DISCLAIMER The articles published in the Annual Reports of the Northern Nut Growers Association are the findings and thoughts solely of the authors and are not to be construed as an endorsement by the Northern Nut Growers Association, its board of directors, or its members. No endorsement is intended for products mentioned, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The laws and recommendations for pesticide application may have changed since the articles were written. It is always the pesticide applicator's responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. The discussion of specific nut tree cultivars and of specific techniques to grow nut trees that might have been successful in one area and at a particular time is not a guarantee that similar results will occur elsewhere.
NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION
REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS AT THE THIRD ANNUAL MEETING
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA DECEMBER 18 and 19, 1912
THE CAYUGA PRESS ITHACA, N. Y.
* * * * *
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Officers and Committees of the Association 3
Members of the Association 4
Constitution and Rules of the Association 8
Proceedings of the Meeting held at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, December 18 and 19, 1912 9
Address of Welcome by the Mayor of Lancaster 9
Response by Mr. Littlepage 11
President's Address. The Practical Aspects of Hybridizing Nut Trees. Robert T. Morris, New York 12
Fraudulent and Uninformed Promoters. T. P. Littlepage, Indiana 22
Recent Work on the Chestnut Blight. Keller E. Rockey, Pennsylvania 37
Some Problems in the Treatment of Diseased Chestnut Trees. Roy G. Pierce, Pennsylvania 44
Nut Growing and Tree Breeding and their Relation to Conservation. J. Russell Smith, Pennsylvania 59
Beginning with Nuts. W. C. Deming, New York 64
The Persian Walnut, Its Disaster and Lessons for 1912. J. G. Rush, Pennsylvania 85
A 1912 Review of the Nut Situation in the North. C. A. Reed, Washington, D. C 91
Demonstration in Grafting. J. F. Jones, Pennsylvania 105
Some Persian Walnut Observations, Experiments and Results for 1912. E. R. Lake, Washington, D. C 110
The Indiana Pecans. R. L. McCoy, Indiana 113
Report of Secretary and Treasurer 116
Report of Committee on Resolutions 117
Report of Committee on the Death of Professor John Craig 119
Report of Committee on Exhibits 120
The Hickory Bark Borer 122
Members Present 124
List of Correspondents and Others Interested in Nut Culture 124
Extracts from Letters from State Vice-Presidents and Others 138
OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION
President T. P. Littlepage Indiana Secretary and Treasurer W. C. Deming Georgetown, Conn.
Executive Robert T. Morris W. N. Roper And the Officers
Promising Seedlings T. P. Littlepage C. A. Reed W. C. Deming
Hybrids R. T. Morris J. R. Smith C. P. Close
Membership W. C. Deming G. H. Corsan W. N. Roper
Nomenclature W. C. Reed R. T. Morris W. C. Deming
Press and Publication W. N. Roper T. P. Littlepage W. C. Deming
Canada Goldwin Smith Highland Creek Colorado Dr. Frank L. Dennis Colorado Springs Connecticut Charles H. Plump West Redding Delaware H. P. Layton Georgetown Florida H. Harold Hume Glen St. Mary Georgia G. C. Schempp, Jr. Albany Illinois Dr. F. S. Crocker Chicago Indiana R. L. McCoy Lake Iowa Alson Secor Des Moines Kentucky A. L. Moseley Calhoun Louisiana J. F. Jones Jeanerette Maryland C. P. Close Washington, D. C. Massachusetts Bernhard Hoffmann Stockbridge Michigan Miss Maud M. Jessup Grand Rapids Minnesota C. A. Van Duzee St. Paul New Hampshire Henry N. Gowing Dublin New Jersey Henry Hales Ridgewood New York A. C. Pomeroy Lockport North Carolina W. N. Hutt Raleigh Ohio J. H. Dayton Painesville Oklahoma Mrs. E. B. Miller Enid Oregon F. A. Wiggins Toppenish Panama B. F. Womack Canal Zone Pennsylvania J. G. Rush West Willow Texas C. T. Hogan Ennis Vermont Clarence J. Ferguson Burlington Virginia W. N. Roper Petersburg West Virginia B. F. Hartzell Shepherdstown
MEMBERS OF THE NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION
Abbott, Frederick B., 419 9th St., Brooklyn, N. Y. Armstrong, A. H., General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y. Arnott, Dr. H. G., 26 Emerald St., South, Hamilton, Canada. Barron, Leonard, Editor The Garden Magazine, Garden City, L. I. Barry, W. C., Ellwanger & Barry, Rochester, N. Y. Benner, Charles, 100 Broadway, N. Y. City. **Bowditch, James H., 903 Tremont Bldg., Boston, Mass. Button, Herbert, Bonnie Brook Farm, Cazenovia, N. Y. Browne, Louis L., Bodsbeck Farm, New Canaan, Conn. Butler, Henry L., Gwynedd Valley, Pa. Casper, Norman W., Fairlawn, New Burnside, Ill. Chalmers, W. J., Vanport, Pa. Chamberlain, W. O., 300 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, Minn. Clendenin, Rev. Dr. F. M., Westchester, N. Y. City. Close, Prof. C. P., Expert in Fruit Identification, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. Cole, Dr. Chas. K., 32 Rose St., Chelsea-on-Hudson, N. Y. Coleman, H. H., The Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co., Newark, N. J. Corsan, G. H., University Gymnasium, Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Crocker, Dr. F. S., Columbus Memorial Bldg., Chicago, Ill. Dayton, J. H., Painesville, Ohio. Rep. Storrs & Harrison Co. Decker, Loyd H., Greeley, Col., R. 5, Box 11. Deming, Dr. N. L., Litchfield, Conn. Deming, Dr. W. C. Georgetown, Conn. Deming, Mrs. W. C. Georgetown, Conn. Dennis, Dr. Frank L., The Colchester, Colorado Springs, Col. Ellwanger, W. D., 510 E. Ave., Rochester, N. Y. Ferguson, Clarence J., Rep. Eastern Fruit & Nut Orchard Co., 144 College St., Burlington, Vt. Fischer, J., Rep. Keystone Wood Co., Williamsport, Pa. Fullerton, H. B., Medford, L. I. Gowing, Henry N., Dublin, N. H. Gschwind, Geo. W., 282 Humboldt St., Brooklyn, N. Y. Haberstroh, Arthur L., Sharon, Mass. Hale, Mrs. Geo. H., Glastonbury, Conn. Hall, L. C. Avonia, Pa. *Hales, Henry, Ridgewood, N. J. Hans, Amedee, Supt. Hodenpyl Est., Locust Valley, L. I., N. Y. Harrison, J. G., Rep. Harrison's Nurseries, Berlin, Md. Hartzell, B. F., Shepherdstown, W. Va. Haywood, Albert, Flushing, N. Y. Hicks, Henry, Westbury Station, L. I., N. Y. Hildebrand, F. B., 5551 Monroe Ave., Chicago, Ill. Hoffman, Bernhard, Stockbridge, Mass. Hogan, C. T., Ennis, Texas. Holden, E. B., Hilton, N. Y. Holmes, J. A., 127 Eddy St., Ithaca, N. Y. Hopper, I. B., Chemical National Bank, N. Y. City. Hume, H. Harold, Glen Saint Mary, Fla. Hungerford, Newman, 45 Prospect St., Hartford, Conn. **Huntington, A. M., 15 W. 81st St., N. Y. City. Hutt, W. N., Raleigh, N. C. James, Dr. W. B., 17 W. 54th St., N. Y. City. Jaques, Lee W., 74 Waverly St., Jersey City Heights, N. J. **Jones, J. F., Jeanerette, La., & Willow St., Pa. Jessup, Miss Maud M., 440 Thomas St., Grand Rapids, Mich. Keely, Royal R., 1702 Mt. Vernon St., Philadelphia, Pa. Walpole, Mass., Box 485. Koch, Alphonse, 510 E. 77th St., N. Y. City. Lake, Prof. E. R., Asst. Pomologist, Dept. of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. Layton, H. P., Georgetown, Del. Leas, F. C, 400 So. 40th St., Philadelphia, Pa., and Bala, Pa. Littlepage, T. P., Union Trust Bldg., Washington, D. C, and Boonville, Ind. Loomis, Charles B., E. Greenbush, N. Y. R. D. 1. Lovett, Mrs. Joseph L., Emilie, Bucks Co., Pa. Malcomson, A. B., 132 Nassau St., N. Y. City. Mayo, E. S., Rochester, N. Y. Rep. Glen Brothers. McCoy, R. L., Ohio Valley Forest Nursery, Lake, Spencer Co., Ind. Meehan, S. Mendelson, Germantown, Phila., Pa. Rep. Thos. Meehan & Sons. Miller, Mrs. E. B., Enid, Oklahoma, R. Box 47 1-2. Miller, Mrs. Seaman, Care of Mr. Seaman Miller, 2 Rector St., N. Y. McSparren, W. F., Furnice, Pa. Magruder, G. M., Medical Bldg., Portland, Oregon. Morris, Dr. Robert T., 616 Madison Ave., N. Y. City. Moseley, A. L., Bank of Calhoun, Calhoun, Ky. Moses, Theodore W., Harvard Club, 27 W. 44th St., N. Y. City. Niblack, Mason J., Vincennes, Ind. Nichols, Mrs. F. Gillette, 129 E. 76th St., N. Y. City, and E. Haddam, Conn. Patterson & Taylor, 343 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Ill. Pierson, Miss A. Elizabeth, Cromwell, Conn. Plump, Chas. H., West Redding, Conn. Pomeroy, A. C., Lockport, N. Y. Potter, Hon. W. O., Marion, Ill. Reed, C. A., Div. of Pomology, U. S. Dept, of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. Reed, W. C., Vincennes, Ind. Rice, Mrs. Lilian McKee, Barnes Cottage, Carmel, N. Y. Rich, William P., Sec'y Mass Horticultural Society, 300 Mass. Ave., Boston. Ridgway, C. S., "Floralia," Lumberton, N. J. Riehl, E. A., Alton, Ill. Roper, Wm. N., Arrowfield Nursery Co., Petersburg, Va. Rose, Wm. J., 413 Market St., Harrisburg, Pa. Rush, J. G., West Willow, Pa. Schempp, G. C., Jr., Albany, Ga. Route 3. Secor, Alson, Editor Successful Farming, Des Moines, Iowa. Sensenig, Wayne, State College, Center Co., Pa. Shellenberger, H. H., 610 Broadhead St., Easton, Pa. Shoemaker, Seth W., Agric. Ed. Int. Corresp. Schools, Scranton, Pa. Smith, E. K., 213 Phoenix Bldg., Minneapolis, Minn. Smith, Goldwin, Highland Creek, Ontario, Canada. Smith, J. Russell, Roundhill, Va. Smith, Percival P., 108 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, Ill. Tuckerman, Bayard, 118 E. 37th St., N. Y. City. Turner, K. M., 1265 Broadway, N. Y. City. Ulman, Dr. Ira, 213 W. 147th St., N. Y. City. Farm, So. Monsey, Rockland Co., P. O., Address, Spring Valley, N. Y. Van Duzee, Col. C. A., St. Paul, Minn, and Viking, Fla. Walter, Dr. Harry, Hotel Chalfonte, Atlantic City, N. J. Wentink, Frank, 75 Grove St., Passaic, N. J. White, H. C., DeWitt, Ga. Wiggins, F. A., Rep. Washington Nursery Co., Toppenish, Wash. Wile, Th. E., 1012 Park Avenue, Rochester, N. Y. Williams, Dr. Charles Mallory, 48 E. 49th St., N. Y. City, and Stonington, Conn. Williams, Harrison, Gen. Land & Tax Agt., Erie R. R. Co., 50 Church St., N. Y. City. **Wissmann, Mrs. F. DeR., 707 Fifth Ave., N. Y. City. Womack, B. F., Ancon, Canal Zone, Panama. Wyman, Willis L., Park Rapids, Minn.
