Plants and Policies


PEOPLE who hear by chance the word ‘quarantine’ applied to plants are apt to call to mind the tragic fate of chestnut trees in America, the ravages of the white-pine blister, ruined farm-crops, or the disease of a favorite garden-plant; and they say: —

‘Quite right: it’s time the Government did something.’

That the Government should do something is doubtless quite right; and among those aware of the situation approval was general in 1912 when an Act of Congress authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to appoint a Federal Horticultural Board, consisting of officials of certain bureaus in the Department, to deal with the problem of protecting the country from the further introduction of insect pests and diseases.

Under the leadership of an entomologist who is still chairman of the Board, it proceeded to place restrictions on the importations of various plants, for many of those coming from foreign countries are said to have been responsible for the introduction of harmful insects and the spread of diseases. Today, while the principle of a quarantine is still upheld, and coöperation with the Department of Agriculture is strongly desired, dissatisfaction with the administration of the Board prevails in many quarters.

The particular action which aroused opposition was the promulgation and execution of Quarantine Order No. 37 in the year 1919. Under this order the Board enforces restrictions which amount to an embargo by ‘permitting, under permit’ only, the limited and controlled entry of certain classes of plants and making a general exclusion of others.

The general nature of the quarantine measures is shown by the agitation caused in quarters whose interests are apparently totally unrelated. The New York Fruit Exchange is now greatly concerned because Almeria grapes are to be excluded under another order known as Quarantine No. 42, in pursuance of which the Board may at any time exclude bananas from the country; and garden enthusiasts, who have suffered much through the application of Quarantine 37, are now bewailing the fact that the Board has decided to exclude all narcissus2 bulbs after December 1925. They fear, too, that tulips and hyacinths, those noted productions of the Netherlands, may soon be shut out.

In some ways the effect of this quarantine is worse than that of a tariff, for, whether popular or unpopular, an embargo can be legally imposed only by an Act of Congress, when it is openly recognized for what it is, and the necessary executive work is supposedly organized on a proportional scale. The Federal Horticultural Board claims that the tariff aspect of its regulations is merely incidental: thus there is no public or official recognition of Quarantine 37 as an embargo, and the Board itself deplores the lack of facilities for dealing with the vast quantities of material which it insists on handling. Moreover, the members of the Board are the sole arbiters in the issuing of permits, and from the ease with which some people obtain permits, and the difficulties encountered by others, it appears that the elements of a secret proscription list are added to the restrictive nature of a measure that is a tariff in all but name.

Between the year 1912, when the Act of Congress was passed, and the year 1919, when Quarantine Order No. 37 was promulgated, thirty-six separate quarantines were instituted, none of which met with any serious opposition. In order to discuss Quarantine 37, however, a conference of scientific and amateur horticulturalists was held in New York in June 1920, at which there were present representatives from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Horticultural Societies of Massachusetts, Bhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the Garden Club of America, the American Rose Society, the Woman’s Farm and Garden Association, and many other organizations; and by authority of this representative assembly a Committee on Horticultural Quarantine was formed. The conference, while fully agreeing as to the importance of strict quarantine measures, opposed unnecessary and wholesale plant-exclusion. Yet, in spite of many efforts to persuade the Board to mitigate the severity of its restrictions, the chairman of the Committee, Mr. J. Horace McFarland, has still occasion to speak of Quarantine 37 as ‘probably the most unsettling and autocratic action ever taken by the American Government outside a declaration of war. ‘ Professor Charles Sprague Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum expresses doubt that the Board will modify its regulations, and writes of them: —

‘Most of them are very unnecessary and unreasonable, and it is not quite clear what induced the Board to make and enforce such regulations. Certainly it is not for the interests of this country.’

Although the Federal Horticultural Board claims that the tariff aspect is incidental, it protests that no secret has been made of its expanding policy of general exclusion. In April 1919 Landscape Architecture published almost in full the reply of the Secretary of Agriculture to Mr. Winfred Rolker of the New York Florists Club’s Protesting Committee. The letter — which deals, among other protests, with objections to the ‘surprise nature’ and the ‘legality of the quarantine’ — contained an allusion to an inquiry sent by the Federal Horticultural Board in 1918 to the Bureau of Plant Industry concerning the advisability of debarring importations of ‘all ornamentals and other plants with soil about the roots, and the exclusion of all kinds of nursery stock from Asia, Africa, and other little-known localities.’ The report of the Bureau stated that ‘the time seemed to be at hand for the inauguration of a policy that would gradually result in the exclusion of all foreign nursery and florist’s stock’; and the Federal Horticultural Board considered that, though entire exclusion would be ‘unwise’ at that time, ‘complete safety’ could be obtained only by the debarring of all plants and plant products, and that by shutting out ornamental stock and seedlings the Department had taken a ‘definite step toward absolute safety.’

