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Since 1862 the spirit of modern progress Tboy now boast new tops of respectable has been infused into orange-growing, dimensions, but the trees possess some. and the area of plantations has increased thing of a stubby appearance, neverthewith marvelous rapidity. In 1880 the en- less. It is a matter of record that, before tire number of orange trees in the State the topping process, one of the old trees was estimated at one million, a quarter of bore in one season 10,000 oranges. The which were in bearing. In 1882 the bear trees are now bearing from the new ing trees had increased to half a million. growth, and the fruit is a good quality. The ratio of increase for the years 1883 The spaces between the patriarchs, which and 1884 has probably been fully as great, were made vacant by those that were and, at this writing, we may say there are gathered to their fathers, have all been a million trees in the State that are yield- filled by younger trees. Some of these ing oranges.
replants are now full grown-probably The original orchard of Father Tomas twenty-five years old, and others younger. Sanchez, of blessed memory, still remains The orchard, in the main, presents an inin the Mission garden at San Gabriel. It congruous appearance, with young, midis a decrepit old patriarch still lingering to dle-aged and old trees intermingled. The witness the glory of its tribe. The inclo. well-meaning Father who replanted probsure comprises about six acres, and it is ably did not bear in mind the Scriptural probable that 400 trees constituted the injunction about putting new wine into original plantation. Of this number less old bottles, and mending an old garment than thirty suryive. I wish that I could with new cloth. say that these trees, now more than eighty The Mission orchard and garden is years old, remain in a fair state of preser- farmed out to a tenant (Mexican), who vation, but they do not. Few of the cares for it and takes a part of the crop trunks are sound. Some of them appear for his pay. While the orchard is fairly half or two-thirds dead, and only a nar- tended at present, it shows evidences of row margin of live bark and wood to keep great neglect in former times. Probably vigor in the top. Some have a water- its long and eventful history has been an sprout growing from the old trunk with unbroken succession of over irrigation all the thrift of youth, the sprout itself in and under cultivation. Hence the disa number of instances having attained the eased condition of the trunks. Some of proportions of a tree. One of the old the patriarchs must bow to the inevitable trunks that I measured showed a girth of in the course of a few years. Others forty-two inches near the ground. Three promise to round up their century of exor four years ago the old trees were istence, and perhaps more. topped, probably as a restorative measure.
A GLANCE AT OUR ORANGE-GROWING COUNTRY. "All Gaul,” says Cæsar, “is divided into would descry the low, half-marshy counthree parts.” The same is true of all try behind Wilmington. At the left of Southern California. But our tripartite the view the headlands of Santa Monica division, unlike Cæsar's, is based upon indicate the upland plain lying beyond. topography.
The mountains of the Coast Range form If you were at the masthead of a vessel the background of this plain, and at their off the coast of Los Angeles county, you base you perceive there is an irregular, might have these three grand divisions sloping strip of land, forming the line of within your range of vision. Looking up junction between the mountains and the the perspective of Wilmington inlet you plain. This intermediate land here, as
elsewhere in California, we designate by not absolutely maintainable; the second the Spanish word mesa, meaning table. benches and lower mesa lands passing
You have seen, then, from your mast- into each other imperceptibly, especially head, the lowlands of Wilmington, the on the upper portions of the streams, uplands of Santa Monica, and the mesas while again, in the lower portions of the of the Coast Range. These are types of same, the second bench lands often lie the three natural divisions of our country. high enough to be classed as mesas. On Though comprehended in the same geo- the slopes of the mesa lands the soil of graphical area, and often found contigu- the latter and that of the bench lands are ous, they still vary in characteristics of of course frequently commingled.” soil, climate and productions as much as I have cited portions of Los Angeles distinctive countries. Prof. Hilgard says: county by way of illustration, while spec
“They are commonly distinguished into ifying the general characteristics of Southlands of the first bench, or bottom lands ern California. The principles which these of the streams; lands of the second bench, chapters are designed to illustrate apply forming either at the present time or orig- to all that portion of California lying inally a system of terraces elevated from south of Point Concepcion. They also apfifteen to twenty-five feet above the bot- ply, measurably, to all other agricultural tom lands; and, finally, the mesa lands, sections of the State, and to all fruit-growlying at higher elevations, and with no ing countries in the world, so far as I am definite relation to the present drainage abie to judge from published reports at system. Of course, these distinctions are my command.
