That we urge the importance of continued efforts along these lines and similar action in all other states in which the chestnut species is of commercial importance, either for timber or nut purposes.
That the Secretary be instructed to send a copy of these resolutions to Hon. James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture, at Washington, D. C, and to Commissioner of Agriculture or Director of Experiment Stations of such states as within which, according to his judgment, the chestnut species may be of sufficient importance to justify such action.
C. A. REED, T. P. LITTLEPAGE, GEO. C. SCHEMPP, JR.,
(Read by Littlepage.)
That we thank Messrs. Collins, Reed, and Lake of the U. S. Department of Agriculture for attendance at this meeting and for their valuable information and assistance, and furthermore that we respect-fully invite them to attend the next annual meeting, and in the meantime lend the Executive Committee their assistance in making plans for next season's work and in carrying out the purposes of our organization.
T. P. LITTLEPAGE, GEO. C. SCHEMPP, JR.
The Association voted to adopt these resolutions. President Morris: We will adjourn, and the Committee on Competition will meet this afternoon for examination of specimens and decisions in regard to the respective values of the different specimens exhibited.
Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:
Dr. Robert T. Morris, New York City, President Mr. T. P. Littlepage, Washington, D. C, Vice-President Dr. W. C. Deming, Westchester, New York City, Secretary-Treasurer Prof. John Craig, Ithaca, N. Y., Chairman of the Executive Committee Mr. C. A. Reed of the U. S. Dept, of Agriculture, Special Agent Field Investigations in Pomology Mr. J. G. Rush, West Willow, Pa. Prof. J. Franklin Collins, Forest Pathologist, U. S. Dept, of Agriculture Prof. E. R. Lake, Assistant Pomologist, U. S Dept, of Agriculture. Col. C. A. Van Duzee, St. Paul, Minn., and Viking, Fla. Mrs. W. C. Deming, Redding, Conn. Mr. W. N. Roper, Petersburg, Va, Editor American Fruit & Nut Journal Mr. Leonard Barron, Editor Country Life in America, Garden City, L. I. Mr. A. C. Pomeroy, Lockport, N. Y. Professors Crosby, de Garmo, Tuck, Herrick, Drew, of the University. Mr. J. A. Holmes, Ithaca, N. Y. Mr. Geo. S. Tarbell, Ithaca, N. Y. Mr. G. C. Schempp, Jr., Albany, Ga. Mr. H. Brown and Mr. S. V. Wilcox, representing Thos. Meehan & Sons, Germantown, Pa. Mr. F. M. Rites, Slaterville Springs, N. Y. Students of the University and others.
The thanks of the association are due Professor Craig for his contribution to the purposes of the convention of the services of his private stenographer which made possible a complete record of all the proceedings and discussions. The success of the meeting is largely due to the thorough preparation made by Professor Craig.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON EXHIBITS.
By Department of Horticulture, New York State College of Agriculture.
A collection of the walnuts of commerce, comprising 35 varieties, shown with a specimen of each in section.
A collection of 28 varieties of filberts.
A collection of 35 varieties of pecans.
The Morris collection of edible nuts of the world. This includes not only the nuts of the North, but the fullest collection of the nuts of the tropics that has ever been brought together.
By J. G. Rush, West Willow, Pennsylvania.
Two plates of black walnuts; one plate showing hybridity between Persian walnut and butternut; one plate Paragon chestnuts; one plate especially large American sweet chestnuts.
By A. C. Pomeroy, Lockport, New York.
Four plates of walnuts, showing variation of seedlings; grown on trees varying from six to eight years old.
By W. N. Roper, Petersburg, Virginia.
One plate Mantura pecans.
By T. P. Littlepage, Washington, D. C.
An exhibit of eighteen varieties of seedling pecans, grown in the Wabash region of Indiana and Kentucky. These seedlings represent very promising varieties, some of them being exceedingly thin shelled, most of them well filled and symmetrical in form. Of these, five have been named, to wit: Greenriver, Warwick, Hodge, Hoosier, and Major. Mr. Littlepage exhibits a plate of Juglans regia and a fine sample of Juglans nigra.
Announcement by the President.
In the interest of science and of American horticulture the Northern Nut Growers Association is making an effort to find nut trees of various kinds which produce superior nuts which can be used for propagation.