* Honorary Member. ** Life Member
CONSTITUTION AND RULES OF THE NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION.
Name. The society shall be known as the NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION.
Object. The promotion of interest in nut-producing plants, their products and their culture.
Membership. Membership in the society shall be open to all persons who desire to further nut culture, without reference to place of residence or nationality, subject to the approval of the committee on membership.
Officers. There shall be a president, a vice-president, and a secretary-treasurer; an executive committee of five persons, of which the president, vice-president and secretary shall be members; and a state vice-president from each state represented in the membership of the association.
Election of Officers. A committee of five members shall be elected at the annual meeting for the purpose of nominating officers for the subsequent year.
Meetings. The place and time of the annual meeting shall be selected by the membership in session or, in the event of no selection being made at this time, the executive committee shall choose the place and time for the holding of the annual convention. Such other meetings as may seem desirable may be called by the president and executive committee.
Fees. The fees shall be of two kinds, annual and life. The former shall be two dollars, the latter twenty dollars.
Discipline. The committee on membership may make recommendations to the association as to the discipline or expulsion of any member.
Committees. The association shall appoint standing committees of three members each to consider and report on the following topics at each annual meeting: first, on promising seedlings; second, on nomenclature; third, on hybrids; fourth, on membership; fifth, on press and publication.
NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION
THIRD ANNUAL MEETING
DECEMBER 18 AND 19, 1912
AT LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA
The third annual meeting of the Northern Nut Growers Association was held in the Court House at Lancaster, Pa., beginning December 18, 1912, at 10 A. M.; President Morris presiding.
The Chairman: The meeting will be called to order. We have first an address by the Mayor of Lancaster, Mayor McClean. (Applause.)
Mayor McClean: Ladies and gentlemen of the Northern Nut Growers Association:
The Mayor of a city of the size of this, in which conventions meet so frequently, is so often called upon to make a speech that the prospect of having to do so causes him some disturbance of mind, not only on the day of the delivery of the speech but for many days preceding; but I confess that the invitation to come here today has had no such effect on me. I am very glad to meet and mix up with the members of this organization. The evolutionists tell us where we came from; the theologians, where we are going to; but no matter how much we may differ as to the theories of these respective leaders of thought, upon one thing we can all agree and that is that we are here. You ladies and gentlemen representing the Northern Nut Growers Association are here to interchange opinions and discuss questions which have to do with the greater success of the very useful industry, the youthful and useful industry, in which you are engaged. I am here as the Mayor of this goodly town to tell you that you are not looked upon as intruders; that we will be blind when you help yourselves to our wine flasks, but that we will not be deaf should you ask for more. I am thoroughly in sympathy with the purpose of this organization, understanding it to be the encouragement of the planting of nut bearing trees in order that an addition to our present food supply may be provided; and that much waste land, now profitless, may be taken up and converted to practical and profitable uses; and further that through the medium of such tree planting and tree care as you propose, landscape embellishment in greater degree than that which now exists may be provided. We hear very much about conservation these days and it seems to me that the proposition which you advance is conservation in a very worthy and very high degree. The soil and climate of Lancaster County seem to be peculiarly adapted to the growing of trees bearing nuts and fruits, and I am sure that the result of this convention will be to stimulate locally a very great interest in this worthy undertaking. You have chosen wisely in selecting Lancaster as the place for this meeting, because we feel and we are satisfied that you will agree, after you have been here a few days, that this was the town that Kipling had in mind when he wrote of the town that was born lucky. (Laughter.) Here you will find all the creature comforts, everything that makes for the pleasure of existence, good food and good water, and if there be any of you who have a liking for beverages other than water, it may be some consolation to you to know that in this vicinity the mint beds are not used for pasture, the punch bowls are not permanently filled with carnations, the cock-tail glasses show no signs of disuse and the corkscrew hangs within reach of your shortest member. (Laughter.) We are a great people over this way. Perhaps you are not aware of that, but we bear prosperity with meekness and adversity with patience. We feel that we can say to you, without boasting, if you seek a pleasant country, look about you. You may not know it, but it is a fact and the United States census reports ever since census reports have been made will prove it, that the annual valuation of the agricultural products of the county in which you now sit exceeds that of any other county in all this great nation. (Applause.) Another bit of local history may surprise you when I tell you that the combined deposits of the banks of Lancaster County approximate the enormous amount of fifty million dollars, that they are larger than the total deposits of any one of seven states in the Union that I can name and that they exceed the combined deposits of two of those seven states. But I don't want to take up your time with a recitation of local history, because I feel that your Lancaster colleagues will give you all the information, and I don't want to spoil their pleasure in giving it by anticipating them. I congratulate you upon the success of this convention. I applaud the purpose for which you are united. I felicitate you upon your achievements up to this time, and predict for you a greater measure of usefulness and advantage in the time to come, which usefulness and advantage, let me suggest, can be made yours more promptly, certainly more surely, by your proceeding upon the principle that whatever is of benefit to the organization as a whole must be of benefit to each of its members, either directly or indirectly. I trust that you will go on with this good work and stimulate enthusiasm in your purpose in a nation wide way, working together with one common object, proceeding under the motto of the Three Guardsmen of France, "One For All and All For One." I now extend to you the freedom of the city. Roam where you will. Just one bit of advice I have to give. Contrary, perhaps, to general report, this is not a slow town and therefore you are in more danger of being run down than run in. (Laughter.) I will not follow the time honored practice of handing you the keys of the city, for the reason that when I heard you were on the way, I had the old gates taken off the hinges in order that your incoming might be in no way impeded. (Laughter.) And now, in the name of the city of Lancaster, its heart filled with the sunny warmth of July, I bid you welcome and promise that we will try to extend to you a hospitality as generous as golden October. (Applause.)
