The Nuttery : Volume 23 Number 4 (2004)

In this Issue...


In accordance with the Constitution of ECSONG, notice is given that the following amendment to our governing Bylaw will be presented for the approval of the membership at the Annual General Meeting. The purpose of most of the amendments is to bring our constitution in line with current practice. Additions are noted in italics; "chairman" has been replaced by "chair" throughout. By-Law No. 1 The name of this Regional Chapter shall be "Eastern Chapter Society of Ontario Nut Growers" (the "Chapter").

The region of the Chapter shall include the areas covered by the watersheds of the South Nation, Rideau, Raisin and Mississippi Rivers and the contiguous areas of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers.

Membership in the Chapter shall be open to all persons who are interested in supporting its objectives regardless of place of residence. Application for membership shall be presented to the Treasurer in writing accompanied by the required dues. Council may recognize Honorary Members, being persons who do not apply for membership but make notable contributions to the projects and objectives of the Chapter.

The Chapter may assess its members an annual or such other fees as it decides necessary to carry on its business.

The Officers of the Chapter shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer although the offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by one person.

The Council of the Chapter shall consist of the Immediate Past Chair, the Officers and up to four Councillors elected by the members at the Annual Meeting of the Chapter, the coordinators of official ECSONG nut groves, the Editor of The Nuttery, the Webmaster, and past presidents of the Chapter. Voting at Council shall be one vote per person. Officers shall hold office for one year but anyone shall be eligible for re-election. Nut grove coordinators, the Editor of the Nuttery, and Webmaster shall be confirmed or nominated each year at the first Council meeting following the Annual Meeting. Quorum for Council decisions shall be five members.

A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by Council each year at least one month prior to the date of the Annual Meeting and shall normally be chaired by the Immediate Past Chair with up to two additional members who are neither members of Council nor standing for election. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the Annual Meeting.

Council may make appointments during the year to fill any vacancies that may occur in its membership.

The business year of the Chapter shall be the calendar year.

The Annual Meeting of the Chapter must be called by the Council before the last day of March of each year for the purpose of hearing reports, reviewing the financial statement, electing Officers, appointing an auditor, and carrying on such other business as may properly be brought before it. A quorum at the Annual Meeting shall consist of a fifth of the paid up members, of whom at least two shall be Officers of the Chapter, and any motion shall be considered carried if supported by a majority of the members present.

The Treasurer of the Chapter shall maintain a bank account in the name of the Chapter at such place as the Council considers appropriate, shall keep books of the Chapter's financial transactions including the collecting of fees and prepare a financial report for the Annual Meeting. Signing authority for the issuing of cheques or withdrawal of funds shall rest with the Treasurer, and the Chair or a member of Council who may be appointed by Council for this purpose.

An Auditor shall be appointed by the membership each year at the Annual Meeting. The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members voting at any regularly called meeting; notice and copy of such amendment having been mailed by any member to each member thirty (30) days before the date of said meeting.

[The AGM was cancelled so the motion was not voted on.]

Where to Buy Nut Trees
John Sankey

The Ferguson Forest Center is a non-profit corporation working to ensure a supply of inexpensive top-quality trees. It's headed by Ed Patchell, and it's the place to go whenever anyone asks you, "Where can I buy nut trees?"

They are at 275 County Rd. 44, Kemptville ON Canada KOG 1JO Toll free phone (888)791-1103 Web site

They currently grow black walnut, butternut, red white and bur oak, and the Lavant strain of shagbark hickory; they should have American chestnut next year. (Of course, they grow many non-nut trees as well.)

ECSONG collects and donates seed to them. Mention that you are a member; Ed offers lower prices on some potted stock to us in return for our donations.

ECSONG donations Fall 2004 included 4000 black walnut collected by Len Collett, 300 Lavant shagbark collected by Len, Murray Spearman and Jim Ronson, 1500 black walnut donated by Ernie Kerr, and 350 American chestnut that I collected. Gordon Wilkinson delivered me, my donations and Ernie's to Kemptville; we had a good chat about heartnuts on the way. Hank Jones writes of his contributions in the following article.

