The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


    Hon. J. W. Perkins, of Jackson County, Oregon, says the Oregon Agriculturist, last year grew and shipped a carload of Comice pears to New York City, where they were sold at auction for $3,429, which broke all known records for price on that quantity of pears. This year, however, that record was again broken by the sale of another car of Mr. Perkins' Comice pears for $3,450. On the former car the net amount received by Mr. Perkins was $2,700.70, and on the latter car, $2,707. Mr. Perkins has an orchard of 200 acres on the foothills about two miles from Medford. He was recently interviewed by the Telegram, and we quote what he said about these pears and their production as follows:
    "The Comice with which I won the record for high price is a French pear, and is but little known. The grafts for my trees came from the original trees, being brought from France by the late A. Block, the 'pear king' of California. My trees are without question the original true variety of the Comice, being only once removed from the original French stock.
    "This pear has a wonderful flavor and is spoken of as the 'concentrated triple extract of pear' and everyone who has eaten his first Comice will admit that never before had he realized what a real pear was. Its texture is smooth, like banana or butter, so that it veritably melts in the mouth, and is very juicy.
    "When the trees are properly cultivated and thinned the fruit attains a large size without losing any of its flavor or becoming coarse in texture. In other words, it maintains its quality as well as its size, which combination has been the means of our getting $5 a box for them.
    "This year's crop packed out from 35 to 40 pears to the half box, or 70 to 80 to the full box of 50 pounds. Last year's carload was the first half-box packing ever shipped out of the state. These pears are packed in lithograph labels, lithograph top mats and lace borders. The boxes are made of clear lumber. This is a very expensive way of packing fruit, but so successful that all the large fruit growers in the Rogue River Valley have adopted the plan, so that the fanciest fruits that we ship are given the fanciest pack regardless of cost, and we have all found that the returns have justified it.
    "Our section of country lies in the climatic belt between California and Northern Oregon, having features of both, a longer rainy season than California and with it a longer dry or sunny season than Northern Oregon, elements which make the conditions for fancy fruit growing ideal. Our land is unirrigated, the soil being the grade commonly called 'sticky,' really a very rich grade of adobe. For pears we do not need irrigation, for we have been able to carry off all honors without it, but for apple growing we need more water if we are to compete with the market conditions as they now exist, where size and color are the two requirements for fancy prices."
Pacific Rural Press, San Francisco, December 1, 1906, page 340

    Rogue River Valley, Oregon, as a pear country apparently has the world beaten. Recently Medford pears of all varieties have broken records for prices. The records for high sales there this year are: $8.40 a box for Cornices, $5.05 a box for Bartletts, $5.60 for D'Anjous, $4.10 for Beurre-Bosc and $3.50 for Howells and Winter Nelis. From sixteen acres of the latter variety Fred H. Hopkins netted $19,000, and even this record is equaled and surpassed by other orchards. G. H. Hover purchased ten acres fifteen months ago, paying the record price of $560 an acre. Since then he has sold two crops of Comice and Beurre-Bosc pears for a total of $9600, or a profit of $4000 above the purchase price.
"Among Fruit Growers of the Pacific Coast," Better Fruit, December 1907, page 19

    The Rogue River pears are famous the world over for the excellent quality of the fruit and the scientific methods in handling them. All varieties do equally well here; in fact, this is the acknowledged home of the pear. There are, however, only about half a dozen varieties grown commercially--the Bartlett, Comice, Anjou, Bosc, Howell and Winter Nelis. Each of these varieties have their good qualities, and it is often a disputed question among growers as to which variety brings the best returns. While the writer has handled hundreds of cars of each of these varieties, he is not prepared to say just which variety has made the best record. All have made big money for the grower. We have seen the Comice sell in the markets for five dollars per half box. Again, we have seen the Anjou do equally as well. The Bartlett has made its record of four or five dollars per box, and when we take into consideration the wonderful productiveness of this pear we are constrained to say that they stand at the head of the class.
    While we believe that nowhere in the world do pears grow to such perfection as they do in the Rogue River Valley, yet we realize that the high prices and the splendid reputation our pears has attained is due to a certain extent to the scientific methods employed in growing, picking and packing the fruit.
    The commercial pear orchard receives the very best care possible from the time the young trees are planted until they are producing their golden fruit, which is usually from five to six years. Anyone seeking a position as foreman on one of our pear orchards must, before he is allowed to take charge, convince the owner that he is experienced in orchard work. The trees are too valuable to permit of taking any chances, or making mistakes in pruning or caring for them in anything but a scientific manner.
    The orchardist who grows pears has a decided advantage over the one who grows apples, the young pear trees being much easier cared for from the time they are planted. Insect pests do not attack them as much as they do apple trees. In fact, pear trees are very little trouble or expense to grow; they simply want pruning and reasonable cultivation. Anyone may grow a first-class pear orchard in the Rogue River Valley with what information he may get by attending our horticultural meetings and hearing the methods explained by scientific orchardists and by specialists stationed here to assist the growers.
    Pears never require over two sprayings to keep out the worms. San Jose scale is much easier kept out of pear orchards than the apple orchard. Many people think that because the pear is a very delicate fruit that they are difficult to handle, but we wish to say that after ten years' experience in handling all varieties of fruit we much prefer handling pears to apples. Grading is easier. There are not nearly as large a percent of seconds or culls as there are in any apple crop, and where the grower is prepared to handle fruit in the proper manner, as they are in the Rogue River Valley, pears are handled with scarcely any loss from injury in handling.
    All fruit must be handled carefully, and the grower that does not exercise great care in picking, packing and shipping his fruit can not expect to be successful. Pears must be picked at the proper time. We may say there is no fixed rule to go by, but the orchardists of the valley are experts in this respect. They are able to determine the very day the fruit will do to come off the tree and yet mature into perfect fruit. This is a very important factor in marketing a pear crop. If picked from the tree too green the fruit will be lacking in sugar and will shrivel and decay without ever getting fit to eat. On the other hand, if allowed to stay on the tree too long, the shipping quality of the fruit is materially injured. The grower must have everything in readiness when the fruit is ready to come off, as there is no time to be lost.
    First, he has all his orchard boxes gone over to see that they are in good condition. Then he gets his wagons that are to haul the fruit from the orchard to the packing house, and from the packing house to the car, in shape, providing each with a set of springs and cover to keep out the hot sun and dust. He then procures enough pickers and packers to pick at least one car of pears every day, and if the crop be large he may load two or more each day. We always like to load each day's pack in the iced car the same day it is packed, and get the fruit cooled out as soon as possible, thus stopping the ripening process. We hope in the near future to have a pre-cooling plant established in the valley. This will extend the marketing period of our pears over three or four weeks, which will mean much to the grower. Bartletts are usually ready to pick from the tenth to fifteenth of August, and the grower who has several varieties is able to keep his crew working from the time Bartletts ripen until the first of October, as the different varieties ripen one after the other; Bartletts first, then the Howell, the Anjou, the Bosc, Comice, and last of all the Winter Nelis, which ripen about the same time, or just before, we commence to pick winter apples. Where a grower has a good-sized orchard, it is very desirable to have several varieties, for this reason.
    The methods of packing fruit have changed quite noticeably in the last few years. In former years we used printed boxes, having the grower's name and the district from which the fruit was grown printed on the end of the box. This has been discontinued, for various reasons, and we now use a plain box made from the best pine lumber, and place on the end of the box a nice lithograph label. The grower's name, the variety and number of pears is neatly stamped on the box, thus giving the buyer a chance to know just what the box contains.
    Pears are packed at less expense than apples, for the reason that no lining or layer paper is used. Grading is not as expensive. Pears must be packed in a nice, neat manner to make a good appearance in the market, as nothing looks worse than a ragged, poorly packed box of pears. We use for most all pears eight by ten duplex wrapping paper, except some of the very largest sizes, which require a larger paper. The paper should always be full large for the pear, and serves to a certain extent to form a cushion for the fruit. The folds of the paper should always come underneath the pear, being perfectly smooth on top. Pears should have a larger swell in the box than apples, and should weigh at least fifty-two pounds.
    In order that the box may look neat and have full weight, the swell must be built in the box as it is packed. Packing schools are conducted each year to give the new beginners a chance to learn the work before they are required to commence packing for shipment. The accompanying cut shows a class of twenty-five taking lessons in one of these schools. Several instructors are employed, as it is necessary to show the pupil, it being very hard to tell anyone how to put up a pack so that they will be able to do the work properly. With a good instructor to show them, it is possible for a new beginner to learn so that they may put up a very good pack in a few days if they really try to learn. We find many who never learn, for the reason that they do not take an interest in the work. The accompanying cut shows a very good commercial pack of pears. They are all four-tier, however. We are sorry that we haven't a cut of a five-tier pack, as that is used mostly and is the most desirable size. The cut shows very well the manner of placing the pears in the box, the diagonal pack being always used. Box No. 1 shows the three, two pack, four and five up the box, and contains ninety pears. A person that does not understand packing will think that the box contains ninety-two pears, but the tiers are not all the same. The first tier put in the box was two pears, put in calyx toward the packer and about equal distance from the sides of the box and from each other. In the next row we place three pears, stem toward the packer, in the three spaces on the sides and in the center. Next two, then three, and so on. You will find this tier has only twenty-two pears in it, while the next tier will have twenty-three, so that we have two tiers of twenty-two and two of twenty-three, or ninety pears. Box No. 2 is three-four pack, four-four up the box, and contains twenty-eight to the tier, or 112 pears. Box No. 3 is three-three pack, four-four up the box, and contains ninety-six pears. This box is packed exactly like the largest size five-tier, and should have been packed five-tier. If packed the same way five-tier it would contain 120 pears. The five-tier packs are three-three pack, four-four up the box, 120 pears; three-three pack, four-five up the box, 135 pears; three-three pack, five-five up the box, 150 pears. We seldom pack smaller than the latter size in the five-tier pack. Six-tier are sometimes packed in Winter Nelis, or some of the small varieties, and may pack as many as 200 pears to the box. Some of our fancy pears are packed in the half box, such as the Comice, Anjous and other varieties when they are very large and fine. We believe it pays to put up pears in the half box if the fruit is really fancy. In this pack the work is done almost the same, except we use a fine lace paper to line the sides of the box; a beautiful lithograph top mat is placed over the top of the fruit after the box is packed, the lace lining being folded over so that the center of the mat shows, making a very attractive package. The half box contains from thirty to fifty pears.

