The Nuttery : Volume 16 Number 3 (1997)

In this Issue...

Note the ANNOUNCEMENT of the upcoming winter meeting, with details of time, place and opportunities to participate. Also, a proposal for creating an ECSONG nut culture research prize for college students is announced, in celebration of ECSONG's 20th anniversary which falls in 1998.

In the PROJECTS Section, the fall activities at the Oak Valley Plantation, the FRP Nut Grove and the Dolman Ridge Plantations, and related matters are reported. An item on self-guided nut tours of the Dominion Arboretum is presented, and a note about planning for the ECSONG website is published.

Four NEWS items are offered. There is a possibility of fresh (Carpathian?) walnut seed from Poland. The Eastern Ontario Forestry fair reopens the G. Howard Ferguson Nursery for business. Learn that nuts are good for your heart. And get an update on the developing nut 'cottage' industry in Eastern Ontario.

In the GROWERS Section, Juglans spp compatibles are listed, source of nut seedlings are discussed, an Outreach program is outlined, an update on The Nut Huller is presented, and Brenda Cole on Ginkgo seed germination is summarized.

The MARKETPLACE has another advertiser, added to the four suppliers already promoting their nut services.

In the CHAPTER Section you will find the Year's Calendar, a list of Members, the brochure and a membership/dues blank form.

Pleasant reading - and see you at the Winter Meeting!

The upcoming Winter Meeting of ECSONG

The highlight of ECSONG's winter season is its popular January winter meeting, held indoors, of course!

This year, the winter meeting will be on Tuesday, January 20th, 1997, from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM, at the usual spot, the auditorium of The Ottawa Citizen, 1101 Baxter Road. It is open to the public, and is usually the best attended regular event of the year. Do not hesitate to bring family, friends, neighbours and prospective new members.

The meeting will provide news, presentations, exhibits, book sales, nut delights, and a long intermission for renewing acquaintances. A round table discussion about nutting will highlight the evening - panellists include Ted Cormier, Ernie Kerr, George Truscott, Kurt Wasner, and maybe Bill Forrest (if he wins his bonspiel the same evening!).

Dues for the coming year(s) can be paid to the Treasurer at the meeting. If you would like to test nut recipes, this is the crowd to try them on! If you have nut books, tools, crafts, photos, etc., that you would like to show, trade or sell, this is a good venue - bring them along! If you would like five minutes to address the meeting, call Len Collett, ECSONG Chair, to reserve a spot.

For more information, contact Len or any member of the executive (whose names are always given just under the banner on The Nuttery page 1).

See you at the Winter Meeting!!

Twentieth Anniversary of ECSONG - 1998

To celebrate its upcoming Twentieth Anniversary in 1998, ECSONG asked its Committee of Past Chairs to recommend something suitable

The Committee (Ralph McKendry, Bob Scally, Alec Jones and Hank Jones) is proposing the inauguration a nut culture research prize. The purpose of the prize is to catalyse sound science-based research on nut culture in the region, to benefit local nut producers. The proposal suggests the prize be aimed at students in selected colleges in Eastern Ontario, and that it to be given annually. If approved by ECSONG as its Twentieth Anniversary celebration, the prize would be announced to the colleges in 1998, and the first award would be made in 1999.

In 1997, Mary Ann Riley, an Agroforestry Student at the Kemptville College of the University of Guelph (KCUG), wrote an excellent paper on the Bur Oak. The Bur Oak is the most wide-spread oak species in Canada, and common in much of Ontario. The paper was written in partial fulfilment of requirements for a course at the college, being presented by Dave Chapeskie. It is an example of the kind of work this prize seeks to stimulate.

A draft of the Committee's proposal will be available to attendees for comment at the upcoming ECSONG Winter Meeting in January. The finalized proposal will be put to a vote at the AGM this coming March.

For more information, contact any member of the Committee of Past-Chairs.

Oak Valley Fall Field Day report

As usual, the field day at Oak Valley was dynamic, and the weather on the 27/9/97, was perfect.

With Ralph and Richard McKendry leading the way, transplanting, trimming and tree-guarding was carried out. Hazels and black walnuts bore fruit this year. Some of the black walnuts now reach close to fifteen feet. There is a horse chestnut six feet tall.

Kurt Wasner, who is developing a tree nursery near North Gower, delivered ten of the best of his oak trees, 8-10 feet in height, which were planted along the canal bank that borders one edge of the plantation.

