In this Issue...
The Fall Field Day '91
This year, the Fall Field Day will be held on Saturday, 28 September, 1991, starting at 10:30 AM. We will go to two places. The first stop, and the place where we will all meet, is the Black Walnut grove just a few minutes south of Chesterville on Highway 43. This plantation was established a number of years ago, so we will be able to see the expected growth of Black Walnut in this region in a rural setting. Mark Schaefer will be telling us some of the history of the site, and answering questions about nut growing in general. The usual seed and stock exchange will be set up, so bring along any materials you would like to trade. We will be meeting at 10:30 AM, and we will remain in this area over lunch. After lunch, we will move on to the Oak Valley Plantation to see the progress being made there, and to participate in some of the activities. The site will be open to all to examine with an eye to its future development. Your comments, views, advice and counsel will be welcome. The Oak Valley Plantation Committee will host this segment of the field day. The OVPC Chair is Ralph McKendry and the Secretary is Irene Woolford. Ernie Kerr has made maps of the site, and would be pleased go over them with you, and get your comments. Also, there are a number of large hackberries nearby, in case you have not seen this species before.
Susan Cooper reports from the news front
Susan has sent in some interesting news items to share with us. The first is an ad clipped from a newspaper for a nutcracker, based on the compound lever, strong enough for black walnuts and the like. The device is manufactured by Black Rock Repair, 858 Pumping Station Road, Kirkwood, Pennsylvania 17536. It sells for $24 US plus shipping and handling.
Susan also brings to our attention an article in the Ontario Farmer (Eastern Edition) Vol 19 No 13, Tuesday, April 30, 1991 on the front page. It is about a group recently formed called the Roadside Heritage Trees Society. The society plans to restore the roadside trees in Wellington County by raising and transplanting its own stock of native trees suited to the soil and climate. The aim to preserve the ecological and aesthetic features of the roadsides. If you would like to follow up, possibly with nut trees on the roadsides of eastern Ontario in mind, the society can be reached at RR #6, Guelph, Ont. N1H 6J3.
Further, Susan notes another front page article in the same paper, this time Vol 19 No 3 Tuesday, February 19, 1991, entitled 'The Chestnut Makes a Comeback'. The article is about Dr Colin McKeen, a retired Agriculture Canada researcher, and his efforts to bring back the sweet American chestnut from the abyss of the blight that has almost eliminated this once-common giant from the North American landscape. McKeen formed the Canadian Chestnut Council in 1988 to spearhead the recovery using specimens that seem to show some blight resistance. (ED note: some American chestnut planted by Moe Anderson some 16 years ago along Anderson Road near Ottawa appear to be thriving). If this gets you excited, Colin can be reached at 3 Keppler Crescent in Nepean, at 829 8949.
Thanks for the news, Susan, keep it coming!
Wondering about the Siberian connection?
Alec Jones sends this report... The Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee has accepted the responsibility of handling the Siberian Connection, the seed exchange project between ECSONG and our contact in Siberia, Mr Koshelev.
The Arboretum received a letter, dated 1 April 88, from a Mr Konstantin Ivanovitch Koshelev of 40 Let Octyabrya, 30-38 Abakan, 662600 USSR. It stated that he was developing a nut tree seed nursery in that region and would like to exchange seeds with our region, because of the climatic similarity. He was particularly interested in species of the genera Carya, Juglans, Quercus, Corylus and Fagus.
The Curator turned the question of supply over to SONG, which started to form a collection of seeds that might be sent. Meanwhile, the Curator replied to Mr. Koshelev and solicited more information on his plans. He received from Mr. K. a list of the species planned to be grown at Abakan although none were yet planted. Mr K. was still working on creating the nursery facility and he related some of the difficulties he was facing. These seemed to be mainly bureaucratic obstruction, as implied rather clearly in his letter of 17 Aug 89.
On 11 Jan 90 the Curator wrote to Mr. K. informing him of the despatch of a parcel of seeds collected by SONG (black walnut, butternut, bur oak, honey locust and ginkgo) and special labels with instructions on how to ship Russian seeds to us. The letter also contained a list of six species we would like to receive from him.
We received a shipment of seed from Abakan, comprising Juglans regia (from Kiev in Ukraine), and Juglans manchurica, (half from Barnaul and half from Gorno Altaysk, both from the same province as Abakan). A number of samples of these have been issued to SONG members for testing. More are available on call.