Better Fruit,
August 1910, pages 21-22

    In the discussion of pears and pear culture in the Northwest, E. E. Whistler of Medford, Oregon, stated that they had found Bartlett, Anjou and Beurre Bosc most reliable and most profitable. They have experimented with the Comice, had sold a car of it for the highest prices ever paid for pears in New York, but the variety proves so difficult to grow, so delicate and tender, that they wish now to forget it and not to plant this variety. To guard against blight requires watchful care, and the removal of the blighted portion of each tree as soon as blight appears; this, by removing source of infection, lessens the probability of blight. The character of cultivation has something to do with the production of blight. Blight is more likely to occur when trees are growing rapidly and rankly, the softer tissues admitting of the reception of blight spores. Therefore such method of cultivation, or lack of cultivation, as will give a comparatively slow growth and well-ripened wood lessens the probability of blight. In large commercial pear orchards it is customary to employ a man during the blighting months--June and July--to watch the orchard carefully, cutting out the blight as it appears. In smaller orchards watchful care on the part of the men who are doing the cultivating has proved sufficient to keep the blight in check.
E. F. Stephens, "Idaho State Horticultural Meeting," Better Fruit, March 1912, pages 89-90

Pear Culture in the Famous Rogue River Valley, Oregon
By F. C. Reimer, Southern Oregon Experiment Station, Talent

    The pear is rapidly becoming the leading fruit in the Rogue River Valley. It is true that more apples than pears have been shipped out of the valley during past years, and more will undoubtedly be shipped out during the present season; nevertheless the output of pears during the past two or three years has almost equaled that of apples, and it is only a matter of a few years when the output of pears will be greater than that of apples. During the past three years the planting of pear trees has exceeded that of apples, and during the season just passed at least three times as many pear trees as apple trees were planted. Where old apple orchards are being replaced the pear in nearly every instance is supplanting them.
    There are excellent reasons for this. First, our growers have found pear growing more profitable than apple growing, due to the small output of pears throughout the United States as compared with the output of apples. Statistics show that the pear industry in nearly every state in the Union, with the exception of Oregon, has been on the decline. Many of the extensive orchards in the East and nearly all of those in the South have been wiped out by pear blight. And in two of the leading pear states the pear thrips has become a very serious menace to the industry. Perhaps the most important reason, however, for the growth of the industry in this valley is the fact that the natural conditions are very favorable to this fruit. The winters are very mild and damp so that the fruit buds of the most tender varieties are never injured by winter cold. The summers are long, warm, sunny and comparatively dry. This gives ample time for all the late varieties to mature properly, and it also ensures a very firm fruit which has remarkable keeping and shipping qualities, enabling growers to ship their fruit to the large Eastern and European markets. Under these climatic conditions some of the serious fungus troubles have never become serious, as will be explained later in this article.
    The valley is surrounded on all sides by high mountain ranges, hence it is remarkably free from high winds. This is of great importance during the late summer and fall months when the fruit is maturing. Some of our finest varieties, as Comice, Howell and d'Anjou, are tender skinned, and during strong winds when the fruit is being rubbed by branches, or even leaves, the delicate skin is bruised and discolored. The absence of strong winds has much to do with the success of these varieties in this locality. During the last stages of ripening the fruit of some varieties is readily shaken from the tree by strong winds, rendering it unfit for distant shipment. This is particularly true of the Clairgeau, the Howell and to some extent of the Bartlett, especially the seedless specimens. With the exception of the Clairgeau, which is grown only to a limited extent, it is very rare indeed that any of the varieties suffer seriously from this cause here.
    The pear blooms early in the spring, and during unfavorable seasons the blossoms are injured or killed by heavy frosts. Such injury can usually be avoided by orchard heating or smudging. It is not difficult to retain the heat and smoke in and over an orchard where there are no strong winds. This is why orchard heating is so extensively and successfully practiced in this valley. The bright, sunny weather which usually prevails, and the absence of strong winds, are very favorable to bees in cross-pollinating the blossoms. Another important characteristic is the long blooming season of the various varieties. This gives ample opportunity for the proper cross-pollination and fertilization of the blossoms. The blooming season lasts about two weeks, and some varieties are often in bloom for three weeks.
    Most of the soils are very heavy, containing a high percentage of clay. It is well known by experienced pear growers that the pear delights in such soils. These soils are very retentive of moisture, ensuring the proper development of the fruit without irrigation when properly tilled. Chemical analysis shows that practically all of them are very rich in potash, lime and magnesium. These elements are of great value in fruit growing. The lime and potash ensure a firm fruit of good keeping quality, and the potash also forms the basis of the various fruit acids which are so essential in the development of high quality. The large quantities of lime in the soil also prevent the souring of the land where proper drainage is lacking. According to the soil survey made by the Bureau of Soils there are forty-three types to be found here. Some of these are admirably suited to pear culture, while others are of little or very doubtful value for this purpose. With such a variety of soils it is not difficult to find types suited for the different varieties. As a rule the heavier soils such as the clays, clay loams and adobes are preferred for pears. The soil should be rather deep and of at least average fertility. It must also be well drained for most of the varieties, especially for the Comice, d'Anjou, Bosc and Howell. The Winter Nelis and Bartlett can endure far more moisture and poorer drainage than any of the other varieties. The Bartlett can be grown on a greater variety of soils than any other variety, but for best results a deep, rich clay loam should be selected. The Winter Nelis must have a moist, strong soil to obtain good size and large crops. The Comice is very particular about soil and is extremely sensitive to unfavorable soil. On the moist rich soils the tree grows too vigorously and is a shy bearer. It does best on a warm, well-drained sandy or silt loam or very light clay loam.
    The distance apart to plant the trees depends on the variety. Upright growers like Comice and Bartlett may be planted as close as 20 by 20 feet. Howell, Bosc, Clairgeau and d'Anjou should have 25 by 25 feet, while Winter Nelis, which is a large and spreading tree, will require 30 by 30 feet. Planting may be done either in late fall or very early spring. Unless the work can be done very early spring planting should be discouraged. On the heavier soils the soil does not become well settled around the roots when planted late in the spring, and unless irrigation is practiced many of the trees will die or make a very poor growth the first season.
    The cultivation of pear orchards is similar to that of apple orchards. It should commence early in the spring and must be thorough. Since very little irrigation is practiced it becomes necessary to maintain a deep dust mulch on the surface. Where the soil is deficient in humus, which is true in most of the orchards, a winter cover crop should be grown to supply this. For this purpose we have found the following excellent: Rye, winter oats, barley and winter vetch. The seed
should be sown about the first of September.
    The question of pruning is a large and important one under the peculiar conditions in the valley. On the heavier soils the trees are usually slow in coming into bearing and heavy pruning augments the trouble; therefore the minimum should be given that will ensure a strong and properly formed framework. Some of the pruning done is altogether too heavy. One thing is essential in pruning pears where pear blight exists, and that is to grow the vase-shaped or open-center tree. This gives a much better opportunity to fight the disease. The central leader should not be permitted in a pear tree, as the loss from blight under such conditions is very great. In pruning the habit of the variety must be taken into consideration. The Comice, which is a strictly upright grower, and the Bosc, which is a straggling grower, should not be pruned alike.
    The valley is fortunate in being free from some of the most serious insects which attack the pear in some other sections. The true pear thrips, which is proving so serious in two other pear states, has never been found in this valley. The pear psylla, which is so serious in the Eastern States, has never been introduced. The most serious insects that we have to contend with are the codling moth, the San Jose scale, the blister mite and the rusty leaf mite. These are all controlled by proper spraying.
    The only very serious disease of the pear here is the pear blight. This is a bacterial disease and is so widespread and generally known that a description is not necessary here. This disease has been vigorously fought in this valley almost from the time of its introduction about seven years ago. A thorough system of inspection has been maintained and rigid regulations have been enforced. The growers have been instructed to recognize the disease and in proper methods of combating it. It should be stated that they are fighting it vigorously and effectively. Fortunately the pear scab, one of the worst fungus diseases of the pear, has never given any serious trouble owing to our dry summer atmosphere.
    Since the pear blooms early and the best pear soils and orchards are found on the floor of the valley, frosts often endanger the pear blossoms. To overcome this, frost fighting has been successfully practiced for a number of years. For this purpose wood, old tree prunings and manure were first burned, but during the last three years crude and distillate oils have been largely used. As the methods and practices have been so fully described in various issues of Better Fruit and experiment station and government bulletins it will not be necessary to go into the details of the practice in this article.
    It is fortunate that the pear industry in this valley was started by a man who was familiar with the best commercial varieties of pears. He not only knew their commercial value but also their soil requirements. As he planted many commercial pear orchards and was for many years the leading spirit in the industry here, the variety selections have as a rule been very good. After many years of pear growing it is doubtful whether better selections of varieties could be made today in most instances. It is also fortunate that the commercial plantings have been largely confined to a small number of varieties. At the present time only six varieties are extensively grown. These are Bartlett, Howell, d'Anjou, Bosc, Comice and Winter Nelis. Clairgeau and Beurre Easter are still grown in limited quantities. P. Barry is now being planted in some of the newer orchards. The Bartlett has been more extensively planted than any other variety in the past, and is still popular. As this variety ripens early and as it often competes on the market with the latest shipments of Bartletts from California, many of our growers are top grafting their Bartlett trees to some of the later varieties.
    More mistakes have probably been made by growers in planting the Comice than with any other variety. For years this variety has been regarded as the standard of excellence for quality and has always brought the highest prices. Hence the variety has been widely planted, and often on moist, rich, cold soils, where it has proved a shy bearer. This variety is extremely sensitive to unsuitable soils and very limited in its range of adaptability. It will therefore always be produced in limited quantities; and the grower who has suitable soil and can grow it successfully is very fortunate indeed. This variety is notably self-sterile. During the past five years the Bosc has become very popular and is now being very extensively planted. It comes into bearing rather young, is a heavy and regular bearer, the tree is adapted to several types of soil, and the fruit is of excellent quality. The variety grows to perfection here and becomes exceptionally large. In fact the only criticism the market has made of the variety as grown here is its large size, especially when grown on very rich, moist soils. The d'Anjou has always been a very popular variety here, and it is very highly regarded by the commission men and the consumer. It attains good size, is of excellent quality and a good shipper. The tree is slow in coming into bearing and on some soils has proved a shy bearer.
    The Howell is well suited to the conditions here. It comes into bearing young, is a heavy and regular bearer and is adapted to a variety of soils. It is rapidly decreasing in popular esteem, however, because of its susceptibility to blight and the difficulty with which this disease is controlled in this variety. The Winter Nelis has always been the most popular very late variety. There will probably never be an overproduction of this variety, as it is very particular in its soil requirements and is very tardy in coming into bearing. It is also very sensitive to weather conditions during the blooming season and often fails to pollinate properly.
    It is a notable fact that nearly all of our leading varieties have originated in Europe. Bartlett comes from England, Bosc and Winter Nelis from Belgium and Comice, Clairgeau and d'Anjou from France. The Howell is the only American variety that has been largely grown here. The P. Barry and Seckel, two other American varieties, have not been extensively grown here up to the present time. It is readily seen from the above that there is much room for improvement in the matter of varieties. Every variety mentioned has some objectionable features about it. We believe that varieties more suitable for certain reasons may possibly be obtained. Of all the cultivated varieties in existence not more than fifty have ever been grown in this valley and not more than fifteen have ever been extensively and thoroughly tested. This experiment station is now testing several hundred varieties of pears from all parts of the world to determine their suitability to the local conditions.
Better Fruit, September 1913, pages 11-12

Pear Culture--History and Present Status
By P. J. O'Gara. Pathologist, Medford Oregon