Prizes for special lots of nuts are offered.
Each lot of nuts sent for prize competition is to consist of twelve nuts from one tree, and the location of the tree is to be well marked, so that no mistake can be made later if cuttings are to be purchased from the owner or finder of the tree.
Nuts are to be sent by mail in a box or bag containing a card with the name and address of the sender plainly written. At the same time a letter is to be written separately, describing the tree in a general way, and giving the name of the town in which it grows.
Packages of nuts and descriptive letters are to be addressed to
PROFESSOR JOHN CRAIG, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.
and all specimens must be sent by November 15, 1911.
In former years it has happened that several people from the same town have sent nuts from the same tree. Under these circumstances, if the nuts take a prize, the prize must be given according to the date of the first specimens sent.
In addition to the prizes given, valuable varieties receive the name of the person sending them, and this goes on record permanently.
The sender of these nuts will often have opportunity to sell cuttings from the tree later at the common rate of five cents per foot.
Prizes are offered for the following nuts:
1st prize is to be two dollars, 2nd prize is to be one dollar,
and the amount of postage will be returned for all lots of nuts sent which do not receive prizes.
SHAGBARK OR SCALY BARK HICKORY (Hicoria Ovata). Class A. Large thin shelled nuts. Class B. Very small thin shelled nuts.
SHELLBARK HICKORY, KING NUT, BIG BUD HICKORY (H. laciniosa).
Size is particularly desired with this species, but thinness of shell counts high.
PECAN (H. pecan).
Pecans sent for competition must be native nuts from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio only, as these nuts are desired for northern horticulture.
Sometimes a tree of various other kinds of hickories will produce a very desirable nut; consequently first and second prizes are offered for any hickory nut not belonging to the above three kinds.
BLACK WALNUT (Juglans nigra).
Thin shelled black walnuts of good quality are desired.
BUTTERNUT, WHITE WALNUT (Juglans cinerea).
Size and thinness of shell are most important.
PERSIAN WALNUT, ENGLISH WALNUT (Juglans regia).
American grown varieties the only ones receiving prizes.
ASIATIC WALNUTS (Juglans cordiformis, J. Sieboldi, J. Sibirica).
American grown varieties the only ones receiving prizes.
Size stands first for prize qualifications for Beechnuts.
Thinness of shell and size are most important.
CHINQUAPIN (Castanea pumila).
Size is the most important qualification for this species.
On account of the rapid spread of the chestnut blight no other kinds of chestnut besides Chinquapins are desired at present.
Remarkable freaks of any species of edible nuts may win prizes. For instance, a black Walnut with meat growing in only one half of each shell.
R. T. MORRIS, New York City, President Northern Nut Growers Association.
PRIZES AWARDED IN THE RESULTING COMPETITION.
1. Hicoria ovata
Plate II, first prize: Plate I, second prize: Exhibited by Theron E. Platt, Newtown, Conn.
2. Hicoria pecan
Mantura, first prize: W. N. Roper, Petersburg. Va. Major, second prize: T. P. Littlepage, Union Trust Building, Washington, D. C.
3. Hicoria laciniosa
First and second prizes: C. N. Stem, Sabillasville, Md.
4. Persian walnut
Nebo, first prize: J. G. Rush, West Willow, Pa. Holden, second prize: E. B. Holden, Hilton, N. Y.
5. Asiatic walnut
Juglans Sieboldiana, first prize: J. G. Rush, West Willow, Pa.
No. 2, first prize: J. G. Rush, West Willow, Pa No. 1, second prize: J. G. Rush, West Willow, Pa.
7. Freak nuts
Hickory No. 4, first prize: Lillie E. Johnson, Gowanda, N. Y.
First prize: Mrs. Albina Simonds, South Royalton, Vt.
First prize: Malcolm Newell, West Wardsboro, Vt. Second prize: William Davis, Rutland, Vt.
10. Black walnuts
First prize: J. J. Robinson, Lamont, Mich. Second prize: Dorothy McGrew, R.F.D. 6, Box 77, Kent, O.
The prizes awarded in this competition were contributed personally by the President.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE NOMENCLATURE OF JUGLANS MANDSHURICA AND THE SHELLBARK HICKORIES.
