In this Issue...
This issue is chock-a-block full of useful information. For example, enclosed with this Nuttery 11/3 mailing you will find a flyer providing basic information for the new nut grower in Eastern Ontario. Also, be sure to note the fall field day announcements, as well as the reports on the past spring field days.
Moving on, in the General News Section, there are reports on a variety of topics starting with a feast of beechnuts. Also, Irene Woolford bring several items to your attention. There are updates on the Model Forest project; the Central Canada Exhibition; Sweet Chestnuts; the Petawawa Library; a request from Don Malbouf; and Heather Apple of the Heritage Seed Program.
In the Eastern Ontario Nut Grower Section, Ted Cormier provides advice on seed collecting; Art Read and Alec Jones have acquired two new instructional videos for the Chapter's Technical Library; and Mary Jane Jones provides information on Hazelnut growing from the literature.
In the Nuttery Marketplace, you will find advertisements from Campberry Farm (Doug Campbell); Source Wood Products (Guy Lefebvre); The Seed Source (Ted Cormier); the Chapter's Cookbook and Grower's Manual; and on Dickson's Tree Farm.
At the end, there is the usual Membership List, the Chapter's Brochure and the Membership Application Form.
Remember... Letters to the editor and articles for publication always welcome.
The Fall Field Day at Dolman Ridge.
This year's fall field day tour will be at the Dolman Ridge by Mer Bleu bog east of Ottawa. See the announcement on page one for time and place. The tour is time to coincide with the ripening of seed. Bring bags to hold seed that you collect. Moe Anderson will lead the tour through the many arboretums planted here in the 1970's when the land belonged to the Canadian Forestry Service. It has since been returned to the National Capital Commission. See Moe's report on the spring field day at this same site in the Chapter Projects Section of this issue of the Nuttery. Also see the Announcements Box for time and place.
See all you avid seed collectors at Dolman Ridge.
Oak Valley Fall Field Day, 1992
All ECSONG members and friends will be warmly welcomed at the Oak Valley site on Saturday, October 24th to help with one or more of the following activities planned for that day:
If weather is hopelessly bad on Saturday, come on Sunday. Try and arrive by 10 AM. Bring a picnic lunch and the kids - and even the neighbours. We can use all the help we can get!
Oak Valley Plantation Committee
Oak Valley Spring Field Day, May 30, 1992
Good weather plus a good turnout of good workers ensured good results. All members of the Committee were on the job together with Alec, Kathleen and Mary Jane Jones, Steve Palmer and daughters - as well as his DR Mower. With this 8 HP walk-behind brush-hog type of machine Steve cleared upwards of an acre of weeds and saplings from among the pines and young nut trees in Section East. A great help!
Weed trees - Josée Brizard and a colleague from the Authority came before others arrived and treated many of the larger stumps of Manitoba maples to discourage regrowth of suckers. Later in the day Ernie Kerr and Ralph McKendry finished felling some dozens of remaining Manitoba maples since they were already going to seed. Limbing, piling and disposal of brush and firewood is still to be done. It will take a few more seasons yet to get rid of these persistent weed trees.
Mulching - Irene Woolford and several others concentrated on bagging and lugging leaves and chips to mulch around young nut trees. Ernie Kerr's ATV and trailer were used to move some of the heavier bags. About 2/3 of the original stock of leaves have now been utilized. Alec Jones removed or loosened the plastic collars and pulled mulch away from contact with trunks of many young trees to reduce risk of fungus invasion during warm weather. This process needs to be carried to completion soon and remaining leaf mulch applied - so if anybody craves out-of-doors exercise, feel free!
Planting/seed nursery - Early in May, George Truscott, Ernie and Ralph had planted out 20 nut trees from commercial nurseries which Ernie had purchased on behalf of the Committee and brought from southern Ontario. These included three (3) each of Carpathian/English Walnut (Hansen), Chinese Chestnut (Layeroka), Heartnut (CW3), Northern Pecan (NC4), Shagbark Hickory (Fox), and Korean nut pine. Mulch applied at the time of planting used many layers of newspaper overlaid with wood chips. All these trees as well as some Horse Chestnuts seemed to be surviving on May 30 but not the American Chestnut seedlings.
