The Nuttery : Volume 18 Number 3 (1999)

In this Issue...

Note the upcoming Winter Meeting announcement on this page in the box below. A highlight - the children's nutty art drawing program which should give us our first original drawing for the ECSONG Website. ECSONG Artists - can you help us manage the program during the meeting??

ECSONG elections are coming up in March. Make sure you put names forward as soon as possible, so the slate of candidates can be published in the next issue of The Nuttery.

Be sure to enjoy Charles Long's stimulating letter to ECSONG. Charles is Chair of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

And, be sure the ECSONG Phone Tree works for you. Vera continues to refine the tree - read about the latest labours and check with Vera if you want to help out.

Grab some of the excitement surging through the ECSONG Nut Groves - enjoy Sandy's Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove story; Peter's enormous list of achievements in the Oak Valley Nut Grove, along with his and Josée Brizard's appreciation of Ralph McKendry; note the splash the Cummins Gang's Dolman Ridge Nut Grove is making with the NCC and the Ottawa-Carleton Rural Stewardship Council; and relish the thought of a National Nut Tree Collection based in the Dominion Arboretum, along with Roman and his colleagues.

ECSONG's website is soaring, thanks to Webmaster John Sankey. And the poor, old, broken-down Nuttery editor wants an Assistant!

Art Read is looking into a possible new fee schedule that could help the Treasury and enable admirers to reward ECSONG financially in new ways. Act on the enclosed dues reminder immediately - before you forget! Also, Len Collett is scrutinizing our Constitution as it was made in the last century, and maybe a tad dusty.

Sergei wants us all to embrace a nut tree contest he is planning for the Eastern Ontario region - a hunt for superior nut trees and shrubs, and possibly new uniquely-Canada varieties. And this fall - the Fourth ECSONG Nutting Bus Tour - by popular demand!

Tell all your college students about the $300 nut culture essay contest - ask them to copy and post the enclosed Posters at school. Ever heard of aerial crop dusting - with wasp larvae - read Peter's note. And his note about the propagation of American Chestnut into Eastern Ontario - but where?

Check the Marketplace for nut growers suppliers. Scan the Membership list for folks near you, and call them up!

See you all at the Winter Meeting!!!

ECSONG Winter Meeting 2000

Hear Ye... Hear Ye... Hear Ye!

Registration begins about 1:30PM. The two hour long meeting is FREE and open to everyone - come, and bring a friend or two. If you are a nut tree grower, bring along your favorite show-and-tell items, and anything like tools, seeds, stock, products, to sell or maybe exchange. - the meeting will have lots of exhibit space, and time for perusal. Wild Bill Hickory and Annie Oaktree will be there. Memberships will be sold, dues can be paid, and ECSONG books can be bought.

The program will include:

And this year, a children's program - so bring your kids, grandkids, or borrow somebody else's! ECSONG Member Galina Ponomarenko, a professional painter and teacher of art to children,. will host a drawing session during the meeting for the children. All drawing materials will be supplied. Afterwards, the kids can choose which of all the pictures is most interesting, and it will be put onto the ECSONG website!

Coffee and other refreshments will be available. Why not make your favourite nut goodies, and bring some along for everyone to try? Contributions will be accepted at the refreshment and goodies table, to be given to ECSONG for future good works.

For more information, see the notices elsewhere in this issue, or call Hank Jones 613-567-8472.

A Letter of Appreciation

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
December 17, 1999

Hank Jones, Chair
Eastern Chapter Society of Ontario Nut Growers
2446 Sudbury Avenue Ottawa, Ontario K2C lL9

Dear Mr. Jones:

It's the season when we take the opportunity to get back in touch with friends and colleagues after another hectic year. As you are well aware, the world of natural resource conservation is getting a little more complicated every year as changing responsibilities, downsizing and downloading continue. At the same time, the conservation job is getting done and getting done well. The progress made by the Eastern Chapter, Society of Ontario Nut Growers during 1999 is remarkable, commendable and leading to significant improvements and significant new assets at the Baxter Conservation Area site. Your members are a very focused bunch and, after 20 years of effort, have created the best demonstration grove of nut trees in Eastern Ontario bar none. You make us all proud.