The Chairman: Will Mr. Littlepage please respond to the Mayor's kindly address of welcome?
Hon. T. P. Littlepage: Mr. President: On behalf of the members of the Northern Nut Growers Association, I desire to thank the Mayor very cordially for his delightful words of welcome to this city. We feel that the words haven't any strings to them, such as were indicated in a little poem I noticed the other day, which said that a young man took his girl to an ice cream parlor and she ate and she ate and she ate until at last she gave him her heart to make room for another plate. (Laughter.) There apparently isn't anything of that in the cordial welcome which we have received here to this great County of Lancaster. I know now after hearing the Mayor's discourse upon the great resources of this county, why it was that a young fellow who had rambled out into the West and happened to drop into an old fashioned protracted meeting, when asked to come up to the mourners' bench, objected somewhat, and finally when they said, "Well, young man, you've got to be born again;" replied, "No, it isn't necessary, I was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania." (Laughter and applause.) I understand now why the young man was so sanguine, why it wasn't necessary to be born again, even under the auspices of the Great Spirit. It is very gratifying indeed to be in the midst of a great county of this kind that has made one of the great basic industries so successful. It takes three things to make a really great nation; it takes great natural resources, it takes great policies and it takes great people. We have nations in this world where the resources, the possibilities of agriculture and all lines of human endeavor are as unlimited, almost, as ours, but they haven't the people and in the cases where they have people of the right kind, they haven't adopted the policies. It takes those three things for any county, any state or any nation to be really great, and it is indeed gratifying to those of us who believe in the highest development, the best for humanity, to come into a county where the people, through their industry, their policies of advancement, have made that county one of the best farmed agricultural counties in the United States; and that is saying a great deal when you consider the greatness of this nation and her immense wealth and resources. It is indeed gratifying to all of us who are spending some time and some effort to further somewhat the advancement of the country along horticultural lines, to be met with a cordial welcome and to come into this community that has so highly developed her various resources: so, on behalf of this Association and all its members, even the members that are not here, those of them who might, if they desired, take advantage of the Mayor's corkscrew and carnation bowl, I thank the Mayor and thank the citizens of this County and say that we are delighted to be among you. (Applause.)
The Chairman: We will now proceed with the regular order of business. As my paper happens to be placed first on the list, through the methods of the Secretary, I will ask Mr. Littlepage to kindly take the chair while I present notes on the subject of hybridizing nut trees.
THE PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF HYBRIDIZING NUT TREES
DR. ROBERT T. MORRIS, NEW YORK
In the experimental work of hybridizing nut trees, we soon come to learn that a number of practical points need to be acquired before successful hybridizing can be done. This is a special field in which few have taken part as yet, and consequently any notes upon the subject will add to the sum total of the knowledge which we wish to acquire as rapidly as possible. First, in collecting pollen; it is important to shake our pollen into dry paper boxes. If we try to preserve the pollen in glass or in metal, it is attacked by various mould fungi and is rapidly destroyed. We have to remember that pollen consists of live cells which have quite as active a place in the organic world as a red squirrel, and the pollen grains need to breathe quite as much as a red squirrel needs to breathe. Therefore they must not be placed in glass or metal or tightly sealed. Further, the pollen grains need to be kept cool in order to avoid attacks from the greatest enemy of all organic life, the microbes or the lower fungi. Probably we may keep pollen for a longer time than it could ordinarily be kept, if it is placed in cold storage, but practically I have tried the experiment on only one occasion. Last year I wished to cross the chinkapin with the white oak. The white oak blossoms more than a month in advance of the chinkapin in Connecticut, and the question was how we could keep the white oak pollen. Some of it was placed in paper boxes in cold storage; some in paper boxes in the cellar in a dry place. Pollen which had been kept in the cellar and pollen which had been kept in cold storage were about equally viable. It is quite remarkable to know that pollen can be kept for more than a month under any circumstances. Hybridization occurred in my chinkapins from this white oak pollen. Sometimes, where the flowering time of such trees is far apart, it is important to know how we may secure pollen of one kind for the female flowers of the other. Two methods are possible. In the first place, we may secure pollen from the northern or southern range of a species for application upon pistillate flowers at the other end of the range of that species. Another way is to collect branches carrying male flowers before the flowers have developed, place them in the ice house or in a dark, cold room without light until the proper time for forcing the flowers, and if these branches are then placed in water, the water changed frequently as when we are keeping flowers carefully, the catkins or other male flowers will develop pollen satisfactorily a long time after their natural time of furnishing pollen, when they are brought out into the light. In protecting pistillate flowers from the pollen of their own trees, with the nut tree group where pollen is wind-borne rather than insect borne, I find that the better way is to cover the pistillate flowers with paper bags, the thinner the better, the kind that we get at the grocery store. It is best to pull off the undeveloped male flowers if they happen to be on the same branch with the female flowers, and then place the bags over the female flowers at about the time when they blossom, in advance of pollination of the male flowers. It is not safe to depend upon pulling off the male flowers of an isolated tree and leaving the female flowers without bags to protect them from pollen of the same species or of allied species, for the reason that wind may carry pollen to a great distance. One of Mr. Burbank's critics—I am sorry he has so many, for they are not all honest or serious—one of his critics, in relation to the crossing of walnuts, said that it was due to no particular skill on the part of Mr. Burbank, for, whenever the wind blew from the east, he regretted to say that his entire orchard of Persian walnuts became pollinized from the California black walnuts nearly half a mile away. This is an exaggeration, because the chances are that most of the Persian walnuts were pollenized from their own pollen, but in the case of some Persian walnuts blossoming early, and developing female flowers in advance of male flowers, pollen might be carried to them from half a mile away in a high wind from California black walnut trees. Black walnut pollen would then fertilize pistillate flowers of the Persian walnut. I have found this a real danger, this danger of wind-pollination at a distance, much to my surprise. Last year I pollinized one or two lower branches of female flowers of a butternut tree which had no other butternut tree within a distance of a good many rods, so far away that I had no idea that the pollen would be carried from the tree with male flowers to the one which happened to have female flowers only that year; consequently I placed pecan pollen on the female flowers of the lower branches of this butternut tree without protecting them with bags, and left the rest of the tree unguarded. There were no male flowers on that butternut tree that year. Much to my surprise, not only my pollinized flowers but the whole tree bore a good crop of butternuts. This year, on account of the drought, many of the hickory trees bore female flowers only. I do not know that it was on account of the drought, but I have noted that after seasons of drought, trees are apt to bear flowers of one sex or the other, trees which normally bear flowers of both sexes. This year a number of hickory trees bore flowers of one sex only, and I noted that some shagbark trees which had no male flowers had fairly good crops of nuts from pollen blown from a distance from other trees. I had one pignut tree (H. Glabra) full of female flowers which contained only one male flower, so far as I could discover and which I removed. On one side of this tree was a bitternut; on the other side a shagbark. This tree bore a full crop of pignuts, (Hicoria glabra) evidently pollinized on one side by the bitternut and on the other side by the shagbark These points are made for the purpose of showing the necessity of covering the female flowers with bags in our nut tree hybridizations. We must sprinkle Persian insect powder inside the bags or insects will increase under protection. When we have placed bags over female flowers, it is necessary to mark the limb; otherwise, other nuts borne on neighboring limbs will be mistaken for the hybridized nuts unless we carefully place a mark about the limb. Copper wire twisted loosely is, I find, the best. Copper wire carrying a copper tag with the names of the trees which are crossed is best. If I mark the limb with string or with strong cord I find there are many ways for its disappearance. Early in the spring the birds like it so well that they will untie square knots in order to put it into their nests. Later in the season the squirrels will bite off these marks made with cords for no other purpose, so far as I know, except satisfying a love of mischief. Now I am not psychologist enough to state that this is the reason for the action of the red squirrel, and can only remember that when I was a boy I used to do things that the red squirrel now does. (Laughter.) Consequently, on that basis, I traced the psychology back to plain pure mischief. Red squirrels and white footed mice must be looked after with great care in our hybridized trees. If the squirrels cannot get at a nut that is surrounded by wire cloth, they will cut off the branch and allow it to fall to the ground and then manage to get it out. White footed mice will make their way through wire, and mice and squirrels will both manage to bite through wire cloth unless it is very strong in order to get at the nut. The mere fact of nuts being protected by wire cloth or in other ways seems to attract the attention of squirrels. One of my men, a Russian, said, in rather broken English, "Me try remember which nuts pollinized; no put on wire, no put on tag, no put on nothing; squirrel see that, see right straight, bite off one where you put sign for him." (Laughter.) The best way for keeping squirrels and white footed mice from ascending a tree, I find is by tacking common tin, slippery smooth tin, around the trunk of the tree and this may be left on only during the time when squirrels are likely to ascend the tree. They will begin long before the nuts are ripe. In the case of hazel nuts, I have surrounded the bushes with a wire fence or wire mesh, leaving a little opening on one side, and have placed steel traps in the opening. Now here enters a danger which one does not learn about excepting from practical experience. I went out one morning shortly after having thought of this bright idea and found two gray squirrels in the traps. They had followed their natural instinct of climbing when they got into the steel traps, and climbing wildly had broken off every single branch from those hazels which carried hybridized nuts. There wasn't one left, because the squirrels when caught had climbed into the trees and had so violently torn about with trap and chain that they had broken off every single branch with a nut on it. So many things happen in our experiments that appeal to one's sense of the ludicrous, if he has a sense of humor, that I assure you nut raising is a source of great delight to those who are fond of the drama.
