In this Issue...
ECSONG's twentieth AGM gets underway at 10:30AM Saturday, 20/3/99 at Baxter - not to be missed! Our afternoon speaker will be Dr. Paul Catling of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on Bear Oak and new oak crops. Also, note the upcoming Art of Gardening Show on 10/11 April - join the ECSONG Exhibit. On April 10 '99, ECSONG will also be exhibiting at the "Greening Of the Rideau" and will be describing the Filmore R. Park Nut Grove to the audience.
Peruse the Projects section to learn about the ECSONG projects that seek your involvement for mutual benefit; catch up on website news with John Sankey; consider what makes an ECSONG Nut Grove; touch base with the Nut Tree Garden project, specially if you are an Ottawa downtowner; and see how ECSONG's new Phone Tree is shaping up.
Lots of News: find summaries of our Winter Meeting speakers Ernie Kerr, Alex Mucha and Roman Popadiouk, George Truscott, Ian Efford, Michael Broad, Chris Cummins and Len Collett, and Sandy Graham; also Ernie's notes on topiary and health; and notes on the winter meeting itself.
In the Nut Grower Section, study the article by Alex Mucha and Roman Popadiouk in germinating and planting Korean Nut Pines; George Truscott's experiments germinating ginkgo seed; and Bill Forrest's advice on pruning nut trees.
As always, check our growing list on nut products and services supplies in the Eastern Ontario region in the Marketplace.
In the Membership Section, you can find the phone numbers of everyone mentioned in Nuttery articles, as well as the ECSONG annual calendar, the ECSONG brochure, and a Membership form for your friends and neighbours.
See you all at the AGM on Saturday March 20 at the Baxter Conservation Area!
Twentieth Annual General Meeting
As usual, our Annual General Meeting '99 will be held the third Saturday of March, i.e. Saturday, March 20, 1999, at the MacMannis Interpretive Center in the Baxter Conservation Area on Regional Road 13 just south of Kars, Ontario.
All ECSONG meetings are open to the public and the AGM no less than any other. However, the morning, starting at 10:30 AM is devoted to business, while the afternoon offers a guest speaker on a nutty topic. The most important piece of business is the election of officers for the coming year. Nominations are gathered by Len Collett, presently the Chair of the Nominations Committee. Any member of ECSONG is eligible for nomination. The offices are Chair (Ted Cormier, incumbent), Vice-Chair (George Truscott, incumbent), Secretary (Peter Carr, incumbent) and Treasurer (Art Read, incumbent). If you would like to run for office, or have someone else in mind, send your nomination to Len by phone, email or post, as you wish.
By 11:30PM, the business has usually been concluded, and our long lunch-social begins. Depending on weather, a walk over to the Filmore R. Park Nut Grove can be undertaken. This is the Nut Grove's twentieth anniversary, and big plans will see it spruced up for fall celebrations. Make sure you talk to Sandy Graham about the plans - the more help Sandy can get, the better the Nut Grove will be when Press, Public and Politicos arrive! In the center itself, there will exhibits of various sorts and seed/stock for sale and exchange.
At 1:30PM, the afternoon session starts. This year we will be learning about the Bear Oak from Dr. Paul Catling, and about Vivian Brownwell's important discovery. This oak, Quercus illicifolia, is a precocious shrub, bearing at an early age, and in abundance. Its small acorns are pretty, and attract wildlife. Until recently, it was not known that the Bear Oak grew in Eastern Ontario. We will hear almost first hand about how this plant has now become another nut-bearing plant growing successfully in our region. And by 3:30PM, the AGM will be wrapped up for another year.
Our AGMs always prove excellent meetings. Thanks to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, we have the rustic MacMannis Interpretive at our disposal for the Day, set in the Baxter Conservation Area with all its nature trails and its educative interpretive program, delivered by Biologist Leanne Kane, and our own Filmore R. Park Nut Grove, demonstrating the wide variety of nut trees and shrubs that ECSONG has chosen can be grown successfully in our region.
Please bring your family and invite your friends and neighbours to join us. Bring your own lunch and drinks. Join our other culinary members and make your own favourite nut dish to share! Bring along your own show-and-tell nut stuff to puzzle maybe or to challenge or to educate the rest of us.
For more information, contact Peter Carr at 613-728-6744 in Ottawa.
