Pigs In The Orchard

I have an orchard of Bartlett pears about fifteen years old, located on

sediment land. I desire to set this to alfalfa, and to feed the alfalfa

by letting hogs eat it off, thereby leaving the droppings on the land.

What I wish to know is this: Will this crop be beneficial or injurious

to the trees?

Alfalfa can be successfully grown in an orchard, providing you have

irrigation water so that the alfalfa shall not rob the trees of

moisture; otherwise it is a very dangerous practice. The practice of

running animals of any kind in an orchard is to be condemned. Pigs are

particularly liable to injure trees by gnawing the bark, and we have

seen fig trees barked clean as high as a pig could reach by standing on

his hind legs. Of course, if you try an experiment for your own

satisfaction, you will have to watch the pigs very carefully. It is true

that growing pasture crops in an orchard and grazing, it off is

injurious to trees, because the land lacks proper aeration, and good

orchard cultivation is even more necessary in this State than in humid

climates. Therefore, unless you are sure of a good water supply for

irrigation, it would be altogether safer to give the whole land to the

trees and keep them cultivated well, or else dig out the trees and use

the land for other purposes.

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