In this Issue...
The fall field days are coming up. First, Filmore R. Park nut grove, then Oak Valley Nut Grove and finally Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations. Everyone welcome! Family, children, friends, neighbours - something for everyone - a little work, lots of funs, and lots to learn - bring your picnic!
The $300 ECSONG Research Prize is being offered again this year - tell your college students. Review Peter's report on Oak Valley progress. Jonathan is leading the publishing of the new edition of our Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario - he wants authors! Roman will lead the development of the national Nut Tree Collection at the Dominion Arboretum - he wants your help! ECSONG needs more publicity and information pubs about growing nut trees - will you take the lead?
The Great Canadian Nutting Bee ran at the Kars Fair this summer - and it had its ups and downs - but it could be here to stay - soon we will have a meeting to start planning for the next this coming spring. Have you been gathering this year's black walnut crop - do not forget the hulling service - and see the recipe for a black walnut cake that Vera got off the internet.
Irene suggests maybe somatic embryogenesis for butternuts? Could Ginkgoes regenerate naturally here - Hank has found one that has! Is our climate really warming - ask John. Dolman Ridge is yielding black walnut and American chestnut nutwood - and John is busy turning - would like to try? Peter says beneficial bugs can be dropped by aircraft to get rid of nut tree insect pests. Peter also notes OSCIA is helping restore the American chestnut - what about for butternuts? Furthermore, Peter wants you to know about the new Prevost Nursery and its nut seedlings. And George's experience germinating Ginkgoes has been a roller-coaster ride!
Make sure the date on your address label is 1999 or beyond, otherwise your dues are 'overdue'! If you are not sure, call the treasurer, Art Read 828 6594
See y'all at the fields days the next three Saturdays.
Filmore R. Park Nut Grove Fall Field Day
On Saturday, September 18, lets get out to the FRP to enjoy the outing and learn about nut trees. See the map for directions. Bring along pruning tools, your lunch and refreshments. Most of all, bring along family and friends so they can enjoy the grove. It is a wonderful picnic site. And a place for games for the kids of all ages. Hide and seek maybe. Or, who can find a Sweet American Chestnut?? Or, How many leaflets on a Black Walnut leaf (first, find a Black Walnut!)?? Or, Which is the biggest tree??. The possibilities may be endless. Call Sandy Graham for details on the day's activities and program, or to volunteer to set up activities for kids -- both the big and the little.
Dolman Ridge Nut Planatations Fall Field Day
First, you need to know about the "Mogens L. Anderson Oak Plantation" to be dedicated soon at the Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations. Chris Cummins's Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations Liaison Committee and ECSONG have just received permission from the Dolman Ridge landowner, the National Capital Commission, to name a plantation on the site in honour of one of our members.
Through the initiatives of John Sankey and the Cttee, the NCC's Gershon Rother has been convinced that to name the plantations in honour of Moe's undaunting efforts on the site will bring honour to everyone. Moe has unflaggingly worked on the site, first with Forestry Canada when this was the Central Research Forest, and the plantations were being planned and planted, and since then with ECSONG to be sure the new owners, the NCC, appreciated the nutty treasure that had been created!
To accomplish the naming, the plantation will be demarked on the new maps of the area John Sankey is preparing for the Cttee and the NCC, and a loop trail to take visitors around the site from the main walking trail will be marked out. Once the Cttee and the NCC have approved the plan, work will begin to cut the trail, and to prepare a sign naming the plantation and explaining the importance of the trees to Canada.
The Cttee is also working on the many other plantations on the site, to bring them back to research quality. This year the focus has been on the Black Plantation and the Korean Nut Pine Plantation. The Dolman Ridge site is rich in nut plantations, and its prominence as a research and education venue and as a tourist attraction in the coming years in clearly in the sights of the Cttee, ECSONG and the NCC.
Every members of ECSONG needs to pay close attention to this treasure, and stands to gain personally by participating in the Dolman Ridge Field Days. This coming Saturday, October 2nd is your next chance. Come along with pruners, loppers and saws, and practice marking, thinning and pruning on nut sites of intermediate age and size. The new knowledge and skills will help big time on your own site in the years to come. Call Chris at 613-832-0414 for details.