The following are the questions sent by the secretary and the answers received:
As there seems to be a difference of opinion as to the identity of 'Juglans mandshurica' will you be so kind as to answer the following questions for the benefit of the Northern Nut Growers' Association at their annual meeting at Ithaca, New York, Dec. 14 and 15, 1911.
Q. 1 What type of nut do you consider the "Juglans mandshurica" to be?
J. H. Black, Hightstown, N. J.: Probably a Juglans Regia Manchuria.
T. E Steele, Palmyra, N. J.: No resemblance to Persian walnut but very similar to butternut, a little longer and thicker than butternut and of little better quality.
Luther Burbank, Santa Rosa, Cal.: Nigra, or the connecting link between butternut, eastern black walnut and a trace of Sieboldi especially in foliage.
H. E. Van Deman, Washington, D. C.: It is almost identical with J. Sieboldiana.
J. M. Thorburn & Co., 33 Barclay St., N. Y. City.: Our idea of the type is that it resembles very closely in size, form and color of the shell the English walnut or Juglans regia, though the shell is thicker and the quality of the kernel has not the pleasant flavor of the Juglans regia.
Q 2 Does it resemble the Persian walnut or the butternut?
J. S. Black: Persian.
T. E. Steele: (See Q. 1).
Luther Burbank: (Does it resemble the Persian walnut—) No. (—or the butternut?) Very much in nut but less elongated and not pointed. Very thick shell.
H. E. Van Deman: Not similar to either of them.
J. M. Thorburn & Co.: (See Q. 1).
Q. 3 Is it a nut of commercial or other value?
J. S. Black: Yes.
T. E. Steele: I hardly think it a nut of commercial value as the shell is too thick. I should not consider it much better than the butternut.
Luther Burbank: Hardly unless improved. Meat sweet like butternut. Juglans Sieboldi var. Cordiformis is the very best of this type, thin shell, very sweet meats. Both these nuts vary very widely in form.
H. E. Van Deman: Only of value as a shade tree or as a stock from which to make crosses.
J. M Thorburn and Co.: As far as we know it has no commercial value here. We sell it only for seed purposes.
Q. 4 How was it introduced into this country?
J. S. Black: By Yokohama Nursery Co. of New York City.
T. E. Steele: I do not know.
Luther Burbank: Some twenty years ago both by myself and the Arnold Herbarium of Newtown, Mass.
H. E. Van Deman: By nuts from Manchuria, I have always understood.
J. M. Thorburn & Co.: We cannot tell. We purchase direct from Japan.
Q. 5 What are the characteristics of the tree?
J. S. Black: Very similar but hardier than Persian.
T. E. Steele: Very similar in growth to that of the Japan walnut, not unlike the butternut. In fact many call them butternuts, but Mr. Van Deman was quite sure they were the Mandshurica when he picked one from the tree I have in mind.
Luther Burbank: Much like Sieboldi.
Van Deman: Very thrifty and luxuriant with large leaves and large growth. Bark light colored.
J. M. Thorburn & Co.: It is a broad-headed tree growing about 60 feet high.
Q. 6 Have you raised them yourself or can you say who has?
J. S. Black: We have raised trees but not the nuts.
T. E. Steele: I have never raised them and know of no one who has.
Luther Burbank: Young trees. My one tree is more spready than other walnuts, and so far though old does not bear.
Van Deman: No, I have not grown the trees. Think John or Wm. Parry of Parry, N. J., have them. I have J. Cordiformis.
J. M. Thorburn & Co: We have never raised them ourselves.
Q. 7 Can you send samples or say where they can be obtained?
J. S. Black: We can furnish trees. Get nuts from Yokohama Nursery Co., New York City.
T. E. Steele: I know of but one tree near here, and I am mailing you one nut that I gathered a year or two ago, too long ago to be of any value except to show the character of the nut. If I can procure another nut or two of this year's growth I will do so and mail to you.
Luther Burbank: Have no samples but enclose usual form. From half shell. (Drawings of this, of the surface character of the nut, and of "size and form of a common sieboldi.")
