1. Pyrus coronaria L., the fragrant crab, which is found in glades from
Canada, Western New York and the shores of Lake Erie southward
along the mountains to Alabama and westward to the Missouri valley
and Texas. The flowers are large, showy, on slender pedicels, white or
rose-colored and delightfully fragrant. Leaves ovate to triangular ovate
and often three lobed. The fruit may reach a diameter of one and one-
half inches. The calyx is persistent. The skin, which is green or be-
comes yellowish, is waxy and has a peculiar aroma. The fruit ripens late,
is sour and almost bitter but has long been valued for making preserves.
No varieties of this species are cultivated for the fruit.
In the prairie states this species runs into the variety iowensis Wood, which some regard as a distinct species. There are known in cultivation hybrids between this and the common apple as we shall see later. The fruit of iowensis sometimes reaches a diameter of two inches.
2. Pyrus angustifolia Ait., the native crabapple of the southern states, is much like P. coronaria except that its leaves are not lobed but are lanceolate oblong and acute at the base. The flowers are white or rose- pink and very fragrant; calyx persistent; fruit about one inch in diameter, pale green or yellowish, ripens in winter and is then very fragrant but austere. The fruit is used for preserves but no variety of this species is cultivated for its fruit. The species is found from Southwestern Pennsylvania to Florida and west to Tennessee and Louisiana.
3. Pyrus rivularis Doug., the Oregon crabapple, has rather small white flowers, and the calyx lobes become deciduous from the mature fruits. The fruit is about three-fourths of an inch long, oblong, yellowish or blushed, and ripens in autumn. It is used by the Indians. No variety of this species is cultivated for its fruit. This species ranges from Northern California northward along the coast to the Aleutian Islands.
Craig and Hume describe four hybrids between the common apple and P. iowensis, or other indigenous American crabapples, which hybrids are cultivated for their fruit in some locations in the Mississippi valley. These are Soulard, Howard (or Hamilton), Mercer (or Fluke) and Kentucky Mammoth (or Mathews). The fruits of these hybrids are fit only for culinary uses or for cider. They vary in size from medium to large for a crabapple, are green or yellowish and ripen in winter. These hybrids are valued chiefly where superior hardiness is a prime requisite in a variety, but they are practically unknown and unsought in New York state because there are other kinds which are more valuable here.
Ornamentals. Several species of apples or crabapples which are indigenous to the old world are grown in this country for ornamental purposes only, as, for example, the flowering crabs and flowering apples from China and Japan. But we are now particularly concerned with those species which have been brought from the old world to be cultivated here for their fruit, as shown in the common apple and common crabapple.
The Common Apple. The apples which are grown here for their
fruit mostly belong to the species which Linnæus called Malus. He
placed it in the same genus as the pear and thus its botanical name became
Pyrus malus L. Recently Britton has separated it from the pear genus
on the ground that it has flesh free from grit cells. He makes its botanical class Malus malus (L.) Britton.3 This species is particularly characterized by simple, soft leaves: flowers white or partly tinged with deep rose-pink, short-stemmed and borne in a simple umbel; fruit depressed at both
ends; calyx persistent. The under side of the young leaves, the young
twigs, the buds, calyx lobes and young fruits are commonly fuzzy.
This species is very variable. Under cultivation it has developed innumerable varieties as will be noticed farther on. Some varieties which because their fruit is large are called apples doubtless are hybrids between this species and the one next described.
The Common Crabapple. The crabapples which we cultivate for their
fruit are for the most part hybrids between the apple P. malus, and the
primitive Siberian crab, or berry crab, called by Linnæus Pyrus baccata.
This species, baccata, in its pure forms is readily distinguished from the apple, P. malus. The calyx is eventually deciduous, instead of persistent. The leaves are firm, smooth, bright green and are borne on long, slender, hard leaf-stalks. The twigs are smooth and slender. The ripe fruit is brilliant in color, red or yellow, does not get mellow, varies from three-eighths to three-fourths of an inch in diameter and is borne on long slender stalks. The flowers are large and usually pure white. In some of the hybrids, as, for example, Martha and Currant, the calyx is on some fruits deciduous, or partly so, while on other fruits borne on the same tree the entire calyx may be persistent; also the fruit is large and it is clear that other characters which they show are derived wholly or in part from either baccata on the one hand or from malus on the other.4
It is well to remark that the name crabapple is not applied exclusively to the Siberian crabs and their hybrids but is popularly used to designate indiscriminately small apples whether of the malus species or of some other species, but the term Siberian crab is properly used to indicate the baccata species and its kin.5
The original home of the apple, P. malus, is not definitely known,
After examining the evidence carefully A. DeCandolle came to the
conclusion that it is most indigenous to the region south of the
Caucasus, from the Persian province Ghilan on the Caspian to
Trebizond on the Black Sea, and that from prehistoric times it has
existed in Europe, both wild and cultivated, over an area extending
from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, except in the extreme
north.6 He cites it as being found wild in the mountains of Northwest India, but not in Japan, Mongolia or Siberia.