    The pear is without doubt one of the most favorite fruits, although in its wild state its astringent qualities are so pronounced as to render it unpalatable. Under cultivation it has become an excellent fruit for all purposes, whether for dessert, for canning, for culinary use or in the fresh state. The cultivation of the pear extends to the remotest antiquity. It is mentioned in the oldest Greek writings and was cultivated by the Romans. It was common in Syria, Egypt and Greece, and from the latter country was introduced into Italy. The word "pear" or its equivalent occurs in all Celtic languages, while we also find it in Slavonic and other dialects; and from this it is inferred that cultivation of the pear, from the shores of the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic, was practiced in very ancient times. According to Virgil, Cato, Pliny and other Roman writers, the varieties in cultivation were very numerous, and from the names of important varieties usually referred to the countries from which the trees were imported. Unfortunately, none of the old Roman varieties exist today, but from the writings of Pliny we have every reason to believe that their best varieties of pears were very poor in comparison with the choice varieties under cultivation at the present time.
    The pear of quality really dates from about the seventeenth century. However, it was not until Professor Van Mons of the University of Louvain, Belgium, by his perseverance and indefatigable labors succeeded in producing an immense number of new varieties of pears by selective breeding, that the growing of pears of commercial quality was put upon a sound basis. His whole life was mostly devoted to pear culture, and from among the 80,000 seedlings raised by himself we find the finest cultivated varieties of today--such as Bosc, Diel and others. The work of Van Mons has given the little country of Belgium the title of "The Eden of the Pear Tree." The net results of his work were given to the world a little more than one hundred years ago. Another worker, Thomas Andrew Knight, an Englishman, by hybridizing also produced varieties of noted quality. These two scientists and their followers, working from different points of view, produced fruits that have, by further cultivation, reached the limit of perfection.
    From the standpoint of the botanist, there are some differences in opinion as to the species from which cultivated pears are descendants. There are some who hold that cultivated pears have descended from at least three species, while others who have very carefully studied the subject refer all cultivated pears to one species, the individuals of which have in course of time diverged in various directions so as to form now six races: (1) Celtic, (2) Germanic, (3) Hellenic, (4) Pontic, (5) Indian, (G) Mongolic. From the Germanic race we have what is commonly known as the European pear, Pyrus communis, while from the Mongolic race we have the Oriental pear, Pyrus chinensis. Of course, it is understood that there are many wild varieties which come under the various groups. From the horticulturist's point of view there is a totally different classification, namely, dwarf, standard and Oriental. The dwarf pear consists mainly of European varieties propagated by grafting onto rooted cuttings of the Angiers quince. The Japan Golden Russet is also used for dwarfing, but it is to be generally understood that the dwarf pear means the pear worked on the quince root. Standards consist of the European varieties propagated on the pear root, the stocks for this purpose being European or Japan pear seedlings or rooted cuttings of some of the Oriental pears. The Orientals are those which are partly or wholly of Chinese of Japanese origin. So far as the pure Oriental pear is concerned, there are very few plantings. The important commercial varieties of this group are really hybrids between the Oriental and the European pears and consist of such varieties as Kieffer, La Conte, Garber, Smith and others of minor importance. The reason for this separation into three groups is because the requirements of the varieties coming under each group are usually quite different, demanding distinctive cultural methods. With few exceptions, dwarfs must be considered as belonging to the small gardener or the amateur horticulturist; the Oriental hybrids, so far as the quality of their fruit is concerned, have no place in the commercial pear orchards of the Pacific Coast. Therefore, in considering commercial pear growing in the better sections of the extreme West, we must have in mind the better varieties which have sprung from the European type or group grown as standard trees.
    In looking over the more or less voluminous literature on pear culture, we find it frequently stated that pear trees are more difficult to maintain in a healthy, productive condition than apple trees, and cannot be grown with the same degree of success over so wide an area of country. This statement is only partly true, for while the pear does not enjoy the same degree of success over so wide an area of country as does the apple, nevertheless with proper soil and climatic conditions the pear will much outlive the apple. There are natural pear sections or districts, just as there are apple districts, and given the suitable varieties for such districts the pear will always outlive the apple. At the same time the pear will have produced commercial fruit for a longer period and the net returns will be much greater. In its wild state it is hardier and longer lived than the apple, making a taller and more pyramidal head and becoming much larger in trunk diameter. While apples are known to reach the great age of 200 years, many pear trees are known to be 500 years old. On the Pacific Coast we find pear trees still in bearing in the old Mission orchards of California. These pear trees after nearly two and a quarter centuries are still holding their own, with a few olives and date palms as companions standing as reminders of the old civilization.
    In a short article such as this is it is quite impossible to discuss the important subject of varieties at any length. Considering the Pacific Coast, we find a wide variety of soil types (even in restricted areas), climatic conditions, elevation, etc. The varieties best adapted under the various conditions is a subject for wide discussion. In a few localities, principally throughout California and the Rogue River Valley in Southern Oregon, the matter of varieties best suited to the varying conditions has been well worked out, so that at this time growers are not making the mistakes so common in the past. Besides the matter of soils, climatic conditions, etc., the important matter of the market demands for the various varieties must be well understood. Taking the Rogue River Valley as an example, all plantings now made, or which have been made during the past five or six years, take into consideration all the above factors. In going over my notes I find that over fifty varieties of pears may be found growing in the Rogue River Valley, yet out of this number seven varieties are really commercial. The varieties in the order of their ripening are Bartlett, Clairgeau, Howell, d'Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Nelis. Besides these seven varieties, we have planted considerable acreages of P. Barry and Forelle; however, these latter varieties are not yet in bearing commercially. I do not mean to say that the other varieties grown in the valley are not good; as a matter of fact they are excellent, nevertheless the market demand does not warrant the multiplication of varieties. In the seven commercial varieties mentioned it would be just as well to omit the Clairgeau, which in no way compares with the excellence of the other varieties. The great pear districts of the Pacific Coast, so far as the future of the pear industry is concerned, will be Southern Oregon (Rogue River Valley) and California, principally the great Sacramento Valley and its tributary districts. In this natural pear belt anyone or all of the commercial varieties of pears may be grown; that is to say, hundreds of varieties. But pear growers must not fall into the error of planting too many varieties, as has been the case in commercial apple growing throughout the entire Northwest. Not long ago a horticulturist, waxing enthusiastic over the excellent quality of the pear as grown in this district (Rogue River Valley), said that the pear growers were making a mistake in not growing at least 100 varieties. Viewing the pear situation from the apple standpoint, especially considering market conditions, it would be financial suicide for any district to grow commercially more than six or eight varieties. If there is any doubt in the matter of too many varieties it would be well for the reader to secure a copy of a paper written by Mr. W. F. Gwin, manager Northwest Fruit Exchange, Portland, Oregon, entitled "What Is the Matter With the Apple Business?" In this most excellent paper Mr. Gwin shows clearly the danger of too many varieties.
    It sometimes happens that new or better varieties are needed, but they should be added with the ultimate intention of having them take the place of inferior varieties already growing and not to increase the total number of varieties. This holds true with the individual as well as with the district as a whole. Where orchards are large the number of varieties grown may be the maximum number suited to the district, providing the soils are suitable; however, with the small grower it is best to restrict the plantings to two or three varieties. As a business proposition, it is never advisable to plant less of anyone variety than will produce carload shipments, unless it be for pollination purposes.
    In setting out a pear orchard less regard may be had for the character of the soil than for almost any other kind of fruit. It will generally do well over a tight clay hardpan where almost any other fruit would fail. It will also thrive in clay loams and adobes as well as in calcareous and alkali soils. The pear will flourish whether the water is near or far from the surface, and can endure complete submergence in water for a considerable length of time without being killed. During periods of high water in the lower Sacramento River districts I have seen pear orchards completely under water, which did not fully subside for several months. The regular orchard work, such as spraying, pruning and thinning, was carried on by the use of boats and barges. However, the pear demands a good soil for its best development, and naturally the heavier alluvial, clay loam and other types rich in plant food are the best. The variety which is least exacting is the Bartlett. Anjou, Clairgeau, Howell, Nelis and Bosc thrive on heavy soils, including the heavy adobes. For early bearing such varieties as the Bosc and Comice are best grown upon the clay loam soils. The Comice comes into bearing rather slowly if grown on too heavy soil. While the Nelis produces the best quality of fruit on the lighter clay loam soils it does not attain as good size as the market demands. However, increased size of the fruit might be secured by irrigating during seasons of minimum rainfall.
    The distance for planting standard pear trees will depend somewhat upon the varieties. Due regard must be had for such varieties as the Bosc or Anjou, which have a tendency to grow in a spreading 
form, as against the Comice and Bartlett, which are naturally upright growers. The maximum distance for spreading varieties should not be over 30 feet, either square or hexagonal system. The minimum distance should not be less than 22 feet, square or hexagonal. The average distance practiced in the Rogue River Valley is 25 feet, both systems. However, the common practice is not to plant solid blocks of anyone variety, for the reason that certain varieties are self-sterile and require the pollen of other varieties to fertilize the blossoms.
    Self-sterility and self-fertility are not constant quantities in the same variety; that is to say, the variety may be self-sterile in one district and self-fertile in another. One cannot tell beforehand just what a variety will do when taken from one district into another where climatic conditions and soils are very different. On the Pacific Coast there is a greater tendency toward self-fertility than in the East, although varieties in the self-sterile group under Eastern conditions and quite self-fertile on the Coast have the quality and form of the fruit improved by crossing. Generally speaking, on the Pacific Coast little or no attention is paid to the Bartlett so far as fertility or sterility is concerned. It regularly sets heavy crops of well-sized fruits with its own pollen. On the other hand, such varieties as Comice and Nelis are completely sterile to their own pollen in the Rogue River Valley, all statements to the contrary notwithstanding. As stated before, the matter of self-sterility and self-fertility should be worked out for the various varieties in each particular district. I have worked this problem out for the Rogue River Valley, and since the data have been published elsewhere I shall not burden the reader with it here.
    While volumes might be written on how to prune the pear, the whole principle of pruning may be stated in a single short sentence--use the open head, no matter what variety. In such varieties as tend to grow very upright, they should be pruned so as to throw them more open, while the reverse should be practiced to a certain extent on straggling or spreading varieties. The tree when set out should be headed back so as to stand 18 to 24 inches high. After the first year's growth, the frame limbs should be selected and headed back to 12 or 14 inches. During the growing season, if the trees are making extreme growth and producing too many shoots it is well to pinch back or trim out those that are in excess of the needs of the tree. If the season has been such that the trees have made little or no growth, the shoots should be headed back to a single bud so as to start a new frame of vigorous shoots. The successive years' pruning should be such as to continue the open head, and by shortening in to not over eighteen inches for each cut, stiffen up the body and framework. The frame or scaffold branches need not be pruned of all the lateral shoots. Those to the inside and some on the outside should be removed, but a few may be left as temporary fruiting branches which, by heading in, will readily develop fruit spurs. Fruit borne on these temporary fruiting branches will hang close to the tree and will not have a tendency to throw the tree out of shape, which so often happens where the first crop is borne somewhat above the scaffold limbs. By means of the temporary fruiting branches trees are brought into early bearing, and at the same time no fruit spurs need be permitted on the body or scaffold limbs. The reason for keeping fruit spurs off from the heavy wood is to prevent dangerous body infections of pear blight. Should infection occur on a temporary fruiting branch it is easily removed before any damage is done to the body of the tree. Pears reach the bearing age, under proper care, earlier than do apples, and once in bearing pruning will not have the tendency to throw them out of bearing as it will in apples. However, severe heading of such varieties as Bosc and Comice is not advised; as a matter of fact after they reach the age of five or six years it is best to withhold all pruning for two or three years, save the thinning out of crossing or interfering limbs.
    The details of cultivation, fertilization and cover cropping need no extended discussion. To grow fruit of quality demands all that good agricultural practice has taught in the production of other crops; in other words, the pear demands scientific agriculture. Unthrifty trees cannot produce luscious fruit; however, it is not good practice to overstimulate the trees for the reason that they are then much more susceptible to serious injury from pear blight should infection occur. It will be easy for the pear grower to judge whether or not his trees are making sufficient new wood. It will also be easy for him to note by the appearance of the foliage the lack of soil fertility.
    Pear growing in the United States is generally on the decrease, the reason for this being pear blight. Many districts that were once known for their heavy pear shipments are now without a single pear tree. In the East we find that southward from the region of the Great Lakes the growing of the better varieties of European pears has been largely abandoned, and to a certain extent we find growing in their stead the two or three Oriental hybrids spoken of elsewhere in this paper. Of course, large quantities of pears are produced in the East, but for the most part they do not compare in quality with the standard varieties grown on the Pacific Coast. This fact is evident from the great difference in price between the Eastern and Western product. While the East and Middle West have suffered much from the ravages of pear blight, many large districts in the West have also had their share of trouble. In some states entire districts have been wiped out, and it is known that in one state only a single pear orchard of about 500 trees remains. The only district on the Pacific Coast which has not only held its own but has actually increased its pear acreage and production is the Rogue River Valley in Southern Oregon. The rate of increase may be shown by the carload shipments made in 1911, 1912 and 1913, which were respectively 125, 250 and 500 cars (1913 crop estimated). Pear blight has been known to be in the district since 1907, so that the growers have had to contend with it for seven seasons. It would seem that some very good work has been done in the control of this disease, as the increased shipments demonstrate. When pear blight came into the Rogue River Valley from the California districts the growers, finding it impossible to get any help from their own state institutions, appealed to the federal government for aid, which was immediately forthcoming. After the United States Department of Agriculture had demonstrated the control of blight the growers, feeling the necessity of continued supervision, established a county pathologist's office, the first of its kind in the United States. This office continues the work first undertaken and carried to success by the Department of Agriculture. The fact that pear growing is on the increase in the Rogue River Valley is due to the efforts of the growers themselves. When they found that there was no possibility of getting help within their own state they immediately set out to help themselves.
    It has been stated frequently that pear blight is a disease of pome fruits on the American continent; however, it is now known that the disease has secured a foothold in Europe. It has been reported from at least three countries in Europe, and while it has not yet shown great virulence we are anxiously awaiting what will likely happen when the disease reaches the fine pear districts of Holland, Belgium and France. Now that the disease is in Europe, and will likely spread to the better pear sections, we should more than ever feel the necessity of guarding our pear interests in the better pear-growing sections of the United States; for pear blight anywhere usually means reduced acreage and reduced crops--therefore higher prices. Undoubtedly the countries of Europe will make every effort to prevent the spread of this disease, but the disease being new to them, and not being fully understood by them so far as control is concerned, will mean that there must be some loss once the disease enters a district.
    Does pear growing pay? Does it pay to control pear blight? Aside from pear blight, the pear tree is troubled less by insect and fungous pests than is its near relative, the apple. Furthermore, blight is no more severe in the more susceptible varieties of pears than it is in many varieties of apples, notably Spitzenberg, Alexander, Transcendent Crab and many others. The question as to whether it pays to control blight may be easily answered by giving the average prices over a six-year period for pears shipped from the Rogue River Valley. The prices given are those obtained through the association as well as by individual growers, and represent f.o.b. averages for the first and second grades. The average prices received during the years 1907 to 1912, inclusive, are as follows: Bartlett, $1.35; Winter Nelis, $1.65; Howell, $1.95; Bosc, $2.30; Comice, $2.45; Anjou, $2.50.
    All apple growers throughout the Northwest know what it costs to raise a box of apples, and, taking everything into consideration, we have found that it costs somewhat less to raise a box of pears.
    The future of pear growing in any district will depend upon the ability of the growers to control pear blight. If they are unwilling to cooperate and carry out the work of eradicating the disease, which is the only method of control, it will be just as well for them to pull out their pear trees and have the agony over. For the district which will control pear blight the disease may be considered a blessing in disguise. Owing to the fact that the pear is very prolific and is otherwise very free from troubles, if there were no such disease as pear blight pears could be produced in such enormous quantities that there would be no profit in growing them. But blight will continue to keep the production limited, and there will always be a handsome profit in pears.
Better Fruit, October 1913, pages 10-13