Such arguments might, perhaps, have been more acceptable some hundred years ago, when by refusing to take an active part in the world’s affairs America could become inconspicuous to her nearest neighbors. To-day her relations with foreign countries, whether negative or affirmative, are a policy — an individual as large as America cannot live in a crowded room as small as the world without contact. Translated into national terms, the result of such contact is expressed in her laws, the matter and the manner of whose expression must reveal her as a nation of the world, inherently cosmopolitan, or as a provincial unwilling to comprehend the necessity for social intercourse; and it is a self-betrayal, in the making of a law, to dismiss as ‘little-known localities’ the seats of two of the oldest known civilizations of the world. Moreover, if such a policy had been enforced a hundred years ago, America would lack at the present day more than half the plants that make her gardens beautiful, and more than half the fruits, grains, and other economic plants that make her horticulture profitable and advantageous.


Notwithstanding the protests against the present régime, no one has sought to underestimate the menace to horticulture, agriculture, or forestry through exposure to infection or parasites. The opponents, who have themselves suffered losses through the ravages of pests and disease, do not advocate a policy of foolhardiness; they contend, however, not only that some risks are worth taking, but that these risks are imposed by the very forces of life, and that the attempt to evade them by a complicated system of protective measures may result in spiritual and material losses greater than the fulfillment of the menace. With this view they advocate the enforcement of a severe and intelligent quarantine applied on the principle of excluding plants when previous investigation at the points of foreign shipment has proved them to be a source of danger. This plea, however, has been refused on the grounds that ‘there are many instances of disease and pests which are not discernible by any practical method yet known.’ Yet by the institution of sweeping restrictive measures, coupled with a permit system, the Board has merely centralized the control of inspection without abolishing the practice; and in the foreword of a Government publication it is stated that in the record of interceptions by officials omission is made of many interceptions of insects and plant diseases not considered injurious to the plant cultures of this country.

Nobody would wish to deny that the employees of the Board have caught a certain number of insects. It is possible that some damage to crops may have been prevented. But an exclusion policy is at best a negative remedy, and if ineffectual the good has been rejected and the evil admitted. The insects, moreover, have had three hundred years’ handicap; some of them, after lying low for a period, have chosen this precise juncture to become obstreperous, and it is possible that on their account many precautions are being taken to keep out what has already entered.

This view of the matter is confirmed by the report of an expert who was asked to comment on a list published by the Government concerning the work of the Federal Horticultural Board. The report contains a list of forty-five pages enumerating insects and diseases said to have been intercepted. Its contents, however, are somewhat misleading to those without a knowledge of entomology, for one third to one half of the insects named are well-known American species already established and distributed in this country. Consequently a great deal of time, money, and energy is, to all appearances, being expended on the interception of such common pests as the codlin moth, the San José scale, the cotton boll-weevil, the potato tuber moth, the corn earworm, the common mealy bug, and many others.

It is doubtful whether quarantines can be more than a delay; and it is possible that within a short time the ever-growing pile of regulations, both in Washington and in the various states, will create so much public dissatisfaction that the whole system will collapse and leave the country in a worse condition than if no quarantine had ever been imposed. To guard against such a state of affairs the attitude toward this question should be one of the greatest possible sanity and common-sense.3

As long as commerce exists, plant insects and diseases will travel from country to country; and if they do not come in on plants they will come in on ballast, ropes, clothing, lumber, or other material, just as the corn-borer smuggled himself in on bales of hemp. No quarantine ever devised will check indefinitely the transmission of diseases from contiguous countries; neither will it seriously impede insects from moving across the Canadian and Mexican borders, borne on their wings or on the wind. State authorities, whose exclusion policy is similar, cannot prevent winged insects from flying across the state borders; yet, to effect exclusion, automobiles are held up along the road, and people compelled to throw away their flowers or their sweet corn. It seems almost as impractical to tilt at aphids in this fashion as to enter into single combat with windmills.


