Minnesota State Horticultural Society.

Annual report of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society for the year .. online

. (page 60 of 89)
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If a thing of beauty is a joy forever, and gladens the heai
possessor continually, of how much greater worth to the app
mind of man must it be, at the same time while imparting i
joy to its owner, it likewise contributes directly or indireci


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terial wants ? Tn the horticulture of Minnesota, where man's most
ilant care and greatest skill is- taxed to the utmost to counteract
! perpetual war of a remorseless climate, I can conceive of no tree or
Bs of trees so admirably adapted to meet the wants of our horti-
turists and farmers as our coniferous trees.
Phere is a grandeur about an evergreen imparted by no other tree.

l)eople of keen perceptions admire them, whether in clumps or
gle specimens, planted to adorn the humble cottage of the villager
ih his one small lot, or the palatial residence and extensive grounds
his more pretentious suburban neighbor, or planted in any shape
)n the ample and capacious farms. I repeat, there is a beauty and
prandeur about them which fills the* heart of every appreciative
"son with delight. As windbreaks in this climate they should be
[arded as indispensible to the comfort of man and beast; of their
lefit to orchards and their influence on fruit trees there can be no
ibt, while used as a' protection from the severe winds. But it is
b only as windbreaks that they are valuable. In this climate remote
m water, even though we find hardy varieties of apples which, so

as growth is concerned, seem capable of resisting the extremes of
r climate, still they produce but little fruit, owing to the fact that
iir fruit buds kill or their vitality is so impaired that they produce
t little or no fruit.

Evergreens, when planted around and among apple trees, are said
one of our best authorities to continually give off an exodium of
irmth and moisture that reaches the distance of its area in height,
eh being the fact, if evergreens are planted around and among our
lit trees a double purpose will be filled, and the evergreens, so util-^
d by the farmer or fruit grower, will thus be made not only a pro-
5tion but an imparter of life force, whose power will gladden the
art of each and everyone who lives within its influence. Men
rive only on diluted oxygen, purified to a certain extent from the
rbonic acid which animals and fires are constantly throwing into it.
llective man enhances the impurity. Is there a remedy? There is,
d one entirely under the control of man. It is the absorption of
rbon out of the air by increased forest areas, especially of pines,
Isam and spruce, red and white cedar. As the commercial world
ilizes electricity to do its will, so should the State see that a suffi-
!nt number of nature's silent but obedient agents, in the shape of
ergreen trees and forests, are raised up to aid in purifying the air
d otherwise contribute toward the amelioration of our rigorous



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Mr. Brand. I received a letter from Mr. Brown, of Lac
county, containing some items of interest.


Providence, Jan. (
Friend Brand: — Yours of the twentieth ult. came to hai
day. It was marked mis-sent. I will try and answer yoi
questions. The white pines I got of y6u are from 8 to 12 f
They would have been about 3 feet higher but for being twi(
by hail in June. They are looking very healthy and green,
about forty white pines. I have not far from 500 Scotch pi
are looking very fine. Some of them are from 6 to 12 feet in
They are mostly from 8 inches to three feet tall. I have 8<
over 2,000 white spruce, mostly from 6 inches to 12 feet in b
few 4 feet, and the one you sent me is 12 feet high and 18 i
circumference at the ground; it is a betiuty. I have about I
vitsB, nearly all mere seedlings. ! You will remember that yon
arbor vitse tree which was about 4 feet at that time; it is nc
in heighth. I likewise have fifty balsams, all quite small e:
which was planted eight years ago, and was then 18 inches 1
is now about 12 feet high. My evergreens are all looking vi
and nice.