By A. L. Wisker.
A Nevada County Orchardist's Impressions of the Most Noted Pear District in the World--Medford, Oregon.
    The Rogue River Valley, particularly that part tributary to Medford. Oregon, is famous for the high quality of its fruit, the record-breaking yield of its pear orchards, the highest prices per box ever realized for carload shipments of this superb fruit, and the greatest monetary return per single tree ever realized.
    While all kinds of deciduous fruit is grown, pears are the favorite. Sixty thousand acres of the floor of the valley and the adjacent hillsides are planted to orchards, pears covering about 50 percent of the total.
    The richest soil, a black adobe or heavy clay loam, similar to parts of the Santa Clara Valley, is the prevailing soil type in the floor of the valley, while the hill soils are of a lighter type. The soil survey of the Department of Agriculture lists 46 different soil types, ranging from very good to worthless. Sometimes both extremes are found on the same 40 acres. Generally, the soils do not have the average depth of the better portions of Nevada County, but they contain more potash and lime, important elements of plant food.
    As in Nevada County, much of the fruit is grown without irrigation, but they have learned the important lesson that a non-irrigated district is sadly handicapped in a dry year, and an expensive irrigation system now affords this advantage to about one-third the total acreage. While non-irrigated orchards in moist soil were in perfect condition, such orchards were noticeably lacking in thrift on drier soils.
    Clean cultivation is the usual practice during the growing season, but advantages of winter cover crops are now generally recognized. However, soil erosion is not a serious problem, since the annual rainfall averages but 28 inches.
    The principal problems of the district are pear blight and spring frosts. The frosts that materially reduced California's fruit crop this season were general throughout the Northwest, and the Medford district suffered a heavy reduction in tonnage from this cause. Orchard heating equipment is being installed in many of the bearing orchards and control of this problem is merely a dollars and cents question. That it will pay admits of no argument, since it is not unusual for a mature orchard to make returns of over $500 per acre in a single season.
    The problem of blight control is a momentous one, and the Rogue River Valley is now engaged in a fight with this disease similar to the one that engaged the growers of the Sacramento Valley two years since.
    Nevada County has no conception of what such a fight means, since natural agencies have thus far limited the disease in this part of California to mild and usually isolated cases, but the scientists who have studied blight assert that no district is absolutely safe and warn all orchardists to adopt every possible precautionary measure. They likewise counsel planting fewer Bartletts (since this variety is most susceptible), and recommend the more resistant varieties such as Anjou, Comice and Winter Nelis.
    Anjou appears to be the favorite variety in the Medford district at this time, since it bears young, seldom misses a crop, and always outsells Bartlett. Covering a six-year period Bartlett has brought the Medford orchardist $1.35 per box, against $2.50 for Anjou. Cornice brings equally high prices, and a carload of Medford Comice once sold in London for $10.09 per box, but unless soil conditions are just right it is a shy bearer. The champion pear tree of the world is a Medford Anjou, which did not miss a crop in thirty-six years and in its best year produced 47 boxes that sold for $226 in New York City. Large profits have been the rule where orchards are well cared for. Some of the best have shown a net profit of more than $500 per acre per annum for a period of several years, and a production of $1000 per acre in a single season is not uncommon.
    Six miles south of Medford, at Talent, is the Southern Oregon Experiment Station, where Prof. F. C. Reimer is conducting the greatest investigation of blight and blight resistant varieties of pear ever undertaken. He has conclusively proven that the French seedling is absolutely unsafe as a stock upon which to bud or graft the commercial varieties, and that it is a source of danger to all orchards where it forms the root of the trees. His experiments show a wonderful degree of blight resistance in the Japan seedling, and it is conceded to be the most desirable root now procurable. However, he has two wild pears from China that are practically blight-proof and are so desirable as a stock that the Pacific Coast Nurserymen's Association has requested the Department of Agriculture to send him to China to procure the seed in commercial quantities.
    Scientific research has therefore practically solved that part of the blight problem that relates to the roots, trunk, and branches of the tree, since it is now proposed to use the blight-proof pears to form the tree up to where the bearing framework commences, at which point the commercial varieties will be budded.
    It is fitting that this greatest of all recent horticultural discoveries should have been worked out in a district where its application will be of supreme importance to the paramount industry, but American horticulture as a whole will share in the benefits.
The Morning Union, Nevada City, California, July 4, 1916, page 7

    A new bulletin has just been published by the Oregon Agricultural College, "Preliminary Report of Pear Harvesting and Storage Investigations in Rogue River Valley," by Professors C. I. Lewis, J. R. Magness and C. C. Cate. Investigations concerning the harvesting and storage of pears were conducted with several varieties of pears and from eight different orchards, representing different soil types and subject to different soil treatments. The very early picked fruit tends to be astringent and puckery, but that the fruit of the third and fourth pickings is of excellent quality and nearly uniform in flavor and texture.
Better Fruit, August 1918, page 18

Returns with Valuable Data About Pear Blight
    The seriousness of fire blight which threatens the pear industry of Oregon and which has already wiped it out in certain sections of the country and how the Southern Oregon branch experiment station hopes to be of service through the propagation of blight-resistant varieties, was told by Prof. F. C. Reimer, superintendent of the stations during Farmer's Week at the Oregon Agricultural College. Prof. Reimer has just returned from his second trip to China for the purpose of obtaining pears which are blight immune. He brought home between 40 and 50 new varieties, and these will be tested at the station next spring and summer.
    Prof. Reimer told of oriental customs which were not altogether to his liking. "Chinese hotels," he said, "should be called Chinese hovels. Donkeys, goats, pigs, chickens, and all the vermin God ever made are there. There is no bed, no bedding and no stove. It is a real experience to spend a few nights in one of these places.
    "Fifteen to 30 Chinese all sleep in the same room. The Chinese are kicking each other all night long and they snore like a rhinoceros. The noise of the donkeys in another part of the inn is terrific, but when I was given the choice of sleeping next to the Chinese or the donkeys, I chose the donkeys.
    "It is a common experience to find a hog in your room rooting in your baggage. One must carry his own cot, bedding and food. The Chinese inn is beyond description."
    Prof. Reimer returns with what is undoubtedly the most complete collection of oriental pears in the world. He has also found several species which are practically immune from blight, and by using this type for the root and branch structure, and grafting with the more edible Bartlett, Bosc, or Anjou, it is believed that a pear will be evolved which will not be affected by blight. Professor Reimer is also interested in creating a new species of pear tree entirely by a process of cross fertilization, using the Chinese and American varieties, which would produce a commercial pear, suitable for the table and free from blight infection.
    Prof. Reimer's experiments and discoveries are of far-reaching importance, pear growers in all parts of the country being intensely interested in them. In the near future Prof. Reimer will give a lecture on his experiences in China and the result of his research work to date.
Better Fruit, February 1920, page 41

    Mention is made of the fact that for the first time in the history of the fruit business in Oregon solid trainloads of pears were shipped this year from the Southern and Western Oregon districts.
"Northwest Fruit Notes from Here and There," Better Fruit, September 1920, page 22

    The pear crop of the Medford, Ore., district is equal to that of last year, but the apple shipments to date are but one-half as large as those of 1919.
    Jackson County, Oregon, leads the state in pear acreage, having 8050 [acres of] growing trees. It is also second in apples, with 5694 acres.