H. E. Van Deman: Perhaps from the Parrys.
No replies were received from R. E. Smith, of the California Agricultural Experiment Station, Whittier; from Jackson Dawson, of the Arnold Arboretum; or from the Yokohama Nursery Co., 31 Barclay St., N. Y. City.
Summary of Dr. Morris's investigations as given by him on p. 12: The nut described in the U. S. bulletin as Juglans mandshurica is the one originally described and named by Maxim more than thirty years ago and is a nut of the butternut type. A few years ago the Yokohama Nursery Co., not knowing that this name had been previously applied, gave it to a nut of the Juglans regia type which they distributed. This nut had been previously named by De Candolle, Juglans regia sinensis.
NOMENCLATURE OF THE SHELLBARK HICKORIES.
The names "shellbark," "shagbark" and "scalybark" are at present used interchangeably by authors for different species of the hickory. It is advised that the Association take an arbitrary stand on the nomenclature and state our choice of the name "shagbark" for Hicoria ovata, "shellbark" for Hicoria laciniosa and "scalybark" for Hicoria Carolinae-septentrionalis.
This should become a matter of official record and eventually clear up the confusion.
THE HICKORY BARK BORER.
In Country Life in America for October 15, 1911, there appeared an article entitled "Warning!—The Hickory Bark Borer is With Us" by Hermann W. Merkel, Forester of the New York Zoological Gardens.
The following circular was issued by E. F. Felt, New York State Entomologist, under date of Oct. 31, 1911.
DYING HICKORY TREES.
Numerous magnificent hickories have been killed by the pernicious hickory bark borer in the vicinity of New York city. It has destroyed thousands of trees in the central part of the State, while recent investigations show that it is at work in the Hudson valley near Tivoli and probably is injurious in numerous other places. The severe droughts of the last two or three years have undoubtedly been favorable to the development of this pest, since the vitality of many trees has been lowered and they have thus been rendered more susceptible to attack by insect enemies.
The preliminary signs of injury, such as wilting leaves and dead twigs in mid-summer are exceedingly important because they indicate serious trouble before it has passed the remedial stage. Examination of injured trees at the present time may show particles of brown or white sawdust in the crevices of the bark, and in the case of some a few to many circular holes appearing as though they had been made by number 8 buckshot. This external evidence should be supplemented by cutting down to the sapwood. The exposure there of the longitudinal galleries 1 to 1-1/2 inches long, about 1/8 of an inch in diameter and with numerous fine, transverse galleries arising therefrom and gradually spreading out somewhat fan-shaped, is conclusive evidence as to the identity of this pest. Only a little experience is necessary before one can recognize the work of this borer.
The insect passes the winter in oval cells as stout, whitish, brown-headed grubs about 1/4 of an inch long, the beetles appearing from the last of June to the last of July. Badly injured trees are beyond hope and should be cut some time during the winter and the bark burned before the beetles can emerge; otherwise many will mature and attack other trees next spring. It is particularly important to locate the trees which have died wholly or in part the past summer, because they contain grubs likely to mature and then be the source of trouble another year. General cooperation in the cutting out of infested trees and burning of the bark as indicated above will do much to check this enemy of our hickories.
E. P. PELT. State Entomologist.
The following "Press Notice" was issued by the U. S. Department of Agriculture under date of Nov. 15, 1911:—
THE DYING HICKORY TREES,—CAUSE AND REMEDY.
Within the past ten years a large percentage of the hickory trees have died in various sections throughout the northern tier of States from Wisconsin to Vermont and southward through the Atlantic States to central Georgia and to a greater or less extent within the entire range of natural growth of the various species.
While there are several and sometimes complicated causes of the death of the trees, investigations by experts of the Bureau of Entomology, U. S. Department of Agriculture, have revealed the fact that the hickory barkbeetle is by far the most destructive insect enemy and is therefore, in the majority of cases, the primary cause of the dying of the trees.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE WORK OF THE BEETLE.
The first evidence of the presence and work of the beetle is the premature dying or falling of a few of the leaves in July and August caused by the adult or parent beetles feeding on the bark at the base of the leaf stem, but this work alone does not kill the trees.