The field of hybridizing nut trees offers enormous prospects. We are only just upon the margin of this field, just beginning to look into the vista. It has been done only in a limited way, so far, by crossing pollen and flowers under quite normal conditions. We may look forward to extending the range now of pollinization from knowledge based upon the experiments of Loeb and his followers in biology. They have succeeded in developing embryos from the eggs of the sea urchin, of the nereis, and of mollusks, without spermatozoa. Their work has shown that each egg is a single cell with a cell membrane and it is only necessary to destroy this cell membrane according to a definite plan to start that egg to growing. Life may be started from the egg in certain species without the presence of the other sex. This may lead us into a tremendous new field in our horticultural work. We may be able to treat germ cells with acids or other substances which destroy the cell membrane so as to allow crossing between very widely separated species and genera. Loeb, by destroying the cell membrane of the sea urchin, was enabled to cross the sea urchin with the star fish, and no one knows but we may be able, following this line of experimentation, eventually to cross the shagbark hickory with a pumpkin and get a shagbark hickory nut half the size of the pumpkin. That is all! (Applause.)
* * * * *
(President Morris then took the chair.)
The Chairman: Please let me add that the hickory pumpkin idea is not to be taken seriously. That is a highly speculative proposition. I have found some times that, in a very scientific audience, men who were trained in methods of science, had very little selvage of humor,—little margin for any pleasantry, but this highly speculative suggestion, curiously enough, is not in fact more speculative than would have been the idea twelve years ago that you could hatch an egg, start an egg to development—without fertilization.
Mr. Hutt: I would like to ask how widely you have been able to cross species?
The Chairman: It has been possible to cross species of hazels freely with the four species that I have used, the American hazel, Corylus Americana; the beak hazel, Corylus rostrata; the Asiatic, Corylus colurna, and Corylus pontica. These apparently cross readily back and forth. With the hickories I think rather free hybridization occurs back and forth among all, but particularly in relation to groups. The open-bud hickories, comprising the pecan, the bitternut, the water hickory, and the nutmeg hickory, apparently, from my experiments, cross much more readily among each other than they cross with the scale-bud hickories. The scale-bud hickories appear to cross much more freely among each other than they cross with the open-bud hickories; not only species but genera may be crossed, and I find that the walnuts apparently cross freely with the open-bud hickories and the open-bud hickories cross with the walnuts. I have thirty-two crosses between the bitternut hickory and our common butternut, growing. All of the walnuts apparently cross rather freely back and forth with each other. I have not secured fertile nuts between the oaks and chestnuts, but I believe that we may get fertile nuts eventually. The nuts fill well upon these two trees fertilized with each others' pollen respectively, but I have not as yet secured fertile ones. We shall find some fertile crosses I think between oaks and chestnuts, when enough species have been tried.
Mr. Hutt: Do you notice any difference in the shapes of any of those hybrids, the nuts, when you get them matured and harvested? Do they look any different from the other nuts on the tree?
The Chairman: There isn't very much difference, but I seem to think that sometimes the pollen has exercised an influence upon the nuts of the year. Theoretically it should not do so, but I noticed one case apparently in which I crossed a chinkapin with a Chinese chestnut, and the nuts of that year seemed to me to present some of the Chinese chestnuts' characteristics.
Mr. Hutt: This year I crossed a number of varieties of pecans and in nearly all those crosses there was to me quite an evident difference in the nuts. For instance those gathered off certain parts of a pecan tree of certain varieties, Schley or Curtis or Frotscher, would be typical nuts, but those hybrids or crosses that I produced were distorted, more or less misshapen and seemed to have peculiarities; so that when we came to look over the colony we were in doubt whether they were hand pollinated hybrids or had been pollinated before we got the blossoms covered. Many of them evidenced a great number of distortions, and one of them I remember particularly whose shell was so thin it was just like a piece of brown paper; and there were several peculiarities that were quite noticeable in those hand pollinated nuts.
The Chairman: That is a very interesting point. When we come to consider deformities of nuts we shall find very many cases due to the character of the pollinization. I crossed the Persian walnut with the shagbark hickory and had nuts that year of just the sort of which Mr. Hunt speaks, with shells as thin as paper. One could crush them with the very slightest pressure of the finger. The shells were not well developed. Unfortunately the mice happened to get at all of those nuts. I don't know if they were fertile or not. The kernels were only about half developed. I should look for deformity in these nuts rather than a taking on of the type of one parent over the other, the idea being based on theoretical biological considerations. We had last year a photograph of a tree in California which apparently was a cross, a very odd cross—does any one remember about that California tree?
Mr. Wilcox: It was a cross between Juglans Californica and the live oak.
The Chairman: Both the foliage and the nuts were very remarkable and pertained to characters of these two trees. Such a cross to my mind would be wholly unexplainable excepting on the ground recently brought out by Loeb and his followers in crossing the lower forms of animal life and finding that the cell membrane of the egg, if destroyed, will allow of very wide fertilization subsequently with other species. It occurs to me now—I had no explanation last year, but it occurs to me now, knowing of Loeb's experiments—that it is possible that one of the parents, the parent California oak tree carrying the female flowers, might have had its sex cells subjected to some peculiar influence like acid, sulphurous acid, for instance, from some nearby chimney. Sulphurous acid perhaps from someone merely lighting a match to light a cigar under the tree; he might have so sensitized a few female flowers, may have so injured the cell membrane of a few female germ cells that cross pollinization then took place from a walnut tree. It is only on some such ground as the findings of Loeb that we can explain such a very unusual hybridization as that, which appeared to me a valid one, of a cross between an oak and a walnut.
(Secretary Deming then called attention to hybrids in the various exhibits.)
Professor Smith: I should like to ask why, if this free hybridization takes place in nature among the hickories, you do not have a perfect complex of trees showing all possible variations in the forest.
The Chairman: In answer to Professor Smith's question I will start from his premises and remark that we do have such complexities. The hickories are so crossed at the present time, like our apples, that even crossing the pollen of various hickory trees of any one species does not promise interesting results unless we cross an enormous number. They are already so widely crossed that it is very difficult sometimes to determine if a certain tree is shagbark or pignut or shellbark or mockernut. For the most part the various species and varieties of hickories retain their identity because their own pollen is handiest, and different species do not all flower at the same time. Their own pollen from the male flowers is apt to fall at the time when their own female flowers are ripe and under these circumstances the chances are very much in favor of the tree pollinizing its female flowers with its own pollen. On the other hand, there is hardly one chance in many hundred thousand for any crossed nut to grow, for the reason that most nuts are destroyed by mice, squirrels, rats and boys. If you have a hickory nut tree growing in a lot, and which has produced a bushel of hickory nuts year after year, do you know of one single nut from that tree which has grown? In this plan of Nature, this plan of enormous waste of Nature in order to get one seed to grow, the chance for a hybridized hickory nut to grow under normal conditions, is so small that we should have relatively few crossed trees growing wild in Nature, though we do find quite a good many of them.
Professor Smith: If I am not taking up too much time, I would like to put some more questions to you.
The Chairman: That's what we are here for.
Professor Smith: Have you ever tried the plan of serving collations to squirrels? Why wouldn't it pay to give them portions of wheat and corn? Second, what percentage of the oak pollen kept in cold storage a month was alive? Third, what is the range of time that the hybridizer has to make the pollinization? Must we go on the dot or have we two days or four days or a week, in the case of hickories and walnuts?
The Chairman: I think possibly as these are three direct questions, I might answer them now. No, I think it would be better to have all questions bearing on this subject brought out and then I will answer all together. So if you will kindly ask all the questions, I will then endeavor to answer them.
Mr. Corsan: The squirrels bothered me last year. I've got forty acres of land for experimental purposes only and I started planting and the little beggars would dig down exactly where I planted the nuts, so I went into town and got a rat trap with a double section so I could catch them alive; and I caught so many by feeding them cheap pignuts, the sweet pignuts from Michigan, that I brought them in and my boys sold them for twenty-five cents apiece. Since then we have never been bothered with red squirrels. For the white footed mice I laid down large doors over some hay or long grass and they gathered underneath and then I lifted the doors up every day and with a stick I smashed hundreds of them. I have posted a notice to leave the skunk and mink alone; I don't want anybody on the place shooting them.
