Walter Loring Webb.

Railroad construction, theory and practice; a text-book for the use of students in colleges and technical schools online

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State Horticultural



November 20th and 2Jst, J 900.


Thb Stonb Printzno and Mamupactu&zno Company




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SAMUEL B. WOODS, Charlottbsvillb.


Hon. GEORGE E. MURRBLL, Fontella

W. T. HOOD, Richmond

Dr. M. L McCUE, Greenwood Depot


Colonel A. M. BOWMAN, Salem

Hon. GEORGE W. KOINER, Richmond

Prof. W. B. ALWOOD, Blacksburo


HOWARD B. DINWIDDIE, Greenwood Depot

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To His Excellency, J. Hoge Tyler, Governor of Virginia :

Sib: As required by law, I have the honor to submit to
you the Annual Report of the Virginia State Horticultural
Society for the year 1900.

Though contending with many difficulties, and having
but a small appropriation to aid it in its work, it has been the
constant purpose of the Board of Directors to expend the fund
entrusted to it economically and wisely, and in one matter
alone, the average reduction in transportation rates of twenty-
three and one-fourth per cent, obtained from the Adams
Express Company, it seems safe to say that the citizens of
Virginia have been saved many times the amount of the
appropriation. In other ways the benefit, though more diffi-
cult to put into figures, has been scarcely less f aa^reaching and

I trust that our actions will meet with your approval ;
the ever widening appreciation of, and interest in, our work,
will continue ; and that more material assistance will be
given by the citizens and Legislature of Virginia,

Respectfully submitted,

HowAED B. DiNWTDDiE, Recording Secretary.
Greenwood Depot, Va.

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Yirgioia State Horticultttral Society,


Tuesday Moming,> November 20th, 1900*


J. K Bryan, Jr., Mayor of Roanoke.

Mr. President, Members of the Virginia State Horticultural
Society, Ladies and Gentlemen :

I assure you that Koanoke is very glad to welcome you
here this morning. Whatever tends to the betterment of
one section or class of inhabitants of a community must ulti-
mately tend to the betterment of all; and just because a man
happens to live in the city, he need not think that he indi-
vidually has no interest in the growing of apples, peaches, or
anything else that he has to eat; because, if they are grown
properly, and well, and cheaply, it is very easy to see it is
really as much to his interest as it is to that of the men who
grow them. I myself, although I live in the city now, must
admit that I feel at home in this meeting, as I came from the

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county your president comes from. In other words, I was
originally an inhabitant of " old Albemarle/' and a man who
lives, or ever has lived there, has a right to come into a meet-
ing of this sort, just by virtue of the fact that he has been
or is living in Albemarle. Here I desire to say that the
county of my adoption is a close second to Albemarle in
fruit-raising, and we may become equal, if the people here
will waie up to wh^t they have.

I say on behalf of the city, that we are glad to have
you here with us, and everything I or the citizens can do, to
make your stay as pleasant and as comfortable as possible,
shall be done. Make yourselves at home, gentlemen; ask for
anything that you want; and if you do not get it, it shall be
through no fault of mine.


Samuel B. Woods.

Mr, Mayor, and Oentlemen:

On behalf of the Virginia State Horticultural Society, I
express our appreciation of your cordial greeting; and to me
this is an especially pleasant duty, because I am glad to
recognize the fact that "Albemarle boys," — among whom we
are proud to class Eoanoke's Mayor — like Albemarle Pippins,
are always found " on top."

I would say too, on behalf of our Society, that we Vir-
ginians are proud of Koanoke; we consider her one of the
great business centers of our State, illustrating in her rapid
growth and sturdy development that new life which is to
revivify Virginia, and make her once more one of the first
States in the Union. It took faith to build this city, faith in
yourselves, faith in the possibilities within your grasp, and
in the future; for it is development of the highest order to
found upon the marshes of Big Lick the fair city of Roanoke,

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counting within her confines some of the greatest factories
and the most prosperous business houses in the South.

Now we Virginia farmers lack faith; we do not fully
appreciate the possibilities within our gr'asp; we lack enter-
prise. Our conservatism has gotten us behind the times and
we lack the adaptibility to change to new conditions. We
hope that our visit here will inspire us, will quicken our
enterprise and our energy; in short, that we may profit by
the faith and good works of the builders of this city.

