The Nuttery : Volume 13 Number 4 1994

In this Issue...

There are three meeting announcements in this issue, the main one being the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Chapter (see the box below). We are grateful again to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority for allowing us to use their superb McManus Interpretive Centre in the Baxter Conservation Area for the meeting. Note that at the AGM, business is conducted in the morning and technical presentations are made in the afternoon. A long lunch enables attendees to mingle, see exhibits and tour the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove that is nearby. Also announced are two spring field days, and three workshops: one on forest genetics in an article in Chapter Projects about the Forest Gene Conservation Association; another on year-round benefits trees; and the third on Urban Forestry.

In Chapter Projects, there are articles about the Nut Tree Culture Workshop seeking photos therefrom, on the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove, on the Lanark Project, on the Dolman Ridge Project, on the Forest Gene Conservation Association, the Nut Tree Culture Project, and a report on the just-past Winter Meeting from George Truscott ECSONG Secretary.

In General News, read about the Alcon Nut Huller, about a contest to discover superior nut trees in eastern Ontario, about the national survey on nut harvest, information and machinery needs, and about FERIC.

In the Nut Grower section, there are articles on a forthcoming Landowner Resource Centre note on nut growing basics, on the Aylmer Shagbarks, on Climate Warming, on Stratification Data, on an important nut product, and lastly, on nut meats.

Spring Field Days Coming Up

As usual, spring field days are planned for the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove and the Oak Valley Plantation. These all-day (usually 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM) field days are an opportunity for all of us to gain hands-on experience in nut tree and shrub management, from site preparation, to planting, to tending. They also sometimes provide surplus stock that participants can take home. Bring you own lunch, refreshments and any tools such as shovels, wheelbarrows, pruners, etc.

This year, the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove Spring Field Day will be held on the first Saturday of May, specifically May 6, 1995. This nut grove is located in the Baxter Conservation Area just south of Kars, Ontario. For more information, call Cliff Craig, Chair FRP Nut Grove Liaison Committee, at the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority in Manotick at 692-3571.

The Oak Valley Plantation Spring Field Day for 1995 will be held on the second Saturday of May coming, i.e. May 13, 1995. This nut grove is located in Oak Valley about five kilometres west of Winchester Springs, Ontario. For more information, call Ralph McKendry, Chair Oak Valley Plantation Committee, and Chair ECSONG.

The next issue of the Nuttery will have more information about these two spring field days. Also, you will have a chance to talk to Cliff and Ralph at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of ECSONG on Saturday, March 18, 1995.

ECSONG Winter Meeting January 25, 1995

This meeting held at The Citizen building on Baxter Road was attended by over 40 members. The chair, Ralph McKendry, first requested updates from the following project leaders: Alec Jones re Fillmore Park Grove; Steve Palmer re Dolman Ridge; Len Collett re Lanark project tied in with Youth Service Bureau; Ralph re Oak Valley and Hank Jones re the very successful nut culture Workshop held at Kemptville College last fall.

The Chair announced the dates and locales of some forthcoming events: Oak Valley committee meeting on Feb. 8th at 1200h at Mike's restaurant on Highway 31; Executive Committee on Feb. 15 at 7.30 PM at 50 Lynwood Avenue; and ECSONG's Annual General Meeting on March 18th at 1030 at the McManus Interpretive Centre in the Baxter Conservation Area. Art Read, Treasurer, reported a bank balance of $725. Hank Jones gave a progress report on the machine built by son Mark to de-hull nuts such as black walnuts. This model -on display at the meeting - has proven effective enough to encourage the development and production of a Mark II version.

The theme of the meeting related to selection of suitable seed nuts and provisions for their propagation. Bob Scally dealt with stratification technique, rodent controls and prudent use of such herbicides as Roundup and Simazine considered necessary for effective control of competition from weeds and grasses. Ted Cormier shared his experience and expertise in seed harvesting, selecting and testing for germination prospects by immersion in water and by cracking a representative sampling. At intermission Ted supplemented his remarks with a fine display and offering of seeds.

Once again Kathleen Jones had organized the "coffee and cakes" -the latter particularly appreciated since they incorporated nut meats of local origin.

George Truscott used 35mm slides to illustrate certain points learned from rather extensive efforts to establish nut trees (and pine nurse trees) at White Lake. He foils squirrels by covering newly planted nuts with tin cans or a wire mesh cage. Though there are now hundreds of walnuts from seedlings to moderate size trees, the labours expended have been little short of Herculean since he has been loathe to resort to herbicides.

Ernie Kerr described how to start horse chestnuts and beech nuts indoors in pots. Stratified nuts are soaked in water a week before planting in planting mixture - beechnuts pointed end down. Don't start too early or plants will wilt before weather is mild enough to permit hardening outdoors.