The Chairman: I will first answer Professor Smith's questions. This matter of serving collations for squirrels had best be done as collations are served at political meetings—with a trap attached. You don't know how many squirrels there are in the vicinity or how many white footed mice. You will be surprised at the numbers of the little rascals, and not only that, but the field mice, the common field mouse and pine mouse run in mole holes under the ground and can smell a nut a long way off. They are extremely destructive. What percentage of pollen grains of the white oak were alive? I do not know. Enough to fertilize a number of flowers. The sooner pollen is used the better. I cannot answer the question exactly because I did not make an experiment in the laboratory to know what part of the pollen was viable. I put on a good deal of it and there were at least some viable grains in the lot. That, however, is a matter which can be subjected to exact laboratory tests without any difficulty. I am so busy with so many things that I can only follow the plan of the guinea hen that lays forty eggs and sits in the middle of the nest and hatches out all she can. Now the range of time for pollinizing is a thing of very great importance and we have to learn about it. We must all furnish notes on this question. With some species I presume the duration of life of pollen, even under the best conditions, might be only a few days. Under other conditions it may be several weeks; but we have to remember that, in dealing with pollen, we are dealing with a living, breathing organism.
The Secretary: I believe the experiment has been carried to completion of fruiting a thousand trees from nuts grown on one pecan tree without two of the resulting nuts being like one another or like the parent nut. Is that true, Mr. Reed.
Mr. Reed: Yes, you might say ten thousand.
The Secretary: We have an illustration of the variability of the progeny of a nut in this collection of chestnuts by Mr. Riehl out in Illinois. This is a parent nut, the Rochester, and these others are seedlings from the Rochester, except where marked otherwise, some showing a tendency to revert to the parent, and some promising to be improvements on the parents.
The Chairman: Mr. Secretary, I think we'd better confine ourselves to the hybrid question at the present time.
The Secretary: Are not those all hybrids?
The Chairman: I don't believe any man can tell, unless you get the flowers, because you have the American and European types merging together so perfectly. Some of them show distinctly the European type; others show distinctly the American type. That is what I would expect, however. The practical point is the question of quality. Which one keeps the American quality and which one retains the coarseness of the European type?
Mr. Harris: Speaking of variations of nuts I think it is well known that there is quite a variation in the nuts of the oak. I noticed in one species, michauxii, which is an oak in the South, that its nuts varied a great deal. It is something of the type of the chestnut, the white oak or the rock oaks and it varies a great deal.
I found one on my father's range in New Jersey and also one on the Potomac. The variations extend to the trees as well as the nuts.
The Chairman: The oak tree properly belongs in another tree group and some of the acorns are not only edible, but first-rate. In China there are at least three species found in the markets to be eaten out of hand or roasted. Our white oaks here, some of them, bear very good fruit, from the standpoint of the boy and the pig, anyway, and it seems to me that we may properly include the oaks in our discussion. There would be great range in variation of type from hybridization between oak trees and I have seen a number of oak trees that were evidently hybrids, where the parentage could be traced on both sides, that were held at very high prices by the nurserymen. I asked one nurseryman, who wanted an enormous price for one hybrid oak, why he didn't make ten thousand of those for himself next year? It hadn't occurred to him.
If there is no further discussion in connection with my paper we will have Mr. Littlepage's paper on Nut Promotions.
Mr. Littlepage: Dr. Deming said that he thought it might be time that we have something just a little lighter—that either he should read a paper or I. (Laughter.) Inasmuch as he included himself, I took no offense whatever. The subject I have written on, roughly and hurriedly, is Fraudulent and Uninformed Promoters.
FRAUDULENT AND UNINFORMED PROMOTERS
T. P. LITTLEPAGE, WASHINGTON, D. C.
In the beginning, let me assert my confidence and interest in agriculture in general. This is one of the basic industries, upon the proper understanding and growth of which depends the food supply of the nation. It is admitted by scientists that, other conditions being equal, an adequacy or inadequacy in the supply of proper food makes the difference between great people and undesirable people. This being true, the various operations of agriculture must always be of the greatest concern to those who are interested in the nation's welfare.
The "back-to-the-farm" movement is being discussed today in various periodicals, but back of the "back-to-the-farm" movement is a philosophy that has not been generally understood. It is not proper here to take time to discuss the reasons why the man in the "steenth" story of some magnificent office building, with telephones, electric lights, elevators, and all modern conveniences, longs for the time when he can roam again amidst the green fields in the sunshine and fresh air, but suffice it to say that in my judgment a majority of the professional men, and men in other walks of life, would, if they could, abandon their various employments and turn again to the soil. The boy on the farm dreams of the days when he can be the president of a bank, have a home in the city, own an automobile, smoke good cigars and go to the show every night. The bank president dreams of the day when he can turn again to the farm and walk in the green fields, where he can shun the various artificial activities of life, drink buttermilk and retire with the chickens.
It may be asked what connection these statements have with the subject, and the answer is this—that in the minds of many thousands of people there is this supreme desire to some day own a portion of God's footstool to which they can retire from artificial and vainglorious environments to those under which they can be their real selves and follow pursuits to their liking. It is this that makes it possible for the promoter of various horticultural enterprises to succeed in interesting in his schemes the clerk, the merchant, the doctor, the lawyer, the school teacher, the preacher, and all others whose occupations confine them within the limits of the great cities.
In the beginning, let us distinguish between the fraudulent promoter and the uninformed promoter. The fraudulent promoter is he who recognizes this great and worthy ambition of many people to buy a spot to which they can some day retire and work and rest and dream and enjoy the coming and going of the seasons, and the sunshine and the shadows, and who capitalizes this ambition, with that industry as his stock in trade which, at the particular moment, happens to offer the most attractive inducements. Those familiar with the industry he is exploiting, can tell him by his actions, by his words, by his nods and winks. It is hard for the crook to disguise himself to the informed.
Distinguished from the fraudulent promoter is the uninformed promoter, but, so far as results are concerned, there is not much difference between them for the innocent investor. They both lead him to failure. They are unlike only in this, that the pathway of the one is lined with deception, crookedness and chicanery; of the other, with blasted hopes based upon good intentions but bad information. Both lead to the self-same sepulcher which in the distance looks white and beautiful but when reached is filled with the bones of dead men.
There is not much difference after all, when one comes right down to the facts, between the crook who starts out deliberately to get one's money and the fellow who starts out in ignorance and makes great promises of returns that he knows nothing about. Both succeed in getting one's money and both succeed in misleading those who have a desire to lay aside something for their old days. We naturally feel more charity for him who has good intentions, but who fails, than for him who starts out with bad intentions. But, after all, only results count.
Did you ever receive the literature of one of these various concerns that has pecan or apple orchards to sell? How beautiful their schemes look on paper! With what exquisite care they have worked out the pictures and the language and the columns of figures showing the profits! While writing this article I have before me a prospectus of a certain pecan company that prints columns of attractive figures. Fearful, however, that the figures would not convince, it has resorted to all the various schemes of the printers' art in its portrayal of the prospective profits from a grove set to pecans and Satsuma oranges, and it tells you in conclusion that it guarantees by a bond, underwritten by a responsible trust company, the fulfillment of all its representations. Yet what are the facts? Their lands are located in a section where the thermometer falls to a point that makes highly improbable the profitable growing of Satsuma oranges. And all their figures are merely estimates of the wildest character, printed in attractive columns, based upon nothing.
As a member of the National Nut Growers Association I was this year chairman of the committee on orchard records. I sent out blanks, with lists of questions, to many prominent nut growers to see if I could secure data upon which to base a report to the association. The replies I received showed the existence of some very promising young orchards of small size, well cared for, but they also showed that there was no such thing as an intelligent report upon which reliable data as to the bearing records of orchards could be based for any future calculations. There are two reasons for this. First, most of the figures we have are based upon the records of a few pet trees around the dooryard or garden, grown under favorable conditions. Second, the young groves are not yet old enough for anyone to say, with any degree of accuracy, what the results will be. Therefore, the alluring figures printed in these pamphlets are only guesses.
Furthermore, what of the contract of these concerns? What does it specify? You would be surprised to know the legal construction of one of these contracts, together with their guaranty bond. In most cases they advertise to plant, and properly cultivate for a period of five to seven years, orchards of the finest varieties of budded or grafted pecan trees, with Satsuma oranges or figs set between. But the guaranty company is usually wise enough to have lawyers who are able to advise them of their liabilities, and about all they actually guarantee is that, after a period of five years, provided all payments have been promptly met, there will be turned over to the purchaser five acres of ground with trees upon it. Five years old? No, they may not be one year old. Budded or grafted? No, they may be mere seedlings. Oranges set between them? No, the orange has passed out of the proposition before the bond stage. The companies generally print a copy of the bond, but usually in such small type that the victim does not read it, though the heading is always prominent. It thunders in the index and fizzles in the context.