If you have a source of quality seed, join us in spreading the joy of nut trees!

ECSONG 2004 Walnut Roundup
Hank Jones

Here was the challenge. We are often asked, "Where can I get the nut trees you people talk about?" We have never had a good answer. Until now.

This past fall 2004, ECSONGers and friends cut new ground, organizing a roundup of black walnut and butternut seed to deliver to local nurseries. The idea was to get thousands of extra black walnuts and butternuts planted, so next year and in the years to come there would be plenty of nut tree seedlings ready for planting out across the Eastern Ontario region. If the idea worked this time, it could be done for different species each year, so nut tree reforestation and reafforestation could proceed apace.

In this, the first Walnut Roundup, two nurseries benefited. The Ferguson Forest Centre in Kemptville received over twelve thousand black walnuts collected from Seed Zones 30 and 36 (zones 29 and 35 were missed - let's get those as well next time). The FRP Nut Grove at Baxter received about 200 black walnut and 250 butternut.

I formed teams based on who had the truck. Each team targeted their preferred black walnut and/or butternut trees, those with lots of nuts for collecting. When the time was right, each team filled up with the fallen nuts from their trees, and took the harvest to their chosen nurseries.

The result? In addition to independent collections (noted in the previous article), George Truscott delivered some 4000 black walnuts from Seed Zone 30 to the Ferguson, Joe Page and Marc Laviolette together about 1000, Ron Curtis 1500, and Colleen Calvert 500.

All in all, the Ferguson planted over twelve thousand extra black walnuts in 2004, thanks to ECSONGers and friends!

The FRP Nut Grove received 250 butternuts from Brent Webster. These were the only butternuts delivered by the 2004 Roundup. Hank Jones and Vera Hrebacka delivered 200 black walnuts to the nursery.

Thanks to one and all! I want ECSONG to do a Roundup every fall from now on. Let's get our nurseries full for research and demonstration. This will ensure that future generations will have a bounty of nutlings of all species to plant across the region. Lets start planning ECSONG Nutseed Roundup 2005 right now!

Hazel trees at Lafeuillée
Bernard Contré

Starting about 1982, like all new amateurs of nut trees, I planted walnut trees, oaks, other nut trees of all kinds and maintained the walnut and hazel trees already present there. My nursery is located 8 km to the north of Joliette and is on a point surrounded by the Assumption River, which creates a microclimate of humid air well protected from wind. Because of this subtle but important difference for survival of plants during the most cold winter months, I classify my location as zone 4a.

As the soil is particularly sandy, oaks and hazel trees succeed very well. Chestnuts could be also considered but hardy sources are rare; only some are being tested (Castanea dentata). The hybrid walnut trees adapt to it in a satisfactory way while the walnut trees of Japan have more difficulties not with the soil but with the climate. Hickories seem to be adapting to it too.

Hybrid hazel trees

A little before 1990, I planted hybrids from the Grimo Nut Nursery under the name Corylus heterophylla. The collected seeds of this source were provided to him by Henri Bernard (deceased in 1993). These hardy sowings produced 5 years later. Their qualities are: hardy, productive, average size, many fruits, early maturation (September). Their more recent identification confirms than it acts like a hybrid rather that as the native hazel tree of Russia (Corylus heterophylla) whose sheets and fruits are identifiable. As the possibilities of hybridizations are large among hazels, and they are mainly multiplied by sowing, it is possible that the first seeds of H. Bernard had been natural hybrids or hybrids of sowings in the orchard of Grimo. However, it is these trees that now carry names:

Lafeuillée #1,2,4,5,11. I regard them as possible hybrids with or coming from C.heterophylla. #1,4,5,11 are hardiest. #2 has the fastest growth and I suspect that the hazel tree of Byzance (Corylus columa) is present in its hereditary luggage. Planted a little later, a hybrid hazel tree named Lafeuillée #6 (a hybrid with the unknown parents but the hazel tree of Byzance is suspected) with fast growth and weak suckering, produces here the largest fruits of round form pointing out filberts of the variety ' Barcelona1. This hazel tree is however not very productive (1 or 2 fruits per bunch). It is very hardy and does not suffer damage even at #40 C. It pollinates the close hazel trees easily because the individual produces much pollen. Harvest is towards the end September. A hazel tree named Lafeuillée #3, planted a little after #1 and 2, comes from another hybrid whose fruits are of high quality and form lengthened nuts like DuChilly-cob-Italian Red. The shell is thin and the shape almond. This #3 is productive only after mild winters, and is thus not completely hardy for zone 4. It must have 50% of filbert and 50% of another hazel tree. Six of these hazels seem hardy and had an excellent crop in 2002. Hazel tree #9 in the vicinity, planted at the same time, has poor hardiness but produces round hazel nuts very little covered with the involucre.

About 1992, I bought seedlings produced and sold by Oikos Tree Crops of Michigan. These hazel trees of so-called ' Trazelnut' came from Oellatly crossings between C.avellana X C.columa. They were not very hardy; only 1 or 2 individuals remain without producing fruits significantly. In the mid-90's, I planted seeds from John Gordon called NY Hybrid Hazels (C avellana X C. americana). The cold winters of 2003 and 2004 eliminated most, but some could after mild winters produce some fruits. In general these hazel trees produce very large fruits but with late ripening. Here, they will be used to be cross with hardier trees.

The variety 'Skinner1, selected by Fred Ashworth about 1930, is an hybrid between Italian Red and an American hazel tree of Manitoba. The variety is only of average hardiness, since it undergoes gelures at -35/-40 C. The male kittens are most fragile, the female flowers less so. Its nuts are large and are wrapped in a long, adhering peel similar to American hazel. Ripening is late (at the beginning of October). Some seeds were collected from this tree pollinated by hazel trees # 1,2 or 6.

The cultivar 'Large Traverse' of Cecil Parish is a little less hardy than Skinner but produces some fruits after mild winters. Once again the pollinating parents are Lafeuillée #1,2 or 6. I have high hopes for the first generation of these sowings. Three other hybrids, with Grimo 188P, Gellatly 502 and OSU vr-20 are also being tested. The cultivar Gellatly 502 (C.avellana X C.cornuta) has proven not hardy after 4 years of culture.

Some other hazel trees (called 'heterophylla') were added to the collection in 1996 and are named here as Lafeuillée #12,13,14,15. The latter are in evaluation in a wetter type of ground. #12 and 13 produce very large fruits similar to #6. About 1998,1 crossed 'Skinner' X 'Winkler1, a source popularized by St. Laurence Nurseries (NY). These sowings are very hardy and widespread enough for a hybrid hazel tree. Serge Fafard and Yves Gagnon have seedlings which produced good quantities of fruits. These seedlings are vigorous and produce average hazel nuts in large quantity but with thick hull, ripening is at at the end of September.

I have several sowings of first generation of the hazel trees Lafeuillée #1,2 and 6, 3-5 years old. These hazel trees carry #100,200,300,... i.e. sowings coming from Laf. # 1 will bear the names 101,102,103 etc. In 1998 I bought 22 seedlings from Badgersett Research Farm in Minnesota. 15 were planted and are in observation. The seedlings are vigorous, hardy and with strong resemblance with the American hazel trees. They sucker a lot and produce early in age (3-4 years). Some have bunches as large as 6 hazel nuts, very productive, but the fruits are small. Hardiness is satisfactory but not higher than that of Laf. #1, 4,5, and 6 for example. These seedlings are planted along with variety ' Skinner' and of Laf. #6.

Seeds of the hybrid hazel 'Graham' (C avellana X C americana) from Tom Potts (NY) are also being planted. This variety with large hazel nuts will be crossed with more hardy pollinating parents. In 2000, 5 hybrid hazel trees were obtained from G.Pomerleau who has some specimens with Thetford Mines. Hardiness is average after 4 years and the hazel of Turkey (C columa) is suspected as a possible relative. In 2002, I planted seeds from 14 hazel trees of Arboretum Morgan (probably Gellatly C.avellana X C.cornuta). Some produced large fruits and others of the fruits of average sizes but more productive. Sowings of these hazel trees will be evaluated before long.