Marlatt says, “The apple industry in Japan is of recent origin, say within the last thirty or forty years. * * * The varieties are our varieties and have been imported from America with the exception of some few European sorts. * * * Prior to the introduction of this fruit from America it was unknown in Japan, the native apple of Japan being a crab, grown more for ornament than for fruit, and a very rare tree, unknown to most Japanese.” From the reports of Marlatt and others it appears doubtful whether the Chinese knew this species until cultivated varieties of it were introduced among them from Europe and America, It appears that the native apple of North China is quite different from our common apple, P. malus, but rather like what we call “crabapples.””
Evidently the Siberian crabapple, P. baccata, had its origin farther north and east than P. malus. Bailey cites its habitat as Siberia to Manchuria and the Himalayan region.”9
Introduction of the Apple. In view of the primitive character
of our native fruits, it was but natural that the Europeans when
they began to form settlements on this continent should bring their
favorite fruits with them from the old world. This they did.
Some few brought trees or scions of choice varieties, but more followed the less expensive plan of bringing seeds of selected fruits
to plant about their new homes in America, just as their descendants
till recent times have continued to do when leaving the older settlements of the East to take up pioneer life along the frontier of civilization.
The introduction of the apple into New York along with other old world fruits was thus begun nearly three hundred years ago. In the following years, at one time or another, very many of the cultivated varieties of apples of Western Europe were brought here, and this importation has been kept up with each succeeding generation till the present time. In the earliest settlements doubtless the varieties which were first brought into New York were mostly from Holland. Later some came from Germany, France, and other continental countries, and many from the British Isles, either directly or through neighboring colonies.
The Apple now Grows Wild in New York. The apple now
grows wild in various parts of New York state. It is notably
abundant along fence rows and in hill pastures in some places in
Southern and Southeastern New York and on the Onondaga limestone formation in Onondaga and Madison counties. Fig. 2 shows
the fruit of several wild apples which were found in a hill pasture
near Chittenango in Madison county. Some of these are superior
to many of the named and cultivated sorts, being more attractive,
larger and of better quality.
The Siberian crab has not, to my knowledge, ever been found growing spontaneously either in New York or in any other part of this continent.
Primitive Orchards. As the early settlements gradually extended back from the Atlantic coast region the pioneers who overspread the interior of New York, hewing farms out of the forests, planted around their new homes apple seeds brought from the older
settlements or from Europe. It is commonly known that the cultivated varieties of the apple seldom, if ever, reproduce true from
seed. For example, seedlings of large apples may bear very small
fruit, seedlings of red apples may bear green or yellow fruit, seedlings of sour apples may bear sweet fruit. In fact, not often does
the fruit of a seedling apple resemble the fruit of the parent closely
enough to indicate its parentage clearly. The exceptions to this
general statement will be considered later. It appears at first
thought that it would be better for the fruit grower if the different
kinds of apples came true from seed, as garden vegetables do. Then
he could supply himself with as many trees of a kind as he liked by
simply growing seedlings of that kind instead of propagating the
variety by budding or grafting, as is now done. But from another
point of view the great variability of the apple seedlings is a most
valuable feature. It has made possible more rapid progress than
could otherwise have been made in developing varieties especially
well adapted to succeed in the new world. Large numbers of European apples have been tried in America, but the great majority have
failed to maintain themselves alongside of American varieties, and
soon have been discarded from American orchards and nurseries.
But among the innumerable seedlings of infinite variety which have
been grown on this continent during the last three hundred years
certain ones have been found from time to time that succeed better
in this country than those kinds do which have been brought in
from Europe. So also in the region west of the Great Lakes the
varieties which are succeeding best are selections from seedlings
which have been originated in that region. This is in accordance
with what appears to be a general rule, that the varieties originating
in any section, probably because they have been selected on account
of their capacity to fit the conditions, gradually supersede those
brought in from outside. This holds true with regard to different
sections of this country, and, as we shall see later, even of different
regions within New York state.
The fruit from the seedling trees would now be called “natural” or “seedling” fruit in distinction from grafted fruit; in the early days, however, and even within the last half century, the fruit of these seedling apples was also called “common” fruit, a designation which might have arisen because of the abundance of such trees at that time. Such apples were then used chiefly for feeding to stock and for cider-making, being on that account often called cider apples. The surplus, if there were any, was usually allowed to rot because there was no profitable way of disposing of it.
In many parts of New York, especially in the eastern two-thirds of the state, there are still seen portions of the primitive seedling orchards varying in age from fifty to one hundred years, or possibly more. The old trees, having outlived their companions, stand as silent reminders of the days of the stage-coach, the hand-loom, the spinning-wheel, and the paring-bee, and of the time when the farmer generally considered his winter supplies incomplete unless there were several barrels of cider stored in the cellar.
Mixed Orchards. It is pretty certain that grafted fruit was
known in the earliest orchards to a limited extent only. In an
appendix to Cobbett’s American edition of Forsyth’s Fruit Trees,
published in Albany, 1803, there is a communication from a member
of the State Agricultural Society, Peter W. Yates, in which he
remarks concerning the practice of grafting and budding (inoculating) in America:
“The practice of grafting and inoculating in America is but of modern date. It was introduced by Mr. Prince, a native of New York, who erected a nursery in its neighborhood about forty years ago. But since the late American revolution others have been instituted in this and some other parts of the United States. Mr. Livingston has lately established one, not far from the city of New York, which can vie with some of the most celebrated ones in Europe. May he, and others who have undertaken that useful branch of business, meet with encouragement and success.”
