Thomas W. (Thomas Warren) Field.

Pear culture. A manual for the propagation, planting, cultivation, and management of the pear tree. With descriptions and illustrations of the most productive of the finer varieties and selections of kinds most profitably grown for market online

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Online LibraryThomas W. (Thomas Warren) FieldPear culture. A manual for the propagation, planting, cultivation, and management of the pear tree. With descriptions and illustrations of the most productive of the finer varieties and selections of kinds most profitably grown for market → online text (page 8 of 18)
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from three to eight inches above the soil ; and in ad-
dition to this mischievous practice, the tree was not
unfrequently trimmed up as a standard. This method
of pruning gave the top, when large, a great lever
power at the ground ; and the trees, unable to resist
the force of the wind, often parted at the junction of
the bud with the stock. If the tree survived, it was
often a monstrosity of growth, the pear swelling out
to twice the diameter of the quince.


The conditions and advantages of the use of quince
stocks, have been so fairly and clearly set forth in a
communication of ME. Louis BERCKMANS to The Agri-
culturist , that I shall insert it hre. MK. BERCKMANS
has devoted a life of great activity and intelligence
to experiments upon the Pear enjoying the personal
acquaintance of those gentlemen, both in Europe and
America, whose names will always be associated with
its culture. His collection is large, and embraces
selections from the best seedlings of YAN MONS, Es-
PERIN, BIVORT, and others. His great experience
entitles his testimony to the highest consideration.

In answer to the vexed question Will pears budded
on the Quince succeed ? MR. BERCKMANS says : " I
have no hesitation in saying : < Yes, they will ;' and often
better than on pear stocks, and they are less subject to
blight. I know that I do not agree with the opinions
of my late friends YAN MONS and ESPKUIX, who never
would admit a quince stock in their experimental
gardens. I respect their memory, but cannot help
considering their opinion as a prejudice. They had


not found the good quince stock, and, perhaps, did not
know how to plant quince-grafted trees. Unless the
proper quince stock be used, no good result need be
expected. I have seen some singular mistakes in
publications, for want of proper attention paid to the
question, whether trees had "been budded upon the An-
gers, or upon the indigenous quince, the latter being
very inferior, if not worthless. The quince stock for
7iurseries is produced from the twigs or branches
heeled or laid in before winter, and planted early in
the spring. This operation succeeds better in damp
and cool climates, and in sandy soils, than in this part
of the United States. Therefore, most of those plants
are imported (chiefly from France), although they
can be produced here, with proper care, in soils fitted
for them.

" At present, my best trees are on the Quince ; and
my best fruit also. Those who would successfully
cultivate the dwarfs must pay attention to the follow-
ing rules :

" 1. Have -a good, substantial, rather deep soil, with
porous or drained subsoil.

2. Select the good Angers or Orleans Quince for

" 3. Plant no other varieties than those which suc-
ceed on the Quince.

" 4. Plant the trees deep enough, so that the place
where they have been budded shall be at least three
inches below the surface of the soil. In rolling ground,
cover with stones, or damp mould, so as to prevent
the washing away of the light soil.

" 5. Keep the weeds down.


" 6. Keep the branches low, and make a pyramidal
tree, by judicious pruning once or twice a year. A tree
with a heavy, high top, must not be upon the Quince.
Levels or gentle slopes are better than hills or rolling

" It is a fortunate circumstance that most of the best
market varieties are also best suited to the quince
stock. Yery often the grafted tree, when placed in
silicious (sandy) soil or loam, forms its own roots just
where it has been budded ; and then, with the steadi-
ness of the pear stock, it retains the fertility of the

" Much has been said about the short-living of the
quince stock. If properly planted in genial soil, which
is not exhausted or impoverished by intervening field
crops without a reasonable supply of manure, as most
of our apple orchards are ; if free from ill weeds and
shrubs, and other drawbacks, the quince-grafted tree
will thrive for fifty years or more. Some actual facts
will prove what I state. Hon. M. P. WILDER has in
his garden, in Dorchester, trees which he bought from
the widow of Mr. PARMENTIER, Long Island, some
twenty years ago. They have yielded fine crops
almost every year. Some have been regrafted with
new varieties ; one of them with Beurre Clairgeau,
which bore this year between one and two bushels
of the finest and largest pears. These trees look
healthy, despite all their mutilations, and there is
no reason to anticipate a diminution of growth or
crops. These trees are on the Quince, but they have
been planted by a man who knows how to manage