Moreover, suppose suit is brought on one of these contracts and bonds? What is the measure of damages? What basis has any court or jury for fixing damages? And be it remembered that courts do not exist for the protection of fools against their folly. The principle "caveat emptor" is as old as the common law itself, and it means that the buyer must beware, or in other words, that he should inform himself, and that he cannot expect the courts to protect him where he has failed to exercise due caution and diligence. Therefore, as a lawyer, I should very much hesitate to take on a contingent fee the suit of one of these various victims against a promoting orchard corporation.
However, in any jurisdiction where there is a criminal statute against fraudulent representation and obtaining money under false pretenses, I should not hesitate, if I were the prosecuting attorney, to indict every member of such a corporation, and, to sustain the case, I would simply present to a jury of honest men the representations in their advertising literature, and then have the court instruct the same jury as to the validity and limitations of their contract. Their advertising is brilliant enough to dazzle the sun. Their contract is as dull as a mud pie.
In addition to all of this comes the question of orcharding by proxy, and the success of the unit or acreage system, and many other similar questions; and let me say that I doubt if there is today in the United States one large development scheme, either in pecan or apple orchards, that will prove of ultimate financial profit and success to the purchaser. The promoter may get rich—he has nothing at stake. In most instances he has the price of the land in his pocket before there is a lick of work done on it, and the payments come in regularly and promptly to take care of his salary and the meager and unscientific development.
Of course I would not be understood as saying that pecan or apple orchards cannot be made profitable. I am of the opinion that reasonable sized orchards in proper locations and proper soil, of proper varieties, with proper care in handling, are good investments, and, as proof of my confidence, I am planting orchards both in the north and south. The adjective "proper" which I have used here may seem insignificant at the start but, believe me, before you have begun to clip the coupons off your orchard bonds this adjective will loom up as important as Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. In fact you will wonder how it has been possible for anyone to forecast in one word such comprehensive knowledge. Think of a man a thousand miles away putting money into the hands of some unknown concern, for five acres of unknown land, to be set in unknown varieties of trees, to be cared for by unknown individuals. Can he not see that, in keeping with all the other unknown factors, his profits must also be unknown?
We look at a great industrial enterprise, such as the steel trust, and marvel at its success. But it must be remembered that this industry started many years ago, and step by step built furnace after furnace and mill after mill, after the owners had tried out and become familiar with all the factors of that industry, and after great corps of trained experts had been developed, and after science had given to this industry many of the most marvelous mechanical inventions of the age. These facts are overlooked, however, when some fellow steps up and proposes to put a steel-trust-orchard on the market in twelve months. In most industrial enterprises there are well-known and established factors to be considered. In horticultural enterprises, however, no man knows what twelve months hence will bring. I read the other day with great interest the prospectus of a great pecan orchard started several years ago by a very honorable and high-minded man, and the promises of success were most alluring. What are the facts? The boll weevil came along and wiped out his intermediate cotton crops. The floods came later and destroyed acres of his orchards, and, if he were to write a prospectus today, it would no doubt be a statement of hope rather than a statement of facts. He would no doubt turn from the Book of Revelations, where at that time he saw "a new heaven and a new earth," and write from the Book of Genesis, where "the earth was without form and void."
How many people have been defrauded by these various schemes, no one knows. How many clerks, barbers, bookkeepers, stenographers, students, preachers, doctors, lawyers, have contributed funds for farms and future homes in sections where they would not live if they owned half of the county. How many people have been separated from their cash by literature advertising rich, fertile lands in sections where the alligator will bask unmolested in miasma for the next fifty years, and where projects should be sold by the gallon instead of by the acre.
Some time ago it was reported that inquiries in reference to the feasibility and profits of various orchard schemes had come in to the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Agricultural Department, at Washington, in such numbers that the officials of that Bureau had considered the advisability of printing a general circular, which they could send to the inquirers, advising them to make due investigation, and giving a few general suggestions about proxy farming and orchard schemes. I was advised by a friend in the middle west that the contemplated issuance of this circular by the Bureau of Plant Industry had aroused a number of protests throughout the country, and that various Senators and Members of the House of Representatives had entered strong protests with the Secretary of Agriculture against it. A number of these protests have come to my notice, and they take various forms of opposition, but are all unanimous against the Department of Agriculture offering to the prospective purchaser any information. Various reasons for their stand were given by the protestants, but how flimsy and ridiculous they are when analyzed. Congress for a number of years has been appropriating money and authorizing certain work by the Department of Agriculture. It is the people's money, and the people's Department, and the information gathered by the experts in this Department ought to be the people's information, and it ought to be possible for any citizen to write the Department a letter about any proposition that he has received from any of these various promoters, and have the advice of those who know most about it.
I suppose the Department of Agriculture has entirely too many duties to perform to undertake a work of this kind, but what an inconsistent position it is for a Member of Congress, who has been voting for appropriations to carry on this work, to appeal to the Secretary of Agriculture to suppress such information in order that some exploiter may get somebody's money under false representations. I think if it were possible today to know the list of concerns and companies who registered, directly or through agents, their opposition to this proposed warning circular, you would have a correct index of the concerns good to let alone. For no honest, reputable individual or company need be afraid of the work or suggestions of that great Department. I have the pleasure of knowing many of the officials in the Bureau of Plant Industry, and never anywhere have I seen a body of men so conscientiously engaged in the work of promoting legitimate horticultural and agricultural knowledge. It is the very life of that great Department, and its officers and employees above everyone else are most interested in seeing the land produce the most and best that it can be made to produce, and they are best qualified to pass upon these matters.
Most of the questions in these various schemes are questions of soil and horticulture. One letter in opposition to the Agricultural Department's attitude, that was brought to my attention, stated that crops varied under different conditions, and that no one was able to tell what a certain soil would or would not produce throughout a period of years, and intimated that the Department of Agriculture might mislead the public; and yet the concern that sent it printed columns of figures guaranteeing returns from pecans and Satsuma oranges in a section where orange growing is of very doubtful possibility. Boiling down these objections by the promoters, they come to simply this: That the Agricultural Department, with no motive but to tell the truth, and with its corps of trained experts, might mislead the public, but they (the promoters) could not possibly be mistaken in their fabulous figures compiled for the purpose of getting money from some misinformed victim.
Proxy farming never was a success and I do not think it ever will be. One of my friends told me a short time ago of a very successful young pecan orchard on the gulf coast. Upon inquiry I found that it was of reasonable size, nine years old, and that the owner had lived in it nine years. It was not 500 acres in extent, or 1,000 acres, or 2,000 acres, but about 20 acres. Last summer I went into a beautiful apple orchard in Southern Indiana and saw about forty acres of trees bending to the ground with delicious Grimes Golden apples. On that particular day there were great crowds of people walking among the trees and admiring the fruit. I too walked among the trees a short time, but of greater interest to me than the trees was the old, gray-haired man who had made the orchard. The trees could not talk, but he could, and he told the story of the years of care, and diligence, and work, and thought, and patience, that showed why it is not possible to cover the mountains of a state with orchards bringing almost immediate and fabulous incomes.
Some time ago I stood talking to the old superintendent of the Botanical Garden in Washington—William R. Smith, now deceased—and while discussing with him the requisites for tree culture, he said "Young man, you have left out the most important one of them all," When I asked him what I had left out, he said "above all things it takes the eye of the master." So it does, and the master is he whose vigilance is continual, who watches each tree as if it were a growing child—as indeed it is, a child of the forests—who has the care and the patience, and who is not dazzled by the glitter of the dollar, but who loves trees because they are trees.
Theoretically, one can figure great successes in big horticultural development propositions, but these figures rest upon theory and not fact. It would be difficult to state all the reasons why I have a firm conviction that such big schemes of every kind will fall, but I believe this conviction is shared by the foremost thinkers in the horticultural world. A four-year-old boy was once taken to see the animals in a circus. He was very much interested, but, when shown the tremendous elephant, shook his head and said "he is too big."
A small grove properly handled ought to be an excellent investment. The various uncertainties and vicissitudes involved can, in a degree, be compensated for by great care; and I suppose it would be possible even with some of these big schemes—by placing enough money behind them—to insure a fair degree of success. It must be borne in mind, however, that these promoters, of whom we have been speaking, are not so much concerned in the successful orchard as they are in big salaries and profits, and, if one has money enough to pay big salaries and profits, and still pay for the proper care of the orchard, then he does not need an orchard. Most of these promoters charge too much for a proper and honest development alone, and too little for the proper development plus the profits and salaries of the promoters. I wish it were not so. I wish the old earth could be made to smile bountiful crops without such expensive tickling, but this is one of the checks and balances that nature places upon her great storehouse of wealth.