Although his idea that grafting and budding were introduced in America by Mr. Prince is based upon a misapprehension of the facts, Mr. Yates’ statements are of interest because they tend to show that prior to the Revolutionary war the planting of orchards with grafted trees from the nursery was not common in. the vicinity of Albany, one of the oldest settlements in the state. But there is reliable evidence that grafting was practiced to some extent by American colonists long before the establishment of the Prince nurseries at Flushing, Long Island. Taylor says:
“Certain it is that in 1647 the apple is recorded as grafted upon wild stocks in Virginia; while in 1686 William Fitzhugh, in describing his own plantation, mentions ‘a large orchard of about 2,500 apple trees, most grafted, well fenced with a locust fence.’ By the close of the seventeenth century there were few plantations in Virginia without orchards of apple, peach, pear, plum, apricot and quince. * * * Frequent importations of seeds, scions and grafted trees, together with propagation of those already noticed, both by seeds and grafts, brought the orchards of New England up to such point that Dudley, in 1726, stated in a paper in the Philosophical Transactions, “our apples are without doubt as good as those of England, and much fairer to look to, and so are the pears, but we have not got all the sorts. * * * Our people of late years have run so much upon orchards that in a village near Boston, consisting of about forty families, they made near ten thousand barrels (of cider).
“Perhaps the earliest recorded grafted tree brought from Europe (that of Governor Endicott is stated to have been a seedling) was the Summer Bonchretien, planted by Governor Stuyvesant, in 1647, in New Amsterdam. It is said to have been brought from Holland, and its trunk remained standing on the corner of Third avenue and Thirteenth street, New York city, until 1866, when it was broken down by a dray. Many of the earliest introductions of named varieties of the pear, including White Doyenne, St. Germain, Brown Beurre, Virgouleuse, etc., were made by the French Huguenots, who settled about Boston and New York shortly after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.”
It was at Flushing, Long Island, in one of these Huguenot settlements, that the Prince nurseries above referred to were established, about 1730. Near here the famous Newtown Pippin originated.
While grafted fruit was certainly known in some orchards of the early settlers and sometimes an entire orchard was planted with grafted nursery trees, yet, taking the state as a whole, in the earlier days more often the orchards were of seedling trees, with only a portion of them top-worked to improved kinds, and so the ordinary farm orchard was made up partly of “common” or of “cider” apples and partly of grafted fruit. A great diversity of varieties of grafted fruit was usually included in this class of orchards, because the object was to furnish the home with fruit from the first of the season through the autumn, winter and the spring, and even till early summer. Transportation facilities being crude, there was little encouragement for shipping apples to distant markets. When the farmer went to town he would often take with him a few bushels of apples, to offer in trade for articles which he wished to purchase. The other ways of disposing of surplus apples were in the manufacture of cider, boiled cider, and vinegar, or in drying the fruit. For the latter operation the kitchen stove was usually surrounded with festoons of quartered fruit which had been patiently strung on tow strings, or the prepared fruit was spread on racks above or on papers beneath the stove.
Commercial Orchards. The development of domestic and foreign commerce in apples and apple products, such as dried apples,
cider, apple brandy and vinegar, naturally first assumed importance
in New York in the vicinity of New York city because this was the
metropolis and a seaport. Speaking of the beginning of the foreign
trade of this country in fruits Taylor remarks: "Trade in this
fruit with the West Indies probably developed early in the eighteenth
century, though we have no record of shipments till 1741, when it
is stated apples were exported from New England to the West Indies
in considerable abundance. No transatlantic shipment has been
disclosed earlier than that of a package of Newtown Pippins of the
crop of 1758 sent to Benjamin Franklin while in London. The
sight and taste of these brought to John Bartram, of Philadelphia, an
order for grafts of the variety from Franklin’s friend Collinson,
who said of the fruit he ate: ‘What comes from you are delicious
fruit—if our sun will ripen them to such perfection.’ Subsequently
a considerable trade must have resulted, for in 1773 it was stated by
the younger Collinson, that while the English apple crop had failed
that year, American apples had been found an admirable substitute,
some of the merchants having imported great quantities of them.
* * * Statistics on the subject are lacking until 1821, when the
total export of fruit included in the treasury statement consisted of
68,443 bushels of apples, valued at $39,966.”
It was not till after the first quarter of the nineteenth century had passed that commercial apple culture began to be developed in New York to any considerable extent above the southern part of the Hudson valley.
According to Mr. W. D. Barns of Middlehope, the planting of commercial apple orchards did not receive much attention in Ulster county till 1820 to 1825, although Robert Pell of Esopus had about 20 acres of bearing Newtown Pippin trees from which he exported fruit as early as from 1825 to 1830. Along the Hudson where the fruit could be easily transported to New York city by boat the trade included a large number of summer and fall apples as well as winter varieties. They were shipped, says Mr. Barns, in straw-head barrels. Some were contracted for by dealers in New York and some were sold by the captain of the steamboat that carried them to the city. The prices were $1 to $1.50 per barrel, barrel returned. Among the favorite early kinds were Summer Pippin (also called Sour Bough, Champlain and Nyack Pippin), Spice Sweet and Jersey Sweet.