These was no above-ground sign of growth from the acorns and black walnuts which George sowed last fall in the squirrel-proof cold frame but the surplus walnuts stored on the surface of the ground and covered by a sheet of old roofing tin showed vigorous roots and shoots - likely having been forced by the hot microclimate beneath the tin. These seeds were left in place covered with about 2" of woodchips to which soil will be added. Inadvertently we may have discovered a new approach to establishing a seedling nursery.
State of the stock - Nearly all the 40 or so black willow wands Ralph planted in April mid-way down the north bank of the river channel were showing signs of life as were many of the chokecherries planted there by Ernie and George. A fast current and scouring by ice during spring runoff will likely limit successful forestation to the upper half of these banks. Two young black walnuts of 2 to 3 foot size were broken off during winter, likely by snowmobiles. Hank carried out some pruning and shaping of young walnuts. Rodent damage to pines and nut trees seemed less than formerly was the case - why? The rabbits had obviously feasted on the branches of Manitoba maples felled last fall, but it was mice that had been blamed for debarking close to the ground. Clearing of the maple saplings may have exposed these rodents to the view of airborne predators - or maybe it's just the nadir of a mouse population cycle. In any event we must keep our guard(s) up!
Inventory and tree-map - This activity is deferred until time and labour permits but should get under way this year and will need to be continuously updated. It is the type of function which should lend itself to computerization (Hank?).
In Summary - Spring field day at Oak Valley involved our crew of ECSONG members in the kind of activities which confer a certain sense of accomplishment - as well as a sense of fatigue. They will get another such opportunity in the Fall.
-Your grateful chair, Ralph McKendry
Baxter Nut Grove Spring Field Day, 5 June 1992
The day began with rain which tapered off by mid-morning. It gradually warmed up during the day. The poor start may have caused the low attendance at the event.
Dave Johnstone and Alec Jones of the BNG Liaison Committee came in at 9:00 a.m. Allan Gillis, Superintendent of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority Workshop met them. Ken Charlton, member of the Chapter, came a little later. No more people came.
The Grove was inspected, with special attention to the younger trees to which some tidying and weeding was given. Dave Johnstone fertilized those trees that needed it with 7-7-7 provided by the RVCA. At Allan Gillis's request we selected a site to recommend for the sign with the new name of the Grove, which he is making.
It was noted that one of the perimeter trees (of the first planting made in the Grove in the Juglans sector) had disappeared. It seemed to have been dug up and removed. The excavation left was about 4 feet wide and about 1½ feet deep in the middle.
Three young Carpathian walnut seedlings were planted at the back of the RVCA nursery plot, for setting out in 1993 or 94, depending on how they developed. They were provided by Alec Jones.
A very generous supply of wood chips had been placed in the Grove by the RVCA at the end of 1991. Allan Gillis, using a front end loader, distributed the chips to those tree groupings that needed them, while the others raked aside old mulch, raked on the new supply and then dressed the whole lot back into shape.
This work was completed by 3 pm - a rate of progress that could not possibly have been achieved without the tractor by four people with wheelbarrows. The programme was terminated at that time. The report on the condition of individual trees was deferred until a later date, as the party were tired.
A pro forma had been devised and reproduced for recording the tree conditions and will be tried out in 3 or 4 weeks time when the trees can be inspected.
Allan Gillis was cordially thanked for the great help to the group and to ECSONG. In return, he expressed his own personal interest in the BNG project and urged that the Committee arrange to provide him with a suitable copy of the detail map of the Grove and its trees. He wished to hang this in the RVCA workshop so that he could use it to brief his staff and summer workers on the BNG project. He felt that this would be a valuable tool for indoctrination and could lead to greater care and attention in their work in the Grove.
A detailed report on the condition of the trees will be issued in due course.