The long-beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta) were always present in the area and I strongly encouraged them with a light deforestation which gave them a space for better growing. To date, a multitude of sowing of various ages are present on the site and the largest reach 2.5m X 2.5m. Red squirrels are helpful for spreading these, and approximately 100 seedlings at least have more than 1 Mr. Some are large but have too many suckers or young stems at the base. In 2004, the fruits are abundant due to one year previous of semi-rest, and large in size because of the high moisture of the air particular to the site.

I suspect the importance of moisture during bud break and the 2 months which follow. That seems to determine or influence the size of the fruit with maturity. Towards mid-August long-beaked hazel nuts can be collected on the shrub, better early because blue mould devastates quickly in this period. Although a little too small and covered with a prickly involucre which is detached only with difficulty, the quality of the fruit of hazel nut is very acceptable, just as the early harvest of fruits in season and the productivity of the seedlings certain years.

About 1992-93,1 collected seeds of Corylus americana from Cornwall Island. The hardiness of this source is perfect and after 12 years, the seedlings are vigorous and healthy, they are approximately 2.5 m in height and 2 m broad. Sizes at every year are necessary because they sucker too much at the base. For this species, the size of hazel nuts is average but larger than long-beaked and American hazels from Wisconsin and Manitoba. Maturation is one month later than the hazel trees (at the end of Sept.). These seedlings have produced now for 6 or 7 years. On the whole, 15 American hazel trees were planted.

After many years of observations on the trees with hardy nuts, the Lafeuillée site is appropriate better for the culture of hazel trees than walnut trees. Limited space, the acid ground and the great variations of the hybrid hazel trees which give chances to discover individual plants with commercial possibilities have 'encouraged me to prefer hazels. In the future, many crossing of the various hazel trees here will be evaluated. My goal is at the same time individuals producing a high quality of the fruit (size and quality of the flesh) and very hardy, productive and of which ripening does not extend beyond September.

Ed.note: Needless to say, Bernard has many hazel trees for sale, based on the above work. Contact him at 450-759-5458

Walnut Biscotti

Genice Collett served these at the Winter Festival.

2-1/4 cups white flour
2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp currants

Stir flour with baking powder, salt, curry and ginger. Separately, blend sugar into butter, adding eggs one at a time. Blend in milk, then nuts and currants, finally the flour mixture. Form dough into six logs each 6" long and 2" wide. Bake on a baking sheet at 350F 20-25 minutes, until light golden. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into 1/2" thick slices with a serrated knife. Spread out slices on two cooking sheets, bake about 8 minutes, turn them over, then bake a further 8 minutes.

Another good reason to eat nuts!

Chinese researchers have found that gamma-tocopherol, a form of Vitamin E which occurs naturally in walnuts and pecans, inhibits the proliferation of lab-cultured human prostate and lung cancer cells. The vitamin's presence interrupts the synthesis of certain fatty molecules called sphingolipids, important components of cell membranes. However, the gamma-tocopherol leaves healthy human prostate cells unaffected, which- could give-it value as an anticancer agent.

Vitamin pills contain solely alpha-tocopherol.

Oak Trees Slow Global Warming

The soil below oak trees exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide has higher carbon levels than those exposed to ambient carbon levels. Scientists have been puzzled by observations that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing more slowly than expected by existing models. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that elevated carbon dioxide levels are increasing carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems and slowing the build-up of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide contributes to global warming by trapping heat radiated by the Earth.

In Memoriam
Murray Inch

Buck Cairncross of Inkerman, died January 21, 2005 in Winchester District Memorial Hospital. He was a long time volunteer and supporter of Oak Valley Nut Grove. Buck and Gordon Bartholomew were well known, regularly driving their mowers down Timmins and Baldwin Roads. They spent many hours cutting the grass at Oak Valley while the trees were small and struggling. Declining health ended their direct involvement. Buck was also active in many local groups and activities including the Canadian Legion. We extend condolences to his widow Florence and family members. The success of the west side plantings serve as a memorial to his active support.

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