G. F. LEONARD, HART.
In a consideration of the three kinds of apple trees, viz., the standard or common variety and the two kinds of dwarfs, Paradise and Doucin ; I will discuss at some length the dwarfs as compared with the standards.
The question of growing dwarf apples in the commercial orchard is one that has received a great deal of discussion pro and con among commercial fruit growers.
The source of basic information upon this subject is rather limited due to the fact that at the present time the number of dwarf commercial orchards are few in number. However, there has been accomplished considerable work along this line at the Cornell Experiment Station, both at the station proper and through a comparison of results obtained throughout that and other states by the most successful fruit growers.
Dwarf trees as a rule come into bearing earlier than do the standard, this has been found especially so in the apple; they are also supposed to produce larger and handsomer fruit although this latter attribute has never been proven.
Apples at the present time are regularly dwarfed by budding or grafting the desired variety upon Paradise or Doucin stock. The former produce the smaller earlier bearing variety, while the latter are noted for the growing of a much larger and heavier bearing tree.
A great deal depends upon the pruning of dwarf apple trees, it is essential that they be thoroughly pruned starting at the time they are set, the objects being to stimulate the growth of more fruit-bearing wood, to produce an even distribution of fruit spurs over the entire fruiting surface of the tree, and lastly that the dwarf habit may be maintained. If a normal growth has taken place during the year this growth should be cut back from one-half to two-thirds. Then on a thorough and consistent pruning depends the ultimate success of growing dwarfs.
In a commercial consideration of the growing of dwarfs as compared with standards we have these questions to answer: First, Do they produce enough fruit to insure a satisfactory profit? Secondly, Can they be used economically as fillers between the larger trees? And finally, do they require more or less care than the average standard tree?
These questions are answered in the main by reference to the work accomplished at the Cornell Experiment Station, and by such eminent Horticulturists as Werder and Thomas when they say, that dwarf trees will not bear fruit regularly unless especial care is bestowed upon them, as they are very unstable in habits of growth and fruitfulness. This uncertainty of bearing and the requirement of especial care practically bars them from being grown in competition with the standard variety in a commercial orchard.