The Nuttery : Volume 19 Number 2 (2000)

In this Issue...

TAKE SPECIAL NOTE - The Nutters Bus Tour 2000 - REGISTER DEADLINE IS 20 SEPTEMBER, 2000!! See inside for details.

In the ANNOUNCEMENT SECTION: find details on the Bus Tour this September. Also, get the skinny on the upcoming Fall Field Days at the FRP Nut Grove (Baxter); at Dolman Ridge Nut Grove (Mer Bleu area, 2 field days this fall!); at Oak Valley Nut Grove (Winchester Springs area); and at the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa (Dow's Lake area). See the Box below for the schedule.

In the PROJECTS SECTION: Lots of action over at the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove. Read about the big, big Spring Field Day, a cruise of the oaks and black walnut plantations, and the Stewardship Rangers. Also, note a minor correction on the Lavant Shagbark Hickories June excursion.

In the NUT GROWER SECTION: Peter Satterley offers some young oaks for the digging; Peter also reports on successful R&D for a Pecan, and provides a reference on walnut research in Australia. How about nut breeding research in the ECSONG Nut Groves? Jane Lynas' Texas Bur Oaks experiment moves to Buckthorn Meadows Tree Farms

In the GENERAL NEWS SECTION: Chris Cunliffe (SONG President) comments on the Cobjon National Nut Tree List; The Gellatly Nut Farm Society moves with lightning speed - get on the bandwagon! Mike Rosen values ECSONG Website. A Chapter in Quebec? Seaton loses a black walnut, but asks for Black Walnut info for his new book. And Seaton sends us to Parliament Hill on the trail of a Black Walnut.

In the MARKETPLACE SECTION: Peruse the ads in the Marketplace for suppliers of nut seed, trees, equipment, information, expertise, consulting services, etc!

In the MEMBERSHIP SECTION: Find the list of members and their addresses. Should we include also email addresses in the future? NOTE the ECSONG annual calendar. Also, there is a summary of the ECSONG brochure and a membership application form - use these when someone asks you about ECSONG!

See you all at the Field Days and on the Bus Tour!

The Nutters Bus Tour 2000

The Eastern Chapter of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers (ECSONG) announces its fifth biennial public bus tour in the Eastern Ontario region, and invites you and your family and friends to join in!

OVERVIEW: "The Nutters Bus Tour 2000" will be an all-day, bus tour visiting selected nut growing sites in the Eastern Ontario region. The tour is a nut tree identification and nut seed gathering trip in which participants travel in comfort in a fully-equipped, inter-city bus provided by Howard St. Lawrence Coach, starting and ending in Kemptville, Ontario. Enroute between stops, our experts will discuss nut culture, answer questions, provide demonstrations, and preview each upcoming stop. At the stops, our experts will guide you, and help you gather nut seed.

MEET THE BUS: Meet at the WB George Centre at the Kemptville College of the University of Guelph, in Kemptville, Ontario - watch for the ECSONG Tour Sign on Campus.

THE TOUR DATE: The Tour will take place on Saturday, September 30, 2000.

THE DEPARTURE AND RETURN TIMES: The bus will depart at 8:30 AM and return at approximately 5:00 PM.

THE COST: The Tour cost is $20 per adult. Children under 12 free - children most welcome - kids are the world's best nut gatherers!

HOW TO REGISTER: IMPORTANT - Your registration and payment must be received no later than Wednesday, September 20, 2000! First come - first served - Seating is limited! TO REGISTER, telephone the Tour Registrar Robert Saunders in Chesterville at 613-448-2580, or send him an email at mornmist@sympatico.ca (make sure he receives the email!). Per Rob's instruction, send payment by Cheque made out to 'ECSONG' to Art Read, Treasurer, 1903-1025 Richmond Road, Ottawa K2B 8G8.

BE PREPARED! The tour goes, rain/snow or shine, so bring appropriate clothing. Bring your own lunch, snacks and refreshments - for consumption enroute and at our picnic lunch stop!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE TOUR: Contact ECSONG Secretary Vera Hrebacka in Ottawa at 613-567-8472, or email sales@veratika.com.

