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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])

Morrow, G. E.
Production of new varieties,   pp. 26-29 PDF (948.0 KB)


Page 29


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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