The Virginia State Horticultural Society has come here
hoping to increase the interest in this section in horticultural
affairs. We also hope to strengthen our Society by the addi-
tion of many of your people to our ranks, and I hope that we
may be able to count you, Mr. Mayor, as one of them. We
extend a cordial invitation to all to join our Society; for
experience has taught us that the stronger our organization,
the greater the results that will be attained, and the more
concessions will we be able to get from transportation com-
panies and from commission men.

This last year has been a prosperous one for our Society.
We have more than doubled our membership. The exhibits
we sent to Paris took first premiums in some contests, and
in others second and third premiums.

We have gotten a very favorable charter from the last
Legislature, and an appropriation to enable us to disseminate
information through our State; which is very much needed.

Now, there are a few things that I believe ought to be
considered by our Society at this meeting. The fruits of our
labors are very much affected in value by fraudulent articles
put upon the market to compete with them; in other words,
the market value of our fruits is diminished greatly by
"bogus" articles that are placed upon the market in com-
petition with them. As an illustration, I might mention the
fruit jams that are made without fruit, colored and flavored
so as to represent the genuine article, and honey that the
bees never saw. And then again " pure cider vinegar,'^ made
without a drop of apple juice. Last year one of the promi-

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nent banking firms in New York City issued circulars invit-
ing subscriptions to the stock of a greiat vinegar company;
and the statement was made in that circular, that it would
cost just one cent and a half a gallon to manufacture this
vinegar — a little acid, a few chips and a good deal of water did
the work. Now is it possible for farmers to compete with
such stuff? The committee of Congress who recently invee-
tigated the pure food products of this country, found that
what were sold as such were adulterated to an alarming ex-
tent, and that poisonous substances and powerful drugs were
used in compounding them. The result of this is that the
public is deluded into buying something not what it is repre-
sented to be and often injurious to health, and the producer
of the pure food product, the farmer, has to sell his article at
a ruinous price in competition with fraudulent coimterf eits.

Another result is that it affects our foreign commerce,
because European nations are opposed to receiving any of
our food products, knowing that the United States has no
Pure Food Law. The United States to-day is the only civi-
lized nation on earth that has not a Pure Food Law. The
State of Virginia last year, among many other good Acts,
passed a Pure Food Law, which largely meets the case, but
we need a national law which will reach forth and put its
hand upon the fraudulent manufacturer in other States.

To illustrate the effect of this: a friend of mine, who
was consul to Germany, sent me a clipping from a German
newspaper, which had gone the rounds of the German press.
It is one of the many efforts to do us injury that are being
made in Germany and other European countries, where they
are trying to influence their people against American food
products. This was the fable — ^it was headed " The Three

" There were once three flies who were very good friends,
and wherever one went the other two were sure to go. One
day one of these flies lit on a piece of American beef, began
to eat it and the ' Preservaline ' killed him; another fly lit
on a piece of American bread, made with alum baking

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powder, and lie died; the third fly was so much disturbed by
the death of his friends — ^its heart was so wrung with an-
guish, that he determined to commit suicide, so he went off
and ate American fly paper, but. strange to say, it did not
kill him. He' found that he could eat that and grow fat."
That fable was being spread broad-cast in Germany for the
purpose — and unfortunately there was too much ground for
its statements — of influencing the people not to buy Ameri-
can foodstuffs.

I believe a law should be passed based upon two require-
ments ; first, that all food products be honestly branded
and that the brand shall show just what ingredients enter
into the product (because every man has a right to know what
he is putting into his stomach); second, that all poisonous sub-
stances shall be excluded from food products. It seems
to me that those two requirements are just, and if they be-
come a law, would protect the public health, advance public
morals, and would give justice to the honest producer of pure
food products.