The next evidence of its destructive work is the dying of part of a tree or all of one or more trees. If the trees are dying from the attack of the beetle, an examination of the inner bark and surface of the wood on the main trunks will reveal curious centipede-like burrows in the bark and grooved on the surface of the wood. These are galleries and burrows of the parent beetles and of their broods of young grubs or larvae. The girdling effect of these galleries is the real cause of the death of the trees.
HABITS OF THE BEETLES.
The broods of the beetle pass the winter in the bark of the trees that die during the preceding summer and fall. During the warm days of March and April these overwintered broods complete their development to the adult winged form, which during May and June emerge through small round holes in the bark and fly to the living trees. They then attack the twigs to feed on the base of the leaves and tender bark and concentrate in the bark of the trunks and large branches of some of the living healthy trees and bore through the bark to excavate their short vertical egg galleries. The eggs are deposited along the sides of these galleries and the larvae hatching from them excavate the radiating food burrows which serve to girdle the tree or branch.
The following recommendations for the successful control of this beetle are based on investigations, experiments and demonstrations conducted by the experts on forest insects of the Bureau of Entomology during the past 10 years.
1. The best time to conduct the control work is between October 1st and May 1st, but must be completed before the 1st to middle of May in order to destroy the broods of the beetle before they begin to emerge.
2. The hickory trees within an area of several square miles that died during the summer and fall and those of which part or all of the tops or large branches died should be located and marked with white paint or otherwise.
3. Fell the marked dead trees and cut out all dead branches or the tops of the remaining marked trees which still have sufficient life to make a new growth of branches.
4. Dispose of all infested trunks and branches in such a manner as to kill the overwintering broods of the beetles in the bark; (a) by utilizing the wood for commercial products and burning the refuse; or (b) utilizing the wood of the trunks and branches for fuel; or (c) by placing the logs in water and burning the branches and tops; or (d) by removing the infected bark from the trunks or logs and burning it with the branches or as fuel.
5. So far as combating the beetle is concerned it is unnecessary and a waste of time to dispose of trees or branches which have been dead 12 months or more, because the broods of the destructive beetle are not to be found in such trees.
6. Spraying the tops or branches or the application of any substance as a preventive is not to be recommended. Nothing will save a tree after the main trunk is attacked by large numbers of this beetle or after the bark and foliage begin to die.
7. The injuries to the twigs by this beetle do not require treatment.
8. The bark and wood of dying and dead trees are almost invariably infested with many kinds of bark and wood-boring insects which can do no harm to living trees. Therefore all efforts should be concentrated on the disposal of the broods of the hickory barkbeetle, according to the above recommendations.
In order to insure the protection of the remaining living trees it is very important that at least a large majority of the dead infested and partially dead infested trees found within an entire community of several square miles be disposed of within a single season to kill the broods of this beetle. Therefore there should be concerted action by all owners of hickory trees.
On account of the value of the hickory for shade and nuts and for many commercial wood products it is important that the people of a community, county or state who are in any manner interested in the protection of this class of trees, should give encouragement and support to any concerted or cooperative effort on the part of the owners towards the proper control of the hickory bark beetle.
The following is an extract from a letter from Dr. Felt to Mr. Merkel:
"Replying to yours of the 11th inst. I would state that Chapter 798 of the Laws of 1911, a copy of which is enclosed herewith, is, in my estimation, sufficiently comprehensive to include such an insect as the hickory bark borer."
"It is certainly extremely unfortunate that trees past hope and infested by thousands of insects liable to destroy those in the vicinity, should be left standing through the winter and the pests allowed to mature and continue their nefarious work, especially as they could be checked at a comparatively slight expense and by the adoption of measures which ultimately must be carried out unless the trees are allowed to decay in the field. I am much interested in the matter."
The following are extracts from a letter from Dr. Felt to the Secretary, under date of Nov. 21, 1911:
"Your of the 19th is at hand and it gives me pleasure to enclose herewith a copy of a circular summarizing the hickory bark beetle situation in this State and suggesting the prompt adoption of remedial measures. This pest, as you are doubtless aware, is very injurious and has been responsible for the destruction of thousands of hickories, not only in the Hudson valley but also during recent years in the central part of the State. Only a few weeks ago we found a rather bad infestation in the vicinity of Tivoli. You are doubtless familiar with my article on this pest, published in Insects Affecting Park and Woodland Trees, N. Y. State Museum Memoir 8, Volume I, pages 275-79."
