual
[.Towers and associations can do much toward obviating this
didkulty. They can, b\' means of telegraphic reports, learn
of the sup])ly at the diflcrent central markets and avoid sending
a surplus to any one market.

The selling of peaches on a local market is much simpler than
selling on a large central market. In selling on a local market,
a grower generally sells direct to the consiuner or to grocers.
He should watch his market, however, and avoid, if possible,
the i)lacing of fruit on sale when the supply is large.

Fruit dealers at the large markets often have buyers located
at central shii)ping i)oints, and growers can often dispose of



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§ 11 PEACH CULTURE 4J)

their shipments advantageously to these buyers. There is
always a likelihood, however, that the several buyers that are
at a shipping point will agree to offer a certain uniform price for
each load of peaches offered to them. By such an agreement
they can keep the price low. But if competition among the
buyers can be brought about, the prices offered are likely to
be satisfactory.

Growers shipping to a market center must, as a rule, depend
on commission merchants. It is always well to ascertain the
standing of a commission man before consigning fruit to him.
In order to learn which dealers give the best prices, it is a good
plan to divide a shipment occasionally, sending a part of it to
one dealer and a part to another, and then check the returns.
Some commission men who handle peaches make a specialty
of selling first-class fruit; others specialize in medium or low-
grade fruit. In view of this condition, growers will find it to
their advantage to ship their first-class fruit to merchants who
deal in this class, and their mediimi or poor quaUty fruit to
dealers who specialize ill these classes.

A grower's reputation for honest and imiform packing is an
important asset in the selling of peaches. When a commission
dealer receives a consignment of fruit from such a grower he
is not obUged to open every package to determine its quality,
and he can safely recommend and sell such fruit to exacting
customers, often at prices somewhat above the market.

In order to avoid losses, a grower should keep daily accounts
of the nimiber of crates, boxes, or baskets of fruit shipped, the
grade and number sent to the different dealers, and the returns
received from each consignment.

52. Precoollng of Peaches. — Peaches, when picked, are
often at a temperature of from 80° to 90*^ F. If they are packed
in a warm car at this temperature they will remain warm
throughout the time they are in transit, the ripening process
will continue, and as a result, especially if shipped for a long
distance, they will reach the market in a soft or wilted condi-
tion. Formerly, many long-distance shipments were made in
box cars and returns were very often unsatisfactory. The next



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50 PEACH CULTURE § 11

step in advance was the shipping of fruit in refrigerator cars.
However, if peaches are packed in a refrigerator car at the
picking temperature, there is a likelihood of some of the pack-
ages spoiling, as from 1 to 2 days are required for a car of fruit
to cool thoroughly, even if the car is properly iced. The loss
of peaches in refrigerator cars sometimes is as high as 35 per
cent. It should be stated, however, that little loss will occur
if the packages are not stacked too high in the car and the car
is properly iced in transit.

Experience proves that much loss of peaches in transit can be
avoided if the fruit is cooled to about 40° F. before it is shipped.
This process is known as the precooling of peaches. One method
employed by transportation companies is to provide large cool-
ing rooms at central shipping stations where the loaded cars
can be placed until the fruit is cool. Disadvantages of this
method are that the fruit must be assembled at only a few
points along a transportation line, and that considerable time is
necessary for the precooling. Another method of precooling
is to force cold air through cars loaded with peaches until the
fruit is sufficiently cooled for shipment. This method seems
to be as promising as any thus far devised.

53. Cold Storage of Peaclies. — If peaches are picked
just before the softening stage is reached and are placed in
storage immediately at a temperature of about 32*^ to 34** F.
they may be held in an edible condition for several weeks.
Unless the peaches are being held for exhibition purposes, a
temperature lower than this should not be employed, as other-
wise the fruit will lose its texture and flavor. Peaches in storage
should be placed in rooms by themselves, as they readily absorb
odors from such materials as vegetables and meats. In addi-
tion, they are likely to absorb odors of pine wood and in a short
time may become inedible.

Although it is possible to keep peaches in storage, it is only
occasionally that it is of commercial advantage to do so, because
fresh fruit is sent to the market continually during the peach
season, and besides, there is the likelihood of the fruit losing
its flavor or absorbing undesirable odors.



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PLUM CULTURE



SPECIES AND IMPORTANT VARIETIES OP

PLUMS



IMPORTANCE OF PLUM GROWING

1. At the close of the 19th century the plum ranked third
in commercial value among orchard fruits grown in America;
it was outranked only by the apple and the peach. A remark-
able gain was made during the decade ending with 1899, both
in the number of trees planted and in the yield of fruit, the
actual gains in the United States being 334.9 per cent, in the
ntunber of trees and 304.1 per cent, in the yield of fruit. These
great increases were due to the extensive planting of prunes
on the Pacific coast and to the planting of native and Japanese
plums throughout the coimtry. The extension of the industry
was less diuing the years 1900 to 1910, due to low prices for
the dried fruit on the Pacific coast and in the East to the lack
of organization for distribution and to disappointment in regard
to the quality of the fruit of the Japanese plum trees that came
into bearing.