In considering the value of a quarantine as an expedient, and in determining the extent of exclusion methods to be adopted, it is well to remember how much can be done by control methods whose use has been made possible by the scientific investigations and research carried on by some divisions of the Department of Agriculture, and by various State Experiment stations.

At different periods in New England the canker worm, the San José scale, the elm-leaf beetle, the gypsy moth, and the brown-tailed moth were going to destroy all trees of certain kinds. All these pests have been so greatly reduced in virulence that they are now of little consequence as a menace to state or nation; and this has been brought about by the natural or the artificial propagation of parasitic or other enemies, and by intelligent methods of spraying. Unfortunately this success in control has not yet extended to finding a means of remedy for the chestnut blight.

The efficacy of control methods is further illustrated by the success of the Dutch and English nurserymen, whose industry was at one time seriously endangered by two insect pests which attacked narcissus bulbs. Their efforts to control these pests have been so successful that last year the Dutch Bulb Experiment Station at Haarlem had difficulty in finding diseased specimens with which to continue further research work.

This example is of particular interest at the present moment, owing to the decision of the Federal Horticultural Board to exclude narcissus and other bulbs after December 31, 1925; and the peculiar way in which quarantines can work out is shown by the fact that after that date the American public will be prevented from buying these bulbs at the source where the mischief has been practically stamped out, and must turn to a source which is now infested and where the supply of bulbs is admittedly inadequate in quantity and in scope of varieties; and owing to their scarcity these inferior bulbs will be more expensive than those that are now obtainable.

It is strange to realize that, during a frenzy of so-called protective measures, diseased bulbs should have been allowed to enter the country. Yet this was permitted by the original decree in 1919. In 1923, possibly through criticism of the clause allowing their entry, the Board issued a ruling that these bulbs were dangerous. The dangers were described, but the bulbs were not immediately excluded. Three years’ grace was given for American importers to bring stock into the country.

As a matter of fact, the two pests have long since been here. They have not proved serious in the colder sections, a fact admitted by the experts of the Board, but in California and the Pacific Northwest they are firmly established and flourishing. This is the source from which the Federal Horticultural Board proposes that American buyers shall obtain their bulbs after the year 1925.

This fact was officially brought to the notice of the Board, which replied by sending to the horticultural papers a statement, signed by one of its members, announcing that the Board did not care whether or not the Dutch bulbs were now clean from the pests, and that the exclusion would go into effect on December 31, 1925, regardless of the condition of the bulbs abroad.

It might be mentioned in this connection that it was one of the fears of the Board that the narcissus pests might become dangerous to onions. This notion has not gained universal support among entomologists; neither does it appear to affect the question in point, since the pests are in the country.

In addition to the fact that control methods are most desirable, as being a solution to a problem instead of a temporary evasion that is not always effectual, it is the opinion of scientific authorities that each infliction of pests and disease, though grievous in itself, enforces sanitation and remedial measures which usually combat the particular causative difficulty and at the same time add to the prosperity of the crop or plants related; and although such visitations will doubtless receive the usual welcome accorded to blessings in disguise, this aspect of the situation is not to be ignored when reviewing the problem as a whole and considering the extent to which it is necessary to sacrifice plants that are hardy and popular for the sake of a problematical scourge.4


Although from the wording of Quarantine Order 37 one was led to suppose that due provision would be made for the importation of plants for scientific and educational purposes, much of this work was at one time seriously interfered with in such plant establishments as the Arnold Arboretum, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Botanical Gardens of Brooklyn and New York. Through the recommendations of the Committee on Horticultural Quarantine the Board has to a certain extent, relaxed the rigors of the quarantine on scientific imports. It has, however, refused to grant the request of the Committee that these establishments should be permitted to receive plants without disinfection — and not infrequent destruction — on their own guaranty of inspection and protection from the spread of insects and diseases; and it is impossible to gauge the extent of the irreparable mischief caused by the ‘protective measures’ of the last few years.