Another question that we ought to consider is the ques-
tion of transportation — quick transit and fair charges. There
are a good many discriminations made on the part of trans-
portation companies in our State; some sections have nothing
like the advantages that other sections have; and our State
does not always enjoy the advantages it should, in compari-
son with other States no closer to the markets than ours.
The transportation companies seem to have very little idea of
the way that fruits should be handled. A member of this
Society told me just the other day an experience of his in
shipping peaches to Kichmond. He had them in small
baskets; and. they were select peaches, which he carefully
loaded on the express car himseK. They were only going one
hundred miles, and over one line of railroad. Well, they
were carried about fourteen miles, unloaded on a railroad
platform, being dumped out in the sun in a great hurry;
after that loaded again, carried ^me twenty miles, and
dumped again on another platform; then after staying there

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some hours, they were put into another express car on their
way to Eichmond. " When they got there/' he said, " donH
you know, that express company, in carrying the peaches
from the depot, overturned the wagon and dumped them in
the street. Of course they were of no accoimt'then, anyhow,
and it made no difference what was done with them." It is
evident that we must see that our fruit is handled differently.
Our Society has conferred with the transportation com-
panies, and has received better rates and quicker transit,
but we still need persistent and intelligent effort along thib
line. Think, just in the reduction that we were enabled to
get in the rates on strawberries, one man in a single day's
shipment saved $43 expressage.

We Virginians are very apt to talk about our State as a
great producing State. We think a great deal of Old Vir-
ginia — and we have a right to think a great deal of her —
but when it comes to fruit, I think we are inflating ourselves
unduly over our position. That our apples top the markets
abroad is no proof, really, that we are conducting a great in-
dustry, for there is a single county in the State of New York
that ships more apples than the whole State of Virginia; the
same is true of another single county in the West. As long
as this is true, we must feel that we are making poor use
of our advantages and are in the same category as the
unprofitable servant, who had hid his talent and neglected his

Fellow members of the Horticultural Society, there are
many discouragements and difficulties in every great under-
taking. Ours is a great undertaking. To beautify and adorn
the home, to teach the ethical value of flowers, to make fruit-
ful fields that have lain waste since the Civil War, to make
productive the unproductive, — this is our work. If each year
we will do our duty a little better than the year before, we may
be sure that we shall not only advance our interests as
horticulturists; but we shall do a public service, greatly
increasing the wealth of the State, and advancing the happi-
ness of our people.

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Edward Van Alsteyn.

Ex-Secretary of Eastern New York Horticultural Society.

Mr. President and Friends:

I am to talk to you this morning for a little while, on
the " Care of Apple Orchards.'^

I shall take the matter up in a broad way, not going
into details but emphasizing the more prominent points; then
if you would in that same spirit take up the subject and dis
cuss it, I think we could get a great deal more out of it. I
want you to distinctly understand that I do not " know it
all." The man who knows everything is a most disagreeable
creature to have around, and he should get off this planet.

In the first place as to varieties: the longer I live the
more I am convinced that it is unwise to recommend varieties
for a different section, because they vary so in different
localities. For instance the best apple in the Hudson Valley for
many years has been the Baldwin, but it is now rather on the
decline. This is also true of Western Xew York, but if you
go to Lake Champlain with me, there the best apples are the
Spy and the Fameuse; there the Baldwin will scarcely
grow at all — and even up on the St. Lawrence Kiver the
Spy will flourish. Go down to the central part of our
State, and there you will find the "King of Tompkins
County " in its native soU, in all its glory and productive-
ness, and yet that apple is short-lived with us, we cannot
grow it with any such degree of profit as the Baldwin. Now,
as you come into Pennsylvania and ilaiyland and your State,
I find that the York Lnperial is the most profitable apple,
or rather, one of the most profitable, and I have been so im-
pressed with that fact, that I have some trees growing — and
have some more grafted — ^that will come into bearing next
year; and yet I fear that it will not be with us anything like
the apple is with you. When it comes to varieties, a man must

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work out liis own salvation, according to his locality, his
peculiar soil, and markets. You must remember we are
growing fruit for profit and not for sentiment, and, while
I would in no way disregard quality, there is a time when
quality ceases to be profitable. We are growing apples for
the dollar and when we find that for such varieties as the Ben
Davis we can get more " shekels " than for any other, Ben
Davis is the apple for us to grow, in spite of its rather poor
flavor, because of its other good qualities. If you want apples
for your own use grow something else, but for commercial
purposes grow varieties that are hardy, productive, of early
maturity, and that sell well on the market.

I believe the most important point in apple-growing,
both in my own State, and here in your State, is the question of
fertility, and to my mind mlore difficulty comes from neglect
of this than from any other source.

