What nut trees will grow in my locality?
This is the question which is most frequently posed to the Society of Ontario Nut Growers. SONG is responding in this issue with the roost comprehensive report available in Ontario of what species of nut trees will produce in northern latitudes. Moreover, many varietal descriptions are given to make it easier for prospective growers to select sources of nursery stock. Both the private homeowner and the commercial orchardist have much to gain by growing the best available nut trees. In these times of unprecedented scarcities in food materials and equally rampant inflation SONG bears good news to a world which desparately needs new sources of high protein food supplies.
Value of Nuts
The nutritive value of nuts was highly esteemed by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg who stated: "Nuts are the choicest of all substances capable of sustaining life".
Dr. Kellogg gained a world-wide reputation for his founding of the Health Centre at Battle Creek, Michigan. Among other things the Centre specialized in the healthful and restorative values of various food substances. Also, Dr. Kellogg had a equally well known brother ... Walter Kellogg, the gent who invented the corn flake. It is clear that both had very keen interests in food products.
Nuts may be regarded as the seeds of certain trees and these seeds contain all the necessary elements for the regeneration of life and also for the maintenance of sound, healthy tissues in man. They are an exceptionally clean food coming in sealed shells free from decay, waste products and parasites. Their high protein content is superior to that of cereals, eggs, milk and even meat. Yale University research showed that nut proteins are of high biological value fully adequate to maintain life and growth.
Nut trees send their roots deep into the earth so that they can absorb valuable minerals, while the fruit on their high branches receive abundant sunshine. They are especially rich in iron and calcium. Pecans, close relatives of the hickories, are high in phosphorus, potasium and magnesium. Hazelnuts, chestnuts ,' walnuts , pecans and almonds have about 2% times as much iron as fruit, 3 times that of vegetables, more than cereals and average meat. Nuts are more than twice as rich in blood-building material as meat and very well supplied with bone-building elements which are lacking in meat.
Vitamins A and B are plentifully supplied by English (Persian) walnuts, pecans, chestnuts, almonds, pine nuts, filberts, hazelnuts and hickory nuts. Most raw nuts are rich in polyunsaturated oils, finely divided so that they form emulsions making them digestible and more easily assimilated by the digestive organs. (Roasting makes nuts harder to digest).
In starch and sugar nuts are fairly high and most nuts are high in energy values. Two ounces of pecan kernels equal a pound of lean beef in the production of energy. Nuts produce more substantial food value per acre than any other crop.
Birds and squirrels are avid nut eaters. Horses are fond of acorns and pecans and pigs make hogs of themselves on hickory nuts. It is believed that some of the ancient Britons enjoyed good health up to ages of 120 years or more and they lived to a considerable extent on the harvests of sweet acorns.
Nuts should be a part of everyone's diet.
Plant Lots and Lots and Lots of Nuts
Nut growing in Ontario has tremendous promise. However, so far it has flourished only in the southernmost parts of the province. Does this mean that we have discovered the northern limits of nut growing in Ontario? Not so! There is as much variability in nut trees as there is in human beings. Each person is a distinctly unique entity. Some have great tolerance for pain or cold while others are quite frail or anemic. So do all trees differ one from another in their characteristics. Even seedlings from the same parent will show great variation in growth and hardiness.
Research stations in Canada have demonstrated through breeding programs that varieties can be developed that will live up to the test of regional differences. Apricots will produce on the prairies. The tender peach is no longer so delicate that it will grow only in the Niagara Fruit Belt. Nut trees have not had the research attention that has made other crops flourish and therefore it will take time before complete information is available. The breeding and development of tree crops is long, tedious, expensive work for research stations. This leaves SONG members with the important task of carrying on the research. Is the task impossible? No! Let's mention J. II. Gellatly and Carl Weschcke as two private citizens who were giants in nut growing and who have through their own efforts added new cultivars and hybrids suited to their areas where formerly it was thought that they would not grow.
I throw out the challenge. Do heartnuts grow and ripen in Orillia? Filberts in Timmins? Persion walnuts in Peterborough? There is only one way to really find out. Get seed from the best trees nearest you, preferably from your own or an adjacent hardiness zone. Plant nursery rows of hundreds, even thousands of seed. Protect them the first winter and then let nature begin the culling. Of those that survive, select those that show no splitting of bark or die back and root out the others which show insufficient vigor and hardiness. Further selection will be necessary after bearing begins.
A good reference on the subject is Carl Weschcke's book "Growing Nut Trees in the North". Here is a Minnesota nut grower who managed to do some marvellous things with nut trees. It is recommended reading for all Canadian nut growers where hardiness is an important factor. It is available at the Royal Botanical Gardens Library in Hamilton on loan or if you wish to purchase, write to: Mr. G. L. Helms, R.R.#1, Box 242, Hellertown, Pennsylvania, 18055, and send $3.95 U.S. for the book which includes packing and postage.