Ted wrapped up with a brief review of various activities prompted by the mounting threat posed by butternut canker; plans for the Eastern Nut Culture Project in 1995 - including a demonstration/workshop on planting techniques, probably in conjunction with the Spring Field Day at Oak Valley; a meeting in Wisconsin on cold hardiness in nut plants; and the prospects for success in raising Northern Pecans in this area, etc.

Meeting adjourned at 9.50 PM Report based on the nearly legible notes of the Secretary, George Truscott

Climate Warming

Ref. The Greenhouse Trap, F Lyman. Beacon Press, Boston

"Greenhouse effect" is a term coined over 100 years ago by Jean Fourier to describe the process of climate warming as a consequence of increases of certain gases in the atmosphere.

By 1896, when the industrial revolution was well under way, a Swedish chemist, S Arrhenius, expressed concern about the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from burning of fossil fuels. He calculated that if atmospheric C02 increased by 50%, earth's mean temperature would rise about 9 degrees F. Modern sensing devices on earth and in space and computers to crunch the numbers yield current estimates that are only slightly lower, i.e., 5 - 8 degrees.

In fact, C02 did increased some 25% in the past century, with 40% of this increase occurring in the past 10 years. However, we now know that C02 constitutes only half of the greenhouse gases which include methane (18%), nitrous oxide 6%, ozone 12% and CFCs 15%. But CFCs have become notorious because molecule-for-molecule they exert 20,000 times the heat trapping power of C02 - and furthermore they persist at least 15 years in the atmosphere.

So even if C02 did not increase and no further CFCs were produced it is estimated that climate warming of some 3 to 5 degrees F will occur over the next few decades. This will move the boundary between Carolinian and boreal forests a substantial distance northward and may do this too rapidly for some tree species to adapt.

As one writer put it, "Climate change is a bill for the industrial revolution that is coming due." Apparently we can't beat this but as northern nut growers should greet the 21st century with test plantings of many species and strains formerly ignored as being too tender for our 20th century climate.

FERIC Information

The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada offers information on many aspects of forestry. Amongst this material are handbooks aimed at small scale operations. Two of likely interest to members are on portable bandsaw-type sawmills and on equipping the farm tractor for forest operations. these handbooks are available for $10 each from Ontario Forestry Association (416) 493-4565 or from the Ontario Woodlot Owners & Sawmill Operators Association (613) 692-0017. Copies have been donated to the ECSONG Library (Alec Jones, Librarian). For more information about FERIC and its programs , call Mike Folkema (514) 694-4351.

The Alcon Nut Huller

The Nut Tree Culture Project (see the article if the same title elsewhere in this issue for details) is sponsoring the further development of the Alcon Nut Huller machine. The Project has granted about $1000 to this work.

The Nut Huller machine removes the soft, green outer hull (or husk) of certain species of nuts, in order to make their subsequent handling easier, and possibly to recover the spent hulls as product. Presently the huller is able to process about three bushels of black or white (butternuts) walnuts, whether fresh or dry. Improvements are sought mostly in the convenience of the machine, but also in its capacity and versatility. Alcon seeks a single machine versatile enough to handle hickories, ginkgoes, hazels, etc.

By the end of this grant, Alcon will have at least one machine available locally for field testing. It is planned that the machine will be housed in the Ottawa area at a site open to nut harvesters, where they can bring their harvest, and rent time for do-it-yourself or hire expert assistance. For more information on the Alcon Nut Huller, call Mark Jones at Alcon Welding and Small Engine Repair, Nepean (613) 723-9648.

The National Nut Harvest Survey

The project to carry out a national survey of nut growing, harvest and use will be undertaken this spring, with funding from the Nut Tree Culture Project (NTCP). The NCTP (Ted Cormier, Project Manager) in turn is funded by the Eastern Ontario Model Forest and ECSONG, under Forestry Canada's Model Forest Program. Provided the upcoming federal budget continues to provide for the Model Forest, the Survey can get underway in April, 1995. Its $250 grant will be substantially augmented with in-kind support from Cobjon Enterprises Inc, an Ottawa firm specializing in environmental information and services, which will carry out the work.

In the first stage, various organizations across Canada associated with agro-forestry, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, etc will be canvassed for an expression of interest on nut culture, harvesting or use. Where interest is found, lists of individuals and groups who might participate in the survey itself will be compiled. Form this list a sample will be selected to receive the written questionnaire. Where permitted, follow-up interviews will be conducted with a subsample of the respondents.

