The Nuttery : Volume 2 Number 3 (2003)

In this Issue...

What is the Winter Gathering all about?
The ECSONG Story
ECSONG Onward and Upward!
ECSONG Back to the Future!
The ginkgoes of Bruce Timmermans Park
The Endangered Butternut Plight Recognized
Nuts Trees at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Cobjon congratulates ECSONG on its 25th Anniversary!
Researching Canada's Nutculture History
Mark Schaefer, RPF
Alcon Welding celebrates ECSONG 25th
Tom Hunt's Butternut and the Secrest Bur Oaks
Black Walnut Royal Oak
Clarence Cross - Oak Valley Nut Grove Historian
Discovering Nutculture
My Interest In Nut Trees
Everyone wants to grow Nuts!
Gellatly Nut Farm Awaits!
Best to ECSONG!
Keep up the good work ECSONG!
My Favourite Nutty Recipes
Eat Acorns, Save Oaks!
Some things Nutcultural to Think About
Eastern Ontario Region Nutculture Report for 2002
The FRP Nut Grove: A Catalyst
Oak Valley Nut Grove Genesis
Creation of the Oak Valley Plantation and Arboretum

Future Vision for Oak Valley Nut Grove & Pioneer Memorial
New Horizons for the Dominion Arboretum Nut Tree Collection
Dolman Does It!
Lavant Shagbarks Nut Grove
Gathering Shagbark Nuts in Lavant 2003
Buartnuts in St-Césaire Quebec
My Odyssey With Nut Trees
John Sankey, Nut Tree Grower
Gaspé Nut Growing
Growing Black Walnut Fast
Notes On Black Walnut Toxicity
Juglans regia success and the Adams Research Nut Grove
My Venture Growing Siberian and Korean Pine
Nuts for Sale!
Wes Smith's Method of Growing Acorns
Grow Nuts!
A Story of Oaks
Walnuts Growing on the Shield
The Giant Acorns of Texas!
Provide the right tools for landowners and they built a better forest.
The Forrest Arboretum
A Walnut Grows in Cantley
Black Walnut - -Whither Commercial Nut Production?
Ferguson Forest Centre Nut Stock
Cobjon/Alcon's The Nut Huller
Nutwoods for Turners and Carvers
Cobjon's Nutculture Services
Nutculture Sources

Submissions to this issue were heavily modified by the editor. Restoration to the original submissions will be made on request.

You, your family and friends are invited to attend the Winter Gathering & 25th Anniversary Celebration
Date: Saturday, January 24,2-4p.m.
Where: The Ottawa Citizen Conference Centre, 1101 Baxter Road, Ottawa
Theme: Nutculture Frontiers in the Eastern Ontario Region

Learn about growing nut trees, nutcrafts and foods, how to earn extra money from nut crops, how to make nutty gifts, or start a home based nut business. Hear about our five public demonstration nut groves and how to get your group involved in the annual nut harvest in town and out. Bring the whole family! Includes a children's program. Free admission, free parking, wheelchair access.

Remember back in November 2003 you received in the mail an invitation to write words of wit and wisdom for a celebratory issue of The Nuttery? You do! Good - because this is it! I asked you for a huge 12000 words - you answered with over 28000! Readers -don't dare skip a single of these precious words!

We start in 'Present, Past and Future' with the details of the 25th Anniversary Winter Gathering (note date change!) followed by a history lesson and then words of wisdom and experience as future guidance for ECSONG.

Then there is lots of news - almost all Good News! There are 20 stories whose authors come from every corner of North America - Prince Edward Island to British Columbia; from Ohio to Texas - all with news about nuts. On a sad note, we report the deaths of two dear friends and colleagues - Mark Schaefer and Clarence Cross.

In Chapter Projects - works that ECSONG volunteers are doing to further nutculrure in the region - our eight expert authors detail what our nut groves.are reaching out to do. We learn from doing, and the public visiting these scientific groves learns from us.

The eighteen artides in the Nut Grower section reveal how the up and coming nut industry is emerging in the region. If you are thinking about taking up nut growing or support services, this section introduces you to the folks who are leading the way.

The Nuttery Marketplace gets right down to specifics. As growers, we need stock - really good stock We need to know what varieties to chose, how to grow them, take in the harvest, process it and market our products. The folks writing for the Marketplace are the people you need to talk to!

What is the Winter Gathering all about?

Come to our free, public ECSONG 25th Anniversary Celebratory Winter Meeting. Everyone is welcome! Bring your family - and friends, too.

Nut Growing: New Frontiers in a Changing Climate.

The Eastern Chapter of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers (ECSONG) cuts new ground! Twenty-five years ago nut growing did not exist in eastern Ontario/Western Quebec. And it took an ice storm for some of us to notice that nut trees did very well in the face of extreme weather. So, what's so special about nut trees? What makes them different from other trees?

Attend our Winter Gathering meeting and discover what ECSONG has known all along. This month ECSONG celebrates 25 years of success in eastern Ontario/Western Quebec.

Learn about ECSONG's five public nutgroves and demonstration sites, and what they can do for you. Hear about the growing nut industry, education programs, our newsletter, our website, nutty crafts and experience fine nut cuisine at the Nut Coffee Shoppe. Learn what the future holds for you when you become an amateur or commercial nut grower or start a nut related business hereabouts.

After 25 years, ECSONG has more members and programs than ever! Henry (Hank) Jones says, "What started as a small group has now become a community of individuals, families, hobbyists, professionals and researchers. We now have a Nutty Children's Program, a Nutty Coffee Shoppe, exhibits, presentations, fundraisers and lots of enthusiastic members. All at our Winter Gathering! Throughout the year, our newletter, The Nuttery (you are reading it right now!) keeps our members informed of the latest in nutculture news and scientific information. Our website talks to the world.This year's theme, "Nutculture Frontiers" is our launching pad for the next generation of nutgrowers."

To learn about Nutculture Frontiers, attend ECSONG's annual Winter Gathering on: Saturday, January 24, from 2-4:00 p.m. at: The Ottawa Citizen Conference Centre, 1101 Baxter Road Ottawa, Ontario (STAR on map) For more information, contact Henry Jones at 613-231-4224. Call us, or email us to let us know yo are coming!

The ECSONG Story
Hank Jones

Who we are. Here is a recap of ECSONG's 25 years of achievement, with a look to the future - and the part you could play.

The Eastern Chapter of The Society Of Ontario Nut Growers, aka ECSONG, was started back in 1978 as the Ottawa Area Chapter of SONG by interested people. The name changed in 1981 to ECSONG. ECSONG promotes nutculture in the Eastern Ontario region, which is defined as the Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley and Nation Valley Conservation Authorities' areas and the contiguous areas of the Ottawa Valley. ECSONG promotes nutculture for health and wealth. Some 300 people have been members at one time or another. Today, there are over 50 current members. However, ECSONG needs over a hundred members to accelerate the growing awareness of nutculture, so we have our work cut out for us. Tell your family, friends and neighbours about the superiority of nut trees and shrubs in all plantings, wherever woody plants can grow. Encourage them to join in the many learning activities ECSONG offers through its public nut groves and its meetings.

The ECSONG executive has had eight chairs, thirteen vice-chairs, ten secretaries, two treasurers, and six councilor (30 superior individuals all together). Step up to the plate and hit a home run - get on the executive and help keep nutculture a priority in Eastern Ontario for government, academia and the private citizen,

ECSONG Publications
Back in 1982 ECSONG's Newsletter entitled The Nuttery was started at the suggestion of Hank Jones. In two decades it has published over 80 issues, more than 500 pages, almost half a million inspiring words, under four dedicated editors (Jim Bartley, Agnes Macintosh, Hank Jones and John Sankey), It is a treasure trove of information on nutculture in Eastern Ontario. All back issues can be found free online. In 1995, Hank Jones began the testing of the first ECSONG website. By the following year the new site had moved and was picking steam, and shortly after again. Today's edition (John Sankey, Webmaster) is recognized worldwide. Every past issue of the Nuttery is now online, with an onboard search engine that enables you to research any article. Encourage family, friends and neighbours to explore the website as they seek advice on improving the environment and everyone's health and well-being (both nuts and trees are tops for all these goals) as well.

Publishing the oft-cited Nut Growers Manual For Eastern Ontario (Mark Schaefer, editor) was ECSONG's decennial celebration project back in 1988. What has it meant to you? What are your thoughts for the next edition? Take this work in hand. Help get the second improved, expanded edition out in 2004!

Our little cookbook Recipes In A Nutshell (Polly Forestall-Jones, Editor) has stood the test of time since it was published back in 1988. How about getting a up team to draft a second edition?

ECSONG Regular Activities
Every ECSONG Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on the third Saturday of March has a keynote speaker, 25 of them in our 25 year history. The speakers come from many areas of interest and expertise, but always advancing our knowledge of local nutculture in one way or another. We are grateful to the RVCA for hosting our AGM at the McManus Interpretive Centre in the Baxter Conservation Area for the past 25 years!

Every January ECSONG holds its popular Winter Gathering, which has always been hosted by The Ottawa Citizen in its auditorium on Baxter Road in Ottawa (many thanks!). This year's slated for Saturday, January 24, 2004, will celebrate ECSONG's 25th anniversary.

Vera Hrebacka's Nutty Kids Program has become a fixture at ECSONG meetings under the guidance of Khristina Popadiouk. Kids are welcomed as important ECSONG members in their own right, as they join in nutty activities suited to their interests and abilities.

ECSONG's Nutty Coffee Shoppe has become an important fund raiser and nut cuisine demonstrator over the years, thanks to the participation of many members. The Shoppe can be experienced at most ECSONG meetings and occasionally at other events. The Shoppe could find a place at every ECSONG event, including nut grove field days and any exhibition that the ECSONG Display attends. Why not team up to make the 'Nutty Coffee Shoppe' known in every corner of Eastern Ontario? All the funds you will raise will advance nutculture everywhere! 'Nutseed Exchanges' have been part of the ECSONG agenda from the beginning. Bring your 'traders' to every meeting, and take home your nutseed desirements. These exchanges are valubale to individual growers, and they should be much encouraged. Should we have a person in charge of coordinating Nutseed Exchanges?

ECSONG's Exhibit Display has traveled around to many Exhibits over the years. A little threadbare, it now needs your attention. Lets rejuvenate the display - how about a simple tabletop display that can be multiplicated cheaply and distributed around the region so ECSONG can have a presence at many events at the same time! Recently, some of our nut groves have presented minidisplays of their own, a practice to be strongly encouraged.

ECSONG and friends have been conducting popular, day-long Nutters Bus Tours around the region every two years or so in the fall since the early-nineties. Organizing these tours is generally done by the ECSONG Vice-Chair, though anyone interested can surely help out. We are due one this year, 2004, The tours are timed to coincide with the nut harvest.

In the mid-nineties, ECSONG and colleagues at the Kemptville College of Guelph University (KCAT), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) hosted the day-long First Nutculture Workshop For Eastern Ontario. It attracted over twenty exhibitors and a dozen acclaimed speakers from Canada and the USA, Over 150 participants attended. Gotta do the next one real soon!

Almost since the beginning the ECSONG Inventree system has been gathering information about nut trees found growing in the region. Its purpose is to yield growth data, and to point to superior trees as best candidates for propagation.

At the suggestion of Vera Hrebacka in 2000, a Nut Grove Friends program was started. It encourages new members to sign up as supporters for the ECSONG's nut grove of their choice. This association helps the new member get quickly involved in ECSONG's most important public education program, its nut groves. These Friends' groups could take on the task of organizing and conducting the public programs at their respective nut groves, thereby helping out the Grove Coordinators as they work to advance the groves. How about a summer meeting in each grove, sort of a summer fair?

Nutculture grafting skills can matter a lot when you are moving into commercial nut growing. Brian Henderson of Algonquin College has organized Nutgrafting Workshops in the past. Lets do another one soon. How about other topics as well? Having educational alliances with local schools, colleges and universities in the region is important to ECSONG.

ECSONG Nut Groves
In the last 25 years ECSONG has demonstrated that profitable nut tree growing is possible in the Eastern Ontario region through its five public research and demonstration nut groves, with their twice yearly field days and numerous research days. Considerable work is done by ECSONG and grove owners, under the guidance of ECSONG's grove Coordinators. ECSONG needs additional such groves at its western, eastern and northern edges. Consider what these ECSONG nut groves are now worth to the community in hard cold cash, thanks mostly to ECSONG folks like you. Nut groves succeed because considerable rime and money are invested in them. We have hosted hundreds of field and research days over the past 25 years. Volunteers donate skilled time, worth $15 an hour at the going rate. The nut grove owners and friends provide considerable funding support in a variety of ways. Lets look at this investment grove by grove.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), owner of the 25-year old ERF Nut Grove at the Baxter Conservation Area, has recently valued that site at as much a quarter million dollars! There are over a hundred specimens of more than thirty kinds of nut and bean bearing trees and shrubs, worth probably well over $10K. The land value is about $10K. Paid RVCA staff time of $1K - $2K per year for ongoing site maintenance totals S25K - $50K; the use of the Mcmanus Interpretive Centre for 25 ECSONG AGMs at $250 / day is worth over $6K; ECSONG volunteers have invested about ten thousand hours worth $150K and for several years ECSONG has provided an annual budget of $200. The Grove is now a routine part of the RVCA's Baxter Conservation Area nature program, receiving self-touring visitors year-round.

We expect the owner South Nation Conservation (SNC) would value the 22-year old Oak Valley Nut Grove comparably (OVNG, founded in 1985). The land value is about $15K, the trees well over $10K. SNC invests directly about $1K per year on ongoing site maintenance under a formal business plan prepared by ECSONG, a total of over $14K. The McKendry bequest to the site is over $5K, augmented by an ECSONG donation of $250, in the trust fund. Local families have invested thousands of dollars in the Pioneer Homestead Memorial commemorative plaque stones. The local Lions Club donated $2500 for a pavilion. An initial appeal to The Trillium Foundation for over a hundred thousand dollars has been made. (Note: though this first appeal was not successful, scientific consultant support on another appeal might make it successful next time.) The Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA) has entrusted the OVNG with its $3.5K Butternut Rescue Archive for the Eastern Ontario region. The local Township Council saw fit to make awards to the ECSONG volunteers and friends who have invested many thousands of on-site hours worth $15K - $45K, and the local press is now giving the site superior coverage. Nutlings from the onsite Truscott Nursery are provided to the community.

The National Capital Commission (NCC) might think about its 35-year old Dolman Ridge Nut Grove in similar terms, where ECSONG volunteers and friends have invested many hundreds of hours worth about $1.5K - $4.5K, Blossom Park School has added the site to its curriculum, new Nut Trails have been added, the Moe Anderson Oak Plantation dedicated and the Ottawa Stewardship Council has sponsored public field days. As a nutculture agroforestry demonstration, the site shows the community how to _ grow for both timber and food together, nature's way. Butternut canker testing underway may produce the first canker resistant butternuts. The precocity of Korean Nut Pines growing in the region was first demonstrated at Dolman.

ECSONG, the Friends Of The Central Experimental Farm (FCEF), and Agriculture And Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) continue to invest volunteer and staff time heavily in the 120 year old Dominion Arboretum, which is probably valued by the community in the millions of dollars. The DA's still-growing nut tree collection needs solid scientific appraisal, which would yield a we"alth of data for local nut growers. ECSONG volunteers host two public tours a year (and several research days) to view the DA's part of the National Nut Tree Collection.

Over the past five years, ECSONG members and colleagues have spent well over 200 person hours visiting and documenting the one thousand ù^ shagbark hickories at the Lanark Sha0 Nut Grove, an investment valued at $3000 or more. And it has promised this contribution will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Meetings of the joint ECSONG/ OMNR / Mazinaw-Lanark Committee and its preparatory work have contributed probably half as much again, another $1500. Already then, many people collectively have invested almost $5000. This coming year may well see this amount doubled.

So what is the total in hard cold cask - millions! And the scientific knowledge of nut trees performance in these groves is priceless. Lets get the public more deeply involved, so the knowledge spreads rapidly. And let the hard science begin!

The 100 year old Gellatly Nut Farm (GNF) in Westbank BC, probably Canada's earliest and oldest nut research establishment, almost disappeared this past year. Though no longer active, it has provided many of the world's cold hardiest nut trees. And the original specimens are still there. Now it is an historic park, and ECSONG helped. The GNF will likely come to be seen as the cornerstone of the incipient nut industry emerging soon across Canada.