Imperial Valley Press, El Centro, California, December 6, 1920, page 4

    According to estimates of the bureau of crop estimates, Oregon shows indications of having a larger pear crop this year than last. Pear yields in most of the other states are below normal and a good price for the crop generally throughout the country is expected. In some of the Eastern states the estimated yield has been placed as low as 17 percent of normal. The apple crop in the Rogue River district promises a 25 percent increase, the bureau reports, while some of the Willamette Valley orchards are expected to produce nearly double the crop of apples they did a year ago. Other orchards in the latter region, however, which are affected with fungus will produce less.
"Marketing News of Live Interest," Better Fruit, August 1921, page 26

Pear Acreage Is 10,272.7 Acres with Average of 70 Trees an Acre--Greatest Block Over 16 Years Old--Apple Trees Total 138,813.
    Thanks to the efforts of the county agricultural agent's office and the Fruit Growers league, a complete census of pear and apple trees in Jackson County has been completed, after a survey that has taken considerable hard work over an extended period of time.
    The pear enumeration shows the following interesting facts:
    Total pear trees in valley, 719,096.
    Total pear acreage, 10,272.7
    Total trees 1 to 5 years, aggregate 13,774, on 1911.1 acres.
    Total trees 6 to 8 years, 44.473, on 635.3 acres.
    Total trees 8 to 12 years, 62,417, on an acreage of 891.6.
    Total trees 12 to 15 years, 116,068, on 1658.1 acres.
    Total over 16 years, 362,364, on an acreage of 5176.6.
    The average is 70 pear trees to the acre.
    The total number of apple trees 1 to 5 years old is 1485, on 29.7 acres.
    Total apple trees 6 to 8 old, 4041, on 80.8 acres.
    Nine to 12 years, 3471 trees, on 69.4 acres.
    Thirteen to 15 years, 20,134 trees, on 402.6 acres.
    Sixteen years and over, 103,682 apple trees on a total of 2073.5 acres.
    The apple trees average 50 to the acre, and the leading varieties are Spitzenbergs and Newtowns.
    There is a total of 138,813 apple trees on a total of 2656 acres.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 29, 1928, page 1

A Machine Does it
    In the 200 years that pears have been grown in the United States, growers have determined when they were due to be picked by pressing the pear with the thumb. Until recently that has been the process during the 30 years that pears have been grown at Medford.
    But picking time is determined now by use of a machine. Some years ago Medford Boscs went at top prices in the markets. A big slump in price came, and it was caused by the fact that the fruit was picked at the wrong time. The machine, which is now in universal use in the Medford pear orchards, shows them when to pick, and along with other factors, determines the time to market. The thumb process has gone entirely out of use.
    The machine has proven not only the time to pick, but has shown the length of time during which the various varieties of pears may be picked. When harvested out of this particular season, which in the case of Boscs is only about two weeks, the pear may not only never ripen, but decays at the core and becomes unfit for use. Before this new process of determining picking time was originated, there were instances in which carload after carload of beautiful pears were condemned and destroyed after they had been shipped to eastern markets.
    When the big slump came in the price of Bosc pears, the matter was brought to the attention of the experiment station at Oregon State College, and in a long series of experiments the trouble was discovered to be due to unseasonable picking. The discovery led to the invention of a machine in which a plunger is driven into the pear and the pressure required to do so is registered on a device which, in effect, is a pair of scales.
    In the case of a Bosc pear, if the pressure is between 24 and 28 pounds it is time for the pears on that tree to be picked. If the pressure is 22 pounds or less, the pear is overripe and picking time is past. If it is more than 28 pounds, it is too early to pick.
    Almost humanlike, a buzzer worked by an electric contact announces whether the fruit is fit for picking. In the case of the Anjou pear, the pressure test is 20 to 25 pounds and in the case of the Comice is 16 to 20.
    Along with the pressure machine, after a long series of experiments at the Corvallis station in conjunction with the Medford experiment station, the varying temperatures for cold storage for the different varieties and the length of time in which they will stand storage has been fixed. The season of storage for Bosc ends January 1, the Comice February 1, the Anjou March 1 and the Winter Nelis May 1.
    The reliability of the new tests and other discoveries by the two experiment stations are so highly regarded that shipper and packers are requiring the tests to be applied before accepting shipment. One of the county agents by whom the question of picking time is determined made 575 tests in a single month this season against 70 for the entire season last year.
    The new pear testing machine has been adopted by the Department of Agriculture at Washington, and its use is becoming general in pear-growing districts. Growers at Medford estimate that the device has a value of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in the Medford district alone, where pear production is probably on higher standard in process than in any other district in America, if not in the world.
B. F. Irvine in Oregon Journal.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 19, 1928, page 4

Important Pear Bulletin Issued by Talent Experimental Station Explains Success Bosc Campaign.
    The Oregon state experiment station, in cooperation with the Southern Oregon experiment station, has just issued an important bulletin on pears. This gives the results of the pressure tests, time of picking and cold storage experiments conducted by these stations in Rogue River Valley during the past four years. This is the most extensive work that has ever been carried on anywhere to determine the proper time to pick pears, the best storage temperatures, length of time the various varieties can be held in storage, and the proper method of ripening and conditioning pears for the consumer.
    The great value of this work is already apparent to every pear grower in Southern Oregon. Growers are now picking their pears in accordance with the results obtained in these extensive experiments, and every shipper is well aware of the improved condition of the Rogue River Valley pears on the markets. This improvement is also admirably reflected in the manner in which the large markets have received these pears. Picking and marketing in accordance with these findings has established great confidence in the market. The heavy losses formerly sustained with some of the winter varieties in the large markets have been eliminated.
    A notable outgrowth of this work is the phenomenal success the Winter Pear Committee has made in opening up and establishing a large new market for Bosc pears in Detroit. The pears sent there were picked in accordance with the results obtained in the experiment stations' picking tests and were ripened and conditioned in accordance with the findings of the stations' storage and ripening experiments. Those experiments have shown that Bosc pears, when picked at the proper time, can be held in storage from three to four months, and still develop excellent quality if ripened at temperatures determined by this work.

    The complete bulletin covering these experiments may now be obtained from the Southern Oregon experiment station at Talent.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 27, 1929, page 5

Thirty Thousand Dollars Will Be Expended by Growers in Enlarging Orchards--Spray Systems Installed by Many.
    Close to $30,000 will be expended this winter by orchardists in the planting of new blocks of pears throughout the Rogue River Valley, and work will start as soon as the present weather conditions moderate. Clearing skies after the recent rain would make conditions ideal for the work.
    Four carloads of young pear trees have been ordered from California nurseries, and delivery will be made within the next ten days. Most of these are of the Bosc, Comice, and D'Anjou varieties, though all will be represented.
    Some of the orchards already have holes dug for the trees and others are waiting for the ground to dry sufficiently to permit work.
    The cost of planting the trees on the new acreage will range, it is estimated, from $60 to $75 per acre. The new plantings will in some instances take the place of aged trees, the productivity of which has been lessened, and in other cases apple trees have been pulled to make room for pears.
    On the holdings of James E. Edmiston and W. F. Biddle of the C. & E. Company, 200 acres of new trees will be planted. Henry Chadir, a member of a California banking and orchard family, will plant 150 acres to new trees in the Talent district. New trees will be set out at the Modoc orchard by the Potter Palmer company; the Hillcrest orchard,  and at the Redskin orchard, owned by E. W. Carleton. Henry Anning will set out 40 acres in new trees and Harry Dubuque of the Central Point district will plant a five-acre block.
    This winter a number of orchards are installing pipe systems for the handling of spray. The work is being done by the E. R. White Machinery company and it is finding the work difficult these days in the stick belt. The spray pipe system simplifies and expedites the spray work.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 17, 1929, page 1