The questionnaire will ask about present and planned harvests of fruits and byproducts, interest in technical information about nuts, and needs for equipment to facilitate harvest processing. Results will be analysed to establish the current baselines and to project change. The results will be viewed as describing a new marketplace for trade in nuts and byproducts, and a nut industry. For more information, contact Hank Jones, President, Cobjon Enterprises Inc.

The Dolman Ridge Project

Dolman Ridge lies along the south western border of the Mer Bleu, an ancient bog that is a legacy of the last ice age. In the mid-1970's, stalwarts of the Canadian Forestry Service used the area to experiment with many species of trees. A number of nut species were included in the plantings. Many flourished, so that today there are a number of plantations with nut trees already in production. Butternuts, black walnuts, American sweet chestnuts are included. Shagbark hickories and bur oak are coming along. The site is now recognized by ECSONG, the National Capital Commission (NCC - owner of the site) and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) as scientifically important enough to be preserved. A Committee has been struck to plan for the maintenance and study of the trees.

This committee, the Dolman Ridge Liaison Committee, chaired by Steve Palmer, includes representatives of ECSONG, the NCC and MNR. It is open to any interested person. If you think you might want to participate, call Steve in Gloucester 830-1678.

Forest Gene Conservation Association

Ted Cormier reminds us the ECSONG is a member of the Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA), and with good reason. The FGCA has decided to take a strong interest in nut trees and plans action on black walnut, butternut, American sweet chestnut, red oak, and black cherry. ECSONG can play an important role in this work by promoting the value of these species to eastern Ontario, and by encouraging interested members in becoming involved.

A workshop is planned for March 20-22, 1995, to educate resource management specialists about the principles of forest genetics applied to long range conservation strategies. We all know growing nut trees is a long range project! For more information about FGCA, call Ted at home, or Geoff McVey or Barb Boysen in Brockville (613) 342-8524 (fax (613) 342-7544)).

A Lanark Nut Project

Len Collett, Vice-Chair of ECSONG, is spearheading a relatively new project to develop nut tree culture in the Lanark area. The Ontario Youth Services Bureau has asked us to work with them to create a project on a farm site they have that can involve their young clients. The objective is to offer training and education to the youngsters through hands-on experience with nut trees. This could be accomplished in many ways, from a nut tree nursery activity that could provide the surrounding region with seedlings in volume at nominal cost, to a full nut grove needing tending, harvesting and marketing over years to come.

Come this spring Len will be meeting with officials to plot a long term, fruitful future for this incipient project.

The Nut Tree Culture Project

As we all know, Ted Cormier has been managing an exemplary project to develop nut tree growing in Eastern Ontario for several years now. His project is jointly sponsored by ECSONG and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF). ECSONG has offered much 'in-kind' support and EOMF the funding.

We have received a copy of the a letter from EOMF to Ted regarding their support for the project in the coming fiscal year. It is clear from the letter that EOMF regards this project highly. It points to the strong support for this work (kudos to ECSONG!) and excellent partnering with many others under the EOMF umbrella (kudos to Ted for this!).

The EOMF has granted all the funds Ted sought for the coming year. In this day and age with severe cut-backs in government funding, it is pleasing to have the importance of the work being done endorsed in such a strong way.

ECSONG and Ted can take a bow on this one!

Last year's nut culture workshop

ECSONG's executive seek photos taken during the workshop last October at KCAT. If you took pictures, please consider donating copies to the society. Please contact Ralph McKendry for more information.

While we are on the subject of the workshop, Alec Jones brings to our attention an article about the workshop he found printed in the "Sawmill & Woodlot S&W Report. This is the newsletter of the Ontario Woodlot and Sawmill Operator's Association. The article, accompanied by two photos, appears on the Winter/Spring 1995 edition, Volume 1.

The Aylmer Shagbarks

The following item comes from Aylmer d'hier / of Yesteryear, Institut d'Histoire de l'Outaouais, 1981. It was written by Lucien Brault, M.A., D. Ph., D.Lett.

"Uniqueness of Shagbark Hickories

Along the lakeshore at Deschènes the Shagbark Hickories which range in size, and presumably also in age (height from 12 to 56 feet and diameter from 3 to 16 inches) constitute an outpost as far as known natural distribution of this tree species. Since their discovery a few years ago they have produced seeds which have been collected by the Forest Geneticists of the Canadian Forestry Service at Petawawa because these trees presumably constitute a desirable genetic adaptation to the local climate. Shagbark hickories are a valuable forest tree which within its distribution areas also have wide use as a roadside and shade tree. A genetic adaptation to extreme climatic conditions is therefore of special value in tree improvement work, and may serve to widen the Shagbark hickory growing area to the north.

Quite apart from this, this group of Shagbark hickory also constitutes the only major occurrence of the tree species within the National Capital Region and therefore is of interest to botanists and field naturalists alike.