The Ottawa Botanical Garden Society wants ECSONG to join their efforts to create a world-class botanical garden here in Canada's capital. Who knows nut trees better than ECSONGers? We will play an important role when the time comes.

The flag went up for nut growing in Canada when the Governor General Nut Grove was planted at Rideau Hall in 2002 at the direction of Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada.

As mentioned above, each ECSONG nut grove offers two public field days per year, and numerous research field days, to attract the local community. Looking to the future, local nutculture businesses may want to invest in sponsoring such events. Cobjon Nutculture Services has done so already, and written a how-to pamphlet about it. There is considerable potential in the Nut Groves joining with their local high schoolers looking to invest their community service hours meaningfully, and with grade schools, colleges and universities curriculums. If funding was available for onsite scientific data collecting and analysis, the 100+ years of research history spanned by these groves could powerfully stimulate commercial nutculture in the region and possibly Canada as a whole. Tell us what you think of all this.

ECSONG Affiliates
Over the years, ECSONG has been blessed with many other affiliates as well, including inter alia the Society of Ontario Nut Growers (SONG), the Northern Nut Growers Association (NNGA), the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF), The Ferguson Forestry Station, The Corry Lake Nursery, The Seed Source, Buckthorn Meadows Tree Farm, La Pépinière Lafeuillée Cobjon Nutculture Services, Ministry Of Natural Resources (MNR), Ministry Of Agriculture, Food, And Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Ottawa Botanical Garden Society, the Ottawa Horticultural Society, the Friends of the Central Experimental Farm and many others. Thousands of nut trees have been planted around the region in these past 25 years because of the close cooperation between ECSONG and its affiliates.

ECSONG folks have done lots of important things in the past 25 years, and will do even more in the next 25!

ECSONG Onward and Upward!
Kim and Lester McInnis

Lets get our membership up. Without lots of enthusiastic volunteers, ECSONG will have trouble fulfilling its mandate to see nut trees being grown all over the Eastern Ontario region. What is holding us back? Problems with the membership is the fact that although membership dues are low, people still expect to get something back in return and do not always get it. Paying dues to work one's butt off in mosquitoes and heat or rain in a nut grove without even being given a handout with some sort of information at the end of the day just doesn't add up.

What is needed is sort of a mission statement for each grove to give coordinators direction in working with and directing volunteers. Possibly a 'handbook' with a short history of the grove, projects initiated with a projection of the desired outcome, i.e...The 16 red oaks growing along the south fence line were planted in 2000 with the intention of studying the growth habits of oaks in sandy soil with the added benefit of one day providing shade and food for native birds and wildlife. Answers a volunteer's question of, "Why are all these oaks growing in this long grass and why don't we just leave them for the rabbits to chew off?"

Record keeping is an integral part of any group or club and any kind of an effort made to document information and distribute that information makes running a group of volunteers so much more easier because everyone is on the ball and therefore are confident and 'qualified1 to step into the leadership role of that group. No one is on the outside looking in. The group in the long run benefits because people then can make informed and intelligent contributions to the group. If you have to direct a wide eyed flock of sheep every field day, time and human resources are being wasted in explaining over and over why it is important to keep the weeds down or not to pull out those things that look like weeds but are actually hazels. Informed members take the initiative and go about tasks on their own, and that time wasted on re-explaining can be open to individual suggestions, "Hey next spring why don't we plant a few oaks in with those hazels which will act as a wind buffer and help to keep the weeds down in coming years?" Sharing of information has the added benefit that projects can be prioritized and group thinking can be funneled into specific projects instead of running willy nilly all over the place.

Volunteers come out to help and discuss topics that are of interest to the lay person who is there to learn about trees. Seminars or group discussions should be part of the 'agenda' for field days and an effort made to make new and established members feel a part of the group. Unless you take the time to work alongside with people and talk with them, they don't come back

Articles in The Nuttery need to be geared more to the average person. Scientific articles are good in that they keep everyone abreast as to what is going on in the bigger picture, but running an article every now and then on the basic requirements that a tree needs to survive is essential. Or on native trees. These keep new members interested in that they can go out to their back yards and tend to a new planting with confidence. Or be able to take the kids to the park and show them that there is a Red Oak or a White Oak, etc. using information gained from their membership in the club. Outside of the Nuttery the information that is available in the form of pamphlets and handouts is essentially non existent right now for members. Even printing addresses as where to go to look for more information from government agencies and websites would keep interest going. The biggest challenge in any club once you get a member, is how do you go about keeping them. Organizing field days where people go out to work in the groves just isn't enough. Monthly seminars where people can listen to talks and socialize over coffee through the winter months help to put people at ease and might keep them coming back.

On another matter of interest to ECSONG, we spent a week in Halifax last summer, and I don't know if you have ever been to the Victorian Public Gardens or not, but apparently they have been completely destroyed. There were huge chestnuts well over a hundred years old. Perhaps as a gesture of good will ECSONG might look at offering the City of Halifax plant material for spring planting. I think if we could offer a list of plant material, species and size, from which, if there is interest from the Public Gardens side (or perhaps retreeing city streets ), that the people involved down east could choose from, would be a start. ECSONG nut grove coordinators at this end should determine what seedlings that they have that they might want to contribute. For example, a list of available plant material might come in handy just so we know exactly what we have to offer. ie..2 year old black walnuts, 5 year old red oaks, and so on. I am not sure if there are regulations inter-provincially regarding movement of plant material in view to disease control, but I will certainly find out (the Chestnuts uprooted by the storm I believe were imported from England in the late 1700's and may have brought with them the blight that we now have!)

Well, guess what? ECSONG executive wants us to go ahead with this offer! I expect the folks down east have a lot of other considerations at this moment to deal with, but we'll make the offer and see what happens. So, I sent an email to the Halifax City Clerk to find out who we should be talking to about this, and she has given me a couple of names. At the time of writing this, I am preparing to contact these people with our offer. Hope to be able to tell everyone the outcome at the upcoming Winter Gathering.

ECSONG Back to the Future!
Vera Hrebacka

The best attended ECSONG winter meeting 1 recollect was the Winter Gathering held in 2002, at The Ottawa Citizen Auditorium on Baxter Road in Ottawa. What made this meeting so great? First, the huge number of people who came. We broke the record for attendance for ANY ECSONG meeting EVER held! What else made it so great? Well, it was the year that the ECSONG Nutty Kids Program was officially launched. Children were everywhere! So were their parents, of course. Without the ECSONG 'Nutty Kids Program', many young families would not have been able to attend. So, this meeting also had the highest percentage of young families - exactly what ECSONG needs. Golly, we had folks from 8 to 80!

But something else important happened. For the first time, ECSONG had the opportunity to meet its youngest members at an ECSONG Meeting. Sure, sometimes kids have attended ECSONG events in the past. What the ECSONG Nutty Kids Program did was recognize them as members of ECSONG. The ECSONG 'Nutty Kids Program' not only helps younger families get involved, it invests in ECSONG's future. Hey, a ECSONG 'Nutty Kids Program' that integrates children's experiences and their unique wisdom into the organization makes ECSONG immortal!

Why such a large turnout in 2002? Well, the only thing we did differently was to run our brand new Phone Tree. It worked! Lets make sure we keep the Phone Tree working for every Winter Gathering. Remember, the Phone Tree not only connects members - it also reaches out to friends, neighbours and like-minded organizations. It is a recruiting tool for ECSONG.

You may also recall Kathleen Jones working the 'Nutty Coffee Shoppe at this same meeting. Lots of nutty goodies were on the table, made and brought by culinarily inclined members. Tasty to be sure, but also an important fundraiser. That particular 'Nutty Coffee Shoppe' raised its most funds ever - pushing $100 for one event! And all the kids in the 'Nutty Kids Program' got healthy fruit juices to drink.

I think that 'Nut Grove Friends' are also very important to ECSONG's overall success. I know the Nut Grove Coordinators are often consumed with the task of grove maintenance and may sometimes lose sight of the importance of the groves to the public - so, this is where the 'Nut Grove Friends' can step in. Why not encourage these groups to take on the task of organizing the all-too-important public events for the groves? I can see it now - in early spring, crowds of people come to learn about growing nuts, then go home determined to plant nut trees for themselves, their neighbours, at schools, along roadways, in park, maybe even to start a nut grove of their own! Then another group visits in the fall, and the pattern recurs! Year after year after year.

The Phone Tree, the Nutty Kids Program, the Nutty Coffee Shoppe and the Nut Grove Friends are each very important to ECSONG. They worked in the past, and will work in the future. Lets get back to the future!

The ginkgoes of Bruce Timmermans Park
Jeff Blackadar

ginkgo vase On a small lot near Bank Street in the Billings Bridge area is a small grove of Ginkgoes ECSONG members may not be aware of. This group of trees was planted in Bruce Timmermans Park in 2000 as a Millennium Project by the Ottawa Horticultural Society in partnership with the Heron Park Community Association and the City of Ottawa.

The project started when the Heron Park Community Association identified an empty plot of land that was being used as a dumping ground. The Community Association worked with the city to take sponsorship of the land and turn it into a park. The Association and the city got the park cleaned up and landscaped, putting in flower beds and some picnic tables.

The Ottawa Horticultural Society became involved when a proposal was put forward to buy and plant five ginkgo trees in the park and then have the Community Association care for them. OHS members planted the trees and their growth and progress has been reported on each year by OHS member Mary Bryant, who led the project. To date four of the trees survived and of those three are quite healthy while one is hanging on. The soil in the park is clay mixed with rock.

My involvement in this project is more recent: just checking up on the trees this summer and watering them when it was dry. Follow-up on these type of urban tree plantings is important: tree guards need replacing after they have been cut by whipper snippers, tree stakes need to be removed when they chafe the bark, etc. Late this fall I put in one of my own seed grown Ginkgoes to replace the tree that died. A friend of mine accused me of using too fancy a stake for the tree (I used a handle broken from a shovel) and sure enough when I checked the tree this week, the stake was gone. The tree itself is fine! This new tree may be a female so I hope there will be some nuts there in the future.

Bruce Timmermans Park is located at the corner of Apolydor and Gilles. If you visit them and notice something we should do to better care for these trees please contact me.

Here is a picture of a Ginkgo vase in the Chinese city of Xian taken by Pauline Ho. As she said "poor plant".
(restored to the original submission at the request of the author)

The Endangered Butternut Plight Recognized
Barb Boysen, Forest Gene Conservation Association

Good news! The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has just recommended to Environment Canada (EC) that butternut have endangered status under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). If officially accepted and listed by EC, there will be opportunities for funding of conservation efforts.

Butternut canker, a widespread and virulent, introduced fungal disease is the main threat to butternut across its range (ON, QC & NB in Canada). The future of butternut depends on the ability of all jurisdictions to help landowners conserve mature butternut and promote regeneration as we search for genetic resistance or other disease limiting mechanisms. The Forest Gene Conservation Association, an OMNR founded southern Ontario partnership has been advising landowners on how to manage their forests to conserve butternut since 1993. Several groups help us with this work, including Ontario Stewardship, Eastern Ontario Model Forest, The Arboretum (U of Guleph), Eastern Chapter - Society of Ontario Nut Growers, Ontario Woodlot Association, Ontario Forestry Association and the Canadian Forest Service. Several of these groups, as well as Dr Ostry, USDA Forest Service, recently initiated the Butternut Conservation Coalition to coordinate research and conservation efforts for butternut, including most recently the Status Report on Butternut (2003). ECSONG hosts the Eastern Ontario Butternut Archive at its Oak Valley Nut Grove. Cobjon Nutculture Services is hosting the North American Butternut Rescue Team on it website - anyone can join. ECSONG's Dolman Ridge Nut Grove may have several canker resistant Butternuts on site (more on this later).

The following information is available to help landowners and other interested groups:

General Information:

For Landowners:

Nuts Trees at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Dale Crook

I am a volunteer at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, and for the last couple of years l"ve taken an interest in the nut trees on site. See the article "Update on our walnut and butternut trees" in the Fletcher Wildlife Garden newsletter. I have now tagged all the walnut and butternut trees. I'm interested in becoming a member of ECSONG. Sometime, it would be interesting for us at the FWG to have some ECSONG expertise visit oiir site.

Cobjon congratulates ECSONG on its 25th Anniversary!
HAC Jones, Dr. R. Popadiouk, Dr. S. Ponomarenko, VL Hrebacka, DD Abbinett, DV Dagenais, M Dagenais, K Popadiouk, K Shaw & G Williams

Cobjon Enterprises Inc. has been a keen supporter of ECSONG from day one! Both were established in 1978. Most of its board of directors have been ECSONG members at one time or another. Alec and Kathleen Jones were founding members of ECSONG. Hank Jones was its Chair and Nuttery Editor many times. Mark Jones also has been a long time ECSONG member.

Cobjon' s division, called Cobjon Nutculture Services (Cobjon for short) focuses directly on nutculture, as its name implies.

Cobjon has always been motivated by ECSONG. Its products and services have been tailored to the expanding and increasingly sophisticated needs of the region's pioneering nut tree growers.

In the early days of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF), Cobjon was awarded grants to develop a methodology for organizing and conducting nut contests. These contests were designed to find superior nuts on trees already thriving in the harsh Eastern Ontario climate. Such trees are thought to be likely candidates for variety status, and the possible progenitors of new kinds of nuts unique to the region. Uniqueness in a product gives a strong market position, something the region would definitely need if local growers were to have any chance of developing profitable markets.

The EOMF made a second grant to Cobjon, to develop a survey methodology aimed at finding out about the needs and interests of existing and new nutculturists nationwide. Cobjon completed both tasks successfully and this work forms the basis of market research not only for this region, but for the rest of Canada.

Cobjon congratulates ECSONG on its 25th anniversary, and wishes its many more years of successful promotion of nutculture in the Eastern Ontario region!

Researching Canada's Nutculture History
Darryl Abbinett and Hank Jones

Cobjon Nutculture Services in Ottawa is researching the history of nutculture in Canada from the earliest records to the present day, and with an eye to the future. To our knowledge, no such compilation how exists. We believe it is time to write the book.

Our preliminary research, for a start, has found reports of mummified walnuts in the Canadian Arctic dated about 45 million years ago; Ginkgoes thrived here until about 7 million years ago. Today almost a hundred kinds of nut trees and shrubs are represented.

Archeologists report butternut nuts in the middens of the tenth century Viking habitations in Newfoundland. Anthropologists indicate widespread nut use and dispersal by aboriginal peoples, and even cultivation by fire. Travelers and ethnobotanists report anecdotal nut, leaf and bark use for many and varied purposes. Scientific nutculture begins with the horticulturists in the seventeenth century. Breeding for colder hardiness starts in the nineteenth century, and continued fruitfully during the twentieth century. Nut urbaculture is on the horizon. So, much has already been accomplished. The future holds even greater promise. Given the recent spectacular advances in biological science and its technologies, we believe Canada is poised to take a quantum leap forward in nutculture.

We plan to compile the names of peoples; organizations and individuals, from the earliest days, who may have played a role in advancing nutculture in Canada. Chief Joseph Brant was such a person early on in the modern era. Jack Ure Gellatly and George Hebden Corsans were a leaders in the early twentieth century. Today Doug Campbell, Ernie Grimo and Charles Rhora stand out.These are amongst the people whose nutculture careers we will document. We will ask individuals and organizations with interests in Canadian nutculture to help us identify all the other folks. We will also welcome anecdotal information and traditional ecological knowledge.

We seek your participation. Thank you for helping us write the history of nutculture in Canada.
(Reprinted from the The Nutshell V57#3, September 2003, PIS, newsletter of the Northern Nut Growers Association)

Mark Schaefer, RPF
Hank Jones

It is with great sadness that we note the death of Mark Schaefer this past Sunday, October 19, 2003.

Mark was one of ECSONG's earliest members and a strong supporter for all these years. In the early years, Mark often spoke to the society on matters related to the silviculture of nut trees. These presentations were an important influence on the initial development of the FRP Nut Grove, the Oak Valley Nut Grove and the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove. See the ECSONG website for a 1988 photograph of Mark (photo by Mary Jane Jones).

