The Nuttery : Volume 14 Number 1 (1995)

In this Issue...

Take note! Three field days this spring... at the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove first, then at Oak Valley Plantation, and lastly at the Dolman Ridge Plantations. Details on each of these days is inside in the Announcements section. The Nut Tree Culture Project is alive and well, and funded fully. See Ted's report. As well, work will be soon getting underway over near the town of Lanark, as a new Youth Service Bureau/ECSONG joint project is defined this spring.

In the general news section, take note of the risk the Dominion Arboretum faces. Also, Moe Anderson has some kudos and some comments about the Dolman Ridge Plantations and the Aylmer Shagbarks. Bernice Noblitt is selling her nut grove, which is also her home. She hopes a nut grower will buy it. Apologies to Colin McKeen for a lost letter; he wants a report on how the chestnut seedlings he gave out a couple of years ago are doing. And Bob Scally-wag has a computer farce to demonstrate!

In the nut grower section, there are updates on the national nut producers survey, the plans for a nut hunt contest, the Alcon Nut Huller, and some uses for nuts and nut by-products you may not have heard of.

See the advertisements in the Nuttery marketplace, and if you have not paid your dues, or need a membership application form for family, friends or neighbours, scrutinize the last section of the newsletter.

Good nut growing to one and all!

Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove Spring Field Day

The FRP Nut Grove at the Baxter Conservation Area near Kars, Ontario is slated for special grooming this year. Alec Jones and Allan Gillis propose the following work for the Spring Field Saturday, May 6, 1995 and beyond. Everyone is welcome to come and join in.

New trees will be planted under the Nut Tree Culture Project by Ted Cormier who is the Project Manager for the NTCP. Donated trees will also be planted by their respective donors.

Mark Schaefer will be directing clean-up operations. Dead wood and debris will be rounded up and pile at the south east end of the pond, awaiting Allan Gillis instruction to burn.

Dave Johnstone will direct the work on the young trees. The tree locations will be raked, weeded, fertilised, and new mulch will be added. Allan Gillis will operate the tractor to move mulch in bulk.

Trees larger than 3" caliper will no longer be mulched. Instead, a circle of six feet or more will be sprayed with herbicide and kept clear to avoid mowing in the future. As spraying must be done by qualified operators, the RVCA will be asked to do this when feasible.

The grove perimeter has not been trimmed for some years. Allan Gillis will start to cut back invasive plants when student help becomes available. Alec Jones and Dave Johnstone will help when possible.

The landscaping that created the air drainage valley down the center of the grove has become overgrown at the south-east end with scrub and trees. Alec and Dave will develop and action plan for the Fall Field Day.

General mowing and cleaning-up during the summer will be directed by Allan Gillis.

Everyone is welcome to join in. Please arrive by 9:00 AM if possible. Bring a spade or rake. If you plan to stay the day, pleas bring a lunch and refreshments. If you cannot come early, come late! For more information, contact Alec Jones in Ottawa 828-6459.

Oak Valley Spring Field Day

A busy day at Oak Valley on Saturday, May 13/95 is planned. There will be the usual lopping, pruning, mowing and planting. Any winter damage will be removed, and dead wood piled until it can be burned. See George Truscott's model nursery on the site. There may be surplus seedlings available. Contemplate the massive boulders that were found under the old barn's foundation. Come anytime, but the benefit will accrue to those there by 10:00 AM. Stay as long as you like, but most activities will be wrapping up by about 3:00 PM. Bring along your favourite tools, and your lunch and refreshments. There may be a few flies about, so an effective repellent may be handy. (Is it true that an insect repellent can be made from Black Walnut leaves?)

Everyone is welcome! For more information, call Ralph McKendry.

Butternut Canker Identification Workshop

ECSONG is sponsoring an instructional field day on how to identify butternut trees and the canker. This outdoor workshop will commence at 9:00 am on Saturday, June 3, 1995. It is open to everyone. Meet at the parking lot opposite the entrance to the Geomagnetic Laboratory on Anderson Road near Mer Bleu.

During the 3 hours or so, the group will visit the butternut plantations growing along the Dolman Ridge. This plantation is known to be infected with the canker. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is running a survey looking for infected sites with some trees infected, hoping that those trees prove resistant. They will bring surveys forms to hand out, as well as brochures and some samples of infected wood. The status of infections and canker research in North America will be reviewed

The Nut Tree Culture Project is participating and contributing $3000 this year.

Forty groves of butternut have been found by Ted Cormier in eastern Ontario. About 100 replies from south Ontario have been received. the area most affected in Canada is southwest Ontario. The least affected area is north of Lake Ontario. Two uninfected areas have been found, namely Manitoulin Island and in New Brunswick. The canker vector remains unknown. It source is probably Asia or Europe. Hybrid butternuts and Asiatic Juglans species seem resistant. US researchers have found over 100 possibly resistant trees. However, the trees in the southern range of the butternut have all been wiped out.