[The tour was cancelled due to insufficient registrants. Since several avid ECSONG members indicated that they would have covered the shortfall in revenue, the tour will be scheduled next year with no cancellation deadline.]

Dolman Ridge's Two Fall Field Days

The ECSONG fall season kicks off at the Mogens Leif Anderson Oak Plantations, Saturday 9 September at 10 am. Meet at the Dolman Ridge Road at the intersection with Anderson Road.

We would like to complete the survey of the red oaks to guide future thinning, to cut (small) stumps down to ground level along the ECSONG Trail so NCC mowers can travel it, and to clear a space for an extension of the oak groves with other oak species.

If not completed, this work will continue on our second fall field day, scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 2000, at 10am. If it is completed, then we will be able to move on to new projects.

Everyone is welcome, to work and/or to enjoy a gorgeous natural spot. For more info, contact John Sankey, Chair, Dolman Ridge Nut grove.

Filmore R. Park Nut Grove Fall Field Day

The Nut Grove grows more beautiful every year, thanks to Sandy Graham of Kars, and to the many the folks who lend a hand. The 5-acre Grove, owned by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, is situated at the Baxter Conservation Area near Kars, Ontario. The grove is home to over a hundred nut trees of some thirty different species, varieties, cultivars and hybrids. At the age of 21 years, the grove has been fruitful for many years now, and has become also a beautiful park. Its purpose is to demonstrate and promote nut trees growing in Eastern Ontario, and to help the public learn how to become growers of their own nut trees and nut crops. It has inspired many to do so!

In August, the grove received two very special visitors. Thanks to the family of Jane, Bob, and Clayton Lynas, and their friend Tyler, Alec and Kathleen Jones were able to visit the grove. Alec, you will recall, is one of the two co-founders of ECSONG back in 1978 (Fil Park was the other co-founder). Alec, now a venerable 85, is now a resident of Starwood Extendi-Care in Ottawa. He was instrumental in the founding the FRP Nut Grove as well, and for many years, worked shoulder to shoulder with Fil, George Joiner and Kathleen (and many, many others) to establish the beautiful grove we can see today. Jane is Alec's devoted daughter, Bob his worldly-wise son-in-law, and Clayton his very clever grandson.

One behalf of all ECSONG members and friends, Hank Jones (Chair, ECSONG), offers a very special thanks to Jane and her wonderful family, visiting Ottawa from their home in Texas, for enabling Alec and Kathleen to spend this precious time enjoying the wonderful fruits of their long labours, as they all toured the FRP Nut Grove!

Come see the splendour for yourself, and enjoy the tranquillity. Make it a family picnic - there are picnic tables now available. Observe the wildlife in the Grove Pond. See the how well the nut trees are doing. Learn nut tree identification and care.

The FRP Nut Grove Fall Field Day, free and open to the public, will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2000, starting at 10:00AM. Just turn up! For directions to the grove, see the adjacent map. For more information on how to get the most from your visit, contact Sandy Graham (Chair of the FRP Liaison Committee that manages the grove) at 613-489-4159. He will be most pleased to issue you a personal invitation to attend!

Action in Oak Valley

The flourishing Oak Valley Nut Grove near Winchester Springs, Ontario, is co-located with the Pioneer Homestead Park, thanks to the late Ralph McKendry who master-minded this pleasing union. On Saturday, August 26, 2000, the South National Conservation Authority (SNC), owner of the site, hosted a picnic to unveil the new sign identifying the Park. It was a grand opportunity for the families already commemorated to inspected the sign, their family plaques, and to tour the nut grove. About fifty people were able to attend.

