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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])

Andrews, C.
The Siberian species of the apple,   pp. 30-35 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 31


TRANSACTIONS FOR 1870.
31
Southern Europe, is the offspring of some of the wild Asiatic sorti. If we
may
judge the Pyrw Mals Prunifolia or wild Siberian Crab by our cultivated fruits
of the same name, it must be a species far more susceptible of improvement
by
culture, than the European species"
The foregoing classification seems to throw some light upon the peculiarities
of
different classes of apples now cultivated in this country.
First. The common domestic apple, of which the Bough, the Baldwin, the Green-
ing and Russett are examples-affords varieties noted for their number, size
and
excellence. This family, the oldest and most thoroughly disseminated, is
the only
one yet fully tested as to its capacity for improvement and the extent of
latitude in
which it will flourish. Although it may never be possible to point out the
ancestral
stock from which th's grand group of varieties has sprung, yet it is curious
to ob-
serve, that almost by common consent, its origin is referred to Western Asia,
a por-
tion of the globe which, while it is believed to be the common cradle of
mankind,
is also the birth place of nearly every species of our roseaceous fruits.
The almond,
apricot, peach, pear, cherry, plum, quince and apple, are all referred to
the coun-
tries bordering on the Caucasus and the Levant. And it is not less curious
and
convincing to observe, that to this day the common apple, especially that
particular
group just referred to, is in its constitutional habit and adaptation, nearly
confined
to those portions of the temperate zones which correspond to the regions
of its sup.
posed origin. And from all the experiments and attempts at acclimatizing,
which
have been m de during centuries of cultivation and diffusion, it is not probable
that
any perceptible variation of constitutional vigor or hardiness has been attained
or
ever will be by the progeny of this species proper. It is a law in botany
that each
species of plants has its climatic limits. The open culture of the common
apple, by
no system of seedling production can ever be carried beyond the climate peculiar
to
the native habitat of the species. For varieties that will endure the rigors
of heat
and cold, in our very capricious and trying climate, we must look to some
other
species having a more vigorous constitution and a wider adaptation of habit.
Since penning the above lines I have accidentally cast my eyes upon the following
from an address of President WILDER of Massachusetts:
"A good constitution for a tree is as essential as a good constitution
for a man.
Acclimation of a tender tree or plant is impossible. He who embraces this
fallacy
is like one building his house upon the sand. * * The million cannot be edu-
cated to extraordinary care; therefore, a primary object in the selection
of a fruit
tree should be entire hardiness for the locality in which it is to be planted.
Such a
subject, though not itself producing the best of fruit, will furnish the
foundation upon
which we may graft finer sorts and render them more durable." Or, it
might be
added, from which we may reproduce from seeds, by culture, still higher qualities
of these hardy fruits, and thus render them both permanent and valuable.
Second. This brings us to the consideration of another class or species of
apples,
essentially different in hardiness, growth, foliage and fruit. They are commonly
known as Russian apples. The Duchess of Oldenburgh, Alexander, and Red and
White Astrachan, are examples. LOuDON refers these apples to a separate species
called the Pyru8 Malu8 Astracastica. The facts warrant the opinion that they


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