A.C. Jones Secretary, Baxter Nut Grove Liaison Committee
The enclosed flyer was provided at the "Country Garden Horticultural Weekend" sponsored by the Sam Jakes Inn in Merrickville and hosted by Anstace and Larry Esmonde-White. The Esmonde-Whites, who are members of ECSONG, host a gardening program called "From A Country Garden" which is produced by WNPE/WNPI of the US Public Broadcasting System (PBS). The program is seen on PBS across Canada and the US. Nut gardening was a topic of one of their recent episodes. ECSONG provided the expertise for this episode.
The weekend was held mid-June 1992. Hank and Mary Jane Jones gave a talk on Nut Gardening. The flyer was produced as a handout for the participants. It has been enclosed with this mailing because it may answer some of the basic questions asked by new nut growers. Any comments or suggestions for improvement of content or about other uses can be sent to the Nuttery editor.
Letter from Heather Apple
It was a pleasure to talk with you. Finally, I send you the photocopy of the article as promised. Things have been more or less put on hold until I finished the pine nut article, which happily (oh joy, oh great relief!) I finished tonight. It was very interesting learning about Charles Rhora's work in this area. The article should be appearing (if all goes well and they accept it) in the Sept-Oct issue of Harrowsmith.
Thank you again for allowing me to use recipes from your cookbook. I put in the Warm Watercress and Pine Nut Salad and the Pine Nut Soup. I acknowledged the source (ECSONG) in the main body of the article and then gave your address at the end under "Sources", so hopefully they'll print that.
My poor heartnut trees. I moved them from the nursery to the field this spring. At the end of May we had a frost which touched all of them and totally killed the leaves on a few. A couple of days ago we had another frost - this time of year we should not possibly have a frost!!! - but we did. The same thing happened again.
My background is in growing vegetables and flowers. It's really interesting and amazing to start working with trees. The variability is astonishing! The 19 heartnuts I planted out (all originally from seed) ranged in size (at 2 years of age) from just above my knee to over my head. Frost damage also varied considerably. There's one prize tree that is the tallest, healthiest and also has turned out to be the hardiest. I have saved the thorny clippings from my climbing roses and I will tie them to this tree in the fall to hopefully prevent the deer from munching this prodigy. (Hopefully it will turn out to have good nuts too!)
All the best for a wonderful summer.
Editor's Note: With this letter Heather enclosed an article she wrote for the Heritage Seed Program magazine in December 1991. Entitled "Plant Food Bearing Trees!", it urges readers to do just that by emphasizing the many benefits of trees in general, and fruit and nut trees in particular. Heather's article also stressed the importance of preserving old varieties of fruit and nut trees and noted that the Heritage Seed Program is compiling an inventory of all the fruit, berry and nut varieties available from Canadian mail order nurseries. It was anticipated that the Inventory would be completed by the end of 1992. Anyone interested in the Inventory or in the Heritage Seed Program should write to Heather Apple, c/o Heritage Seed Program, RR 3, Uxbridge, Ontario, L9P 1R3.
Beech Nut Fanciers
When cruising on our friends' pontoon boat this summer, in the region of Mont Saint Marie, we came across a grove of Beech Nut trees. The nuts had not yet ripened and we decided to return in the Fall. On a sunny September Saturday, we returned. The lake's water level was high and we found we could anchor the boat right underneath the tree and pick handfuls of beech nuts. Within ten minutes we had picked a bucket full.
We then returned to their lake-front cottage and proceeded to shuck the nuts. With the four of us working continuously for 1½ hours, we removed the soft outer burrs and found small pyramid shaped shells quite hard and light brown in colour. Within each shell a smaller nut, also pyramid shaped, was found. The fruits of our labour lined the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch pan.
The nuts were then sauteed in light olive oil and seasoned salt. WOW! they were quite the delicacy, light tasting but with a rich flavour. Considering the time taken to produce a very light snack, this may only be a yearly event. We agreed that this would be the perfect way to quite smoking and not gain weight.