Oak Valley Nut Grove Fall Field Day
The folks at Oak Valley invite members and friends, one and all, to the field day on Saturday, September 25. See the map for directions. There are many nutty things to see and tours to take at the grove (ask Ernie to show you around). Learn about stratification and germination from George Truscott (see George's article elsewhere in this issue on starting Ginkgoes) by touring the Truscott Nursery at the heart of the grove. Examine the Butternut Archive with Peter Carr. Or view the gardens with Kim and Lester. Let Irene and Michael tell you the history of the site and grove. A wonderful picnic are, the grove is equipped with its own backhouse! See the results of the pruning workshop and how the trees are responding. Find the largest tree. See the precocious Korean Nut Pines' first cones ( the seeds are pine nuts, and you could be growing your own - ask Ted Cormier). Do not miss this field day. Bring your lunch and refreshments. For more information contact Peter Carr.
Butternuts and Somatic Embryogenesis
Irene Broad notes a recent article in The New Brunswick Telegraph Journal (exact date unknown, Reporter Kate Jaimet) on somatic embryogenesis as used by Canada's timber industry to clone certain conifer species. Could this method be used on blight resistant butternuts?
The process of somatic embryogenesis begins with ... "extracting the embryo from a seed, and putting it a petri dish with a particular mixture of nutrients and hormones. Resting in this chemical potion, the embryo begins to multiply and split, producing thousands of clones. When enough cloned cells have been produced, they put... (the cloned embryos) in a different chemical solution. This second solution causes the cloned embryos to begin to develop as normal trees would. The embryos begin to sprout, put down roots and develop stems..."
Has anyone tried this method with butternuts?
On September 6, 1999, Hank Jones inspected a large female ginkgo on NCC property near Somerset St west and The Driveway. Last year this tree bore many nuts. On close examination, nine seedlings were found under the tree. The random placement of most of the seedlings and the fact that several were under inaccessibly growing under nearby shrubbery suggested the nuts sprout by themselves where they fell. The site will be watched and more seedlings will be sought out.
Is the ginkgo naturalized any where in North American? Is it naturalized in the Eastern Ontario region? Or is the first time such natural regeneration has been seen here?
Global Warming and ECSONG
Looking through the old Nutteries while putting them up on the ECSONG web site, I noted a March 1991 prediction that, with global warming, the climate of Ottawa would be that of Pennsylvania within the lifetime of current trees. My curiosity piqued, I went looking for data relevant to the prediction.
I didn't have to move from my computer terminal - the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has put historical temperature data on line for essentially the entire world.
In a nutshell - the prediction is wrong, so far at least. No such warming is occurring here. Here is some of the data - the mean winter temperature (in degrees F), the major determiner of survival of trees, for Ottawa airport:
The horizontal line at -8.4 °F is the mean of the data for Ottawa. For comparison, the equivalent mean is shown for Brockville, and for Allentown PA.
Then, what is all this fuss about global warming, anyway? There are two answers.
The first answer is that the fuss is over what might happen if everything goes wrong, not about what is actually happening. The NASA site shows the best current measurements of global temperature - in the last 25 years, global temperature seems to have risen about 0.7 °F. That sort of temperature rise would have moved Ottawa less than half way to Brockville, climatically. It's a lot further to go to Pennsylvania.
The second answer is, that what warming is happening is happening somewhere else - in the center of Asia, south-western Africa, and Indonesia, to be precise. The global change maps at NASA show a great white blob, for essentially zero change, for North America east of the Rockies.
Is this a temporary state of affairs? Well, NASA offers two suggestions at its site that it isn't. Some weather models predict that global warming will be preceded by an increase in weather variability, an "early warning" if you will. NASA's analysis shows no significant change in the variability of Ottawa weather over the past century. And, the best estimates of temperatures during the last major "global warming" time for the earth, 3 million years ago, show a similar pattern of small change at the latitude of Ottawa.
What does this mean for ECSONG? Simple - let's keep working for hardier varieties. Our weather really isn't likely to change as much over the next hundred years as some newspaper headlines suggest.
