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be accumulated in the course of a year, and the cost will be merely nominal.
Applying The Manure.—As soon as the winter rains are well started the manure may be applied to the orchard. Care should be taken not to heap it about the bodies of the trees. It is of very little use there in any event, and may do harm. It should be spread over the ground as far as the lateral roots extend and, with large trees, the whole surface of the ground may be covered with advantage. Turn it in with a plow, and the work is done. The rains will carry the soluble elements down into the earth, making them available for the roots, and the fibrous matter will be incorporated with the surface soil to its great benefit. Stiff soils are thus rendered more friable, and sandy soils more loamy.
Both will be susceptible to finer tilth and will retain moisture the better therefor.
Artificial Fertilizers.—When California orange growers shall have utilized the cheap fertilizers at hand, which now go to waste, and then feel the necessity for more concentrated manures, it will be time to talk to them about the manufactured article. My object at present is to urge upon them the subject of fertilizing in the main. If they do it at all they will do it well. I believe the home-made compost heap, as outlined above, would furnish all that is required in the way of fertilizers at a tithe of the expense of the commercial compounds.
Let the California orange grower renew his soil in some way, and the sooner he begins this task the better.
ENEMIES OP THE ORANGE TREE.
The orange tree has its enemies;—so have we all. Probably the horde of orange tree pests is no more numerous or implacable than that which proys upon our other domestic trees; but when it comes to numbering and cataloguing them—aye, or fighting them either—they seem formidable enough. It is this numbering and cataloguing and studying their habits which painstaking men have performed for us that has placed within our hands the weapons for their destruction. Let nobody be appalled by the array of orangetree pests presented in these and subsequent pages; they do not all attack at once, and by taking them in detail and following prescribed methods, every one of them can be vanquished.
The Gopher.—This is a .little animal resembling a rat; somewhat more compactly built and with shovel teeth and a stubby tail. He burrows in the ground and is almost a universal pest in California. He is especially destructive with orange trees because he attacks the roots, many times doing the utmost damage without giving*evidence upon the surface that he is at work. The first indication,
perhaps, is the wilting of the leaves, and then, when one seeks the cause, the tree topples over, the main root having been eaten entirely away. In attacking large trees the gopher's method is to girdle the main stock just below the surface and then destroy the lateral roots by peeling away the bark.
How To Fight Him.—The way to serve the gopher is to carry the war into Africa, and fight a battle of extermination. Do not wait for him to attack a tree. As soon as you discover his mound of earth thrown up anywhere in the orchard, or near it, open hostilities.
Poison.—I have found crystals of strychnine one of the handiest and surest means of giving the gopher his quietus. I provide myself with a little bottle or box of poisoned raisins which I keep constantly in my pocket while about the farm. Then, upon discovering a gopher mound I dig it away and work down until the hole is exposed. A couple of the raisins are thrown in as far as they will go and the gopher is left to his fate. Sometimes, hower, ho resists temptation to the extent of filling the hole and throwing the raisins up with the dirt. Then it is necessary to dig and try it again. If he refuses the raisin bait entirely, try him with a wedge of poisoned watermelon, or a piece of carrot or turnip or sweet potato. Never give up until you are sure that the gopher is dead. If allowed to remain he will surely do some mischief and, what is worse, he will soon have a family to join him in his marauding. After poisoning a hole, you will generally find it filled up, but if there are no after evidences of work in that vicinity you may conclude that the poison has been effective. As previously remarked, strychnine is the best destroyer. Pulverize the crystals snd insert only a little of the powder in the bait. Arsenic will not serve at all; the gopher fattens on it.
Traps.—Several patterns of gophertraps are in use, the best of which are skeleton claws, which are inserted in the hole and close with a spring upon the gopher when he pushes the trigger. In setting them it is best to dig down to the main runaway and place the trap as nearly on a level as possible. Then cover the hole with something to exclude the light. The most successful trap I have ever found is called the Cushing, and is constructed of wire, with a sheet-iron trigger. It has "a very taking way " with the gophers.
Squirrels.—Another burrowing pest is the ground squirrel. He has his nest below ground and a hole for entrance and exit much larger than the gopher hole, which he always leaves open. He does not attack the roots of a tree unless they happen to be in his way while tunneling. The damage which he does the orange tree is in gnawing the bark of the trunk.
Exterminators.—Squirrels are exterminated by poison and by fumigations with apparatus gotten up for the purpose of driving bi-sulphide or carbon gas or brimstone smoke into their holes. Wrapping or whitewashing the trees, as suggested in the chapter on planting, is a good means of protection against squirrels. These pests are by no means so universal as gophers and are more easily disposed of.
Rarrits.—Both the Jack and the "Cotton Tail" rabbit are destructive enemies to the orange tree, gnawing the bark as
high as they can reach. Wrapping or whitewashing the trunk is a protection against them. Some people suspend bits of bright tin in their trees, the glint of which in either sunlight or moonlight, frightens the depredators away. Another method is to smear the trunks with diluted blood. The rabbit has a fine sense of smell, and this offense to his olfactories keeps him away. Kabbits are disposed of with the shot gun with double advantage, if one has time to hunt them. Otherwise poison may be used or the services of a good dog or cat invoked. When one starts an orchard in a comparatively new and wild region, all measures of protection seem ineffectual except a rabbit-tight fence.