The Canadian Chestnut Council
The Council, which describes itself as 'on the Chestnut Trail', seeks to learn about sites where the sweet American chestnut is successfully growing. They should know about the trees now fruiting on the Dolman Ridge (see the report of this year's spring field to the area).
The Council publishes a newsletter with important information about chestnuts. For example, chestnut suffering more than 50% in moisture will not germinate. Like many other nuts, seed should be stored in cool moist conditions, for example in a plastic bag with moist peat moss, in the vegetable cooler of the home refrigerator. The newsletter has a blank membership form.
This year's Annual General Meeting will be held on November 5, 1992 at the Horticultural Experimental Station, Simcoe, Ontario.
For more information, call chair Collin McKeen, Nepean 829-8949 or write JC Fisher (SECR/TRES), 1332 Suncrest Road, Kingville, Ont N9Y 3H3.
Nut and Seed Collecting
As Fall approaches, our thoughts turn towards the annual harvest of nuts and seeds. Many factors will influence the quantity and quality of this year's bounty.
Trees have their own cycles governing their annual seed production, the length of which varies from species to species. Butternut, for example, has less bumper crop years than, say, does Black Walnut or Red Oak.
Poor weather conditions during the flowering and pollination period can have an adverse effect on the annual yield. Late frosts can damage flowers and damp conditions hinder tree pollination.
In early summer our eyes should be scanning the trees to forecast the annual crop. Different locations may give us different results. In good years, nut yields may seem to be abundant throughout an entire region. In poor or moderate years, certain areas with particular micro-climates may have heavier yields. These areas can be found in river valleys, perimeters of lakes and streams, environs of cities, and deep sheltered depressions. Once identified, they should be checked on an annual basis.
Another factor to be considered is the amount of insect infestation. All seeds and nuts should be examined for worm holes and cut in half to determine if nut meats are full and insect-free. In the case of acorns, seeds should be placed in buckets of water, with floaters being discarded. Areas that have heavy annual crop yield may have higher levels of insect infestation.
In our current season, I'm happy to report a bumper year for butternut and shagbark hickory, and a moderate year for black walnut, horse chestnut and the oaks. The first frosts and windy days of September should start the nuts falling. A good indicator is to observe the activity of squirrels. Squirrel stashes are a good source of seeds and nuts and the areas they frequent can be a source for hidden treasure. They much prefer butternut and shagbark hickory to other nut species, so you may have to beat them to the punch. I have had success picking nuts from open trees, as well as shaking and flailing branches. Oaks growing in parks and on lawns make collection easier by hand or by raking.
This year I discarded some of my excess nuts in my compost pile and, lo and behold, they flourished in this environment. You could try this method for starting your own stock as it seems to have good results.
Petawawa Library receives our growers manual
Some time back, Alec Jones, the ECSONG librarian, got a request from the Petawawa Village and Township Union Public Library for a copy of "A Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario". This manual was published in 1988 as the Chapter's decennial project. Mark Schaefer, editor, assembled a team including Fil Park, Alec Jones and Hank Jones to help him. The manual is still in print and in demand, making money for our Chapter. See the 'Nuttery Marketplace' section of this issue for more information on the manual.
The Chapter decided that, in the best interests of promoting nut growing locally, and recognizing the tight economic realities of operating a library these days, we should donate a copy. Alec recently received a letter for Jean Risto, the librarian at Petawawa, thanking him and the Chapter for the donation. The library is located at 16 Civic Centre Road in Petawawa, phone (613) 687-2227.
In the last issue of the Nuttery (V.11, #2), we reported on Forestry Canada's upcoming program called the Model Forest Program, aimed at improving forest management across Canada. Several representative forest areas across the country were to be chosen for the program. Eastern Ontario is one of them. In this region, the work has been organized to include a broad cross-section of interested parties to participate in activities. ECSONG's executive has decided we should be involved, and a membership in our name will be taken out. Also, a number of members has joined and are making project proposal to the program which could include are participation. It would ne a good idea if some one or more of our members interested in this work might volunteer to be a clearing house for information to ECSONG through the Nuttery. Anyone interested and able?