Josée Brizard, of the SNC, hosted the event on what was probably the most beautiful day of the summer. Mary Ann Wilson, acting manager of the SNC, welcomed everyone and launched the proceedings. ECSONG's Peter Carr recounted the joint history of the nut grove and park, under the marquee, starting with Irene (Woolford) Broad's first initiatives in 1985, and up to the present day. After the sign was unveiled and dedicated by Myrtle McKendry, Ralph's widow, the folks trooped back the marquee to hear Pat Coyne explain what life was like for the early pioneers - in sum, not easy! After a delightful cold lunch provided by the SNC, the group took a tour of the nut grove, which everyone enjoyed!

TAKE NOTE: The Fall Field Day at the Oak Valley Nut Grove is scheduled for Saturday, September 23, 2000 at 10:00AM. This free event is open to the public, everyone is welcome. Simply turn up! See the adjacent map for directions. For more information, contact Peter Carr, Chair, Oak Valley Nut Grove at 613-728-6744 in Ottawa.

Nut Tree Tour at the Dominion Arboretum

As most people are aware, Canada has a Dominion Arboretum, located on the Central Experimental Farm, in Ottawa. The oldest trees were planted in the late nineteenth century, and include nut trees. Since 1990, ECSONG has been contributed new nut tree specimens to the Arboretum, and helping improve the record keeping. Today, ECSONG's Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee, chaired by Dr. Roman Popadiouk, has been developing the idea of a National Nut Tree Collection, and targeting the Arboretum's nut tree collection as part of this national endeavour.

Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, ECSONG offers a special nut tree tour to the public free. This fall the tour will take place on Saturday, October 14, 2000, starting at 10:00AM. The tour lasts about two hours. To attend, simply turn up at Building 72 (just east of the traffic circle on Prince of Wales Drive) at the appointed hour.

For more information, contact Roman through the Friends of the Farm at 613-230-3276.

The Dolman Spring Field Day

The Moe Anderson Oak Plantations and ECSONG Trail

Saturday 20 May 2000 dawned clear and cool - a beautiful day for those who love the outdoors. Over the prior week, the NCC's Sandra Cook had issued the environmental assessment for a new trail joining the six oak plantations and installed official trail markers - bright blue with the ECSONG logo on them. Larry Wade and I had cleared the new trail section to join up with the section marked out last year. Brian Gravelle of the NCC had arranged for contractors to instal a sign to mark the plantations, ready for unveiling. Kristal Verrière was there to represent the NCC, and Hank Jones ECSONG. And, Moe Anderson had driven down from Petawawa to be present.

It's now official. The oak plantations on the Dolman Ridge are "The Mogens Lief Anderson Oak Plantations", to commemorate Moe's contributions to Canadian forestry. Those of us who know Moe's commitment to trees were a proud crew as we applauded him around his sign.

The rest of the day was devoted to workshops on pruning trees with Mike Rosen of OMNR, tree identification walks with Ken Farr, the authority behind the new Trees of Canada that is the successor to Hosie, and munching on buffaloburgers served by the new owners of Bearbrook Farms. First class, all the way - events don't get any better than this!

PS: July 19 - Some of the American Chestnuts on Dolman Ridge have set burrs - about two per branch end for the trees at the front. The front trees still have lots of male flowers out too. But, the trees in the back seem to have finished flowering, have very few male flower stalks, and no visible burrs set that I could see.

PPS: A Note from Moe: I want to express my sincere thanks to Gershon Rother, NCC, Hank Jones and team, ECSONG, and the other participants for making it such a successful day on May 20. Hank unveiled the plaque in my honour in the oak plantation as planned.

It was enjoyable to have worked with John and Chris in the oak plantations. They were there with a helping hand, when I had problems navigating through difficult obstacles. Thank you Hank for treating me to a delicious buffalo burger on the site. I am sorry to have missed the session with the children from Blossom Park school on May 19. I strongly believe in educating the young children on environmental issues, such as, forestry, fishery and wildlife. We should treat nature with respect, after all, we cannot exist without it. Thanks a lot everyone.

Moe

PPPS: Everyone thanks John Sankey for suggesting in the first place that the oak plantations be named in Moe's honour!