Murray Inch, an Oak Valley neighbour, stopped by to ask about a report he had read in the Globe and Mail concerning butternuts. The article had mentioned that experiments with grafted blight resistant butternuts were underway in Ontario, and three sites had been identified to take these plants. One site was described as 'south of Ottawa' and Murray wanted to know where it was. Surprise! The site for a hundred or some of these precious plants, supplied by Barbara Boysen, is the Oak Valley plantation itself, no less! Murray was pleased.

Murray noted that there were large oaks, butternuts and black walnuts in the vicinity. He took Hank Jones along the road and into the nearby bush to see some of the bigger specimens. The two also visited Kevin, Judy and Tory Baldwin's home nearby to see the very large black walnut they have growing, and to inspect the fruit it bore. The tree is a good two feet in diameter and probably eighty feet high. There are a number of smaller trees nearby, probably offspring. Tory opened one of the nuts for tasting. Its fruity taste found favour - and properly processed and stored these nut are right up there with hazels as the tastiest of nuts.

The Cairncrosses brought along a taste treat for the participants - a large basket of local shaggy manes. If you have not tried these roadside, fall mushrooms, you should treat yourself - flavour as good as the best!

Len and Genice Collett slashed their way through some of the scrub and undergrowth threatening to the nut trees, releasing quite a number. Len also talked a bit about the soon-to-reopen G. Howard Ferguson Nursery in Kemptville, suggesting that a business plan for nut growers could prove a strong influence in the bid to se the nursery offering many more nut seedlings to growers in the near future.

The 'George Truscott Nursery' in the plantation gets better every year. It is becoming an important source of nut seedlings for special plantings in the region. Ernie Kerr talked about his own plantation to the east. He has tried growing both hybrids purchased from the SONG home area near Niagara-on-the-Lake, and germinating local seed. His experience is that the imports seldom do well, but the local plants thrive. The lesson may be that ECSONG needs a strong research base to help it exploit is own local nut genetic resources, and to develop its own cultivars and hybrids.

Peter and Sheila Carr spent the day sprucing up the plantation, and later Ralph and Peter transplanted some nut trees into spots where others had died out.

Ralph says Oak Valley is now almost fully planted, and the next phase of Vision 2020 will be getting under way.

For more information, contact Ralph.

Report on FRP Nut Grove Fall Field Day

Sandy Graham, secretary of the Fillmore R. Park Liaison Committee, chaired by Cliff Craig, reports that the field day held on Saturday, 20/9/97, was very, very wet - so not much got done.

Sandy noted, however, that there are a number of large black cherry and bur oaks growing naturally in the forest edge bordering the nut grove. These are species of interest to ECSONG, and could be included in the FRP inventory. Sandy and Cliff are considering clearing out around these specimens so that they become part of the nut grove. This work could be included in the program for the coming field season. Sandy also noted that the pond could use a face lift. Its banks might be graded back to a gentler slope and special nut plantings used to stabilize the soil. In amongst the volunteer vegetation that has sprung up around the pond over the last few years, there are high bush cranberries, and nut trees.

Sandy also notes that 1998 will be the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the FRP Nut Grove. He plans to review the history, and will ask the Committee to consider how the anniversary might be celebrated. He has determined already that the Grove was proposed to the RVCA in January, 1978, and enthusiastically endorsed. The formation of the Ottawa Chapter of SONG followed shortly thereafter in May of the same year, and officially recognized by the parent SONG at its AGM in July, 1978. The first plantings in the grove were done in the Spring of 1979.

Committee members include Cliff Craig, Sandy Graham, Alan Gillis, Jim Ellis, Mark Schaefer, Alec Jones and Ted Cormier.

Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations

The Dolman Ridge, adjacent to the Mer Bleu, has many small plantations of diverse nut species planted in the 1970's when the area was part of the Central Research Forest of Forestry Canada. These plantations now provide us unique data on growth, survivability, resistance, tolerance, etc., of many of the nut species we seek to grow regionally. We now consider the area a formal project of ECSONG.

In order not to lose it, ECSONG established a joint Liaison Committee with the other interested organizations, including ECSONG (Chair), the NCC (present owner), OMNR (the maintainer),the International Oak Society, and The Canadian Chestnut Council.

The Committee is seen as responsible for the well-being of the plantations, their security in the future, and their access to members of ECSONG and others.