We have several standing committees which oversee ongoing projects. As an ECSONG member, you can get more out the organization if you participate in one or more of these committees. Note that all field day dates (Saturdays) have a rain date for the next day (Sunday).
The Oak Valley Nut Grove Liaison Committee masterminds and orchestrates the Oak Valley Nut Grove near Winchester Springs. As with the other Nut Groves, working here on the three or four field days a year will introduce to local nut-growing experts, and give you hands-on experience. The Spring Field Day '99 will be on Saturday, May 8 '99. Contact Peter Carr, Chair
The Filmore R. Park Nut Grove Liaison Committee develops the FRP Nut Grove at Baxter, which now has over a hundred species spanning some thirty nut species, varieties and cultivars, some now twenty years old. The Spring Field Day '99 will be on Saturday, May 1 '99. Contact Sandy Graham, Chair, 613-489-4159 in Kars.
The Dolman Ridge Plantations Liaison Committee manages numerous specialized nut plantations near Mer Bleu, including black walnut,. bur oak and Korean nut pine. Some of the specimens are approaching thirty years old, and are fruiting regularly. Contact Chris Cummins, Chair, 613-832-0414 in Dunrobin.
The Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee works towards a national nut tree collection, and welcomes the new initiatives to see a formal botanical garden in the Central Experimental Farm established.
The new Communications Committee is developing connections with the Media and Politicos in Eastern Ontario, and also building the new ECSONG Phone Tree, in order to speed spreading the word about nut growing opportunities and events, and also publishes The Nuttery. Contact Hank Jones, Editor 613-828-5772 in Ottawa.
Another new committee that will be starting up soon will take on the new Shagbark Hickory Butternut site in Lavant Township in Lanark County; Mississippi River Conservation Authority and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Len Collett will be setting this group up.
For more information in general about committees, contact The Nuttery.
Garden Show '99
The Art of Gardening Show is coming up on April 10 and 11 this year, and ECSONG is exhibiting again this year. The Show is sponsored by the Ottawa School of Art (1879) as a fund raiser. It will be held at the MacKay Church Hall in New Edinburgh in Ottawa. Organizers expect over a thousand visitors.
ECSONG's present display is getting a little ragged. It is time to review our display needs with a renovation or redesign in mind. Bob Humble talked about this at the Kemptville Woodlot Exhibition last month, and had some very good ideas on what we should do. A new display could be made even more portable than the present one, and have a picture gallery that tells about ECSONG, its Nut Groves and its outreach programs. Have you been thinking about how our display can better tell our story. If so, give Bob a call - maybe get together and draw up some plans for a new display. Talk to the Editor and/or to Ted Cormier, ECSONG Chair. Maybe we could have a brand-spanking new display for the upcoming garden show next month!
Things have been quiet on the website front for awhile now. The Nuttery editor has had too many distractions. However, John Sankey at the winter meeting noted that work was needed just to consolidate the current site, and that he wanted to do this! John has taken the site in hand - and soon will be seeking new material to ramp the site to new heights. Contact John if you can help. The site has great potential as there is much valuable material that could be posted, and several useful functions the site could perform for ECSONG.
What makes an ECSONG Nut Grove?
ECSONG now has three official nut groves. What makes these nut groves "ECSONG Nut Groves"? When ECSONG first started, it considered how its mandate to promote nut growing might best be accomplished. Amongst several ways, establishing public nut groves was high on the list. A nut grove could demonstrate which nut trees might thrive in the region if we planted as many species, varieties and cultivars that might have at least a remote chance of growing, and watching what happened. Because we were to promote nut growing, the results would need to be made public, and whatever succeeded would have to be propagated out to interested parties. Can the nut grove help do this as well? If so, how?
A nut grove is a workshop for ECSONG - after all we plan, plant and maintain it, learning how (and how not) along the way. As growers, we need to learn the complete life-cycle, from seed to maturity - and the grove is a convenient place where we can most easily teach each other and try our hand. As new generations of growers arise, the learning never stops. Thus, the grove will need to show seed management, stratification, selection, planting, transplanting, protection, culling, pruning, cropping, harvesting, lumbering and so on. All the time. And the grove must replant itself. In other words, an ECSONG nut grove needs facilities to demonstrate all these aspects - all the time. Stratification pits, nursery beds, nutling growboxes, nutlings, saplings, fruiters, etc., will always be present and working. Written and photographic records will always be kept.
