The Nuttery : Volume 6 Number 1 January 1987

In this Issue...

Annual Winter Meeting

The Applications SIG is pleased to announce the Annual Winter Meeting to be held at the Ottawa South Community Center, also called The Old Fire Hall, located on Sunnyside Ave. 2 blocks east of Bank St. in Ottawa, on Wednesday January 21st, 1987 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

This meeting will host several invited speakers and round table discussions on various practical and instructive topics about growing nut trees. Try a recipe from our new cookbook, Recipes in a Nutshell and bring it along to the meeting! The meeting is open to all, including members, family, friends and the general public. For more information call Polly at 233-5189, or any member of the Executive. Welcome, One and All!

The Black Walnut Distribution for 1987

Last fall, George Truscott donated some 2500 black walnut seed to the Chapter. Unlike in the previous two years, we were unable to bury the nuts at the Baxter Nut Grove, to winter over pending a distribution in Spring '87. The seed are now in a freezer at the Hank Jones house in Ottawa.

The executive has approved a proposal to have Cobjon Enterprises Inc., an Ontario-based company supplying environmental services and information, distribute the seed on our behalf. The company proposes to contact all the community newspapers and interest societies in eastern Ontario and western Quebec to announce the availability of the seed, and to ask them to tell their readers and members where to get in tough with Cobjon to obtain seed. Cobjon will ship the seed at cost, plus a donation to the Chapter. It will record each recipient's address for the Chapter so that we can follow up on the plantings in the future.

With each shipment of seed, Cobjon will include a copy of the Chapter brochure and an information sheet on growing black walnut from seed. The information sheet will be drafted by Cobjon and approved by the Chapter.

The important feature of this method of seed distribution is the wide exposure combined with the ability to ship seeds to the interested party so they do not have to travel to obtain them. It is hoped that this method will prove very successful in getting all the seed out, and also swell the Chapter coffers modestly to help us further our good works.

For more information, call Hank Jones at Ottawa 731-5237.

Forthcoming Business

The next AGM on Saturday March 21st 1987 will be held at the Baxter Conservation Area near Kemptville. The meeting will be in the Interpretive Center there, thanks to our hosts, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. Watch for more information in the Next Nuttery.

A New Organization

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Chapter was unable to arrange either the summer or fall meetings in 1986. Likewise, two issues of the Nuttery were missed. It was clear by late fall that as a Chapter, we had extended ourselves beyond our capacity: the four SIGs and two committees at large just could not be supported. Consequently, action was taken at the last executive to cut down on the infrastructure. Hopefully, we will find the reduced number of groups fit our Chapter size and work capacity to a tree.

At the last executive meeting, a proposal to amalgamate the groups was presented and accepted. The new arrangement follows:

  1. The Survey SIG and the Nut Use SIG are now combined into the Applications SIG. Polly Forrestall-Jones 233-5189 is the convenor.
  2. The Horticulture SIG and the Silviculture SIG are combined into the Arboriculture SIG. The convenor will be chosen from the group as soon as possible. Check with Chapter Vice-Chair John Watt.
  3. The Communications Committee and the Membership Committee are now combined into the Communications Committee, chair the Secretary/Treasurer.

It is hope that this simplification will facilitate your participation in Chapter activities. Please call the convenors to find out what opportunities await you in these SIGs and Committee.

Report on the Spring 1986 Picnic

Six members came to the George Truscott plantation at White Lake on the morning of June 28th. The weather was warm and bright. The visitors were given a tour of the many acres involved in George's experiments, and an exposé of the theories on which they were based. George has been working on Black Walnuts for many years, as demonstrated by the 15' to 18' tall trees there.

He has adopted several different methods of mulching to minimize maintenance work. Their effectiveness in promoting growth is shown in several other crops, as well as by the trees. He has Black Walnut trees in nursery areas showing interesting development. Several young plantations of red and white pine have been interplanted with the Black Walnut seed to permit him to assess the effects of the nurse trees on the walnut's development.