Grasshoppers.—In newly settled localities grasshoppers are apt to prove troublesome for a number of years, or until all the contiguous lands are brought under cultivation. Plowing the ground seems to kill their eggs and put an end to the nuisance. When grasshoppers preyail to a considerable extent they destroy young orange trees by denuding them of leaves and even stripping the bark from the tender shoots. The best protection to small trees is to wrap the stocks with paper or cloth and enclose the top in a grain bag or other covering. Chickens are of great service in making war upon grasshoppers. I have colonized my flocks in the orange orchard with the most satisfactory results to the chickens and the trees.
Scale Insects.—The most formidable enemies, after all, are the scale insects; probably because they are the most insignificant. They belong to a low order of animal life known as coccidse. I shall not here attempt a techinal description of the scale insects, but will rather refer the reader to the scientific discussion of the subject taken fron the work of Hon. Matthew Cooke and appearing as an appendix to this work. I cannot too highly commend the efforts of Mr. Cooke in behalf of th,e fruit growers of our State. They owe him a debt of gratitude which must needs be paid in installments by successive generations. For the fullest information relative to insects injurious to> all tree and plant life I take pleasure irk referring my readers to Mr. Cooke's work.*
The Black Scale.—This is the most common, and is considered the least dangerous of the scale family. It may exist in a tree a long time without destroying it, but we may be sure the effect is constantly deleterious. The scale appears in all tints from a whity yellow of the newlyhatched to a brown of middle age and black in maturity, and in form is a little blister adhering to leaf, stem or stock. It does not attach itself to the fruit. Trees thus infested should be thoroughly pruned and washed with a solution of whale-oil soap as directed in the appendix.
Fungus, Ok Smut.—This is an attendant of the black scale. Scientific investigation has shown that the scale excretes a gummy substance called honey-dew, which, in falling, attaches to the upper surfaces of leaves, twigs and fruit. This gum holds the dust that chances to fall upon the surfaces covered by it, and the mass generates a fungus growth termed back smut. This smut, although seeming to do no damage to the tree other than to render it unsightly, must retard its growth by obstructing the stomata or air-breathing surfaces of leaves and branches. It also renders the fruit unsalable, or nearly so. Neither scale nor smut should be tolerated in an orchard. The whale-oil soap solution extirpates both.
This Red Scale.—This is similar to the
black scale, except that it is somewhat smaller and of a reddish color. It adheres only to the under side of leaves and to the fruit, and avoids the limbs and trunk. The red scale is more dangerous than the black and, if unmolested, will utterly destroy an orchard in a few years. For treatment see Appendix.
The White Or Cottony Cushion Scale.—This approaches more nearly to a distinct animal than either of the other scales and is the most dangerous of the three. For full description and manner of treatment see Appendix.
Gum Disease.—Lemon trees especially and orange trees occasionally, are subject to gum disease, an affection of the bark close to the ground. This is caused by injudiciuos irrigation. The bark splits and a gum exudes. If unchecked, the disease encircles the tree and kills it. The best treatment upon discovering the first symptoms of gum disease is to cut away the affected part and daub the wound with paint, wax or tar. In irrigating thereafter do not allow the water to touch the body of the tree and be sure that the soil is well stirred after each irrigation.
"Die Back" and many of the other maladies to which the orange trees of Florida and some other lands are subject are wholly unknown in this country.
♦note.—Injurious Insects of the Orchard, Vineyard, etc., by Matthew Cooke, late Chief Executive Horticultural Officer of California. Sacramento: H. B. Crocier & Co.
The Young Orchard. — When the young trees are planted in orchard it is a good plan to give them a thorough washing. Whatever of extraneous growth, either scale or smut, may be upon them is thus cleared off, and the trees are given a clean start in life, which is as valuable to them as to a man.
Preventive As Well As Cure.—If the plan is followed of giving the trees a washing once or twice a year thereafter it will greatly promote their vigor and insure them against attack by the scale insect. With these pests of the orange tree the ounce ef prevention is a hundred t imes the easiest and best.
Washing Sovereign And Imperative. —For older trees already infested with scale, washing is the only reliable remedy. When once cleaned, they too should receive periodical sprayings and scrubbings. It might as well be accepted by the orange growers of California as an unavoidable conclusion that all orange trees, to be healthy, productive and long lived, must be washed.
The Solution in common use for this purpose is made of whale-oil or some other cheap and strong soap. For my use I have found the addition of a little concentrated lye most efficacious. The strength of the solution needs to be varied to suit requirements. The strongest is needed in treating obstinate cases of scale. For simply washing trees to cleanse them, and as a measure of prevention I recommend the following:
A Simple Wash.—Heat the water almost to the boiling point and dissolve in it sufficient concentrated lye to make it slippery between the fingers. Then add whale-oil soap, a quarter pound to the gallon. The solution may be applied to the trees hot without danger of injuring them.