Your country has been settled a little longer than
ours — and yet we have been tilling the soil in the Hudson
Valley for over two centuries — and when I go out in West-
em New York where the country has been settled for sixty
to ninety years only and find there fruit lands already going
back, lands that were naturally as fine wheat ground as any
in the country, simply from lack of fertility, I am more im-
pressed with the thought that if we only attend to the feed-
ing of the plant, we need fear no competition from them,
or from the West. We have as a rule only recently been
buying commercial fertilizers. The plant must be fed,
and it needs the mineral element to feed it. This I believe
can best be supplied by South Carolina rock of at least four-
teen per cent, phosphoric acid, and muriate of potash about
fifty per cent, pure, in the proportion of three hundred
pounds of the rock to fifty pounds of muriate, with from four
to eight quarts per tree for the young growing trees and from
five hundred to one thousand pounds per acre, for the
matured trees, spread over the soil as far as the branches
extend — at least. One might as well wrap four quarts of oats
ai'oimd the leg of a horse and expect him to receive nourish-

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ment as to pile the fertilizer about the trunk of the tree,
and expect the feeding roots to get any of it. If you are
going to educate your child, the first thing you must have is
a healthy child, and unless he is that, by the time you educate
him you will bury him; the sanoie is true with regard to the
tree. There is no man that believes more firmly in spraying
than I do, but the man who sprays and forgets to fertilize
and care for his trees, has begun at the wrong end. It is th^
law of animal life as well as plant life, that all parasites prey
on the weakest individual. If you have an animal in your
stable covered with vermin, it is sure to be the feeblest one
of the number; the Colorado potato beetle always attacks first
the feeble plant that came up after all the others: so I say
give me the strong, vigorous plant, well fed and cared for.

Now I want to emphasize three points: First, fertility;
second, cultivation and care; and third, spraying; and I want
to be as brief as I can about those three things.

A man would better have fewer trees, and those well fed
and cared for, than a large acreage of trees lacking in this
respect. I have seen this exemplified again and again. And
that is within the reach of us; any man can have a few trees
and take good care of them.

With me, and with a great many others, I find that
stock keeping and orcharding go together very well. I am
going to preach something that is becoming heterodox in
our State: although I have seen some things this last year
that shook my faith a little, I find that the cultivated orchard
is not the best orchard for me, so that I say, at the risk of
being a little heterodox, when the orchard gets to maturity,
pasture it with small stock, feeding the stock other food than
that they obtain from the grass, that they may carry it back
and fertilize the trees. These stock will also consume an im-
mense amount of worm-invested fruit; and a codling moth
that passes through the interior of the sheep will never pro-
pagate its species. This method has given me the most
beneficial resxdts for more than twenty years, ana the bridge

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that carries me safely over is the bridge that I am going to

I think the fault is in people confounding the sod orchard
in meadow, with the sod orchard in pasture, two vastly differ-
ent things. The removal of the mown grass takes the mois-
ture from the orchard and much of the fertility at the same
time, and the mowing of the orchard is, comparing with the
cultivation of orchard, always to the detriment of the farmer.
I notice this fall in going through Western New York that
the cultivated orchards, with one notable exception, gave far
better results than those that were standing in meadow.

I noticed also that those orchards that were pastured
as I have said, gave uniformly as good results as the best
orchards that were cultivated, and at certainly much less
expense. If you disagree with me, I shall not think any the
less of you. If I can promote a discussion along this line, I
shall be glad to do so.

I find that the dairy cow, with the manure that she
makes, is also a good friend to the apple orchard. For pears
and peaches and plums, I shoidd be careful not to apply too
much stable manure. I have ruined a good pear orchard by
a too free use of nitrogenous manures. There are doubtless
many mineral elements latent in your soil as well as ours,
but they will remain latent until Gabriel blows his horn,
under natural conditions. The ground must be stirred, and
stirred, and re-stirred, so that the locked-up food may be made
available. And I have seen marked results in releasing it
by the use of the dissolved rock before referred to.

At a meeting of our Society held in New York last
winter, a very able paper on irrigation was read by one of our
officers who has a very successful irrigation plant. After he
finished reading the paper, Mr. J. H. Hale of Connecticut,
rose. " Well," said he, " every word in the paper is true,
yet, before we do very much irrigation, or spend very much
money for irrigation, we had better cultivate as we have
never cultivated before." I thought at the time that Mr.

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Online LibraryWalter Loring WebbRailroad construction, theory and practice; a text-book for the use of students in colleges and technical schools → online text (page 1 of 14)