A nut grove is a natural classroom for the public, of all ages. It needs outreach, programs to bring people to the grove to see for themselves nut trees thriving here. To learn the value of these trees and their crop. To build the desire to grow their own. To learn how to grow their own. And to take away with them, their first nutlings, to plant by methods they now know, their first nut trees.
In this way. ECSONG's nut groves demonstrate the possible, propagate the probable, and populate the region with more and more nut trees, intown and out, to make our world a richer place.
The Veratika Nut Tree Garden
As the new Veratika rises (www.cobjon.com/veratika), one of its contributions to its community will be the first Nut Tree Garden in Canada. Veratika is the business of Vera Hrebacka, a new member of ECSONG (and the organizer of our new Phone Tree). The joint-ECSONG garden is planned for centertown Ottawa, on abutting pieces of land owned respectively by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and the National Capital Commission, not far from the Parliament.
Already launched, the garden will be dominated by nut trees and shrubs, complemented by numerous non-nut plants. The launch last Halloween saw a Cobjon Nutling Growbox installed and planted with 50 nuts of eight species at the Katz residence on Cooper Street. Regional Councilor Diane Holmes officiated. The nutlings are destined for the garden when they reach their second year. Work on the garden proper will begin this spring. The Nut Tree Garden Society will be created, peopled by the local citizenry, to be the operators of the garden.
For more information, contact Vera at 567-8472 or email@example.com
The new ECSONG Phone Tree: A Team Effort!
The new ECSONG Phone Tree made its debut in February 1999. The Winter Meeting '99 was postponed because of freezing rain, and the possibility loomed that we would lose this meeting, something that had not happened before on our twenty year history. Alec Jones said we should not schedule winter meetings for weekday evenings, as these usually present us with the worst weather. Instead, we should have winter meetings on weekend afternoons, so participants could arrive in daylight and leave in daylight! So, could we reschedule for an afternoon on the following weekend? Yes, the Citizen Conference Room was available Saturday afternoon. But how would tell members the new date with such short notice? Vera Hrebacka reminded us that this is exactly the situation that a Phone Tree can resolve. And so, the ECSONG Phone Tree was born.
Working from the ECSONG membership list and mailing list, which had been sorted into geographic order, Vera broke the lists into groups of ten or so folks who lived in roughly the same area. She then asked for recommendations on who in each group might be willing to be the Leader for the group. With names in hand, she started on Monday morning, February 1 to recruit leaders. By Wednesday, she had nailed down Leaders for half the groups, and had called so many folks that she had almost been the whole phone tree herself!
Vera says, "Thanks to Alec Jones' weekender suggestion and the efforts, commitment and hard work of our new Phone Tree Leaders, namely Susan Cooper, Gordon Sample, Ross Still, Alex Mucha, and Robert Humble, members came out in record numbers and rubbed shoulders with fellow members, listened to great presentations and got to taste nut treats baked by Kathleen Jones with their coffee...mmm. ECSONG had its best attended meeting ever!"
The present Phone Tree is broken down into fourteen calling areas of 8-12 people each. Each group has a Leader, who phones out the message, while gathering information to send back. For example, if the message is about an upcoming meeting, the info back could be how many of the group might be attending. To go a step further, the Leader might keep in touch with the group above and beyond just Phone Tree, and be able to stimulate local activities, or learn about initiatives that the rest of ECSONG should be aware of.
Didn't Get A Call? If you did not get a phone call, please let me know - call Vera at 613-567-8472. The Phone Tree is new and there are a few bugs to iron out. For one, Leaders are still needed for several calling areas. Here's how the present Phone Tree shakes out.
We have Leaders for: Lanark - Ross Still; Leeds and Grenville 1 (LG1) - Isabelle Cormier; Leeds and Grenville 2 (LG2) - Susan Cooper; Ottawa East - Alex Mucha; Ottawa West - Gordon Sample; and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry 1 (SDG1) - Bob Humble.
Areas requiring a Leader: Outer Counties (Prince Edward County, Lennox & Addington, Frontenac, Renfrew); Prescott & Russell; Ottawa Center 1 (OC1); Ottawa Center 2 (OC2); SDG2 (Avonmore, Winchester, South Mountain, Mountain, Inkerman, Morrisburg, Brinston); Far West (Brighton, Warsaw, Orangeville, Newtonville, Novleton, North York); and Far East (Maria, PQ, Menningford, PQ, Joliette, PQ, St. Hubert, PQ).
