December 09, 2011
News from the Library
With the recent windstorm in the San Gabriel Valley, I wanted to highlight Arboretum Library resources on pruning. Here is a link to a search of all the library items on the subject. The covers below, though, are a grouping of items that show the range of important books and magazines.
Tree pruning : a worldwide photo guide by Alex L. Shigo. Durham, N.H. : Shigo and Trees, c1989. Call no. SB125 .S555t
Alex Shigo, http://www.shigoandtrees.com, was the one person who really changed how people thought about pruning in the 20th century. Most of his career was spent as a plant pathologist for the United States Forest Service where he studied tree decay and from that he proposed a whole new way to prune. His books are self-published, but almost have a cult status. Here is a link to the rest of his books in the Arboretum Library.
George L. Brown’s book, The Pruning of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers, (2nd ed. revised by Tony Kirkham, Portland, OR : Timber Press, c2004, call. no. SB125 .B76 2004) is a current example of a standard, definitive book on pruning. The principles of pruning are current and that is where much can be learned. George Brown and now Tony Kirkham have spent their lives studying pruning. The challenge for Southern California gardeners is that many of our popular plants are not included in the encyclopedia section where recommendations on individual kinds of plants are given.
Cass Turnbull’s book gets closer to home. (Cass Turbull's Guide to Pruning, Seattle, WA : Sasquatch Books, c2006, call no. SB125 .T87 2006) She is based in Seattle and is a one woman crusade against bad pruning. She started an entire organization, PlantAmnesty (www.plantamnesty.org) devoted to appropriate pruning. The plants get slightly more appropriate too.
Roy Hudson’s book was the first pruning book put in my hands by the librarian at Strybing Arboretum (now San Francisco Botanical Garden). She knew Roy Hudson. He was the Supervisor of Maintenance in Golden Gate Park. She knew his hands-on-experience in a California setting. This book from 1952 is still quite viable as a resource. Sunset pruning handbook by Roy L. Hudson, illustrated by Robert Blanchard, Menlo Park, Calif., Lane Pub. Co. c1952. call no. SB125 .H83 1952
How to Prune Fruit Trees by R. Sanford Martin ; illustrated by the author. Hollywood : Murray & Gee, 1944. call no. SB125 .M37 1944
How to Prune Western Shrubs by R. Sanford Martin ; illustrated by the author. 5th ed. [Hollywood?] : R. Sanford Martin, 1945, c1944. call no. SB125 .M37Ho 1945
R. Sanford Martin is Southern California’s own. That means the books are about pruning in Southern California on plants that grow here. They were written in the 1930 and 40s and are still useful today because of the local information. Our Botanical Information Consultant, Frank McDonough, says the fruit tree book is the “best ever” on the subject.
The International Society of Arboriculture’s (http://www.isa-arbor.com) mission is “Through research, technology, and education, the International Society of Arboriculture promotes the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees.” Their publications are directed at professionals, but just by browsing their newsletter and scientific journal a non-professional can quickly learn the issues and read fascinating insights about trees and their care. Here is an example of an article I’ve selected through the years as relevant to southern California tree issues. “Effects of tree stabilization systems on tree health and implications for planting specifications” by Kendra J. Labrosse, Robert C. Corry, and Youbin Zheng. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, v. 37, no. 5 (Sept. 2011), p. 219-225.
And then as a librarian, I am always on the lookout for relevant items no matter where they are. Here is an article from the American Journal of Botany on how wind effects trees. http://www.amjbot.org/content/93/10/1522.full.pdf
The Arboretum Library is open to the public and circulates to Arboretum members. The Library website: http://www.arboretum.org/index.php/explore/library/
November 27, 2011
News from the Library
Since there has been a renewed interest in home fruit and vegetable gardening, we thought we'd look back at some of the old southern California seed catalogs from our library.
California’s Horticultural History
Horticulture is as important to California’s history as the Spanish Missions and the Gold Rush. The Spanish missionaries brought with them many fruits and vegetables from Europe to California and planted several orchards. When the Gold Rush brought a population explosion in the mid 1800s, so did the demand for vegetables as miners started to develop scurvy from their meat-heavy diets. Farms were quickly established and made huge profits. In 1854 the State Agricultural Society was formed, and by 1870 over 57,000 people were making a living through agriculture (Roske, 259). By the end of 19th century California had established itself as an agricultural empire. Pioneers seeking the promise of riches through gold mining also discovered the promise of a fruitful land.
In Everyman’s Eden, Ralph Roske explains,
By 1859, market garden produce had already passed the one million dollar mark in value. During these early years, vegetable production, except for potatoes, was almost entirely for local consumption. Numerous market gardens ringed California’s larger cities. With the coming of the railroad and refrigerated freight cars, by 1879 California vegetables reached Cheyenne and Denver nearly twelve months of the year. By 1881 steamers were carrying California vegetables to British Columbia, Washington and Central America. As a result of these wide markets, vegetable production moved out of the market-garden stage. By 1899, the value of California vegetables had reached nearly six million dollars (397).
While vegetable growing proved to be a lucrative industry, fruit growing was even more profitable. An 1893 report from the Transactions of the California State Agricultural Society reported that fruit growing was the chief industry. Growing citrus, figs, grapes olives, and prunes was not possible anywhere else in all of America or Europe (110). In particular, Southern California soon established itself as a citrus empire with over 170,000 acres of citrus by the 1930s (Sackman, 7).
Southern California’s mild climate was the perfect environment to raise fruits and vegetables and it was heavily promoted as an earthly paradise. As scores of people came to the area in the late 1800s and early 1900s to profit from such an Eden, many nurseries had established themselves in order to service them. They promoted the growing of citrus orchards, avocados, berries, lettuce, rhubarb, and everything in between. They appealed to both the large-scale farmer and the home gardener offering advice on what crops to grow and when and what items to plant in your victory garden.
This exhibit highlights some of the fruits and vegetables offered in southern California nurseries’ catalogs from the turn of the 20th century up to World War II.
Please browse the different time periods and subjects by clicking on a link below:
| Seed Catalogs - Home | 1888-1909 | 1910-1919 | 1920-1929 | 1930-1939 | 1940-1945 | Avocados | Wartime | Aggeler & Musser | Germain’s | Bibliography |
Visit our Flickr page to view a slideshow of our online collection of early southern California fruit and vegetable seed catalogs:
Copyright: The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Gardens makes no assertions as to ownership of any original copyrights to digitized images. However, these images are intended for personal or research use only. Any other kind of use, including, but not limited to commercial or scholarly publication in any medium or format, public exhibition, or use online or in a web site, may be subject to additional restrictions including but not limited to the copyrights held by parties other than the Library. USERS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for determining the existence of such rights and for obtaining any permissions and/or paying associated fees necessary for the proposed use.
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