" In the same garden are some fine Urbaniste trees -
a part on the Pear, and a part on the Quince planted
in the same spot, in the same year. Those on the pear
roots are now beginning to bear fruit sparingly,
while the others, on quince, have yielded bushels of
fruit for the last seven years, and are actually loaded
with a splendid crop. All are equally healthy ; but,
those on pear stocks, not having exhausted part of
their vigor in the best marketable produce .for years
back, are rather more vigorous. By thinning the crop
early, so as to make it moderate, those pyramids may
be easily brought up to the full vigor of their unpro-
ductive neighbors. Now comes the important ques-

" ' Will quince roots do for orchards T

For orchards, as we find them on most of our farms,
a promenade ground for cattle, a dreary waste of ill
weeds, badly cultivated and shallow soil, stagnant
water, injudicious selection of varieties, and more
injudicious pruning with axes or dull chopping-knives
no, sir ! No fruit-tree of a refined class, no tree
of any value, will do in such conditions. One half
of the trouble, manure, and labor, which a poor vine-
yard requires in France, would make a thrifty pear
orchard, and would certainly pay better.

"Let us look at some fine nurseries (schools) or
orchards where specimen trees are cultivated with
care, and in proper soil and localities, and facts (those
stubborn) things will soon bring conviction in the place
of doubts.

" Messrs. ELWANGER & BERRY, and others, in Koches-
ter ; Mr. WILDER and Mr. HOVEY, near Boston ; CHAS.


DOWNING, inlSTewburg ; Dr. GRANT, near Peekskill ; Mr.
REID, Elizabethtown, ]N. J. ; and many others, cultivate
the Pear on the quince stock with the best results.
At Mr. Chas. DOWNING'S, where every fruit and flower
is cultivated in perfection, the surface of the ground
in the dwarf orchards is covered with straw, refuse
hay, &c., and no care nor cultivation is required ; no
weeds find their way through that carpet, renewed or
supplied with new straw or brush every two or three
years. Mr. DOWNING seems to be perfectly satisfied
with his system, and indeed he must be.

" In conclusion, let me say, that when one expects to
reap the fruit of industry, he needs to give the proper
attention to it ; if he expects a fruit-tree to yield crops
of the most refined fruit, and to grow as a maple or a
cedar in the woods, he is badly mistaken. The old
saying, that " a tree must take care of itself," is non-
sense, when applied to fruit-trees of improved kinds.
It would do as well to plant dahlias or prairie roses
in a swamp, or among thistles and briars.

" He who wants large crops of pears, indifferent in
size or quality, may plant all his trees on the pear
stock, in deep soil ; but he has to wait from ten to
fifteen years. If you want large, fine fruit, which, in
fact, pays better, with less trouble and expense, select
your varieties on the Quince. These will often bear
the first year, and always the third or fourth from their
planting. If I had thirty trees to plant, twenty should
be on the Quince, the balance on pear stock.

" Some varieties will not grow upon the Quince, but
even these do well double worked that is, budded or
grafted upon a variety worked already upon the


Quince and succeeding upon it. The French call it
intermediary grafting.

" In planting orchards, the same care and the same
digging is required for a standard as for a quince
stock, but how different the result ? Ask Mr. HOVEY,
and others around Boston, from which they derive
their largest profits. They all agree that the quince
root has paid the soil, the expenses, tree and all, long
before a pear stock has shown any sign of bearing.

" Below is, according to my own and my friends'
'experience, a list of varieties which will do for the
market, till new and as good varieties can be added.
We must consider that the introduction of new varie-
ties of fruit into the market is not an easy thing.
Those named below are also the best adapted to the
most of the States between thirty and forty degrees of
north latitude.



" Those marked a do not succeed well on quince
stocks. Those marked ~b do bear as early and as well
as others on the Quince. They are arranged accord-
ing to their value for general cultivation, market pur-
poses, &c :

a. Lawrence (often good on Quince)

Nov., Dec.
a. Heathcot Sept.
a. Onondaga Oct.
a. Kingsessing Sept.

a. Pratt Sept. Oct.
Philadelphia Sept.

b. Buffum Sept., Oct.

b. Bartlett Sept.
6. Madeleine Aug.

a. Seckle, (sometimes does well on


b. Beurre Clairgeau Oct., Nov.
a. Columbia Nov.

a. Dix Dec.

a. Doyenne Boussock Sept.

