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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Transactions of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society. Proceedings, essays and reports at the annual winter meetings, held at Madison, Feb. 1, 2 and 3, 1870 and Feb. 7, 8 and 9, 1871
(1871 [covers 1870/1871])

Willey, O. S.
Report of the recording secretary,   pp. 15-20 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 19


TRANSACTIONS FOR 1870.
19
definite plan for a continuance. The former system of soliciting donations,
while it
is well to a certain extent, is poor when continued as a dependence for the
entire
stock to plant. My own idea would be to decide on some one or more things
that
it is desirable to test For instance, there are about one hundred and fifty
varieties
of the willow. What finer collection could there be than to have these arranged
in
rows or groups and their value fully tested for this climate? But how to
get these?
For this purpose we should appropriate a given sum for the purchase of plants,
the
Secretary never forgetting to use his soliciting power for the general good.
By this
means we may be enabled to focalize our efforts, expending them one year
upon one
thing-another year some other branch may be taken up. I mention the willow
as
it suggests a broad and very interesting field of labor. Others are just
as much so.
Even that much neglected bush the currant, numbers in the list about thirty
named
sorts; and yet how few in our state ever saw a half a dozen sorts. And so
we may
continue the list of subjects or items of special interest which should be
taken up
from year to year, as time and means are given us. Nor is this, gentlemen,
like an
idle tale, to be wafted away from us. There is great good in store from our
labors.
A plan can be matured which will prove tangible and result in great good.
Shall
we put our shoulders to the load, and with our joint action resolve that
the sons of
Pomona in the Badger State win lead the van in the successful organizing
and
carrying out an experimental garden? A state like ours needs just such a
garden-
a place where every known fruit, vine, and especially the small fruits, may
be tested,
not so much for profit-though in time it may grow to be a source of income-but
particularly as a source of information to those who would be encouraged
to plant
orchards and ornamental trees if they knew what to plant. Another reason
for re-
quiring the continuance of this work is that we may have some place where
all the
old and new sorts may be congregated, worked in some manner so that they
win
fruit at the earliest possible moment, and by comparison of sorts very much
can
and would be done to correct the nomenclature of our present lists, and these
lists, so
corrected, should become the authority of the state. This garden in time
should
grow to an influence of no mean proportions. Imagine for a moment a thousand
varieties of apples growing there, five hundred of pears, one hundred or
more plums,
and as many grapes and strawberries, not to mention other fruits, ornamental
trees
and plants. With a managing committee of say three of your best pomologists
and
botanists, whose duties should be to visit as often as might seem necessary
the gar-
den, comparing the various fruits and noticing its progress and condition.
Will any
one present say that such a work is not worthy your best efforts? Might it
not
become a labor of love of this society, and the pride of the state, to which
other
staes may point with envious pride? Still another benefit, and one which
to my
mind is of incalculable benefit to the state, is the influence it would have
upon the
young men, students, who will see with honest pride the fruit resources of
their
state, and in their leisure learn to study its development, from thence the
fruit sections
or localities of their own homes, and when they leave their college life
they will have
learned what the books do not teach-practical horticulture; its effects will
be
known and read of all men in the renewed activity in tree planting.
Can our state officials do less than to grant a helping hand for the encourage
ment of one of the mont useful of the industrial pursuits?


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