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searching investigation, we offer the following suggestions as to causes:
"We are inclined to the belief that the stock has a great deal to do with the bitterness of the fruit. It is well known that the fruit of the Seedling Sicily lemon is, as a rule, bitter, as grown in Southern California, while the fruit grown from buds upou the sweet orange stock is generally more free from bitterness. Of the eleven varieties marked as bitter in the foregoing list, it will be seen that six are Seedlings, four are budded on the lemon stock, and only one was on orange stock.
"The condition of the fruit during growth will, to some extent, cause bitterness of the rind. If checked in its growth by lack or excess of moisture, or by cold, bitterness will result.
"Sample No. 12 is an evidence of this, as it is from a tree thai last season produced fruit entirely free from bitternees, while this season the fruit was not fully grown and was imperfect when picked. [This sample tested above the general average in percentage of citric acid.]
"Again, we think that bitterness, like any other quality, can be transmitted through budding, and hence, when bitter fruit is found in successive years upon the orange stock, it is due to want of care in selecting stock to bud from.
"It is found also that fruit from young trees shows traces of bitterness that will gradually be lost as the Uee increases with age. Occasionally this bitter principle appears in the imported lemon, and it is possible that it is found in foreign countries to the same extent as here, but that the period of picking and the curing process the fruit undergoes in the voyage here, removes it.
"Third—Percentage Of Acidity.— When freedom from bitterness is attained, the relative value of the lemon for commercial purposes will depend upon the percentage of acid it contains. In this re sped the tests, as far as we were .able to make them, showed the superiority of the Californian over the imported fruit. The highest percentage of the imported Messina was 9.65 of acid, while that of the California Lisbon reached 10.53, and another of j he same species was 16.23, and two of the
California Eurekas were respectively 10.33and 10.43 per cent.
"The average percentage of acid in three tests made of the imported lemons gave 8.71 per cent., while that of nineteen tests of California budded lemons gave 9.04 per cent.
"It is a fact worthy of notice that the fruits giving the highest percentage of acid were specimens from the lomon bud upon orange stocks, showing the value of this stock for the lemon.
"From a careful analysis of the foregoing it will seem that the California budded lemon, properly grown and handled, is the equal in every respect of the imported lemon. Your committee is therefore forced to the conclusion thai, its want of appreciation in the San Francisco market is due from two causes:
"First—Unjust prejudice against California lemons generally.
"Second—Want of care in the producer,, in packing and handling the fruit.
"That the first is true to some extent^ is shown by repeated shipmeutsof budded lemons from Riverside to the Denver market during the past winter, where they brought ten dollars per box; two dollars per box more than the best imported lemons, while the same varietieties would be sold at San Francisco for two and four dollars per box less than the imported lemon. It is fair to presume that the taste of consumers in Denver is as highly cultivated in this respect as that of the same class in San Francisco.
"Second—That there is deplorable carelessness in picking and handling this lemon is undoubtedly true, and to this cause may be attributed much of the loss that falls to individual producers, and to the trade generally. A prominent fruit grower of Riverside was in the city of San Francisco a few weeks since, and saw in the warehouses of one of the largest commission merchants there, a large number of boxes of California lemons. Upon examination he found them of all sizes, colors and shapes, tumbled into the boxes, without wrapping or care of any kind. The result was that they would either have to be sold at a price that would hardly pay freight and commission, or be stored for some weeks and then sorted and repacked, at considerable cost to the owner, and possibly large loss of fruit.
"As an appendix to the above report, the committee would offer the following:
"Rkcommendations.—Discard all trees that, after a fair and repeated trial, continue to show bitterness of fruit.
"Exercise great care in the selection of varieties free from bitterness and rich in citric acid, from which to bud.
"Use the Seedling orange as a stock upon which to bud, as the orange is a hardier and healthier stock, and the lemon budded upon it is hardier than upon lemon stock.
"Keep your trees in a healthy, vigorous condition, especially during the fruiting season.
"The Lisbon and Eureka lemons are so far the most promising varieties, being productive, early bearing, of medium size, line appearance, sweet rind and rich in acid.
"As the lemon can be kept from six to eight months after picking, if properly handled and cured, and will improve rather than lose in quality during that time, pick the fruit before it is ripe, or
rather while a portion of the rind is green; store it for six or eight weeks in a cool, dry room, thoroughly ventilated, placing the fruit in thin layers on shelves or hurdles, where it can readily be examined and picked over if necessary.