Do you have a phone and an hour to spare every now and again? Our organization is growing: at ECSONG we don't just grow nut trees - we grow in numbers! Call Vera at 613-567-8472.
How It Works (we think)
ECSONG's Chair recognizes an urgent message needs to go out. ECSONG's Phone Tree Committee has the phone tree in place and working smoothly. The Committee is instructed by ECSONG to send out the message. The Phone Tree Captain phones all the Leaders. The Leaders inform their groups. Sound simple? ...it is...and it isn't. Read on.
ECSONG's master list has approximately 150 names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses, and is continually changing. The PTC takes the list, sorts it into geographic areas, and divides the areas into groups of 8-12 individuals. The PTC chooses a Captain, who will recruit a co-Captain, the group Leaders, and their backups. The Captain is also the start-point for the Tree in action when a message must go out.
Now we have a functional Phone Tree. The Phone Tree Committee (PTC) keeps the Phone Tree up-to-date, so that new members are added and phone numbers are current. It is an ongoing job. People join ECSONG, move, change phone numbers, add fax or email capabilities year around. New communications technology means that people can now be contacted by phone, voice mail, fax and email, so the PTC must keep this in mind.
Ultimately, the role of the phone tree is to help ECSONG and its membership reach their goals by working together better. The Phone Tree is one way to helping us connect, and have fun along the way!
For more information and to volunteer, contact Vera at 613-567-8472, or at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.cobjon.com/veratika
The Winter Meeting '99
This past Winter Meeting '99 was postponed (and almost lost) due to freezing rain. By almost a miracle, it was resurrected almost two weeks later, on Saturday, February 6, 1999. With 51 participants, it turned out to be the best attended ECSONG meeting ever (except maybe for the First Nutculture Workshop in '96, which drew 150, but that was different). See elsewhere in this issue summaries of the presentations of our eight speakers.
In attendance were (in order of sign-in): Sheryle Reddick, Henk Wiersma, Kirsti Fernberg, Harold Fernberg, Michael Keeling and Companion, Roman Popadiouk, Galina Popadiouk, Ernie Kerr, James Hudson, Ross Still, Bob McKendry, Myrtle McKendry, Bob Moodie, Alex Mucha, Irene Broad, Michael Broad, Murray Spearman, John Flys, Bob Scally, Jonathan Bramwell, Peter Satterly, Ian Efford, Wendell Ward, Bill Forrest, Chris Cummins, Hank Jones, Kurt Wasner. Harriett Wasner, Hannah Sellers, Frank Sellers, Larry Wade, Gordon Sample, Ray Plouffe, Alec Jones, Kathleen Jones, Vera Hrebacka, Polina Hrebacka, Anastasia Hrebacka, Milena Hrebacka, John Sankey, Walter Brownrigg, Bob Humble, Darryl Abbinett, Ted Cormier, Isabelle Cormier, Peter Carr, Anstace Esmond-White, Larry Esmond-White, Gina Doucette and Zachary Doucette.
Were you able to be the winter meeting? If so, please take a moment to check your name, and let the Editor know of any omissions or errors.
Pruning and Training
Bill Forrest continues his research into best practices in pruning and training nut trees and shrubs. He notes that midsummer pruning is recommended for Aesculus and Juglans (and other species that "bleed") in "Practical Guide to Gardening in Canada" by Christopher Brickell and Trevor Cole (P. 47).
Bill goes on to note that he has pruned rather large branches (up to 4 inches) from his own black walnut at 20 Juniper Crescent in Nepean during mild days in January and February in years past, dressing the wounds with "Lac Balsam". Come spring there has been some bleeding but very minimal.
For more information, contact Bill Forrest.
Collecting, Stratifying & Planting Korean Nut Pine
The paper is a translation and summary by Roman Popadiouk and Alex Mucha, January, 1999, from: Kretchetova N. B., and Shteynikova V. I. "RECOMMENDATIONS on collecting and preparing seeds of the Korean Pine and the Manchurian Ash for storing and planting". Far East Research Institute for Silviculture, Khabarovsk, 1973.
The Popadiouk/Mucha draft was edited by Hank Jones, January, 1999 to produce this version.