    In discussing the organization and purposes of the Pacific Growers Council recently formed at Sacramento, H. Van Hoevenberg Wednesday addressed the Fruit Growers League in full as follows:
    "We have at Medford in our Fruit Growers League a body which in its plan of organization and the effectiveness of its work is unique in the industry. There is not, to my knowledge, any other organization functioning along similar lines. It is common knowledge both here at home and throughout the industry that during the past few years our local condition has shown vast improvement, and that the Medford district has won for itself a commanding position in the markets of the world. Perhaps that last statement would be more accurate if I said that we are rapidly winning such commanding position, for while great success has been made, there is still much to accomplish.
    "No intelligent or informed person conversant with the facts and acting in good faith can deny that the improvement in our condition today as compared with a few years ago can be attributed primarily to one cause, namely, that the producers of this district, with an unusually high average of intelligence and ability, have availed themselves through the Fruit Growers League of opportunities for thorough discussion of the problems which have arisen, have had the initiative and courage to plan constructive measures and have loyally supported the officers and committees entrusted with the responsibility of carrying these constructive measures to a successful conclusion.
Cooperation Brings Prosperity
    "We are prospering today because we have cooperated in solving our mutual problems and have been able through organization to coordinate our efforts, instead of acting as a lot of aimless individual units, fighting each other and getting nowhere. We will continue to prosper in the future precisely in such degree as we are able to continue this cooperative constructive effort of ours. It is somewhat of a new idea for the growers themselves to undertake the solving of their own major, underlying problems instead of drifting aimlessly along with a blind trust in Fate. We have only scratched the surface, and it is my prediction that if we continue our efforts the next five years will show an improvement even greater than the last five.
    "It has long been a cherished dream and an often expressed wish of many of our members that an advertising campaign be conducted to widen the market and stimulate the demand for pears. The production of pears has doubled within ten years and estimates indicate that it will double again in the next ten. At the same time the per capita consumption throughout the United States has steadily decreased and the general price level has steadily declined as a result. This is largely due to the fact that competitive fruits such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, have been making aggressive efforts, through advertising, to widen their markets. This they have succeeded in doing and partly at our expense. While their markets have expanded, ours have contracted. Possibly the most vitally important and outstanding fact shown by an analysis of the condition of the pear industry is that with our rapidly increasing production and steadily decreasing consumption, we as pear growers will shortly be faced with two alternatives--either increase the consumption of our product, or see its value decline to a point where no grower can operate at a profit. The test of our intelligence and ability will be whether we wait until sheer necessity compels us to move, or whether we anticipate our future and take the necessary measures to keep our business profitable.
    "It was with these facts in mind that the program for the recent meeting of the Oregon State Horticulture Society at Medford was developed. The committee in charge was appointed by me as president of the society and was composed entirely of Medford growers, acting with president Burch of the Fruit Growers League and myself. The program was deliberately arranged to present the fundamental economic facts upon which the pear industry depends for success in such a way as to bring out the best thought of the growers attending the meetings as to ways and means for accomplishing constructive results. To this end the secretary was instructed to request the state colleges of Oregon and California to send us the best men available with the most complete data which had been secured either through their own research or otherwise, and present same to us in condensed form.
Cooperative Pear Sales
    "You have just been told by Mr. Wood of the remarkable results accomplished by our Bosc campaign in Detroit. This campaign was made possible only through our cooperative effort which came as the result of many frank discussions in our league meetings. I want to say to you men who made this effort possible through your united support that you have focused the attention of the pear industry at large on Medford to a remarkable extent. You have accomplished a unique and outstanding achievement and given a practical demonstration of what big results can be secured through coordinated effort even on a comparatively small scale. This work could and should be expanded and carried on for our great local benefit.
    "But with all its success, the work of the Medford Winter Pear Committee has necessarily been limited, and the Detroit campaign in particular was in behalf of our own specialty products. The larger problem, which will rapidly increase in importance each year, is to greatly increase the use of all kinds of pears as an article of food throughout the land. It would not be fair to ask any one district to conduct an advertising campaign for this purpose from which all districts would benefit in proportion to the excellence of its product, and in addition the expense would be prohibitive, unless the burden were fairly distributed throughout the industry.
    "For several years past the officers of your league have had informal conferences with representatives of other districts, and we believed the time was ripe to call them together and ascertain whether or not coordinated, cooperative effort was possible throughout the industry toward handling this major project. Therefore, with malice aforethought, leading growers and executives of growers' organizations in each producing district were invited to attend the Medford meeting of the State Horticultural Society. The deep dark plot succeeded and the attendance of those invited was beyond our expectations.
    "As a result of the conferences held here, attended by many of you who are present today, it was resolved to form the Pacific Pear Council. This was to be composed of three grower members from each of eleven distinct pear-producing centers on the Pacific Coast. The delegates attending at Medford agreed to return to their respective homes, secure the appointment or election of such  grower representatives, and have them convene for organization purposes at Sacramento two weeks later--December 2nd and 3rd, 1929. It is possible that this date may be regarded later as an important one.
    "The meeting at Sacramento was signalized by a full attendance from each of the designated districts in Washington, Oregon and California. Among those present were many very prominent growers, of whom a considerable number were directors or executives of the leading growers' organizations on the coast, whose cooperation is essential in securing united support. It was highly gratifying to see representatives of organizations which have been rivals for years sitting in an earnest conference over a mutual problem, and dealing with it in a spirit of give and take in an effort to find common ground.
Tribute to Medford
    "A singular tribute was paid to what Medford has already accomplished inasmuch as it was the unanimous wish of every district represented that the honor of leadership should go to Medford. I believe it is particularly fortunate that Mr. David Rosenberg, whose ability we all know, was elected president of the council.
    "There is not time this afternoon to go into too much detail regarding matters of organization. All growers will be kept informed through the press and direct communications. We attempted to set up a form of organization which would keep in close contact with individual growers, through the various district representatives. In effect, it was an expansion of the ideas along which we have worked at Medford--where the initiative and support must come from the growers themselves and the organization provides the necessary machinery to carry out the growers' wishes.
    "It the growers of all other districts were of the same general type that we have here, were as conversant with the different angles of the game, and were as accustomed as we are to threshing out our problems together, it is probable that a general advertising campaign, for example, might be successfully undertaken this year. Unfortunately this is not the case, and the representatives of several important districts, producing large tonnage, stated that while they believed it could be done in a year's time, their growers were not yet ready for such a move, owing to lack of information. Immediate steps are being taken to remedy this condition in these districts.
    "An important phase of the general problem of under-consumption is that relating to winter pears. While the winter pear deal is part of the general problem, it has certain phases all its own. The production of winter pears is pretty well concentrated in a few localities. It seems within the possibilities that a plan may be worked out and put into effect next year which will benefit all winter pear growers of whatever variety, without any district losing any advantages it now holds as to excellence of variety, quality or brand. For example, we in Medford propose to hold whatever advantages we now possess, and in no sense to lose our individuality.
No Buying or Selling
    "It is to be particularly emphasized that in its declaration of purposes, the Pacific Pear Council pointed out that under no circumstances would it engage in the buying or marketing of fruit as a distributing agency. It has no alliances, present or prospective, with any marketing plan or agency, but for the purpose of securing data and information to forward whatever work it undertakes, it will call upon any source, government, state or private, where such information can be best obtained.
    "While doing the necessary preliminary work of organization and preparing for a possible advertising campaign, it was felt that much can be accomplished the coming season which will be at once reflected in improved service and cash returns to all growers. Every district has suffered from imperfect knowledge of conditions elsewhere, size of crop, amounts and dates of shipment, cash prices paid by different buyers and many kindred  items. We hope to set up machinery before next season for the exchange of information which will do away with the present evils. The idea of the council is to build from the bottom up and not from the top down.
Not Easy Task
    "There will, of course, be many obstacles to overcome, and greater ultimate success may be expected if we do not undertake too ambitious a program at the start. There will be marketing agencies who will refuse their cooperation at the start, though I believe the more important and broader ones will give full support. We must expect to meet the opposition of certain interests which function in every community who would profit by keeping the growers disorganized and as much as possible in ignorance of what they can best do to help themselves. It will be necessary to interest the type of grower who is inclined to confine his efforts purely to the growing of his crop and not interest himself in the equally important matter of providing a profitable market for what he produces. There are several thousand growers on the coast who are directly concerned in this matter, and it will take time to get united action on the part of seventy or eighty percent of them. In short, the pear council faces a task which requires the expenditure of much time and energy on the part of those whom the growers choose to represent them on the council.
Encouraging Features
    "There are many encouraging features. In our Detroit campaign your committee has received the loyal support and cooperation of practically all the shippers and distributors of this district, and the indications are that such support will also be extended in California and Washington if the growers make their wishes known to that effect. In the last analysis the elements which will lead to the success or failure of the proposed council are exactly the same as in the case of our Bosc campaign in Detroit. Success or failure will result in exact proportion as the growers give their moral and financial support. If this support is withheld either through indifference or because a considerable percentage of growers allow themselves to be misled by a smoke screen of misrepresentation and distortion, nothing but failure can result. On the other hand, assuming that the growers choose able and energetic men as their representatives, Pacific coastthe council should justify the remark made to me by one of the largest growers in California after the Sacramento meeting when he said that "the forming of this organization is the strongest indication the pear industry has yet given that it feels big enough and important enough to fight for its proper position in the business world. We owe a great deal to the Medford district for pointing the way."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 22, 1929, page B2

Rosenberg and Wood Report on San Jose Meet--
Will Issue Pamphlet, Hire Secretary.

    The Pacific Pear Growers Council "is crystallizing rapidly with every promise of success," David H. Rosenberg, its president, told the regular weekly meeting of the Rogue River Traffic Association this noon. Rosenberg, with David R. Wood, returned Tuesday from San Jose, California, where they attended a growers' meeting for that district last Monday afternoon and evening.
    The pear council idea, Rosenberg said, was gaining ground throughout the Pacific Coast fruit districts, with assurances of financial and moral support from large California groups, and a general feeling that organization alone will meet the sale problems of the future. Hood River has signified its intention of backing the council. The Wenatchee and Yakima districts of Washington were "listed as slow to act, with no doubt they would give wholehearted support."
Vote Assessment.
    The pear council voted an assessment of two cents per ton for this year, to carry on the expenses of issuing a pamphlet and hiring a secretary, whose chief duty would be the assembling of reliant [sic] and accurate data on pear production.
    Rosenberg said the council would proceed slowly, and build as it went, as the sole question was one of education.
    The advertising policy for the year has not been definitely decided upon, but the general opinion of the delegates was unanimous that it was needed.
    Rosenberg told the meeting that the California practice of planting pear trees 11 feet apart yielded higher tonnage than the 20 to 25 feet in vogue in this section. He said the growers there found it practical and profitable and increased their land values $4000 and $5000 per acre for pear acreage, which was not an unusual price, he said, for matured orchards.
    The traffic association was advised by the Winter Pear Committee of New York that a meeting would be held tomorrow morning, when the matter of securing an opinion on heavier loaded cars would be obtained. Members were urged to secure all data possible on this point.
    A report showed that there are now held in storage in Medford 65 cars of Winter Nelis and D'Anjous, a normal condition, with the fruit shipping nearing an end.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 13, 1930, page 1

Approximately 1200 Acres Set Out this Spring--
Fall Planting Will Add Huge Block.

    Between 1000 and 1200 acres of young pear trees have been planted this spring in the Rogue River Valley, and the work for this season has been completed, with the probability that the fall plantings will bring the total for the year to between 1500 and 2000 acres.
    Most of the new plantings are Bartletts and D'Anjous, with a sprinkling of Boscs and other varieties.
    A number of old apple orchards in the valley have been uprooted to make room for young pear trees.
    The new plantings range from 200-acre blocks, on the Three Oaks Orchard, owned by Weldon Biddle and James E. Edmiston, and similarly sized plantings in the Phoenix district, to five- and ten-acre tracts.
    The combined plantings of new trees represent an outlay of between $35,000 and $50,000.
    Under the warm sun and balmy weather conditions of the past week the buds are bursting and rapidly approaching "the pink." Spraying is in full swing. Orchards to date are developing normally, under close to perfect conditions, according to orchard experts.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 27, 1930, page 1

American Fruit Growers Head Expects Lower Production Costs in Next Ten Years--Visits City and Valley on Tour.

    Cheaper production costs, reduced railroad rates and improved distribution were forecast for pear growers of the Rogue River Valley last night by J. S. Crutchfield, president of American Fruit Growers Inc., in this city from Pittsburgh, Pa., in an address before an opening meeting of local fruit growers and shippers, held following the banquet at Hotel Medford. No fears of saturation of the pear market were expressed by Mr. Crutchfield, who stated, "The next 10 years will be much brighter for the fruit business than the previous ten. We haven't scratched the surface of the possible demand for winter pears."
    Imperative need for progress in the fruit business was stressed by the speaker. "Fruit men must look forward five or ten years," he explained, "and not continue the business in the unorganized manner of previous years. The market will never be saturated if the fruit is properly distributed and delivered in good condition. We must protect the ultimate consumer from eating fruit before it is ready to be eaten. If you can please the consumer, you will get the price," he informed shippers. "If you get the price you can count on pleasing the producer."
    F.O.B. buying, he stated, has been overemphasized in this district. Assets of the auction system were outlined and advantages to be obtained through encouragement of each system were listed. The need of widening markets is always important, he added, and they are more effectively widened through the auction system.
    Competition now existing between the independent and chain retailers he cited as beneficial to the fruit business. "I see nothing but a much brighter decade ahead for the intelligent producer," he declared.
    Speaking of the export trade, Mr. Crutchfield said, "It has not been scratched yet either. Twenty-five percent of the apple crop is exported. There is no other agricultural product exported in such quantities. Opportunities for opening pear markets in other countries are open to pear growers and should be developed.
    Fears of oversupplying the market with pears and apples for the higher classes were regarded by the speaker as a joke. "The rich people are not the ones who eat the best fruits," he stated. "It's the average man. He is going to buy the best products if they are properly merchandised."
    The need for better fertilization of orchards was pointed out to Mr. Crutchfield, who said too many nitrates and sulfates and not enough other kinds are used. The Medford district, however, he listed as head of other regions of the Northwest in this respect.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 13, 1930, page 8

Traffic Association Told New Markets Should Be Developed--
Vote to Assess Cannery Pears.