The Dolman Ridge Nut Grove

On August 22, four Stewardship Rangers and their team leader joined ECSONG on the Dolman Ridge. Tammy Dunbar, the team leader, is a natural resources technologist from Chesterville; Ranger Pat Foley is from Williamsburg; Sarah Tucker from South Mountain; and Sean McCue and Lesley Plamondon from Cornwall.

The Rangers are part of the Ontario Stewardship Ranger Program of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources - high school students chosen for their environmental motivation - who spend 8 weeks on projects related to land stewardship. On their day with ECSONG, they measured the diameters and crown heights of the walnut and red oak tree plantations. Roman Popadiouk, John Sankey, and Mike Rosen of OMNR worked with them. The result will be a thinning plan for the two plantations which will be the main focus of the Dolman Ridge Fall Field Day on Saturday, October 7, 2000, starting at 10:00AM.

John Sankey, Chair, Dolman Ridge Nut Grove

Notes from Dolman Ridge

Dr. Sergei Ponomarenko spent a spring afternoon studying the Mogens Leif Anderson Oak Plantations in the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove near Mer Bleu, just east of Ottawa. As a result, we now have some very useful information to guide our future management of them.

Red Oak: Sergei took a core from a typical red oak on the ridge, of 175 mm DBH. It reached breast height 24 years ago, and has had steadily increasing growth, 4 mm DBH per year 20 years ago, 9 mm/yr currently. It's height is 19 m, an average increment of 75 cm/yr. Most trunks in the plantation are straighter than is usual for red oak. It should be a success to be proud of!

However, because the plantation was not looked after, the timber from the trees will not be of top quality: they did not self-prune at all well. Most dead branches stayed attached to their trunks for at least a decade before falling off, so there are numerous deep open knots and cavities. Most dead branches within reach were removed last Fall Field Day, but it will be many years before they are healed over and clear growth obtained. So, the lesson is: red oak plantations on fertile farm land can be very successful, but they need manual pruning of low branches every few years to produce quality timber.

Bur Oak: The bur oaks on the ridge have very variable diameters for trees all planted at the same time (30 years ago). Sergei's expert eye quickly spotted telltale bulges in trunk diameter and bark pattern - the parts above ground are not all the same age. Many of the 'runts' were browsed, probably by deer or snowshoe hare - they then resprouted, but are losing the competition for sunlight to undamaged neighbours. One 39 mm DBH turned out to be only be 9 years old, a 62 mm 16 years. In a few cases, frost splitting was evident, which had slowed growth enough to have the same effect. Many of the runts have a bark fungus over the lowest half metre, but there are essentially no signs of it on the healthy trees. The trees are good at selecting a single leader after setbacks - there are very few dual stems. Sergei suggests that they can pretty well be left alone to grow for the foreseeable future.

White Oak: The white oaks on the valley floor are mostly a disaster, as Moe predicted at the time of planting that they would be - a collection of repeated resproutings from the base. The roots are healthy, so the problem is not flooding - it is meadow voles repeatedly eating the bark within a few centimeters of ground level. A large number of the sprouts are four years old, which suggests a population peak of voles then. Some 5-year old sprouts had been killed in this way, and one was 8 years old. There are few signs of hare teeth marks, and none due to deer. So, any plantings there must be guarded against voles for their first decade or so to succeed.

However, there are also signs that the seed stock was unsuitable for the site (as Moe also predicted at the time of planting) - most of the full-size trees in the western half of the plantation show repeated frost splitting, and the sprouts and branches frost dieback. And, many of those reduced to root sprouts show at least one stem more than ten years old, which suggests that they may have been winter killed first, then maintained as sprouts ever since by the voles. Moe took me to see the site where he collected the seed - the sheltered base of a wet quartzite ridge near Morton Ontario - a very different soil and exposure to the solid clay and direct north exposure of the valley floor.

Sergei selected the tree with the best growth form, and I hope to collect seed from it this fall to extend the plantation, as well as from two that are growing fully exposed yet have no frost splitting. If any member knows of healthy white oaks growing in clay, I would greatly appreciate some seed from them to plant for comparison with the second-generation Morton seed. I will add vole protection this fall to the vole-predated trees that still have a primary leader, but will not be surprised if many are winter killed within a decade.

