A Valuable Tree

Chicago Tribune

There is an orange-tree at the agricultural department which, tradition says, has produced revenue sufficient to meet all the expenses of that department for the last thirty years. Its history is interesting. About 1870 an American woman told Mr. Saunders, the expert on pomology for the department, that she had enjoyed the most delicious oranges while in the vicinity of the City of Bahia, Brazil, and believed he would do well to procure some of the budded fruit as an experiment in this country.

The secretary of agriculture requested our consul at that point to send him twelve budded trees. They came in due time, and were in turn budded on small seedlings for distribution. This is one great tree that survived, and, while they did not thrive in Florida, they did on the Pacific coast, and to-day the navel or Bahia orange, the father of that industry in California, owes its existence to the single tree now standing in the glass house in the agricultural grounds.

Of the crop of about twenty thousand carloads for 1901 at least fifteen thousand of them were of the navel variety, while the revenue varies from three to five million dollars a year. The statement of this fact, a single tree having produced sufficient revenue to sustain the department for a period of thirty years, never fails to awe the tourist, and causes him to beg for a single leaf from the wonderful money tree.—Chicago Tribune.

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June 6, 1901

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