An amateurish attempt to use black walnut prunings
Pro's can't be bothered with wood branches only 12 cm diameter, even black walnut branches. But, ECSONG collected a stack of them this spring while doing the first thinning of the black walnut grove on the Borthwick Ridge. And, there will be more of them next year as we continue the thinning. So, since retired old fogies like me have more time than money, I decided to try a few experiments.
The big problem, of course, is splitting as the wood seasons. Normally, wood is quartered or sawn into planks while still dripping wet, and the central pith is not used. However, that technique would leave me with heartwood pieces only a few centimeters square - too small to use for anything. Commercially, walnut is steamed so that the heartwood colour bleeds into the sapwood, to increase yield and size. But, that needs special equipment. And, it takes a lot of the life out of the gorgeous chocolate brown of black walnut, to my eyes anyway.
The first thing I'm trying is to turn the heartwood whole, green, into small nut bowls. Cut off a 20 cm length of branch, rough it round, gouge out the center, turn the outside to a nice shape and immediately soak it with shellac to seal it, trim the wall thickness on the inside then seal that immediately too. I'm leaving a thinnish wall at the bottom of the bowls to reduce the chance that the stress caused by the high shrinkage of the solid bottom will crack the sides. So far it's working, and I have half a dozen bowls sanded and French polished. But I won't really believe it until they have come through a winter season unscathed. [they did]
One branch was almost entirely sapwood - white - so I've quarter-cut it into 3-4 cm square sticks, and will try gluing it up once it is dry into turning blocks, as I do now with pine scraps. Does anyone know what might best show off the grain pattern and hue of white walnut? [Nobody did. Every finishing technique I tried just turned out dirty off-white] The biggest piece, 17 cm diameter, 11 cm heartwood, has been cut into four 20 cm lengths. Two are being left whole, with the bark on and the ends sealed with latex paint. One has been split in half, another quartered, and either the ends only, or the entire piece, sealed with paint.
The rest, about fifteen 1-meter-long branches, has been end-sealed with paint and is stored outside, under shelter and out of the sun, awaiting future uses. Anyone from ECSONG who has a way of making anything from it, call me at 748-0317
A New Nut Nursery
Check out http://www.prevland.com/contact.html This is a tree nursery near White Lake, Ont. The daughter works here at PMRA in the Call line. Among other things they are growing red, white, and burr oak, Shagbark hickory, walnut, butternut, bitternut, etc. I have not been to the place and do not know if they are are aware of ECSONG.
Editor Note: They are aware of ECSONG and will welcome your enquiries for seedlings.
Update on the Truscott Ginkgo Experiment
In previous issues, The Nuttery has reported on Dr. George Truscott's experiment on germinating Ginkgo seed collected in fall 1998 from trees growing in the Ottawa, Canada area. The report continues...
With the flesh cleaned off, and nutseed stored in moist peat moss at room temperature, they germinated in just a few weeks. The problem here is that then you have to pot them up, and carry them over the winter indoors.
In my Garden:
Great Canadian Nutting Bee
The second Great Canadian Nutting Bee was held on July 18-19, 1999 at the Kars Fair. The first had been a made-for-TV Bee run at the Baxter Conservation Area in November, 1998.
Few people that attended the Kars Fair missed the opportunity to visit the GCNB. Our exhibit was one the first when entering the Kars Fair grounds from the parking lot. Many people came twice (returning to cars). The Great Canadian Nutting Bee is a group of businesses and organizations whose objective is to profit from Canadian nut trees and Canadian nut tree products. The GCNB brought together a diverse group of individuals and organizations.
Despite being rained out half way through the first day, everyone was back on Sunday to take the fair "by storm"! It was a very successful weekend in many ways. For many it was an opportunity to promote their nut-related business or organization and how it contributes to the growing Canadian nut tree industry. The GCNB gave some the opportunity to try something they may never have done before, but had always wanted to do: sell their own nutly products; or a service (nutly face painting, nut tree consulting); or promote something they believe in strongly to the public (ECSONG nut groves).
