22 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 38


A number of very interesting experiments in the creation of new sorts of apples are being made privately as well as by scientific institutions in both England and France. It is found that very late apples—of which the outstanding example is Medallic d'Or—are completely immune from pests. This is natural, as other experiences indicate. If we sow carrots in July they are (in my experience) always quite free from maladies. The bugs that are their special plague are no more. So it is with this very late apple ; and in England the latest apples are more likely to avoid frost. It happens that this late apple is self fertile and bears enormously. In any case, in regard to cider apples especially, it is important to have a variety of sorts, in order to dodge the eccentricities of the weather ; and cider takes its place more and more surely as the English wine. Now one of the essential difficulties in combining the merits of various apples has been the difference of date in flowering. This has now been overcome. Methods have been devised of preserving pollen in its, full potency for a number of weeks ; and it is now found easy to cross, say, Medaille d'Or (which is often still bare of leaf even when other apples flower) with any of its predecessors you please. Cider fertilization is no longer prevented by intervals of flowering date. In- cidentally further development is expected from closer observation of that curious phenomenon known as " bud variation." In an orchard near the particular tree whose fortunes are described above was observed one shoot of a Cox bearing redder fruit. There are now in existence thou- sands of red Cox's all sprung from that one shoot, whose eccentricity is so far quite inexplicable and, indeed, runs counter to accepted theories of identity and individuality. W. BEACH Taoams.