And many others. The above are all good-lookmg
fruits, and of course will sell readily.





Louise Bonne de Jersey Sept.,


Duchesse d'Angouleme Oct., Nov.
Beurre Diel Oct., Nov.
Vicar of Winkfield winter.
Urbaniste Oct. Nov.
Beurre Superfin Oct.
Beurre Hardy (or Sterckman)


Glout Morceau winter."

Abbott Sept.

Belle Epine Dumas Dec., Jan,
Beurre d'Anjou Oct., Nov.
Flemish Beauty Sept.
Andrews Sept.
Kirkland's Seckle Sept.
Brandy wine Sept.
Steven's Genesee Sept.
Doyenne d'Alenon winter.

We think nothing can be more' conclusive with
regard to this question than the testimony of various
individuals of note in the cultivation of fruit ; among
whom none rank higher than MARSHALL P. WILDER,
whose views are expressed in the following remarks,
given at length : " An impression has extensively
prevailed unfavorable to the cultivation of the Pear
on the Quince. This has arisen principally from an
improper selection of kinds, or from injudicious cul-
tivation. There are, however, three considerations
which are absolutely necessary to success, viz., a
deep, rich soil, the planting of the quince stock
entirely below the surface of the ground, and a sys-
tematic and scientific course of pruning, as the tree
progresses in growth.

" Objections to this species of cultivation have been
made from the belief that the Quince was a short-lived
tree, and that the crop must necessarily be small from
what are termed dwarf-trees. Such, however, has
not been my experience. On the contrary, I have
pear trees on the quince root which are tiventy-five
years old, and which produce annually a barrel or


more of fruit each ; and for aught that I can see, they
are destined to survive as long as any that I possess
on the pear root. These may, and probably have, in
some instances, thrown out roots from the pear stock,
but whether this be so, or not, instances are not rare
where such trees have attained in France the age of
more than a hundred years ; and we know of a quince
tree in Massachusetts which is forty years old, and
which has produced ten bushels of fruit in a season.

"The Pear, when grown on the Quince, should
always be trained in the pyramidal form. These may
be planted much closer than when grown as stan-
dards. We have known them to succeed well where
grown at the distance of six feet apart in the rows,
and twelve feet between the rows. In this way Mr.
KrvEKS, the great English cultivator, planted 2,500
of the Louise Bonne de Jersey, and 1,500 Glout Mor-
ceau for the London market. We consider twelve
feet apart, each way, a liberal distance. This would
give 302 trees to the acre ; and we are clearly of the
opinion, that soil and selection of varieties being right,
no crop whatever would be more profitable. Such a
plantation, with proper care, would yield, in the fifth
year, from seventy-five to one hundred bushels of
fine fruit. As to profit, this will not appear as an
exaggeration, when it is known that Glout Morceau.
pears, a variety which succeeds admirably on the
Quince, have sold, during the winter, readily at one to
two dollars per dozen.

" We name as varieties which succeed well on the
Quince the following, and to which might be added
many more :


"Louise Bonne de Jersey, Vicar of Winkfield,
Duchesse d'Angouleme, Glout Morceau, Passe Colmar,
Urbaniste, Belle et Bonne, Beurre d'Anjou, Beurre
Diel, Easter Beurre, Beurre d'Amalis."

Tlie following, from the same gentleman, in answer
to the published skepticism of a cultivator regarding
the permanency of the quince stock, effectually dis-
poses of his objections : " I have, in my grounds,
many primitive pear trees from ten to seventeen feet in
height, with trunks twenty-seven inches in circumfer-
ence, and branching at the base from ten to twelve feet ;
hundreds of these trees are from twelve to fifteen
years of age they have borne regular crops from the
third or fourth year after planting, and in some
instances I have gathered from the aforesaid trees,
* not five or six beautiful pears,' only, but from one
bushel to one barrel per tree. I do further aver,
that these trees were originally upon the quince
stock that some of them remain in that condition
now, but that most of them have rooted from the
pear stock.