Note: Mr. Popadiouk suggests these same instructions may also apply to the collecting, stratifying and planting of Siberian Nut Pine.
2. Seed Collecting
Korean Nut Pine seeds ripen from late September to the end of October. In September, the cones contain 50-55% moisture, and the seed 27% moisture, but by late October the figures are 25-30% and 20-23% respectively.
The best period for the seed collecting is September and October. It is also possible to continue collecting into November if the weather continues dry and warm with temperatures staying above -5C. Seeds collected later, in late November and December, have lower germination rates. Seeds are completely dead by the end of the winter.
3. Seed Storage The optimal conditions for seed storage are: seed moisture 8-11% , relative humidity 40-60%, and air temperature between 0C and 3C. Seeds can be stored successfully for 1 to 2 years under these conditions. Seeds should be dried to 8-11% moisture before being stored. Note: temperatures below -6C kills all seeds.
4. Seed Stratification
4.1. Stratification Methods
Seeds are stratified from December to May for planting in the spring; and from May to October for fall planting. Seeds for the fall planting come from the previous year's crop, stored as described above over the preceding winter and summer.
Seed can be stratified by two methods:
The two Phase method, using Stratification Boxes, started at high temperature (Phase 1) and finished at low temperature (Phase 2); or
The Trench Method, using a trench dug deeper than the frost line, which will provide a constant low temperature, from October with fresh collected seeds, or from May with seed coming from storage.
4.2. Preparing Seed for Stratification
Fresh seed must be soaked in warm water (20C) for up to 3 days; seeds from storage must be soaked for a longer period, up to 6 days. Water should be changed every 1 or 2 days. The first two times, use water with an initial temperature of 40C (to heat the seeds), thereafter with a temperature of 20C (to maintain the heat). Good (viable) seed will float, whereas empty (dead) seed sinks, and can be discarded. After soaking, the seeds are sterilized with a 0.5% solution of potassium permanganate (KMnO4) for 30 minutes.
4.3. The Preferred Medium for Stratification
Stratification succeeds when seeds have enough air, moisture, and proper temperature. Sand, saw dust, and peat allow good air exchange and preserve moisture as well. Sand must be clean. Saw dust must be new and without fungi. Soft wood saw dust is better than hard wood. The peat should be crushed into particles less than 5 mm, and sterilized by 0.5% KMnO4.
4.4. Making Stratification Boxes
For sand, the boxes measure: length 60-70 cm, width 40 cm, and height 30-35 cm. For stratification with saw dust or a peat (which lighter weight than sand), the boxes can be bigger. The bottom and sides of the box have holes with diameter 0.5 cm. The boxes can be made of plastic or wood.
4.5. Stratification in Two Phases using Stratification Boxes
Box stratification begins at temperatures around 18C - 21C (Personal Communication to Mucha from N. Perevertailo, Head of the Research Department of the Khabarovsk Institution of Silviculture, January, 1999)(Phase 1), and finishes either in a cold room around 0C (Phase 2a), or under snow at temperatures around 2C (Phase 2b).
Phase1:Initial stratification at 18C - 21C
Soaked (swelled) seeds are mixed with moist (not wet) saw dust or peat in proportions 1:2 or 1:3 (seeds : dust or peat, respectively). The box is filled to 2/3 volume with this mixture. Each week you need add some water (temperature 20C) to maintain the proper level of moisture. After adding water, the content should be well mixed again. The boxes must be covered to prevent the surface from drying out. Air temperature in the stratification room must be kept above 20C. About 0.5% of the seeds will germinate stratification by this method. Germinated seeds should be removed when next watering and mixing comes up. This phase of stratification takes about 60-90 days to complete.
Phase 2a:Stratification continued under snow
Relocate the boxes from the warm storage room, and cover with snow for at least 2 months. The depth of snow should be about 1 m to 1.5 m because temperatures below -5C or -6C will kill the seeds. It is a good idea to top the snow with saw dust (15-20 cm in depth) in order to reduce snow melting.
Phase 2b:Stratification continued indoors at 2C
Instead of using snow covering, the stratification boxes might be placed in a cold room (refrigerator) in which lowest temperature is -4C and highest temperature is +2C, and the soil moisture is between 65% - 75%, for at least 3 months. Temperatures below -4C kill seeds, and temperatures over +2C block the physiological processes which break seed dormancy.
