The Nuttery : Volume 16 Number 2 (1997)

In this Issue...

Oak Valley Spring Field Day

Right on schedule, the Oak valley Plantation (and its co-located Pioneer Farmstead Memorial Park) Spring Field Day was held on Saturday, 17/5/97. Over the day, fourteen people came to lend a hand.

With Ralph and Myrtle McKendry leading the way, Ted and Isabelle Cormier arrived with five beech trees to plant. Kurt Wasner contributed 10 English Oaks to the site. Chris Cummins, George Truscott and Ernie Kerr worked their way around the plantation. Barb Boysen from the Gene Conservation Association (ECSONG is a member) came to look over the proposed home for some grafted blight-resistant Butternuts, and some Korean Nut Pine grafted onto the White Pine rootstock. A place has been set aside in the plantation for these experimental nut trees. Johnathan and Heather Bramwell came to learn more about the nut trees, as Johnathan is planning and experimental program for Black Walnuts and Oaks to seek out mutations that might offer exciting new traits in nut trees. As he learns more about the biology of these species, he will be seeking traits such as tree dwarfing (easier management), leaf variegation (ornamental attraction) and improved fruit (better crops).

The site now boasts a line of Bur Oak seedlings along its waterfront on the North Branch of the South Nation River. New roadways are being laid out amongst the Red Oaks. The Memorial Stones will soon be offset by gravel perimeters surrounding their bases. The Black Walnuts are thriving, some now eight feet tall. It may not be long before the White Pines nursing these Walnuts will decline revealing their charges to the world. The rogue Manitoba Maples continue to encroach, but plans call for their removal by stump pulling.. The Truscott Nursery is performing admirably, and walks down Kerr Lane and Woolford Lane are a pleasure. At the very back, hidden from easy view, two Horsechestnuts are leaping skyward. All-in-all, with its rustic fences and information center, the Oak Valley Plantation is an emerging treasure for the region.

For more information, contact Ralph McKendry.

Dolman Ridge Spring Field Day

Beautiful weather for the outing on Saturday, May 31, 1997. ECSONG Chair Len, and Genice Collett, welcomed attendees at the parking lot opposite the Geomagnetics Lab on Anderson Road.

Ted Cormier brought along ECSONG's "Nut Case", the nut display built several years ago by Guy Lefebvre of Source Wood Products in Cornwall. The case is showing its age, so Len decided to undertake its renovation. He planned to have it ready for Hank Jones to take to his nut culture presentation slated for the following Saturday at the Sam Jakes Inn in Merrickville, a part of Anstace and Larry Esmonde-White's "Gardening Weekend" workshop. Hank had just picked up some fine pieces of Black Walnut wood contributed by Dan Marshall from his 35-year-tree that had blown down in a severe wind storm last summer. Len thought he might be able to use some of the pieces.

Ted lead Dick and Laura Moore, Moe Anderson, John Sankey, Alec and Kathleen Jones through the American Chestnuts, Black Walnuts, Shagbark Hickories, Bitternut Hickory, and Horsechestnut near the parking lot. The bad news: the best specimen of the Chestnuts had died over the winter. The rest looked fine.

Over at the Black Walnut plantation on the Ridge Road, the group met the family who lives next to the site. Mike, the dad, wanted to be sure we were not going to hurt the trees. The kids tried the big nut cracker, and ate some of the black wlanuts Hank carries in his truck. The group talked about the plantatiuon, and some nearby butternuts that were dying of canker.

The group then moved to the Dolman Ridge Road to inspect the red and white oaks, hickories, black walnuts kentucky coffee trees, and butternuts. The butternuts were sick, except one young one. The coffee trees were being shaded out. The rest of the species were doing well. Many morels were found!

The group disbanded around 1:00 PM.

Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove Spring Field Day '97

The scheduled 12/5/97 Spring Field Day this year at the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove (nicknamed "The Park") was rained out, and happened the following Saturday instead. Unfortunately, some folks turned out in the rain and were disappointed.

However, on the following Saturday 17/5/97, Sandy Graham, Jim Ellis, Dave Johnstone, Alec Jones and Kathleen Jones spent most of the day sprucing (is there not an equivalent nut tree expression?) up The Park. Dave, with his chainsaw, worked the perimeter to push back the bush and make the boundary as attractive as the the site itself, releasing wild apples (maybe with apples as good as the McIntosh which was discovered in 1811 in Dundela, only a short drive from The Park) for blossom show. The air drain cut through at the river end by Len Collett last year was working well: the air was moving vigorously through the cut! Sandy, Jim and Alec remulched most of the hundred trees or so as their buds burst. Kathleen worked around some the newer trees and found a number of volunteer seedlings. Almost all the trees looked good, though some of the more tender species were not showing signs of life in their upper branches. The horschestnuts and buckeyes were well on their way, though, with some growth already a half foot, and showing almost fully developed flower buds. Provided there are no major late spring frosts, the Aesculus nut crop this year could be good. The various oaks, walnuts and hickories all looked good. There was some anxiety about butternet canker, but no clear signs of infection.

Discussions on preparing a new long range vision and plan revolved around the peripheral large black cherry and bur oak, the pond (full of aquatic life), the nursery, and possible public uses. A new plan may be in the offing.

For more information, contact Sandy Graham.

Dan Marshall's Cabinetry

Sadly, Dan Marshall's vigourous, 35-year-old black walnut tree blew down in a fierce wind storm in July '96. A wood afficionado, Dan wanted to see the wood go to good use. He passed the larger pieces onto ECSONG, and some of it has now become part of the society's public displays. From ECSONG - thanks, Dan.