While he was still working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources as Supervisor, he planted a research grove of Korean Nut Pine in the area of Forestry Canada's then Central Research Forest, on Borthwick Ridge (now ECSONG's Dolman Ridge Nut Grove). This plantation proved inspirational to ECSONG, as the growing of nut pines became a high priority for the Society, as it started producing healthy cones in less than ten years. In its native range in Asia, the Korean Nut Pine takes several decades before fruiting begins. As a result of this demonstration, now, in the Oak Valley Nut Grove there is a line of Korean Nut Pines that are grafted on White Pine rootstock. These tree began fruiting even earlier than the original demonstration trees, in only five years! Mark showed clearly that nut pines must become an important element of commercial nut production in the. Eastern Ontario region.

Mark took on the role of ECSONG Vice-chair four consecutive times, from 1988 to 1991, and gave the organization much encouragement to excel. In 1988, ECSONG's decennial year, Mark called for a celebratory nut growers manual to be written. An editorial team was put into place that included Mark, who then wrote the book! This manual is still in use today, and only now is updating it being considered. By 1990, Mark was already encouraging the compilation of documents on the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove aka FRPNG, and the writing of its history, now finally underway. Mark conceived, designed and produced ECSONG's Banner.

He belonged to the Liaison Committees for both the FRPNG and the DRNG for many years, while also working on the OVNG and the Lavant Shags Nut Grove.

In 1997 in an article in the Ottawa Citizen, reprinted in the Nuttery, Mark explained in detail exactly how to remedy the damage caused by the disastrous ice storm of the year. See Volume 16 Number 4 (1997) for his instructions.

Mark's willing hands and deep knowledge of trees will be sorely missed by ECSONG and its every member. Whenever you see ECSONG's Banner flying, think of Mark!

Alcon Welding celebrates ECSONG 25th
Mark Jones

Alcon Welding is a small business in Ottawa I launched at age 25, and now in its eleventh year! Alcon has always had its hand in where nutculture was concerned. It has worked on ( and still is) a variety of nutculture machinery including a low cost black walnut/butternut/Shagbark huller, a manual hardshell nut kernel extractor, an anvil cracker, and a nut saw. Its aim is to offer North American nutculturists affordable equipment designed to handle modest sized nut crop amounts.

In the early days of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF), Alcon was given a grant to advance the design of its nut huller, which was done successfully. Interest in the advanced machine has come from across North America, and machines have been sold in both Canada and the USA.

In collaboration with Cobjon Nutculture Services, Alcon is now implementing an Internet based marketing survey tool to give nutculturists around the world an opportunity to explain their special needs and interests

Alcon Welding congratulates ECSONG on its 25th anniversary, and wishes its many more years of successful promotion of nutculture in the Eastern Ontario region!

Tom Hunt's Butternut and the Secrest Bur Oaks
Tom Hunt

You are not going to believe this! Today I was walking along a creek bed where a recently exposed layer of clay had been exposed. This drew my attention immediately because in the past I have found prehistoric, post glacial plant materials in such deposits. Some of this plant material looked fresh on one end and partially carbonized on the other end.

I saw something slightly exposed in the clay that I thought looked interesting. I dug it out and it is a butternut! I'm no geologist, but I believe that all such clay deposits around here happened during the flooding that occurred immediately after the glaciers melted. There certainly are no clay deposits being formed by today's hydraulic processes.

I believe this is a prehistoric butternut, in very good shape. It is the same color as the clay it was in. Oh, there was a hickory immediately above me there, and none of the nuts or shells could be found embeded in the clay as this butternut was, which lends credence to my theory that the butternut is very old.

I have put it in a cup of water for now and it sunk to the bottom. Not sure what that means. But it could be of some interest to someone interested in the macro-evolution of the butternut. I prefer to take my digital photos outside in full sun, but today and the next few days are going to be dreary down here, but I will try to get some flash pictures of it ASAP.

By the way, the Bur Oaks at the Secrest Arboretum of the University of Ohio nearby produce acorns as big as golf balls. In the picture, the acorrus sitting in a tablespoon! Maybe the Texas Burs you are planting in Ottawa will also still grow the big ones!

Black Walnut Royal Oak
Andy and Jane Molino

Can you grow nuts in the city? You bet!

Our company, The CCI Leadership Institute, has its offices on Gilmour Street near the corner of Bank Street. Behind our building beside the parking lot behind the Royal oak restaurant there is a magnificent Black Walnut tree. The tree is about 40 feet high and at least the same in crown diameter. It bears fruit every year, some years bigger crops than others. We keep an eye on the tree to see that it is doing well.

These past two years, when the m began to fall, we called Hank Jones to say "Come and get them". Here is what happened. This year Hank came with Chris Hudson the freelance chef and Lloyd Strachan, Agricultural Consultant. All the nuts on the ground at the time were gathered. The yield after hulling was three bags full -about three bushels (one hectoliter) of cleaned nuts. If all the nuts were taken, the yield would have been about double this. In terms of kernel, reckon that it would be about a third of the whole nuts, that is about one bushel for the actual harvest and two bushels for the whole crop. What's it worth? At about $50 per kilogram, estimate at least $2500 Canadian. That is one tree out the many hundreds that already grow in Ottawa - maybe a million dollars worth of Black Walnuts kernel per year! There, you can grow nuts in the city - and profitably.

Clarence Cross - Oak Valley Nut Grove Historian
Hank Jones

It is with great sadness that we note the death of Clarence Cross on Sunday, November 30, 2003.

Clarence was my first director when I started as a neophyte oceanographer in the Canadian federal government in 1967. Over the years he also become a friend and mentor. After his retirement in 1976, he became an avid historian and genealogist around the Eastern Ontario region. He also kept in touch because he was curious about my efforts to develop a nut industry across Canada.

Following up on our mutual interest, in 1983 Clarence made both syrup and a jelly from the sap of the Butternut (Juglans cineria) after hearing mention of this use of Butternut sap on the CBC noon program and having read about the possibility some time before. He made about three pints of the syrup, boiling down the sap by about 30 to 1.

Some of the sap had gelatinous threads, like cobwebs in appearance, coming directly from the tree. This sap turned to jelly when processed. His tasters report liking the syrup's flavour, some even preferring it to maple syrup because of its milder flavour. Clarence also reported the staff at Upper Canada Village had no knowledge of Butternut syrup when asked.

In l988, Clarence became interested in ECSONG's efforts to create its second public nut grove at Oak Valley (conceived by Irene Woolford Broad, masterminded by Hank Jones and executed by the late Dr. Ralph McKendry). He documented the history of the Oak Valley site starting with a map from 1879 tracing the history of ownership of the site from that time. Volume 5 no2 has a summary by Dr. McKendry. Clarence also served on the committee that set up the Pioneer Homestead Memorial that Dr. McKendry conceived and established co-located with the Oak Valley Nut Grove.

There is an ECSONG picture of Clarence in his office circa 1994, in the log house he personally restored, that was the first family home of his ancestors who arrived in Canada in 1842 from England.

Clarence's extensive knowledge of the pioneers and their families in the region, his interest in the nut trees and their fruits and his warm personality will be deeply missed.

Discovering Nutculture
Peter Satterley

Hank, I was thinking about putting something in this special issue about your mother and dad and how I came to know your mother through the Ottawa Choral Society as I often sat beside her, she, the last person in the alto section in my row and I being the first person in the tenor section in the same row. I was going to tell about her description of her summer place out near Smiths Falls and about being out there. There was nothing about nut trees then. Then the Ice Storm came of 1998 and I was starting to look around for neat trees to be growing at my place to replace the trees the foresters were telling us would not survive more than 5 years. And so, I finally settled on planting nut trees and started looking for some place to get them. Somebody in my church alpha course thought she had heard something about a nut tree organization and after some false starts, found that they were displaying at some show at Lansdowne ParkJ went and checked it out and bought a walnut and a butternut tree, both of which are now 5 years old and doing wonderfully in my meadow. I also discovered ECSONG and joined it at that time. The following fall, there was a bus tour that went to a grove of trees at Chesterville and then went down to see burr oaks and shagbark hickories along the St. Lawrence River. It was there at the stop for burr oaks that, after a walk to look at the trees and to collect acorns, I came back and sat down on a gate amongst a group of people. One of them was talking to another and as I started to pay attention to what was being conversed, I started to think I recognized one of the people who was talking.

To my great surprise, I discovered that this familiar voice was no other than the alto lady from the choir. And as I exclaimed in astonishment at her presence on this tour, I discovered that her husband had been the founder of the society and a great promoter and one of the energies behind the Filmore Park Nut Grove at Baxter, a nut grove I had heard of but never knew where it was. I felt as if I was witnessing a piece of history as this man told me about how things had got started and how things had grown to the extent that there were now 4 or 5 nut groves in the region, where people were dedicated to the growing and research on nut trees in our area. I felt honoured to be in such a historical presence and to see and participate with so many people interested in promoting nut culture in Eastern Ontario.

My Interest In Nut Trees
Len Collett

My memory goes back to the depression years of the thirties when I was the oldest of four boys in a family that was eking out a living on a farm of a hundred acres of mixed farming in Southwestern Ontario. When I was about 14 years old, I knew where there were some black walnut trees growing along a roadside. One October day after a heavy frost, I asked Dad if my younger brother and I could hitch up "Fan" to the buggy and go gather some walnuts. We had to go about 3 miles to go to where I remember was the location of the walnut trees. When we got there the nuts had fallen to the ground because of a heavy frost a few days before. It did not take us long to fill a couple of grain sacks and put them in the back of the buggy. After arriving home we shucked the nuts and left them to dry. It was some time after Christmas before the nuts were ready to eat. Usually on a Sunday afternoon we would get out the shoe last and with a hammer start cracking and eating the walnuts in the kitchen of the old farmhouse.

On another occasion in the early thirties I can remember Dad taking me to the woodlot where he would cut firewood for heating the farmhouse. Again it was after a heavy frost and the ground was covered with nuts that had a spiny husk. It was the American Chestnut. They were the sweetest nuts that I think that I ever eaten. But the blight wiped out all those trees during the thirties. Incidentally there are some large American Chestnut trees surviving today in an area near Durham, Ontario which is managed by the Grand River Conservation Authority.

Well, time passed and it was not until 1971 when Genice and I bought 150 acres in Lanark County that I turned my interest to nut trees again. About that time, the Society of Ontario Nut Growers was founded in 1972. The first meeting was held on October 14, 1972 at the Horticultural Research Institute in Vineland, Ontario. Although I did not attend the meeting, I decided to become a member to learn what I could about nut culture. Its aim was to demonstrate that nut growing is not only possible everywhere in the province, but commercially practical; to introduce new species of nut trees into Canada; and to encourage planting of nut trees because they provide nutrition, shade, ornamental beauty, and are sturdy windbreaks.

Later in the decade of the 70's, Alec Jones and Filmore Park noticed in the membership list of SONG that there were a number of people locally in the Ottawa area who were members. So in 1978 the Ottawa Area Chapter was formed to advance the same purpose in Eastern Ontario, which has different growing conditions from Southwestern Ontario. In 1991, the chapter name was changed to the Eastern Chapter of SONG to reflect the interests of people in Eastern Ontario. I also have been a member of ECSONG since it was organized.

During the years, I have been gathering information on growing nut trees. In 1987 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) produced and televised a version of 'The Man Who Planted Trees" by Jean Giono. It is a classic tale of a shepherd who, over the course of 30 years, planted one hundred acorns every day to transform a barren landscape in the south of France to a lush countryside of farms and cottages. This story had a lasting influence on me. I knew I wanted to plant trees, especially nut-bearing trees.

Since retiring in 1990, I have experimented with planting a grove of about 65 nut trees of various species to determine what varieties were hardy in the Lanark area. In the end it was decided to concentrate on black walnut and nut pines. Now I have over 150 ^^ walnut trees and half a dozen nut pines planted. As I am finding out, deer are a real problem in growing trees in this area. So I am experimenting with protective devices for the trees. Eventually I would like to see a commercial cooperative enterprise organized in Eastern Ontario.

Everyone wants to grow Nuts!
Pierre Boileau

The participation last August of ECSONG in the Navan Fair Conservation Tent as an exhibitor, contributed to the huge success of"our tent. I am also an exhibitor and organizer of these types of events and I would like to see more of your Society. People from both urban and rural areas are very interested in nut trees for their backyards and or bushlots.

As Coordinator of the Bog to Bog project I organize different workshops and with the cooperation and assistance of ECSONG, I will schedule one for early next spring with NUT TREES as the topic.

Gellatly Nut Farm Awaits!
Carolyn Ellis, Administrator, Gellatly Nut Farm

Our congratulations to ECSONG on your 25th Anniversary!

Although a newcomer myself, to the nut farm industry in Canada, I have admired the courage and enthusiasm that has kept the Okanagan Gellatly Nut Farm vision alive in our own province, and can appreciate the obstacles you have overcome in reaching the public with information and consistently drawing a map towards nutculture in Canada through your own Nut Groves. We are most grateful for the role ECSONG played in helping save the Farm.

The Gellatly Nut Farm, the oldest surviving commercial nut farm in Canada, is poised at an exciting point in its development and as we move towards our 100th Anniversary in 2005. We anticipate even more activity around the Farm. Over the past year we have held numerous public events, a very successful harvest festival and in general have kept a high profile in our community. Visitors from as far away as Prince Edward Island have enjoyed the unique tours and tranquil moments at our farm as well as taken home a variety of healthy nut treats.

The Farm anticipates having a historical site complete with interpretative trails, and an Interpretive Center Museum (target completion - 2005). It will include heritage display panels on the history of nut growing, information on genetic conservation, on nutculture practice, and the presentation of equipment and buildings associated with the nut orchard and Gellatly family agricultural history. Many of the more complex historical aspects of our vision will take longer to fulfill, nevertheless the educational aspect of our history remains paramount to our goals.

Guides, in period costumes, will take you on informative tours pointing out the different nut varieties and explain how the restored buildings were used in the past and how they are used today. You will learn about nut growing in cold climates like Canada. Also, in season you will be able to sample and buy walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts and many other varieties.

The entrance to the National Historic Site of Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park is on Whitworth Road (off Gellatly Road), Westbank, British Columbia, Canada. Visit our website. We look forward to meeting you!

Best to ECSONG!
Ian E. Efford, President, Ottawa Botanical Garden Society

Over the last 25 years, ECSONG has established an outstanding record of activities in research, demonstration and education as well a providing a social forum for individuals with a interest in nut trees and their products. This effort has been undertaken by volunteers in the association and they must be congratulated for coming so far in establishing a professional organization.

The research and testing of trees that will grow in our harsh climate is an excellent foundation for the future which will demand more locally grown nuts. The movement towards health foods, one national Canadian chain has now reached $100 million in annual sales in its health food section, and the serious natural shortages that are developing in the supply of some of the nuts, notably Brazil Nuts, means that there is an opening for more aggressively marketing of some of our own, local products.

The Ottawa Botanical Garden Society notes ECSONG's success and hopes to emulate it when it begins following a similar path in promoting research, demonstration and education in the broader field of bringing the importance of plants in our economic and social lives to the attention of Canadians. We look forward to a working partnership between the two societies and the promotion of ECSONG's efforts to garden visitors.

Best wishes on the first 25 years, we expect even more from you over the next 25!

Keep up the good work ECSONG!
Lionel Lustgarten

My interest in ECSONG arises because I have always loved the appearance of mature chestnut trees, and for a long time I was unable to find any way to grow them on my country property. The two years ago I found a couple of trees at a local nursery, and I had them in the ground within hours.

They have survived so far, although I feel they suffered some stress this past summer. They are now about to undergo their third winter, and I am hoping I shall see a nice crop of leaves in the spring. They are about eight feet tall and 25 feet apart.

So I am hoping for the best. They are right in front of the property, and should be a magnificent sight when they are a little older. I can hardly, wait to see them when they are 50 years old. I am 72, so the anticipation is really exciting. But I plan to hang in there.

Many thanks to you and to ECSONG for the many interesting articles.

Keep up the good work.

My Favourite Nutty Recipes
Nancy Pierce

Here is one called 'Walnut-Pecan Shortbread'
(adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven)

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/4 cup rice flour (or all purpose flour if you can't get rice flour)
1-3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 rounded teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat at high speed for about 3 minutes, then stir in ground nuts. Add the flour and salt directly to the batter. Mix the dough with a spoon working as quickly and efficiently as possible, just until the dough holds together. Flour a clean, dry surface and roll the dough to about 1/2" thick Cut it into simple shapes with a knife or a cookie cutter, and place the cookies on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool at least 10 minutes before digging in! These are the best shortbread cookies I've ever had. Yield: about 5 dozen 2" cookies.