At the annual meeting of the Northern Nut Growers' Association, held December 14th and 15th, 1911, at the New York State College of Agriculture, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, the following resolutions were adopted:
"Be it resolved that, in view of the distribution and rapid spread of the disease known as the "Chestnut Blight," especially among the American species, we express our hearty approval of the efforts being made by the federal government, the several state departments, and especially the action of the Pennsylvania state legislature in appropriating the sum of $275,000 to aid in studying and combating this dread disease; and
That we urge the importance of continued efforts along these lines, and similar action in all other states in which the chestnut species is of commercial importance, either for timber or nut purposes.
That the secretary be instructed to send a copy of these resolutions to the Hon. James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture, at Washington, D. C. and to the Commissioner of Agriculture or the Director of Experiment Stations of the states within which, according to his judgment, the chestnut species may be of sufficient importance to justify such action.
Attention is called especially to Farmers' Bulletin No. 467, "The Control of the Chestnut Bark Disease," Issued Oct. 25th, 1911, by the U. S. Dept, of Agriculture.
And be it further resolved that, in view of the depredations in various parts of the country by the "Hickory Bark Beetle," to which attention has been called by a press notice of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, by a circular issued by Dr. E. P Pelt, Entomologist of the State of New York, by an article entitled "Warning;—The Hickory Bark Borer is with Us," by Herman W. Merkel, Forester of the New York Zoological Park, published in Country Life in America, Oct. 15th, 1911, and by an address before the annual meeting of this association by Prof. Herrick of the New York State College of Agriculture; and
In view of the presence of this destructive insect throughout the eastern states, and as far south and west as Mississippi and Nebraska; and
In view of the presumption that its introduction into the pecan area of the United States would be a calamity; and
In view further of the fact that it has been demonstrated that prompt action in the destruction of infested trees will prevent further spread of this pest, and that it is of the utmost importance that such action should be taken before the emergence of a new brood of this beetle in the spring of the year;
The Secretary be instructed to present these resolutions to the Hon. James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D. C, and to the Commissioners of Agriculture of New York and other states where the hickory bark beetle is a menace, urging immediate and energetic measures against the spread of this dangerous pest which in many localities threatens the hickory tree with serious destruction."
Jan. 31, 1912.
LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY TO HON. CALVIN J. HUSON.
The Honorable Calvin J. Huson, Commissioner of Agriculture, Albany, New York.
I have the honor to transmit herewith the resolutions passed by the Northern Nut Growers' Association at its annual meeting held at the New York State College of Agriculture, Ithaca, New York, Dec. 14th and 15th, 1911.
In connection with these resolutions I wish to recall to your attention the fact that by the Laws of New York, Chap 798, entitled "AN ACT to amend the agricultural law, in relation to fungous growths and infectious and contagious diseases affecting trees," which became a law July 26th, 1911, the Commissioner of Agriculture is given full power to deal summarily with these and other pests.
The testimony of all those fully acquainted with the facts concerning the "chestnut bark disease," and the "hickory bark borer" is unanimously to the effect that they have done such an amount of damage, and threaten such continued destruction, as to demand that every effort be made to check their ravages, and that even large expense will be inconsiderable in comparison with the enormous loss that will be inflicted if these most destructive pests are not checked.
Attention has been called in the resolutions to the action of the state of Pennsylvania in appropriating the sum of $275,000 for taking action in the case of the chestnut bark disease. Since the passage of these resolutions it is reported that the Governor of the state of Pennsylvania has called a conference to be held at Harrisburg, February 21st and 22nd, for the purpose of considering further action to be taken in the case of this disease. It might be well that your office should be represented at this conference in order that the united action of the states may be brought about and that our state may not continue to lag behind in a matter so seriously affecting so many of its inhabitants.
Detailed information concerning both these diseases is contained in the literature to which reference is made in the resolutions.
May I ask if you will kindly inform me what action, if any, has been taken by the Commissioner of Agriculture, or other department of the state government, for the study or the control of either of the diseases referred to.
REPLY FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.
Feb. 7, 1912.
I have your communication of the 1st inst., duly received and containing the resolutions passed by the Northern Nut Growers Association at its meeting in Ithaca on the 14th and 15th of December last.