I wish to extend, on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, our sincere thanks for a job well done in 1999. We often say that the people are way ahead of the politicians and governments when it comes to recognizing the importance of a healthy natural environment for business, pleasure and family health. How can it be otherwise? Those who live, work and play along this beautiful river system know it best and treasure it most. People all over the valley are demonstrating a commitment to the environment and a willingness to get involved that virtually guarantees the success of our joint conservation mission. Your efforts this year are all steps in the right direction and eventually, together, we will leave the legacy of a healthy river valley that we all want for our children and grandchildren.

It is our privilege and honour to work with ECSONG to conserve the best of the Rideau Valley watershed for future generations. We hope that you will call on us if you think we can be of assistance in your work next year. Best wishes for a happy and healthy Holiday Season and New Millennium.


Charles Long
Chair, RVCA

(Ed. Note: We are preparing a reply to this most gratifying letter! And we will send our own appreciation to the other owners of ECSONG Nut Groves - the South Nation Conservation, the National Capital Commission, and Agriculture Canada).

ECSONG Elections Y2K

The Nominations Committee is already at work seeking a slate of candidates for the ECSONG Board for 2000/2001. The elected positions in ECSONG include Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Councilors. The Nominations Committee is chaired by Ted Cormier, as immediate past chair of ECSONG. It is planned to publish Ted's slate of candidates in the next issue of The Nuttery Volume 18, Number 4, which just precedes the Annual General Meeting schedlued for the third Saturday of March, 2000. This will give everyone a chance to study the list, and make suggestions or offer names well before the AGM.

If you are interested in running for office, call Ted as soon as possible, so your name can appear on the list in that issue of The Nuttery. For more information, contact Ted at (613) 258-2570.

ECSONG Telephone Tree

Vera Hrebacka, our Telephone Tree Coordinator, is preparing to exercise the tree in advance of the upcoming Winter Meeting. This exercise, like a fire drill, is our opportunity to test the tree under calm conditions. The purpose of the tree is to enable ECSONG to pass emergency messages to all members with only minutes notice, to reach every member without fail, and to complete the task within hours.

Keep your ears open for the phone, and check your voicemail often, over the coming week prior to the Winter Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, January 15, 2000. If you have any questions, or uncertainties about being called, or you want to be a phone tree leader, call Vera as soon as possible in Ottawa at (613) 567-8472. This is only a drill, but it will be a reminder about the Meeting as well.

The National Nut Tree Collection

The Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee is picking up steam! Its new Chair, Dr. Roman Popadiouk, along with members Seeton Findley, Bill Forest, Jonathan Bramwell and Ted Cormier, are developing long range plans for a national nut tree collection to be centered on the Dominion Arboretum. The idea, proposed by Hank Jones, is to determine the species, cultivars and varieties of nut bearing trees and shrubs that could grow in Canada. And then obtain specimens of all these, for planting in the Arboretum, and with duplicates placed in the ECSONG Nut Groves in the Eastern Ontario region, and possibly other arboretums elsewhere in the country, depending in climate requirements of the plant. The first cut at a plant list is almost ready - it can be found on the Internet at

The idea has been well accepted here abouts. It is hoped that it will find favour with nut growers across the country, who may want to participate. As the work progresses, the Committee will be seeking suggestions for new candidate plants, acquisition of new specimens, and possibly new planting sites to add to the network.

The main purpose of the collection is to demonstrate nut growing to Canadians, and to explain its personal, economic, environmental and social benefits.

For more information, contact Roman at 613-230-1835 evenings or 613-230-3276, or 613-759-1363 during office hours.

Roasting Gymnocladus dioicus By an Open Fire

The 1999 Winter Report From Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove

After 21 growing seasons, we could be forgiven for expressing some frustration with the trees at the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove. After all those years of winter planning, spring planting and summer pruning, we might reasonably expect to see some fruit for our labours by now. Alas, 1999 was not a bountiful year. Once again I sit by my fire with a large bowl of nuts from California. And once again, the chestnut trees at the grove have failed to bear.

There is some good news: one of the Kentucky coffee trees (Gymnocladus dioicus) produced twenty pods. One fell to the ground and I harvested three seeds for stratification. If I can figure out how to get the others down, perhaps I can roast my own coffee substitute on the fire. I can see it now: a chain of Kentucky Koffee Houses, a sort of a KFC-Starbucks hybrid.