* * * * *
The Chairman: This is a matter of very great importance and I hope we shall have a good discussion, from a practical point of view, by men who know about fraudulent promotions and their effect. We ought to go on record in this matter right now. I know of numbers of teachers, doctors and other poor people who have put money into nut promotion schemes without knowing anything about the ultimate prospect of profit.
Mr. Hutt: One noticeable thing about the promoter's literature is that he never knows anything about crop failure, and in the agricultural and horticultural world that is a thing that is painfully evident to a man who has been in business a great length of time. In the promoter's literature it is just a matter of multiplication; if one tree will produce so much in a year, a hundred trees will produce a hundred times as much. I got a letter the other day from Mr. S. H. James, of Beaumont, Louisiana, and he said, "I have been very fortunate, I have actually had two good crops in succession," and when you come to compare that with the promoter's literature—why he knows no such thing as crop failure. Anybody who knows anything about agricultural or horticultural work knows that we have winter and floods and everything else to contend with.
The Chairman: Someone might tell us about failures they happen to know of in promotion schemes.
Mr. Smith: I would like to ask if Mr. Littlepage isn't going to open up that barrel of actual facts that he has about yields?
Mr. Littlepage: Mr. President, I didn't know that I had a whole barrel of actual facts. When I started in several years ago a barrel wouldn't have held all of them, but I think that now I could put the actual facts in a thimble. I've got several barrels of good pecans, however, I'd like to open up and let Mr. Smith sample if he wants to.
The Chairman: Let's hear about frauds from someone who knows how the land was managed and how the trees were managed and how it actually occurred.
Mr. Van Duzee: Mr. President, I feel that I ought to say something, first in commendation of the paper itself. It is a question how far we, as an Association, are responsible for the care of our fellowmen, but at this period when the industry is new, I feel that it is a very legitimate thing for us to do a little work to try and prevent these people from preying upon our fellowmen. The president remarked this morning that something was an evidence of the tremendous waste in Nature. It is true, Nature, in building a forest, wastes a vast amount of time and energy. These people who are preying upon the nut industry today find as their victims the weaklings which Nature buries in the forest. Those things are incidental and we must expect them, but I feel that a paper of this kind, at this time, is a very valuable thing and I hope it will receive wide publication. We cannot say too much to discourage this sort of thing. Now, to respond, in a measure, to the President's request for actual facts, I am confronted with this proposition, that some of the men who have made the greatest failures are men who have done so through ignorance. They are honest men, they are personal friends of mine. I don't care to go too much into details, because they are just as sorry today as I am, but I have seen this done. I have seen hundreds of acres of nut orchards in the South planted with the culls from nurseries bought at a very low figure. I have seen these trees neglected absolutely, not in one case but in many cases. I have seen the weeds as high as the trees at the time when a telegram was received by the the local agent that a carload of the purchasers of these tracts was about to leave to look over their property. I have seen the local manager hustle out, when he got that telegram, and hire every mule in the community to come in and, with a plow, throw a furrow or two to the rows of trees so that they could be distinguished from the weeds they were growing among. As Mr. Littlepage has said, there can be no success in such operations; and I feel, looking at it in a very broad way, that this is a very good time to emphasize the point that those of us who have the greatest experience in the growing of nut trees do not feel that these enterprises are legitimate, or that they promise very much success. (Applause.)
Mr. Pomeroy: I live just a short distance from Buffalo. A few months ago—I got it on the very best authority—there was some salesman in Buffalo who didn't have time to call on all those who wanted to give him money for pecan propositions. He didn't have time, Doctor, he just had to skip hundreds of them, he said; he was just going from one place to another, making his collections. Buffalo is a city of only about 450,000 people and there must be some money being collected and sent in to somebody.
The Chairman: Very glad to hear of that instance; let's hear of others.
Mr. Littlepage: I would like, if possible, to answer Mr. Smith's question. I didn't know that he referred to facts about these promotions, I thought perhaps he meant facts about nut growing.
Mr. Smith: You said you had made inquiries as to nuts, harvest yields, orchard yields; it was those, particularly, that I had in mind.
Mr. Littlepage: Oh well, I could give those to you readily. There are some very promising orchards, making a good showing under investigation, handled under proper conditions and of proper size. I would not want to say that those things are not possible. Talking specifically of these overgrown schemes, one of them is recalled to my mind, a development company in southern Georgia, that advertises very alluringly. It set out one year a lot of culls; they all died. I am told that they went out the second year and, without any further preparation, dug holes and set out another lot of culls. They too died; and then they went out the third year and planted nuts, and those trees, at the end of a year's growth, were perhaps six or seven inches high, and the salesman from that company, I understood, took one of the prospective purchasers over into a fine grove owned by another man on the opposite side of the road, and let him pick out his five acres from the orchard across the road. That's one type I could multiply indefinitely.
Mr. W. C. Reed: I think this is a very important matter. As a nursery man who has sold a great many trees to promoting companies, I want to say that I have never, with one exception, seen an orchard that has been a success, but I have seen hundreds of failures, some of them where they have set out orchards of 150,000 trees and sold them off in one and ten acre tracts, and in only one case have I seen a success. I think these promotions should be avoided by the nut growers of the North.
The Chairman: This is very valuable information, coming from a dealer.
Mr. Van Duzee: I have found this in the yields of my orchards. Six or seven or eight years ago, I discounted every source of information that I could have access to, as to yields, brought them to a conservative point, submitted them to the best informed men in the United States, and then divided those figures by five as my estimate of what I might hope to accomplish as my orchards came into bearing. I have since been obliged to find some excuses for failing to even approximate those conservative figures. I had this year in our orchard, a 35 acre plot of Frotscher trees which is one of the most promising varieties, six years of age, and there were not five pounds of nuts in the whole plot. I have had an orchard of 36 acres, mostly Frotscher and Stewart, go through its sixth year with less than 200 pounds of nuts to the entire orchard. I have another orchard of 30 acres which in its sixth year has produced less than 100 pounds of nuts. Now many of these promoters guarantee to take care of these orchards, which they are selling, for 10 per cent or 20 per cent, or even half the proceeds of those orchards, from the fifth year. You can see readily that the entire crop of such orchards as I have been able to produce, would not begin to pay their running expenses the sixth and seventh year.
The Chairman: You took good care of yours?
Mr. Van Duzee: I think so. I think there are many gentlemen in the audience who have been through them, and it is conceded that my orchards are at least fairly good representatives of what can be done under normal conditions.
Mr. Corsan: Are yours southern orchards?
Mr. Van Duzee: These pecan orchards are in south-western Georgia.
Mr. Corsan: The Northern Nut Growers Association, as I understand, is a collection of men who are interested in finding out what we can do in the way of growing nuts for the North. We go to the markets and see baskets of cocoanuts, Brazil nuts, California walnuts, but no nuts growing for the market around our neighborhood. In my own city, Toronto, I can see some nut trees because I look very closely at everything, but the average person cannot see them because they are very few. I have a number of experiments on hand. If I succeed in even one of these experiments, I am satisfied to spend my whole life at it. I am not nervous, I can watch a hickory tree grow. (Laughter.) I want to grow some nuts for the next generation. I haven't the slightest thought of making a copper of money out of it but I am going to enjoy the thing, and that's the idea of the Northern Nut Growers Association, or else I have made a mistake.
The Chairman: Is there any further discussion on the matter of frauds? Does anyone else wish to speak on this subject?
Mr. Littlepage: It is indeed very gratifying to hear the President of the National Nut Growers' Association, Col. Van Duzee, speak on this subject and to have the honor of having him with us as a member of our Association. It is gratifying to have him come out in such strong terms on this question. It has always been his policy and his reputation, so far as I have heard, to stand for what is best and squarest in nut culture.
