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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])

Hobbins, President
Annual address,   pp. 10-15 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 12


12          WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
ticultural and agricultural papers and journals are doing infinitely more
damage to
the progress of horticulture in Wisconsin than can easily be believed, except
by
those acquainted with the matter. Our climate is taxed with an immensity
of mis-
chief to our orchards and gardens and vineyards that is solely attributable
to the
misdirection of outside writers and the cupidity of outside nurserymen; for
it is in
vain for these latter to claim that they are not responsible for the doings
of tree
peddlers. If nurserymen would not send out these notorious bark-lice gentlemen,
or connive at their doings, then would it be impossible for them to invade
us. Com-
paratively speaking, but few of the tree-planters in our state receive our
reports, or
even take an agricultural or horticultural journal; consequently they are
at the mer-
cy of the traveling agent, who too generally sells that which he has to sell,
irrespec-
tive of its adaptability or name. As a natural result, most of his stuff
dies, or
living, is worthless, and the buyer, discouraged, refuses in the future to
buy trees.
Nor does the evil effect stop here, It spreads to his neighbors, and a public
injury
is thus inflicted. The practice for this state should be, as it seems to
me, to begin
with the purchase only of the most hardy trees-something that will grow to
a cer-
tainty, and that will bear to a certainty, and that to a certainty can be
used by the
family with pleasure and profit Therefore, in preference to planting trees
with fine
names, and getting nothing from them but disappointment and disaster, I do
not
hesitate to recommend beginners on a small scale, farmers with small farms,
and
others not conversant with fruit trees, but who want to grow apples without
trouble
and without risk of failure, to begin with the Siberian. We have a variety
of them;
they will grow anywhere with us; they are good and early bearers, and though
called crabs, are, at least some of them, like the Transcendent, Hyslop,
etc.,
well worthy the name of apples-good fruit. This is what I call beginning
at the
right end-at the bottom and not at the top of the ladder. Let us teach people
to
grow that which they can grow with a certainty, and afterwards they Will
learn to
select for themselves. I would educate up from the Siberian, and not, as
is so often
the case now, down to nothing. Then, in order that the next step may be taken
just as safely, let us see to it that our reports, with our list of recommended
fruit
trees, are scattered broadcast over the state, and that our nurserymen, in
their cir-
culars, recommend the taking of our own agricultural and horticultural papers,
where our people will find just the kind of information they want-I mean
local
information. And again, let our nurserymen direct their efforts, for some
years to
come, to the raising of just such few varieties of fruit trees as we know
will grow,
rather than expend their efforts in raising a great variety, whose living
or worth is
uncertain. By thus confining their business and concentrating their energies
and
capital, my belief is that our people can be supplied by our own nurserymen;
and
this is the most powerful weapon, home sUppiy, to use against tree peddlers,
agents
and outside injurious influences. If my views are extreme, so too are the
evils I
speak of I must confess, gentlemen, that it is with considerable hesitation
that I
have brought forward this Siberian recommendation, and I do not know that
I
should have dwelt upon it so much, had I not found myself supported by so
much
better a judge in such matters-I mean Dr. Warder. "You have," said
Dr. W. to
me, at the state fair, while conversing about this very plan, "to educate
your


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