For years, Dan worked some of the best Canadian nut woods, as well as premier tropical woods, into cabinetry just for his own house and family. His hobby has resulted in many beautiful pieces such as an oak bedstead and mantlepiece, a butternut bureau, a walnut cabinet whose top is a single piece south american walnut, a species-mosaic cutting board, and on and on!.

Over the years, Dan also acquired a variety of interesting pieces of lumber of many species. One board is butternut 12 inches wide by 14 feet long! There is also oak, walnut, cherry and some tropicals. As he prepares to return to his roots in Nova Scotia (Dartmouth), he has decided he needs to dispose of the wood. He is looking for buyers. Interested? Give Dan a call in Gloucester at 739-3488.

Nigra (Cinerea) Fettucine Verde

The following recipe was provided by Karen Bertrand (who also incidentally is the designer of ECSONG Website on the Internet!) Called Nigra Fettucine Verde, when black walnuts are used, or Cinerea Fettucine Verde when butternuts are used, this cuisine is a welcome addition to the wonderful world of pasta delights!

 Here is how it goes:
 1 clove garlic, finely chopped;
 2 Tbl chopped parsley;
 ½ tsp oregano;
 1 tbl pine nuts;
 2/3 cup black walnuts or butternuts;
 1 tsp salt;
 ½ tsp ground pepper;
 1 cup cream (or half&half );
 1 cup ricota.
 Blend all the above in processor.
 2 lbs zucchini, sliced and blanched
 ½ cup of butter
 1 lb fettucine
 1 cup of black walnuts or butternuts, toasted in skillet

Blanch the zucchini, sauté in butter (olive oil, or acorn oil) in lightly brown, add sauce and reheat. Cook the fettucine verde, mix in the sauce, and top with the nuts.

Yum - yum!

Fletcher Wildlife Garden Nut Tree Project

John Sankey, at the Dolman Ridge Spring Field Day, took some time to talk about ECSONG's opportunity to contribute native nut trees ot the Fletcher. He suggested that we should seek to have a hundred survivors trees, thus we should plan to plant about 400 nuts or seeedlings. We will need to decide an species and how many specimens of each John proposed the planting area and has prepared a map to show this site. Because of the large number of seedlings to be planted, we will have to organize the planting bee well so the work can be done within a single day. This will take a large team, dividing responsibilities amongst a variety of tasks such as offsite seedling preparation (best starting this fall), onsite planting spot marking on planting day, followed by spot grass removal, seedling planting, watering, marking, etc. - collectively covering off all the work that needs to be done to complete the project.

Hopefully, John can take the lead in this project. If you want to sign up for the challenge, and to see the Fletcher with a native nut grove second to none in Canada, tell The Nuttery or contact John at 748 0317 in Gloucester right away

Nut Farm Vacation

Bob Bogle - B&B - Do & Learn - Site selection - Site preparation - Seed Processing (hulling, floating, storing) - Stratification (natural, artificial) - Germination (beds) - Seedlings - Pruning and culling - Felling - Harvesting

Everyone knows about Farm Vacations, where vacationers pay to experience real farm life. What about Nut Farm Vacations, where vacationers pay to learn nut producing by doing.

Tree Bees?

Not the insects! Not the best spellers competing! Simply, nut growers getting together to help a fellow nut grower gets his nut trees and shrubs planted, pruned, harvested, culled, whatever. Simply a "tree bee"

Bob Bogle told The Nuttery he has many trees to plant, more than he can manage. He recognizes that fellow nut growers may, from time ot time, be in the same predicament. Many members of ECSONG have acreages and aspirations, but may be daunted by the volume of work, and thus not be able to make the best effort. Sadly, this costs in the long run, with resulting plant performance lower than desired.

So, Bob says, "Why not have Tree Bees?" A member foresees the time when an opportunity, an occasion, a requirement, is coming for him or her that could realize a great leap forward in nut growing, if only the wherewithal would be available. The member broadcasts the need, and a Tree Bee is organized!

Barn Raisings build barns in one day. One-day Tree Bees build nut production for generations to come.

If you want to host a Tree Bee for yourself, or maybe organize one for a fellow member, get the following basic information in hand. Then announce the Bee.

  1. Who need the Tree Bee (name and phone number)?
  2. Where is the Bee to be held (site location)?
  3. What work will be done (the activities, as in the list above)?
  4. How much effort is required to do the work in one day (how many people)?
  5. When will be the best time (dates and times)?
  6. Who to contact to sign on (name and phone number).

One good turn deserves another - Tree Bees pay off because sooner or later, everyone can be the host for a Tree Bee (if you like, the Need Bee).

White Oak Bush: A new ECSONG Site?

On Saturday 17/5/97, Ted and Isabelle Cormier lead Len and Genice Collett, and Hank Jones to an area he has been watching for a number of years now. The site, on the Kemptville Creek, in the vicinity of North Augusta, has mature Bur and White oak, and probably Swamp White Oak. This trio constitutes the members of the white oak group for Eastern Ontario. The site shows considerable strength in support of these species, as regeneration under experimental hybrid poplar plantations is robust. The site is owned by the county Leeds & Grenville, and managed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. It is easy to get to, and being situated alongside the creek, an attractive area for prospective visitors and workers.

Ted has suggested that the area could become the ECSONG project because of its exemplary white oak production, contributing seed and seedlings to R&D (eg the Bramwell Mutagenics Test) and propagation; demonstrating methods of tree tending, acorn production, and transplanting; and natural stand management.

A plan for the site would need to be drafted and presented to ECSONG. If the Society accepted the project, then the plan would have to be put to the County and the MNR. With a plan accepted by all parties, and its Liaison Committee formed, the "White Oak Bush" would become ECSONG next nut grove.

For more information, contact Ted Cormier.

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