Image from page 107 of “Cyclopedia of American horticulture, comprising suggestions for cultivation of horticultural plants, descriptions of the species of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants sold in the United States and Canada, together w

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Image from page 107 of “Cyclopedia of American horticulture, comprising suggestions for cultivation of horticultural plants, descriptions of the species of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants sold in the United States and Canada, together w
Title: Cyclopedia of American horticulture, comprising suggestions for cultivation of horticultural plants, descriptions of the species of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants sold in the United States and Canada, together with geographical and biographical sketches
Identifier: cyclopediaofamer01bail1
Year: 1900 (1900s)
Authors: Bailey, L. H. (Liberty Hyde), 1858-1954 ed; Miller, Wilhelm, b. 1869, joint author
Subjects: Gardening
Publisher: New York [etc. ] The Macmillan company
Contributing Library: Boston College Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries

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80 APRICOT APRICOT m necessary to catch the insects for three to six weeks, two or three times a week, or, perhaps, even every day. The work must be done early in the morning, while the cur- culio is indisposed to fly. The operation consists in knocking the insects from the tree by a quick jar or shake, catching them upon a white sheet or in a canvas hopper. The catcher most commonly used in western New York is a strong cloth hopper mounted upon a wheelbarrow-like frame, and running upon two wheels. The hopper converges into a tin box, into which the curculios roll as they fall upon the sheet. One man wheels the device, by barrow-like handles, under the tree, then drops the handles and jars the tree ; or some- times two men go with a machine, one wheel- ing it and the other jarring the trees. This device is used extensively by practical fruit- growers for catching the curculio on the vari- ous stone fruits. It is not yet certain what are the best stocks ^ill for apricots in the East, in commercial or- i3l’" chards. It is probable that no one stock is best under all circumstances. The apricot root itself seems to be impatient of our cold and wet soils,which are drenched by the drain- age of winter. It needs a very deep and rich soil, but it is doubtful if it is safe for the East. The common plum (not myrobalan) is an excellent stock for plum soils, and the apri- cot does well either nursery-budded or top- worked upon it. Peach is probably the com- monest stock, and, for peach soils, it is prob- ably the best that can be used. If the apricot thrives upon various stocks, it is thereby adapted to many soils. The apricot is often trained on walls, where the fruit reaches the highest perfection. Care should be taken that the wall does not face to the west or the south, or the early-forced flowers may he caught by frost. An over- hanging cornice will aid greatly in protecting from frost. L. H. B. â The Apkicot in California. â The apricot is one of the lead- ing commercial fruits of Cali- fornia. It was introduced by the Mission Fathers, for Vancouver found it at the Santa Clara Mis- sion in 1792. However, there is no relation between this early introduction and the expansion which quickly followed the Amer- ican occupation, because the Mis- sion Fathers had only seedling fruits, while the early American planters, shortly before the gold discovery, introduced the best French and English varieties, and were delighted to find that these sorts, usually given some protection in the Old World, grew with surpris- infr thrift of ti’ee and size of fruit in valley situations in California in the open air. Upon these facts the apri- cot rose to wide popularity. The acreage has steadily increased during the last fifty years, and with particu- larly swift rate during the last twenty years, until the number of trees at the present date (1899) is about three millions, occupying upwards of forty thousand acres of land. This notable increase, and the present prospect of much greater extension, is based upon the demand which has arisen for the fruit in its fresh, canned, dried and crystallized forms, in all the regions of the United States, in England and on the Continent, where, by reason of its superior size and acceptable manner of curing, it has achieved notable popularity. The year 1897 was the greatest thus far in amount of dried product realized, viz.: 30,000,000 pounds. The year 1895 was greatest in amount of canned product, which reached upwards of 360,000 cases, each containing two dozen 2V2-pound cans. The shipment of fresh apricots out of California during the summer of 1897 was 177 carloads. The chief part of the apricot crop of California is grown in the interior valleys. In the low places in 115. Fruit-buds of the apricot. Borne beside the leaf- bud, as on the peach, and also on spurs. these valleys, however, the fruit is apt to be injured and sometimes almost wholly destroyed by spring frosts, al- though the trees make excellent growth. In foothill situations adjacent to these valleys, there is also serious danger of frost above an elevation of about fifteen hun- dred feet above sea level, and the tree is rarely planted for commercial purposes. In southern California the apricot succeeds both in the coast and interior valleys. But along the coast northward, excepting the very im- portant producing regions of the Alameda and Santa Clara valleys, eastward and southward from the Bay of San Francisco, the apricot is but little grown, owing to frost troubles. In respect to these, the apricot is some- what less subject to harm than the almond, but it is less hardy than the peach, and has, therefore, a much narrower range of adaptation. The average date of the blooming of apricot varieties is about two weeks later than that of the almonds. The apricot is adapted to a wide range of soils, because to the rather heavy, moist loams which its own root tolerates, it adds the lighter tastes of the peach root, upon which it is very largely propagated. However, attempts to carry the apricot upon heavier, moister soils by working it upon the plum root have not been very successful, owing to the dwarf- ing of the tree; and the movement toward the light, dry loams, by working upon the almond root, has failed be- cause the attachment is insecure, and the trees are very apt to be snapped off at the joining, even though they may attain bearing age before the mishap occurs. The apricot root itself is a favorite morsel with rodents, and is for that reason not largely used. Our mainstay for the apricot, then, is the peach root, and the soils which this root enjoys in localities sufficiently frost-free are, there- fore, to a great extent the measure of our apricot area. Apricot trees are produced by budding on peach or apricot seedlings during their first summer’s growth in the nursery row, from pits planted when the ground is moist and warm, at any time during the preceding win- ter. When there is a great demand for trees, planting in orchard is sometimes done with dormant buds, but ordinarily the trees are allowed to make one summer’s growth in the nursery. The trees branch during the first year’s growth from the bud, and usually come to the planter with a good choice of low-starting branches, from which to shape the low-headed tree which is universally preferred. The method of securing such a tree is iden- tical with that already described for the almond, but the treatment of the tree after reaching bearing age, in its third year, is very diiiferent from the after treatment of the almond. The apricot is a ram- pant grower and most profuse bearer. Unless kept continually in check it will quickly rush out of reach,and will destroy its low shoots and spurs by the dense shade of its thick, beautiful foliage. There is continually necessary, then, a cer- tain degree of thinning of the sur- plus shoots and shortening of the new growth to continue the system of low branching, to relieve the tree from an excess of bearing wood, and to avoid small fruit and exhaustion of the tree, resulting in alternate years of bearing. In the coast regions, where the tree makes moderate wood growth, it can be kept in good foi-m and bearing by regular winter pruning. In warmer regions, where the tendency is to exuberant wood growth, the main pruning is done in the summer, immediately after the fruit is gathered. This has a tendency to check wood growth and promote fruit bearing, and where the main cutting is done in the summer, win- ter pruning is reduced to thinning out shoots, to prevent the tree from becoming too dense and to lessen the work of hand-thinning of the fruit later on. In addition, however, to the most intelligent prun- ing, much fruit must be removed by hand when there is a heavy set of it, in order to bring the fruit to a size

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116. Flowers of the apricot.

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