The Chairman: The paper of Mr. Littlepage is one of very great importance, because the number of frauds associated with an enterprise is an indication of the fundamental value of the cause. These fraudulent nut promoters capitalize the enthusiasm of people who want to get back to the land, just as porters at the hotels capitalize the joy of a newly married couple. (Laughter.) We have in this "back-to-the-land" movement, a bit of philosophy of fundamental character which includes the idea of preservation of the race. Preservation of the race!—why so? Nature made man a gregarious species and, being gregarious, he has a tendency to develop the urban habit. Developing the urban habit, he fails to oxidize his proteins and toxins. Failing to oxidize his proteins and toxins, he degenerates. Recognizing the degenerating influence of urban life, by means of his intelligence he has placed within his consciousness that automatic arrangement, as good as the automatic arrangement which turns water on to a boiler, which says to him, "go out and oxidize your proteins and toxins." That is what "back-to-the-land" means. You've got to begin from this fundamental point. Now then, if this represents a fundamental trait in the character of our species and we are acting in response to a natural law, then must we be doubly careful about having our good intentions, our good methods, halted by unwisdom. That brings to mind the point made about our present Secretary of Agriculture. I am very glad this has been made a matter of record here, for I am sorry to say that in connection with another subject—(health matters)—wherever there has been opportunity for the Secretary to act, he has decided as a matter of policy on the side of capital and against the side of public interest. Almost every time, so far as we have a record of the action of the present Secretary of Agriculture and of Dunlap and McCabe, his assistants. We ought to state here, in connection with fraudulent nut promotions, that he has acted in favor of capital and against the public interest if it is true. It ought to go as a matter of record from this Association. We may be bold in this matter, but we should be righteously bold because we are speaking for the public interest ourselves. We have nothing to gain; there is nothing selfish about this organization. We may be kindly and say that the Secretary is at the mercy of shrewder men.
Mr. Corsan says that we are interested in scientific work only. That is true at the present time, because all progress must be from a scientific basis. If our care in managing experiments is such that we cannot avoid getting rich, we will accept the result. (Laughter.) I am glad that in connection with this discussion Mr. Corsan made one epigrammatic remark,—that he was not nervous and could watch a hickory tree grow. I tell you there's a lot of wit in that.
Mr. Littlepage: He has good eyesight, Mr. President.
The Chairman: The reason why we have so many fraudulent promotions is largely because of our American temperament; we are so nervous that we can't watch a hickory tree grow. In matters of public health, our Secretary of Agriculture has prevented actual criminals from being brought to justice—he made that his policy.
I think those are the points that I wish to make in commenting upon Mr. Littlepage's paper and if he will make any concluding remarks we will be very glad to hear them. In regard to Mr. Hutt's suggestion that we cannot count on crop success or crop failure mathematically—now, there are fortunes to be made from the proper management of good nut orchards. We know of orchards where very large incomes are at present being made, and I am very glad that the sense and sentiment of this meeting is against quotation of that feature. I have not heard here one word in quotation of orchards which bring incomes of $10,000 a year or more from various kinds of nuts, and we know there are many such orchards. It is the failures upon which we should concentrate our attentions right now, and the reason for failure is not that nut growing is not going to make progress but that we cannot count on our nuts from a mathematical basis. One of my friends, an old Frenchman, became very enthusiastic about raising poultry. He sent out requests for circulars to every poultry fancier who published circulars, and I will wager that he got 50 per cent of answers to his requests for circulars about fancy poultry. He began to raise chickens, and my father-in-law met him on the street one day and asked how he was getting on with his pullets that were going to lay so many eggs. "Oh," he said, "Ze trouble is with ze pullet; she no understand mathematique like ze fancier. If I have one pullet, she lay one egg every day; if I have two pullet, perhaps she lay two egg every day, and if I have three pullet, she nevaire lay three egg every day." (Laughter.) Now I think that the remaining time this morning we had better devote to the executive session, then we had better meet at two o'clock for the election of our committee. The meeting then is at present adjourned, with the exception of those who will take part in the executive session, and we will meet again at two P. M. There is one point I wanted to make in connection with Col. Van Duzee's remarks that a certain number of really honest men have allowed their names to be used in connection with promotion propositions. Men who are quite skillful at learning the use of names, have gotten men of good intentions and kindly interest, I know, to lend their names as even officials of nut promotion companies. Besides that, a good deal of garbled literature of recommendation has gone out in their circulars. I have had a number of circulars sent to me quoting abstract remarks that I had made relative to nut culture in general, and this has been applied concretely in circulars; the context did not go with it. I asked a lawyer what I could do about it, and after going over the question he said that I probably was powerless.
After announcements by the Secretary, the convention took a recess until 2 P. M., at which time it was called to order by President Morris and the regular program was resumed as follows:
The Chairman: The executive session will be held after the meeting, as many are here to hear the paper on the chestnut blight, so we will proceed at once to the order of business and listen to the first paper by Mr. Rockey.
Mr. Rockey: This paper deals more particularly with the work that has been done in Pennsylvania. But what has been done here may be considered to be typical of what has been done elsewhere.
RECENT WORK ON THE CHESTNUT BLIGHT
KELLER E. ROCKEY
Forester in charge of Demonstration Work, Pennsylvania Chestnut Tree Blight Commission
The history of the blight, briefly outlined, is as follows:
In 1904 the diseased condition of the chestnut trees around New York City was noted and an examination of them showed that they were being attacked by a disease at that time unknown. Investigations since then have shown that the blight had been at work there and elsewhere for a number of years before that time, but it has been impossible to determine just when it first appeared or where. The disease was studied and described at that time.
On display here are specimens and photographs showing the appearance of the blight so that I will not go into that part of the subject in detail. I hope that you will notice, however, the symptoms by which the disease is recognized: 1st. The small red pustules which produce the spores and, on rough barked trees, appear only in the crevices. 2nd. The peculiar mottled appearance of the inner bark of the canker. 3rd. The discoloration of the outer bark. 4th. The danger signals, such as withered leaves in summer or persistent leaves or burrs in winter, suckers which develop at the base of cankers, and the yellowish cracks which soon appear in the bark over the cankers.
Workers in the Bureau of Plant Industry, Washington, D. C., have been studying the blight since 1908. In the Spring of 1911, a bill creating the commission for the investigation and control of the blight in Pennsylvania was passed, and the active work began in August 1911. The method upon which the Commission is working is outlined in Farmers' Bulletin No. 467, of the Department of Agriculture, and consists briefly of determining the area of blight infection and in removing diseased trees west of a certain line, with the purpose of preventing the western spread of the blight.
This Commission has ascertained as accurately as possible the amount of infection in the various parts of the state and the results are given in a map on display here. The state is divided into two districts by a line drawn along the western edge of Susquehanna, Wyoming, Columbia, Union, Snyder, Juniata and Franklin Counties, which is approximately the western line of serious blight infection. West of this line a large portion of the state has been scouted, and the remainder will be finished early in 1913. We have learned by experience that in the winter, after the fall of the leaves, the best scouting work can be done. Persistent leaves and cankers along the trunk are readily seen, and more and better work can be accomplished than in the summer, except when the snow is very deep.
Blight infections have been found in counties adjacent to this line: also in Fayette County, near Connellsville, in Warren County, near Warren, and in Elk County, near St. Mary's. These three infections were directly traceable to infected nursery stock, and in one case the blight had spread to adjacent trees. A large area of diseased chestnut in Somerset County illustrates the harm done by shipping infected nursery stock. The centre of this infection is a chestnut orchard where about 100 scions from an infected eastern orchard were grafted to native sprouts in 1908. The percentage of infected trees in the orchard from which the scions were obtained, according to a count made this Fall, averages 80 per cent. Evidently these scions brought the disease into this region, for the grafts have all been killed by the blight and every tree in the orchard is killed or infected by disease. On adjoining tracts over 5,400 infected trees have been cut, and there are a number of others in process of removal, radiating in all directions from the orchard as a center to a distance of three miles. Another infection of 143 trees was found in Elk County. It is thought that three trees at the centre of infection were diseased in 1909, although it is possible that one of these trees was already infected in 1908. In 1910, 27 additional trees were infected; in 1911, 50 additional trees, and in 1912, 228 additional trees. The disease spread in all directions from the center of infection to a distance of 700 feet.
These infections are interesting in showing the rate at which the blight may travel in healthy timber.
These infections have all been removed and it is the expectation that by the end of January 1913 all scattered spot infections will be removed from the territory west of the line previously mentioned, and that, to the best of our knowledge, these western counties will be free from blight. In 1913 the field force will be concentrated on the advance line and the work will be carried eastward. The Commission has the power to compel the removal of infected trees. In the western part of the state this power has been exercised in the few cases where it was necessary. As a rule, however, the owners are not only willing but anxious to get rid of the infected trees, and our field men are given hearty support by individuals, granges and other organizations. The timber owners of Elk County had printed and posted an announcement that the chestnut blight had been found in the locality and warned the people to be on the look-out for it. In addition the Commission has had a man, for a short time at least, in each of the eastern counties of the state, and their time has been taken up principally by those who requested inspections of timber with the view of determining the percentage of blight infection and the best method to be pursued in combating it and realizing on their timber. Our men are all deputy wardens, with the authority which is attached to this office, and are instructed to do their utmost to prevent fire damage.
An exhibit which consists of specimens showing the blight in various stages together with photographs, literature, etc., was placed in about 30 of the county fairs throughout the state. The appreciation of the public has been so clearly shown that next year it is the intention of the Commission to continue and perhaps increase this phase of the work, and to place large permanent displays at the Commercial Museum, Philadelphia, the State Capitol, Harrisburg, and other places.