"Avoid moisture during the process of curing. Sort when ready for inaket, making at least two sizes or qualities, and pack none but perfect specimens, wrapping neatly in tissue paper, with the name of the variety and producer printed upon the wrapper, as a guarantee of good faith in the shipper.
"With these rules fully observed, we see no reason to doubt the prompt appreciation of California budded lemons in every market,and a complete check given to the importation of foreign lemons into California.
L. M. Holt, ]
Thos. Hendry, |
"W. N. Mann, Sec'y."
LEMONS—PROPAGATION AND CULTURE.
Lemons are propagated in the same manner as oranges. It is unnecessary, therefore, to review the subject of propagatior in this connection.
From what has been said in the preceding chapter, the inference is plain that there is little demand for seedling lemon trees. The only lemons worth cultivating are the choice budded varieties. Experience has demonstrated that the orange is a hardier stock than the lemon, and as it is believed that there is no deterioration of fruit by this conjunction, it has come to be a universal practice to grow lemons on orange roots.* The lemon
*notk.—Dr. O. H. Congar, of Pasadena, a recog. nized authority on citrus culture, takes Issue with this commonly accepted theory, claiming that the lemon deteriorates in budding upon orange stock. He holds that enough of the orange characteristics are incorporated to render the lemons of an ungainly size and to lessen the degree of acidity. It is possible that further years of experiment may demonstrate that Dr. Congar is measurably correct, and, if so. lemons will be budded on lemon stocks only, and oranges on orange stocks.
has proven an unreliable stock upon which to bud the orange, as it exercises enough influence through the budded growtli an render the fruit a bad orange and not a good lemon. The lemon stock in mature trees is quite susceptible to gum disease, especially if much irrigated. There is then no call for propagating lemon seed, except in the way of experiment. What has been said about rearing bddded orange trees in nursery applies equally to budded lemons, and almost the same may be repeated through the whole category of planting the trees, cultivating, pruning, freeing from insects, manuring and rejuvenating when worn out. There is in fact, the greatest similarity between these twin sisters in the citrus family— the orange and lemon. A novice would scarcely detect the difference in size and shape of tree, foliage and bloom, although there is an appreciable difference on close inspection. The wide divergence is manifested only in the fruit, and these are probably not the only twin sisters that have proven strangely sweet and sour. In pruning lemons some of our most ex
perienced cultivators favor a low growth, as they think that most nearly conforms to the natural habit of the tree. This was* adverted to in the chapter on pruning.
As the budded varieties of lemons are alone commended, it is in order to give a list of the kinds grown and a description of each. The list is scant, but it comprises some excellent varieties, any of which would redeem the character of lemon culture in California.
Sweet Rind.—This was the first improved variety originated here as a seedling. It is a fair lemon, but is excelled by others since introduced.
The Lisron.—This was the first foreign variety introduced,coming from Australia. The tree is a strong grower, quite thorny, not so early in bearing as other varieties. Fruit oblong, symmetrical, strong acid; more or less seeds; rind sweet and thin. Acid rarely goes below 7 per cent, and frequently exceeds that standard.
The Eureka.—This is a chance seedling originated by Mr. C. R. Workman and introduced by Mr. T. A. Garey in 1877-8. The tree makes a vigorous growth, and is thomless. Fruit sharply pointed at blossom end, fair in texture, seedless and sweet rind; acid the best.
Genoa.—Imported from Italy. Tree
t hornless and an early beaier. Fruit good in all respects except acidity. Tests show the amount of acid to vary so much that the fruit is not looked upon with fa vor.
Bonnie Brae.—This was originated by Mr. H. M. lliggins, of San Diego, from imported seed. I consider it the handsomest lemon grown in California. (See full description in succeeding chapter.), Tree of average size, a strong grower, quite thorny. Fruit symmetrical, texture the finest, rind thin, almost seedless, acid fair, and the juice possesses a peculiar rich flavor.
Olivia.—Originated by Mr. Geo. I'. Swan, of San Diego. Tree somewhat thorny, good bearer. The fruit is excellent, test showing 8.08 per cent citric acid.
Garcelon's Knorby.—A variety originated by Mr. G. W. Garcelon, of Riverside, and not yet introduced for general propagation. The fruit is small and peculiarly marked with a long spike at the blossom end. This variety possesses advantages which may make it a favorite at no distant day.
PREPARING FOR MARKET.
