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Oriental Pears and their Hybrids

Oriental Pears and their Hybrids

Cornell Univ. Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull, Ithaca, N.Y., 332, 438-488

This bulletin, which gives the results of experiments made at Ithaca upon the Oriental pear (Pyrus sinensis), its cultivated varieties, and the hybrids between it and the common pear (P. communis), contains a short account of the insect pests of these trees, of which the following are the more important: those injurious to the trunk are the pear tree borer, scurfy black louse, and the San Jose scale; those injurious to leaves are the pear tree slug, blister mite, and pear tree psylla, those injurious to the fruit are the pear tree midge, codling moth, and plum curculio. The last two are the worst pests. Other insects of less importance are the round-headed and flat-headed apple-tree borers, oyster-shell scale, pear lecanium, and pear blight beetle. Except in the case of San Jose scale, there is not sufficient evidence to show whether any of the above-mentioned insects are more or less injurious to Oriental pears than to common pears. Oriental pears, however, have been found free from scale, while common pears standing near them have been destroyed. Professor J. B. Smith of New Jersey reports that "Kieffers" alone are absolutely exempt and, closely following, the "Le Conte, " which is rarely infested in the nursery and never in his experience, in the orchard. One tree grafted with Lawson and Kieffer had the Lawson branch and fruit covered with scales, while the Kieffer was entirely free. The Oriental pear is native to the countries where this insect has existed for centuries, and it is reasonable to expect its hybrid descendants to resist the pest better than can other species never before exposed to its attacks. Observers have reported that the scale has failed to establish itself on certain hybrid trees that have been repeatedly infested artificially. But although it would seem that certain hybrid trees are immune, this cannot be maintained for the whole race. While the Oriental hybrids, as a race, are not immune to the scale, certain trees seem to resist it very effectively. This points to a line of possible usefulness in breeding hybrid trees that are practically scale-free, by selecting buds and grafts from resistant trees.

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