Meanwhile the Eastern Chapter of SONG voted a complimentary membership to Mr. K. and notified him by letter dated 12 May 90. He was also sent the Chapter's manual on nut growing on 12 Jul 1990 and was put on the distribution list for the Nuttery. In the letter of 12 Jul 90, reference was made to Koshelev's scientific papers on plant introduction and selection and copies were requested. No reply has yet been received.
Shortly thereafter the package sent to Koshelev on 11 Jan 90 was returned to the Arboretum by the Moscow Post Office marked 'Entry Refused'. The Curator wrote to Mr. K. reporting the return of our shipment and asked for instructions on how to ensure safe delivery. No reply has been received yet.
On 31 May 91, I wrote on behalf of ECSONG requesting replies to outstanding letters and comments or ideas on how to achieve a better exchange. No reply has been received yet.
As you can see, we are having some difficulty. Can you help? If so, please call Alec at Ottawa 828-6459.
For nature photographers interested in nut trees
One of the main projects of the Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee (DALC) (Alec Jones, Chair: Ian McCrae, Secretary) is to develop a photograph collection of the nut trees in the Arboretum in Ottawa. Darryl Abbinett is the chief photographer for this project. He has already spent hundreds of hours on site experimenting with various techniques, including some new and original ones, to capture the highest quality images of buds, twigs, leaves, flowers, nuts, bark, habit and so on of each species and specimen. Based on the results of the experiment, a multi-year program will be designed to complete, and to provide for future upgrading, this collection. Many uses for the photos are foreseen. For ECSONG, the photos can be used as technical or artistic illustrations for publications, exhibits, speeches, workshops, and on and on. For the Arboretum, good pix can often be traded with nurseries publishing their illustrated catalogues for specimens of the stock they are selling, so that the Arboretum can thus increase its collections of nut trees species and cultivars. Also, the photo series for a given specimen could be used to confirm its identification immediately, instead of the botanists having to wait for the right season to observe the specimen when the definitive feature is present, eg, the buds or leaves or flowers, etc. Likely, the Chapter and the Arboretum could earn cash from the collection from time to time.
If you would like to talk to Darryl about this project, and try some of this tricky photography yourself, he would be pleased to hear from you at Ottawa 725-2715.
Several reports from Oak Valley
First from Irene Woolford, Secretary of the Oak Valley Plantation Committee: A quick note to tell members I was awarded a Shell Environmental Fund grant of $764. to help get leaves recycled from my village down to the Oak Valley Plantation! Yippee!!! I applied Mar 22nd & heard back about July 15th & had one phone call about it from Calgary as they wanted more details. I am delighted.
Does anyone have information on the DRTM Field & Brush Mower. Before I purchase I want to make sure it is a good one. You must order direct from the US factory & I'd like a demonstration.
Oak Valley is thriving if one is to judge by the wild parsnip which is only 36" tall due to the dryness this year. Trees look good, but I have not ventured into the field except by car with the windows closed. Found a gab of garbage dumped on the road allowance. A sign of the times as it now costs something to take it to the dump.
Dropped in to the town office here to ask when they thought a feature article on the plantation would be most appropriate - now, or later when the leaves are falling. Newspaper coverage is required by Shell.
Also was sent an article about a company who market Dandelion products - in 16 oz tins - "Belle of Maine". Also have recipes. Vineland NJ calls itself the Dandelion Capital of the World but the article also spoke about the Wells family who have been in the business 90 years. I've sent for info.: W.S. Wells & Son, High St., Box 109, Wilton, Maine 14294, U.S.A.
Yesterday on CBC morning show (radio) I heard an interview with Phillip Fry who is restoring an old overfarmed field. He has either 11 or 15 acres - some of which is sand dunes. Cedar has moved in. What he is trying to do is restore it to an "original forest", with Biodiversity. It has been idle land since 1930. He has created a pond & it has fish in it without restocking - ducks bring fish eggs in on their feet & feathers & bills. He's also brought in Cardinal flowers & all sorts of other plants including cactus for the desert - which blooms & multiplies! Thru the forest he's cleared out underbrush & created stone pathways & he's growing Trilliums & all sorts of plans which he gives away. His "lawn" is simply natural grasses never cut & he hopes it will be a natural grassland like that of the Prairies. Apparently he teaches Art at Ottawa U. May he'd be worth a visit for SONG members?
Sad news- I was given two streamside plants by Mr Fry & took them to Oak Valley & put them in the stream bed which is now a trickle! I don't like what the conservation authority have done to this river. It's unnatural. The hard clay on the banks would never support those plants so I dug a hole in the shallows, put the plants down & surrounded it with clay soil.
Good news- Josée Brizard also got a grant to hire students & may be able to get them to work on cutting out the brush. They have a chipper too & so I may get some help after all.