Mr. P. C. Reynolds of Rochester removed in 1836 from the northeast part of Dutchess county to northern Ontario county near Palmyra. He states that in 1830 on their Dutchess county farm were two orchards. The older was planted about 1775 and contained nothing but “natural” or seedling trees. In the younger orchard about 5 per cent were grafted trees. Among the seedlings were some excellent apples. The grafted varieties were Yellow Harvest, Bough Sweet, Fall Pippin, Westfield Seek-No-Further, Black Gilliflower, Rhode Island Greening and Esopus Spitzenburg. The Baldwin was not known there. That portion of the fruit not used by the family was either fed to farm animals or made into cider. There were some large orchards in the neighborhood inside of which no animals were permitted. The fruit of these trees was used for making cider brandy, otherwise called “apple-jack.” In that form it became an article of commerce.
This is an interesting account and typical of the orchard conditions in that part of the state in the first quarter of the last century. The view which Mr. Reynolds gives of apple orcharding in northern Ontario county in 1836 is equally interesting because it is typical of the apple orcharding of that time in what is now an important apple-growing region of New York.
He says their farm in Ontario county in 1836 had two orchards with about 10 per cent of the trees bearing grafted fruit. A few more varieties were grafted in but no Baldwins. No apples were sold from these orchards till 1843 when some commission men from Palmyra bought the grafted fruit for a New York firm paying about 75 cents per barrel for the fruit, finding the barrels. The fruit was shipped by the Erie Canal. In 1848 he began to graft the seedling trees in one orchard to varieties that were being recommended by Barry, Thomas and Downing and included Northern Spy, Baldwin, Detroit Red, Gravenstein, Porter, Peck Pleasant and a number of other sorts.
Development of Nurseries. Concerning the Prince nursery
above mentioned, L. B. Prince says:
“The nursery, which was perhaps the first large commercial one in America, was established about 1730 by Robert Prince. The Huguenots who settled at New Rochelle and on the north shore of Long Island brought with them a variety of French fruits, and the interest thus created in horticulture resulted in the establishment of this first nursery. For a number of years attention was confined chiefly to the fruit trees with which to stock the new country, and it was only when more settled conditions came that the culture of ornamental trees and shrubs was introduced. * * * The catalogues from 1815 to 1850 ranked among the standard horticultural publications of the country. * * * The catalogue of 1845 which enumerates only the best varieties, contains 350 varieties of apples.”
At about the middle of the last century the nursery trade began to be more active. Instead of planting seedling orchards, it became a common practice to plant orchards with grafted trees from the nurseries. Large nurseries became more numerous, especially in the interior of the state, where Rochester, Geneva, Dansville and some other places became quite important centers of the nursery trade.
Development of Commercial Orchards. As transportation facilities gradually improved by the opening of canals and railways the
farmers in many interior localities found that they could send their
fruit to other than local markets and receive profitable returns.
Accordingly commercial orcharding began to attract attention, especially in regions which were found to be naturally favorable to the production of good apples. From 1850 to 1860 the number of commercial orchards which were planted increased rapidly, particularly
in Western New York, and continued to increase thereafter till
commercial apple orcharding assumed the important place which it
now holds in the horticultural interests of the state.
With the development of the commercial apple interests the losses from the depredations of the codlin moth and other insects, also from the apple scab and other fungous diseases, became relatively more important. Commonly the causes of the losses which were sustained were not very well understood, and in those cases that were understood there appeared no practical remedy. Because of these and other difficulties which faced them some orchardists eventually became so discouraged at the outlook that in the decade from 1880 to 1890 they began to cut down their commercial apple orchards. The practical use in the apple orchard of paris green and other arsenical poisons against the codlin moth, the canker worm and other leaf-eating insects originated for the most part in Western New York in the decade from 1870 to 1880. The use of fungicidal sprays was introduced in the decade from 1885 to 1895. The demonstration that by combined treatment with fungicides and insecticides some of the most destructive enemies of the apple might be profitably kept under control put the business of growing apples upon a more stable basis than ever before. In the decade from 1890 to 1900 notable improvements in the methods of orchard management in matters of tillage and cover crops came into vogue among progressive commercial orchardists. During the same period the facilities for holding apples both in common storage and in cold storage were greatly increased. The export trade developed more extensively, giving steadier markets for the better grades of fresh fruit and also of evaporated apples, and the business of canning apples assumed considerable importance.
On the whole the industry of growing apples rests now on a more stable and satisfactory basis than at any previous period in its history.
Lists 1845-1903. The 1845 catalogue of the Prince nursery, as
noted above, which claimed to enumerate only the best varieties,
contains 350 varieties of the apple. At that time the Baldwin was but
little known in New York state, although in the vicinity of Boston
it was already highly esteemed as a market apple.17 In 1845 A. J. Downing made the first attempt to list all of the varieties of apples
known in cultivation in America in his work entitled “ The Fruits and Fruit-trees of America.” This was revised the second time by
his brother Charles Downing in 1869. Bailey finds that in these
two lists there are 1,856 varieties named, of which the origin of
172 is not known, 585 are of foreign origin, and 1,099 are American
Taylor reports that the 1852 list of the American Pomological Society consists of 32 varieties, all but one of which, White Seek-No-Further, are still propagated by nurserymen. The list is here given.