How about Caramelized Walnuts? (Vegetarian Times....May 2000)
This recipe also works great with pecans. These are great in a salad!

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar salt to taste

In small skillet, heat oil over low-heat. Add cumin and cook, stirring often, until fragrant...about 30 seconds. Add nuts and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and a little salt. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, until nuts are coated with sugar...about 2 or 3 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to plate before sugar starts to burn. Cool completely before using.

Wow! Chocolate Hazelnut Zebras (Vegetarian Times....December 2000)
The key to this cookie is to take them out of the oven before they seem quite done: They should still be squishy when you give them a gentle poke. This way, they'll end up with a very soft center when they cool, and a thin crust on the outside.

1 cup hazelnuts (about 5 ounces)
1 stick unsalted butter (8 oz)
6 squares (6 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt confectioner's sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and bake until skins blister and nuts are fragrant, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and slide nuts onto a kitchen towel-fold towel over nuts and rub vigorously to remove most of the skins. Cool nuts thoroughly. In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Let cool. When nuts are cool, put them in a food processor with 1/4 cup sugar and pulse on/ off to finely grind the nuts; set aside. In large bowl, beat remaining 1-3/4 cups sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in nuts. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to batter in several batches, beating well after each addition. Dough will be very soft. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two large baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in confectioner's sugar, coating well, then place on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 3" apart. Bake until puffy but seemingly underdone when poked....about 13 minutes. Transfer entire baking sheets to wire racks and cool 10 minutes before removing cookies from sheets to wire racks to complete cooling. Yield: About 4 dozen

Gotta Love Linguine with Hazelnuts and Roasted Garlic (Vegetarian Times...September 1994)

2 heads of garlic
3/4 cup whole, shelled hazelnuts
12 ounces linguine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt \
pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice off top 1/4 inch of garlic head. Wrap garlic in foil and bake until very soft, about 1 hour. Remove garlic from oven. When cool enough to handle, squeeze each individual garlic clove to extract the roasted interiors. Mash with a fork. Meanwhile, spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and bake until skins blister and nuts are fragrant, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and slide nuts onto a kitchen towel-fold towel over nuts and rub vigorously to remove most of the skins. Pour nuts back into baking pan and coarsely crush them with bottom of a saucepan. Cook linguine in boiling water 10 minutes or until tender, drain. In a large bowl, combine garlic, oil, parsley, vinegar, salt, pepper and 3/4 of the hazelnuts and Parmesan cheese. Add linguine and mix thoroughly. Garnish with remaining nuts and more cheese if desired. Yield: about 6 servings

Super! Vegetable Soup with Hazelnut Pistou (Vegetarian Times...November 1994)
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced celery
1-1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1 / 2" -cubes (about 3-1/2 cups)
1 pound carrots, cut into 1 / 4" slices (about 3-1/2 to 4 cups)
8 cups water
Bouquet garni: 1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme in a small square of cheesecloth) pinch of crushed saffron threads
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1" pieces (about 2 cups)
1 pound zucchini cut into 1 / 2" cubes (about 3-1/2 cups)
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Pistou 1/2 cup hazelnuts
3 cups lightly packed fresh basil or Italian parsley
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Soup: Warm 1 tablespoon oil in large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, potatoes and carrots; saute about 5 minutes. Add water, bouquet garni and saffron; bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook gently 10 minutes. Add green beans and continue to cook until tender...about 30 minutes. Add zucchini and macaroni; simmer and additional 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in parsley and drizzle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

Pistou: Heat hazelnuts in skillet over medium-high heat until lightly toasted. While nuts are still warm, pour onto kitchen towel, rub off skins with towel. Transfer nuts to food processor and chop until fine. Add basil or parsley and tomato and process into a smooth paste (Add small amounts of water if necessary to thin). Pour into a bowl, salt and pepper to taste, and fold in oil. Remove bouquet garni from soup. Ladle soup into shallow soup bowls. Stir in pistou or pass around separately. Yield: about 6 Servings.

There! Let me know what you think. Do you have nutty recipes to share?

Eat Acorns, Save Oaks!
Chuck Davis

I remember doing a survival weekend as a boy scout about 45 years ago and living on acorns for three days (couldn't find anything else to eat). Can't remember how we prepared them, but I know it took some work to rid them of their bitter taste. We did survive!

Sudden Oak Death (SOD) may become a problem sometime, but I would think oak wilt is a serious concern in the near future for oaks in Ontario. It is slowly moving north and is quite near the Canadian border at several places now (ie about 50 miles South of Sault Ste Marie and can't remember the map right now for where else). There is no question it will be here in the next few years and we are watching for it very carefully. It is a wilt disease like Dutch elm disease and is spread by insects and through root grafts. You might want to check the internet if you have not already done so for information on this disease, so you know what to watch for in terms of symptoms, etc.

Congratulations to ECSONG on its 25th Anniversary! Keep up the good work.

Some things Nutcultural to Think About
Larry Wade

I ran into something the other day that I thought might interest ECSONGers, thinking of ways in which walnuts can be commercially useful, hi the MidEast store on St. Laurent Blvd in Ottawa-I bought a 450 g bottle of "young walnut preserve" imported from Armenia, for $2.99. It contains I guess fifteen firm but soft whole walnuts in a syrup - excellent -maybe something ECSONGers could emulate with black walnut or butternut. I was thinking of the bottles of something that contained walnuts that Cobjon Nutculture Services had on display at a recent meeting (Ed. Note: Larry is referring to Cobjon's 'Canada Pickled Baby Black Walnuts').

I remember as a kid when I visited my grandparents' huge three story limestone house built ca 1890 located about 3 km west of Grimsby, Ontario. They harvested black walnuts then, using very large clippers to reach them, which a company made into pickles. The black walnuts trees were on west side of property which is along King's Highway #8 ca 300m west of Wolverton Mountain side road, but they clearly did not use all the nuts as the oak barn (since taken down) behind that house contained large bushel baskets of them. Those trees, about four of them, were huge (my childhood memory..) and my recollection is that they were wide trees and not the narrow ones we have growing in rows at the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove. I have no idea who purchased the nuts nor exactly what was done with them. I do not recall the product, not even ever seeing it, ca 1940 - 45. Perhaps ask E D Smiths fruit factory in Winona - they may have some knowledge of it, or the historical society in Grimsby. When I will be passing by that property I can report on the trees' current condition / existence.

On another matter, I was discussing the Lavant Shagbark Hickory grove with Jim Ronson last May. I told Jim about the following idea that had just occurred to me, and he suggested Jhat I pass it along to ECSONG.

As I understand it, the origin of those hardy trees up there is unknown but interesting to ECSONG. It is going to cost a lot of money to determine their DNA and their relationship to other shagbarks, particularly as there is no baseline of information. I suggested it might just be possible that there is information available on their origin through the people who lived there a century ago, when it appears from their annual ring count that the present trees first appeared there.

Checking on the homesteaders might reveal all kinds of information -there may even be some in the National Archives -1 know personally of stories no stranger. Information on those homesteaders must surely be available through the land registry office up there. That would take time, mostly time, but since time costs money if you hire someone, that may be a problem.

Could this be a possible solution? I remember a couple of years ago I had the opportunity to help reword the rules for applications to the scholarship which ECSONG offers annually (Ed. Note: This is the Alec and Kathleen Jones Foundation Prize, worth $300, given for the best student essay on Nutculture in Canada. I can't remember how much the scholarship is worth, nor even any discussion on its recipient this year. But suppose that money for one year, or maybe more, were diverted to hiring some young students to do some research for us. The work could consist of researching the present inhabitants of the region by simply knocking on doors and asking questions on what is known about the residents in the area as far back as can be remembered. Then go to the land registry office and pin point just who the owners of the land adjacent to the present site of those trees were a century ago. Then look at the history of those individuals through perhaps the census, since there were census counts taken back as far as the middle of the nineteenth century I believe. Before embarking on this effort it might be a thought to consult someone who is knowledgeable on such research projects, but inquiries at the National Archives would be a start. Not only might they be useful in helping us establish how such a research project might be started, but it is not impossible that they themselves have information that might help us in the project.

Where this might lead is hard to say, but if it could lead to some better understanding than what we now have on those trees, it could be worth the effort. It takes us along a new path and where it might lead is hard to predict. In any case it would not be money wasted.

In fact the whole project might still qualify as a scholarship project in this way. Suppose we were able to find through our own research some professor at one of the local universities who was interested in researching the archives, land registry office, living individuals, etc. and suppose we were able to get that person to rewrite the terms of a scholarship, say for a few years, in order to find students studying English or library studies, who might apply to do the above research as a project in their academic degree. This might be the kind of off beat research that a professor might well find attractive for one of his/her students.

Eastern Ontario Region Nutculture Report for 2002
With Recommendations
Cobjon Nutculture Services

Now in its 25th year, nutculture work in the eastern Ontario region is still predominantly research and demonstration in growing the nut trees and shrubs, though an industry is beginning to emerge.

The region includes Canada climate zones 3,4 and 5. In contrast Canada includes climate zones that span arctic to north Florida climates, that is from zones 0 to 9.

The Eastern Chapter Society of Ontario Nut Growers (ECSONG, with about 100 members) now shows five public nutculture R&D sites, its nut groves. Its newsletter, The Nuttery, is widely read, and its website is accessed world-wide (Editor and Webmaster John Sankey).

Firstly, the Dominion Arboretum's nut tree collection (started in the 1880s) is expanding with the help of ECSONG Coordinator Dr. Roman Popadiouk's Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee. The Committee is verifying the identification of the present 120-year old nut tree collection and recommending new accessions. This work is being done under a joint ECSONG/ Cobjon Nutculture Services project called the National Nut Tree Collection (NTTC) which is building a country-wide database of viewable nut tree specimens of all hundred or so species and cultivars that we now know can grow in Canada.

The Dolman Ridge Nut Grove (started 1967, 385 hectares) in Ottawa, Coordinator John Sankey, was Forestry Canada's Central Research Forest until about 1979. It is now being renovated to release its many nut tree plantations as nut agroforestry demonstrations, one of which is dedicated to ECSONG member Moe Anderson. Public trails are being added.

The Oak Valley Nut Grove (started 1985, 5 hectares) near Winchester Springs, Coordinator Kim Mclnnis, demonstrates White Pine Black Walnut interplanting, the FGCA's Butternut Archive in Eastern Ontario, an onsite Nursery, the Pioneer Homestead Memorial and a variety of nut trees species in grove settings.

The Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove (started 1978, 2 hectares) near Kemptville, Coordinator Sandy Graham, has over 30 different species of a hundred specimens in an arboretum setting. It encourages curriculum participation with the nearby Kemptville College of the University of Guelph.

The Lavant Shagbarks (found 1996, age unknown, 6 hectares) near Hopetown, Coordinator Jim Ronson, is a naturally regenerating stand of Shagbarks in a very cold setting. The biggest tree cored so far is about 100 years old. Eligible for logging, protection for this site is being sought vigorously. It is seen as a source of growth data and cold-hardy seednuts and scions.

Lastly, the Ferrers Clark Memorial Nut Grove (started 2001), Coordinator Murray Hunter. This group of five black walnut trees was planted on the grounds of Canada's National Research Council's 'Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information' campus in Ottawa in the spring of 2001 in memory of Dr. Ferrers Clark. The trees were donated by Kurt Wasner of Buckthorn Meadows Tree Farm.

A unique small site of Bear Oak was recently discovered in the region, making this species the newest hardwood found native in Canada. It is a natural shrub form in the red oak group. The site may become part of a new provincial park Otherwise, ECSONG may want to arrange protection. The seed is being propagated in the region.

Recommendation 1: That ECSONG along with the nut groves' owners continue to develop the groves' research and demonstration capacity, and significantly increase public awareness and involvement in the program with the help of ECSONG Friends of the Nut Grove program, and with grants from such organizations as the Trillium Foundation and from patrons.

A nut grove has been established on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General of Canada, at the request of the Governor General. This is a signal event for nutculture in Canada. As was the preservation of the Gellatly Nut Farm as a public park. The Gellatly Nut Farm of Westbank British Columbia was instrumental in leading the development of many new cold hardier varieties of several species of nut trees in the first half of the twentieth century. By the way, the largest butternut tree in North America was recently found in Canada's National Capital Area - its scores about 540.

Recommendation 2: That Canadians be made fully aware of the Rideau Hall Nut Grove, through the good offices of the Governor General and her staff, and with the help of ECSONG and nutculturists across the country.

The major problems holding back our emerging nut industry are climate, stock selection and stock availability. The Kerrsdale Farm in Stormont is coming up on its tenth year of a program to test the growth performance of many commercial cultivars. In cooperation with Cobjon Nutculture Services, research may be done to analyze, interpret and publish the data, and a CD-ROM may be in the offing (http:/ / Cobjon proposes to pre-sell the CDROM to help raise the anticipated $5K production cost. This CD-ROM would help identify suitable stock for the local climate. As well, this same research needs to expand to include the trees of the ECSONG nut groves and those of other willing private growers in the region. Such a knowledge base could enable the local industry to make quantum leap forward.

Recommendation 3: That research projects to identify those nut trees suitable for the region be fully supported, that all data sources be fully exploited, and that the results be published.

Cobjon Nutculture Services of Ottawa is moving ahead with developing a line of nut processing equipment designed for the home, hobbyist and small producer. Beta models have been selling in both Canada and the USA. Engineering support for productization is being investigated. The firm is also developing an innovative strategy of terrain-based nutculture suited to most of Canada (possibly North America and Eurasia as well), driven by a wholly new mathematical model for crop prediction being developed jointly with colleagues in Russia, and by Cobjon's unique concept of nutteries. This strategy is the basis for Cobjon's acclaimed Nutculture Site Assessment Service, soon also to be available online. Further, the joint Cobjon / ECSONG / FGCA Butternut Rescue Team now has members in both Canada and the USA, working to help save the species.

Recommendation 4: That Cobjon aggressively pursue the productization of its Canadian line of nut processing equipment, and governments seek involvement.

Recommendation 5: That the Butternut Rescue Team and its program for individual action be given wide recognition and support across North America.

Though many locals have been planting a wide variety of nut trees for a variety of purposes, Neil Thomas's Lostwithiel Farm in Mallory is moving quickly to become the region's first commercial nut producer. The Farm is focusing on black walnut. Selections from found trees right across the region are being examined for possible new cold-hardier varieties suited to commercial growing.

Recommendation 6: That the Lostwithiel Farm initiative be given the widest possible support by governments, academia, the private sector, and specially by ECSONG and like organizations.

The Corry Lake Nursery at Petawawa (Sherry Funnel, Manager) may expand into more nut species - red oak, black walnut and butternut are now its mainstay. La Pépinière Lafeuillée in western Quebec (Bernard Contré, Owner) is the region's most advanced nut nursery in commercial varieties. Buckthorn Meadows Tree Farm near North Gower (Kurt Wasner, Owner) has B&B sized stock of a number of commercial cultivars. The Ferguson Forestry Station in Kemptville (Ed Patchell, Manager 613-258-0207) is considering raising more nut stock, though its emphasis is on regional forestry applications rather than nutculture. With the closing of The Seed Source at Oxford Mills two years ago, the region lost its most expert provider of local seednuts from superior nut trees. The region definitely needs such a firm.

Recommendation 7: That all Eastern Ontario wholesale and retail tree. nurseries be strongly encouraged to expand their stock of nut bearing plants for both residential and commercial customers.

On the education front, Cobjon and OMAFRA jointly began work in the spring of 2002 to prepare to host a major nutculture conference in the region, probably in late 2004. As a cost-control measure, the conference's organizational tools are being put into place on the Internet. A questionnaire polling needs and interests is in the offing. Also, a nutculture workshop aimed at demonstrating nut urbaculture in the city of Ottawa is being considered, tentatively called Nutculture Ottawa Workshop, or NOW 2004. Its plan can be viewed at Also, the Alec and Kathleen Jones Foundation for excellence in nutculture research and development was established in 2002, offering an annual $300 college level prize.

Recommendation 8: That public nutculture awareness and education activities be widely supported by nutculturists, academia, governments and the private sector.