Chapter 798 of the Laws of 1911 constitute Sections 304 and 305 of the Agricultural Law, under which this Department has been working for several years for the control of such insects as are distributable by nursery stock, and for the preventing of the establishment in the state of dangerously injurious insect pests and fungous diseases. If the Department were to attempt to control the hickory bark borer, it would require a character of work quite different from anything that we have undertaken for the reason that this insect would not likely be distributed in nursery stock. It is an insect that is not only a native of the country but is quite widely distributed over the state and is one that is given to irregular periodic outbreaks. Of late its depredations have shown seriously in the vicinity of New York along the Hudson Valley and at numerous places in the state. The pest is not amenable to such treatment as can be used against many other deleterious insects. I am informed that the only way now known to control the insect is to first locate it and then destroy all trees or parts of trees in which the grubs are found before the middle of June. It appears to me that to attempt the suppression of the hickory bark borer, it would require a very large force of men and, of course, considerable money.
Relative to the chestnut bark disease, we had a conference at this office in the month of October last and the question was discussed by botanists and foresters from adjoining states and the whole matter was thoroughly thrashed out by those who were present, including representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington. Invitations have been received from the Governor of Pennsylvania to a conference to be held at Harrisburg on February 20th and 21st and I have directed a representative of this Department to be present.
Mr. C. H. Pettis, Superintendent of Forests of the State Conservation Commission, joined in our conference here and I learn that someone will be sent from that Commission to Harrisburg.
We have in the hickory bark borer and the chestnut bark disease, two very serious propositions, the importance of which I fully appreciate. It is not clear to me what methods should or can be adopted which will be productive of the greatest good.
Any suggestions that your Association make will be highly appreciated. As soon as I learn of the result of the conclusions at the Harrisburg meeting, I shall be pleased to take the subject up again.
Very truly yours, CALVIN J. HUSON, Commissioner.
LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY TO COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.
March 16th, 1912.
Hon. Calvin J. Huson, Commissioner of Agriculture, Albany, New York.
Your letter of February 7th in reply to mine of an earlier date in relation to the hickory bark beetle has been too long unanswered owing to a rush of professional and other work. I regret this delay as I would like to do all that I can to expedite the work which should be done as soon as possible to prevent further damage from this insect.
If I am not mistaken Chapter 798 of the laws of 1911 is a new law under which the Department has not previously worked and which states specifically that "no person shall knowingly or willfully keep any plants or vines affected or infected with—or other insect pest or fungous disease dangerously injurious to or destructive of the trees, shrubs or other plants; every such tree, shrub, plant or vine shall be a public nuisance, etc." It also states that if the Commissioner of Agriculture is notified of the presence of any such pests he shall take such action as the law provides, and the law provides for the destruction or treatment of diseased trees.
This law appears to be not confined in its application to nursery stock, and in this view I am supported by such men as Dr. E. P. Felt, State Entomologist, and Forester Merkel of the New York Zoological Park. It appears that the Commissioner of Agriculture not only has the right but it is his duty to take action under this law when his attention is called to a matter such as the one in question.
The methods of procedure under this law seem to be sufficiently clear. Wherever infected trees are known to exist the Commissioner is directed to order the owners thereof to destroy them. Failure to obey these orders constitutes a misdemeanor and the Commissioner may have his orders carried out by his own agents.
I am glad that you fully appreciate the serious nature of this pest which threatens great destruction of one of our most valuable timber and nut trees and I hope that no obstacle will be allowed to stand in the way of the enforcement of the full intent of the law.
This Association will aid such work in any way in its power.
I would like to call to your attention a report in the Yearbook of the U. S. Department of Agriculture for 1903, page 317, of the successful treatment of an outbreak of this pest at Detroit, Michigan. Also to an address to be published in the transactions of this Association, a copy of which I will send you, by Prof. Herrick in which he recounts the successful treatment of another outbreak.
April 3, 1912.