Letter from Don Malbouf
Dear Mr. Gardener (Hank Jones),
Would you please share your knowledge of starting Black Walnut trees with me. I have watched your program on Country Garden and tried your recommendations with no avail. I wrote to the program and they referred me to you. I would appreciate your help.
Don Malbouf Box 109 A Rt. #1 Chaumont, N.Y. 13622
The following letter is from the desk of Irene Woolford of Winchester. It is full of ideas for us to consider.
Am enclosing a clipping from Cdn Nature Fedn which will interest you I am sure. I guess we are not the first ones to think ahead and plant Carolinian species in the north. The U. of Guelph's program has been going for 12 years.
(Ed. note: Irene is referring to ECSONG proposal of some years back to create special plantations of southern nut trees on private lands in eastern Ontario. These plantations would be nurtured over many years to produce locally seed pre-adapted to the critically warmer climate predicted due to global climate warming. Our proposal is called the PLASM project for private lands acclimatized seed management. Documentation is available.)
I wonder if MNR could be convinced that Oak Valley would be an excellent growing area for some species? I'm interested in Shellbark hickory and the tulip tree. And a magnolia would be magnificent. After seeing so many in Vancouver and remembering the one which was in MacKenzie King's front yard on Laurier Ave., I'm sure one might survive against the forest part in the western half (of the Oak Valley Plantation.)
Was down at Oak Valley about 2 weekends back (Ed note... end of March '92). The road in from Winchester Springs was washed out. The 'track' down to our gate was impassible by car and water so deep I couldn't walk in at the gate. Didn't see and mouse damage.
8 May - Was given a summary of the Women's Institute lectures/films etc. and came across the following -
1) Slides - John Wilson Agriculture Canada. Landscaping, hints on germination, grafting and fertilization.
2) Ontario Tree Seed Plant, Angus.
These might be worth investigating.
(Ed note... Irene's letter enclosed many articles clipped fro a variety of sources. One of special note is about wildlife/forestry landscaping advice form a company called "Harrison's Back 40". The company prepares practical management plans for ponds, small woodlots and wildlife-habitat enhancement. No property is too big or too small for their expertise. Based in Lindsay, Ontario, Richard Warr and Sheila O'Neal can be reached at (705) 878-1445.)
Hazel Growers' Notes
Though most of the following information comes Mark Schaefer's "A Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario", the rest comes from various other sources.
Cross-breeding has produced frost-hardy, full-fruiting varieties of hazel which will grow in eastern Ontario. The only tree-like species grows here is Corylus colurna, which despite its common name - Turkish hazel - is native to North America.
Three shrub-like species will also grow here. Two are native to North America: C. cornuta, the beaked hazel, and C. americana, the American hazel. The third is the European hazel (C. avellana), a native of Europe and Asia Minor, whose nut is larger and thinner-shelled than the American hazel.
Hazels are wind-pollinated. Male and female flowers grow on the same plant. At least three varieties should be planted to ensure good pollination.
Propagation: Hazels can be propagated by layering, rooted cuttings, stools, and seedlings. Layering is the most popular method. The branches can be bent easily to ground level and pegged down without breaking. It takes two years to produce a well-rooted layered plant.
Location: sheltered site in full sun. The plant is never really dormant, and winter catkins need protection from cold winter temperatures and desiccating winds. A windbreak on the northwest side is desirable.
Soil: Humus, rich, deep loam, pH 6 to 7, well-drained, to a depth of one meter.
Site preparation: orient trench north and south. Remove quack grass and other vegetation.
Planting: Two-meter spacing; prepare good, deep hole; mix in one-half kilogram of bone meal per plant; prune damaged roots; spread roots; plant with crown about 4 cm. below soil level; tamp soil back carefully; mulch with sawdust or wood chips.