For more information on nutculture in the Eastern Ontario region, contact either Cobjon Nutculture Services or ECSONG.

The FRP Nut Grove: A Catalyst
Hank Jones and Vera Hrebaka

With the founding of ECSONG in 1978, Eastern Ontario's first research and public demonstration nut grove was realized in the 2 hectare Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove (named after one of ECSONG's co-founders) at the Baxter Conservation Area, partnering with its landowner the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA).

By 1980, AgCan Horticulturist Hubert Rhodes had prepared the site's planting plan by reviewing the nut tree holdings of Canada's major arboretums, including the Dominion Arboretum (DA) in Ottawa, though it was recognized then that its records were outdated. ECSONG's payback promise to help the DA by remapping and re-recording lead in 1991 to the creation of the Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee (DALC) in collaboration with Curator Trevor Cole, which brought Alec Jones (DALC's first Chair and ECSONG's other co-founder), ECSONG surveyor Ernie Kerr and several other nut growers onboard. Needless to say, when Mr. Cole retired shortly thereafter, and was not replaced, the scientific capability of the DA faded. However, with the support of the Peter Elliott's then-new Friends of the Central Experimental Farm (FCEF) Tree Team, Mr. Jones and Mr. Kerr resurveyed the DA into local mappings, and began scientific record improvement as promised. Dr. Roman Popadiouk, current DALC chair, continues this work.

Many of the first nut tree specimens planted in the FRPNG were donated by Forestry Canada (FC) from its nursery operation in the 385-hectare Central Research Forest (CRF) which was closing down in the late seventies, the site being returned to its Greenbelt/NCC owner, ancl foresters on their way to Petawawa Forestry Institute. Collaboration with FC continued through nutseed collections for their national tree seed bank in cooperation with its then Curator, Peter Janas.

So, from the begining ECSONG's FRP Nut Grove was a catalyst for collaboration and triggered the ultimate establishment of the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove, the National Nut Tree Collection became the model for the Oak Valley Nut Grove and inspired the creation of the Lanark Shags Nut Grove.

It will continue to be fruitful as ECSONG seeks to create new such nut groves at its eastern edge around Cornwall, at its western edge near Kingston and at the northern edge near Pembroke.

Oak Valley Nut Grove Genesis
Irene Broad

Oak Valley was just a scene of bare earth with a few weeds growing here and there, when I first saw it. Coming from the city, I did not know anything about acreages so thought it mighty small for ten acres. I would fill that in no time. Ha! I got two rows of seeds planted and left them to do their 'thing'. The next year a number came up, but it was not until the third year that almost all geminated. In the meantime, the weeds grew too - overtaking the seedlings in height, so the second year was a big weeding chore. And the third year, I had the good luck to have members of ECSONG to help transplant.

The South Nation Conservation (SNC) have always maintained an interest in the Oak Valley Nut Grove and offered to put in white pine to act as wind breaks to my 'babies', so when we transplanted it was to spots between the pines in their rows.

Now, I figured, was the time to relax and let the trees grow. Not so -they needed TLC by keeping the grasses away from the roots as grasses steal nitrogen from baby trees. ECSONG said to put carpeting around the trunks so that the shade would kill the grasses - yet let water through to the roots. It worked. As well, we now had mowers keeping the grasses down and creating lanes through the trees. My name is now on one lane - the Irene Broad Lane.

I preferred to forget that the next half of the field was a mess of bushy growth, and I did not feel able to clear it. But not so Dr. Ralph McKendry who had been Chairman of the Oak Valley Committee by Hank Jones when I stepped down. He organized an clearing project - digging machines to get roots out and cutters to cut the bushes down and in due course, it was bald of vegetation. More planting began - but not just the two varieties I had started with, but many other species, including ginkgo and many kinds of oak. After all, the pioneers had named it Oak Valley.

It was Ralph's idea to make the area a memorial to those pioneers who had first farmed along the South Nation River. The huge stones along the entrance drive have bronze plaques commemorating their families. It is quite a unique idea and has drawn many visitors to the nut grove. The trees which I planted are now 1ú feet tall. I hope they will grow to their full potential, but I realize they still need help to grow into maturity. I can no longer do much work to help them, except wish them well.

Creation of the Oak Valley Plantation and Arboretum
Murray Inch

Joseph Bickford (Bigford) hauled himself from his boat on the Ox-bow near the junction of the north and south branches of the South Nation River. By the 1840's his family were established on the front of concession 1, lot 18, in Mountain Township and had cleared part of the great wall of oaks and nut trees that had covered the area for 4000 years. With his neighbours they had cleared the settlement road which ran from Spencerville to Chesterville and oxen, soon to be replaced by horses, were hauling supplies, tools and equipment needed by the expanding agricultural community.

One hundred and fifty years later, the fields were cleared and ownership of the Bigford lot had passed to others. Remnants of the oaks and other native nut trees were found only along roads and farm drives and in the small bush lots of the township. Their successors, the elms were largely dead of disease. South Nation Conservation was completing the channelization of the river up to lot 17. The oxbow along the front of Lot 18 was mostly filled in and a new channel was cut across the lot in front of the Bickford barns. Eight acres remained between the new channel and the settlement road. Local farmers did not exercise their right to acquire this small residual parcel from lands taken for channel construction because of its size and physical condition.

This small parcel was a mass of weeds, fences, old farm machinery and metal and wood fragments from the dilapidated farm buildings. Irene Broad had a large number of pine seedlings and sought permission to plant them on this parcel. She was joined by a dynamic group of volunteers, including Alec Jones, Filmore Park, George Truscott, Ernie Kerr, Ralph McKendry. They developed a vision for the property and Peter Carr stepped in to coordinate the project (Ed Note: the concept and first draft of this 'Vision 2020' was written by Hank Jones).

The group saw an opportunity to create a valuable community asset, an arboretum of native nut trees and shrubs, establishing a community recreation site and serving as an educational tool for the community and individual farmers by showing the benefits from planting native trees. They also established the pioneer memorial where families could purchase a plaque to recognize the contributions made by their ancestors.

The pines were underplanted with walnuts, beech, butternuts, chestnuts and other varieties. The west field was cleaned of the refuse and many varieties of oaks transplanted from the nursery. To these were added an archive of disease resistant butternuts, trial plantings of nut pines, ginko, heart nuts, Kentucky coffee trees and other varieties. Neighbours volunteered to cut the grass of the west field, and so promoted the rapid growth of seedlings. There are now over one thousand planted trees consisting of 27 varieties of trees and shrubs.

Today the walnuts are breeching the crown of the pine forest on the east and the west field trees generally exceed 6 feet in height. Many of the older trees are fruiting. A business plan has been developed for the project and written arrangements made with South Nation for the long term management and operation of the site Many of the initial group of volunteers are no longer with us but the trees they reintroduced are flourishing and will remain for generations as testimony to their vision and hard work.

Future Vision for Oak Valley Nut Grove & Pioneer Memorial
Murray Inch

The Eastern Chapter of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers (ECSONG) and South Nation Conservation (SNC) have agreed to cooperate and combine their resources and efforts in the management of the Oak Valley Plantation and Arboretum, the planning, developing, operating and maintaining a natural and historic site for the public benefit.

The plantation will be dedicated to the pioneer farm settlers of the South Nation Watershed. It will feature nut and bean bearing trees and shrubs. The main functions will be to:
1. memorialize the natural setting and the people who occupied and settled the region through historical markers and documentation;
2. provide research, experimentation, demonstration, exploitation and education concerning nut and bean trees and shrubs; and
3. offer public recreational opportunities while moving to a self financing project.

Ernie Kerr's original survey of tree plantings is being updated and computerized. This survey will be used to:
1. build a research base to measure the progress and problems of the different varieties,
2. assess with forest professionals the individual trees for retention or removal,
3. identify additional varieties that should be added to the collection,
4. develop a public education program. Specific plans include:
5. in the east block, thinning of pines and suppression of Manitoba maples and ash, to allow the under planted nut trees to emerge and permit additional planting of nut trees and shrubs;
6. in the centre block, development of the farmstead ruins and memorial plaques program;
7. in the west block, evaluate progress, do further planting, distribute / dispose of surplus plant stock to the public (including schools), and promote memorial trees program;
8. improve or install appropriate signage which provides better information for visitors;
9. plan for waterside deck for study of aquatic life and plants, as well as for parking, hiking and picnic facilities;
10. establish formal nut research program;
11. establish professional linkages with university, college and other research centres;
12. develop a long term management plan for the arboretum;
13. expand nut nursery and memorial programs to develop the funding base;
14. acquire additional land and facilities & identify funding to develop an expanded interpretative role;
15. acquire historical documentation to reflect the natural, cultural, social and economic activities in the region and interpret it for the public.

Medium Term Goals 2006-2010: Establishment of the arboretum will be completed and the role of interpretation, education (including research) and community nut tree promotion, together with public recreation will become the primary focus along with maintenance of the trees. This includes:
16. completion of east and west block planting;
17. continuing ongoing research and documenting trees, natural environment and history;
18. highlighting active and passive interpretive/education activities;
19. promoting public visits and recreational uses;
20. promoting regional nut tree plantings;
21. maintaining and protecting the trees, site and facilities.

To the End of Planning Period (2011-2020): Ongoing operation of an arboretum and natural and historical research facility with particular emphasis of public awareness, knowledge and participation. Funding is to be secured by:
22. sales of memorial plaques;
23. memorial and other donations to a trust fund to be invested for the support of the project;
24. expansion of the nursery to provide stock for sales as well as distribution to schools and local projects.

Contributions for the trust fund are growing consistently, sales of memorial plaques continue and nursery sales are beginning to expand.

The Future: ECSONG's OVNG team with the support of the other founders have developed a remarkable asset in a short period of time. The future of the Oak Valley Nut Grove will depend upon building on the founders' volunteer tradition and commitment, through expanding our popular base and drawing on the energy and resources of the community. The potential is great but the goals attainable. The heritage of the Bigford/Bickford and other pioneer families combined with the vision of our members and our commitment are building a unique and valuable resource for the community. Be a part of it!

New Horizons for the Dominion Arboretum Nut Tree Collection
Dr. Roman Popadiouk

The strategic plan to maintain inter alia the national collection of trees and shrubs at the Dominion Arboretum was developed and presented to the public at the end of November 2003. The comprehensive description of the plan is available on the Internet so that everybody can assess the pros and cons of the proposal. For we nut growers the most important message is that the Arboretum will be preserved in the form of a research site to ensure in perpetuity the scientific collections accumulated by Canada's horticulturists and arboriculturists over the past century and a quarter.

Nut bearing trees and shrubs constitute a substantial part of the collection. Over the years ECSONG members have contributed many nut tree and shrub specimens to the collection that are both rare and valuable in this region.

Now, supporting the Arboretum can be more focused and diverse approaches will be welcome. These can take the form of, for example, replacing unique and aging specimens, or planting a new nut grove on the additional acres of land south of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, or making new wind breaks and hedges of nut trees and shrubs along the roads and boundaries of the Central Experimental Farm. Creativity and imagination will help a lot, adding significant new values to the Arboretum. The requirements are simple: bring those sound and cost effective project proposals to the advisory committee that convince them and the public that you will be creating excellence in the nut tree collection.... And all the rest will come in due course!

Dolman Does It!
Moe Anderson

Though my health prevents me from coming to the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove very often any more, it is frequently in my thoughts.

Back in the seventies, I served at Forestry Canada's Central Research Forest by Mer Bleue, now the (unofficial) Dolman Ridge Nut Grove. The site is owned by the National Capital Commission (NCC), managed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and operated by ECSONG. The many nut plantations on site, I planted!

I am pleased to hear that the White Oaks along the creek are now doing well, thanks to D. Serguei Ponomarenko's diagnosis of vole damage. The trees are protected and growing well (John Sankey and George Truscott set up the guards).

The new Nut Tree Trail that runs through the area connects several other oak plantations. One of these is the Moe Anderson Oak Plantation, named after me! There is a plaque there. This makes me very proud. By the way, the trail is marked with small signs on the trees that shows the ECSONG logo.

I learned that the American Chestnuts I planted about thirty years ago (time sure passes fast) are thriving and produce lots of burs and nuts every year now - and are still blight free! This plantation is the most northerly self-regenerating American Chestnuts (probably) in the world!

The Black Walnut plantation has provided the data for the first North American tests the FORRUS simulator. FORRUS stands for 'Forests of Russia'. Dr Roman Popadiouk, Vera Hrebacka and Hank Jones measured the site as part of a joint project between Cobjon Nutculture Services and the Moscow State Forestry University to help introduce FORRUS to North America. FORRUS predicts canopy development and consequently may help project nut crops.

At the north western corner of the site, the plantation of butternuts devastated over the years by fatal butternut canker still has several living trees. Could these butternut, which have full crowns, show signs of healing over cankers, be possibly resistant to the canker? Folks are desperately seeking such butternuts as the last hope to rescue this native species for extinction. Dr. Richard Wilson, Forest Pathologist from the University of New Brunswick, visited the site, examine these trees, and photographed the cankers. He will be reporting back soon on this matter on possible proposals to renovate the butternut plantation and begin propagating the trees, if resistance appears likely.

I understand that these are only some of the ECSONG projects underway at the Dolman Ridge Nut Grove. I am truly happy and pleased that my many years of tree research done at the plantations is bearing such important fruit!

Lavant Shagbarks Nut Grove
Jim Ronson

Several years ago ECSONG's Sylvia Powers, a teacher at South Carleton High School in Richmond south of Ottawa where I also taught offered staff small trees in wax milk cartons. All grew!

Today, my hope is that the new Ontario government will allow the transfer of the cold-sited 50 acre Lanark Shagbark Nut Grove from the Crown to a land trust or at least to give it a protected designation - such as a Conservation Reserve. As I understand it, these one thousand Shags along the French Line in north Lanark County were known to the Ontario Ministry of Natural resources (MNR) since at least 1980. On a field trip with ECSONG, the MNR, and Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Incorporated, in about the year 2000, I became alarmed that these rare trees had no formal protection beyond the promise of the sawmillers and paper companies not to cut them. ECSONG then organized to find the full extent of the trees, determine environmental factors, and seek long term protection.

As it turned out, we could not find any at all beyond the original grove. The search is still somewhat incomplete. The trees are probably a mutant strain, being well adapted to dryness, shallow soils and cold, in company with Ironwood, Oak and White pine. The company says in writing that they oppose releasing the trees from their cutting rights. So far, the MNR will not assert their rights to offer protection that is solid over time.

We have acquired this year from this grove, thanks to the cutting work of squirrels, about 2000 nuts, most of which we have planted in controlled situations. More seedlings next spring? We are pleased to report that we already have about 40 seedlings from the 450 nuts gotten in 2002.

If Ontario can protect snowmobiling or hunting land, it can protect these trees, probably ideal for reforestation and as a possible source of new varieties of Shagbark nuts for our colder Eastern Ontario region.

Gathering Shagbark Nuts in Lavant 2003
Murray Spearman

You all in ECSONG probably know by now that there are about a thousand self-regenerating Shagbark hickories growing at the Lanark Shags Nut Grove. The biggest we found is about a hundred years old. These shags are a prime source for nuts to propagate because they are growing at higher altitude and near the north edge of their natural range.

Well, this past fall, I went to the site on my own to look around. It was about 10AM on Saturday, September 13, 2003.1 was not actually looking for nuts, just to get the lay of the land. I left the truck and went onto the site right at the Darling/Lavant line. I took my 18 foot extension window washer pole and my 2/ 3 gallon pail just in case. After trekking around an hour and a half and limited success, I got near the top of the site and found a tree with lots of nuts on the ground. I started collecting. Then I heard dropping noises some distance away. I went over, and there was a lot of golf ball sized nuts laying on the ground. I picked up what I could put into my pockets. The squirrels were knocking down these nuts over top of me. So then I headed off towards the roacLto get my vehicle and ended up near the mailbox access road. After about an hour and half, I had about a 180 nuts. I later divided these up, a third for me and the other two thirds I gave to John Sankey and Len Collett to propagate.

Meanwhile, I headed off to show Len Collett what I had collected. Len and I came back to the site right after lunch, about 1 PM. We went to the west end, up the laneway to the spot where you can park a vehicle. We trekked in about a 100 yards, I could not find the original tree I had collected from, but found another tree with lots of nuts laying on the ground under it. Nearby was another tree with even bigger nuts laying on the ground but not as many. By the time we left around 2:30PM we had three quarters of a feed bag full! Also I must mention that as Len and I were walking down the road towards truck there were 4 red squirrels chasing or following us!