In his work with hybridizing filberts Weschcke wrote after pollinating one thousand seeds: "The nuts sprouted well, providing 700 plants. These 700 were transplanted after growing two years in the nursery bed. 665 of these survived to bear nuts...that was in 1942.
I continue to hybridize thousands more and establish other test orchards in different parts of the farm. Even today twenty-five years later, 1 am keeping this work up in order to constantly improve the varieties. The work is tedious, painstaking, but the reward is great."
Although there is great promise for tremendous advancement in nut growing through additional trial plantings^ much information is already available. Refer to the many detailed listings of superior varieties further on in this news bulletin.
Second Annual Meeting
SONG's second annual meeting, held at Vineland H.R.I.O, was a fine success. Held on August 17, 1974, instead of the end of July, it was planned to give distant members a chance to take in two meetings in one trip. Thus our SONG meeting was followed by the NNGA meeting on the next four following days. Not only did we attract a few distant SONG members to that meeting, but a number of early arriving NNGA members, including the President, Dr. Allan R. Beck from Ames, Iowa. After a tour of the H.R.I.O. nut orchard, we returned to the assembly hall where displays were viewed and the business meeting followed. Several important motions were passed. We gratefully accepted the set of NNGA annual reports donated by Harvey F. Stoke of Roanoke, Virginia, and placed them in the Royal Botanical Gardens Library for membership use. As a token of our appreciation for this most generous gift, we created a new classification of membership, that of Honorary Life Member and enstated Harvey F. Stoke as our first recipient. It was also decided to send a token of our appreciation in the form of an original carving, a beaver, carved in Canadian black walnut.
The election of officers followed and was completed very quickly with the slate remaining unchanged.
SONG Hosts 220 Nut Growers
The Northern Nut Growers Association came to Brock University at St. Catharines, Ontario, for its sixty-fifth annual meeting, August 18 - 21, 1974. SONG members were in charge of the arrangements and program. The four day affair was judged a fine success by all attending. The last day was a bus tour visiting the nut planting of the H.R.I.O. at Vineland, secondly, Horace Troup's farm, and finally, the beautiful Niagara Parks Horticultural School grounds. While the men sat in session, the ladies toured the Niagara Area, visited Old Niagara-on~the-Lake arid held hobby meetings of their own. The high point of the meeting was the banquet at the end of the sessions. A fine evening was rounded off with some good old-time square dancing.
The fall meeting, one of our best attended ever, was held at the H.R.I.O. in Vineland October 19, 1974. Good displays of hickories, persian walnuts and black walnuts were shown, traded, sold and distributed in the brisk meeting.
In the short business meeting Don Kernohan was appointed SONG Historian, We hope to be able to keep an album of photographs of SONG members' activities. If you have pictures of interest, send them in to Don. If you have old pictures of Rev. Crath, G. Corsan, A, Troup or Prof. Nielson, let us know about them.
Discussion centred around the need for sources of nut trees. As this bulletin shows, some members are making special efforts to provide some nursery grown trees. Further discussion established the need for speakers on nut growing. Doug Campbell and Ernie Grimo volunteered to serve in this capacity.
With some daylight hours left, we moved our meeting to Horace Troup's farm where we viewed hickory trees with crops just ready for shaking down and Thomas black walnuts with crops so heavy that the limbs were nearly touching the ground.
Enough interest was shown to have a spring grafting meeting. Watch for your next notice for time and place.
SONG'S first honorary life member, Harvey F. Stoke, a veteran member of the Northern Nut Growers Association, will long be remembered for his generosity to our Association through the donation of his complete set of NNGA Annuals. Every member of SONG now has access to the experience arid knowledge they contain simply by writing to, or visiting, the Royal Botanical Gardens Library in Hamilton, Ontario.
During the past forty-five years or more, Harvey Stoke has made many notable contributions to nut growing, as witnessed by the numerous articles he wrote in the Annuals. He served well on many NNGA Committees as well as the Presidency. He also contributed Chapter Six, "Pruning", in the Handbook of Nojrth American Nut Trees. One glance at his work will reveal the concise, easy-flowing style that is characteristic of his writing.
Not only was he an expert on many nut tree topics, he was a master at propagation and grafting. His interest and keen observational skills led him to many experimental frontiers. He was responsible for pioneering the greenwood budding technique that has proven so successful on hard-to-graft trees such as walnuts. His article in the 1962 Annual, called Immediate Greenwood Grafting, stimulated others to investigate the technique and it is now proving to be a very useful method for Canadian conditions.
Harvey Stoke offered SONG the Annuals, no strings attached. His only concern was that the set should be given where it will serve the most good -- and he chose SONG
Harvey Stoke, we thank you. We shall use the set wisely with the hope that it will help to conquer new frontiers in nut growing.