There are probably many reasons for the poor nut production this year. The weather was atypical (again!), with fluctuating cold and warm spells in winter followed by heat and drought in summer. A combination of early warmth and late frosts probably killed the hazel catkins although there were some nuts in July. Many trees are still recovering from ice storm damage and may be making new wood rather than nuts. Some, like the shagbark hickories (Carya ovata), are just reaching bearing age: one of the trees produced a handful of red nuts this year. Others just refuse to grow: the chestnuts (Castanea dentata) never get any taller than half a metre while chestnuts elsewhere in the region grow well. Finally, there may be more nuts then we realize: the grove is home to squirrels who are in a better position to monitor nut production than any of us.

There were some nuts on the hazels, walnuts and heartnuts in July but they were gone by late August. The Ohio buckeyes always produce well and the nuts are interesting and decorative, even if we can¹t eat them. But if our goal is to produce large crops of edible nuts then we have more work to do. The new trees planted this spring, twenty years after the first trees were planted at the grove, should help.

By the date of the Spring Field Day, 1 May 1999, only one of the mail orders of bare-root trees had arrived. However, the ECSONG members who turned out (Sandy, George Truscott, John Sankey, Jim Ellis, Peter Satterley, Hank Jones, Gerry Blyth, and Pryce and Mari-Lyn Apedaile) were undeterred, throwing themselves into the pond (!) renovation project. They cleared brush from around the shoreline and dug holes for the screen of hazels which would be planted along the eastern edge. They removed the shrubs which were crowding the lone bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis) which was already growing at the pond¹s edge. They planted two small swamp white oak trees (Quercus bicolor) at the north end of the pond. These trees enjoy moist sites and should grow well there.

They then turned their attention to the buckeyes. The Aesculus species are not well-represented at the grove. Before spring planting, the collection consisted of only four trees - two Ohio buckeyes (Aesculus glabra), one horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) and one yellow buckeye (Aesculus octandra) - growing near the south-west edge of the grove. I ordered two yellow buckeye seedlings for planting near the existing tree, which is no more than a metre tall. These should form a fine grouping some day. The seedlings came through the mail in good shape and were planted out on 1 May. They appear to have survived the heat and drought of early summer despite minimal watering and have set good buds.

I had planned to order some specimens of the bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora), a large multi-stemmed shrub featuring long white flowers in July which resemble (not surprisingly) bottlebrushes. Unfortunately, I did not find a supplier in time so I settled for seedlings of a mystery Aesculus offered by one mail-order company. The proprietor suspects that they are painted buckeyes (Aesculus sylvatica). We planted them close together at the south end of the pond thinking that they were shrub-like in form. This may have been a mistake: if they really are Aesculus sylvatica then they will become tall trees rather than shrubs. We can let them grow on for year to see what form they take before deciding whether they should be transplanted to the aesculus collection.

On the subject of transplanting, members of the spring work crew moved the small horse-chestnuts from the woods near the hazels to sites in the open near the lone tall horse-chestnut. These trees had not done well in the dense shade of the wood: each was less than a metre in height and many had multiple stems from dying back to the snow line each year. Unfortunately, we could not have picked a worse year for transplanting. The trees moved easily and were well watered-in. Then the weather turned hot and dry and it was difficult to keep the trees watered. By mid-summer they had lost their leaves. There are some buds evident but we will not know their fate until next spring.

The hazel seedlings arrived on 6 May and were planted out the same day. They were planted along the eastern edge of the pond in the expectation that they will soon form a screen, hiding the unsightly page-wire fence and keeping children from the steep bank of the pond. Three varieties were planted to test for hardiness and bearing and to provide cross-pollination: Gellatly 502, 'Manitoba' and Corylus heterophylla. The seedlings have done well due in part to the assistance of my son, Kenzie, who scrambled down the bank to bring up pails of water from the pond (children are allowed inside the fence if they¹re working).

In June, a work crew from the RVCA pulled back the bank at the south-west corner of the pond to establish a shallower slope. They later built a fence using poles salvaged from the many eastern white cedar trees which had to be removed from the surrounding forest after the ice storm.

The much-anticipated twentieth anniversary celebration never happened. The main reason was that the bridge leading to the nut grove from the trails of the Baxter Conservation Area has not yet been rebuilt. Getting members of the public to the site would have been difficult.