The Committee seeks to develop its membership with folks who are interested in advancing the Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations project. Work needs to be underway quickly to plan the upcoming year, including spring and fall field days and other important events and activities. If you want to help in matters pertaining planning, planting, maintenance, programming, administration, etc., call ECSONG Chair Len Collett as soon as possible.

Moe Anderson tells The Nuttery that the planting of Dolman Ridge began in 1968. This means that we have another anniversary this year (the FRP Nut Grove is 20 years old in 1998) - the 30th Anniversary of the Dolman Ridge Plantations. Should we plan a 'media event' for this summer, so that folks in the region can appreciate this treasure they have in their midst?

Nut Trees in Winter: the Dominion Arboretum

As you probably already know, Canada's Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa has a good collection of nut trees, some seventy in all. There are both native and exotic species, cultivars and varieties, as well as some conifers, e.g. the Korean Nut Pine.

Identifying nut trees in the summer is usually not too difficult, when there are both leaves and fruit. In the winter, you may find it more difficult. Tough enough to key out the winter tree, but how can you be sure you have it right?

The arboretum in winter is ideal for a self-guided tour. The big benefit is that all the trees are named, marked and mapped. With your tree book in hand, a visit to the arboretum will enable you to use the winter keys in the book, and get confirmation of your identification from the keyed map of the arboretum.

Ted Cormier, of The Seed Source - phone 258-2570 in Oxford Mills, is an authorized Arboretum seed collector who knows the landscape well. He might well have some helpful hints for anyone who plans to take a self-guided winter tour of the Arboretum.

ECSONG Website

The Executive has asked that a long term plan for the evolution of the ECSONG world wide web site be prepared, under the direction of The Nuttery Editor. It further asked that a draft of the plan be available at the winter meeting for the perusal of members. Every effort is being made to do so. The Executive has noted that it expects the website to be increasing important in the affairs of the Chapter in coming years, and that appropriate investments in its development and management will need to be made.

For more information, contact the Editor.

Walnuts from Poland?

Helen Bender called the Nuttery editor the other day asking about the probable viability of some Persian walnuts she had received a year or two ago from relatives growing these trees in Poland.

Unfortunately, the seed had been kept at room-temperature, and was probably too old to be still viable.

However, Helen said she thought she might be taking a trip to Poland in the near future, and might be able to bring back fresh seed.

One question asked was what certification might be needed to bring larger quantities of seed into Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible. Complete information can be found on the website at:

Dr. J. E. Hollebone, Telephone: (613) 225-2342 (4316) Fax: (613) 228-6606 Email:
Plant Protection Division, Room 209, 59 Camelot Drive, Nepean, Ontario K1A 0Y9

For more information, contact The Nuttery editor.

Eastern Ontario Forest Fair

The first Eastern Ontario Forest Fair was held Saturday, October 25, 1997, in part to inaugurate the reopening of the G. Howard Ferguson Nursery under its new ownership. The Nursery is now the responsibility of Oxford-on-Rideau Township. The new owners intend to continue the nursery operation, supplying a variety of seedling species to the region. The nursery will be managed pro temp by the Community Advisory Committee, currently chaired by Bill Fullerton. ECSONG will seek a seat on the Committee, and Hank Jones has expressed willingness to serve. In order to help the nursery get its nut seedlings started, Ted Cormier of The Seed Source donated 15 hectoliters (about 50 bushels, or fifteen thousand nuts) of black walnuts this past fall. The nursery has planted about 100,000 red oaks, 7000 black walnuts and a few shagbark hickory and other species this past fall.

ECSONG shared a booth in the exhibit area with The Seed Source and Alcon Welding and Small Engine Repair. Seeds were sold, brochures handed out, and The Nut Huller demonstrated to visitors. For more information, contact Ted Cormier.

Go nuts to live longer

Several members, including Ralph McKendry, Ted Cormier and Ernie Kerr, sent The Nuttery a clipping from the Ottawa Citizen dated Thursday, November 20, 1997 about nuts and health.

The gist of the article, by Richard Starnes, is researchers in Britain have determined that nuts in the diet five times a week reduces mortality over weekly or less nut consumption. "Nuts cut mortality from heart disease 25%...Nuts are a good source of Vitamin E, other anti-oxidant nutrients and linoleic acid and appear to be responsible for some of the reduced mortality among...vegetarians".

Cheese and eggs got thumbs down. Meat and milk came out OK. But nuts were the stars! The study followed 11,000 individuals for 13 years.