Harvesting Black Walnuts
We have had numerous requests from people who have crops of black walnuts and don't know what to do with them. Walnuts should be gathered as soon as the crop drops. Heartnuts and butternuts may be similarly handled. Remove the hulls promptly. Rubber gloves prevent staining of hands from the juices. Wash off the pulp, this can be done in a wheelbarrow with a hose or in a wire mesh container. Float the nuts in your wheelbarrow. Remove the floating duds. Lay out the nuts to dry no more than two or three deep. After drying they may be stored in a cool place until used. Most nuts, properly stored, will keep at least one year.
If you wish to plant seed, you may ignore the hulling and washing and simply plant the nut as soon as harvested. If you wish to hold until spring, they must be stratified over winter. Stratification is a cold damp treatment that triggers a chemical change in the nut allowing it to germinate. Nuts may be stored in damp peat moss in cans or plastic bags in the crisper of a refrigerator or by sinking wire containers containing layers of sand and nuts in the ground outdoors. In the early spring they are planted in the nursery row and are capable of germinating in response to warming weather conditions.
Experiences with Carpathian Walnuts
I became interested in walnuts back in the 1940's. My Father had purchased a walnut tree from Hulls Nursery in St. Catharines back in 1928. The source of the tree is unknown but it could be an early introduction of Rev, Craths from the Carpathian region of Poland.
The tree bears good crops nearly every year and has produced up to 175 lbs (in 1972) of dried nuts (in the shell). The nut is thin shelled, medium sized and has a good flavour. This year and in 1967 are the only years the tree has failed to produce a reasonable crop (3# in 1967 and 5# this year). Since records have been kept (beginning in 1952) the crop has ranged from over 30# per year. Its normal habit has been to bear a crop of over 100# one year and over 50# the following year. The nuts are born mainly in clusters of 2's and 3's with some singles and clusters of 4 nuts.
The tree appears to be self pollinating. Most of the catkins have fallen before the pistilate flowers are receptive to the pollen, however the tree in most years has a few catkins which bear pollen that overlaps the receptive period of the pistilate flowers. The majority of seedlings grown from nuts come relatively close to the parent tree in size of nut and quality. No seedling is exactly like its parent tree thus there is always the possibility of getting a dud and also one which will exceed the parent tree. The tree has not been named but I have indentified it as Tree "HW1" for record purposes.
Another tree that has interested me is one that I grew from seed planted in 1956 and planted in location in 1958. It bore its first nuts in 1964. Each year I was able to keep records (up to 1969) it increased its crop with 17 being harvested in 1969. The tree is located in an area with an abundance of wild life. It was difficult to estimate the crop after that as I moved from the location. The nut is of excellent flavour, relatively large size and smooth shell. The shell is harder than I would like it to be. Nuts are born mainly in 2's with some ones and threes. It is more subject to damage by Walnut blight than the HW1 tree. For my records I have numbered the tree "W2".
The W2 tree is not self pollinating as the pistillate flowers are past the receptive stage by the time the catkins shed their pollen. The seedling trees from this tree can thus be quite variable, This year I have had 2 seedling trees bear nuts. One tree had large sized nuts and the second medium sized. Both were of high quality with thin shells, however, I don't know yet how well the trees will bear. The nuts appear to have been pollinated by the HW1 tree,
I had a number of other trees planted and bearing (total of 16). Trees grown from nuts obtained from one source were all of poor quality. Some of the trees were not winter hardy in our location. Had my experience been based on these trees, I would have been discouraged with the prospects of ever being able to produce a commercial crop of "English" type walnuts. As it is, I am enthused with the prospects. At present I have approximately 60 seedling walnuts mainly from the HW1 and W2 trees. I also have approximately 34 black walnuts planted out that I intend to top work to "English" walnuts. On my place I only have one named variety (Hansen). I intend to plant two or three other varieties (Broadview, Metcalf) just for comparison purposes.
In the Niagara Peninsula we cannot tell how hardy any of the trees are as we are not subjected to
extremely cold weather. The HW1 tree in the late 30's was subjected to -14°F without
The W2 tree has only been subjected to -8°F.
G. R. Hambleton, R.R.#2, Cone. 6, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. LOS UO
Records Are Important
One aspect of nut growing and development which does not receive the treatment It deserves is the keeping of complete records of your activities.
Lack of records makes it impossible to transfer complete imformation from one person to another. By not recording information, progress that could have been made is sometimes lost for many years. Also many mistakes are repeated by the same individual and others. Much time is also lost by duplication of efforts.
Today it is very easy and inexpensive to keep a complete continuous record of your activities.
The hardest part occurs once and is the setting up of your scheme and then drawing it up. This requires the choice of a proper scale (1" = 20' or 40' is a good working size). Divide your property up so that it can be put on sheets 8 1/2" x 11". Now mark it up in similar fashion to that shown in Figure 1. Mark the tree, locations, and all permanent information in ink. Tree identification and other nonpermanent information should be printed in pencil. Once you have all the existing information on your map, take it to the post office library or any place that has self service copiers. Obtain a print for each section of your property. Punch 3 holes down the left side and place in a 3 ring binder.