1 personally planted about 60 of these seeds-16 very large seeds and 44 smaller sized seeds, hoping they germinate in 2004.1 understand that about 1200 of these nuts went to Ed Patchell at the Ferguson Forest Centre, so expect to be able to get some really cold hardy Shag seedlings and maybe some potted stock in a year or two from the Centre.

And maybe well find even more nuts in 2004!

Buartnuts in St-Césaire Quebec
Bernard Contré

The unusual presence of many hybrid walnut trees, some better known here as Buartnut (butternut cross with Japanese walnut or Heartnut), were well identified in the Rougement area located about 30 km east of Montreal. Particulary in St-Césaire a small orchard was established in 1976 by a local farmer, Laurent Brodeur. He started by collecting nuts from an old walnut tree in the city of Rougemont and then planted the seeds in his orchard. Most of the nuts sprouted but the severe 85-86 winter damaged them. The trees sprouted again and more trees were added later. In 2003, from 50 to 60 walnut trees now range between three inches to one foot at the base. However, due to a lack of pruning care in early years, many trees grew with sensitivity to winds and storms. The terminal buds of the Heartnut and Buartnut trees that grow in the zones 4 and 5 freeze easily and they're twisted whereas true butternut trees usually have a single trunk. Another severe ice storm in. 1998 produced from 4 to 5 cords of 'walnut firewood'! I remember seeing, twelve years ago, a large Buartnut tree in Rougemont and never realized its value. I thought it was a Mandchurian walnut tree whose nuts are hard to release from the hull.

Mr Brodeur says that there are more walnut trees of the same type located in St-Césaire as well as in St-Jean-Baptiste and around. In my personal records, I have identified this type of walnut trees in several places: Oka, St-Thomas de Joliette, the Montreal Botanical Garden and Morgan Arboretum. I suspect that many trees sold by nurseries from South Ontario are the more common hybrid Japanese walnut trees even though they may look like Butternut trees, as they are hard to distinguish when still young.

nut shapes

Fig. a and b show seeds from a same parent tree (Rougemont). Some trees on the orchard seem to have turned back to the Japanease type while more trees reproduce the same large typical Buartnut shape nuts: large rough nuts hard to crack. Mr Brodeur seems to appreciate the Japanese nuts for their easy cracking quality even if they're small, however those trees seem somewhat less hardy. In best years, up to 20 bags (large potato size) of nuts have been collected and only 6 of them in bad years, like in 2003. Remember that 6 bags of unhulled nuts give 3 bags of hulled ones, and less than half a bag in meat nuts! No doubt that Mr Brodeur enjoys collecting the nuts, cleaning them and using a hammer to crack them for his own use.

Fig. c. Walnut seeds from the area of Chicoutimi (zone 3b-4a) brought by Pierre Morissette, teacher in forestry: the shell is smoother but still is hard to crack The trees have great hardiness and fairly constant productivity. Buartnut or Mandchurian walnut trees? Has anyone seen this type of nut similar to Corsan Buartnut ? We will keep track of this tree and see how the seedlings develop. It's both interesting to study their origins and see in how many and different ways the nuts can be used as well. I'll do what I can to support Mr Brodeur with technical support, including better hulling process and better cracking tools.

My Odyssey With Nut Trees
Gordon Wilkinson

The fulfillment of an early adulthood dream of creating a bountiful grove of nut trees began in earnest with the purchase of a farm acreage on the old 17 highway between Clarence and Wendover in June 1999. As fate would have it, the ink had barely dried on the property deed when I was transferred by my employer to Vancouver. I decided, however, not to let this extended absence from my property deter me from realizing my dreams.

YEAR 2000
In the spring of 2000 I planted 400 bare root Norway Spruce seedlings on the north and west perimeter of the property to provide protection for my future nut grove from the prevailing winds. In July of that year I arranged for Hank Jones and his associates of Cobjon Nutculture Services to conduct a nut culture evaluation of my site and learned that the climate and soil were not as limiting as I had feared.

YEAR 2001
Buoyed by the results of the site evaluation, I began planting heartnut seedlings from southern Ontario sources in earnest in the spring of 2001 -- 70 in total. I also planted a dozen of pecan seedlings for their novelty value (they are unlikely to ever produce nuts but they apparently can take our cold!). Given my extended absence from the property, I had to rely on natural rainfall to water the seedlings. A business trip to Ottawa provided an opportunity to visit my property in mid-July. The abundance of healthy leaf growth on all the seedlings that I got from one of the southern Ontario suppliers suggested that rainfall during the summer of 2001 was sufficient to sustain the seedlings.

YEAR 2002
Encouraged by my 'beginner's luck', I ordered 60 heartnut, 20 hickory, 40 black walnut, 20 Carpathian walnut and 30 Swiss Stone pine seedlings to plant in the spring of 2002. This was the spring with miserably cold temperatures, cold and wet soil conditions, and a major snowfall near the end of April. Even if I didn't question my sanity, I'm sure my neighbours did when they saw me digging holes on that snowy Sunday morning, April 28. For one supplier, I drove down to the Niagara region during the first week of May to pick up my order. With his decades of experience in growing nut trees he cautioned that one needed lots of money to plant nut trees. His comment was prophetic. The summer of 2002 prove to be one of the driest on record and a visit to my property in early October of that year was extremely disheartening. Leaves on most of the seedlings had shriveled to a blackened crisp. John Sankey reviewed the devastation with me and generously gave me 25 one-year black walnut seedlings that he raised in grow boxes in his backyard and helped me plant them. I learned two lessons from the debacle of 2002: (1) if one cannot water the new seedlings, limit the purchases to minimize financial loss, and (2) add to the planting hole some offsite composted soil to compensate for the structure of the native clay soil. I learned this second lesson from 10 Carpathian seedlings that I planted in crumbly, composted soil. Most of them survived the drought!

YEAR 2003
Recognizing the limitations of what one man can reasonably accomplish during a two-week 'working1 holiday, and given the lessons I learned from the previous year's drought, I planted 'only' 100 heartnut, 10 hickory and 10 black walnut seedlings in the spring of 2003! I visited my property in mid-July and watered most of my new heartnut seedlings from isolated puddles in a dried up creek that runs through the middle of my property. A visit in October suggested that rainfall during the rest of the summer was sufficient to sustain most of the new seedlings. However, I estimated that the mortality rate for the seedlings planted in the previous two years was over 95 per cent. Of the dozen of pecans that I planted in 2001, only four are still alive. Only about 5 heartnuts have survived from the plantings of 2001 and 2002 and for each of these, the new growth has come from the roots. I concluded that this was due either to stress from the drought or to the possibility that these heartnuts are like the Carpathians, root hardy only for our climate. About 10 of John Sankey's black walnuts have survived the winter, vermin or trampling by dogs or people. About 4 Carpathian walnuts grew from their roots and I have only about 5 Swiss Stone pine that survived the previous year's baking sun. The 40 black walnuts and 20 hickories from southern Ontario were wiped out by the 2002 drought. However, with my plantings of 2003 doing well, I remain optimistic and, upon my eventual return to the Ottawa area, I intend to pursue my dream of a nut grove with even greater enthusiasm and intensity.

John Sankey, Nut Tree Grower
John Sankey

I came late to nut growing. Growing up on the Niagara peninsula, surrounded by peach, pear, plum and cherry trees, who needed anything else!

I moved to Ottawa in 1966, and rapidly found that none of my favourite fruits would grow here. So, a few years later 1 joined the Northern Nut Growers' Association and began by selecting a local bur oak with large acorns for propagation.

About 1974, I visited the Hamilton Arboretum for a meeting of SONG, where I was assured that I would be lucky to get a reliable crop of even bur oak in Ottawa. Forget anything else.

But, in 1978 a group of intrepid nutters met at the Central Experimental Farm to discuss growing all sorts of real nuts in Ottawa. Fil and Muriel Park, and Alec and Kathleen Jones were there, as well as a Niagara person bearing nuts. There were many other folks as well, maybe as many as 25. I went home with a bag of shagbark hickory nuts from Niagara that no one else wanted. It was ridiculous to think that they would grow here!

Well, several of them did grow, and very well. Unfortunately, a divorce intervened. Lawyers grabbed the farm, and just about everything else except my children and the shirt on my back.

Well, to make a long story short, my children are all grown up, healthy and happy. And, as a volunteer with the National Capital Commission, I have 385 ha. northwest of the Mer Bleue to plant nut trees. Lots of shagbark hickory, this time from the Lavant site, are on their way, along with various oaks. And, given that the site is part of an internationally protected area under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, they should be free to grow.

Come back at ECSONG's 50th to see!
(restored to the original submission at the request of the author)

Gaspé Nut Growing
John Forest Maria

I live in the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec near New Brunswick, in zone 4. Here there were no hickory. 1 planted my first shagbark in 1984. It came as a seedling from Grimo. It is 18 feet high, but I am still waiting for nuts. Ten years ago I planted seed I picked up from a mouse nest near Montreal, The biggest is 5 feet high. I got some wild seedlings from Mont St.Hiiaire in 1994. They are 6 feet high. Waiting for nuts.

I planted many chestnuts over the years that did not survive. In 1994, I finally got some that grow well - Kelly seedlings. They are close to 15 feet high. Then in 1999 got one from a Douglas hybrid (Ed note: a reference to Douglas Campbell's cultivars) that is now 6 feet tall Never got a nut yet.

I also grow Manchurian walnut, buartnut (they produce a few nuts), black walnut (it freezes here) and eleven different pine nuts.

Growing Black Walnut Fast
Bob Scally

My interest in tree planting started with woodworking. I got some Ontario walnut from my wife's uncle who had a heritage farm in southern Ontario. The wood was beautiful, but most of the Ontario walnut had been cut out and there seemed to be no one willing to plant the trees and wait the 100 + years to get more. In 1975 I bought a piece of land on Wolfe Island, as it has a climatic zone similar to London, Ontario. I knew nothing about planting so started with several sacks of walnuts I brought up from southern Ontario. I quickly learned that nature has a huge number of destructive devices to work on young seedlings, the worst being quack grass, voles and rabbits.

I read all I could find about tree culture from the Ministry of Natural Resources and other sources. From my experience I found that the most useful information came from Fred Von Althen's field work, and trial plantation results. I visited a few sites where he had plantations, and his results were amazing. At a plantation visit at Parkhill in 1987, Fred had arranged for small signs showing planting date, to mark the various sites. We came up to a couple of sites, one with trees about 18 inches high, and the one next to it with trees about 18 feet. high. We read the date on each, then reread them. They were the same date. We looked back and forth, and at Fred. Finally he said 'No, its not an error, both were planted the same day.1 The site had been prepared the fall before planting, and weeds eliminated with Round-Up. After planting the site had been divided in half each way. The plot on the left was treated with Simazine, and that on the right was mowed four times a year. The rear half on both was irrigated and the front was not. There was no measurable difference between the irrigated and not irrigated plots, but a huge difference between the left and right, where the Simazine weed control had made a tenfold difference in growth.

After the third year, the right hand rear plot was given Simazine weed control also, and growth then took off there.

I tried small areas, using Fred's method, and it worked very well. My biggest problem was I did not have the time or equipment to handle large areas.

My recommendations to anyone starting out, would be to start with a small area, about a quarter acre would be fine, but it should be of a size that you will have time to handle properly. Eliminate the weeds before any planting, then weed control by the method of your choice, is necessary every year.

Good nut growing!

Notes On Black Walnut Toxicity
From "Black Walnut Toxicity" by Olga Piedrahita, Factsheet No, 84-050, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, November 1984

Plants reported as susceptible to black walnut toxicity include tomatoes, alfalfa, apple, pear, blackberry, blueberry, mountain laurel, azaleas, rhododendrons, shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa), red pine, white pine and other evergreens.

Plants reported as showing toxicity symptoms occasionaly include poverty grass (Danthonia), sweet peppers, common lilac, Persian lilac, viburnum, autumn crocus, peony, crabapple, magnolia, red raspberry, peach and Euonymus sp.

Plants not affected or which have shown improved growth near walnut roots include Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, red top, orchard grass and other grasses, white clover, beets, snapbeans, lima beans, onions, parsnips, sweet corn, black raspberry, grapes, wild roses, forsythia, Virginia creeper, poison ivy, narcissus, salvia, impatiens, Rudbeckia sp., red cedar, oaks, maples, hickories and other native hardwoods.

Other plants apparently tolerant to black walnut are anemone, jack-in-the-pulpit, lady fern, cyclamen, epimedium, dog's tooth violet, gentian, green hellebore, alumroot, plantain lily, iris, lilies, ostrich fern, forget-me-not, narcissus, lily turf, may apple, Solomon's seal, Christmas fern, primroses, pilewort, nightshade, meadow rue, toad lily, white clover, trillium, bellwort, wild oats, periwinkle, burning bush, honey suckle, mockorange, oaks, and poison ivy.

Juglans regia success and the Adams Research Nut Grove
John Adams

A twenty-foot tall Carpathian Walnut with a DBH of 6 inches is doing quite nicely in Gatineau. The tree, puchased by owner Dominique Pare in 1991 from McConnells of Port Burwell as a 50 cm seedling has thrived at an open site at 189 Bourque St. The tree is very healthy, though no nuts have been noted to date. The only visible concessions to our harsh climate are a few frost damaged branch tips and minor scarring on the trunk attributed to south-west injury. Mr. Pare also has two thirteen-year old ginkgos and two thirteen-year old Osage Oranges which are doing very well.

I believe it is unusual for Juglans Regia to fare so well in our climate. For example, I have two fifteen-year old Carpathian Walnuts growing in a sheltered area at my home near Kemptville. Both have suffered mightily and taken a bush habit due to repeated frost damage. The past two years however they have produced nutlets which aborted after the first week.

On a personal note, re the Adams Research Nut Grove, for the past three years I have been working to establish a nut grove on my 18-acre woodlot near Kemptville. Losses of young seedlings to deer, hares, voles and harsh winter weather have led me to experiment with various methods to protect my investment. Tree guards, one of the most popular methods, provide protection from voles and hares, however, they do not provide protection from deer or from hares when snow cover is deep.

tree shelters An alternative is to use tree shelters. These provide protection from both animals and weather extremes. There are a number of commercially available tree shelters; however, they are very expensive when large numbers of trees need to be protected. A reasonable and economical alternative is described in the Ministry of Natural Resources Extension Note AGDEX 316 entitled Tree Guards Protect Your Trees'. The method utilizes two-litre clear plastic pop-bottles. Tops and bottoms are cut off leaving a 7-inch cylinder. These cuts must be made to allow a small amount of natural inward taper at the top of the cylinder and an outward taper at the bottom to facilitate stacking of the bottles to produce a tube of four to eight bottles.

Experience has shown that cutting the top and bottom off of the bottles can be done quickly and efficiently on a table saw with a fine-toothed blade. The second year I improved the model by cutting numerous ventilation slots in the cylinders. I tested several types of adhesives to attach the bottles together including Duct Tape, but none of these proved satisfactory. Instead, to join the cylinders I use a hot wire to melt a pair of holes on either side of the cylinder near the bottom and top. The pair of holes are made about 1 cm apart. Wire ties are then threaded through the holes as shown to bind the tubes together. Tie wires were made long enough to enable fastening to a stake. The tube is then placed over the tree and the bottom buried about two inches into the soil.

This summer I noticed that deer were browsing the leaves protruding above the tops of two of the shelters. It took only a few minutes to add another three cylinders to the tops of the shelters. At present I have protected over a hundred trees with these tubes. Family and friends have provided a steady supply of used" bottles, which I convert to tree shelters during the depths of winter.

My Venture Growing Siberian and Korean Pine
Alex Mucha

At one of the ECSONG meetings in 1990, Alec Jones mentioned that he lost contact with a person one K. I. Koshelev in the Soviet Union who was trying to supply him with nut seeds. Hearing this, I said I have a contact who may be able to help us.

About a year earlier I discovered that I had a cousin in Khabarovsk, Siberia, who was the Director General of the Far East Mine Building Trust; and a person with such an important position who should be able to get me some nut seeds. By luck, he was hounding me for an invitation to visit Canada, so I made a deal, an invitation in exchange for seeds.