As I write, the first late snow is beginning to fall. But I have reason to be optimistic about next spring and the springs to follow. Many trees that have struggled for years are now growing strongly with little or no dieback. The northern pecans (Carya illinoiensis) are a good example: after dying back each winter and sending up new growth in the spring, several have become good-sized trees. The hazels are covered with incipient flowers which, barring late spring frosts, might lead to a bumper crop. Who knows? Maybe next year, we'll be toasting our chestnuts with hazelnut liqueur.

Sandy Graham, Chair
Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove Liaison Committee.

The Lavant and Bear Oak

Len Collett has been exploring the new nut tree reserve that is taking shape in Lavant Township, Lanark County. The 15-acre area holds Shagbark Hickory, Beech and Butternut, and has been set aside from logging from the indefinite future. Len seeks to establish a committee to manage the site, similar to the committees that look after the other public ECSONG nut groves, and the national nut tree collection under development at the Dominion Arboretum. The committee should be made up of local people, ECSONG people and representatives of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources that is responsible for the land. If you live in the area, or have a particular interest in it, and would like to work with Len to put the site on the map, please contact Len at 613-259-2273 or email

Also, near Tamworth, where Michael Keeling lives, there is the only known site of Bear Oak, Quercus illicifolia, in Canada. This shrub was not known as native to Canada until just five years ago! This site could included in the Lavant reserve for administrative purposes. Acorns should be gathered and the plant propagated in ECSONG's other nut groves as assurance against extirpation should the small site be subject to development in the future.

Oak Valley Summer and Fall Activities

Throughout the summer Kim and Lester McInnis continued developing the flower garden around the Bickford memorial stone and they developed another flower bed on the north side of the nursery .These beds contain such flowers as shasta daisy, iris, sweet william, artemisia and yarrow. Kim hopes to cultivate flowers that grew at the time the settlers opened up the land. So if you have access to some heritage flowers - roses or hollyhocks for example, contributions would be appreciated.

At the same time Robert McKendry arranged for a stonemason from Greely to build a cairn at the plantation. This is now completed and is situated near Kim's flower bed, close to the river. It is approximately 4.5 feet high and has been built using the rock from the foundation site of the old house. This cairn will become the centrepiece of the Heritage Site acknowledging the efforts of the original pioneer families in this area. Next year a bronze plaque will be installed on the cairn explaining its purpose. This cairn was financed by Robert's brother, Norman and his wife Dorothy, in memory of Ralph McKendry. Many thanks to all the McKendrys for their continuing support and contributions.

Through the kindness of various groups and individuals, sufficient money, $2460, has been raised to build a shelter for picnic tables. This is planned to be built during March 2000 by Gordon MacDonald and his students of the North Dundas District High School.

During the month of August 99, staff of the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC) cut the grass at the Oak Valley Plantation, thus providing our volunteer grass cutters, Buck Cairncross, Gordon Bartholomew, Scott Baldwin and other members of the Baldwin family with a break until September, at which time they continued their faithful efforts of cutting the plantation grass.

SNC also provided four laborers to the plantation between the 16th and the 19th of August. Irene Broad, Kim McInnis and George Truscott took turns organizing the laborers and the work to be done during these four days. As a result a considerable amount of work was accomplished, especially in clearing up the plantation. Brush from the ice-storm and scrap metal seem to have accumulated, and the nursery was overgrown with ivy and weeds especially around the edges. In August the weeds seemed to develop to their maximum height and were choking the seedlings in the west field. So these seedlings were cleared of tall grasses and weeds. Similarly the laneways in the east field were becoming narrower and narrower from encroaching weeds and overhanging branches and had to be cleared. As a result of all this activity the appearance of the plantation was greatly improved and this was reinforced by the catalpa trees near the entrance which had developed bean pods and white flowers that lasted througout August.

On the 25th of September we had a field day at the plantation. Kim and Lester, George, Sheila Carr and Brian Henderson proceeded systematically through the west field checking and preparing each seedling for the winter, by ensuring that there was a tree guard placed around each seedling . Meanwhile Ernie Kerr brought his map up to date to include the new trees planted this year. Buck Cairncross and Peter installed three bronze plaques having the names of the Ault, Rose and Timmins families, on the memorial stones.