" That there may be no misunderstanding of terms,
let it be remembered, that when I speak of dwarf
pear trees, a term which I did not use in the quota-
tion cited, it is in contradistinction to those which are
on the pear root ; for we of Massachusetts do not
allow pear trees, even those on the Quince, to remain
dwarfs or c monkeys.' No, no, Mr. STOMS, we do not
only make our pear trees grow, even on the Quince,
into beautiful, large pyramids, but we make them
bear five to seven, years earlier on the quince than
they would on the pear stock. And, a? to planting


deeply, so as to allow the pear stock to root, it is no
< new tiling with the intelligent Colonel,' for he has
always practiced this system a fact well known to
his Ohio friends, and to every one who has visited his

" Mr. STOMS asks : ' Why graft on the quince stock
at all?'

" Answer : To obtain c early fruiting,' and the
pleasure and profit of regular crops, for many years,
before the trees would produce fruit on their own

" Again, he inquires : ' Will the Pear, under the
circumstances he (Mr. WILDER) describes, (that is,
rooting from the pear stock) continue to be a dwarf?

" Answer : JSTo ; nor do we desire that it should ;
for, having commenced fruiting and furnished itself
with fruit-spurs, it will continue to bear, whether on
the pear or quince root, or on both ; and, as to i longe-
vity,' it is generally admitted that the more roots a
tree has, the greater will be its strength, and the
longer its duration of life.

" Hence we plant the tree deep enough to allow it
to root from the pear stock, and thus we kept the
quince stock soft and emollient, also, causing it to
swell evenly with the pear, and to emit roots through-
out its stem, which it will do, if kept below the sur-
face of the soil.

" Mr. STOMS farther says : When the friends of
dwarf pear tree culture shall come forward, and, with
4 bill of particulars,' show me an orchard of five hun-
dred dwarf pear trees, that have been ten years


planted, which have borne fruit successfully and paid
cost, I will give up the contest.'

" I will then take him to my neighbor, AUSTIN'S,
the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Horticultural
Society, who has Jive hundred and ten pear trees. All
these are on the quince root, with the exception of
one or two dozen, which are on the pear root ; but as
these latter have borne but little fruit, Mr. S. will not
object to their being coifnted in the lot. These trees
are from eleven to thirteen years of age. One hun-
dred of them are Louise Ronne de Jerseys. These
trees commenced about three years after planting,
have borne regular and abundant crops ever since,
and are now in a very vigorous and healthy condition.
~No account of the crops were kept until the year
1851, but Mr. AUSTIN has kindly furnished me with
the amount of his sales since that date. The total
sales, for six years, were $3,408.76. The original cost
of these trees was about fifty cents each, or $250.
Mr. AUSTIN is a merchant, and goes to the city every
day, and the only help he has had, is. the service of a
man who takes care of his stables and grounds. He
has, however, given them his personal attention, and
good cultivation : but, I think, without further estima-
tion of ' cost] we may reasonably conclude that these
l five hundred trees ' have < 'borne successfully, and
paid cost.'

"We will then take a ride over to the M
HOVEY, where we shall find a much larger number of
pear trees on the quince root. Their beautiful avenues
are lined with them, some of which are from fifteen
to twenty years of age ; but as it will occupy, perhaps,


too much time to examine all of them, we will take
one walk as an example. How delighted Mr. S. must
be to see 220 pear trees, 110 on each side, loaded with
their luscious fruit, only eight or nine years planted,
and all independently on the quince root. The pro-
duct of those trees, in 1855, was twenty barrels in
1856, twenty-five barrels. The highest price obtained
was twenty dollars per barrel, the lowest eight dollars.
Then we can call on Mr. STICKNET, and look at his
' dwarf* pear trees. "We shall see some magnificent
specimens of Urbanistes and Louise Bonne de Jerseys.
The crop of the latter he sold the last season at ten
dollars per bushel. Then we will go to Mr. MAN-
NING'S, who has some pear trees on the Quince of very
large size, being from thirty to forty years old, and
which ' still live,' and produce annual crops. Then
we will pursue our journey on, and call on Mr. CABOT,
the President of the Massachusetts Horticultural
SON, and others, who have splendid collections of
'dwarf' pear trees which Jiave been 'planted ten
years' J!