Under Quarantine 37 all plants were to be excluded that came from foreign countries, and especially those ‘from remote corners of the earth.’ By ‘permission under permit’ exceptions were to be allowed in favor of five types of bulbs, and in favor of fruit-tree stocks and rose stocks. No pretense was made that these plants were safer than the ones excluded, but it was claimed that it was necessary for American horticulture to admit them. This at once brought criticism on account of favoritism shown toward certain classes of plants and consequently to the dealers handling them. The Federal Horticultural Board, however, has denied emphatically that it is influenced by commercial interests.

The Quarantine also made provision for the entry of ‘novelties.’ Further criticism ensued, because the decision of what did and what did not constitute a novelty was left entirely to the judgment of the chairman — an entomologist, not a plant specialist. He also decreed who could and who could not have permits, how many plants of a variety might be imported, and what was to be done with them for five years after importation.

At first only nurserymen were allowed to import, but such an outcry arose from amateurs that the regulations wore slightly modified. Then the Board had the further task of deciding which amateurs were sufficiently distinguished to import, for it was stated that permits would not be issued to anyone for personal use, such as the ‘mere adornment of private estates,’ and if people were not known to the Department as ‘maintaining collections of real merit’ or engaged in work of ‘real benefit with the plants concerned’ they had to furnish ‘evidence of their status.’ In this connection it may be noted that the Board has been unable to place upon any amateur or upon any of the great botanical gardens the onus of having imported any plant pests. Both the San José scale and the Japanese beetle are attributed to trade importations.

The intense criticism evoked has partly modified this scorn for the amateur, and permits are now issued, to people who found it impossible to obtain them a year or two ago. Nevertheless, in its publications the Board takes care to state that it will do exactly what it chooses at any time it pleases, and it has semiofficially announced its intention of going on forever.

The attitude of the Board toward those who want to adorn their estates is rather surprising when one pictures the probable effect on the appearance of the country if, even for one year, every attempt at adornment were to be renounced as a vainglorious and unworthy pursuit. For the amateur is ultimately responsible for the appearance of the country. ‘Estates,’as forming part of the landscape, are a universal possession, and the term includes not only the large enclosed areas of the prosperous, but that vast collection of tiny garden-units whose appearance can make or mar the face of the earth in any populated district. Since many suburbs and villages are far from being beautiful or even orderly, and do not make the most of their possibilities, any effort toward adornment should invite encouragement rather than derision. The recognition of this fact is evidenced by the amount of literature now published on the small garden, and by the interest taken in the subject by garden clubs and village improvement societies; and it is particularly unfortunate that a measure so general should impede or even delay a movement that might contribute much to national life or to the expression of a developing art in America.

Mr. Warren H. Manning, writing on behalf of the American Society of Landscape Architects, states that the restrictions are being extended to cover more and more plants in such ways as to make it more difficult and more expensive for landscape practitioners to carry on their work; and although he believes that all plants used in large quantities will ultimately be grown in America to compete with European prices and qualities, he states that it will be a long time before this can be brought about for all plants that are used and needed in the development of American landscapes and gardens. He adds that every member of the Society is greatly concerned over the questions under discussion, and anxious to see that the regulations for the exclusion of foreign plant-diseases are executed in an efficient, sensible, and practicable way; and with other representatives of various organizations he questions the economy and good sense of present methods.

When first imposed, Quarantine 37 was also unpopular with growers, because they did not have a supply of prohibited plants in readiness, and some nurseries found it difficult to procure permits, while others readily obtained them. Now that there has been time to grow a certain amount of material, the restrictions have become more popular with the growers, for the demands within the country have become greater in direct proportion to the diminishing external supply, and prices have risen inordinately. Rosebushes, bay trees, box, rhododendrons, and azaleas cost twice as much as they did in 1918, and they are frequently extremely difficult to obtain at all.

In some ways this result of the Quarantine has been beneficial, as it has kept out the tremendous quantities of worthless foreign stock which were formerly sold here at low prices, and which seldom made satisfactory growth, owing to climatic conditions. The American nurserymen have grown many plants that they formerly bought abroad, as the removal of foreign competition has enabled them to raise prices and sell their stock at a profit. This gain, however, is somewhat counterbalanced by the fact that the Quarantine has enabled the average nurseryman to standardize his stock and to limit it to the few ‘best-sellers.’ It is hardly to be expected that he should grow plants in advance of a demand, and welcome new ones whose potentialities are their greatest recommendation. This, in the past, has been the important part played by the amateur, who has accepted the hazards of the experimentalist and has introduced and grown many plants for which the demand came later, and which are now commercially profitable. In the future such enterprise is likely to be very much limited, and only commercial men of exceptionally wide outlook will resist the idea of an embargo that will enable them, not to meet the demands of intelligent buyers, but to stop a gap at very high prices.