Stronger Solutions. — For stronger washes, and those of various kinds, such as tobacco mixture, coal oil emulsion, etc., see the recipes of Matthew Cooke in the Appendix to this work.
Method Of Application.—A broom or a scrubbing brush is serviceable for washing the stock and main limbs of tbe tree. In treating the tops, the solution may be "switched" in with a broom or brush or sprayed with a hand sprinkler. The switching process is available only with small trees when the tops are well thinned out. For those of larger growth a hand sprinkler, such as shown in the accompanying illustration, is used:
no. 2—The Force Pump.
The Sprayer.—Fig. 1 illustrates a hand sprayer with the nozzle attached to the piston: The bucket containing the solution is placed on the ground and the apparatus worked with both hands. This will throw a rose-spray to the heighth of twelve or fifteen feet, or a solid stream twenty feet.
The pump shown in Fig 2 is known as the Excelsior No. 1. It is generally mounted on a barrel containing the solution, and the whole apparatus is hauled about the orchard in a wagon. The advantage of this pump is that, being double acting, it throws a continuous stream. Double hose may be attached, thus giving two streams simultaneously. The wash is applied through a three-quarter inch hose twelve or fifteen feet long with a nozzle of ordinary iron pipe eight or ten feet long, which can be pushed well into the top of the tree by the operator. The spray is formed by closing theend of the pipe excepting only a thin slit. Four men make up the spraying party:—one to drive the team, one to work the pump and two to hold the nozzles. With this force at work an orchard is soon gone over.
WORKING, WATCHING AND WAITING.
'But the waiting time, my brothers, is the hardest time of all." A Year Or Two Lost.—As stated in a
preceding chapter, the orange tree loses a year's growth in trans-planting. Under the most favorable circumstances it is not until the second year in orchard that the tree regains its normal vigor. If in the meantime any special causes have intervened to set it back, such as the loss or partial loss of its leaves by grasshoppers, or the gnawing of its roots or stock by vermin, or injury by frost—any or all of which are liable to occur—the tree may not get a good start before the beginning of the third year after planting. If it do not show itself in a thrifty growing condition by that time, better dig it up and throw it away. I would not wait that long with a tree that gave earlier evidences of being stunted.
When Budded Trees Yield.—But if good budded trees are planted and thrive well from the start, the third year in orchard they ought to yield a little fruit, by way of sample. The fourth year they will produce more, but not enough to bring much revenue. At the end of the fifth year there should be quite a fine crop. If the trees have been retarded in any way the fruiting may be a year later. Accordingly, the man who plants an orchard of budded oranges, must expect to wait from five to six years for his first substantial proceeds.
When Seedlings Yield.—With seedling trees one must wait nine or ten years.
A Long Wait.—Five years is a long time; ten years a great deal longer. If a man is possessed of a plethoric purse he can abide the issue with equanimity; but for one who is dependant for a living upon his own energies this hiatus is a most serious matter. It is a matter which one should weigh well and provide against before embarking in the enterprise. Not only must the family have a living, but there is a continual demand for the expenditure of money or its equivalent— energy—in caring for the orchard.
Tiding Over.—Many and divers ways are resorted to by men of limited resources to tide over this period of waiting. The mechanic finds work at his trade for a part of each year; the teacher returns to teaching, and the professional man to his practice. If the previous vacation was that of a farmer the orohardist can generally find work to do near at home in caring for the places of others or in general farm labor. Some may be able to pay
their way as they go from their own places. Such are to be envied most of all. It often happens, however, that the fruit farm par excellence is not well adapted to raising general produce. This is the case with many of the mesa locations.
Helps.—But with all farms established on a right basis there are helps to the living which prove most valuable at this period. The cow is one of these adjuncts; chickens another; the vegetable garden a third. If a man is provident he can have his patch of alfalfa and his fodder growing in odd strips and corners of the place, thereby providing, without any outlay of cash, enough feed for his cow and some to help along with the support of the other animals. Chickens, as an auxiliary, under the charge of the gentle and painstaking housewife, are not to be despised; but I warn the novice against placing too much dependence on the chicken business as a principal means of livelihood. Heretofore some people, principally dealers in fancy stock, have indulged in a good deal of hyperbole regarding the profits of the poultry yard, and some other people have believed them and have been badly disappointed.
Economy Wins.—The thrifty man, aided by his helpmeet, can devise many ways to cut down expenses and produce a little revenue pending the issue of the main horticultural venture; and those who address themselves earnestly to the task, and keep clear of debt, generally work through and find themselves on the comfortable side of independence in a few years.
Diversified Planting.—Most people who improve small places diversify their planting, i. e. set a portion of the farm in deciduous fruits and a portion in grapevines; and some devote consideroble space to small fruits. These come into bearing at two to four years and shorten the unproductive period correspondingly.
Advisarle Crops.—In this connection it would be proper to discuss the prodmcts that may be grown in the spaces between the rows of young fruit trees, for the man who struggles to make ends meet almost invariably feels the necessity of utilizing this ground. Corn and sugar cane for domestic use or for fodder, potatoes, beets,