The nursery contained an area of 4 to 5 year old walnuts and butternuts that were becoming very crowded and had to be transplanted. At the suggestion of Hank Jones and Brian Henderson, George and Lester tried an experiment and dug up a five-foot walnut tree and transplanted it in the east field. Usually after a couple years of growth walnut seedlings have developed a long tap root and are very difficult to dig up. However because the soil in the nursery was so friable it was relatively easy to dig up. Over the next few weeks we were able to dig up all but the tallest trees for transplanting.

Barbara Boysen of the Forest Gene Conservation Association informed Ted Cormier that she had a variety of butternut seedlings at Kemptville College that originated from different climatic zones throughout Ontario. She suggested that perhaps we could track the timing of the bud and leaf development in the Spring to see if any differences can be observed, so another field day was quickly organized for October 23rd. and Ted arrived with the seedlings. These were planted by Ted, Kim, Peter, and Sheila in the empty area near the entrance.

Ted and Peter examined all the grafts of Korean nut pine and the Siberian stone pine that had been grafted to white pines. Quite a few of these had not taken successfully, so their metal tags were removed and these will be transplanted next Spring to strengthen the wind shield of white pines on the north boundary of the plantation. The remaining pines are keepers and were tagged with red flagging Incidentally the successful grafts were displaying pine conelets - a hopeful sign for the future!

The hazelnut bushes situated at the eastern edge of the nursery fence had another successful crop of nuts this year. Ted cut lateral shoots off these and transplanted them in the existing gaps of hazelnut bushes and along the north side of the nursery. Meanwhile inside the nursery George, Lester, Dr. Bart Steele and Nick Zyrmiak continued with the transplanting of the 3-4 year old walnuts and butternuts to the empty area beside the river. Bart Steele is deeply involved with the greening of Winchester, so some of these walnuts were transplanted along a trail between Winchester and Chesterville. Finally, only four tall walnut trees that were too big to dig up, were left in the nursery, so the nursery should be much easier to manage now. There are several rows of one year old English oak , hickory and American chestnut which now are readily accessible, and will be transplanted to the west field next year.

Many thanks to all the volunteers in 1999, whose efforts are making this nut grove such a success.

Peter Carr, Chair,
Oak Valley Nut Grove.

Remembering Ralph McKendry.

Dr. Ralph McKendry, the past president of ECSONG and the past chair of the Oak Valley Plantation, was always very active in the propagation of walnut trees and nut culture in general. As most of you will know, Ralph died in 1998. Now his efforts have been recognized by two organizations, The Friends of the Farm and The Royal Ottawa Golf Club.

Ralph began volunteering at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa in 1991. He worked with Ernie Kerr to develop an inventory of the trees by locating and placing survey and tree markers in the arboretum, so all the trees could be mapped. The tree markers were designed by Drs. Vlad and McKendry, and are made from aluminum alloy tubing; the attached label is etched onto an aluminum plaque. As a result, they are long-lasting and nearly impervious to vandalism. In 1998 his friends at the Farm dedicated a Japanese walnut tree in the northeast corner of the arboretum to Ralph in recognition of his work.

Ralph was a member of The Royal Ottawa Golf Club in Alymer, Quebec. He was a member of the club's tree committee whose purpose is to enhance the beauty of the forested areas of the club's grounds. He worked at the club's tree nursery stocking it with a wide variety of trees, and he worked with others to protect the large mature trees on the property from highway development. This Fall the club's tree committee has planted a black walnut tree in memory of Ralph, just beside the second hole of the royal nine course.

When Ralph passed away, he left $5000 in trust with the South Nation Conservation Association for the environmental education of school children within the SNC region. Thus in October 1999, Rosemarie Chretien of the SNC staff delivered a Nut Tree Program to Mrs. Barton's grade 4 class at the Winchester Public School. The program included a tribute to Ralph, and lessons on the value of planting nut trees, tree identification by leaf shape, bark texture, bud colour/texture, a review of photosynthesis and the food chain. Student were shown samples of black walnut, oak, etc. and were given a short slide presentation on local nut tree species.

Outdoors the program included an actual planting of 50 or 60 walnuts, thus the students have created their own black walnut nursery on the school grounds. A treat of maple walnut ice cream completed the program. Mrs. Barton was encouraged to plan a school trip at the Oak Valley Plantation next Spring.

Josée Brizard,
Peter Carr.