    The Rogue River Traffic Association at its regular noon meeting today discussed, extemporaneously, tentative plans for the broadening of the Bosc pear market along the lines inaugurated by the 1929 campaign in Detroit. It was the general opinion of the shippers present that there should be no undue delay in the invasion of new markets, but along orderly sales lines.
    Harry Rosenberg of the Bear Creek Orchards, who returned this week from a trip through the East, spent two days in Detroit studying the aftermath of the Bosc pear campaign there and reported that he was amazed and astounded by the reception accorded the valley product.
    Rosenberg said he talked to Detroit dealers, who informed him that the coming season Detroit would handle 150 cars of Boscs, and "guarantee New York prices." He thought 75 cars would be about right, and admitted that the Detroiters probably knew what they were talking about.
    Rosenberg said that it would soon be time for the Winter Pear Committee to outline its 1930 campaign, and he felt that Detroit, now Bosc-minded, should continue as a closed market along the same lines as last season.
Reasons for Success
    He said there were four fundamental reasons for the success of the Bosc campaign, viz.: placing the Bosc on the market in a ripened condition, the radio program campaign advertising the pears and creating the demand; a steady or controlled supply to prevent glutting of the market, and contracts between the shippers and the dealers, not the least of which was the presentation of a Bosc occasionally for eating purposes to a dealer so his palate would be immersed in Bosc juices, and he thus become an ardent missionary.
    The extension of the Bosc campaign to include Detroit and another midwestern city this year was also urged. It was held by the speakers that the end of New York City as an exclusive Bosc market would not react unfavorably in the prices.
    The meeting voted to assess each car of cannery Bartletts shipped from this district on the same basis as packed Bartletts, the assessment to be retroactive and include last year's cannery shipment of 610 cars. The assessment is 50¢ per car.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 17, 1930, page 2

Growers Given Data on Industry Compiled by Pacific Pear Growers--
Discussion Expected at Friday Meeting.

    David H. Rosenberg, president of the Pacific Peargrowers Council, began today the distribution of 10,000 copies of the organization's pamphlet, entitled "The Trend of Pear Production, and Its Relationship to Prices and Advertising." Copies will be mailed and delivered to every pear grower in the states of Washington, Oregon and California, and affiliated interests.
    The foreword, after stating the aims and purposes of the Peargrowers Council, asks:
    "That every grower read it through to the end, trusting that its facts may possibly throw some light onto the necessity of mapping out some course of action that will prevent our industry from falling into the disastrous position of overproduction."
    Advertising of pears is listed as "one of the immediate problems" confronting the Pacific Coast pear growers.
    The pamphlet is a concise statement of the situation, illustrated with charts showing the trend of prices and the markets.
    The study of the pear industry by Prof. S. W. Shear, of the University of California, is also stressed. There is a review by David R. Wood, chairman Winter Pear Committee, of the Bosc campaign conducted last year in Detroit.
    Unity of action by fruit districts and marketing agencies is held vital to the future of the industry.
    In conclusion, the pamphlet states:
    "The Pacific Peargrowers Council was organized to secure the united and coordinated effort of the pear industry of Oregon, Washington and California, in studying its economic problems as a basis for deciding upon the most effective means of solving them and bringing into motion the necessary forces to carry out the adjustment policy deemed most feasible. If the facts and the observations rendered herein will in any way help to contribute to the formation of wise decisions, the purpose of this pamphlet will have been justified."
    It is probable that the Pear Council will come under discussion at the meeting of the Fruitgrowers League at the Hotel Medford tomorrow night at eight o'clock.
    The principal purpose, however, of this meeting is to discuss plans of this meeting is to discuss plans for the coming season of the Winter Pear Committee, and to hear the preliminary report of Prof. Henry Hartman, O.S.C., on marketing and storage conditions in New York City. A large attendance of valley growers, shippers and others identified with the fruit business is assured.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 1, 1930, page 7

Fruit Men Expect Canning Pear Variety Open at $40 and Rise in Price--
Cherry Pack Starts Next Week--Fair Crop Seen.

    At a special meeting of the Fruitgrowers League approval of the new Oregon standards for cannery Bartletts was voted, with a suggestion for a minor change in the definition of "maturity pears."
    Alfred Burch will represent the Fruitgrowers League and R. R. Reter the shippers at the fruit hearing in Salem tomorrow. It is hinted opposition will arise from some local shipper-growers.
    The Rogue River Canning Company will start its annual pack of valley cherries next week, according to R. L. Boutelle, manager. The cherry crop will be better and larger than first predicted, as reports of frost and other damage were exaggerated. A good crop is in sight on both the Westerlund and the Illihee tracts, two of the largest producers hereabouts.
    The Royal Anne variety only will be canned by the local cannery. It is expected that the Bagley Canning Company at Ashland will start cherry canning operations within the next week or ten days.
    Prices will be announced sometime next week for Bartletts by California canneries. This price is accepted by the coast Bartlett districts as the price basis..
    It is estimated by fruit men that the Bartlett price will open around $40 per ton, and may rise to between $50 and $60. High prices of from $75 to $80 per ton offered last year are now classified by pear buyers as "suicidal," with the observation that the growers need not expect any such prices this year.
Blight Is Factor.
    Valley growers and shippers feel that the California blight situation will have an important bearing on the cannery price, along with crop conditions in the northwest districts. Court Hall says that from the information he has received the buying this season will be late.
    The state board of horticulture tomorrow at Salem will adopt a state standard for cannery Bartletts. The new specifications adhere closely to those now in force in Washington and California. The Fruitgrowers League has filed notice of approval of the new standards, as formulated by the Hood River and Rogue River Traffic Association. Valley growers will be advised to sign no contracts that do not conform to the Oregon standards.
    The adoption of the pear standards by this state followed the new specifications of the Northwest Canners Association, which caused considerable disapproval among growers as giving "too much leeway" to the canners in accepting or rejecting.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 13, 1930, page 1

Horticulture Board Adopts Standards for Cannery Fruit Effective July 21--
Maturity Definition Only Change Made.

    SALEM, Ore., June 14.--(AP)--The state board of horticulture meeting here today declared grades for Oregon standards for cannery pears and set the new grades in effect as of July 21, 1930. Representatives of Hood River and other pear sections were here. No valley shippers appeared at the meeting. This is the final hearing to be held by the board on the subject of grades. The grade rules promulgated stand the same as outlined at previous hearings in the pear growing sections, except a change was made in the definition of "maturity" under the new gradings, the definition as follows:
    "Maturity means having reached the stage of maturity which will ensure the proper completion of the ripening process. Pressure test of fruit with skin on at time of picking shall range from 22 to 15 pounds with 5/16-inch plunger or the equivalent range with a 7/16-inch plunger."
    The rules set out definitions for Nos. 1 and 2 grades of pears and culls as well as designating the tolerances and definition of terms governing grading.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 14, 1930, page 1

Hartman Report Shows Shipping and Marketing Problems, Cure--
Wood Gives Expansion Program--Big Acreage Represented.

    Fruit men of the Medford district, 121 in number, and representing more than 60 percent of the pear acreage of this section, met at the Elks Temple last night and heard the report of Prof. Henry Hartman of Oregon State College on his findings and observations of conditions in the pear market of New York City, and the Winter Pear Committee's 1930 market expansion program as outlined by David R. Wood, chairman. Edward Carlton presided.
    At the conclusion of the meeting, those present signed the 1930 contracts for the Winter Pear Committee.
    The talk of Prof. Hartman was illustrated with photographs and stereopticon views.
    Prof. Hartman said that the number of injuries that can befall a carload of pears was "amazing," and that it was essential that growers and packers strive for improved packing and handling. Condition, appearance and quality were necessary, and the scientist held "that while I may present a gloomy picture to you, there is no problem before us that cannot be surmounted without excessive cost or time."
Fault Shown
    Prof. Hartman declared two of the outstanding "faults of growers and shippers" were delay in handling the fruit and shipping the fruit. He declared that a delay of one day in handling pears shortened their cold storage life ten days and that this was costly, inasmuch as cold storage life was the essence of marketing.
    In reference to the Detroit situation, he said the dealers and buyers in that city had been educated through the efforts of the Winter Pear Committee to the point where a green pear was a drug on the market. He said the Boscs sold in Detroit had been properly ripened and as a result the former prejudice against the Medford pears had been largely dissipated. He said a car of green Boscs shipped into Detroit last summer, in the middle of the Bosc campaign, had received no bid on the Detroit auction.
    He said that as a result of his year's work in New York City, distributors and buyers had offered him unlimited use of storage equipment, valued at $15,000,000. He attributed this to the fact that efficiency and system in placing the pears on the market was regarded as "good business, and money in their own pockets, as well as in the pockets of the growers."
    He said there was little doubt but that ripening space could be secured in New York City for pears. "The people in the East do not like to buy a green pear any more than you like to buy a green banana." He said the pear was the most difficult of the fruits to ripen properly, but it could be done without great expense or effort, and the return in "satisfied customers" would more than offset the original costs.
    Prof. Hartman estimated that the "pinhole rot" in pears, as evidenced in shipments this year, had cost the Winter Nelis growers of this section $1 per box. He said the main ailments of pears last year, at the point of receipt, were limb bruises, friction blisters, gray mold, shriveling, and premature ripening. The traders object to friction bruises.
Deterioration Seen
    He said that his observations shows that pears shipped from Medford in October had arrived 90 percent fit, but that shipments made during the hot weather had arrived about that percentage unfit. He also found that the top box layer in refrigerator cars ripened fast, and that a system should be evolved to eradicate this fault.
    Prof. Hartman also held that the Boscs should be picked before the D'Anjous, contrary to local custom, as one corrective step.
    Premature ripening was also given as a fault of local pears. Many reasons had been advanced as causes, but no definite cause had yet been found. He said there had been many reports of "core breakdown" in Medford shipments in 1929, but that his researches had shown it to be no worse than in other years.
    Prof. Hartman asked the growers and shippers to wait until his report is in printed form, and to study and read it for their own informative benefit.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 25, 1930, page 1

    Testing pears for maturity, a free service rendered by the county agent's office, will be available to all pear growers starting in the week of July 28th, reports L. P. Wilcox, county agent.
    Every grower should make use of this service, for the test will determine approximately his picking date.
    Select ten or twelve specimens at random of healthy, normal fruit so that the sample will represent an average for the entire crop. This should be done in the early morning while the fruit is cool, and bring the samples in for testing as soon after picking as possible.
    The commercial worth of fruit depends a great deal upon the time and manner of picking, particularly the time, for it has a direct influence upon color, flavor, size and keeping quality.
    The pressure test used in making maturity determinations is considered the most reliable method of telling when pears should be picked in order to obtain maximum quality.
    Select samples from your orchard as directed above and find out where you stand in regard to harvest.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1930, page 6

California Shipment Now at Peak--
Local Growers See Later Demand for Tasty Product.