5. Planting the Stratified Seed
5.1. Planting Outdoors in Spring
Spring planting outdoors begins when the air temperature is above 15C, and the top layers of soil are at a temperature between 8C - 10C, with soil moisture between 50% - 65%. Sow in rows at a depth of 3 - 4 cm. Cover with the same soil if it has been humused well. To keep a constant moisture level, mulch with fir or pine saw dust about 2 - 3 cm deep. When germination starts in 15-20 days, you may add a little more mulch around the emerging seedling to protect the roots from drying.
When the first seedlings show, mix the mulch and soil thoroughly, and start weeding. During the summer, feed 2-3 times with liquid mineral fertilizers. First fertilization: About one week after the seedlings begin emerging, apply a 0.25% solution of urea. Second fertilization: About one to two weeks later, apply with complex fertilizer (NPK). Third fertilization: About the end of July, apply 0.35% solution of phosphorus. However, if the seedlings are already growing well, the feeding dosages may be reduced to half the recommended concentrations. One year seedlings should be 8-10 cm in height.
5.2. Planting Outdoors in the Autumn
Planting should be followed by next site preparation, that is top cover of saw dust, and installation of fences for fast snow accumulation.
5.3. Hothouse Planting
Hothouse growing requires a precisely sustained microclimate: the air temperature between 27C - 29C; relative humidity between 80% - 85%; during growing period up to 100% moisture at root level, but not less than 60% - 65%. Feed 4 - 5 times with liquid fertilizers between 0.25% and 0.5% concentration: For the first and second feedings - add nitrogen; for the third and fourth feedings - just phosphorous and potassium; for the fifth feeding use only potassium and do so before buds begin to swell.
For more information, contact Alex Mucha.
Experiments on the germination of Ginkgo seeds (Ginkgo biloba)
I became interested in ginkgo nuts at the home and garden show in the Spring of '97, when Richters from near Toronto were selling 10" seedlings like hot cakes in the booth across from us, I thought " why not us"?
In November I collected about 3500 of the fruit in the Ottawa area, and they stink! I simply put up with it. I used a kitchen strainer and a potato masher, to knead the flesh off them, and then picked the seeds out with a spoon. Next I washed the seeds and left them to partially dry. Next day, I prepared them for storage:
1. In mid November I planted 25 in the garden, and mulched them. November 30 I planted 105 more, without mulch in the garden.
2. I placed about 25 nuts in a sandwich bag in the freezer.
3. One container of fruit (flesh on), was placed in my potato bin downstairs, and another in a hole in the ground outside, where I store potatoes.
4. I stored a lot, in moist peat moss in the hole in the ground. A lot more were stored in moist peat moss in my potato bin downstairs.
5. A couple of zip lock perforated vegetable bags with moist peat moss and nuts were placed in the fridge.
6. A number of containers were at first stored on my desk at room temperature, mould started to form, so I sprayed them with lemon juice. Then after 3 weeks they started to sprout, so I planted the sprouted ones and put the remainder in the potato bin.
So far, my impression is, that they do not require stratification. Secondly, I believe direct planting in the garden in November is best, but I won't know until June; when they do, or do not germinate. Hopefully, a temperature just above freezing, will keep them from germinating until April or May. I won't know any of the answers until May or June. I found 2 references with ginkgo's in the Nuttery dated March 1996, and December 1997. March 1996 was by Jeff Blackadar, and had much useful information on potting them, but this is what I wish to avoid until spring time. The quote in the December 1997 issue, by Brenda Cole, speaks mostly of stratification and speaks in terms of 2 to 4 months, this also, is what I wish to avoid.
Hopefully, I will have the answers in June, 1999.
Dr. George Truscott February 3, 1999
Korean and Siberian Nut Pines are related species that are proving successful in the Eastern Ontario region. Thanks to work done by Mark Schaefer and Moe Anderson many years ago at the Dolman Ridge Plantations, we now know that Korean Nut Pine can be precocious here. In only eight years, trees began bearing mature cones and seeds, many years earlier than usual. And the trees continue to flourish. As the next step in the introduction of nut pines to the region, Alex Mucha and Roman Popadiouk spoke at the Winter meeting '98 about their most recent work translating authoritative articles on germination and propagation from Russian work in Siberia. Alex has been working with fresh seed from Russia for some time now. Roman, who is a Forestry Engineer from the Ukraine, recently arrived, helped Alex translate and interpret the papers. As a contribution to ECSONG, both have agreed to have their work published in The Nuttery. Thanks Alex and Roman! Their version of the papers is printed in the Not Growers Section below.