Dolman Ridge Nut Grove

This past fall, the Dolman Ridge Nut grove Liaison Committee (Chris Cummins- chair, Moe Anderson, Gershon Rother, John Sankey, George Truscott, Michael Keeling of the International Oak Society, and Dr. Colin McKeen of the Canadian Chestnut Council) undertook to renovate the Red Oak Plantation alongside Anderson Road. Chris, Moe, John, and George began the work, and later Roman Popadiouk and Hank Jones, under the guidance of John, blazed a trail from Anderson Road, back to the main Dolman Ridge trail, a distance of about a half kilometer. This trail will be completed by Gershon's NCC contractors. It will lead visitors through the Red Oak plantation, now officially named the "Moegens Lief Anderson Oak Plantation". John has begun drafted words for the sign to be placed near the plantation, as a well as the wording of a second sign to be placed alongside the American Chestnut Plantation. Dr. McKeen's Canadian Chestnut Council will be asked to finalize the wording of this second sign. Then the NCC will construct and place these signs.

As well, John, Roman and Hank met with Julie Morris and Mark Laviolette of the Rural Stewardship Council on site, to show and tell about the importance of the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove. Julie and Mark were favourably impressed, and plan to tell the Council about this site. Consideration was given to the possibility of holding a public information day on the site in the near future to show people how to start and maintain nut plantations.

Clearly, the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove is becoming an important asset to the region.

The ECSONG Website

John Sankey, ECSONG's Webmaster, continues to solicit material for our website. The site is now attracting widespread attention, and John will be telling about the value of ECSONG having a website, now and in the future. For more information contact John at 613-748-0317 or email him at

Assistant Editor

As The Nuttery editor grows older and more rickety, the urgence of finding a replacement grows almost daily!

We seek an Assistant Editor (a voluntary but prestigious position) who will

The task is estimated at about five hours work per issue, as most can be done by phone or email.

Candidates can break down the door to Editor's office, to be sure to be near the head of the line! Or those more sure about the true length of the line-up can simply call the Editor at 613-567-8472 at their convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

ECSONG Nut Culture Prize

Again this year, ECSONG is offering its $300 nut culture prize to students attending the community colleges in this region. Last year (the first year the prize was offered), the prize was won by Mary Ann Riley of Kemptville College of Guelph University for her essay entitled "Bur Oak". An honorable mention was awarded to Brad Koski of Algonquin College for an excellent paper entitled "Propagation and production of Nut trees and Other Stone Fruit Trees". The prize's Poster is available on the ECSONG website. Good luck to all contestants!

For more information contact the Chair of the Prize Committee Dave Baker at 613-742-7811.

Aerial Deployment of Wasps Against Codling Moth

Using a single-seat Cessna Ag-Wagon, pilot Russ Stocker took all of 10 minutes to drop 3 million wasp eggs onto 15 acres of English walnut infected with codling moth in California.

Before Stocker worked out a method to drop the eggs by air, local growers and researchers who wanted to try this wasp had to hand-staple cards of eggs to the tree leaves.

Sprayed from above, the eggs stick to the leaves in a solution of guar gum, a common thickener found in foods such as ice cream.

Adult wasps lay their eggs in the eggs of codling moth. By making the codling moth egg a nursery for its own young, the parasitic wasp effectively kills the pest before it hatches as a destructive worm. What Stocker rains onto the walnut trees are the eggs of grain moths that were parasitized by wasps in an insect factory in Canada. After spraying, the wasps emerge to produce their own young, attacking codling moth eggs to do so.

Scientists and agricultural engineers have been working for years on ways of distributing beneficial insects en masse. It's not common to find commercial crop-dusters taking a crack at it, and so far the wasp egg spraying is only being tested on walnuts.

Carolyn Pickel, an integrated pest management adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Yuba City and a consultant on the project was quoted as saying, "What happens in research is, people develop it to a certain level, and it never gets out. If it hadn't been for Russ, we wouldn't have had this (aerial) system."

A synopsis of an article sent in by Peter Satterley.

The American Chestnut - New Growers!

Peter Satterley sends this May 6, 1999 reprint from The Toronto Star by Frank Calleja on the American Chestnut and an OSCIA (Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association) initiative to grow these trees up to the Ottawa area. Anyone know which farmers here are participating hereabouts?