The highlight for me was to see two young entrepreneurs - Khristina Popadiouk and Arthur Sankey - partner to create a nutty face painting business. These keen young people held us spell-bound as they 'took the market'. Many painted faces, hands and arms displayed Arthur's and Khristina's works of art for all to see. It takes skill, planning and courage to do what Khristina and Arthur did. Congratulations on a successful enterprise!
I also enjoyed Bob Stone's display of nutwood bowls and spurls. The demand for Bob's products exceeded the supply. In between sales, Bob quietly entertained people by demonstrating and explaining how his products are created by using a lathe.
And certainly our life-sized cartoon mascots, Darryl's nutty characters Annie Oaktree and Wild Bill Hickory, made by Galina, Khristina, and Darryl, drew in many visitors.
I think I speak for everyone who participated in saying thank you to Hank Jones for making the Great Canadian Nutting Bee possible. Organizing an event on this scale takes planning, organizing, coordinating, and the patience of a saint. Thanks to Hank many of us had an opportunity to be part of what I hope will become a Canadian tradition in the coming years.
Many folks participated in many ways in the Bee, including Ernie Kerr (Kerrsdale Farm), John Sankey (Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations), Arthur Sankey (Nutty Face Painters), Chris Cummins (Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations), Hank Jones (Cobjon Enterprises Inc.), Galina Ponomarenko (Artworks), Bob Stone (Nutwood Turnings), Roman Popadiouk (Nut Expert), Khristina Popadiouk (Nutty Face Painters), George Truscott (Oak Valley Nut Grove), Ted Cormier & Isabelle Cormier & Zak & Gina (The Seed Source), Darryl Abbinett (Nutty Cartoons), Kathleen Jones (Sponsor), Anstace & Larry Esmonde-White (From a Country Garden), Vera Hrebacka (Veratika Canada), Sonja Hrebacka (Consultant), Vera Pastyrick (Costumes), Hannah (Veratika Canada), and Sandy Graham (FRP Nut Grove). Also represented were Alex Mucha (AM Tree Farm), and Kurt Wasner (Buckthorn Meadows Tree Farms)
Many thanks to the Kars Fair (Fern Graham and Madie), ECSONG, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (Charles Billington et al), the South Nation Conservation (Rosemarie et al), the Canadian Chestnut Council (Colin McKeen and Ross Pamenter), International Oak Society (Michael Keeling et al), and the National Capital Commission (Gershon Rother) for their support.
Thank you to all who showed their support by coming out to visit, purchasing products, and by making financial contributions to this important event. Stay tuned for announcements of the next Great Canadian Nutting Bee!
Black Walnut Cake: The Nutcracker Sweet
BLACK WALNUT CAKE 3 cups sifted cake flour 2½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup butter, softened 1¾ cups sugar 2 eggs 1½ teaspoons vanilla 1¼ cups milk 1 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts, plus additional nuts for garnish (see note)
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two round 9x1½-inch pans or a 9x13-inch oblong pan. (Or line 18 third-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.)
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat 1 minute. Stir in nuts and mix well, then turn batter into pan(s).
Bake until cake shrinks from pan(s) and tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (top will not be very brown). Cool in pan(s) 10 minutes before removing.
Maple Icing: ½ cup softened butter 1 teaspoon maple flavoring (not syrup) 1 pound sifted confectioners' sugar 3 teaspoons milk or cream
Cream butter, add maple flavoring, and beat well. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, adding milk a teaspoon at a time. Beat well to a light, fluffy consistency. Frost cake, and sprinkle top with broken nutmeats -- or perfect halves if you're lucky!
Betty Saunders Guarino, Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Found on the Internet by Vera Hrebacka.
Interest in nut trees is growing rapidly throughout the region. This is a grand opportunity for ECSONG to promote more without much increase in effort. Success will bring benefits to ECSONG members as more and more kinds of nut trees will become available through the growing number of commercial nurseries adding new nut tree stock.
In order to catch this wave, ECSONG needs to improve its communication capacity (without increasing work load!). We have been toying with establishing a Communications Committee that could channel and amplify the efforts of The Nuttery, the nut grove committees and individual members to reach out. The Cttee would oversee all our efforts, and make sure every message reached the largest interested audience soonest with the least effort.