On the print mark across the top "1974 Changes In Red". Any changes you make in 1974 should be marked on the map in red - trees that died, or are planted, etc. If the tree bore nuts for the first time, a notation in green, or another colour would record the fact.
At the end of the year take the print and change the original to conform to the planting at the end of the year. File the 1974 print in your book. Take your revised original to the printing machine and get another print. Mark across the top "1975 Changes in Red" and carry on your 1974 procedure.
The back of the print can be used to record pertinent information on your crop size, weather, spray schedule, fertilizer, etc.
With the above you can obtain a complete running
record of yourachievements and you will not have to
trust a faulty memory.
Also with the sheets filed in sequence by years, it is very easy to check up on any tree and obtain
its performance record.
G. R. Hambleton, R.R.#2, Conc. 6, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. LOS 1JO
Chestnuts From Seed
|Pick Nuts as Burs Split||September 20-October 20|
|Bag and store in insulated plastic bags adding enough dry peat to separate nuts||September 20-October 20|
|(Not cured as for eating) Refrigerate at close to 32 °F||September 20-March 15|
|Soak in water at close to 32 F (Daily rinsing away the brown water)||March 15 -March 21|
|Plant 3 cm. into your most sandy, least organic soil||March 21|
|Broadcast Simazine||May 20|
|Broadcast Urea||May 30|
|Broadcast Urea||June 30|
|Broadcast Simazine||August 5|
|Apply 4 cm Gravel Mulch||October 30|
Carpathian Walnuts From Seed
|Pick up nuts||September 30-October 20|
|Remove any husks||September 30-October 20|
|Spread out in a cool airy place to dry (Cured as for eating)||September 30-October 30|
|Store in rodent proof containers in a cool dry place (enclosed porch)||October 10-March 15|
|Soak in water at close to 32°F (Daily rinsing away the brown water)||March 15-March 25|
|Plant in well drained soil||March 25|
|Broadcast Simazine||May 20|
|Broadcast Urea||May 30|
|Broadcast Urea||June 30|
|Broadcast Simazine||August 5|
Commentary on Chestnut Planting Instructions
Because chestnut seed is very susceptable to fungi, its care and planting take special effort. If walnuts are stored for eating, and later one decides to plant a portion, they may be brought out of their dormant state and planted. The trick is to soak them in chilled fresh water until their meats are swollen and plant while the ground is still cold and wet. With chestnuts this is not possible. There is a whole succession of tricks needed to keep fungi from destroying chestnuts. They could be planted crisp in the late Fall and some would come up the next Spring. However, these planting instructions are to provide maximum germination and growth.
Pick nuts as burs split. If the weather is warm and moist at harvest time, the nuts may start to get moldy. Although chestnuts with moldy outer shells will germinate and grow as long as they are stored in a crisp condition, the mold is not desirable. If there is any crack or bite thru the shell, this mold will destroy a improperly stored nut. Usually all the nuts are viable when the first nuts split. Picking is advisable when these first nuts split because squirrels are soonafter hard at work taking all the nuts they can get.
Bag and store in insulated plastic bags, adding enough peat (moss) to separate (the) nuts. Store them away at maximum crispness the same day they are gathered. Air dry peat will condense moisture. The peat's function is to transport the condensed moisture away from the nuts and store moisture as a source of vapor which maintain a one hundred percent humidity in the bag. To keep this high humidity from condensing, the plastic bag should be enclosed in other paper bags for insulation.
Do not cure planting chestnuts as for eating. If you have purchased chestnuts in the store, you have probably gotten nuts which have lost twenty-five percent of their moisture. They are spongy, not crisp, when squeezed or chewed. This water loss has caused some starches in the nuts to change over to sugar. Crisp nuts may be astringent. Later, with the loss of water, they become sweet like sweet corn. Under this dehydrated condition they can remain mold free. Continued dehydration will bring them to a hard condition at which time they can be milled into flour. This process is not reversible. After too much dehydration, the addition of water usually initiates molds on the kernal. If you have bought eating nuts, and wish to plant them, they should be crisp. Soft nuts can be stored away with a damper peat mixture; half the peat is air dry and the other half is wetted and rung out. Expect deminished germination from spongy nuts.
Refrigerate at close to 32°F (0C). Temperatures in the mid and upper thirties will hold crisp chestnuts at high humidity in good condition for more than a year. The reason for going to a low thirties temperature is to keep the nuts in damp peat areas from growing.