In 1992 he arrived in Ottawa with two pounds of Siberian Pine Nut seeds and sowing instructions - in Russian. At that period of time we had no one who was able to translate so technical an epistle, so we used our combined nut growers know-how and experience. Half of the seeds were distributed to club members with the condition of a promise of feedback of the results.

A few years later I received a pound of Korean Pine seeds with Russian instructions. At this time we were very fortunate to have a new member, Roman Popadiouk, who not only translated their recommendations, but also contributed additional valuable advice as to planting procedures.

In our experimental years we found the importance of proper stratification and sterilization of seeds, and the proper inoculation to the soil media. We also discovered the inoculant from our native White Pine is suitable for Korean Pine propagation.

A final note of interest that is worthwhile to mention is, if the seeds are sowed in 4"-6" Styrofoam boxes filled with good soil mixture with inoculant, it will produce astonishing multi-root systems which are very beneficial when seedlings are transplanted.

Nuts for Sale!
Kathleen Jones

How can we expect people to start growing nuts in Eastern Ontario if no one wants to buy them to try out? We have a Catch-22 problem here. A chicken and egg problem. Which comes first: growing the nuts or selling the nuts?

People certainly buy nuts - Ontario alone imports a hundred million dollars worth every year. But do they (or would they) buy local butternuts, black walnuts, hickories, hazels, pinenuts, acorns, etc.?

I think we should be harvesting nuts from the trees already growing in and around Ottawa. Then we need a team to prepare them for sale. This would be a good job for ECSONG volunteers, or maybe one of our new commercial nut firms such as Cobjon Nutculture Services, or both. Then maybe we could start with restaurants, selling them local grown nuts. I believe that Chris Hudson (Ottawa's premier freelance Chef and nut enthusiast) is ready to take on this task. Lets get this going in 2004!

Wes Smith's Method of Growing Acorns
Wes Smith

1. Mix potting soil / sand (for weight) in approx. 4:1 ratio. Specifically, I believe I mixed two large (3 cu ft, maybe?) bags of potting soil, one 50 Ib bag of play sand.

2. Gather acorns as soon as they fall from the tree. I've read that germination rates will fall drastically if they are left on the ground even a couple of days. I actually gathered most of my acorns before they fell, as soon as I noticed others were beginning to fall. If your tree is small enough, shake the branches and gather only the ones that fall.

3. Take your newly gathered acorns and toss them into a bucket of water. Discard the "floaters". Those floating are likely hollowed out by worms and will not germinate. Inspect acorns for even small pin sized holes caused by same worms, discard if found. Only about 10%, maybe less, of the acorns I gathered showed no evidence of insect damage and were suitable for planting. IMO, this is the single most important step of the whole process.

4. Plant 3 acorns per container (I used 1 gallon containers, and repotted as they grew - less chance of overwatering a smaller container). Plant acorns point down at a depth equal to twice acorn length. To rephrase, there should be as much soil covering acorns as they are long, measuring point to cap.

5. Bring inside garage or basement whenever outside temperatures falls below 27 or 28°F. Container plants will be damaged at ^ temperatures much higher than they could tolerate in the ground. You might get away with lower temperatures, I definitely could not as I was growing southern live oaks. Northern oak varieties no doubt can tolerate somewhat lower temperatures, but I wouldn't chance it personally. Protect from squirrels, they like to dig around in containers here.

6. Be patient in the spring. My oaks sprouted a good bit later than when my trees leafed out. Actually, I had already given up on them and they came up in spite of my neglect. Select strongest growing and carefully _ remove any others that come up. Re-pot when you notice roots growing out drain holes.

7. Fertilize "potted" trees with a water soluble fertilizer (like Miracle-Gro) at mixture rates lower than and less frequently than you would use for ground plants. Potted plant's roots are_ easy to burn. Don't overwater your trees, let the planting mixture almost dry out before watering again. Believe it or not, more of your trees will die from overwatering than underwatering. I didn't water a couple of leftover trees the second summer (in Dallas' heat, no less!) and they still made it through the following winter.

Grow Nuts!
Cobjon Nutcultures Services

Nut trees are said to to be the most important trees in the northern hemisphere (oaks, hickories, walnuts, hazels, etc.). Their fruit, called a nut, is food for many creatures including people, birds such as the Bluejay and Turkey, small mammals like squirrels and mice, and hoofed browsers like deer. Their wood is important for furniture, housing and artwork. Wine can be made from oak leaves, medicinals from the leaves and bark walnuts. Ink can be made from oak galls, stains and dyes from wlanut husks. Cork is made from the bark of certain species. Tannins from oaks is used to tan leather. And the list goes on!

Planting Instructions for Nuts
Nuts can be planted in four easy steps.

Step 1... Choose a good place for your nut tree to grow.
Find a place where the seedling (sometimes called a nutling) will have enough room to grow into a big tree. It will also need some shade and shelter as it grows. A good place is in the open but near other trees such as cedars and pines. These trees will help protect the little nut tree from strong winds during stormy weather and from the cold winds of winter. Next, you will dig the hole.

Step 2... Preparing the ground for planting
Dig a hole at least 30 centimeters across and 10 centimeters deep (about one foot wide by a half foot deep: wider and deeper is even better). If there is any grass or roots or junk in this soil, shake the soil free, and discard the other stuff. Mix some compost or potting soil or other soil with the soil freshly dug. Mix enough extra so that when the mixture is put back into the hole, it will more than fill it, making a slight mound. Now, put this soil back into the hole, and you are ready to plant the nut.

Step 3... Planting the nut
Scoop out a handful of soil to make a small hole about 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) deep in the centre of the mound. Lay the nut on its side in the bottom of the hole, and cover it with soil. Sprinkle a few liters of water over the mound (a bucket full is good). Complete the planting by covering the whole mound with a few centimeters of leaves (three or four inches will do).

Step 4... Protecting the nut from squirrels!
Squirrels love to eat nuts, and they will dig yours up unless you protect it. A big juice can will help. Remove both ends from a big juice can or other big can, and push the can down about 10 centimeters down into the soil around the nut (about four inches). This will be deep enough to stop the squirrel from digging underneath it to get the nut. Now, cover the top of the can with a piece of fly screen or other fine metal mesh so that the squirrels cannot get down inside. Leave the can through this winter and the next, and remove it that spring. Now the seedling is too old to interest the squirrels. However, put a tree guard on the nutling to fend off mice and voles

Be patient... trees take many years to grow. Oaks can live to be over a thousand years old! In its first 75 years, your nut tree may grow to be 60 centimeters in diameter (about 2 feet), and as high as 20 meters (about 60 feet).

If you have any questions about nuts or nut trees, contact your local Nut Growers.

A Story of Oaks
Joffre Coté

My father has many oaks he planted in his backyard over the years. How these came to be there is quite a story.

First off, they were all about the size of a dime when they were planted.

The largest one, planted about 20 years ago, transplanted three times (within my father's backyard which must have set it back a bit) and is now easily about 16 inches to 18 inches in Diameter at Breast Height (DBH). It came from close to Algonquin Park.

Another is from Belleville, planted only once and is now about 14 inches to 16 inches DBH. It was planted less than 20 years ago. Another is quite a bit smaller (6 inches to 8 inches DBH) however, and came from the Fort Frances area, which is interesting.

These three red oaks are also physically different, from bark to leaf colour and the one from Fort Frances will drop its leaves in the spring as opposed to the other two.

The only white oak on the property-is from Belleville as well and is about 6 inches to 8 inches DBH with a slower growth due to a severe injury it sustained years ago, which it finally overcame just recently. Its acorns are quite a bit smaller than those of the red oak. However, it also drops its leaves in the spring.

My father told me that the nut growers were more than welcome to come and dig out the small red oaks growing all over the backyard should they be interested in planting them elsewhere. One thing's for sure, they're probably a pretty hardy stock. He probably has close to 2 dozen of them (from 10 inches to a couple of feet in height).

I understand Pierre Boileau has been discussing a possible nut tree workshop next spring in conjunction with ECSONG and Cobjon Nutculture Services. If it could be held at the Larose Forest, that is only a 5 minute drive to my father's place. His site would be a good demonstration of the potential oaks have for nut production, growth, offering shade and how it can make a great backyard tree.

Walnuts Growing on the Shield
Doug and Kathleen Lewis

We have two walnut trees which are about 13/14 years old. These were obtained I think from the FRP Nut Grove at the Baxter Conservation Area and planted in a small area on the edge of the Canadian Shield and wetlands along the Indian River. I call it the shield because everybody knows that Lanark is famous for rocks and maple trees. About six years ago, one tree began to produce nuts. Sometimes lots, other times a few. This year the other tree produced a few. We were surprised and pleased. We also have a couple of small chestnuts from seed we obtained at an AGM several years ago. I give these lots of protection from deer.

I was raised in the Niagara Peninsula and on our property was a large walnut tree. I can only guess at the circumference, which I won't but two people joining hands would be needed to encircle the tree. It is well over a hundred years old and I can remember during the dirty thirties someone offering my Dad a sum of money for it. Times were tough, the offer was generous, Dad was tempted but the tree was worth more than money. It still stands today.

The Giant Acorns of Texas!
Jane and Bob Lynas

We live in Mansfield, Texas, near Dallas Fort Worth. We are at the southern edge of the natural range of the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa). The Bur Oak's natural range reaches up onto Ontario along the north shore of Lake Huron, westward just into Saskatchewan and eastward into New Brunswick. In Manitoba, it reaches northward almost to The Pas!

You are probably familiar with the local Bur Oak acorn, as it is almost completely covered by the cap, which also has distinct fringe. In Canada the acorn is about 20 mm long and the same across. The acorn is almost spherical. However, here in Texas we gather acorns that are often up to 40 mm long - that is about eight times the volume and weight of the northern specimens! This acorn is as big as the typical Black Walnut growing in Canada. Would the Texas tree survive in Canada? And if so, would it still produce the giant acorn?

Tom Hunt of Ohio reports that the Secrest Arboretum at the University of Ohio (Canada climate zone 5-6) nearby has Q. macrocarpa producing these same equally large acorns. Over the past few years, we have sent acorns we collected near our house to Ottawa where specimens are now growing and surviving the winters in several locations, including in the nursery of the Dominion Arboretum. Maybe these trees will produce the same large acorns when they mature. Maybe one way to speed up the tests would be to graft Texas scions onto mature Bur Oak in a test area such as a public or private nut grove in the ECSONG area. I understand that such graftings can often result in first fruiting within two or three years - much faster that waiting decades for the first fruit of a seedling!

If the giant acorns can be grown reliably in Canada, they could become a sweet acorn crop of economic importance. The large size would make harvesting and processing much more efficient. Maybe tests here in Texas could find the sweetest acorns. Their propagation in the north would be most desirable. A Texas/Canada product would be very interesting.

Lets keep a close eye on these Texas/Canada trees. And congratulations to ECSONG on its 25th birthday, and many more to come!

Provide the right tools for landowners and they built a better forest.
Mark Richardson

Forest management is not that difficult when you understand the importance of having long-term goals. A goal is nothing more then a vision of the forest in the future. Once defined, goals lay out predictable actions which steer your forest along the path toward this vision.

Over the years, I have visited many hundreds of woodlots in Eastern Ontario and although each one is different, it is easy to pick out commonalities. One of the first look for are indications of how past management practices have influenced current stand conditions, was there a vision for the forest, is the forest healthy, and most importantly, what will happen to this forest in the future.

I have seen many cases where management actions have reduced the overall numbers of nut bearing trees like oak. On many sites maple now grows where oak once dominated and although oak seedlings can often be found on the forest floor, they seldom survive to reach maturity or even the sapling stage. Growing a sufficient amount of oak for future generations is a big challenge and one which I fear there is no easy solution to.

How unfortunate it is that forest managers and private landowners who want to preserve or better yet increase the percentage of oak on the landscape of Eastern Ontario must overcome an obstacle which has very little to do with actually growing oak trees: a lack of private land policy which favours good, forest management that is trur sustainable. We pretty much know all there is to know about how and where to grow oak trees; what we can't seem to do is develop a forest management policy for private land that really addresses the importance of the future forest.

It seems to me that society bears some of the responsibility and my children will benefit from the oak grown in the future; in the same way, my children will suffer for all the oak that isn't grown.

The Forrest Arboretum
Bill Forrest

One of my goals in life has always been to create my own arboretum. Back in 1962, I acquired 130 acres in the Beechgrove area (in South Onslow Township, Pontiac County) of western Quebec, roughly between Gatineau Park and the Ottawa River. Within 5 years I had added another 60 acres, giving me 190 acres in all. The soil is shoreline Champlain Sea, with fine sand over clay, and stone free. Drainage is mixed.

This land was originally settled in the mid 1880s by the Mohr family. The property still has an active cemetery on it in their name - the Mohr Cemetery. Their original log house stood until the big snows of 1970, which finally collapsed it. About 60% of the land had been cultivated in hay, oats, etc., or in rough pasture.

Over the years, I have reforested in various pines and spruces all but the ten acres that has become my arboretum. Various native tree and shrub species, twenty to thirty kinds, inhabit a number of deep gulleys.

My arboretum holds about 40 different species of non-local trees and shrubs from around Canada, Europe and Asia, some twenty of which are nut species. Let me give you a rough idea of the nut trees I have in my arboretum (the earliest planting was about 1975). /ù~, To date, there are trees from the Walnut family, Beech, Buckeyes, Hazel, Chestnuts and Nut Pines. In the Walnut family, I have nut-producing Shagbark Hickories; Fioka and Carson Buartnuts; Japanese Heartnut and Japanese soft-shell Walnut; Russian, Carpathian and Black Walnut; and native Butternut. In the Buckeye group ; there are Yellow, Ohio, and Horsechestnut. I also have Chinese Chestnut and American Sweet Chestnut. In the Beech family, I have American Beech, Bear Oak, White Oak, Bur Oak, and Red Oak. I know the growth history of every tree, as all were either seed or seedlings when I got them.

A Walnut Grows in Cantley
Michael Rosen, RPF

Trees and forests are a lifelong learning process, and experience and observation are the best teachers. It was the Spring of 1997 and the provincially run Kemptville nursery was set to close. Fifty years of soil and tree improvement, seed collection, germination, lining out, spacing, tending, watering and lifting were about to end. Eventually, the Township of North Grenville would assume the nursery but for the meantime, things were looking pretty grim.

A small group of employees were maintaining the nursery until it was to be officially 'disposed of. I was contacted to help find homes for many of the oversized and potted stock which had to be moved out of the shade houses and planting beds for lack of room and people to maintain them. I contacted every community group I knew in the Ottawa area to take the trees, organizations such as the Fletcher Wildlife Gardens and Britannia Bay Community Association. Inevitably, I was left with some extra black walnut seedlings that no one 'in town' could use and so, not wishing to see them die, I brought them to my home in Cantley, Quebec in the Gatineaus.

On my 1-acre property I had room for about 4 of them, but after that there remained another 15 to plant - good, robust 4-year old stock. I approached my next-door neighbours Michel and Michel (my street should be re-named 'rue Michel1) who had mentioned to me that should I chance upon any extra trees in my forester travels to pay them a visit. They are walnuts, I said -'les noyers noirs'. They shrugged their shoulders and showed me the two sites to plant - one was the south edge of a property, bordering a ditch and a road with a mixture of largely organic soil. The other was along a periodically flooded creek bed, southern exposure, organic soils with extreme grass competition. I looked at the proximity to the road, the fact that we were now in Plant Hardiness Zone 4 and the extreme competition and walked away saying 'bonne chance'.

Last Spring (2003), after a subtle suggestion to the Michels, I pruned these amazingly-growing beauties. They are now on average over 3 metres high, 6-8 cm in diameter with that coarse, healthy walnutty bark and long spindly new growth which indicates that even in these last few years of drought, the trees are doing amazingly well. They have doubled the size of two red oaks planted adjacent to them. The trees adjacent to the creek are exhibiting similar growth! They are living up to the name of a select group of trees (many which are nut trees) in Quebec known as 'les feuillus nobles' or noble hardwoods.

I learned much from this experience -that given the right conditions, a noble tree could certainly grow in the Gatineaus!