Sawing Bitternut Hickory
The Ice Storm '98 gave Chris Cummins of Dunrobin an opportunity to sample some of the Bitternut Hickory growing on his estate. Though his family would have preferred to leave these magnificent trees to mature, some were so badly damaged that they had to be felled. But they did not drop in vain! Len Collett has a portable bandsaw mill whose services he has offered to ECSONG members who need nutwood sawn. Chris and Len undertook to saw the Bitternut Hickory into planks, which are now stickered and drying at Chris' estate. Chris plans to make a start set from the wood when it is ready. Maybe there will be smaller pieces of wood or log left over from the nutwood turners and carvers amongst our members? If you are interested, or have nut trees yourself that might be sawn, contact Chris or Len.
By the way, Chris is also Chair of the Dolman Ridge Plantations Liaison Committee (DRP). The DRP has numerous small experimental plantations of a variety of nut species, some growing since the late sixties. It is located near Mer Bleu just east of Ottawa on land once Forestry Canada's Central Research Forest, now owned by the National Capital Commission (NCC) who strongly support our work, and continue to offer the committee resources to improve existing plantations, to increase its research efforts and to start new plantations on the site. The DRP Committee membership includes ECSONG (Chair), the NCC, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), the Canadian Chestnut Council, and the International Oak Society. Chris invites ECSONG folks to join Moe Anderson, Mark Schaefer, and others in the work of this group to make the DRP the most productive of ECSONG's nut groves. Give Chris a call - read the proposed long term plan published in the last issue of The Nuttery - and get ready for upcoming Spring Field Day to get this plan underway!
Nuts over Topiary
Ernie Kerr sent The Nuttery a clipping from the Ottawa Citizen of 5/12/98 entitled "Nuts over topiary" by Yvonne Jeffery Hope. It shows, and explains, how the kids could make a small Xmas-tree shaped decoration using a brass or clay pot, a styrofoam cone and a handful of mixed nuts in the shell. It suggests walnuts, almonds, hazels and pecans. If you are a nut grower of these parts, maybe you would prefer to gather your own: try black walnut, butternut, beaked hazel, acorn, horsechestnut and hickory. If you embark on this nutty voyage, let us know the results!
Ernie also reminds us that nut are good for your heart, as well as your soul! See the Ottawa Citizen again, this time 18/11/98. Thanx for the info, Ernie, and keep the news coming!
Starting your own Nut Plantation
Ernie Kerr told us at the Winter Meeting '99, that since the nineties, he has been planning and developing a large, private nut tree plantation located near Avonmore. He has approached the matter scientifically, in plot design, species/variety/cultivar choice, and record keeping. Some of the trees have been started from selected seed collected locally by Ernie and others. Other trees have been bought as grafted and naturals from elsewhere most notably the Grimo Nut Nursery on Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ernie has found, as have others, that specimens from farther away that one or two climatic zones do not do very well. Growing from local seed has proved the most successful. Ernie also notes that nut tree identification is fraught with uncertainty, and as much as half the specimens prove to be the wrong species of variety. We need a service that can examine sample and make a reliable species/variety determination for the buyer where certainty is essential. Ernie has also noted that he has had considerable difficulty in soil analysis, and the results when they did come, were largely unintelligible - help for nut growers is needed here as well.
Some of Ernie's trees are now old enough to be bearing fruit. His meticulous record keeping is paying off. We hope that he will begin writing learned articles for The Nuttery soon, and possibly consider an advice column for our neophytes. What say, Ernie?
George wrote an article on his experiments underway on germinating ginkgo seed, which he planned to present at the Winter Meeting '98. However, he was called away to Toronto for a reunion he just couldn't pass up! So he asked Hank Jones to read his paper at the meeting. Though his result are still preliminary, there is at least one unexpected outcome. Without stratification of any sort, George placed some just-collected Ginkgoes in a plastic bag and left it on his desktop. In a short time, they germinated, and are now growing pots! Read the rest of George's work in the Nut Growers Section of this issue. For more information, contact George.