Soak in water at close to 32°F (0C). Water is a growth stimulant for seed and mold. For chestnuts soaking is to be done in very cold water to make the nuts swell without allowing mold to grow. Drawing off the brown water flushes away mold and, perhaps, growth inhibitors. But more important, fresh water supplies high concentrations of dissolved oxygen needed in the seeds growing process. This same high oxygen water oxidizes the microbes.
Plant 3cm into your most sandy, least organic soil. Soil which has been manured or is near a leach (weeping) field is high in microbes which attack young chestnut roots. A Three year wait is to be expected before planting chestnuts in manured ground. Chestnuts are seldom found growing in dark soil. The microbes and high water table associated with dark soil are assumed to eliminate the chestnuts.
Plant as early in the Spring as the soil heats to above freezing. The roots from Fall planted chestnut seed grow thru the Winter. Early planting will approach this natural situation. A straw layer should then be applied to insulate the ground, keeping it cool and moist. The cool ground will keep the chestnut stems from emerging until frosts are no longer a problem. When stems start to emerge, remove the straw or the strawwill encourage mold and mice.
Apply a 4cm gravel mulch. A soil high in silt will saturate and frost heave. Hopefully a gravel
mulch will insulate the silty soil and allow only one cycle of freezing per winter. Chinese
chestnut are prone to frost heaving. They can be replanted in the Spring, but the heaving process
injures them and reduces their vigor. Also gravel mulches are recommended to discourage rodent
burrowing. Mice are fond of chewing on chestnut roots and the gravel falling in on them is said
to keep them out.
John Gordon , 1385 Campbell Boulevard, North Tonawanda, New York. 14120
Nuts for the North
It has been proven beyond any shadow of doubt that one of the most valuable of crops, nuts, can be grown far into the northern latitudes. People such as Reverend Crath, George Corsan, Professor Nielson, Alex Troup and currently Horace Troup, the Gellatly family and Levi Housser have shown by example that nut crops can thrive in Ontario. Many of the trees which they have tried as seedlings or introduced varieties have proven to have merit under Ontario conditions. These trees and seedlings from same, should be highly prized by future nut growers.
Also there have been many superior nut trees identified in the nearby, northern United States. Through the several State Nutgrower organizations and the NNGA there has been built up a vast store of knowledge and collect ions of superior varieties for each species of nut tree. Many of the Northern States have climates which are equally severe as that of many parts of Ontario. It was of considerable interest to your editor that this Fall there were areas, as far South as Missouri which had growing seasons shorter than that of Southern Ontario -- shorter by as much as 19 days -- and they had pecan crops which ripened in Missouri and even as far north as Iowa although some of the later varieties were scorched by the early frosts. Many of the superior Northern varieties should be regarded as interesting trial introductions for Ontario. The seedlings from this latter group give unlimited potential for improvement of Ontario nut tree crops.
The most often expressed frustrations of the Ontario Nut Grower are :
(a) Where is a centralized source of information about nut trees?
(b) Where can I get highly desirable selections of nursery stock?
In the following pages you will find descriptions of many of the more promising types of nut trees and also in this issue there are descriptions of how and where you can obtain nursery stock.
Nut samples were evaluated according to varietal descriptions and the growing localities are stated for reference to climatic considerations. In each category the varieties are ranked in order of decreasing size of kernel---You might say the "heart of the matter". The per cent kernel is also a highly Important factor and relates as well to "shell thickness". The number of nuts per pound gives an overall idea of the relative size of the nuts in the shell. Flavour and crackabllity are both rated on an arbitrary scale from 0 to 4 with 4 being the highest score awarded. Roughly speaking a "4" indicates excellence whereas a "0" indicates worthlessness.
The Shagbark Hickories
Shagbark hickories in the wild often remind me of the expression "Here today, gone tomorrow!". There was one tree in particular in the fall of 1973 and it had a fair crop on it when I visited about the third week in September. The nuts were just about ready to fall. I pondered about climbing the tree to shake loose the goodies but then I thought that I should leave it awhile and let the nut kernels fill up with every possible bit of nutrient which nature could provide--and besides I could also return in due course. Well you guessed it! By the time 1 returned to the tree the goodies were gone and the squirrels left a number of chewed up shells as proof of their picnic. In general the shagbarks produced a bit on the lean side in 1973 as was the case with many of the nut species. The competition with the wildlife was intense. The following is a partial list of the more reliable shagbark hickories.