Black Walnut - -Whither Commercial Nut Production?
Neil Thomas

ECSONG's 25th anniversary is a good moment to reflect on the complication of commercializing nut production in our region. In a time when public funding of research has contracted, and the agricultural extension system is history, very few people will consider the very real effort it takes to enhance our food production systems with a new alternative. In fact, given the inclemency of our climate, most people would consider it a probable lost cause. I take considerable comfort from knowing they're wrong.

Of course, I'm going out on a limb here. I still do not have the hard numbers which would prove my case. On the whole, I have hunches, suppositions, and about 2,000 actively growing black walnut trees. If I boil it all down to seminal concepts, then SEM stands for Selection, Extraction & Marketing - i.e. I have to succeed in all three areas if I am to be able to say commercial production is feasible. In between these three is a host of other more minor issues which also have to be tackled, but I think these three form the crux.


Let's assume I'll be successful. What, then, are the potential returns to black walnut production? In Table 1 I have incorporated some data which allows us to understand certain dimensions of the productive process. First of all, the table is based on the biological relationship of nut yield and tree size, represented by diameter at breast height (DBH), which is itself a proxy for tree age and physiological maturity. This relationship says that as a tree grows, it will produce more nuts. Also important to us is the number of trees we require to have in hand a commercial enterprise (i.e. one which will generate more income than will be consumed in expenses, and will offer at least a partial livelihood). Table 1 looks at yield (kg), gross return ($), and an imaginary net return ($), for 1, 10, 100 and 1000 tree enterprises, at expanding DBH from 15 to 25 cm, and a price per 100 g kernel between $2 and $6.

The formula used in Table 1 suggests that a tree produces few nuts until its DBH reaches 15 cm, when it will produce 1 kg, but that it will produce 27 kg annually at a DBH of 25 cm. As our enterprise size (tree number) increases by multiples of 10, the latter yield becomes a significant amount (tonnes rather than kg).

The price range of $2 to $6 per 100 g is derived from supermarket prices for other nut types, with a small premium for 'scarcity' and potential 'organic' labels which could be applied to naturally-grown black walnut. If we superimpose these prices on the previously mentioned yield data, it is obvious that our potential gross return is significant in enterprise sizes between 100 and 1000 trees, and kernel prices above $4 per 100 g.

If you say, but I shall incur some costs, so how do I know what realistically to expect as disposable income from black walnut production? Then we must subtract some estimate of those costs. I have done this as a proportional economy of scale, whereby I assume that a single-tree 'enterprise' is just a hobby (with no returns), a ten-tree enterprise is a manual enterprise (and still a hobby) where 75% of gross returns are consumed by costs, and my 100 and 1000-tree enterprises have 50 and 25% cost factors respectively. I have not attempted to adjust costs for tree maturity, but it should be understood that while 1000 young trees might only require 5 acres, 1000 mature trees will probably require 20. If my factors are fair, then the 100-tree enterprise becomes interesting above 20 cm DBH and $4 per 100 g, and the 1000-tree enterprise remains highly profitable at 20 cm DBH even at low kernel prices. In this example, low kernel price can also be taken to represent low-kernel-extraction efficiency, which is likely to be a feature of our enterprise in the early days.

Table 1. Potential Returns to Black Walnut Production
Indicative Ranges for Kernel
Number of trees in enterprise1101001000
Nut Yield kg
DBH (cm)
Gross return $ @30% kernel
DBH (cm)$/100 g kernel
Net return $ at different economies of scale
DBH (cm)Cost factor
%$/100 g kernel
Notes for Table 1:
Nut yield calculated from Zarger(1946): Yield (kg) = -36.91+2.55*DBH
DBH Diameter at Breast Height cm
All data are indicative; they should be taken as no more than a rough guide.
Slight rounding errors where single digits exist
Enterprise: Likely to be 100 trees or more; lower numbers included for comprehension
Nut yield: Data is from Tennessee; productivity may be different in Eastern Ontario
Kernel %: A 30% value is used as a standard; this may be slightly higher than a wild type average
Kernel value $ per 100 g; range comparable with other nut types in supermarkets and health-food stores
Cost factor: Expressed as % of gross value at equivalent DBH and price per 100 g of kernel
Economy of scale: Expressed as simple linear decline in costs across a geometrically increasing enterprise size; not based on known data

Other Products

The kernel is not the only useful part of the nut. The shell, which is hard, dense and woody, is used as an abrasive in sand-blasting operations where a less abrasive grit is required. The pipeline and mining industries use it in various processes. The hull has been used as an organic dye-source, the extract imparting a golden-brown colour to wool.

Whether or not these by-products are of interest, a black walnut operation will have a large volume of them, and disposal methods will be needed. The hull is easily composted. We believe the shell has fuel value. In Table 2 we extend the analysis begun in Table 1 to look at the 70% shell left from the kernel extraction process. Our 100 and 1000-tree enterprises leave us with tonnes of shell when the trees are above 20 cm DBH. If we imagine this material as an immediate replacement for wood pellets, burnable in a pellet stove, weight for weight and at a price range of $175-225 per tonne delivered, our shell assumes significant value in the 1000-tree enterprise. Here, we find an electricity-equivalent above 50,000 kwh once our trees reach 20 cm DBR which has a value of $2,000-4,000 if electricity costs are in the range of $0.04-0.08 per kwh. The extra productivity associated with the 5 cm expansion in DBH above 20 cm doubles this electricity equivalent. Shell appears to be a potentially valuable energy source which will increase our bottom line.

Table 2. Potential Returns to Black Walnut Production
Indicative Ranges for Shell and its energy value
Number of trees
in enterprise
Shell Yield kg 70% shell
Shell value $ @70% shell
$/t shell
Electricity equivalents kWh
DBH (cm)
Electricity equivalent kWh
Notes for Table 2:
Nut yield calculated from Zarger as above
Shell (%): 70% by subtraction
Shell value $ per tonne; expressed as delivered cost of equivalent (by, weight) wood pellets in 40 lb bags
Electricity equivalent kwh: Calculated from approximate energy value of wood pellets 18122 BTU/kg, 3415 BTU/kWh

Other Thoughts

Traditional analyses would always say that it is the ultimate timber harvest which is the important one, and that interim nut production is a bonus. When I consider Tables 1 and 2, which I do quite often, just to see if there are major flaws in my thinking, I'm not convinced that timber is relevant to this particular agroforestry enterprise. In other words, if I have my SEMinal procedures well established, the individual-tree timber value wouN have to exceed the value of its nut harvest over a period of years in order for me to want to cut the tree down. Of course, I will have to thin my stand at certain intervals in order to keep my best trees at optimum production, but thinnings are unlikely to command the prices that normally make one salivate over hardwood values. But I won't even speculate here on the economics of a final, enterprise-eliminating clear-cut.

Remember, though, that most of this is still supposition. But as ECSONG approaches 25, it is also important to add that we may not have all the answers to the questions implicit in what I've written above until ECSONG reaches 50, or even 75. Our organization has a fundamental role to play in awareness-building in all aspects of the value of nut-trees to our future well-being. I hope we are able to keep it alive and well, and I salute the vision of those who have done so thus far.

Ferguson Forest Centre Nut Stock
Ed Patchell

Congratulations ECSONG on your 25th anniversary addition of the Nuttery. The Ferguson Forest Centre is a supporter of ECSONG. Many members are customers of the Centre and help to supply us with seed to produce future mast bearing trees.

The Ferguson Forest Centre is a large producer of nut bearing seedlings. For the spring of 2004 we have approximately 150,000 seedlings available in the following nut species: White Oak7 Bur Oak, Red Oak, Butternut and Black Walnut. Every year we acquire seed to produce seedling for various nut bearing trees but the availability of seed is extremely variable from one year to the next. This past fall was a bad one for availability in most species but we where able to get several hundred Shagbark Hickory seed from the Lavant Township northern seed source, thanks to ECSONG's Lanark Shags Nut Grove team.

Most of the stock being grown at the Centre is root conditioned bareroot seedlings, but we are also starting to produce stock in larger containers and in pots. This stock is primarily those that cannot be grown in large enough quantities to be economically viable in the bareroot fields or because of unique growing needs. Some of the nut stocks now being produced in these containers are: Horse Chestnut, Ohio Buckeye and Hickories.

So if you are interested in getting some stock from the Centre call us or check us out on the web. If you have some other nut species that you would like to see grown and can supply us with seed, let us know and we will see what we can do.

Here is a sampling of the kinds of nut trees we typically handle... Black Walnut age 1+0 height 20+cm; Red Oak age 2+0 height 20+cm; White Oak age 2+0 height 20+cm; Bur Oak age 2+0 height 20+cm; and Butternut age 1+0 height 15-30cm. (Age is the number of years in a seedbed, greenhouse, or cutting, followed by number of years in the transplant bed. 2.5 cm equals one inch) Prices are for quantity 10-100 $1.10; 110-500 $0.85; 510-1000 $0.75; and 1010-15000 $0.60

Terms and Conditions
Warranty: Our seedlings are considered to be true to name and are guaranteed to be healthy at time of pickup or shipment. Concerns should be expressed when goods are received. Total liability is limited to the purchase price only.
Cancellations: Orders canceled before March 15 will be subject to the deposit value or $20.00, whichever is greater. Orders canceled after March 15 will forfeit full payment.
Payment: In an effort to keep prices down, we can accept payments by cash or cheque. Credit card payments are also accepted at an additional 3.5% of the total price. All prices are in Canadian funds. Subject to change.
Conditions of Sale: Orders are accepted subject to weather, inventory or any other reason beyond ourcontrol. We reserve the right to refund all or any part of payment made. Delivery: The seedlings are very perishable. We recommend that you pick them up from our nursery. Delivery can be arranged through Canada Post; costs vary depending on location.

Cobjon/Alcon's The Nut Huller
Cobjon Nutculture Services

Alcon Welding, Ottawa is manufacturer of THE NUT HULLER, Cobjon Nutculture Service's own forest green super heavy duty turnkey, professionally made in Canada, huller (dehusker) for black walnut, butternut, hickory and their cultivars; dry process; paddle-style; top loader; top access door; self-clearing; 10+ bushels/hour (3 hectaliters); heavy steel body; belt-driven; 1 hp reversib' farm duty electric motor; 4 speeds; 120VAC, lever operated; rolls on large pneumatic tires and caster; fits easily in van or pick-up; about 200 Ibs/ 100kg. PRICE (subject to change): $2495 Cdn/$1999 USD FOB Ottawa Canada. Ontario customers +PST+GST+S&H; Rest of Canada+GST+S&H; USA+S&H only. Built on order only: Deposit required $800 Cdn/$650 USD. Order by June for fall delivery.

Nutwoods for Turners and Carvers
Bob Stone

I spoke to a current member of the Eastern Ontario Woodturners Assn who has emailedto me some sources for wood.

Because of the need for thick pieces of wood, turners normally do not use conventional sources for hardwood such as a cabinetmaker would use. Much of what a woodturner uses he either gets free or for very little cost.

I would start by contacting every firm listed in the local yellow pages under the heading of Tree Service. There are over 2 pages for the Ottawa area alone. These people are continually taking down trees from urban and rural areas that have been damaged or need to be removed to facilitate construction, etc. Pieces of wood can be purchased or in some cases just picked up for the taking if you make the right contacts. Another source is firewood suppliers.

Readers should also consider contacting the Ministry of Natural Resources in Kemptville or the Canadian Forest Services in Ottawa. What you want to know is if they have a list of saw mill and or woodlot operators who can be contacted. The Telus Yellow Pages have a list of about a dozen saw mill operators under the heading of Saw Mills. Two of them in Ontario are: Randy Warren Forest Products, Pakenham or Ban-Lumber, Pakenham. I don't know if they have any large pieces of wood for sale at this time, but these are the types of businesses to start looking at.

Any hobbyist woodturner with a little imagination and perseverence can accumulate more free wood than most of them will ever use in their lifetime. Remember the turner is frequently looking for wood the cabinetmaker would not even consider such as stumps, crotches of trees, blocks of firewood, etc.

People should also be on the lookout for new construction sites where woodlands are being cleared for subdivisions, roadways, interchanges, etc. Farmers with large wooded properties should also be approached. Readers should consider that if they obtain a block of wood from someone free of charge, a turned gift to that person will help to keep your name in mind the next time he or she has a block of wood they think a turner would like.

John Coulombe of the Valley Woodturners Assn. provided the following suggestions:
Wood, Burls: Maurice Gamblin, 20157 Route 2, Bairdsville, N.B. E7H 3V3 approx $1/lb plus shipping.
Wood, Domestic: The Wood Source / Adams&Kennedy Co. Ltd, 6178 Mitch Owens Rd., Gloucester, Ont. K4M 1A6
Wood, Domestic: Builder's Warehouse 3636 Innes Rd. Gloucester, Ont. K1C 1T1 Pine, maple, oak, walnut, cherry.
Wood, Exotic: A&M Wood Specialty Inc. 358 Eagle N., Cambridge, Ont. N3H1C2
Wood, Exotic: Exotic Woods Inc. 2483 Industrial Rd., Burlington, Ont. L7P 1A6
Wood, Exotic: Langevin&Forest, 9995 Boul. Pie IX, Montreal, QC H1Z 3X1
Wood, Exotic: Lee Valley Tools 1000 Morrison Dr., Ottawa, Ont. K2H 8K7
Wood, Exotic: Unicorn Universal Woods, 4190 Steeles W., Woodbridge, Ont. L4L 3S8
Exotic Woods: Woodchuckers' Supplies, 1698 Weston Rd., Weston, Ont. M9N 1V6
Pen blanks, 2" squares, Wood, Logs and Bowl blanks: Belgreen Wood Products 4090 Belgreen Dr., Ottawa, Ont. K1G3N2
Lionel Bedard Bowl blanks: maple, cherry, walnut, sometimes birds-eye maple.

Cobjon's Nutculture Services
Hank Jones

If nutculture is on your mind, whether buying or selling property in town or rural, large acreage or small, or you want to maximize productivity in an existing grove, you may benefit from a Cobjon nutculture site assessment. Or maybe you are a land manager needing to make improvements. Here is how the service works.

Cobjon' Nutculture Services (CNS) offers a professional site assessment service that custom evaluates both the nut culture and woodlot potential of individual sites in the Eastern Ontario region, with productivity and profitability in mind.

In most people's minds, nutculture means growing nut crops strictly for food, and rightfully so. This is true for most nut growing regions around the world. However, in regions at the periphery of nutculture (and sometimes beyond!) this is only part of the story. The Eastern Ontario region is at the northern frontier of nutculture. Many of the kinds, varieties and cultivars of nuts in stores do not grow well here (if at all). In some cases, the trees may grow but nut crop production may be low or even nonexistent. So what can nutculture do for you here?

Through Cobjon, you can learn about multiple use, meaning products of kernel, shell and husk. You can learn about life-cycle production, meaning products of wood, sap, leaf and fruit from the living tree throughout its life. You can learn about progressive production, meaning mixing species, some that begin fruiting as early as two years from planting. Then there are Cobjon's own 'Nutteries', pre-planned, purpose plantings of nut trees/ shrubs configured to provide simultaneously both economic and environmental return. The list goes on and on. Remember, the property you have in mind may be worth more than you think when nutculture is in the picture. Cobjon is the only corporation in Canada that offers this service. And they hope to be able to cover all of Canada soon!

Growing nut trees is risky. Canada is beyond the northern edge of the natural range of most common nut species, and at the northern edge of the most of the rest. New hardier specimens, varieties and cultivars are appearing apace these days, so the feasibility of growing nut trees and shrubs successfully in Canada is improving day by day. In spite of all due care being taken to place the best tree in the best place, trees grow as they see fit. In some cases, individuals will perform beyond expectation, and in other cases, they may fall short. Many unpredictable factors contribute to performance, such as weather, disease and accidents.

At the Kerrsdale Farm Research Nut Grove in North Stormont Township in the Eastern Ontario region of Canada, Ernie Kerr has been experimenting with growing 20 commercial kinds of nut trees and shrubs for almost a decade. To date, the dataset has over 2500 individual observations. Furthermore, we are pleased to say that this data series will be continued indefinitely. We plan to annotate and publish this first dataset as soon as possible, under the direction of Dr. Roman Popadiouk. The data on the 2003 harvested nuts is being worked up, and preliminary results may also be included on the CD-ROM Kerrsdale Farm and Cobjon intend to publish jointly.

Nutculture Sources
Here are some sources of nut stock, nutculture expertise and equipment

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