I notice A. W. Sias speaks of the Norway spruce as hii
evergreen. I have had no success with them in this county,
years ago I planted 300 of them and have not one now. Tl
and grew quite well the first season, but nearly all died the f
jber. I would take the white spruce first; second, the art
and third, the Scotch pine. These are the most hardy with
the evergreens I have planted on my place, and I have seven
kinds. The Scotch pines have made the most rapid growt
they have grown from 1 to 2 feet yearly, and sometimes
transplanted forty of them last spring which were from 2
high ; not one died, and they are looking very healthy n(
white spruce grows more dense in its branches and takes a
hold in the earth, and therefore is less liable to get leanec
strong winds, which makes it preferable for a lone tree,
be transplanted with as much certainty of living as any of i
greens. I am now fully satisfied that all may have a fine
evergreens about their homes if they will. I see no reason wh
not have evergreen groves, even on these bleak prairies. 1 1
ing them in my grove; they grow well, even where it is quit


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rter they have attained sufficient growth I will remove the other
ees, when I will have an evergreen forest.

Yon will see that I expect to live a long time yet. Tou suggested
I article on forestry, but I have not the time now. The snow is so
ep and drifted the mail is carried on snow shoes from Can by to Lac
ii Parle. It snows most of the time, and the roads are getting
)rse every day. Yours truly,

J. H. Beown.


Mr. Pearce. Mr. President, the growing of timl)er is a business to
lich every farmer should give attention. I have been in Minnesota
irty years or over. I have observed that our streams are becoming
yer each year by the process which is going on of cutting away our
rest supplies. If this system is continued our winters will become
Ider and our streams will continue to become less year by year. In
5t many of the streams will entirely dry up, and I dare say the Mis-
eippi river will become nearly dry in places, and in time this coun-
J will become a cold and barren waste.

Forests should be planted everywhere upon these broad prairies, but
^ear, at the rate we are going on, in a short time the country to the
(st of us will be depopulated, or it will become impossible for the
opie to make a living. Sir, there must be forests planted; trees
ist be planted in bodies; a small amount of timber will not answer
e purpose. At least one-quarter of the country should be planted

This work should be carried on under the auspices of the national
vernment. If we are to preserve the fertility of the soil, and make
is country habitable, the sooner it is taken hold of by the goveni-
mt the better it will be for all parties concerned.
Last winter I had occasion to go over some of this broad prairie
untry, and had an opportunity to talk with some of the people who
re in those treeless regions, and they wanted to know what should
done. I said " plant evergreens; plant them by the millions!"
I hope this Society will take some action in regard to the forestry
lestion. We ought to urge upon the government to wake up in this
atter. There is no good judgment in being quiet on the subject
ly longer, gentlemen. A thousand years hence and this whole
untry will be a cold, barren, desert region, if the present condition
things is allowed to prevail.


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Mr. Harris. Mr. President, our Society considered this
«omewhat last winter and appointed a committee to try and
passed by the legislature to preserve such forests as were si
posession of the State and that were not valuable enough fo
iural purposes, and to reforest such portions of the State as
deforested and the land left Jo revert to the State. Our h
paid but little attention to the matter, and failed to take an
thereon. There are timber lands in this State that have be<
and that are growing up to timber, but which lands have I
for taxes. It is important that this timber which is gr<
should be preserved on these lands which revert to the State,
were the case, large areas in the northern portion of the Sti
be reforested, and a large revenue might be obtained for the
years to come.

We need here in Minnesota, in order to make it a perfect ,
Eden, a vast body of water along our northern borders. As
not have that the next best thing is to have an abundance o
and to reforest this whole western country. If that could \
would change the climate so that we could raise a great ms
that we attempt but fail to raise at the present time; it wou
the State far better adapted for agriculture of every kind,
to agitate this question, and have something definite accomi:

I tell you, sir, forestry ought to be taken under the wii
State Horticultural Society. We are recognized as the strc
sociation in the State of Minnesota in the interest of Ag]
We, as a: society, have labored for the promotion of forestry
State Forestry Association should be merged into this Societ
in favor of keeping up that organization if it could be made
but as it has been managed in the past it would be more sue
merged in this Society. The more organizations we put i
without interfering with their work, the better.