Plum growing is largely confined to ten states, namely,
California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, New York, Michigan,
Ohio, Iowa, Texas, and Arkansas. These states produced
82 per cent, of the plum crop of the United States in 1899; four
of these states, California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho grow
prunes largely; Iowa, Texas, and Arkansas, produce the native
and Japanese varieties; New York, Michigan, and Ohio grow
most of the domestica plimis that are sold fresh. A large part

COPYRiaHTBO BY INTBRNATIONAL TKXTBOOK COMPANY. ALL RIOHTS RKSKRVKO

§12



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2 PLUM CULTURE § 12

of the plums produced in the western part of the United States
are grown for the purpose of drying, although at the present
time large shipments of fresh plimis are made from the Western
to the Eastern States, and, due to the improved refrigerator
service, the precooling of fruit, and the excellent methods of
picking and packing in vogue in the West, these shipments
are more liable to increase than to diminish, unless the eastern
growers develop a better quality of fruit than they have yet
supplied. The eastern growers are at present not well organ-
ized ; in fact, they are practically unorganized, and their ship-
ping facilities 50 miles from market are no better than those
from the West 3,000 miles away, since it costs practically the
same to ship in small quantities 50 miles by express that it
does to ship 3,000 miles by the carload. Because of cooper-
ation among the growers of the West, they are able to secure
reasonable freight rates and frequently their fruit arrives at
its eastern destination in much better condition imder refrig-
eration than small shipments sent 50 miles by express.

Owing to western competition, plum growing in the Eastern
States has not been actively pushed in the past; in fact, it has
been neglected, and in many cases orchards have been pulled
out; however, the time is now ripe for increased attention to
the plimi crop and for a study of varieties having high quality
and good shipping characters.



CLASSmCATIOX OF PLUMS

2. The pltuns grown in the United States may be classified
into four groups: (1) The European group, which consists of
plums introduced into America from Europe; (2) the native
group; (3) the Japanese group y which consists of plums intro-
duced into America from Japan; and (4) the hybrid group,

3. European Group. — Of the European group of pltmis
only two species, the Prunus domestica and the Prunus insititia,
are of suificient importance to the grower to be worthy of
consideration.



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4 PLUM CULTURE § 12

4. The Prunus domestlca is a species that is probably
indigenous to the Caucasus Mountains and the vicinity of the
Caspian Sea, and some of the varieties produce fruit of the
highest quality. The species was introduced into Etux)pe
by the Huns, Turks, Mongols, and Tartars, with whom the
dried fruit, or prune, was a staple. The trees of the domestica
species are comparatively weak in constitution, need an equable
climate, and cannot endure extremes of heat and cold, wet
and dry, and also suffer extensively from parasitic insects and
diseases.

The area of America in which the varieties of the domestica
are successfully grown is limited, consisting of small areas in
Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Central New England, and a com-
paratively large area in Western New York. In Southern
New York few domestica plirnis are grown. They are grown
in small areas in Southern Ontario and Michigan; from this
westward, domestica are not found until the irrigated valleys
of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin are reached.
They are most extensively grown in the parts of California
along the Pacific coast.

The habit of growth of the domestica species is illustrated
in Fig. 1, which shows a tree of the German Prune variety.

5. The Prunus Insltltia is a species of plimi found grow-
ing wild in nearly all temperate parts of Europe and in Western
Asia. The original habitat is supposed to have been Southern
Europe and the adjoining parts of Asia. By some botanists
the insititia is considered to be a variety of the domestica, but
by the majority of botanists it is considered to be a distinct
species.

The trees of the insititia are readily distinguished from those
of the domestica, being smaller and having more ovate leaves.
The fruit is smaller, more nearly round, more imiform in shape,
and with a less distinct suture than the fruit of the domestica.
The color of the fruit is usually either purple or yellow with
no intermediate colors. The fruit is much less variable than
that of the domestica. All varieties of this species are hardy,
thrifty, and productive, and grow with much less care than is



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§ 12 PLUM CULTURE 5

reqtiired by the domestica. The insititia grow readily from
suckers and also come true to seed.