Ernie Kerr has now surveyed and mapped the area. He is looking for advice on how to discourage visitors bringing in vehicles that can travel over the plantings... if you have any advice, call Ernie as soon as possible.
Editor's note... Since Irene's report came in, the Oak Valley Plantation Committee has been official inaugurated. The Chair is Ralph McKendry; Irene is Secretary; and Ernie Kerr and George Truscott are members; Hank Jones is ECSONG representative pro temp; and Josée Brizard is the South Nation River Conservation Authority (SNRCA) representative. This committee is on the move! It is working on the plantation long range, 30-year plan, called 'Vision 20/20'. It already has received grants totalling $1000 to work on the plantation. Official signs are going up. Raised seed beds are being designed. Any ECSONG members can join: others can join by invitation. Just call Ralph or Irene to get your name on the list, and see the Fall Field '91 Announcement for an opportunity to this project for yourself.
From Heather Apple , Past-Vice-President SONG, R.R. 3, Uxbridge, Ontario L9P 1R3
I'm delighted to hear that the Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee project is going ahead. I was interested and excited to hear what you already have growing at the Farm. I had no idea the collection was as extensive as it is. Being so new to nut growing, I don't know what to suggest about additions. Perhaps you could send your list to Doug Campbell (RR 1, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., L0S 1J0) to get further suggestions. If you want to start planting named cultivars of different species, then the only nursery I know of which supplies these is Ernie Grimo's (RR 3, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. L0S 1J0). Have you ever communicated with the Arboretum at Guelph to see what they have?
I can fill you in on the SONG AGM at Ridgetown this year. Ridgetown has a great interest in agroforestry and the potential of commercial nut growing. As part of the meeting, we were taken on a tour of one of the three sites where Ridgetown has a co-operative study project with area farmers. Nut trees have been planted out in plots and have been intercropped with corn and soybeans and wheat. The next day I visited the other two sites. The growing situations are (1) high, dry, sand land; (2) sandy loam; (3) river bottom land. The nut trees in (1) got off to a slow start but this year (3rd year) were finally establishing themselves. Ridgetown is doing precise measurements with respect to the nut trees and the intercrops, but the preliminary results suggest the experiment is a success.
At the AGM I announced that I was retiring as vice-president. I'm so busy with the Heritage Seed Program that I just can't devote the time or the energy to SONG that I'd like to. I'm happy to say that Chris Nanni, who is a professor at Ridgetown College, and is behind the agroforestry and the nut program, volunteered to be Vice-President.
I am still active in promoting nut growing (writing and doing radio shows and a CNE exhibit about it), but just not as the Vice-President of SONG. The HSP, as part of its larger project of the Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory, is actively involved in promoting nut growing and preserving cultivars, so I hope that we can keep in touch still.
I'm sorry that the ECSONG article still hasn't been published in the SONG newsletter yet. I handed it in (along with two of my own and one of Ken Weston's) back in February, but the newsletter has not seen the light of day yet - beyond my control. But hopefully it will be coming soon. Many are off at the Oregon Northern Nut Growers meeting (I couldn't go due to CNE commitments). All the best with your projects. Please keep in touch.
Nut Industry Development Committee (NIDC)
Guy Lefebvre has submitted some ideas, including a sample format, for collecting and recording information from local growers, buyers, and suppliers about nut tree products of all descriptions in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. ECSONG members interested in participating in this project could collect such information in their areas. Guy recommends that the name, address and phone number of candidates be recorded, and their category of service/product noted (Guy suggests categories including seed company, nursery equipment, nursery, lumber buyer, lumber sales, tree cutting, sawmill sales and service, sawmill jobber, food store, wood workers, craftspeople, grower, nut processor, veneer processor, dye processor, forestry office, agroforestry office, book store, etc.)(include your own address as well). As the information base grows, it would be published, first in the Nuttery to get to members quickly, then eventually in a catalogue for wide distribution.
Guy has accepted responsibility for this project. The information collected would be sent to Guy for compilation. Ideas and information about possible entries should be sent to him at the following address: NIDC, c/o Source Wood Products, P.O.Box 476, Cornwall, Ontario, K6H 5T2. Anyone wishing to participate in the NIDC and this project should contact Guy as soon as possible. A meeting of the NIDC will then be arranged.
Six of the 11 American Chestnut seeds Guy got from Art Read at the last AGM have taken well. He is hopeful that they will survive until spring, when he plans to transplant them.