Shagbark Hickory 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|Goheen||Franklin Co. PA||146||41.3||60.5||1||3|
|Glover*||Franklin Co. PA||149||44.2||65.6||3||3|
|Abundance||Franklin Co. PA||189||35.3||66.6||3||3|
Land of Giants
Most of my expeditionary time searching for better nut trees is spent in the wild woodlots in quest of new, superior seedlings which have been unavailable in the commercial trade. When searches of this kind are undertaken, one should be prepared to find that many of the native, wild nut trees bear very inferior crops of nuts for one reason or another. It is for this reason that it is such an exciting experience to take a.guided tour through one of the many cultivated nut orchards. I had such an experience in the fall of 1972 when I visited several private orchards of black walnuts in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. Instead of counting myself lucky to view one good tree per day of searching, each tree observed was a "cracker-jack"! The challenge here was to be able to record in the mind or in my notebook the many superior characteristics of the trees which I was viewing in so short a span of time...just click-click-click and that was it. After the tours I was haunted by such thoughts as..."if I could only go back to such-and-so to check this point or that characteristic... and how healthy was the foliage on... compared to...? In addition to observing the many qualities of black walnuts produced it was most gratifying to see the wide selection of grafting techniques employed. It is indeed a humbling experience to see a single tree into which twenty-five different varieties have been top-worked by grafting selected scions into the crown limbs.
The following table gives a selection of the many black walnuts which were observed. For comparative purposes a description of a seedling black walnut is included which your editor discovered "in the wild" in the fall of 1971. Also, the samples of Stambough and Ohio, both from Lucas County, Ohio, were from the 1971 season.
Black Walnuts 1972 Season (see note above)
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|Farrington||Greene Co. IN||71.5||27.7||19.8||3|
|Stambough||Lucas Co. OH||73.3||25.6||18.8|
|Clermon t||Greene Co.IN||75.6||36.2||27.4||2|
|Shenandoah||Greene Co. IN||78.0||32.8||25.6||2|
|Sol||Greene Co. IN||89.0||23.3||20.8||2|
|Stabler-D||Greene Co. IN||89.5||32.0||28.7||3|
|Ohio||Greene Co. IN||90. 3||29.5||26.8||2|
|Ohio||Lucas Co. OH||101||30.4||30.5|
|Stabler-S||Greene Co. IN||185||22.0||40.7||2|
Black Walnuts 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|Thomas||Franklin Co. PA||92.5||22.6||20.9||2||3|
|73JN2||Kent Co. ON||111||23.0||26.1||3||2|
|Elmer Meyer||Franklin Co. PA||146||25.4||37.2||1||3|
The Burns Black Walnut
Several years ago Charles Burns discovered a superior black walnut which was growing along one of his line fences. The nuts produced by the tree have several unusual features. The nuts are relatively easy to crack and the kernel content is competitive with most of the better named varieties. It is encouraging to see Canadian trees being identified as worthy of Introduction as named cultivars. The following table gives a record of the Burns black walnut tree over a period of three years.
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|1970||Kent Co. ON||145||34.4||49.8||2||3|
|1971||Kent Co. ON||126||34.2||43.0||2||3|
|1972||Kent Co. ON||154||29.5||45.4||2||3|
The Shellbark Hickories
Some of the literature on hickories might lead the casual observer to conclude that the shellbark hickories are the poor, country cousins of the hickory family. For example, several of the hickory contests of Pennsylvania have featured a first prize for the shagbark hickory category of $25.00 whereas the first prize for the shellbark category was $5.00. When you investigate the matter, it turns out that the appreciation of the nut tree species is a very personal thing. You will find that several influential parties in the Stateside Nut Growers' organizations have been shagbark enthusiasts and there has been a great deal of promotion of shagbark varieties. So what is the case for the shellbark hickory? The better shellbark hickories generally compare with their counterparts in the shagbark category as follows:
It is quite understandable that shellbark hickories are so popular with so many growers in established hickory growing areas like Pennsylvania. 1 would not be surprised if there have been more selections of shellbark hickory which have been advanced to named status than most of the northern species of nut trees. You might draw a very similar comparison of shellbark hickories with the comedian combo of Laurel and Hardy about whom it was often said, "Nobody liked them...except the people!".
Shellbark Hickories 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|Stevens||Franklin Co. PA||73.2||26.6||19.4||3||3|
|Henry||Adams Co. PA||78.4||26.8||20.9||2||2|
|Keystone||Franklin Co. PA||81.0||39.4||31.9||3||3|
|Bradley||Franklin Co. PA||92.8||28.5||26.4||2||3|
|Stauffer||Franklin Co. PA||111||31.3||34.6||3||1|
|Fayette||Franklin Co. PA||111||34.4||38.2||2||3|
|Hoffeditz||Adam Co. PA||129||27.1||35,2||2||2|
|CES-1||Kent Co. ON||130||32= 2||41.8||4||2|
|73CL1||Kent Co. ON||142||26.0||37.9||3||3|
|73CL2||Lambton Co. ON||181||23.4||42.6||2||3|
|CES-6||Lambton Co. ON||222||24.1||53.4||3||2|
|CES-2||Lambton Co. ON||262||19. 7||51.6||3||2|
Many readers will probably look at this article and say..."What in the world is a heartnut?" The heartnut is indeed rather well named. The nut looks very much like a three dimensional valetine heart. The species was first discovered and identified in Japan by Franz von Siebold a botanical explorer of considerable reputation. The heartnut has an "anchor-shaped" kernel similar to the butternut and the flavour of the heartnut reminds me of something about half way between a black walnut and a chestnut. The trees are extremely vigorous and healthy in their growth. It is not unusual for a 10 year old tree to grow to a height of 25 feet from seed and to start bearing at 4 - 6 years of age. The foliage is very dense and almost tropical in appearance. Older specimens are especially picturesque because of the spreading habit of the branches.