THE LOWLANDS. Our lowlands may be described, in bug-a-boo, the California “dry year,'' brief, as the troughs of the natural water- since the moisture to mature his crops is sheds. They occur in the line of greatest supplied unfailingly from below. depression in the valleys, between moun- But while this lowland belt excels in the tain chain and mountain chain, and re- products mentioned, to the extent of being ceive whatever surface drainage there facetiously dubbed “our hog and hominy may be. Their principal source of moist country,” it is not well adapted to hortiure, however, is in the subterranean flow. culture. I except apples and English walThese lands abound in cienegas-marshy nuts, which thrive there, better perhaps flats—and the water is anywhere obtaina- than in other localities. Peach, pear, and ble a few feet below the surface. Gener- other deciduous trees grow, but the fruit, ally speaking, our lowlands are not unlike while frequently of great size, is watery the so-called “bottoms” of the Missouri and insipid. and Mississippi rivers. The soil is a rich On such land were doubtless produced loam, and in some places quite sandy. those California pears which Bret Harte Willows grow in dense, natural thickets, stigmatized as “great and dropsical.” The and cottonwoods are occasionally found. more shame to him as a quondam CaliSome sections, too damp and alkaline for fornian, for abusing our fruits without anything else, produce a species of salt discrimination! But many people have grass. Where the configuration insures fallen into the same error; hence the sufficient drainage, these lands produce widely prevalent belief that California amazing crops of corn, beets, pumpkins, does not produce fine-flayored deciduous alfalfa, etc. Small grains are apt to grow fruits. Those ponderous lowland pears too rank for the best resulis. With proper are designed to feast the eyes, not the paltillage, the farmer may here defy that ate; and the Eastern man who buys them --delivered in his market at their weight country the cold spells are not of sufficient in nickels-and in good faith eats them is intensity or duration to raise this sea of probably excusable for his after prejudice chilled air above a certain level. As the against California fruits.
cold currents flow down from the snowThe reason why the lowlands are not capped mountain peaks, they seek the well adapted to horticulture is found in channels of greatest depression, and the the damp, cold condition of the ground. warm atmosphere of the day rises upon To what extent this difficulty might be the surface of the invisible flood. The obviated by a thorough system of under- high grounds escape this inundation; drainage, like that in vogue among East- hence their greater freedom from frosts. ern and Old World farmers, it is impossi- This is not a mere hypothesis, but a wellble to state. So far as I am informed, no- established physical condition which is body has tested the method; and, unfor- denonstrated nightly through nearly the tunately, our lowland farmers are not of entire year. In winter it is possible to the class that expend any of their sub- find a difference of fifteen or twenty destance in experiments.
grees between the temperature of the high However they may continue to offend and low lands. In ascending from the the Eastern palate with their big, taste- valley I have many times noted the tranless pears and peaches, there is no danger sition from a colder to a warmer stratum that they will scandalize our citrus fruits. of air, and haye even taken cognizance of Oranges, lemons and limes cannot be three such strata in making the elevation profitably grown on the lowlands. Not of two hundred feet. In such cases the only is the cold soil against them, but the change is as great and as sharply defined air temperature also goes below their limit as one would experience in passing from of endurance. I can only give a hint at a cold bath to a warm one. the theory of atmospheric strata, which It has been truly said that a man might accounts for the seeming anomaly of the as well try to raise oranges in Greenland greater warmth existing in the higher as in some portions of Southern California. alitudes. Suffice it that cold air being While the object of these articles is mainmore dense than warm is heavier, and ly to point out the situations favorable to hence sinks to the lowest parts of the val- orange growing, it is also within their ley and establishes its level just as an province to say where oranges may not be equal volume of water would do. In our grown. The lowlands should be avoided.
THE MIDDLE LANDS.
The uplands, classified as the second to the torrid and frigid. It was mainly grand division of the country, constitute upon the broad expanse of these uplands our great body of agricultural and horti- that Los Angeles county produced in 1882 cultural lands. As regards soil, elevation, her 1,700,000 bushels of wheat and 729,000 water supply, and all leading character- busheis of barley; her fruit crop to the istics, these uplands are greatly diversi- value of $950,000, and the grapes from fied. They are, therefore, adapted to a which were manufactured 3,100,000 gallons wide range of products, and, in one place of wine and 145,000 gallons of brandy. or another, they yield everything that is It should be understood that I include grown in the country. And it is enthusi- in the category of uplands not only the astically claimed that we have every pro- broad plain of the Los Angeles valley, but duct known to the sub-tropical and tem- also the tributary valleys, which are mainperate zones, and some that are peculiar ly devoted to grain. These lands produce wheat and barley without irrigation, and houses and hucksters at half, or less than during the past five years have averaged half, the prices commanded by the orgood yields. Latterly it has been demon- anges of Pasadena and Duarte (mesas), strated that the vine may also be grown and of the far interior yalley of Riverside, here without irrigation, and thousands of in San Bernardino county. acres, previously considered fit only for I have said that the chances of success grain, have been transformed into vine- in orange growing increase as the valleys yards. For general farm products and recede from the ocean. The favorable fruits, however, irrigation is necessary. conditions culminate in the high interior
Oranges are produced on the uplands irrigable valleys like that of Riverside, with varying results, which may be termed where the soil is warm, and the weather good, bad and indifferent. In proximity hotter in summer, and more tempered in to the ocean, the orange tree does not winter. The oranges of Riverside rate as thrive. As the valley recedes, gaining the finest grown in the State, and comcontinually in altitude and modifying the mand the highest prices. The same fasea breezes, the chances for successful or- vorable conditions are found on the mesas ange culture increase. Two years ago it which lie against the Sierra Madre mounwould have been an act of treason for me tains on the south, southeast and southto say that the best flavored oranges could west. Here the atmosphere is warmer by not be grown in and about the city of Los reason of the greater elevation, and the Angeles, twenty miles from the coast. earth absorbs heat both from the direct But it is even so. All unprejudiced ob- rays of the sun and the refraction from servers, and some that are prejudiced, are the mountain sides. This brings us to the forced by the logic of market quotations consideration of what I have termed the to acknowledge the fact. Last season Los third natural division of our country. Angeles fruits were sold by our jobbing
Less than twelve years have elapsed matures its seed whether the stalk grows since the settlement and improvement of to a height of three feet or a half inchour mesas began. During the first half of thus allo the utmost latitude for wet this time the general public looked ask- and dry seasons, and perpetuating itself ance at the few venturesome people who where scarcely any other vegetation could had set out to demonstrate that these survive. This alfilerilla the early settler lands were really arable. When success found dried and matted upon the ground was finally secured, the press took up the a good half of the year. In marked conmatter and agitated it so persistently that trast with the semi-sterility of the plain, a general change of opinion was soon ef- the foothills presented a perennial coverfected.
