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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])

Peffer, G. P.
Plums and their diseases,   pp. 46-50 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 46


46      WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
Mr. PzFFER read the following paper on
PLUXS A-MD THEIR DISEASES.
Plums were a total failure the past year. on account of the atmospheric leaf
blight
caused by certain changes from heat to cold, and then wet weather for a number
of
weeks afterwards. This blight, with us, affected almost all vegetation, fruit
trees
as well as bushes, shrubs, forest trees, vines and grain. AU early sown grain
proved almost a total failure. The scab on the apple is also caused by the
same
blight; but some are affected on account of thinner skin and more tender
varieties-
Thus, very thick and glossy leaved trees. of the different varieties, were
not so much
affected, as for instance, almost all the Russian sorts of apples and their
seedlings,
pears of northern origin, early Richmond and Kentish cherries and their like,
plums of thick leaf, stem, and fruit smooth, glossy surface-our wild varieties
were not exempt, and are mostly dead; in short, all the plum trees, cherries,
cur-
rants, vines, forest trees, etc., etc., that shed their leaves before the
middle of
August, are now dead; those that dropped their leaves before the middle of
Septem-
ber are very sick, and unless a very favorable season ensues will die next
summer.
Thus we find that wherever this hot air current had a full sweep, everything
has gone
to destruction, but where there was a wind-brake or shelter, everything flourished,
as
can be proved by most of you here.
Leaf blight! By this I mean diseases of the leaf that are caused by atmospheric
influences, such, for instance, as the falling of the honey dew and a hot
air current
afterwards, before a rain. If no rain falls after such, and the air is heated
to such
an extent so as to evaporate all the water in the honey dew drop, then blight
does
not occur. This dew drop is a hard, shiny substance, and the rays of the
sun or
heat will affect this spot so as to discolor it and finally scorch it. Thus
dried up,
the surface of the leaf is ruptured, and when cold or wet weather sets in
it generally
causes a rot or fungi, and in a few days after crimps the leaf or causes
small holes
to fall in it, disturbing the free circulation of the sap, by which the leaf
ripens pre-
maturely, and falls before it has perfected its duty or functions, at any
time during
the growing season. This summer we had a streak cf hot air pass from S. S.
W.
to N. N. E., on the 17th of June, I think. On that day the thermometer was
at 84
degrees before sunrise, and almost a gale of wind, as stated before, from
S. S. W.
Towards the middle of the day the mercury ran up to over 110 degrees. All
the
new wood and leaves on plants were wilted; even cabbages lay flat on the
ground;
although the air seemed to be moist, yet all vegetation lay, wilting, scalding
and
hanging down where this wind had any chance to strike it. Towards night,
how-
ever, it began to change, and the next day a cold north-east rain set in,
and we had
rain, more or less, every day for a month. All this time, the rot and fungi
spread
upon almost over everything, and in July many of the leaves commenced to
drop, and of course the fruit was at a stand-stil, and never got ripe. Some
was
half grown, and some nearly full size, but without flavor or taste, just
in proportion
as the leaf was affected, earlier or later in the season.
There is another variety of blight, which does not affect the plum trees,
but the apple,
pear, quince and crab-apple, called Yr= BiGor. This is a different disease,
affect-


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