For more information about this workshop, contact Ted Cormier.

The Lanark Nut Tree Project

You may recall that the Ontario Youth Services Bureau (YSB) approached ECSONG awhile back about the possibility of a joint project. Andy Molino, an ECSONG member and a volunteer with the YSB, thought there might a fruitful liaison if ECSONG could help the YSB set up a nut grove at their new farm site near Lanark. The answer appears to be yes.

Len Collett, Vice-chair of ECSONG, with the help of Ted Cormier, Mark Schaefer, Andy Molino, and staff of the YSB, this spring will undertake to define a project. There are a number of possible scenarios to be studied. It is hoped that before the year is out, ECSONG and the YSB will have their sleeves rolled up, and nut trees in one form or another will be starting their long lives on the farm under the care and feeding of the kids there.

If you are interested in this effort, call Len. He is open to ideas, suggestions and volunteers.

Canada's Dominion Arboretum

As the federal government struggles to cut back, the hundred year old Arboretum is in danger of being abandoned. The curator, Trevor Cole, has just retired, and will not be replaced. Many large nut trees, including various walnuts, hickories, oaks, ginkgos, hazels, etc. are there for Canadians to examine. It is a living museum.

How to ensure the Arboretum continues? There are no guarantees of course but possibly furtherance of the commemorative tree program could help. A public interest in planting more trees there for long term commemorative purposes, where the donor is willing to pay for planting and maintenance, could help the government decide the benefits out the cost, and the arboretum should continue. Consider planting a tree in remembrance. Every tree counts, but choosing a nut tree is special.

For more information, contact Alec Jones in Ottawa 828-6459

Moe Anderson writes

I wish to extend my gratitude and thanks to the individuals in the following organizations for their support in putting back on the map the nut tree plantations in the former Central Research Forest, C. R. F. Ottawa.

As most of you know, I had a special interest in the development of the nut tree species in the former CRF, and I find this to be a beneficial breakthrough in such a development. Preserving the various nut tree species in the Greenbelt will ensure a better protection for most nut species, which through construction developments finally could be destroyed. Much work is to be carried out in order to release and protect the trees, and plans are to further expand nut tree plantations.

The Aylmer Shagbarks

This is my comment to "The Aylmer Shagbarks" article in the Nuttery, March, 1995. Page 6, by Dr Lucien Brault.

It is terrific, is this Shagbark Hickory stand is still preserved at Deschènes near Aylmer, Quebec. I tried to save this stand from being destroyed by a highway project in the early 1970's through an Urban Forestry Official with the Canadian Forestry Service, C. F. S. Ottawa. However, I never knew the final outcome of this.

A Shagbark Hickory is a valuable forest tree species which reaches good size in southern Ontario. Its habitat is in the St.Lawrence and Great Lakes regions.

This stand was most likely discovered years ago. I found the stand in 1969 from directions by the Petawawa National Forestry Institute. P. N. F. I. Nevertheless, I am not aware if any work was done by the Forest Geneticists staff at PNFI

I did my first collection I the fall of 1970 and several hundred nuts were sown in the nursery in the spring of 1971, but only a small amount germinated. This exercise should be repeated to verify my findings. I find the viability of the nuts too low.

The offspring will be 24 years old after this year's growing season.

Moe Anderson. RR #6 Pembroke, Ontario K8A 6W7

From Bernice Noblitt

Bernice is selling the family home on River Road. The acreage is special in the Ottawa Valley. It has one of the best collections of mature and maturing Black Walnuts and Butternuts in these parts. All the trees produce, the oldest producing several bushels each per harvest. There are dozens of trees on the site which over looks the Rideau River, including a number producing commercial quality nuts..

The trees were planted by Bernice and her late husband Harvey, starting back in the late fifties. Bernice believes these trees should be preserved and nurtured. There is room for many more trees as well. She seeks a buyer who will value the trees and their produce, and maybe earn enough each year through selling nuts to pay the land and then some.

Bernice writes about the newer black walnuts...

Dear Editor

The last issue of the Nuttery has just arrived and I have enjoyed reading it from the first page to the last.

I appreciate your including the story of the beginning of our black walnut plantation. At least five of those trees my husband planted are now of commercial size. The ten which alternate with the maples along the south side and are about twelve years, are growing nicely and producing copious large nuts each fall.

Unfortunately, I am putting the property up for sale. My sincere hope is that the new owner will care for and enjoy the trees as my husband and I have done.

Bernice Noblitt Gloucester, Ontario K1G 3N3

PS.. The 'for sale' is up. Call Bernice or the Editor for more information.