John Sankey, Chair, Dolman Ridge Nut Grove

The National Nut Tree Collection

A list of potential nut species, varieties, cultivars and hybrids for Canada has been compiled by Cobjon Nutculture Services. The list includes almost a hundred candidates. The project entails locating specimens of all these trees, and planting appropriately around the country. People would be able to see nearby growing specimens of trees judged suitable for their region. The vision is to stimulate Canada into becoming a significant nut producing country, and to give most Canadians the opportunity to grow nut trees at wherever they live. The trees could be around town (in yards, on streets, in parks, etc.), or in the rural areas (along highways, in yards, around fields, in orchards/woodlots, etc.). Harvesting crops could be a cottage industry, spreading the wealth, even supplying export markets. Widespread nut growing in a country as large as Canada could mean enormous total crops!

Chris Cunliffe, President of SONG, has had a quick look at the list. He feels "it is great to hear of any planting of well maintained nut trees. Let the public see what they have neglected so long. The list you sent does seems somewhat comprehensive, sadly, we must be happy with "baby steps". Compared to what has been accomplished with fruit, vegetables and even livestock, so little effort is being extended at advanced breeding and selection. I saw a picture of a pecan tree planted 40-50 years ago up in the Dominion Arboretum..." Signed :Chris.

Clearly, Canada needs to get going on developing its own nut trees!

The Gellatly Nut Farm Project

Val Wilson and the Gellatly Nut Farm Society are pressing on with fund raising to help buy the farm for posterity.

Val writes: "Fundraising is going real well. We reached our $50,000.00 (needed by September 5) at the beginning of last week and now stand at $79,000.00 (as of the 22/8/00). Hope the momentum keeps up. Sure is keeping us hopping. I love the way the community is pulling together on this. But still a long way to go.

Please fax or e-mail me a copy of your letter to Prime Minister Chrétien. Maybe I can use it and it will give incentive to others.

We did a tour of the Nut Farm with Stockwell Day yesterday. Very good for publicity. Our most important tour so far was about two weeks with Senator Fitzpatrick and Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell (Parks and Regional Districts). Hope something good comes of it. So far Land Purchase is still our major problem, with both Provincial and Federal Governments. These rejection letters on grants can be depressing. There's gotta be a way around these guys. Any assistance you are able to give on the $780K will be gratefully accepted. Take Care." Regards, Val.

PS... Donations are tax-deductible, and contributors are acknowledged. Contact Hank Jones for more information.

Is ECSONG Fun?

Mike Rosen is the Stewardship Coordinator for the Ottawa/Carleton Stewardship Council. He recently experienced the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove again with a group of the Stewardship Rangers. He sends this note:

Great site (ECSONG website). Great photos. We had a lot of fun yesterday at Dolman - inventorying, pruning etc. with John, Roman and the Stewardship Rangers. Appreciate the stewardship council mentions. Could you please HOT LINK us? Our URL is: www.ontariostewardship.org/OTTAWACARLETON/rural.htm

Thanks -Mike

PS.. John Sankey, ECSONG webmaster, says the links are now in place.

Nut Growing in Quebec

Roger Bédard writes: "I'm wondering if there is a Quebec chapter of this organization. Any info is greatly appreciated."

This question gets asked from time to time. There is no chapter of SONG in Quebec, probably because we are an Ontario society. As far as we know there is no similar organization in Quebec. However, ECSONG has many members in Quebec. In fact, ECSONG welcomes membership from anywhere. The member decides if ECSONG can serve their needs well. We believe that ECSONG does serve its Quebec members well. We would encourage membership from those regions in Quebec adjacent to Eastern Ontario, such as Western Quebec and the Eastern Townships. Welcome aboard!