Although the origin of this hickory in unknown it has been suggested that the present trees are off-spring from a very early introduction, possibly by Indians feeding on the edible nuts collected along the St Lawrence River. This, of course, cannot be proven, but the present distribution of the trees indicates that seeds or nuts have been spread by natural means over a relatively large piece of shoreline."

Some members of ECSONG have visited this site. Has seed been collected? Maybe we should pursue this matter, not only to get seed, but with the Petawawa people to learn the outcome of their work.

Some Basics for Planting Nut Trees

The Landowner Resource Centre is planning to publish a "Woodlands Extension Note" entitled Planting of Nut Trees. Ted Cormier is preparing the text for the note. He has a draft ready that he has shown to some members for comments. If you would like to see the draft, please call Ted. He will be pleased to receive your comments.

Nut Meats - Their care and keeping

Having gone to all the trouble of growing, hulling and cracking nuts or to the considerable expense of buying them we would wish to preserve their quality as well as possible. Things that would degrade quality include moulds, "bugs" and rancidity. Of these, the latter is most important. Moulds don't grow unless there is (too much) moisture. A generation or two ago it was not uncommon for nut-containing candy bars to become wormy in warm weather. This is no longer a problem presumably because of the use of vermicides at some stage of production.

However, risk of rancidity has not gone out of style and remains the chief threat to quality of stored nut meats. With too warm or too long storage, fatty acids which make up the oils In nut meats undergo oxidation causing a disagreeable taste and odour as well as a darkening of colour. To limit contact with oxygen nut meats should be kept in sealed containers which are Just large enough to hold the amount to be stored. Commercially nuts are often "vacuum packed" which eliminates contact with oxygen.

So nut meats not immediately needed should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer - and they are said to tolerate freezing well. Most nuts will retain their quality for a few months at refrigerator temperatures and for many months in the freezer. Pine nuts are poorer keepers with a limit of several weeks rather than months at refrigerator temperatures.

Nuts are a good dietary source of protein and fat since their fatty acids are largely unsaturated. The exception is coconut oil which contains saturated fatty acids. Chestnuts, being high in carbohydrate and low in oil content, are treated more like vegetables and roasted or boiled before eating.

More Nut Tree Products

We all know that nut trees can provide a wide range of products, not just nuts. Recall the dyes, stains, insecticides, medicines, woodenware, jewellery, ornaments, etc. Guy Lefebvre of Source Wood Products in Cornwall adds another the long and growing list.

We have known for quite some time that ground walnut shells make a good abrasive. For example, the federal Department of Public Works uses this material as a substitute for sand in sand-blasting the bronze statuary on Parliament Hill. In a finer form, this same material can be used as a scrubber. Guy reports a product from a company called Pro-link that uses the powder in hand cleaners. They offer two products, called "Nutty White Hand Cleaner" and "Nutty Green Hand Cleaner". By using walnut shell in their products instead of the conventional pumice or plastic beads, they claim a more environmentally friendly product.

Has anyone tried these products? Let us know what you think about them. Thanks for the information , Guy. If anyone wants more information, give Guy a call. Also, if you come across other interesting products, or have some ideas of your own that you would like to share, send the Nuttery a note.

Stratification Data
SeedCold StratificationGerminationMinimum Bearing AgeDepth Planting # per Sq.Foot
Black Walnut90-120 days60% in 24 days12 years1"-2" 8
Butternut 90-120 days 54-58 days 20 years 1"-2" 8
Carpathian Walnut30-156 days8 years2"8
White Oak Plant in fall 20 years ¼"-1" 10 to 35
Red Oak Plant in fall 25 years ¼"-1" 10 to 35
Bur Oak Plant in fall 35 years ¼"-1" 10 to 35
Shagbark Hickory 90-150 days 75% in 40 days40 years¾"-1½" 9 to 12
Bitternut Hickory 90 days 40% in 30 days 30 years ¾"-1½" 9 to 12
Basswood 90 days 31% (1st Yr) 15 years ¼"-½"100 Most seedlings emerge over a 2-3 year period
Maple Plant in fall 80% in 75 days 30 years (Sugar M) ¼"-1" 15 to 30
Beech 90 days (sealed polybags) 84% in 47 days 40 years ½" 25*
Black Cherry 120 days 5 years ½"-2" 10 to 20
Chestnut 120 days (45% humidity) 1"-2" 10 to 12
Hazelnut 60 -180 days1"10
Korean Nut Pine60 days warm 70-75F,
then 90 days cold
ginkgo 30-60 days 2"-3" in potsprotect in cold frames over winter until 5 ft high

Provided by ECSONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.