MR. P. J. BERCKMANS
Orchard house culturists complained some years since, that the health of the Peach trees trained for pot culture, was impaired after a fair season of fruiting, by the cramped space the roots had to occupy. This remark led me to the idea of taking the seedlings of the Italian Dwarf peach as stocks whereupon to work the early market varieties upon, and to endeavor to produce really Dwarf Peach trees of any given variety, without the necessity of root pruning, etc.
I consequently budded several seedlings of the Italian Dwarf with Hale's, Troth's, Amelia, China Cling, etc. Last year the buds started off finely, and I was anticipating for the ensuing fall some well formed Dwarf Peach trees, but contrary to my expectations, the buds kept growing until by fall they averaged seven feet high, with bodies two and a half inches in diameter at the junction of bud and stock, while the latter attained the same heavy growth. The remaining seedlings in the same row being left unbudded averaged one inch in diameter at the ground.
This unexpected result proved that in the case of the Peach the graft influences the stock solely, and the latter has little if any influence upon the former; this being made evident by the stock of the ordinary peach assimilating itself entirely to the peculiar growth of the Italian Dwarf when budded with that variety.
My next experiment was to take trees of the Italian Dwarf budded upon ordinary peach stocks, and by double working them succeeded in producing Dwarfed trees of any given variety.
This may prove of some benefit to Orchard-house culture, as peach trees thus treated do not extend their roots as far as those of the ordinary kind, and can in a manner be compared as occupying the same position to ordinary peach, or I may say standard peach trees, as the Dwarf apple does to the standard.
The Italian Dwarf Teach seems to be a variety Sui generis, as it reproduces itself identically in every instance. Albeit, all my efforts to hybridise it with other varieties; I have never succeeded in producing a new variety, and as this type is so well adapted to pot culture, it is to be hoped that others will be more successful.
Two years since I found an accidental seedling in a nursery row, which is entirely distinct in growth, foliage and general appearance from either Italian or Van Buren's Dwarfs; and although the tree is now three years old, but has not as yet produced any fruit, all its characteristics denote that it will produce a yellow fleshed peach, and it is to be hoped that it will be of good quality.