The Nuttery packages its information into six sections, namely: Announcements of up coming events in ECSONG and colleague organizations; achievement reports from ECSONG's nut groves and other projects; nut news in general and about individual achievements and efforts; technical information for growers large and small; advertising for suppliers of nut equipment, supplies and services; and membership information. The Cttee could handle this information by assigning its members to these topics. Each topic "editor" could gather relevant information, prepare it for publication and distribution, both in The Nuttery and through the public media as appropriate. With this division of effort, the quality and balance of information would improve noticeably. The improvements would considerably outweigh the change in level of effort.
To get the ball rolling, we need to find an ECSONG member willing to be Chair Pro Tem for the Cttee, to help get it up and running. Members with a background or special interest in journalism should put up their hands! Call Hank Jones to talk about it.
Dominion Arboretum Efforts
ECSONG's "Program '99" calls for the renewal of our "Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee" (DALC) to oversee the enhancements of Canada's nut tree collection. The Cttee was formed in 1990, with Alec Jones in the chair. With its Ag Canada and ECSONG membership, the DALC was able to carry a number projects at local, national and international levels. Now it is being asked to plan a full-scale national nut tree collection that all Canadians will be able to take pride in!
Today, there are more Stakeholders in the Arboretum than back in 1990. So, the Cttee needs to represent these folks' interests as the planning work begins. Besides ECSONG and Ag Canada, we now welcome the Friends of the Farm, the NCC, and possibly other federal government agencies. In the future, we may want find a place for the Ottawa Botanical Garden Society, as it has shown interest in nut trees in its proposals.
Our DALC membership now includes Bill Forrest, Johnathan Bramwell, Ted Cormier, Seeton Findlay and Dr. Roman Popadiouk. Dr. Popadiouk has agreed to act as Chair Pro Tem as the Cttee finds in feet in the new millenium! We can expect more news soon. If you are interested in this project, call the Editor.
A new Nut Growers Manual
The team planning the new edition of the Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario has prepared a draft Table of Contents. The Team comprising Johnathan Bramwell, Bill Forrest, Bob Scally, Anstace Esmonde-White and Larry Esmonde-White will be finalizing the Table of Contents as they prepare the outline. Then, ECSONG members will be invited to examine the document, and to consider how each might contribute words and wisdom to the writing of the manual. It is hoped that the book will be on the shelves by Spring 2000. For more information, contact Johnathan.
Oak Valley Spring Activities
In early Spring there was considerable individual activity at the plantation. Kim & Lester McInnes maintained the flower bed around the Bigford memorial stone, and cleaned out the vegetation in the foundation site of the old house. George Truscott started to clean out the nursery, and Ernie Kerr worked on finishing his map of the plantation.
On May 8th, the first field day, the weather was damp and dreary; however, Ted Cormier dug up many unique species, such as buartnut and chinquapin oak, from the nursery. These were transplanted near the river bank by Robert and Myrtle McKendry, Genice Collett and Kim. Meanwhile in the same area, George planted six ginkgoes that he had started under fluorescent lights at home.
In the east field, Ted tracked down and identified all the rare trees he could find. Len Collett and Lester cut down more Manitoba maples in the same area, while Irene and Michael Broad maintained the seedlings in the west field by removing the tree wrapping, staking up the trees and cleaning up any surrounding grass.
Between May 8th. and the next field day, June 5th., the grass grew rapidly and kept the grass cutters very busy. By June 5th. there was so much grass lying on the ground that the grass cutting machines could not operate in some places. So a grass winnower was borrowed from Bob Weagant, a Winchester area farm machinery dealer; this enabled the grass cutters to gain the upper hand over the grass once again. That day Kevin Baldwin and Gordon Bartholomew worked most of the day in a very hot sun winnowing and cutting the grass.
The usual tree maintenance was accomplished by the previously mentioned volunteers. They were joined by John Sankey and his son, Arthur, who helped deliver wood chips to the trees using Ernie's tractor-trailer system.
Ernie Kerr has been working single-handedly for several years surveying the location of the trees, and the physical features of the plantation. In order to print his map, it was decided to digitize it using the computer. To do this, the four corner posts and some central control points had to be mapped using the global positioning system (GPS). The computer would then be able to locate all the other points on Ernie's map. Thus we now have some four-foot metal stakes in the centre of the plantation (please do not remove them).