“Fruits Worthy of General Cultivation”: American Summer Pearmain (Summer Pearmain), Baldwin, Bullock’s Pippin, Danvers Winter Sweet, Early Harvest, Early Strawberry, Fall Pippin, Fameuse, Gravenstein, Hubbardston Nonsuch, Large Yellow Bough (Sweet Bough), Lady Apple, Porter, Red Astrachan, Rhode Island Greening, Roxbury Russet, Summer Rose, Swaar, Vandervere (Newtown Spitzenburg), White Seek-No-Further, Wine Apple or Hays, Winesap—(twenty-two varieties). “For Particular Localities”: Canada Red, Esopus Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy, Yellow Belle Fleur—(five varieties). “New Varieties Which PROMISE Well”: Autumn Bough, Hawley, Melon, Mother, Northern Spy (repeated), Smokehouse—(six varieties). Total 32 varieties.
Additions to this list made from 1852 to 1891 brought the number of names up to 435 of which “22 were synonyms of others so that but 413 presumably distinct varieties” had then been listed. Many of these had been rejected so that the list of 1891 contained “ 339 names, of which at least two are recognized synonyms.”
This Society’s list for 1901 consists of 296 names.
In 1883 Barry made a descriptive list, the main object of which was “to bring to the notice of cultivators the best varieties, those which ample experience has proved to be really valuable, or which upon a partial trial give strong indications of becoming so.” The list includes 29 summer apples, 32 fall apples, 102 winter apples, and 21 crabapples.
The first edition of Thomas’ Fruit Culturist was written in 1844, and subsequently much enlarged through several revised editions. The lists of apples published in the twenty-first edition, 1903, include 954 varieties.
The number of named varieties of the apple now runs into the thousands. Gregory states that about 1,200 varieties of apples were planted in an orchard of the University of Illinois in 1869. Bailey asserts that the varieties of apple trees on sale in the United States in any one year are not far from 1000 kinds. His inventory of the apples sold by nurserymen in 1892 includes 878 entries.
It is worthy of notice that the apples in the above list which are of dominant importance in the present day commercial orchards of New York are of New York and New England origin. Baldwin, Roxbury Russet and Hubbardston come from Massachusetts; Rhode Island Greening and Tolman Sweet from Rhode Island; Twenty Ounce, Pumpkin Sweet and Westfield Seek-No-Further are from Connecticut. Northern Spy originated in Ontario county, New York, from seed brought by settlers from Connecticut. Fall Pippin is probably from Eastern New York. Tompkins King, though it is said to have originated in New Jersey, was first brought to notice in Central New York. Esopus Spitzenburg, Jonathan and Swaar originated in the Hudson valley; Green Newtown Pippin and Yellow Newtown Pippin on Long Island; Early Harvest in Central New York; Yellow Bellflower and Maiden Blush in New Jersey; Fameuse, McIntosh and St. Lawrence in Canada; Red Astrachan, Alexander, Oldenburg and Gravenstein in Russia or Germany; Blue Pearmain, Black Gillilflower and Golden Russet are of uncertain origin.
Only one of the list, the Ben Davis, comes from south of Mason and Dixon’s line, and this one succeeds better in the South and Southwest than it does in New York. While the Newtown Pippin, under the name of Albemarle Pippin, has become a very important commercial variety in some portions of the South, yet, a case like this is rather exceptional. As a rule northern varieties have not succeeded well in the South or Southwest, nor do southern varieties appear prominently among the commercial varieties of the northern states or Canada.
York Imperial, which is an important commercial apple in southern orchards from Virginia westward to Arkansas, does not develop properly in either size or quality even in the best apple districts of Central and Western New York. It does better in Southeastern New York but is not at all adapted to the Lake Champlain region nor to the St. Lawrence valley. Other kinds, too, which are commonly cultivated in the south and southwest as, for example, Buckingham, Grimes, Huntsman, Kinnard, Kittageskee, Lankford, Yopp’s Favorite, Missouri Pippin, Nickajack, Ralls Genet, Willow Twig and even varieties which have gained prominence in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other regions of that latitude as, for example, Fallawater, Lawver, Minkler, Rambo, Roman Stem, Smith Cider, Vandevere and York Imperial, have none of them become leading kinds in New York. The Fameuse and St. Lawrence which have been introduced from Canada grow to perfection along Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence but do not succeed so well in either the central or the southern parts of the state. Blue Pearmain, Bethel, Jewett Red and other kinds which succeed well in Northern New England and in northern counties of New York do not usually develop as good quality nor as high color when grown in the central and southern parts of the state.
This general law as to the adaptability of varieties to regions having about the same latitude as that in which they have originated is verified in the experience of apple growers in other portions of the continent. In the fruit districts of Washington, for example, where the length of the growing season more nearly approximates that of New York and New England the apples which are gaining prominence in the commercial orchards, barring local seedlings, are Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening, Esopus Spitzenburg, Yellow Bellflower and other kinds which are taken from the lists of the New York and New England apples. Moreover in the upland orchards of that state York Imperial cannot be brought up to its best quality, while in the valleys good York Imperials are grown, as well as other kinds which require for their proper development a climate milder and a season longer than that of Central New York. Wealthy in Southern New York becomes a September apple but at Ottawa, Canada, it may often keep well into the winter. The Baldwin, which in New York is a standard winter variety, becomes a fall apple in Virginia and Arkansas. It thus appears that each variety has its own peculiar requirements as to length of season and amount of heat needed to bring it to its best development. Those varieties which, like Ben Davis, Grimes Golden and York Imperial require a warmer and longer season for their proper development than do such apples as Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening and Tompkins King, can never become standard sorts in Central and Western New York, by reason of climatic limitations.