Prof. Porter said that he had observed, in looking up son
at the Capitol recently that about twenty-two thousand dollars
out in a single year for the promotion of forestry, but did n
how the money was appropriated

President Elliot stated that he presumed the money was
bounties for plantinc^ trees along streets and highways, etc.

Mr. Gould. Mr. President, I agree with Mr. Brand and M
that the proper thing to dicuss now in reference to forestr
planting of trees on the ** western plains " as they used to 1
which embrace Dakota, a portion of Iowa, Nebraska and Ka


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^ow I sappose 4n order to make this matter of planting forests ef-
tive, the national government should take hold of it^ bat the gov-
ment never will do it unless the effort is first started by societies
individuaals. After the experience of the last week or ten days in
ich scores and hundreds of people who have lost their lives by the
rms which have prevailed on these treeless prairies in Dakota and
the west of us, it won't be necessary to cite any evidence that there
abundant necessity for something to be done to protect life and
n existence itself in that region of country; and while we have a
amon interest in the welfare of our kind we should feel special in-
est for the protection of .the people of our own State. It is well
3wn that many of these people are too poor to get away, and will
obliged to remain. A wall of timber should be erected across
ise plains to stop the sweep of the furious blasts that come down
m the north; and from this side of the rocky mountains, and
ich seem to gather force as they come across the plains and reach
borders of Minnesota, and strike our timber areas and are arrested
their progress. It is here their force and severity is broken up; it
our forests that afford the protection we enjoy. This Society
•uld exert every influence it can bring to bear for the preservation
forests, and if there is anything that can be done to help cover the
eless prairies with shelter belts it ought to be speedily brought

t is said there are localities in Dakota where trees won't grow, and
some places trees will not live to be more than three years old.
at may be the fact, but I very much doubt it. I would like to see
8 Society put itself on record in some way in favor of the national
rernment taking some proper action. One suggestion I would
ke would be to have a competent man in charge of a bureau of
estry, and placing sufficient funds under his control to enable him
lo something in this direction.

At. Sias. I think a man must be a fool to undertake to live where
ree cannot be made to live. [Laughter.] If there is anything
ided to force him to see the necessity or the good sense of doing
at Mr. Pearce says, to plant evergreens out there upon the western
dries by the million, why I would just ask those persons to please
d over the list and see how many have been frozen to death out
ire in that country within a few days past.

President Elliot. We have with us to-day Mr. Oliver Gibbs, a for-
r secretary of the Society, who has recently gone to Dakota. I do
t know whether he is a delegate from the Dakota Horticultural


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Society or not, but at any rate we. would be pleased to hear
in regard to Dakota tret^ planting.


Mr. Gibbs. Mr. President, I have long .believed that on
greatest blunders ever made by the United States governm
the people of the United States, was in parting with tl
prairie lands without first reforesting them and preparing the
habitation of civilized man. It is not too late to repair th
to some extent. Vast bodies of these lands are yet in the
the government, and large tracts are also in the hands of
governments. I believe in reinforcing the theory that is n
advanced at Washington by the forestry bureau of the agi
department, in taking proper steps looking toward a system o
for the lands that are remaining under the control of the gov
so that such lands may be preserved as far as possible for

Heforestation in Europe has been conducted for many ye;
government control, and upon scientific and practical princi
with reference, also, to the uses to which trees are adapted

He said that timber had a marked effect in the ameliorati
climate, but it should be planted extensively to accomplish
suit. A good deal had been said in regard to the timber ci
and its repeal. According to his observation in Dakoti
been led to believe nearly all that had been done thus far in
tion of growing timber had been done under the provisioi
act, and by people who were trying to protect their tree c
though as a rule the amount of timber grown on these tree c
limited and did not amount to a great deal. Trees seem to 1
planted with little regard to system in the varieties selected
er locations.

The greatest drawback in the way of growing forest tree
prairies was perhaps in the ignorance of the people who plan
Those who undertook to grow them were not adapted to 1
pation. * Many of them had been brought up without the 1
schools, and knowi^g little of the principles of forestry or
ture in any form.