ing of verdure. There, through the long, That the advantages of the mesas for dry summer, the lupine and larkspur sent fruit growing, and especially for orange up their spikes of bloom, and the sage growing, were so tardily recognized is a and grease-wood, the alder, white thorn matter of wonder. A man witb “half an and buckthorn blossomed and matured
eye" should have observed their natural their seeds and fruit. In some localities, adaptability to horticulture at the outset. too, there were vigorous growths of live
The early settler in Los Angeles county oaks and sycamores. found the upper valleys mostly a treeless Now, what did the early settler do but and shrubless waste. The only vegeta- locate his farm upon the treeless and tion there abounding was the alfilerilla, shrubless plain, where he applied himself that hardy cousin of the geranium, which to the raising of an orchard and vineyard by irrigation! And he imbibed a notion, excel in our higher altitudes excel in the. somehow, that the foothills were dry and higher altitudes in France. sterile. This prejudice existed for a hun. Gen. H. S. Sanford, of Florida, writing dred years. Not only did the original of citrus culture in Sicily, says: “The settler maintain it faithfully to the end, richest soil does not produce the most esbut his sons and his sons' sons, to the teemed fruits. Thus, in the vast and ferthird and fourth generation.
tile valley of the Concho, back of PalerOur comparatively recent discoyery that mo, covered with orange groves of most the foolbills offer desirable lands for fruit luxuriant growth, its productions sell for culture is, in reality, no discovery at all. one-third less than those of the same trees The viticulturists of the old world haye planted on Monte Reale, and other hills known the fact and have taken advantage in sight, with poor, calcareous soil ; and of it for many years. In France, the most
whose fruits, prized especially for export, celebrated vineyards—Chateau Marguax, by reason of their quality of long keepChateau Leoville, Monte Bello, Cliquot, ing, are known by the mark 'M' (Mounand many more-are located on the sum
tain).” mit or sides of eminences. In Germany, the pioneer fruit grower against our foot
It is thus shown that the prejudice of Johannisberg and other noble wines are produced on the Rhine hills. Spain was
hills was opposed to precedent as well as the last among European countries in dis- to good judgment. Having eyes, he saw covering the natural advantages of the not the proofs set before him by nature in highlands, and when the fact became pat- the wild growth of trees and shrubs, and, ent some of the more desirable locations having ears, he heard not the testimony advanced in value a thousand per cent.
of other peoples. Suffice it that the cen
tury-old prejudice having at length been For fruit trees as well as for vines the dissipated, fruit and
growers elevated lands are in request in France throughout the State haye been making and Spain, and in Mediterranean coun- seven-league strides to recover the lost tries. Substantially the same fruits that territory.
STATUS OF THE ORANGE INDUSTRY. The orange tree is not indigenous to dition of affairs, the incentive to careful Southern California. Neither can it exist modes of cultivation would have been, here in a wild, untended state. Perhaps lacking, and to this day our people might these circumstances, seemingly disadvan- have contented themselves with a profus-. tagevus, are really points of strength, ion of inferior fruit, unable to command when we consider that personal exertion any extended market, and oblivious to the supplies every deficiency.
great possibilities of the orange-growing Mankind-especially the mankind of industry. Such, indeed, is the case in this soft, sub-tropical clime-is somewhat Central and South American countries, predisposed to “take things easy." which have been endowed by nature with Humor his laziness a little, and he be- all our advantages and with the disadvantcomes lazier still. If our not-too-energetic age of growing the fruit without personal early settlers had found that by simply effort. dropping the seed, tbey might grow thick- Our cultivators, obligud from the outset ets or oranges in the fence corners and by to give their trees close attention, and adthe roadsides, depend upon it, there monished that the profits would be gauged. would haye been wild fruit enough to sup. by the thoroughness of their work, bave : ply every demand. But with such a con: addressed themselves to mastering every