It is in this way that Quarantine 37 has acted as a tariff, and has obtained popularity with the nurserymen, most of whom are now strongly in favor of it. There may be some who favor it because they think it protects them from new diseases, but most of their discussions on the subject concern the fact that it has enabled them to make more money. It is, perhaps, a valuable criticism of this measure that not everyone who has profited by it is in favor of it. Recently a member of one of the horticultural societies, while traveling through the country, found the Quarantine to be popular with the nurserymen with the exception of one man who said that although the law meant ‘money in his pocket’ he objected to it on principle, because he considered it detrimental to the interests of horticulture in America.

The prosperity of a certain group of tradesmen is in itself a cause for satisfaction. But the financial side of a problem is never the whole of that problem, and when a rise in prices is accompanied by lowered standards of service and of workmanship the standards of democracy are themselves degraded by an erratic system of valuations.

To envisage a result of this kind is not to fail in appreciation of the American nurseryman. He is not responsible for the scarcity of labor, and particularly of skilled labor, through the attraction of cities. It is certainly not due to any oversight of his that Holland was growing bulbs while America was a pioneer settlement; that countries with world-wide reputations for nursery work have acquired them through generations of effort; and that because of their centuries of experience, and because of the skilled and unskilled labor at their command, they commonly grow many thousands of plants which cannot be obtained here. But while the opponents of the present administration of Quarantine 37 have every sympathy with the difficulties of the nurseryman in this country, and every wish to support his demand for reasonable prices and to encourage the attempt to grow on a large scale the plants suitable for American needs and the American climate, they can but see his problem as part of a far larger question; and it is their conviction that the lack of contact with the trade aristocracies of other nations will stultify national development as surely as a refusal to assimilate any of the thought or culture of other lands. They resent the assumption made by the Government that America, who has hitherto benefited by availing herself of the best of all the world in men and plants and culture, will now benefit through refusal to admit plants save tinder regulations so stringent as to be generally prohibitive. Now that the air is becoming a highway, and natural boundaries mere geographical incidents, they consider measures of total exclusion to be a paradox and a mystery; and any aspect of such measures, however incidental, is the result of an Order promulgated by a Department at the instance of a Board which has now been presided over by the same chairman for twelve years, despite all changes of Government. Under his leadership it appears to combine executive, judicial, administrative, and advisory functions, and in cases of appeal to act as defendant, judge, and jury. Consequently the administration of this group of men may play a large part in moulding the democracy of a country reputedly democratic; it may result, against the wishes of many citizens, in the general acceptance of a national policy; it may affect international trade relations concerning plants and plant products, either through the obvious invitation for retaliatory measures on the part of other countries, or through the illusion created by the Board as to the value of its work, and the consequent imitation of its methods.

And when, in pursuance of this policy, the inevitable deadlock has been brought about, the original problem is not solved. All injurious insects are not extinct. They are not even isolated in captivity. They are waiting to pounce on the first individual or state or nation that moves hand or foot. It is unlikely that they will wait for that. Then the same dilemma recurs; and the years eaten by the locust are as nothing to those devoured by the Federal Horticultural Board.


When the Committee on Horticultural Quarantine was formed, in June 1920, the wish to coöperate with the Department of Agriculture was expressed, as well as the desire to uphold sensible quarantine regulations, while general plant-exclusion was deemed unnecessary. Another cause of complaint was the fact that, with many ports of entry, it was required that all plants should be sent to Washington for inspection and possible duplicate disinfection. Request was made that the final examination should occur at several ports of entry, avoiding the delay, expense, and danger of the inspection in Washington. To this plea the Board yielded slightly by arranging for inspection at San Francisco, insisting that if other inspection stations were desired those protesting should arrange with Congress for the required appropriations.

Although in Washington facilities for the work have been multiplied and the inconveniences reduced, the amount of labor required and the expenditure necessitated in this single phase of the work of the Board are something of an indictment of a scheme in which economy is supposed to be an important feature.