Colin McKeen and the Chestnut Council

Abject apologies for the Nuttery Editor... Colin wrote a letter the Nuttery some months ago about asking about progress with the American Sweet Chestnuts seedlings he left with some of us just before he moved to Orangeville more than a year ago. I misplaced the letter, and over time forgot about it! Well, I have since remembered, but cannot find it. Also, Colin has since become a member of ECSONG.

I am putting a call to everyone who received any of the chestnuts Colin gave out, or who knows who might have, or who knows about any progress in this regard. Please, if you do, let Colin know soonest.

My thanks in advance, and again my apologies for the oversight! Hank Jones, Editor. (613) 732-7751

Bob's Spell Checker

You might think they would be called spelling checkers, but computerists often call them spell checkers. More of a curse than a blessing, this important word processing tool casts a spell all of its own. It can often recognize a misspelt word, or a correctly spelt word not in its own list, but it dies on homonyms. Bob Scally sends this little poem which makes clear why you should not trust your spell checker blindly!

 I have a spelling checker,
 It came with my PC,
 It plainly marks fore my revue,
 Mistakes I cannot sea.
 I've run this poem through it,
 I'm sure your please too no.
 its letter perfect in its weigh,
 My checker tolled me sew.

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 $300 funding from the Nut Tree Culture Project (NTCP). The 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.

The survey questionnaire will cover three aspects of nut culture. First, it document the kinds and amounts of nuts and byproduct currently being produced in various regions across the country. Second, it will query interest in mechanical equipment specially suited to nut producers. Lastly, it will profile interest in technical information products and services needed by producers.

The various organizations across Canada associated with agro-forestry, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, etc have been identified, including some thirty universities and colleges. They will be polled shortly for expressions of interest and where possible mailing lists. A database of individuals and groups will be compiled. From this database 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 survey will end with the publication of a report.

For more information, or to comment, contact Hank Jones, President, Cobjon Enterprises Inc.

Update on the Nut Contest Plan

Work is now underway to plan the contest to find superior nuts in eastern Ontario. The contest's objective is to attract members of ECSONG and possibly others to search for superior nut tree specimens already growing well in eastern Ontario. When found, these trees would be propagated vigorously, short-circuiting the time it normally would take to develop adapted cultivars of commercial value. The plan will be ready for Fall '95, in time for contestants to collect this year's harvest.

With financial help ($250) from the Nut Tree Culture Project (NTCP, Ted Cormier, Project Manager), Cobjon Enterprises Inc., which specializes in the environmental information and services, began work in early April, 1995.

We welcome input from readers. Guy Lefebvre of Source Wood Products in Cornwall has faxed a brochure about a Nebraska contest. We will contact these folks to learn the details. Ernie Grimo tells us that the NNGA ran a contest successfully back in the 1930's. Does anyone have more information on this contest?

A draft of the plan should be in the hands of the NTCP in late summer. If you have input for this project, call Hank Jones, President of Cobjon Ent. Inc., who has the task of developing this plan.

The Alcon Nut Huller

The Nut Tree Culture Project (NTCP, Ted Cormier, Project Manager) is sponsoring the further development of the Alcon Nut Huller machine to the tune of about $1000.

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 also hickories, ginkgoes, hazels, etc.

By the end of this grant, Alcon will have two machines 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 either 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.

What products from Nut Trees?

It is true that nut trees produce the most valuable timber, besides being as trees a major force in defining Canada's natural environment. Too bad the tree must die to make the timber, specially if it is a not-too-common species. Best to allow it to grow into old age, them cut it. Meanwhile, nut trees are producing nuts; good food for people and many animals. But just food? No. There are many products possible from the living tree.

For example, the soft outer hull of the walnuts and hickories offer a dark pigment that can be used as a stain or a dye, and is apparently edible. A range of colours from yellow through several browns to black can be made, for cloth, wood and food.

The hard shell can be ground into abrasive of various grits with applications from blast cleaning, through metal polishing to hand cleaners. The same shell broken can be burnt is pellet stoves, or used as a garden mulch.

The nut meat itself may be used for other than food. For nuts that are hard to crack or otherwise inconvenient for table use, the extracted oil can be used in cooking. Might it also have industrial uses? For example, is there a role in metal working, as in special quenching needs. Could it be made into lubricants? Consider the recent developments in manufacturing acceptable oils and greases from Canola, to be used where toxic petroleum products are undesirable, such as forestry, agriculture and gardening. What possibilities there for nut oil lubricants?

What about essential oils, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, insect repellents, paints, ornaments, toys, and so on from nut tree fruit, bark, leaves, roots, prunings, etc.? Maybe such products exist, and maybe there is still room for development. Let us find out as much as we can about these possibilities. Every new application is yet another good reason to get on with nut growing in eastern Ontario.

If you know about an unusual use or product, or have an idea about some possibilities to be explored, send the Nuttery a letter, or write an article, or send reprints, photocopies, or references to information sources.

Let us see how big and broad a list we can make!

ECSONG Calendar for 1995/96

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