Tending: Keep a two-meter wide space weed-free; protect stems with tree guards to prevent rodent damage. Do not fertilize in the first year. Test soil to determine nutrient deficiencies, or use 10-10-10 at one-half kilogram per three cm of tree diameter. Apply fertilizer in the spring; keep it away from stems to avoid burning.
Pruning: Remove dead or damaged stems. (Filbert blight is a threat). The Turkish hazel (Tazel) will grow in tree form if trained to a central stem and kept conical in shape.
Local hazel sources: Pioneer Nursery in Kemptville.
Mary Jane Jones
The Ottawa Ex
In the spring, ECSONG received and invitation to set up a booth in the agricultural section of the Central Canada Exhibition which runs annually at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. The Ex, as it is known locally, runs about ten days for about 12 hours a day. It usually receives around 750,000 visitors. The ECSONG executive was taken with the idea of getting to see so many people, but logistics seemed formidable for our organization. There was some discussion about the possibility of local nut growers manning the booth, but the cost of providing enough handout information sheets was daunting. It was decided that we were not ready this year. However, it may be in our near future, possibly in 1993. We asked for an invitation in the coming years.
If any members would like to take on the job of organizing an exhibit on this scale, starting now setting up a committee to carry out the project, call Hank Jones, Chair in Ottawa 731-5237.
New Videos for the ECSONG Technical Library
Art Read, Treasurer, has purchased two more videos about nut growing on the recommendation of the ECSONG Librarian, Alec Jones. All materials in the library can be borrowed by members.
The videos come from the University of Guelph. Quoting from the videotape descriptions provided by the University:
"Establishing a Nut Grove"... 60 minutes. Demonstrates establishment of a nut grove on appropriate sites, using different techniques for a selection of species - Persian walnut, heart nut, northen hickory, sweet chestnut and hazel. Features exclusive footage of trees in the nursery, followed by field management from bloom to harvest.
"Grafting Nut Trees"... 33 minutes. OMAF Nut Crop Advisor Kohn Gardener demonstrates the commonly used cleft-, whip-, and bark-graft methods, using cleft tools, chizzle (sic), tree wax and double bags for protection.
This section of land (385 ha) on which the field trip took place was purchased by the Federal Government, Canadian Forestry Service (CFS) from the National Capital Commission, (NCC) in 1967 and named the "Central Research Forest" (CRF), which was to bring forth the initiative to provide public education, interpretation and research studies etc.
However, 12 years later in the spring of 1979, the Federal Government gave up the area to NCC and aborted all the established and developed arboretum and plantation complexes, making this area idle again within the NCC Ottawa Greenbelt Enclave.
Since I was transferred from the Greenbelt in Ottawa to the Forestry Institute near Chalk River in the spring of 1979, I lost contact with the old CRF. I was however fortunate to become a member of SONG in the late 1970's, and only a few years ago introduced SONG to the established nut species in the CRF. My interest for a renewed development of the various nut species has rekindled my interest to all the 63 established tree species growing throughout.
The group visited the various nut tree sites, as follows:
COMPARTMENT 4-14P The Anderson Road Arboretum (at the NCC. public parking lot) Species Planting Amount Planted Survivals 92 Year Black Cherry 1976 20 16 Black Walnut 1976 9 7 Bitternut Hickory 1976 21 20 Bur Oak 1976 3 2 Horse Chestnut 1976 2 1 Shagbark Hickory 1976 21 20 Sweet Chestnut 1976 11 8 White Oak 1976 2 0 Black Spruce 1976 ? 2
We were pretty well all in favour of having the area cleaned up by removing tree species not part of the arboretum, to prune off the lower branched and to find a method of identifying each tree. New maps are being made to show the location of the surviving trees. Since all the nut trees are having a life span of 14 to 20 years, they are all producing fruits.
Without doubt the sweet chestnut trees were the greatest attraction and concern to everyone. We know one tree is producing a good amount of nuts and a few were found germinating on the ground. This is the only chestnut species native to Canada. The horse chestnut is not native to North America, and not a true chestnut. The sweet chestnut is edible and sweet tasting, whereas, the horse chestnut is quite bitter like the bitternut hickory. But I understand that by using a special treatment the bitter taste can be removed.