Nut industry news

We all now know that many kinds of valuable nuts can grow successful in Ontario. We also know that nuts can grow in many settings, not just in highly managed orchards or groves. In fact the vast majority of nut trees and shrubs growing in the region already are along streets and in the parks of hundreds of towns and cities, along rural roads, in woodlots and forests, and in lots of other accessible spots.

The fruit from these trees is as tasty as almost any exotic nut we import. We also now know that many byproducts can be made from the fruit - cosmetics, industrial materials, medicines, crafts, and so on.

When trees are planted, mostly for their environmental benefits and eventual timber, the planters never expect to benefit personally from their labour. However, if the trees planted are nut trees, the fruits start becoming available within a few short years. In truth, over the lifetime of the tree, the cumulative annual value of its nut crop likely will surpass its timber/veneer value many times over!

Plans are underway to plot a course for developing a 'cottage' style industry based on distributed nut production in the Eastern Ontario region. This new model of crop production will give the region a resource base competitive with the traditional agricultural model practised in warmer climes.

By the way, residents of Ontario spend over $100,000,000 annually on nuts, almost 100% imported!

For more information on the developing nut industry, contact The Nuttery editor, or Nutculture Consultants at 828-5772., or email

Plants Not Susceptible to Black Walnut Toxicity

When grown under or near black walnut trees (Juglans nigra), many common landscape and plants (such as tomatoes, potatoes, alfalfa, and some pines) can be damaged by juglone, a chemical found in all growing parts of the trees. Below is a list of trees and shrubs growing under the canopies of mature black walnut trees at The Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio, that have not been affected by juglone poisoning:

Acer negundo, A. nigrum, A. saccharum, Asimina triloba, Betula nigra 'Heritage', Celtis occidentalis, Cercis canadensis, Clematis terniflora, Cornus florida, Euonymus europaea, E. hamiltoniana, Halesia carolina, Ilex opaca, Kerria japonica, K. japonica 'Pleniflora', Koelreuteria paniculata, Liquidambar styraciflua, Lonicera maackia, L. tatarica, L. xylosteum, Picea abies, Pinus jeffreyi, Platanus occidentalis, Prunus serotina, Pyrus calleryana, Quercus alba, Q. imbricaria, Q. rubra, Sambucus canadensis, Thuja occidentalis, Tilia platyphyllos, Tsuga canadensis, Viburnum lantana

Reference: Anonymous, "Black Walnut Toxicity," The Dawes Arboretum Newsletter 31(7), July 1997,2. (The Dawes Arboretum, 7770 Jacksontown Rd., S.E., Newark, OH 43056-9380.)

Where to get nut seedlings?

With ECSONG promoting nut growing so well, many people are seeking seed and seedlings to get started. To whit:

I understand from a recent article on the South Nation Conservation area that the Ontario Nut Growers may be able to supply seedling tree species from a nursery in Eastern Ontario.

Please would you provide me with the details of the species available, prices and an address for pick-up? I am particularly interested in Korean Pine nut trees and whether they will grow in Eastern Ontario.

Yours truly, Peter R. Bennett RR # 1 Iroquois, Ont. K0E 1K0"

Peter may have in mind the Truscott Nursery in the Oak Valley Plantation - contact members George Truscott or Ralph McKendry. Korean Nut Pine grows well in the region - contact Ted Cormier, The Seed Source, in Oxford Mills 258-2570. Guy Lefebvre of Source Wood Products in Cornwall is also a source of seedlings of an number of species. Note also, the section of The Nuttery called "The Marketplace", where there are ads for suppliers.

A project to involve students in growing nut trees

ECSONG's prime directive is promoting the growing of nut trees and shrubs in the Eastern Ontario region. Helping children learn to grow nut trees is one of the best way to meet the directive. Ralph McKendry suggests the following program to involve the kids, and their schools and teachers...


Roles of participating organizations:

ECSONG -- Could provide:

The Schools -- Each school wishing to participate would name a staff person to manage their activities, including:

Why nut trees?

Candidate species?

Seed sources:

Planting activities - Fall vs. Springtime Fall is nature's time to plant nut seeds. Advantages include:

Spring planting of stratified nuts offers two possible approaches:

A project/program such as described needs:

Involving young people in tree culture has many benefits. And this is not a new idea - just one that needs better promotion. more than 150 years ago Canadian children planted nuts as you can learn in "The Canadian Settlers Guide" by Catherine Parr Traill, first published in 1855:

When I was a child eight years old, I assisted one of my sisters two years older than myself, under my father’s direction, in planting nursery of walnuts. Those trees now form a fine avenue, and have borne fruit for many years.