A forestry technologist with the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNCA) developed a set of computerized maps, showing tree location, tree height, and the health of the tree. The east field has not yet been done for the pine trees make it very difficult to use the GPS. This problem is being worked on.
These maps now provide us with an excellent record of the plantation during the Spring of 1999, and will enable us to make an inventory of the species and number of trees present in part of the plantation.
Periodically these maps will have to be updated as new seedlings are planted, and as other trees die off. This process should enable us to have a fairly rapid update with ever increasing accuracy. Many thanks to Ernie for working so long and hard on this project. This is a big leap forward in establishing a more systematic approach to the development of this plantation.
Last Fall, Len Collett suggested that we have a tree pruning session at Oak Valley. Bill Forrest then became very interested in the question of what was the best time of the year to do this, - considering the excessive bleeding of sap that occurs when various nut trees are pruned in the spring. So Jim Hendry and Mike Rosen, staff with Provincial Stewardship Program were contacted, and they readily offered their services and selected the most appropriate time for this - late spring or early summer - for this session.
This training session was opened to the public and was free. It was advertised in the regional newspapers using SNCA's media resources. Thus a notice appeared on the front page of some of the local newspapers. Twenty five people turned out on a beautiful Saturday, June 19th., seven people came from the surrounding area, and the rest were ECSONG members.
After a preliminary talk about the general principles given by Jim and Mike, we divided ourselves into two groups and proceeded to different areas of the plantation. Since the seedlings and the trees had never been pruned and some were getting quite tall, some difficult decisions were required.
At each tree a discussion developed as to what should be cut, and how much should be cut, and when should it be cut. After a consensus was reached, the pruning started. We quickly learned how to make the proper cuts so that the scar would heal properly .Often leaders had to be established and other branches cut back - some cutting would have to be deferred to a future year - bearing in mind that we did not want to cut back more than 25% of the tree.
Basically this training session brought reality to our book knowledge by providing actual hands-on experience. By the end of the day, most of us were quite confident in our ability to prune trees properly.
The two groups proceeded systematically throughout the whole plantation, thus pruning nearly all the trees! At the end of the day, a hard core of "pruners" visited Buck Cairncross's beautiful stand of walnuts near Inkerman, and helped him prune his trees also. Then we retired to Buck's front lawn for refreshments.
Many thanks to Buck for his hospitality, and to Len Collett for a great idea. Perhaps we can repeat it in few years time.
Peter Carr, Chair, Oak Valley Nut Grove
ECSONG Research Prize 1999
The ECSONG Executive decided, on the advice of the Committee of Past Chairs (Ted Cormier, Chair), to offer the ECSONG Research Prize again this year. The prize, worth $300, is offered to students at the college level in the Eastern Ontario region. Papers on the subject of nut trees and nut growing in Canada, with emphasis on Eastern Ontario, would normally be written as part of class work, in either English or French. The winning paper gets published on ECSONG's website. Last year's winner, Mary Ann Riley, wrote an excellent paper on the Bur Oak. Thanks to all who submitted papers last year! Dave Baker, Chair of the Prize Committee, invites students to submit their papers before mid-February, 2000. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter, and invited to ECSONG AGM in March to receive the Prize and to discuss the work with society members. A Prize Poster will be sent out shortly. For more information, contact The Nuttery.
John Sankey, ECSONG Webmaster, has been developing our website apace, rapidly increasing the information coverage. All the back issues of The Nuttery up to last year are in and indexed. Our cookbook and growers manual are also there. Many pictures spanning the history of ECSONG enrich the content. The site is quickly becoming the reference library for information about ECSONG.
The site is by no means finished. More information can be added, specially about our individual members and their nut growing achievements over the years. There may be ways of organizing the content that would make it easier for visitors to find just what they are looking for, or to help them learn what they need to know about nut growing to spur them to join our grand crusade!.
Call John to share your story, or help him with the pictures, specially to make sure we have meaningful picture of every member from over the years! Your personal knowledge and anecdotes are important, so do not be modest!
Provided by ECSONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.