He has provided ECSONG with a sample of the "Tree Pro" tree shelter (it is in the Nuttery Office) which he says can be easily opened for tree maintenance. Its price, durability and effectiveness aren't yet known. Guy already sells the 'Tubex' tree guards, as well as Black Walnut seedlings (and several other species).
He has also donated a copy of the magazine "The Nut Grower" from California to the ECSONG Library.
Other news from Guy: 1.) due to lack of funds, no contract was awarded for thinning the black walnut plantation at the Chesterville Park. Bids ranged from $950 to $2500; and 2.) Doug Campbell of Campberry Farm has agreed to make a presentation at the next AGM, March 21, 1992.
Alec Jones reports on Nut Tree Plantings in the Greenbelt
The following review arose from activities related to the Baxter Nut Grove. The Grove was founded, to a considerable degree, on material provided by Forestry Canada during the time of transfer of their Laboratories from the Limerick area to Petawawa. Much of the nut work at Limerick was done by Mr. Moe Anderson. He was transferred to Petawawa and the nut programme was discontinued. Mr. John Dunfield, Head of the Limerick establishment, took retirement at the time of the transfer but before leaving made arrangements for ECSONG to receive some of the abandoned nursery stock, which went to Baxter, and programme documentation, which is in our files. A number of plantings had been made from the nursery at the Labs during the years prior to the transfer. Much of this work had been carried out by Mr. Anderson who still has his notes on those experiments. When Forestry Canada left the decision was made to leave those plantings undisturbed. Thus they passed into the possession of the National Capital Commission. So far as I know they have received no special attention since, except that on one occasion Mark Schaefer and Irmi Underwood cleaned up the larger black walnut plantation. Since moving to Petawawa Mr. Anderson has had no official work on nut trees, but as an active member of ECSONG has kept up his interest and experiments. On May 4, 1991, he came to Baxter to help in the Field Day work. In the afternoon, he asked me to go with him to check out as many of the plantings as we could in the Limerick area. We would report on their condition and assess their potential as Demonstration plots. The results of our inspection are summarized in the appendix hereto. We concluded that further attention should be given to using these plantings to the public interest in demonstrating the possibilities of growing nut trees in this region. I arranged to review with Mr. Anderson the notes he had and the documentation SONG had received from Mr. Dunfield. The purpose would be to compile a map which would cover all of the sites we could find.
Nut Plantings in the Greenbelt Sites visited on 4 May 1991
1. Black Walnut Plantation. Located beside No. 4839 Ridge Rd., occupied by Mr. Richard Chagnon of the Weather Service of Environment Canada (ph. 733-2775). It is kept mowed by Mr. Chagnon to protect the amenities of his own lot. Most of the trees have survived but need pruning in the worst way. According to the Chagnons the trees are producing nuts but the squirrels get most of them first.
2. Oak Plantings. Located on Anderson Rd. facing Dolman Rd., occupying several hundred yards of the fence line. The northern portion consists of extremely healthy and well-grown red oaks. The southern part, of white oaks produced from seed from Morton, Ont., is not so well developed. The trees are little more than half the height of the red oaks. They look as though they are suffering from too high a water table.
3. Butternut Planting. Located somewhere behind the bush fronted by the oaks mentioned above. We did not reach it as the dirt road to it was closed off.
4. Mixed Planting. Located on Anderson Rd opposite entrance to Geomagnetic Station of EMR. A small area alongside public parking lot. Appears to be quite undisturbed. Contains successfully developing specimens of American chestnut, black cherry, shagbark hickory, red spruce and birch, all planted by Mr. Anderson about 16 years ago.
5. Mixed Planting. Located on Dolman Rd., N. side, along a 400 yd. stretch from Anderson Rd. intersection. Contains red pine, ponderosa pine, black walnut, Kentucky coffee trees, cork trees, horse chestnuts, Douglas fir, all planted by Mr. Anderson, and growing with various degrees of success.
6. Shagbark Hickory. Located at site of Forestry Canada's Trailer Park on Dolman Rd., since abandoned. A scattering of individual trees sited for landscaping. Mostly well-grown and healthy trees.
Editor's note... This extensive planting, now some 10 to 20 years old, is irreplaceable! A ready made history and demonstration of local nut growing just tailored to ECSONG's goals! Mark Schaefer, ECSONG Vice-chair, plans to work with Moe to complete the mappings, mark the trees and make arrangements with the NCC (and hopefully the RVCA) to clear the vegetation surrounding the specimens, releasing them for faster and healthier growth. If you want to join this project, call Mark, Moe, Alec or Cliff Craig of the RVCA.
Provided by ECSONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.