It is very unfortunate that the chestnuts in North America are practically wiped out by the chestnut blight, a fungus introduced to this continent from Asia. To this effect, it is of crucial importance to monitor closely such a disease, and hopefully it won't reach this area.
It is observed, that a few trees exposed to too much sun became damaged by sun scald to the bark, and frost damage to the stems. It must be stressed that in this area the chestnut is far beyond its natural southern range, and initially many seedlings were killed by frost in the seed-bed, and as transplanted seedlings.
The other nut trees, except for the black cherry, appeared to be without damage, and with good stem forms. The cherry trees seems to develop poorly. Most of the trees are suppressed by inferior tree species.
Hank Jones was busy photographing throughout the trip.
COMPARTMENT 4 -7 8 9 10 11 12 & 17P The Anderson Road Plantations (on the escarpment north of the arboretum) Species Planting Amount Planted Survivals 92 Year Bur Oak 1974 204 202 * " " 1973/74 275 238 * " " 1977 34 28 Red Oak 1973 239 231 * " " 1974 262 234 * " " 1974 11 8 * White Oak 1974 243 180 * * Figures from 1976 survey.
This is mainly an oak area stretching from the creek to across from the entrance to Dolman Ridge Road. The red oak stand is doing well, but the gray birch and hybrids between this species and the white birch are very vigorous in the plantation, but the oak was able to outgrow the birch, because it is somehow suitable to the site. The stem form moderate to fair and growing well.
The bur oak is growing very well, because the site is favourable for its development. However, the stands need thinning and pruning of the lower dead branches. Pruning is necessary for all the tree species throughout.
The white oak is, due to too high a water table and poor drainage, growing very slowly. A lowering of the water table by ditch drainage should improve the growth. The gray birch and its hybrids are further greatly suppressing the trees.
Plastic guards protected the stems from severe meadow vole damage throughout. All the white oaks growing in the various locations originated from a common stand (compare other information on this species below).
COMPARTMENT 2 -6 7 & 8P Anderson Road Plantations (below the base of the north escarpment)
The plantations in this area runs in a westerly direction along the base of the northern escarpment and the creek.
Species Planting Amount Planted Survivals 92 Year Bur Oak 1973 452 371 Red Oak 1974 443 53 White Oak 1976 530 28
The white oak plantation borders the ditch on Anderson road, the creek and the dirt road, with each plantation progressing west from the road. The white oak planted on this site were not suited to the soil and moisture conditions, or even to the climate in this region. The parent stock originated on a quartzite rock outcrop with a meagre soil and an excellent drainage with periods of drought conditions in an area near Morton Ontario. This site is somewhat flooded in the spring with sandy-clay soils. The large meadow vole population, and a heavy grass cover, virtually wiped out all the trees. Only a small group of 24 mature trees are left on the highest elevation near the dirt road and 4 more scattered throughout the plantation. Hundreds of trees keep suckering from the root collar of the dead stems, which are no more than 1 m tall.
The red oak plantation is located west of the white oak. This species like many others had to pass through an extensive weed and rodent control, especially in the valley areas where agricultural crops and weeds flourish better than forestry crops.
The bur oak is more than any other species the best suited for the area, and has the best survival rate. This plantation is situated just west of the red oak. All three oak species are growing on a gentle slope towards the creek, but the drainage and flooded conditions are less of a problem on the bur and red oak sites. The stem forms are quite good. Typically of the oak species they produce multiple shoots from the root collar, when damaged. A sort of a survival mechanism.
Due to the rodent damage it was strictly necessary to apply plastic guards around the base of each tree for the winter, and to remove them for the growing season. If the guards are left on the trees throughout the summer some damage to the bark and stem can occur and even kill the weaker trees.