In the Report of the Federal Horticultural Board for the year ending June 30, 1923, it is stated: —

Quarantine 37, as now administered, involves the handling and inspection in Washington of a vast quantity of plant material imported for introduction and propagation purposes by commercial growers and propagators throughout the United States. It also involves the inspection of all foreign and domestic seeds and plants which are distributed by the Department of Agriculture, as well as all commercial shipments of plants that come into the District of Columbia for local purposes or which are exported from the District in interstate traffic. Much of this material must be fumigated or disinfected. It involves further the receipt and examination of all foreign cotton samples. Much of this plant and other material which is thus received by this office must be disinfected as well as inspected, and must be again sent out to the ultimate consignees. Some of the material is also grown under quarantine, either for the purpose of determining freedom from pests or for experimental purposes in relation to disinfection or pcst-control. This work has involved during the fiscal year the handling, inspection, disinfection, and reshipment of upward of 20,000 different parcels and shipments varying in quantity from small packages to carload lots. The protective value of this work in the exclusion of plant pests has been indicated elsewhere in this report.

The inadequacy of the inspection and holding-quarters on the grounds of the department available for this important work very greatly handicaps the men engaged in it and makes it very difficult to properly handle and examine the imported and other material. The available greenhouse facilities are also entirely inadequate to care for such of this material as it is necessary to hold in quarantine or for any experimental work.

In spite of the realization of the size of the task it has insisted on performing, the Board refuses to lighten its burden by accepting the cooperation proffered both by foreign countries that have agreed to maintain inspection and by the communities of this nation of which the Board is the official representative.

If restrictions on the present scale are to continue, it is hoped that there will be general recognition of their extent, and that every effort will be made to compensate in some slight degree for the losses occasioned to the country by this definite step toward absolute safety; and it is urged that if this quarantine continues, the Department of Agriculture, having cut off the individual right to import, should itself import and distribute on a large scale and according to a definite programme.

In Washington definite plans exist for a Federal Botanic Garden, and land is proposed for this purpose at a suitable location known as the Mount Hamilton Site. By means of this garden it might be possible to grow and send out material otherwise unobtainable in this country.

It should also be possible to benefit through the coöperation proffered by those nations who agree to maintain inspection; and if it seemed inadvisable to entrust the task to men without knowledge of the conditions in this country, representation of the nature of a horticultural consulate might be established where American specialists could prevent loss of time, money, and material to importers in this country by checking the danger at its source.

The immigration policy of the United States has been vastly improved recently through selection abroad rather than at Ellis Island, and the Governments of Great Britain, Holland, France, and Belgium are known to be willing to coöperate in similar action with respect to plant immigrants, giving place and authority to accredited and capable representatives of the Federal Horticultural Board who might be sent abroad for that purpose.

Such coöperation might result, finally, not only in prohibitive measures, but in the apportioning of research work and experimentation to the nation where it could most suitably be carried on, and in the development of a constructive policy. It is surely not too great a thing to ask in a civilized age that the unavoidable interchange between countries shall be productive of growth and ideas, as well as of pests and disease. For, after all, Pandora’s box was opened long ago.

  1. This article is a symposium for which the material was collected and prepared by Stephen F. Hamblin, Director of the Harvard Botanic Garden, and Ann Alderton. The compilers wish to express thanks for their valuable assistance to those authorities quoted in the text, to Mr. John C. Wister (of the American Iris Society and the American Rose Society), and to other experts who have been consulted on the subject.
  2. The term ‘narcissus’ includes all daffodils. Chionodoxas, fritillarias, grape hyacinths, ixias, scillas, snowdrops, and winter aconites will also be excluded.
  3. Because of this complexity and confusion of regulations in the several states, the Federal Horticultural Board found it necessary to call a conference which met in Washington, December 30, 1924, to discuss certain state quarantines that threatened to defy the Federal authority. It was with much difficulty that the entomological authorities of Florida, Georgia, and neighboring states were persuaded to respect the inspection certificates of the Washington Board with regard to the harmlessness of plants shipped with soil about their roots from Northern states.
  4. The Chairman of the Federal Horticultural Board in his justification for the imposition of quarantines insists, for example, that the San José scale costs America a vast sum annually, He ignores the fact that the spraying required to control the introduced pest has accomplished sanitation in orchards so effectively as to increase the quantity and improve the quality of the threatened crops.