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HISTORY OF HORTICULTURE IN MICHIGAN

BY J. C. HOLIES, OF DETROIT

BY J. C. HOLIES, OF DETROIT 1873.

The many very large, rough, hardy pear trees, the many ancient apple orchards and old Morello cherry trees that we find scattered along on the old farms, on each side of the Detroit river, testify to us that the early settlers
in that vicinity were not unmindful of the value to themselves and their posterity of the plantations of fruit trees. The heavy clay soil along the banks of the Detroit river seems admirably adapted to the growth, health and longevity of pear trees, if we may judge from the present condition of many of these old trees that rise to a height of sixty or seventy feet and bear large annual crops of very good pears, known only by the general cognomen of "Old French Pears, " their origin running back beyond the knowledge of the oldest Frenchman of our time.
ANCIENT PEARS AND APPLES
Tradition says that some of the early French missionaries brought pear seeds, scions and trees from Normandy and planted a few around each little habitation along each side of the river from Monroe to Mt. Clemens. I have seen it stated that several pear trees were brought from France in 1749 and planted along the river side from the Brush to the Witherell farm in Detroit, a distance of nearly one mile. How correct this statement is I do not know, but it seems to be a well ascertained fact that in no other locality in this country can such trees be found as the ancient pear trees that are now standing on the banks of the Detroit river. It is not unusual for them to bear a crop of thirty or forty bushels each. A short time since Mr. William L. Woodbridge, of Detroit, told me that he had many times taken a crop of fifty bushels from one of these old pear trees that stood on his father's farm.

HORTICULTURE


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