6. Native Group. — The native plimis of North America
were early brought under cultivation and developed, and today
they constitute one of the most important of the four groups
of pliuns. The cultivation of the native American plimis has
developed many distinctly diverse types, and for this reason
the native plums have been classified into a large nimiber of
species. Only four of these species, however, are of sufficient
importance to warrant discussion here. These are Prunus
Americana, Prunus hortulana, Prunus nigra, and Prunus
munsoniana,

7. The Prunus Americana is the predominant native
plum, and is found from Maine to Florida and from Mexico
to Canada. Pltmis of the Americana species grow wild in
nearly all parts of the country, and are hardy in the Mississippi
Valley, where the Eiuxjpean plimis will not survive, but thus
far under cultivation there has been comparatively Httle
improvement in the pltuns of the species. The trees are some-
times foimd growing in swamps that may be submerged for
part of the year; they prefer moist land, although they are
sometimes foimd on comparatively dry upland, and they seem
to prefer soils containing considerable lime. The plant is,
generally speaking, a bush with a thick, thorny top; it attains
a height of 15 or 18 feet, and occasionally a height of 30 feet.
The fruit of the cultivated varieties is yellowish or reddish in
color, is clingstone, and varies in size from that of the Damson
variety to that of the Green Gage variety. The flavor is
usually pleasant and is best when the fruit is fully ripe. The
skin of plums of the species is somewhat astringent, but if this
is removed the flavor of the fruit is hardly surpassed by that
of a plimi of any other species.

8. The Prunus liortulana is a species of native plum
of which there are a number of valuable varieties that are
adapted to a wide range of climate. These plimis are well
adapted to the Southern States and to the Mississippi Valley.



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6 PLUM CULTURE § 12

The hortulana plums are suitable for preserves, for spicing,
and for jelly, but are too acid and the flesh clings too tena-
ciously to the stone to make them desirable for dessert or
for ordinary culinary purposes. The flesh is firm, the skin
tough, and they ship and keep well. They are the latest of
the native plums to ripen, consequently they extend the plum
season materially. Certain varieties make good stock on which
to graft varieties of the same and other native species.

9. The Prunus nigra is the native plimi of Canada and
is often called the Canada plum. The plums of this species
grow further north than those of any other American species,
being found as far north as Newfoundland and the Strait of
Mackinac. They are common in New York and New England
and have been reported as growing in the Appalachian Moim-
tains as far south as Northern Georgia. The varieties of
Prunus nigra are important because they endure more cold
than the varieties of the Americana, and as the trees of the
species have tough wood they are more able to withstand the
weight of snow and the stress of winds in northern regions
than are the trees of other species. As the plimis ripen early
they may be grown with more certainty than other pltims in
regions where the season is short. The fruit is more oblong
in shape, darker in color, has less bloom and a thinner skin
than that of the Americana.

10« The Prunus munsonlana is the most important
species of native plum in the southern part of the United States,
and some varieties are hardy as far north as Gene\^, New
York. The fruit of this species is of particular value for dessert
and culinary use; it is attractive in appearance, is bright col-
ored, and has a thin skin. This species of plum forms dense
thickets in its native habitat. When budded and growTi in
orchards, the tree attains a height of 25 feet or more.

1 1 • Japanese Group. — The plums of the Japanese group,
which were introduced into America less than 50 years ago,
belong to the species known as Prunus trlflora. China is
supposed to be the native home of the plums of this species,



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§ 12 PLUM CULTURE 7

although they have been grown in Japan for many years.
They show a very wide range of adaptability; they are vigor-
ous and productive, come into bearing early, and are com-
paratively free from diseases. The fruit is generally large,
handsome, and moderately good in flavor, but inferior to that



Fig. 2

of the domestica species. The triflora pltmis are growm both
in the Southern States and in the Northern States; they are
closely related to the native American plimis, but are larger
and better in flavor. They have shown a marked tendency to
vary when grown under different conditions.



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8 PLUM CULTURE § 12

The habit of growth of trees of the trifiora species is illustrated
in Fig. 2, which shows a tree of the Burbank variety. The fruit
on this tree should have been thinned.

12, Hybrid Group. — The hybrid group of pltuns con-
sists of a large number of varieties that have been produced
by crossing pltuns of one species with those of 'another. The
ntunber of new species is being constantly increased through
crossing, and many of the hybrids thus produced have proved
to be of excellent quality.

IMPORTANT VAHIEnES OF PLUMS

13, Some of the important varieties of plums grown in
America are named and briefly described in the following Ust:

14, The Abundance, or Botatty plum is a variety of the
triflora species that has been much overplanted in America.
There are several distinct strains of the variety grown, but the
fruit of all strains is subject to brown rot and drops so readily
that it must be picked before it is ripe. The color is pinkish
red to dark red.

15. One of the best varieties of pltuns grown in America



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