Mr. K. BUIST, of Philadelphia, one of the most
candid and reliable men, has published the following


" This term has led to the impression that all trees
are dwarfs that are grafted on the quince stock ; we
do not incline to this term, from the fact that we cul-
tivated dwarf pears before we knew of the effects of
the Pear on the Quince, and also from the fact that we
now have very fine standard trees, with stems six and


seven feet clear, that are on the quince stock. The
Pear, Apple, Quince, Hawthorn, and Mountain Ash, all
belong to the same class and order, and will grow if
grafted on each other ; they do not all, however, assi-
milate well with each other, for we find that there are
some Apples that will not grow on the Pear, and vice
versa; there are also Pears, and not a few, that will
not grow on the Quince ; others that grow well, but
their fruits are inferior ; whilst again many are greatly
improved on the Quince. "We now say that the Pear,
to be successful on the quince stock, must be very
highly cultivated with enriching manures of almost
any description, incorporated with the surface-soil,
and frequently stirred during the growing season,
repeating the enriching material, and thorough culture,
every season. They can be planted from ten to fifteen
feet apart, and will, with such treatment, give a very
abundant crop, even a bushel from a tree only a few
years planted. This is not, however, the only atten-
tion they require they must have a summer pruning
and a winter pruning, which you shall have in another

Again, the quince stock is a very general term ;
there is a vast difference in the kind of Quince, and
it is now very strange that all the pears on the Quince,
whether worked thereon the past year or ten years,
are on what has recently been called to the peculiar
benefit of some, the Angers Quince. Certain it is,
that there is a variety aptly adapted to the vigor of
the Pear, more generally known to the experienced
eye by its growth as that variety ; and we think it is
the variety only that demands particular notice. The


growth is clean and luxuriant, bark smooth and free,
making shoots six feet high in a season, readily pro-
pagated from cuttings, and even budded the first

Every cutting, therefore, of that variety, should
be carefully planted, on which you may grow either
dwarf or standards-) with this result that the sorts of
Pear worked thereon will come into bearing in two
or three years, and continue productive for many
years, say half a century, and be more ivQQfrom blight
than if on the pear stock, w T hich roots deep, descends
into the cold ground perpendicularly, predisposes the
tree to blight during summer, and if not blight, pro
duces a redundancy of wood almost beyond practical
management, and not at all adapted for gardens.
Another point in favor of the quince stock I might
refer to, is the certainty of its growth after being re-
moved and conveyed to a distance, the many fibres
close to the bole of the tree rendering its growth
almost certain, at least, forty-nine out of fifty. The
Pear on its own stock makes few fibres, and is more
precarious in removal and carriage ; this is again par-
tially under control by frequent removals in the nur-
sery, when the trees are young, which checks their
growth of wood, produces early fruiting properties,
so that we hope to live to see dwarf fruiting pears on
the pear stock as eagerly sought for as those now on
the Angers Quince you will please make a note of
this assertion."

The following from Mr. HOVEY, author of " Fruits
of America," will be of interest to pomologists:
" The cultivation of the Pear on the Quince is of such


an ancient date, and has been so long and so suc-
cessfully practiced in that great pear-growing country,
France, that it appears somewhat absurd to see it
attacked at this late day, as it has been by individuals
who, either from want of experience or other causes,
have not succeeded well in its cultivation on this
stock, and hence would deny to a great portion of our
community, for a series of years, so delicious a fruit
as the Pear ; for in no way can it be obtained in any
abundance, for half a generation after planting, except
upon the Quince.

An intelligent correspondent has shown the fal-
lacy of the arguments made use of to disparage the
quince stock, and it would be useless to go over the
ground again. As he has truly said : " Let gentlemen
botanists have their own way in disputing. On we
shall go, reaping an abundance of fruit while they
are cavilling in regard to a fact long ago established
by the experience of men, not mere tyros in the work,
but those who have made the question a study for life."


From these just and lucid statements of distin
guished horticulturists, it is easy to learn that the
requisites for successfully cultivating the Pear on the
Quince are :

1. That the pear should be budded on the Angers
Quince, a free-growing variety a tree rather than ;i
shrub, like the Portugal Quince. Several specimens
of this variety, on my grounds, have grown, in two
seasons, seven feet in height, and one inch and a
quarter in diameter.


2. That only the right kinds of Pear should be grown
on the Quince.

3. That the Quince should be considered in this
compound tree, only as a root, and never as a trunk
or stem ; and, therefore, should be planted entirely
below the soil.

4. That the tree should be trained low, in the

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Online LibraryThomas W. (Thomas Warren) FieldPear culture. A manual for the propagation, planting, cultivation, and management of the pear tree. With descriptions and illustrations of the most productive of the finer varieties and selections of kinds most profitably grown for market → online text (page 8 of 18)