W. C. Deming, M. D., Sec., Northern Nut Growers' Association, Westchester, New York City.
I am in receipt of your communication of the 16th of March, and have considered carefully the question of what can be done towards the control of the hickory bark beetle. As this is a species which at irregular intervals becomes abundant and capable of doing considerable local damage, yet I am inclined to think that so far as the Department of Agriculture can exercise any control, the hickory bark beetle should be classed among such pests as in a way have like habits of injury, such for instance as the apple tent caterpillar, forest tent caterpillar, green maple worm, fruit tree bark beetle, pine bark beetle, and other thoroughly established native and introduced species, all of which exert injuries at irregular intervals and then disappear. The hickory bark beetle suggests one of the problems which is difficult to handle, and it does not seem that much can be accomplished in a practical way by starting an agitation on the subject. The entomologist of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, says that the insect is common around Geneva, and nearly every season an occasional tree succumbs to its work. He further says that he believes that hickory trees have some time in the past suffered from either a severe winter or drought, and that the shot-hole borer is attacking the weakened trees.
Owing to wide distribution, I do not see how I can direct a campaign against this particular insect at this time for the lack of funds. The appropriations at my disposal under Sections 304-305 of the Agricultural Law, are scarcely adequate for the large amount of work which has already been started, and which, owing to its nature, must be kept up and finished each season.
It is my opinion that general publicity would result in accomplishing much, if individual owners were informed how necessary it is to seek out and destroy the dead trees before the 1st of June, in order to prevent the insects attacking healthy trees adjoining. The habits of these insects are thoroughly known and their life histories have been worked out by our entomologists, and very definite information can be given for the control of the hickory bark borer.
Very truly yours, CALVIN J. HUSON, Commissioner.
RESOLUTIONS PASSED AT THE CONFERENCE CALLED BY THE GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA AT HARRISBURG FEB. 20 AND 21 FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE MEASURES TO BE TAKEN TO CONTROL THE CHESTNUT-TREE BARK DISEASE:
WHEREAS this Conference recognizes the great importance of the chestnut tree as one of our most valuable timber assets, having an estimated value of not less than $400,000,000, and
WHEREAS a most virulent fungous disease has made its appearance in wide sections of the chestnut timber region, and already many millions of dollars of damage has been sustained, and the total extinction of the chestnut tree is threatened by the rapid spread of this disease, and
WHEREAS we recognize the importance of prompt action.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
That the thanks of this Conference are tendered to Governor Tener for calling it, and for the courtesies he has shown
That we appreciate the interest of the President of the United States as evidenced by his communication to Governor Tener, showing as it does, that the head of the National Government is not unmindful of the great danger presented by the Chestnut Blight problem.
That the Commission appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania be commended for the earnestness and diligence they have shown in the conduct of their work.
That we urge the National Government, the States and the Dominion of Canada to follow the example of Pennsylvania, which is analogous to that of Massachusetts in starting the fight against the gypsey moth, and appropriate an amount sufficient to enable their proper authorities to cope with the disease where practicable.
That we favor the bill now before Congress appropriating $80,000 for the use of the U. S. Department of Agriculture in Chestnut Bark Disease work, and urge all States to use every means possible to aid in having this bill become a law at the earliest moment.
That we believe trained and experienced men should be employed in field and laboratory to study the diseases in all its phases.
That we believe definite boundaries should be established where advisable in each State beyond which limits an endeavor should be made to stamp out the disease.
That we believe an efficient and strong quarantine should be maintained and that it should be the earnest effort of every state, the Federal Government and the Dominion of Canada to prevent the spread of the disease within and beyond their borders. In accord with this thought we strongly commend the efforts being made to pass the Simmons bill now before Congress.
That we believe strong efforts should be made in all States to stimulate the utilization of chestnut products, and in order to do so, we recommend that the Interstate Commerce Commission permit railroads and other transportation companies to name low freight rates so that chestnut products not liable to spread the disease may be properly distributed.
That we recommend the National Government, each State and the Dominion of Canada to publish practical, concise and well illustrated bulletins for educating owners of chestnut trees.
That we believe further meetings on the line of this Conference advisable and we hope the Pennsylvania Commission will arrange for similar meetings.
That we thank the State of Pennsylvania for its intention to publish immediately the proceedings of this Conference.
That copies of these resolutions be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Governor of every State, to the Governor General of the Dominion of Canada, and the members of the Federal and State legislatures, with the request that they do all in their power to aid in checking the ravages of this dread disease.
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