The same general principles which appjy to the handling of oranges apply to lemons. The fruit should be picked when dry and stored for a period during which it undergoes a sweating and curing process. In this way the excess of moisture is evaporated from the skin, ren
dering it soft and pliable, with a texture somewhat like a kid glove. Lemons cured in this way will keep a long time, and are not susceptible to decay in transit as the result of close packing or bruising. There is no secret about the curing process. The lemons are merely spread out in thin layers in a dry, cool, well ventilated place and left anywhere from ten days to ten weeks, as suits the convenience of the grower. As the lemon ripens in midwinter, whin there is little call for acid fruits, the advantages usually sought by the producer is to keep his fruit as long as possible before putting it upon the market. In Florida, where the atmosphere is very.humid, lemon producers have found it an advantage in curing their fruit, to fumigate it with sulphur to destroy the germs of fungus. The process has been tried here, but without satisfactory re
sults. In our dry climate there is probably no better way to cure lemons than to arrange them so that they have shade and; a plenty of air. Dr. Congar advisesthrowing the lemons in piles under thetrees and leaving them there ten days or two weeks, when he says they will bemost perfectly cured.
The most advanced shippers grade their lemons carefully and wrap them in papers for shipment. The packing boxes employed are the same as those used for oranges.
THE BONNIE BRAE LEMON.
I wish to call this variety into prominent notice, both because I believe it to be one of the finest lemons yet grown in California, and because it is a stranger and needs an introduction. My attention was first called to the Bonnie Brae by a plate of the fruit on exhibition in the Los Angeles Citrus Fair of 1880. So different was this fruit from other varieties of lemons on display that people were at a loss whether to class it as a lemon at all. The cut presented herewith, showing a group of Bonnie Brae lemons on a stem, is a correct representation, taken from life. The fruit is from medium to small, somewhat oblong, more abruptly rounded at the ends than ordinary lemons and possessing only slight protuberances at the blossom and stein ends. The texture of the skin is as line as a kid glove, and when the lemon has seasoned a few days slight longitudinal corrugations appear as shown in the picture. The fruit is absolutely beautiful to look upon.
Various and repeated examinations have convinced me that it is as good as it is handsome.
The Bonnie Brae was originated by Mr. H. M. Higgins, of San Diego, from foreign seed. He contented himself, it seems, with budding a nursery of one hundred trees from the original stock, making no great effort to introduce the variety to public attention. In 1883 I purchased three of the trees from him, but, being
poorly packed for shipment and delayed! on the road, they were dried out and dead when they reached me. I made an effort to obtain others, but was too late, as Mr. Higgins had parted with his entire remaining stock, sending them to his brother in Lower California. In lieu of trees, however, he forwarded to me some buds from the original tree. These I passed over to a nurseryman and had them inserted in orange stock. I was fortunate enough to obtain therefrom one hundred and twelve thrifty trees, which are now growing on my place.
Since my correspondence with Mr. Higgins began, I have obtained two samples of these lemons—one in 1S8;> and one in> 1884—and have subjected them to every test I could devise, with the most satisfactory results. The average size of the fruit is about eight inches in longitudinal circumference. The most notable features, are its fine-textured skin, its bright color, and its unusual weight. Divided with ai knife, the texture within is found to fulfill the promise of the exterior. The rind is not above a sixteenth of an inch in thickness, and when the lemon has been allowed to season some time it reduces to a mere wafer. The pulp is tender, melting and brimful of juice of fair acid character and rich flavor. The seeds, if any, are few and small. In both years that I tested the fruit I laid several lemons away in a drawer, where they remained up
In answer to an inquiry from me as to the origin of the Bonnie Brae, Mr. Higgins wrote, under date of August 14th, 1884, as follows:
"I saved the seed of the Sicily lemon, and from that seed I obtained all varieties, from the commonest citron up to this fine lemon, which we named after the place, 'Bonnie Brae.' You cannot tell the tree by its looks from any other lemon tree in the grove. It is not a lime in any sense of the word."
In the San Diego Union of March, 1882, I find quite a full description of Mr. Higgins's farm, in which the following occurs:
"The lemon trees number about four hundred—three hundred Sicily and one
thin skinned and juicy, and of a fine flavor. But the Bonnie Brae is superfine. There is as much difference beween it and the ordinary lemon as there is between a common bronco and a thoroughbred horse. Mr. Higgins ran give no account of this superior variety beyond the fact that the fruit first appeared on a solitary tree in his orchard. This lemon is more oblong than the ordinary variety, has a smoother, thinner skin, is seedless, has a larger percentage of juice and a richer flavor. This remarkable lemon is called Bonnie Brae by Mr. Higgins, after the name of his orchard home. Such a fine specimen of the citrus family has never been produced in any of the semi-tropic orchards of the world. It is an original product of San Diego coun