In speaking of the force of the winds on these treeless pr
mentioned the fact that in driving across the prairie on one
a distance of some ten miles, facing the wind, with his ^
side, they drove two or three miles debating in their ov


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;ther to turn back or go ahead; and coming upon one of these tim-
claims where there^ was a fine little grove of trees, the marked
ilioration in the atmosphere in the vicinity of the grove could be
lily observed, and they renewed their journey, passing along tc
er similar spots upon the prairie.

lS indicating the force of the wind he stated on coming from home,
n the occasion of his recent trip to the city, he started out for the
;ion, skipping over the drifts with a pair of ponies, about the onlj
veyance in which he could get across the country, and coming
3g he saw a black object sticking above a huge drift of snow, an<]
\e came nearer saw it was the end of a stovepipe; and on driving
Found a tunnel some three feet square which extended thirty oi
y feet under the drift, and was the means of access for the man

his family to and from his dwelling. He saw no smoke coming
n the stove-pipe, but concluded there was a family in there, and
bably all comfortable and warm, although he did not go inside,
tut in Dakota they were becoming awakened as horticulturists and
isters on this subject, and there was no doubt the legislature would
5 some proper action in the direction of reforesting the prairies.
'. Church was a very earnest forester.

[e would recommend memorializing Congress in regard to taking
mpt and decisive action to advance the interests of forestry in the

[r. Underwood said he had had some fifteen years experience on
prairies of Illinois, and more recently personal supervision of tim-
claims on the prairies of Dakota, and felt like saying a good word
the provisions of the timber culture law. His friend, Mr. Gibbs,
not seem to think very much of these timber claims.
[r. Gibbs. I do not think they have much effect so far as cli-
;ic influences are concerned. It is true they are a good thing for
settler and his neighbors.

[r. Underwood said he had traveled through Southern Minnesota

;e thoroughly while canvassing for the sale of trees some nineteen

rs ago in the part of the country where there was very little tim-

In passing through the same country some fifteen years later he

been greatly surprised at finding the change that had been
ught in the appearance of the country during that time. He could
ily recognize the country, although he had a good memory of
les. A large amount of timber had been planted out and was be-
saccessfully grown. He had never been entirely foiled in his en-
ters to grow trees on tree claims in Dakota, although they had no


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moisture there to speak of for two or three years at a time
spring of the year he had found very little moisture, and
hardly dig a post-hole. He had been overseeing quite anuml
claims, taking care of some seventy acres of trees, growing
diflFerent parties under contract. He thought the timber en
a beneficial one and ought to be upheld.

Mr. Pearce inquired what per cent of timber claims were
fully maintained.

Mr. Underwood said about one-third or one-fourth of t
first-class. He referred more particularly, however, to his (
rience, and could not say what per cent of timber claims i
were successful.

Mr. Fuller said that one of the land officers at Benson had
statement that he knew of but two men in his district who ^
plying with the timber culture law strictly and were maki
cess in growing trees That statement was made some six
years ago.

[The Commissioner of the General Land Office estimates th
tion of timber culture entries made without securing the n
tended by the provisions of that act at 90 per cent. — Sbo.]

Mr. Gibbs said the best estimate he had seen of the perci
lands that had been covered with forests under the provisic
timber culture act was about 30 per cent in Dakota and M
Under that act only one tree-claim could be taken in a singli
and only ten acres of trees were required. That was a v
amount of timber for an entire section, and so far as climi
ences were concerned the operation of the tree claim law wo
utter failure. So far as accomplishing anything for forestry i
it would amount to very little. If we wish to reforest this cc
the purpose of affecting changes in the climate we must hav
chinery of the government set to work, in the manner it is c
in Europe. He thought there was no better purpose to whic
millions now lying idle in the government treasury could b
than to the reforestation of the treeless prairies in the hai

Prof. Porter said if any action was to be taken in regard to tl
of sustaining the timber culture act no time should be lost,
already been introduced in Congress for the repeal of the
also for the repeal of the pre-emption act.