Ottawa Botanical Garden
For a hundred and thirteen years now, the federal government has been trying to establish a formal botanical garden and arboretum at the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) in Ottawa. Though the original plantings of trees in the area date back to the 1880's, and have been maintained since, the botanical garden has never been formalized. Many folks over the years have struggled to keep the kernel alive, and in the last decade, the Friends of the Experimental Farm have been the Chosen Ones! Unfortunately, the worldwide population explosion throughout the twentieth century has forced agriculturists everywhere, including in Canada, to focus on the most basic food crops, leaving little or no energy for exploration and development of other plants. Thus no formal botanical garden for the CEF. It is abundantly clear however that all the players desire that there should be a garden! Only the lack of means has defeated us all.
At the ECSONG Winter Meeting '98, we heard about a new effort just getting underway that claims a clear understanding of the defeats of the past, and vision of how to overcome! Ian Efford, President of the new Ottawa Botanical Garden Society, explained to meeting how the OBGS sees marrying old and new into an initiative that goes to the heart of the matter - and presents a means that can succeed. A growing society can attract considerable resource - people and money - to achieve critical mass. The scent of imminent success would prove a powerful attractant of yet more resources. The blueprint for the proposed garden that Ian presented is a formula for success - and can be easily finessed over time. This is heritage in the offing. In years to come, the OBGS could help us all build a botanical garden that would thrive, to become an important heritage all Canadians could be proud of!
Already, as ECSONG redeploys its Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee (DALC), initiated over a decade ago, the concept of a Canada Nut Tree Collection planted therein is taking shape. ECSONG and colleagues are compiling a list of species, varieties and cultivars considered suitable to Canada that is being finalized - there are almost a hundred entries! As part of a formal arboretum, this collection would offer Canadians the superior reference material that could see Canada become a tour de force in nut arboriculture, agriculture, horticulture and silviculture. After all, in the eyes of the world, we are already the 'land of forests and trees'. We would be nuts not to get on with this!
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Michael and Irene Broad revealed to us at the Winter Meeting '99 that they now drive around on walnut shell tires, thank to the Toyo Tire company. In his presentation, Michael explained that the company has embedded the ground shell of Persian Walnut in the tread of their tires in order to improve grip on ice and wearability. Thanks to the folks at 417 Auto Mall, he and Irene were able to borrow a video explaining the benefits of the shell as well as how it worked. Michael suggested to the audience that ECSONG should approach the Toyo representatives here about joint projects that would help both organizations advance their respective causes. Possibly, joint research efforts might be suggested. As Michael pointed out, the shells Toyo uses are Persian Walnut. Presumably these are plentiful as this is the species commonly sold in stores around the world, and discarded shell should be plentiful. However, is Persian Walnut shell the best for Toyo's application? Supposed Black Walnut or Butternut proved superior, could ECSONG help develop a sources of shell for this application? Michael, lets explore this idea with Toyo - and find a project or two that we could jointly undertake!
Celebrating FRP Nut Grove's 20th!
This year 1999 is the twentieth anniversary of the first tree plantings in the Filmore R. Park Nut Grove at the Baxter Conservation Area run by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. Over the years, many members of ECSONG and RVCA staff have strived to see the grove flourish, becoming the luxuriant park it is now!
Sandy, who Chairs the FRP Liaison Committee, is planning the celebration. He has identified the pond as the project for this year, to be readied for a fall unveiling. Along with the revitalization of the FRP Nursery (George Truscott donated a bag of Black Walnuts that were buried in a stratification pit in the grove this past fall, as filmed during Nutting Bee for PBS TV showing this coming June) using a Cobjon Nutling Growbox donated by Cobjon Enterprises Inc., of Ottawa. Now that the file of Bur Oaks have been brought into the grove, the FRP is almost ready for the celebration. Sandy is considering a public event for the fall or late summer when the grove is at its finest, in full leaf and fruit. Sandy and the Committee have challenged ECSONG to put its full shoulder into this one - so first thing this spring, we must get over to the FRP, do the pond, do the maps, do the sign, do the... Call Sandy right now, so you aren't left out of the celebration!
Bob Scally Donates Coffee Maker to ECSONG
Bob Scally has kindly donated a 48-cup Coffee Maker to ECSONG for use during meetings. Thanks, Bob! We will see the machine at work a the upcoming AGM at the Baxter Conservation Area Saturday, March 20, 1999.
Provided by ECSONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.