"Threatened Chestnut Trees To Get Help; Extra Plantings Will Buy Time To Fight Blight.

Peel/Halton Bureau --Farmers and conservation groups are, according to this story, joining government agencies in a campaign to save the American chestnut tree, which has been threatened by blight for decades.

The project to help restore the only native chestnut in Ontario is attracting a broad base of supporters and has been granted $65,000 from federal, provincial and private agencies, organizers say. Andrew Graham, of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association in Guelph, was cited as saying that 24 demonstration planting sites are being established from Windsor to Ottawa, within and outside the tree's traditional range. Each site, including locations near Guelph, Woodstock and Brantford, will have 50 chestnut trees planted, said Graham, whose group represents farmers.

The demonstration sites will involve conservation techniques employed by a group of progressive farmers to buy time while experts develop a recovery plan.

Graham, a program adviser, was quoted as saying, "It's a Carolinian species native to the eastern United States and southern Ontario, which, because of the blight, is now listed as threatened throughout its range."

The story notes that the chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) was accidentally introduced in the early 1900s from nursery stock of Chinese chestnuts brought into the United States.

Spread through spores carried by the wind, birds, small animals and humans, the blight produces fungus, which forms a canker that invades trees at breaks or wounds in the bark.

The canker girdles the infected tree, cutting off water and nutrient supply to areas above the infection. Some trees die quickly, others take up to a decade."

The Nutting Bus Tour 2000

This year we will offer The Fourth Nutting Bus Tour, this fall, to coincide with nut harvest time in the region. A biennial event, the Nutting Bus Tour usually runs one day long, late in September, and covers a goodly part of Eastern Ontario. It will visit several nut growing sites, to be chosen soon, where folks can collect seed. And the cost is modest.

The Vice-Chair, ECSONG is the organizer of the event. However, this year, our V-C, George Truscott, will be traveling the world for most of the year. We seek an alternate to George, to help us get the tour on the tracks. As this is the fourth tour, organizing it will largely be routine, probably no more than five to ten hours work total, mostly by phone, mail, email and newsletter.

If you are able to take on this task, call Hank Jones 613-567-8472.

A Nut Tree Contest!

Canada is host to many kinds of nut bearing trees and shrubs, some native, some naturalized and the rest as exotics. Nut trees are the most valuable of the woody plants, as producers of both high value wood, saps and nut crops. This extant population has not been properly examined for its adaptation to Canada¹s northern climate. Such an examination is likely to discover superior trees, as well as wholly new varieties unique to Canada. A search must be mounted, such as a contest enlisting many people across the country to hunt down specimens in return for awards and recognition.

Superior nut trees and new varieties are found that perform well in Canada¹s northern climate form the basis for a new natural resource worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. New tree management practices are developed that foster nut trees and their nut crops, across the Canadian landscape. Fruit, sap and wood products are profitably drawn from the extant and rapidly growing population of nut trees, in town and out. Aggressive planting programs of the superior progeny far outstrip nutwood harvesting, as the benefits of nut trees spread widely. Canada¹s numerous natural and artificial habitats all are enriched as appropriate nut trees are planted and take hold, in large numbers.

Dr. Sergei Ponomarenko and Nutculture Services are planning to mount such as contest this coming spring. You will hear much more at the ECSONG Winter Meeting, where Sergei will give a 15-minute briefing on the Contest, and issue and invitation to all to participate.

Dues News and Constitution Solutions

Art Read, our Treasurer, is working a scheme to help us all remember to pay our dues, and to give folks an opportunity to support ECSONG in way that transcend the basic dues.

Please find enclosed a form from Art that reminds you if your dues are overdue. Dues are usually paid annually at the beginning of each calendar year, and are good for the year. Members have from time to time paid ahead a year or two - if you would like to do so, give Art a call. To find out when you last paid dues, look at the mailing label on the envelope in which this newsletter arrived. The number in the lower right is the year you last paid.

A possible new fee structure might look like this:

Since fees are a financial matter, any change must be approved a the AGM.

Past-Chair Len Collett is studying the ECSONG Constitution and By-laws which have noted be scrutinized since the last millennium, and likely need updating. We may see proposals from the ECSONG executive on this matter as well at the upcoming AGM in March. The present Constitution can be found on the ECSONG website.

Those with comments should contact Art 613-828-6594 and Len 613 259-2273 or email at

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