    The California Bartlett crop shipments are now at their peak in movements to the eastern markets and will continue for the next week or ten days. In the opinion of many local shippers and growers, no line can be procured on the prices in prospect for Rogue River Bartletts. Many growers are planning to hold their Bartletts in cold storage until as late as September for better prices than the opening will offer, from present indications.
    It is figured that if the Bartlett per-box price drops to $2 and $2.50 per box, growers will operate on a slim margin of profit, if any profit at all. In past years the New York trade has shown a strong liking for valley Bartletts and this, with a shortage of the eastern peach crop, may cause a rising demand and prices comparable with last year and the year before.
    Cannery men of the Northwest still retain their attitude of indifference with no offers to buy. Reports have been received that $32 to $35 has been offered for local Bartletts, but at this figure the growers would face a certain deficit. Rather than face this certainty, many will hold their Bartletts for shipment east and chance on the auction.
    There will be scattered picking throughout the valley by the middle of next week, but it will not be general until the week of August 11. It is expected that the first train shipments will go east August 12.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 29, 1930, page 1

Local Store Featuring Rogue Valley Pears
    J. F. Washburn, manager of the Safeway Stores in this district, has decided to help increase the consumption of pears and encourage local people to appreciate how delicious their home product is by featuring pears in their local stores. Beginning tomorrow, they will sell 40-pound boxes of jumble-packed pears at 72 cents per box.
    Local people are urged to use them as a fresh fruit, pear salad, pear sauce and in many other ways.
    This company has been featuring Rogue River Valley pears in their Klamath Falls and other stores in Southern Oregon.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 3, 1930, page 5

Prof. Hartman in Preliminary Report Outlines Several Causes Affecting Eastern Fruit Markets Past Season.
    The following is a copy of a letter received by Mr. D. R. Wood, chairman of the Medford winter pear committee, from Professor Henry Hartman of New York City:
    "In compliance with your request I will endeavor to give you a brief resume of the observations I have made thus far in this season. Of course, most of the work for the year is still in progress and only a preliminary report can be given at this time.
    "Needless to say, this is a trying season for those engaged in the fruit industry. Even the citrus fruits, which held their own well during the early part of the season, are now selling at prices below handling and transportation costs. Apples have held their ground fairly well but pears, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit have faced declining markets from the beginning and no one is optimistic to the extent of saying that the bottom has been reached.
    "Growers, shippers and other agencies generally attribute the present low prices to the economic depression which began a little more than a year ago. Undoubtedly, much of the difficulty can legitimately be laid to this cause, but the fruit industry must not lose sight of the fact that there are other factors involved and that these will have to be given serious consideration in the future.
    "Taking pears as an example, the figures of the Bureau of Economics of the United States Department of Agriculture show that pear holdings on December 1st of this year were approximately sixty-one percent greater than they were on the corresponding date last year. Shipments of Bartlett pears from the Pacific Coast were approximately twice as great in 1930 as they were in 1929. One who studies these figures cannot escape the conclusion that a serious situation was at hand even had normal economic conditions prevailed. It is hardly conceivable that the present demand for pears, even backed by good buying power, could have taken care of so large an increase in tonnage from one year to another.
    "The late varieties of pears had no chance to succeed this year. The Bartlett variety dominated the picture long after its normal season was over, and other sorts could not get started. Fruit stores everywhere offered Bartletts for sale during all October and even late into November. Cars of Northwest Bartletts were sold at auction in New York City as late as the middle of November and one car was sold in Chicago on December 5th! While this fruit still appeared to be in fairly good condition at the time of sale, it was unfit for consumption when it reached the consumer and, doubtless, turned many people away from pears altogether.
    "With the increase in tonnage it becomes apparent that grade and quality will have to receive added consideration. In the days when pears were comparatively rare, grade and pack could be overlooked without disastrous results. This year, however, it is clear that only the attractive, well-graded stock has a chance of selling above cost of production.
    "The markets of the country cannot absorb so high a percentage of inferior pears as were prepared for shipment this year. There is but little doubt that many cars now selling "in the red" are doing so because of the large number of off-grade specimens that have found their way into the fancy and extra fancy grades and because of the high percentage of fruit that is too small to retail by the piece.
    "While some of the Medford brands are fully up to the standard of last year, many of them are considerably below par. Upon reinspection here some cars have shown from eight to thirty-five percent off-grade fruit in the extra fancies. Apparently, some of the shippers tried to maintain the usual relative proportion of fancy and extra fancy in spite of the fact that the crop this year was not up to the average standard. This has created a serious situation in that some of the other districts produced an unusually fine crop of pears this year and took particular pains to put up a good pack.
    "The pear industry at the present time has practically no by-products and, hence, has no channels for the utilization of low-grade fruit. Most of the fruit which sticks to the trees in spring ultimately finds its way into the fancy and extra fancy grades. It is true that some of the off-grade fruit is packed under special brands, but the percentage so packed is low compared to the amount produced and special brands are usually unprofitable. With the increased competition that pears must face in the future, it appears certain that pear growers will be forced to adopt a system of thinning that will ensure not only a more desirable distribution of sizes, but that will eliminate, to a large extent, the misshapen, frost-marked, limb-marked, and otherwise imperfect specimens. The apple growers of the state of Washington came to this conclusion several years ago and the result, as applied to the apple industry, speak for themselves. Thinning, when properly done, results in practically no decrease in final tonnage and adds nothing to the cost of production. It costs no more to clip off the imperfect specimens in spring than it does to pick them by hand in the fall and to put them over washing machines and grading and packing equipment.
    "It is encouraging to note that Medford pears this year are holding up much better in storage than they did last year. Apparently the general speeding up of harvesting operation, with the reduction of the period between the time of picking and the time when the fruit went under refrigeration, is having a decided beneficial effect on the keeping quality. This is especially significant since the season of all varieties has to be extended to its utmost limits this year.
    "The eating quality of Medford Bosc pears as they are being offered to customers in New York City is considerably better than it was last year. While it is true that some Bosc are being retailed in a green, inedible condition, the percentage of such fruit has been materially reduced. About 100 cars were conditioned here and the weather has been much more favorable for ripening than it was last season. While there is still considerable opposition to conditioning, there is no doubt but that jobbers here are more willing to accept partially ripened Bosc than they were last year.
    "Failure of Bosc pears to develop the gold color characteristic of the variety has caused more or less difficulty this season. While poor color, in some cases, was undoubtedly due to the fact that the fruit was too green at the time of sale, a considerable amount failed to take on color even when in prime condition for eating. As you know, a number of experiments to determine the cause of this trouble are now in progress. It is too early at this time, however, to give a report of the results obtained.
    "At a later date I hope to be able to give you some concrete results from my handling and storage experiments. These, I believe, will prove of interest to the growers and shippers of the Rogue River Valley."

Medford Mail Tribune, January 11, 1931, page B3

    From "way down east" to "the far west" (Maine to New York, New York to Illinois, Illinois to Oregon) came the Stewarts, all nurserymen, unto the fourth generation. True pioneer souls they were, with the courage and vision, patience and persistence which characterized those whom all Oregon is remembering today during her Diamond Jubilee. The courage to leave the familiar for the unknown, the vision to sense what the future could bring, the patience and persistence to work for it.
    "The Illinois State Agricultural Society award this diploma to Wm. Stewart and Sons, Hannibal Mo. for the best 25 varieties of fruit. October 4, 1856," reads a framed announcement hanging on the dining room wall of the Dillon Hill home on Kings Highway, where lives Wm. Stewart's granddaughter, Mrs. Hill. Opposite the diploma is a beautiful picture of a Rogue River Valley orchard in bloom, taken in 1914.
    Joseph H. Stewart, son of William, planted the first commercial orchard in this valley, the Eden Valley [orchard], now known as the Voorhies orchard and owned by Col. Gordon Voorhies, experienced and prominent grower. Mr. Stewart bought the tract of 160 acres in the spring of '85 when it was known as the old Ball place, and planted 100 acres in fruit. In '87, he bought what was known as the Justus place, now the George Marshall, and two years later planted about 76 acres in apples and pears.
    Spraying did not appear as necessary in those days, more moisture made less irrigating, and smudging had perhaps not been invented. Good corn could be and was raised without a drop of water, according to those who remember, and corn and watermelons were grown between trees in the orchards while they [i.e., the orchards] were growing. Blight was something of a problem, then as now, and the soil of the Eden Valley was a mixture of the sandy and "sticky."
    Mrs. Hill likes to recall that her father sent out the first carload of Ben Davis apples that ever left the valley. Their destination was Germany, she says. Bartletts, 'Anjous and Howells were the principal varieties, with the Bartlett considered the best commercial pear.
    The Dillon Hill home is a quaint and charming place, by the way. Marble-topped tables, capacious fireplaces, old-fashioned rocking chairs and a Steinway parlor grand piano, rosewood cased, combine to give an air of old-time repose and comfort. The house was built in 1905, a year before Joseph Stewart died. The lumber was hauled from a mill near Prospect by mule team. But all this does not concern orchards, nor growers.
    It was in 1901 that 160 additional acres of fruit land were purchased from Asa Fordyce. Fred Page of Portland bought much of Mr. Stewart's fruit, states Mrs. Hill. They also shipped to Sgobel and Day of New York, Ray and Hatfield of New York and Dennis and Sons of London, England. By this time, residents of the valley and others were ready to believe Mr. Stewart's evaluation when he predicted the Rogue River country would be the "ideal pear spot of the West." Mrs. Hill also likes to dwell somewhat on the visits to her father of both Mr. Sgobel and Day, whose names are still familiar to this section. For the possible encouragement of those who today may need it, there is Mr. Stewart's advice given so many years ago, "It may be slim in spots, but just grit your teeth and hang on."
    Mr. Stewart and his family took things as they came, from the time he took a crowbar and sounded the ground to find what he wanted until actual buying and selling took place. Sacks of flour were only 75 cents in those days, and a side of bacon cost about one dollar. "Father eventually sold enough fruit to make a good living," Mrs. Hill recalls, and "he was a good financier," she adds with pardonable pride.
    A story such as this must necessarily be written somewhat sketchily, for the writer is dependent upon memories for most of the information, and the present writer believes it is much better to give the readers of the Pear-O-Scope all she has been able to gather even if not presented in ordered sequence.
    For instance: The Eden Valley orchard boasted 50 varieties of pears and apples, the elder Stewart having brought his own nursery stock from Illinois. He came before there were any railroads. [This is incorrect.] His brothers came later and also bought fruit lands. The codling moth and the blight were early arrivals. Ninety acres were planted in melons. Although having been a commercial grower in New York and later in Illinois, Joseph Stewart encountered something "new and different" when he discovered "sticky."
    That he was considered in those early days to be "crazy" doesn't seem so unusual, for he had new ideas about fruit production and marketing. "A true conception of values in properties and varieties," states his daughter. Ninety-six cars of his own fruit were shipped in 1896.
    The price range was about the same as today, and the pack practically the same. Although it was thought the Newtown apple would last, the pear was even then considered the important product of the valley. The Clairgeau was once a moneymaker. The Nelis, the Bosc and Comice were first planted about 1890 by Will Stewart, a son, at what is now known as the Hillcrest orchards. Wagner Butte was planted by his brother, A. J. Stewart.
    Sons and sons-in-law planted and owned the Marshall orchard, the Hillcrest, the Hollywood, the Burch property and the Weeks tracts on the river. Also the piece now owned by Mrs. Jessie Minear close to Jacksonville.
    The Olwells were the next to join the growers in the Rogue Valley, then W. H. Norcross of Central Point and Mr. Whitman, grandfather of Olin Whitman. The Pellett orchard near Talent was one of the early tracts, also the Helms property near Ashland and the orchards of Chris Eismann and brothers at Grants Pass.
    If the Stewarts have a coat of arms, many of their friends think, it should bear an insignia of pears, for Joseph Stewart was surely a pear pioneer. He was a member of the first horticultural society in the United States, the American Pomological Society, which originated in 1848. Howard Hill, his grandson, has a most interesting copy of the proceedings of the eighth session of the society held at Philadelphia in 1860. Interesting and informative data taken from this book and other sources will follow in additional articles which will appear in the Pear-O-Scope from time to time, at the request of our readers.
Rogue River Valley Pear-O-Scope, May 1934, page 3

Last revised March 13, 2024