But the adaptability of a variety to a particular region is not altogether a matter of latitude, or length of season, nor prevailing temperature during the growing season. The general character of the soil, the prevailing climatic conditions during the blooming season, and other conditions peculiar to the local environment also enter into the question. Probably there is no region of New York where better Esopus Spitzenburgs are grown than in the Schoharie valley; or better Newtown Pippins than in certain locations on the north shore of Long Island and in the Hudson valley; or better Fameuse than along the St. Lawrence river and Lake Champlain, yet there are other locations having corresponding latitude and altitude where these kinds do not succeed as well as they do in the regions named. Just what are the peculiar local conditions favorable or unfavorable to a particular variety cannot all be definitely stated, but it is beyond question that some localities do afford peculiar advantages for certain varieties and also that some other localities are not particularly favorable or are even unfavorable to these varieties, aside from the factors of the length and warmth of the season. Since these peculiar favorable or unfavorable conditions are not all definitely known it is unwise to plant any variety extensively till it has been first tested and proved satisfactory either in that region or in an apparently similar region.
It is important to discriminate between those variations that are inherent in the plant and capable of being propagated, as in those cases
which have been just considered, and variations which are due to the
peculiar influences of local environment and which are not transmitted
Many of the differences that different orchard trees show in habits of growth and productiveness; in the size, color and quality of the fruit produced; in resistance to disease, and in other ways, may be satisfactorily accounted for on the ground of differences of environment. For example, certain apples are known to develop peculiarly different characters when grown in different regions, as has already been noticed. This occurs regardless of where the plants of the particular variety in question were obtained. The fruit of Yellow Bellflower as grown in Washington is more elongated and more angular than that from New York; Grimes grown in the Missouri valley is a larger, better colored and better flavored fruit than Grimes grown in New York; Fameuse develops deeper and more brilliant red color in the valley of the St. Lawrence than it does in the valley of the Genesee; Roxbury Russet is more russeted when grown in Southeastern Ohio than when grown in New England.31 These differences hold true with so many individual trees and in so many different orchards in the regions named that they are not satisfactorily accounted for on the assumption that they are due to variations in the buds or scions from which the stock was propagated. They must be attributed to peculiar local differences in environment. There are many other differences among orchard varieties in habit of tree, color of fruit and in other particulars, which are known to be due to differences in environment, because they are not transmitted by propagation.
Fall Pippin group.
Fall Pippin, Holland Pippin (of early autumn), Lowell, York Pippin [there are at least 3 apples with this as a synonym, so I'm not inserting a link here -ASC], French Pippin, Hawley.
Rhode Island Greening group.
Section A. Holland Pippin (winter), Bottle Greening, Northwestern Greening, Rhode Island Greening.
Section B. Green Newtown, Yellow Newtown, Occident, Newman, White Pippin, Peck Pleasant.
Blue Pearmain group.
Section A. Blue Pearmain, Oel Austin, Bethel, Scarlet Beauty, Stone.
Section B. Mabie Sweet, Monroe Sweet, Gideon Sweet, Victoria Sweet.
Winesap, Arkansas Black, Arkansas (Mammoth Blacktwig), Paragon.
Ralls Genet group.
Ralls, Salome, Ingram.
Fameuse (Snow), Canada Baldwin, Louise, Princess, McIntosh, Scarlet Pippin, Shiawassee.
Alexander or Aport group.
Alexander, Wolf River, Grand Duke Constantine, Bismark, Various other Russian kinds.
Duchess of Oldenburg group.
Oldenburg, Late Duchess, Gladstone, Pewaukee, Milwaukee, Various other Russian kinds.
Groups of Russian Apples. During the last 75 years hundreds
of varieties of apples commonly classed as Russian have been
brought into the United States. These Russian types of apples
have now become established over wide areas in this country.
But little of value in the way of winter fruit has as yet been
derived from them, but some of the summer and fall kinds are
unquestionably desirable additions to the lists of hardy apples
for America. As early as 1832 Kenrick, in a select list of foreign varieties which he considered worthy of trial in the United States,
includes “two highly celebrated Russian apples,” one the Duchess of Oldenburg, the other Emperor Alexander or Alexander or Aporta.
In a list “deserving of trial in Nova Scotia and Canada” he also includes the Astrachan or White Astrachan, the Borovitsky (Oldenburg) and the Red Astrachan. It appears that about two years after this Alexander, Tetofsky, Oldenburg and Red Astrachan were imported by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society from the London (England) Horticultural Society. One of the best concise accounts of the introduction and present status of these Russian apples is that given by Professor Craig in the Cyclopedia of American Horticulture. After observing that the U. S. Department of Agriculture imported about 300 varieties from Russia in 1870, he remarks that the Iowa Agricultural College made some importations between 1875 and 1880 and following the trip of Prof. J. L. Budd of that institution with Charles Gibb of Canada to Russia in 1882, this college made further large importations of Russian apples and other fruits. After calling attention to the fact that it is difficult to say which are Russian and which German, Polish or Swedish apples, Professor Craig discusses the characteristic types of these fruits. He recognizes the Red Astrachan as a type of a small group of Russian apples. Besides this and the Anis type which he supposes is derived from it, “having trees upright, spreading or vase-shaped; leaves medium, veins reddish;” he cites four other types.