Six years ago he had gone on a tour of exploration in IV
and Dakota, and was convinced at that time the timber ci


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18 a failure; but since that his opinion had been entirely changed.

Tisiting some of the same localities recently, he had *been surprised
find beautiful, thrifty plantations of timber growing. He men-
med one instance in particular, on the Grandin farm, in Traill
unty, Dakota, where some seventy acres had been plnnted in trees
me twelve or fifteen years ago. The trees were as handsome as any
I had ever seen grown. It was necessary that trees should be prop-
ly set out and intelligently cultivated and cared for. The trees re-
rred to stood from thirty to forty feet high, were beautiful specimens
id almost every tree was living.

One of the greatest drawbacks for success in growing trees upon the
airies was the ignorance of the classes who were trying to grow
em. Many of these settlers were from other professions than that
' farming, such as hod-carriers, hack drivers, etc. Many of those
tempting to open up farms in that new country were middle-aged
en, who had made failures in their calling elsewhere. They had
llowed a little of everything except practical farming. When they
oigrated to Dakota for the purpose of acquiring a home, they found
^mselves totally unprepared, so far as experience was concerned, for
^riculturists or horticulturists; they were as ignorant as to farming
;)erations practically as a child ten years old was ordinarily, and had
i learn by actual experience. On planting out their trees upon
leir new breaking, because they didn't grow timber large enough for
lel in three years, they pronounced the whole thing a failure,
'he result was, where there was one such person made a success there
ere a thousand to make a failure; not because the soil would not
row trees, but people there did not understand how to grow them, or
tiled to give them proper attention.

Mr. Pearce said the difficulty with many people in that country was
ley were unable to obtain trees. Many of them lived at a distance
rem railways, and did not know of reliable parties of whom they
onld obtain trees and cuttings. If trees could be furnished in large
uantities to those who would set them out they might be grown suc-
essfnlly. Scotch pine would grow rapidly, and could be furnished
t reasonable rates. Thousands of dollars were paid for trees that
rere of no value. Another thing, trees were too much scattered and
et too far apart. They were neglected and the fire allowed to run
hrough them. Many valuable timber claims were ruined after the
rees had attained considerable size.

Prof. Schotzka said that according to his experience it would not
o to depend upon farmers to extend timber culture; forestry ought



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to be under the management of the general government. In
forests were maintained at government expense, which hac
also, of private forests. While conditions were different tl
those of America, it showed very plainly that some simih
should be pursued. Ten acres of timber for a quarter sectio
was insuflScient. As a rule, one-fourth of the area of the
should be covered with forests in order that agriculture migl
ried on successfully. Some definite system should be pursue
reference to varieties grown, character of soil, etc. Farmers
are making poor selections, planting such trees as cottonwo<
v^illow, and other inferior varieties. Those were better thai
start with on the prairies, till such time as more valuable tim
be grown.

President Elliot stated that Prof. Schotzka had recently
valuable little work on the subject of forestry, which headvi
interested in this subject to procure.

Secretary Hillman stated there had been a mistake on his p
regard to the transportation of delegates to and from the meet
in justice to the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway c
he desired to read the following letters :

letter from mr. warren.

St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway C(

St. Paul, Minn., Jan. 6
S. D. Hillman, Secy., Etc.

Dear Sir :— I am advised concerning the State Horticultu
ety which meets at Minneapolis, Jan. 17th to 20th.

As no application has i>een made for reduced rates for this

via the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway, I will be

if you will inform me if such will be desired.

Tours truly,

C. H. Wari

Genl. Passenger i

On replying to the above stating that reduced rates were desi
following was received :

St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Co

St. Paul, Minn., Jan. 10,

S. D. Hillman, Secy.j Etc.

Dear Sir: — I am favored with yours of the ninth. In rep]


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kj that I have with pleasure instructed our agent at Minneapolis de-

Online LibraryMinnesota State Horticultural SocietyAnnual report of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society for the year .. → online text (page 60 of 89)