Compartment 2-9P (on west boundary near the old city dump) Species Planting Amount Planted Survivals 92 Year Butternut 1978 306 154
The butternut plantation is located on the top edge of the north-west escarpment. Many seedlings died due to severe weed competition, soil and drainage problems. There might not have been a rodent problem. Most trees have poor stem-form and poor growth.
COMPARTMENT 7-1P Borthwick Ridge Road Plantation (on the south escarpment) Species Planting Amount Planted Survival 92 Year Black Walnut 1978 281 226
This black walnut plantation is located along the road. SONG members have kept a close eye on the trees and pruned off the lower branches during the past few years, but much more pruning is necessary. The trees have produced fruits for the past few years.
The survival of the trees have been good, especially due to the protection of the stems with guards, but the cold climate is suppressing the development somewhat, mainly by being beyond its natural southern range. The 226 trees left include all living trees, even so, they may be quite small, and some trees have been lost due to some kind of construction by NCC.
COMPARTMENT 8-5P Dolman Ridge Road Arboretum
This Arboretum can be seen from the road, as an opening in the poplar stand. To get to the site it is necessary to pass through the gate by permission from NCC. The area is closed off by a steel fence for a distance along this road and Anderson Road.
Species Planting Amount Planted Survivals 92 Year Black Walnut 1977 20 Butternut 1977 8
This area proved to be a failure for these two nut species, but a good area for the Ponderosa and the red pine. The soil is too sandy and dry on that specific knoll or site.
COMPARTMENT 8-4P Dolman Ridge Arboretum On the same location, but directly behind the above arboretum are the following species: Species Planting Amount Planted Survivals 92 Year Black Cherry 1977 28 Black Walnut 1977 19 Bitternut Hickory 1977 2 Butternut 1977 15 Horse Chestnut 1977 1 Kentucky Coffee-Tree 1977 8 White Oak 1977 1
Only within 10 to 20 m of each other C-4P is at a lower elevation with better moisture conditions and a more loamy soil and better protection from sun and wind compared to C-5P. This is a very good demonstration on sites between the two above locations for nut trees. To compare stunted and poor growth in C-5P to good growth in C-4P.
Furthermore, Mark Schaefer lead the group to a dead end way beyond the west end of Borthwick Ridge Road to a Korean pine plantation, possibly planted 10 years ago and planted by the Ministry of Natural Resources. This is a nut pine producing large cones with edible seeds.
Much is planned for the future maintenance of the above mentioned nut trees on the old CRF sites. It is my duty to get out as much information, as possible. The most urgent is to produce up to date maps of the above tree locations and survival rates by 1992. Incidentally, I found it convenient to use the old method of identifying the various sites by adding Compartment and Plantation numbers to the report from the original master map.
We had a good turnout, and a fine day.
Dickson's tree farm
Bill Dickson, founding member of ECSONG, is selling his tree farm near Macdonald's Corners in Lanark County. It has a 4-bedroom frame house dating from c. 1843, thoroughly renovated with all modern conveniences, and over a 1000-ft. frontage on the Mississippi River. It has 110 acres, divided into 35 acres natural forest, 40 acres reforested 1968-71, 20 acres cleared, and 15 acres pond, creek, marsh, and all manner of wildlife. Bill has introduced many non-native shrubs and trees, many of them nut trees including several species of oak; English, black, Japanese and Carpathian walnuts; butternuts; hazelnuts; Russian olives, catalpas, several species of pines, and others.
The agent is Brian Cavanaugh, REMAX, Perth, Ont.
Seed Price List - Fall 1992
The Seed Source Reforestation & Wildlife & Ornamentals Ted Cormier RR # 2 Oxford Mills, Ont K0G 1S0 Phone (613) 258-2570 Species Price/kilo cleaned seed Black Walnut$5.00 Butternut$7.50 Yellow Buckeye$6.00 Red & Bur Oak$6.00 Horse Chestnut$5.00 Shagbark Hickory$10.00 Black Locust$7.50 (pods) Plus postage, handling and appropriate taxes
Provided by ECSONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.