The Heartnuts 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|Brock||Adams Co. PA||168||34.2||57.5||2||4|
|Canoka||Adams Co. PA||193||31.3||60.5||2||3|
|Wright||Adams Co. PA||197||28.4||56.0||1||1|
|Rhodes||Adams Co. PA||238||29.6||71.0||2||3|
|Etter||Adams Co. PA||252||34.0||85.5||3||4|
The Hazels and Filberts
The hazels/filberts are another group of nut trees or perhaps better described as bushes, which are most promising for most Ontario conditions. The hazel which is a North American native is probably somewhat more hardy than the filbert which is an introduction from Europe. Hazels have been observed growing satisfactorily in areas such as Thunder Bay, Algonquin Park and Ottawa as just a few examples. Also, hazel-filbert hybrids have been developed for Minnesota conditions where temperatures reach 40-50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. These hybrids have been competitive with the pure filbert strain in both size of nuts, yields and eating quality. Most of the hazel/filberts are precoccious bearers and will start producing nuts on 3-5 year old bushes. The bushes tend toward an ultimate height of about 20 feet and therefore make an excellent choice for border hedging of property lines. Many of the seedling hazel/filberts available in the nursery trade today are actually,, hybrids of the two strains. Therefore, it can be expected that a reasonable percentage of most collections of seedlings will have adequate hardiness. The hybrids are often referred to as hazelberts. Named varieties of hazels/filberts are in very short supply commercially with the usual choices being varieties such as Barcelona Duehilly, Cosford, Medium Long and Italian Red.
Hazels/Filberts 1972 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
Hazels/Filberts 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
To date all of the currently available varieties of hican have been selected from stands of wild seedlings. Very little deliberate scientific research has been done on this hybrid. It has been found that hican rootstock produces a faster growing hickory than hickory grafted on roots of its own species. Also, your editor has been requested to supply pollen of some of the superior, short season, northern hickories to advance hybridization experiments in the nearby Northern States. It is fascinating to realize that the resultant nuts produced by cross-pollination would have a cost of $1.00 to $5.00 per nut!
The hican hybrids represent by far the best prospect for producing in the more northern latitudes, nuts which are ever so similar to pecans.
The Hicans 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|Burlington||Franklin Co. PA||119||41.3||49.4||3||3|
|McAlister||Franklin Co. PA||126||23.6||29. 8||1||3|
|Burton||Franklin Co. PA||133||47.9||64.0||4||3|
|Burton||Greene Co. IN||182||43.8||79.5||3||3|
|Henke||Adams Co. PA||252||48.6||123||2||3|
|Ettercan||Franklin Co. PA||348||34.2||119||2||3|
The Persian Walnuts
The Persian walnuts (sometimes called English walnuts) are one of the most promising species for Ontario. Although it is not generally understood, certain strains of the Persian walnuts will survive and produce in most of the inhabited parts of Ontario, The nuts can ripen in a relatively short growing season. Certain of the varieties will survive temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. The eating qualities of the northern Persian walnuts are so similar to the popular California brand (some say better) that little elaboration is required. Please note that the sample of TES-105 in the table immediately following is from the 1971 season
Persian Walnuts 1972 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|TES-105||Warren Co. IL||64.3||52.0||33.4||2|
|Somers *||Adams Co. PA||60.5||56.0||33.8||3||3|
|73JR1||Adams Co. PA||62,2||40.6||25.2||3||3|
|Lake||Adams Co. PA||63.5||53.0||33,6||3||3|
|Ward||Monroe Co. NY||73-2||50.5||36.9||2||3|
Persian Walnuts 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|73JR3||Niagara Region||79. 7||42.5||33.9||2||3|
|Br oadview||Niagara Region||81.0||44.1||35.8||2||3|
|73JR5||Kent Co. ON||90. 7||44.6||40.5||2||3|
|73JR4||Waterloo Co. ON||90. 8||42.8||38.8||3||3|
|Man sen||Adams Co. PA||101||58.5||58.9||3||4|
|Metcalfe||Monroe Co. NY||105||49,5||52.0||3||3|
Curiosity prompted your editor to do some analyses on samples of Scarlet Oak acorns. The acorns are not edible from the human point of view but the squirrels certainly do like them. It would seem that in. the kernel percentage department, that the Scarlet Oaks have the honours by a wide margin.