1. Hibernal type: trees vigorous growers, with open spreading tops and very large leathery leaves.
2, Oldenburg type: moderate growers, with round-topped heads; leaves of medium size.
3. Longfield type: slow growers; branches horizontal or pendulous; leaves whitish and woolly underneath.
4. Transparent and Tetofsky type: trees pyramidal; bark yellow with numerous spurs; leaves large, light green.
This volume [Volume I] of the report on THE APPLES OF NEW YORK treats of varieties which are in season with Tompkins King and Hubbardston and all which ripen later. A subsequent volume is planned in which those varieties which come in season earlier than Tompkins King and Hubbardston are to be considered.
Those portions of the descriptive text which are supposed to be of most general or popular interest appear in long primer type, while that which is of less interest to the ordinary reader is given in brevier.
The present status of the variety, its general adaptability to different regions and its fitness for market or other uses are given briefly together with other observations of popular character. This is followed by historical observations and finally by the technical descriptions of the tree and fruit.
Technical Description. In the treatment of varieties which are given on the following pages the descriptions vary much as to their completeness. Sometimes a description has been made short because the variety is comparatively unimportant in New York; in other cases it is short because the present writer lacks the information necessary to make it more complete.
In a full technical description the tree, its twigs, bark, buds and leaves are first noticed as well as its degree of hardiness and productiveness, its adaptability to locations and the cultural methods suited to its requirements if these have not been given previously. The fruit, as developed under New York conditions, is then described in detail. The suitability of the fruit for home or market or for other special uses is also considered.
Descriptions Not Exact. The reader should bear in mind that these descriptions cannot be made so as to fit exactly every specimen of the variety which may be found. Different fruits of the same variety may vary considerably when grown under differing conditions. Some varieties exhibit more irregularities in this way than others do. For example, Northern Spy fruit grown on the topmost branches fully exposed to light and air may be finely colored and highly flavored while on the same tree overshadowed branches may bear fruit poorly colored and decidedly inferior in flavor and quality. Innumerable examples of this kind might be cited to show that the individual fruits of the same variety may vary noticeably in size, form, color and quality on the same tree even during the same season, and often the general character of the crop differs noticeably in different seasons, Variations are also found in fruit from trees of different ages or under different conditions of growth or from different localities as has been previously stated. It should be noticed that normally developed fruits of the same variety may differ not only in the characters above mentioned but also in such features as the calyx (eye) being open or closed; the basin wrinkled or smooth, deep or shallow; the stem long or short, thick or slender, and in other characters of this kind. For example, Baldwin usually has a short thick stem but the smaller fruits of this variety often have long slender stems.
This tendency of different fruits to vary more or less must be recognized if the reader wishes to use technical descriptions of fruits in the most satisfactory and helpful manner. “Of what use then are these exact descriptions?” some may ask. They are of much value if rightly comprehended. While fruits of the same variety may vary in the ways above indicated yet by examining a considerable number of specimens it will often be found that although it may be impossible to identify the variety from descriptions by any single character yet it may be identified by the combination of characters which it exhibits. Thomas aptly remarks “ Controlling circumstances will produce changes in all fruits and descriptions are not founded on extreme exceptions but on average characteristics.”
DESCRIBING THE TREE. In the following descriptions when the habit
of growth of the tree is referred to the writer has in mind trees of bearing age unless otherwise specified. The descriptions of the bark are
made from young twigs of a season’s growth.
Top. In describing the top the terms used, which are largely self-explanatory, designate gradations from strong, very vigorous, moderately vigorous or medium, to rather slow or weak growth. The form of the head is usually described in the terms used by Downing; upright spreading as in Baldwin, see frontispiece, wide spreading as in Rhode Island Greening, round-headed as in Early Harvest, or upright as in Red June Carolina, Tetofsky or Benoni. The top is sometimes noticeably close or dense as in Fameuse and other varieties, or it may be open as in Haas, Lady, Gilpin and Canada Reinette.
Twigs. The new growth may be slender as in Rome and Cooper Market or thick and stout as in Sutton. The twigs are said to be long-jointed when the internodes, or the spaces from one bud to the next, are long; they are called short-jointed when the internodes are short. The color of the bark after the leaves have fallen from the twigs of the current season’s growth may assist in identifying the variety, together with appearance of its epidermis, or scarf-skin, the number and shape of the lenticels, or corky dots which are found on the twigs, and the amount of fuzz, or pubescence, present.
Buds. The more sharply pointed buds are called acute; the more blunt ones are obtuse. If they are flattened unusually close to the twig they are called appressed; if not close to the twig they are called free.
Leaves. The leaves vary much in size and form according to the condition of growth of the wood which bears them. The descriptions do not refer to the smaller leaves found on the slow growing spurs but to the leaves which are borne upon the free growing twigs.