Ralph McKendry, 17 November, 1997.

Alcon's 'The Nut Huller'

This year Alcon nut huller only had a modest amount of work, partly because there were few black walnut or butternut crops in the area.

Ted Cormier donated a large amount of black walnut to the reborn G. Howard Ferguson Nursery in Kemptville, and some of this crop was hulled. The Colletts brought in a few sacks of black walnut for hulling. Hank Jones hulled some black walnut, and some butternut that were dried. Douglas Criag, on behalf of his brother Donald, looked in on the hullers with an eye to assessing them for Donald's nut groves in southern Ontario. He was surprised that Alcon was the only place in Ontario, maybe even Canada, where nut hullers were made!

Guy Lefebvre expressed interest in seeing if a portable huller might be made that could be hand-carried, and fit comfortably in the trunk of a car. He thought that a smaller machine might have a more attractive price-tag for local producers. Guy is undoubtedly right about this - a smaller, cheaper machine might find a modest market in the region.

For more information, contact Mark Jones, Alcon Welding and Small Engine Repair, Nepean, Ontario (613) 723-9648

Germinating Ginkgoes

The Nuttery received a copy of Brenda Cole's note in her column in the Ottawa Citizen about how to germinate ginkgoes (apologies, but I am not sure who passed me the article - the Editor).

Brenda notes that ginkgoes harvested in October (they are often just coming down after several hard frosts in November in this area) are still immature. Warm stratification at 20C to 30C for one or two months is required, followed by another one or two months of cold stratification at 4C.

Brenda can be reached c/o The Ottawa Citizen, 1101 Baxter Road, Ottawa K2C 3M4.

Suggested nut trees species found in Eastern Ontario

There are many species of trees and shrubs in Eastern Ontario whose fruit is a nut or a nutlet. Some species are native, others naturalized (feral or advancing northward naturally, growing opportunistically), and still others domesticated (human-selected varieties, sports, cultivars and clones, deliberately grown in plantation settings). The oaks, walnuts, hickories, hazels, beeches, buckeyes, horse chestnuts, ginkgoes and nut pines are commonly regarded as nut trees or nut shrubs. There are still other species less known as nut trees and shrubs, such as basswood, hophornbeam, black cherry, chokecherry whose fruits are nutlets.

The most common native nut trees are the oaks, which are also the least used by people. The most numerous oak tree species are the red oak and the bur oak. Acorns are as nutritious as most agricultural crops, most notably corn. An natural oak forest can be almost as productive of food as an intensively chemically managed corn field. Red oak acorns are high in tannins (bitter) and in edible oil. The oil is comparable to olive oil in its physical and food properties. These are the preferred acorns for northern nonmigratory wildlife fattening for winter, such as bear, deer, grouse, etc. Bur oak acorns are low in tannins (sweet) and high in starches. There is an extensive literature on these trees, mostly from the forestry viewpoint, meaning sylvic properties, and from the wildlife viewpoint. There is much less literature on the human use of the products of the living tree.

Here are some references on the human use of acorns for food and other applications:

The Nuttery needs... You!

The Nuttery is your newsletter. It is to date the best way of communicating your ideas to across space and time, to your colleagues today and your descendants tomorrow. Publishing in The Nuttery is a part of your legacy to future generations. Using The Nuttery is easy.

Write a letter to the editor, telling the way it is, asking a question! Write an article relating an experience, explaining a method, presenting an idea, critiquing a process, defining a goal. Write a learned paper. Encourage your colleagues, whenever good ideas and clear thoughts come up during meetings or conversations, to write to The Nuttery.

Don't be shy! Don't underestimate the value of your ideas and opinions. Pick up your pen, or dust off your typewriter, or turn on your computer, and get your message to The Nuttery, anytime, anyhow, anyway. The door is open...

Bill Forrest suggested that The Nuttery should have a question/answer column. Good idea. We could receive questions, publish same with enquirer's name and address, suggesting that readers might respond directly. Or we could research answers and publish them in the following issue. Or, best yet, some like Bill might become a columnist, and receive questions, prepare expert answers, and publish both in a single issue of The Nuttery. Comments? Let the Editor know.

For more information, contact Hank Jones (editor) - try sending your material by email to marked attention The Nuttery.

ECSONG Calendar of Meetings and Events for the1997/98 program

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