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])
Morrow, G. E.
Production of new varieties, pp. 26-29 PDF (948.0 KB)
TRANSACTIONS FOR 1870. soon as practicable. If he states only the truth about it, no moral or legal guilt at- taches; but the world can afford to wait, and in all ordinary cases it is safer and better to have the new favorite thoroughly tested, so far as practicable, in different soils and climates, b fore giving it to the public, and then to have it formally intro- duced by a respectable and competent horticultural society. In this work of testing new varieties the state horticultural experimental gardens can do very much good, and in this way alone be worth many times its cost. The duty of horticultural societies in this matter is plain. In no case should they, from considerations of friendship or encouragement for the introducer, recommend a variety without strong evidence of its positive value. If a new variety, named and introduced by a horti- cultural society, be not in some respect better than well known varieties, harm has been done by its introduction. And in no case should a variety be recommended on the merit of the fruit alone; the hardiness, productiveness and habits of growth of the tree or vine should also be considered. To nurserymen, experimenting in the production of new and improved varieties, it is a natural and appropriate work Considerations of self interest, and of regard for the improvement of horticulture, alike prompt them to seek to originate such varie- ties and to test those introduced by others. And it is equally true, although not always remembered, that both these considerations should prevent their encouraging the sale of, or recommending any variety which they have not good reason to believe will succeed. A strict regard to this principle by al our nurserymen would do much to inspire confidence in them, and to increase the demand for -their stock, as well as be a successful preventive of many of the evils now charged to tree and plant ped- dlers. The growth of new and untried varieties is not to be discouraged, nor yet their sale in limited quantities and without false pretense, but the practice of " push- ing" into sale untried varieties is strongly to be condemned. The purchaser should exercise good sense in this matter. If he insists on buying in large quantities un- tried sort, however promising, let him not complain if they fail. On the other hand, it is wise and commendable to test new varieties. Nor should objection be made to paying an extra price. The originator of a valuable fruit or vegetable is as much entitled to a reward as is the inventor of a valuable machine. It is claimed that a tomato, the seed of which is now offered to the public at a high price, is the result of experiments and careful culture, continued through twenty-three years. If this be true, it is right that a fair reward should be paid to the one who did the work. It should be remembered that trees, and especially vines, are rapidly propa- gated, and that if the one to whom we owe the introduction of a valuable new variety is to receive a reward, he must secure it in a short time. So, while we guard against the folly of indulging largely in novelties at extravagant rates, let us not decline to buy a tree or two, or a half dozen vines of a promising new variety because the price is high. At least let us avoid the character of that great pest who habitually decries the merits of all new sorts, and refuses to buy them, but who is always willing to beg, or perhaps even " appropriates" a few cions, seeds or roots, and to eat the first specimens of fruit secured by his more enterprising neighbor. Adjourned to 74 P. x. 29
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