Black Walnuts near Tunney's Pasture

Seaton Findlay asks: "When scouting the woodland east of Island Park Drive, south of the parkway and north of Clearview Ave I came across what I thought were two or three (squirrel-planted?) black walnuts. Did I mention them to you? The manuscript of "Capital Woodlands", a book I am doing on Ottawa woodlands, has come back from the various people it was circulated to for comments. One marginal comment on these walnuts (?) was "No way!" I went back to check on them. Apart from the nut husks, still small but slightly elongated, the trees still appear to me to be walnuts. Small terminal leaf, narrow unhairy mid-rib etc. and the bark is brownish rather than butternut grey. The interesting thing is there is not just two or three, but as many as 8 more spread along the fence on Patricia (round the corner from Clearview). Some are on land for which there is a development proposal.

Do you know about these trees? Where they might have come from if they are indeed black walnuts (Juglans nigra)?"

Seaton, there is a large Black Walnut in the yard of one Clarence Mould of 150 Keyworth, very near the trees you describe. Clarence sells his crops from time to time for a couple of dollars a bushel, pick your own. I wouldn't be surprised if there were many black walnut trees in the nearby woods, undoubtedly planted by squirrels (who probably didn't pay)!

PS... We are keen to get your book when it becomes available. Keep us posted!

Parliament Hill Black Walnut?

Karen Bertrand purchased the most beautiful large black walnut bowl made by Jason Russell of Merrickville, turned from a single piece of wood supposedly gotten from a tree felled some years ago near Parliament Hill. We have been on the trail of this tree since, endeavouring to locate the stump (the tree was said to be about four feet in diameter!). Jason recalls the company that felled the tree in the early nineties was called Capital Arborists, no longer in business. Seaton Findlay thought he might be able to help us.

Seaton writes: The guy to talk to (or the guy who may be able to steer you onto someone who can answer the question) about the mysterious large walnut taken from the scarp, is Marc Monette who is in charge of the landscape plan for the Parliamentary escarpment. His number is 775-7328. Rather than do the middleman thing and possibly get some info wrong, I think it might be better if you talked to him direct.

On a sadder note, my poor Cobjon walnut is no more. After spending a pleasant though buggy afternoon following the 4 installation steps listed on your flyer, and driving into Kaz for some good black earth to sweeten my sand / compost mix, I went inside to get my camera for a shot of the future mighty walnut as a stripling. As luck would have I discovered that I left the camera at home. When we arrived the following weekend, ready with camera, I went out to get the shot... The planting site looked like somebody tossed a grenade into it. Nice pink mulch chips spread all over the place, tomato can hurled contemptuously aside, good earth scattered to the winds, and no walnut tree (later found what remained of it some yards away) I suspect our resident raccoon, which lives in the hollow of a big aspen stump. I got the flashlight, but there he or she was innocently curled up and sound asleep at the bottom of the stump. But suspiciously well-fed looking."

The follow-up: Marc has looked into the matter, and can find no such tree. We need to find the folks who ran Capital Arborists at the time. Can anyone help us? Call Hank at 567-8472.

PS... Cobjon promised Seaton a new tree, and one for the Raccoon as well.

An Offer of Oak Trees

Peter Satterley sends us this offer: I have several small oak trees coming up in the meadow to the east of my house. Right now they are about 2 to 3 feet high. I'm not sure which species.

I have a larger tree, which has a deeply indented leaf, not unlike the Burr Oak leaf we saw in the presentation on Bur Oak last spring. It may be the source of the acorns for the younger trees. However the leaves of these younger plants are not nearly as indented and look to me like a white oak.

In order to keep the "meadow" aspect of this land, I have been advised to cut all the young trees down. I was just wondering if there might be someone in ECSONG who might wish to have one or two of them?

If you are interested, you can find Peter's phone number in the Member List near the back of The Nuttery.

Peter's Gems

Peter Satterley scours the Internet for nut knowledge. Here are his gems for this issue.

