1883 Western Iowa Horticultural Society Report

H. A. Terry, director of Pottawattamie county, read report as follows:

Report of Director For Pottawattamie County.

By H. A. Terry.

In making a report of the fruit crop of our county for the present year I will say first, that our crop was not a heavy one, though I believe we will get as much money for it as we would, for a large crop, which is an advantage to the producer, but a great disadvantage to the consumer.

The apple crop was fair, some kinds producing quite heavily of remarkably fine fruit, while other kinds were nearly a failure, and what fruit they did bear was of inferior quality.

Those which produced fair crops were Jonathan, Ben Davis, Wine sap, Iowa Blush, Fall Orange, Summer Pearmain, Uaas, Bethlehemite, Fall Winesap, Fameuse, Plumb's Cider, Northern Spy, Roman Stem, Saxton, Grimes' Golden, White Winter Pearmain, Duchess, Sheriff, and Rawles' Janet. This last sort bore so wonderfully full that the fruit was much of it small and nearly worthless. This is my own experience and that of my near neighbors; and I will here remark that I have been so hurried with my work this fall that I have seen but little of the orchards of the county.

My neighbor Raymond writes me that he has stored away some 1,500 bushels of fine fruit, mainly of Jonathan, Willow Twig, Ben Davis, and Rawles' Janet.

I have often been requested to give a list of summer, fall and winter apples for market, and will right here give my list:

For summer - Duchess, Red June, and Summer Pearmain.

For autumn - Fameuse, Plumb's Cider, Fall Orange, and Haas.

For winter - Jonathan, Ben Davis, Winesap, Grimes' Golden, Willow Twig, and Bethlehemite.

These, with one exception, are all in the " old iron-clad list," but no doubt with longer experience in fruit growing on the " slope" we shall feel inclined to change this list and recommend some of the newer varieties.

Among the newer sorts that I have fruited this season is the Wealthy. The fruit is fine, but is a very poor keeper, in fact an early fall variety, which detracts from its value, as we want long keepers. I have also fruited a new Russian variety, the Charlottenthaler. The fruit is about the same size and quality as the Duchess and ripens at same season; color white or pale yellow; very excellent for cooking. Tree bears very young, is immensely productive and hardy so far.

Pears and peaches are not grown to any extent in our county, and I cannot report on the crop.

Plums of the native varieties bore well, and fruit was of excellent quality. The varieties bore about in the order named as follows: De Soto, Forest Garden, Quaker, Miner, Wady's Early, Rareripe, Boss, and Weaver. The largest fruit that I grew this season was the Boss, and quality is good. This variety was sent me by Mr. Knowles, of Black Hawk county, several years since. Tree is a good grower and very hardy, and seems to be a good bearer. The Rareripe is another of Mr. Knowles' varieties, which is a good variety.

The cherry crop was rather light, being injured probably by the excessive cold of last winter. On my own place Late Richmond and English Morello bore a light crop, while Early Richmond was a complete failure. I would say that so far as I have observed all the cherry trees that have been bearing any length of time are on the decline, and many of them are entirely dead. Whether this is caused by severe freezing, or overbearing, is hard to tell. At all events it appears that on the Missouri slope the cherry tree is destined to be short-lived.

Grapes were a light crop where vines were not protected during the winter. Even the iron-clad Concords suffered by last winter's blizzards. A few of the finer varieties on my place that were thoroughly protected bore fine crops. One of the new kinds that I have fruited this year for the first time is the Telegraph. Bunch is medium size, berry about the same size as Clinton and same color, but is remarkably sweet and delicious. It ripens about same time as Concord. I have also fruited the Dracut Amber, but do not regard it as a very fine table grape. It is too foxy for my taste.

Small fruits on an average produced a fair crop. Raspberries about medium; strawberries rather better than usual; currants and gooseberries medium; blackberries a failure generally; juneberries a fine crop as usual.

Trees of all kinds have gone into winter quarters in good shape, the wood being well ripened up, and the prospect for a good crop of fruit next season is favorable.

Discussion On Report.

L. A. Williams: Why do you put Bethlehemite on the list?

Mr. Terry: Because the apple is one of the best, and the tree is one of the best; it is a long keeper.

R. G. Moore: The report from Adams county spoke of many trees being cracked open. I would like to know what varieties cracked open worst?

A. P. Collman: Janet and Red Romanite cracked worst with me.
Samuel Barnard: Those trees which do not ripen up well burst most.

President Wilson: Why is it that Wealthy, which is one of our hardiest varieties bursts worst of all?

Samuel Barnard; It is caused by a late growth and imperfectly ripened wood.

A. S. Bonham: My common Morello cherry trees killed last winter, while Early Richmond bore a good crop. Have found that trees in orchard where bark bursted were on lowest ground, while on higher land trees were not damaged. I think that locality has much to do with it.

Charles Munsinger: In regard to varieties, Willow Twig, side by side with Ben Davis, Janet, Winesap, Jonathan and Roman Stem, blighted so badly I discarded them, while the others did not blight. I have only had trees bark-burst once; they were Jonathan; even the Rambo was only some damaged. Fameuse, subject to blight; Grimes' Golden is the hardiest of all, almost as hardy as hickory, not liable to blight.

W. K. Follett: In regard to the tree-freezing and bark-bursting there are two different kinds. Last year the trees took a late growth, as late as September, and the early freeze caused them to burst. The Janet is worst to burst, and frequently both bark and wood burst; it is caused by the too sudden severe freezing. After a warm spell it turns suddenly cold, so intensely cold as to cause such an expansion of the wood as to cause it to crack open; sometimes the bark loosens from the tree from the effects of severe freezing.

J. H. Masters: The loosening of the bark of the tree is different from the bursting of the wood; the bursting of the bark is generally caused by the first freeze.

A. F. Collman: I would like to know if the Grimes' Golden blights generally over the district? It used to blight so badly with me that I quit planting it and discouraged its planting.

President Wilson: I would advise Mr. Collman to repent and do his work over again. I have had experience with it for the past twelve years, and in that time it has not blighted. It has been very profitable.

Chas. Munsinger: Grimes’ Golden is one of the best shaped trees, hardiest and most profitable; Winesap, as standard tree, as next best as to profit. I had Ben Davis; four years ago bark burst. Would be loth to discard Grimes' Golden.

J. H. Masters: The Grimes' Golden has been one of my best and most profitable varieties, although I fear I shall have to give it up, as it is blighting badly on the body. I think of top-working; hope in top-working in limbs of other trees to escape the body blight that has troubled my trees.

Jas. H. Wing: The White Winter Pearmain is the only tree that bark-bursted with me.

Samuel Barnard: Has any member had or known of twig-blight in same orchard more than three years in succession?

A. S. Bonham: I have had blight seven successive years.

Chas. Munsinger: Fameuse has generally blighted with me, while Winesap and Roman Stem have generally escaped.

R. G. Moon: I have had a little experience with Grimes' Golden - have had them about thirteen years. If I should discard any apple of same season, should retain it. It should be picked early and kept in a cool place. It is about at end of season now in Taylor county; it shrivels if not well kept.

Several voices: Jonathan should also be picked early.

A. S. Bonham: Roman Stem also.

L. A. Williams: My Ben Davis trees bursted badly, and bark has peeled from the wood.

H. A. Terry: Iowa Blush splits badly.

L. A. Williams: Iowa Blush is as hardy as oak.

A paper on new fruits by Prof. Budd was read.

[Transactions of The Iowa State Horticultural Society For 1883, Published 1884, submitted by Cathy Danielson]

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