Basin. The depression in which the calyx is set is technically called the basin of the apple. See Fig. 3b. It may be shallow, medium in depth or deep; narrow, medium in width or wide. A basin with sides which show a sudden slope as in Jonathan and Gilpin is termed abrupt, but if, as in Black Gillilflower, Fishkill and Lady, the slope is gradual it is termed obtuse. The basin may be nearly round when it is called symmetrical or it may have the sides compressed. If the sides are smooth it is called regular. When depressed lines extend up the sides as in Winesap, some call it ridged, ribbed or angular, others term it furrowed. When the furrows are less distinct as in Baldwin, it may be called wavy. If wrinkled, plaited or folded about the calyx lobes as in Yellow Bellflower and Black Gilliflower it is often called corrugated. Peculiar fleshy protuberances about the base of the calyx lobes are sometimes technically called mammiform. These are decidedly marked in some Siberian crabapples.
Skin. Both the color of the fruit and the character of the surface of
the skin, as to its being rough or smooth or even russeted, vary more or
less. with the varying conditions under which the fruit is grown.
The surface of the skin in some varieties as McIntosh and Northern Spy is covered with a delicate whitish bloom which is easily rubbed off. In other cases the skin is wary or oily as in Lowell (Tallow Pippin), Titus, and to some extent in Sutton and Tompkins King. This character which is determined by the sense of touch must not be confused with that denoted by the term waxen which refers only to the appearance of fruit that looks bright, smooth and clear like wax. The surface may be some- what rough on account of minute capillary russet netted veins as often in Tolman and Hubbardston, or by russet dots, or by both; or it may have more or less of an unbroken russet surface as in various russet apples.
Russet Skin. Sometimes this character is quite variable as in the case of Roxbury Russet which under some conditions becomes nearly or quite smooth. Sometimes the russet is thin as in Bullock; on other varieties it may be dense or heavy. Very often the cavity is somewhat russeted when the surface of the rest of the apple is smooth, as in Pumpkin Sweet. The russet in the cavity may be nearly unbroken or it may spread out in broken rays when it is sometimes spoken of as radiating or stellate.
Dots. The dots are sometimes rough to the touch; in some varieties
they may be sunken or depressed; again they are visible under the epidermis.
In the latter case they may well be called submerged. If they approach a
star form they may be called stellate. If they are surrounded by a halo of
a paler or brighter color they may be called areolar. They are in some cases
decidedly conspicuous as in Westfield, Blue Pearmain and Red Canada or
inconspicuous in others. They may vary from large to very small even on
the same fruit; often they are scattering toward the base of the apple, and
often smaller and numerous towards its apex. In certain varieties some of
the dots are elongated. With Red Canada, Baldwin and Esopus Spitzenburg
elongated dots are often seen on the base of the fruit along lines radiating
from the cavity.
Suture. Sometimes suture lines extend from the base towards or to the apex as is often seen in Tolman.
Pubescence. In some varieties there is a noticeable amount of fuzz or
pubescence on and about the calyx.
Color. The fruit may be striped with one or more shades of red. If
it is not striped it may be called self-colored. A fruit may have a bronzed
or blushed cheek and still be classed as self-colored in distinction from
striped apples. It has already been remarked that the amount of color
will vary on fruits of the same variety in different locations and in differ-
ent seasons. In some cases trees of certain varieties have been known
to bear a crop one season with no trace of red appearing on any of the
fruit and in following seasons show a noticeable blush or red stripe on
the fruit. When the overlying color is broken it may be designated by
the term mottled or by any other suitable expression. The shorter stripes
are often spoken of as splashes. The term blush in distinction from mottled, striped or splashed, indicates that the surface is overspread with
a red tint that is not much broken.
The scarf-skin sometimes gives a characteristic appearance to the fruit. It extends Outward from the base in whitish lines or stripes readily distinguished in contrast with the green or yellow color in the Pumpkin Sweet (Pound Sweet of Western New York), the Green Newtown and certain other varieties; or it may give a dull or clouded appearance to a red skin as in Sweet Winesap (called Henrick or Hendrick Sweet in Western New York) and Black Gillilflower.
INTERNAL CHARACTERS. When the apple is cut in longitudinal section,
as shown in Fig. 3, the internal characters disclosed are very often of
great assistance in identifying the variety.
Core Lines. That part of the flesh of the apple which immediately surrounds the seed cavities, and strictly speaking, constitutes a part of the core is delimited by visible core lines. Fig. 3f. In the native American species, P. coronaria and P. iowensis, the separation along the core lines between the core and the outer main flesh of the apple is so complete that by exercising proper care the core may be taken out so as to leave a clearly defined globular cavity within the apple. See Figs. 4 to 7. While in the case of the common apple this natural division of the core from the outer flesh of the fruit is not so complete as it is in the native wild apples referred to, nevertheless such division does exist, as may often be seen in a cross-section of an apple when the flesh of the core proper shows a somewhat different shade of color than does the outer flesh. This difference is more clearly shown in the fresh fruit than in a photo-engraving. It is seen in the case of Jones seedling, Fig. 8, as well as in the sections of Ralls Genet, Westfield Seek-No-Further and other fruits which are shown in the accompanying text.