Scarlet Oaks 1973 Season
|% Kernel||Nuts per|
|Scarlet 3||Niagara Region||413||68.8||284||0||4|
|Scarlet 2||Niagara Region||478||59.4||284||0||4|
|Scarlet 1||Niagara Region||504||60.0||302||0||4|
Some General Observations
Your editor has spent several fall seasons in the last few years roving through the Northern Nut
Growing areas searching for superior nut tree specimens. Many trees have been located which
would appear to have much to offer under Ontario conditions because of characteristics of:
(1) Early ripening of nuts.
(2) Superior productivity.
(3) Demonstrated hardiness.
(4) Superior quality of nuts.
Many very worthwhile experimental trials of nut trees have been tried by a number of nut growers. Unfortunately the results of many of these experiments have not been adequately published and therefore the public at large has not been able to benefit from what is already known. A good example of this type of communications gap concerns the Northern Pecan. Some growers have been able to achieve modest levels of pecan production from trial plantings of seedlings as far north as the northern latitude of Chicago. Many of the Northern varieties of pecan produce nuts which are far higher in quality and much thinner shelled than those normally available in the commercial trade. Still the notion persists in many quarters that the pecan is limited to southern climates only. I have been following the pecan developments in the Northern States rather closely during the last few years and also have some of the earliest ripening cultivars planted at my residence. It is anticipated that there will be something worth publishing from these experiments in the near future.
Also I've been growing small quantities of seedlings from many of the other superior strains of
nut trees which have been mentioned in this summary ..."Nut Trees for the North" Growers who
are interested in obtaining more information about the Nursery stock produced from the sources
described in this article, are invited to write to the undersigned.
R. D. Campbell, R.R.#1, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON LOS UO.
Messages to the Editor
Corwin Davis has sent to me a number of paw-paw
seeds in response to my recent order. I have in my possession now more seed than I can use and
would be glad to send a few seeds to other SONG members at their request. Those who are
interested are invited to write the undersigned.
Charles Rhora Wainfleet, Ontario
We have just moved our family to St. Catharines,
Ontario. My wife has often told me of her childhood neighbours the Gellatlys of Westbank, B.C.,
and their orchard of nut trees We look forward to growing some hickories and persimmons.
Edward James 13 Fairington Crescent 'St. Catharines, Ontario
I am looking forward to learning much more about nut trees. Nut trees would seem to be an
excellent prospect for use on some of the marginal land on our property.
Mrs. Nancy Albright Hillside Ranch R.R.#2, Mattawa ON
The wild American chestnuts are doing well and I hope to have a good crop this fall. For the last
two years the chestnut burrs have all been blanks... this situation is quite unusual for my trees.
Chestnut trees will probably do quite well for those who have sandy, fairly well-drained soil.
Mr. J. D. Tinline R.R.#3 Thamesville ON
Please send us some information on how to grow walnuts, acorns and chestnuts. We have
recently purchased property at Sauble Beach and we wish to plant some of these trees so that
we can appreciate them in the next 15-20 years.
J. Henderson 21 Ben Lomond Place Hamilton, Ontario
Please may we receive an article from you on the growing of nut trees for woodlot improvement
programs so that we can publish same in the Ontario Conservation Council's Bulletin?
Mr. Clive E. Goodwin Conservation Council of Ontario 6th Floor, 45 Charles Street East Toronto, Ontario. M4Y 1S2
Editor: The Executive of SONG is most pleased to respond to the above request and has already done so.
The NNGA conference at St. Catharines Ontario August 18 - 21, 1974, was a memorable
experience for me. I learned more about growing nut trees in two days than I had been able to
gather in 10 years of reading on the subject.
Mr. Ross Hatch Amherstburg, Ontario
I had fairly good luck with my bench grafting of
Carpathian walnuts this keep the temperature of days after the graft is of callusing. Also, do as
the wounds may bleed
last spring. It is very necessary to the grafted trees at 80~85 F for several placed in order to get
proper initiation not keep the roots of the trees too damp exces s ively.
I found that It is necessary to give the grafted trees some protection from drying out and from
strong winds during the first summer.
In addition to providing superior trees for my own
plantings I hope to be able to supply the market with a few
grafted trees and seedlings in future years.
Mr. G. Fernald Monraouth, Illinois
The big hickory produced a substantial number of kingnuts this year. In spite of the late spring
frosts (May 7th) and early fall frosts (as early as September 14th) it did appear to be a fairly good
crop year both for the big tree as well as many of the other shellbark hickories in the river bottom
areas. Our family had several enjoyable outings from about the last week in August into late
September and each time we returned with a considerable harvest of nuts. It is my intention to
expand this search in the northern direction, particularly around the Memphis, Missouri area
where I know some contacts. As the better kingnuts are identified, I will plant for seedling
production to supply the retail trade.
Mr. W. Totten Alexis, Illinois
Provided by SONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.