For the scientifically minded, Peter suggested you might want to track this document on Australia studies of the walnut: Authors RJ Willis Title Juglans spp, juglone and allelopathy Full source Allelopathy Journal, 2000, Vol 7, Iss 1, pp 1-55 Author keywords allelopathy; crops; history; Juglans spp.; juglone; phytoplankton; walnut; soil; trees KeyWords Plus NATURALLY-OCCURRING NAPHTHOQUINONES; BLACK-WALNUT; ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY; HYDROJUGLONE GLUCOSIDE; NITROGENASE ACTIVITY; ALNUS-GLUTINOSA; SOIL BACTERIA; GROWTH; GERMINATION; 5-HYDROXY-1,4-NAPHTHOQUINONE TGA/Book No. 336EG Discipline Agriculture / Agronomy Document type Review Language English Address Willis RJ, Univ Melbourne, Sch Bot, Parkville, Vic 3052, AUSTRALIA ISBN/ISSN 0971-4693 Publisher Int Allelopathy Foundation, 9/12 Ccs Haryana Agricultural Univ, Hisar 125 004, India

The following is excerpted from a longer article Peter submitted. It gives some idea of the time it takes to get new cultivars into production, the value of a nut industry, in this case the Pecan industry:

NEW PECAN TREE YIELDS HIGH QUALITY NUTS AND RESISTS SCAB DISEASE

Researchers in College Station, Texas, evaluated (the new) Nacono's performance beginning in 1986. Through 1995, cumulative yields of Nacono were higher than Pawnee, a popular variety grown worldwide.

Graftwood from Nacono will be available only to nurseries in February 2001. Nurseries could have trees to sell to the public in early 2003. Trees of this variety will be incorporated into the ARS National Plant Germplasm System, so that Nacono will be available for research purposes, including development and commercialization of new varieties. The database for the National Plant Germplasm System can be found on the Web at: http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs

Pecans are a multimillion-dollar industry. Rural landowners in the southwest and southeast derive primary or supplemental income from growing pecan trees in orchards or woodland pastures. In 1999, U.S. pecan production was about 342 million pounds, with a value of nearly $448 million. Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana are the top five pecan-producing states.

Thanks, Peter.

Peter is a regular contributor. He has two other reprints awaiting the next issue: one on Black Walnut and one on Chestnuts.

ECSONG Field Research?

Over the past year, a number of folk have been talking about ECSONG researching new nut cultivars. The idea that the organization might possibly succeed in developing new nuts is not so far out. If you have visited the Oak Valley Nut Grove, you will have noticed the Truscott Nursery. This fenced in area is used to propagate nut trees and shrubs for planting out in the grove, and also for distribution to school kids' planting program in the region's schools. As well, it teaches us how to grow our own.

Might it not also be used for breeding? Say, for example, straightforward cross-pollination experiments? It would, by default, be teaching members how to do their own breeding. ECSONG has some highly qualified professionals in its ranks who might take the lead in such an endeavour.

The same activities could be undertaken in similar Nurseries operating in the other ECSONG nut groves. Or maybe some variation. Maybe each nursery/grove might take on an aspect of the overall program, meaning less overall work, still lots of results, and more reason to visit all the groves!

Who could get us started on the research road?

Jane's Texas Bur Oaks

The saga of the Bur Oaks from Texas continues... As you may recall, Jane Lynas of Mansfield, Texas brought to our attention acorns from the Bur Oaks growing by her house. These are the LARGEST acorns you have ever seen, some the size of golf balls.

According to the experts, the Bur Oaks are one single species, from Manitoba to central Texas, though the Canadian acorns are only the size of grapes. So, in a wild, wild venture, we got a few handfuls of the Texas jobbies last fall from Jane. The germination started almost immediately, though most needed a cool period to get started. Last week, some of these plants were in their third flush, and the size of three-year-old Canadian Burs.

Khristina, Roman, Sergei, and Hank took these plants to Kurt Wasner's Buckthorn Meadows Tree Farms near North Gower to plant them out. The wild idea is that, against all odds some might survive, even thrive, and the fruit would still be enormous. If it happens, we would now have acorns really worth harvesting for food. At the size of chestnuts, and likewise high in starches, this nut could substitute for chestnut as food.

A wild idea - but it just might work.

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