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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year 1910
Volume XL, Part II (1910)

Moore, J. G., et al.
Orchard tillage session,   pp. 106-117 PDF (2.5 MB)

Page 106

very fine; practically all of the crab apples that are grown in
the northern part of the state, the Peerless, the Dudley, Russett,
Malinda and a few others. In all, I presume there were prob-
ably thirty-five varieties.
"Shall we advise clean cultivation until July 15th to be fol-
lowed by cover crops for young orchards (five acres or moreT,
or may we consistently recommend a system of cropping for five
to ten years after planting? If the latter, what crops, what
rotation, how many years may crops be grown, and what portion
of the land may be cropped?"
Orchards of five acres or more are commercial plantations so
that our question refers to handling a commercial orchard. As
the apple is the chief fruit in this state, it also presumably ap-
plies to apple orchards. Two points immediately arise in con-
sidering the question: the result on the trees, and the cost of
bringing the orchard up to the producing period. From the
stand point of the tree alone, I believe that a system of culti-
vation with cover crops most advisable for the welfare of the
orchard unless great care is exercised in the cropping. It is
also essential that an amount of plant food equivalent to that
removed by the crop be returned to the orchard soils.
The bringing of the orchard from planting to fruiting as
economically as possible, will in the majority of instances, practi-
cally preclude the clean culture-cover crop system up to the
time at which the orchard begins to give returns from the fruit
produced. The question then resolves itself into "What is the
best practice in the cropping of a young commercial orchard?"
The length of time during which a young orchard may be
cropped successfully, which means without injury to the trees,
cannot be definitely stated. It will depend primarily upon the
age at which the trees come into bearing. I believe it to be a
mistake to grow other than fruit crops in the orchard after it has
reached the bearing period. It will be seen that the length of

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