George has devised several methods of seeding walnuts individually while protecting them from squirrels. He uses juice cans and wire mesh. Using this device, he has been interplanting in mature (10 year old) white pine and mixed conifer plantations. Some of these walnut trees are now 6-7' tall and pushing rapidly towards the tops of the pines.

Many lessons are coming from this work already, and more are to be expected in the future. It is a pity more members have not seen George's place. Those who have are grateful for the opportunity.

Trees still wanted at the Baxter Nut Grove

When planning began for the Baxter Nut Grove, the Curator of the Dominion Arboretum was the first to be consulted. Trevor Cole provided us with a checklist of all the nut and bean bearing trees and shrubs growing in the Arboretum. About 60 species were included.

We then consulted Hubert Rhodes, one of our members who is both botanist and professional nurseryman. He studies Trevor's list, added a few species from his own knowledge, then selected about half the total number. These, he recommended, should be given priority. His list was adopted and plans were laid to plant them on the five acres of cleared land set aside for the purpose by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority at the Baxter Conservation Area.

More than half the species listed have been successfully planted and the Chapter should press on to complete this phase of the project. The priority list is reproduced below, with asterisks marking the trees still missing from our collection.

All members are invited to help fill the gaps. Some needs might be filled by purchases from nurseries, some by specimens from the wild, some by growing from seed. Can you help - have you any suggestions?

*Aesculus glabraOhio Buckeye
A. hippocastanumHorse Chestnut
Carpinus carolinianaAmerican Hornbeam
Carya cordiformisBitternut Hickory
C. glabraPignut Hickory
C. illinoisensisPecan
C. laciniosaShellbark Hickory
C. ovataShagbark Hickory
*Castanea dentataAmerican Chestnut
C. mollisimaChinese Chestnut
Celtis occidentalisCommon Hackberry
Corylus americanusAmerican Hazel
C. avellanaEuropean Hazel
C. colurnaTurkish Hazel
*Fagus grandifoliaAmerican Beech
*F. sylvaticaEuropean Beech
*ginkgo bilobaMaidenhair Tree
Gleditsia triacanthosHoney Locust
Gymnocladus dioicaKenticky Coffee Tree
Juglans ailantifoliaHeartnut
*J. cathayensisChinese Walnut
J. cinereaButternut
*J. mandschuricaManchurian Walnut
*J. microcarpaLittle Walnut
J. nigraBlack Walnut
*J. regiaPersian Walnut
Ostrya virginianaEastern Hop Hornbeam
*Pinus cembraSiberian Stone Pine
P. koraiensisKorean Nut Pine
*Quercus albaWhite Oak
*Q. bicolorSwamp White Oak
Q. macrocarpaBur Oak
*Q. muehlenburghiiChinkapin Oak
Q. palustrisPin Oak
*Q. prinusChestnut Oak
*Q. roborEnglish Oak
Q. rubraRed Oak
Robina pseudoacaciaBlack Locust

Call Alec Jones for more information or to get involved in the hunt for the missing trees, at Ottawa 828-6459. Please be ready to discuss this subject at the Winter Meeting on the 21st of January - see you there!

A Seed Distribution Project - Hardy Hazelnuts

A seed distribution project involving hardy hazelnuts is now underway in our parent SONG organization. These hazelnut varieties are known to be hardy for southern Ontario, but could be worth trying out here.

The Hardy Hazel Hybrids

The hazel family of bushes and trees often have been described as the little nuts which grow everywhere. There are the beaked hazels which grow up into the James Bay area and also the Peace River country of the west. There are the large delicious nuts of the European filbert and not the least of the hazel clan is the Turkish tree hazel with its tall, sturdy trunks reaching up to 30 m high.

Back in the 1920's, James U. Gellatly of West Bank, British Columbia recognized this great diversity of hazels and anticipated that some ver attractive nut producing hybrids could be created to suit Canadian growing conditions. He took the large nut European filbert with its delicious kernels and he crossed these with several of the super hardy northern Canadian hazel species. Thousands of seedling nut bushes were produced and from these, selections were made which combined the most desirable characteristics of nut size, quality of kernel, productivity, extreme hardiness and vigorous, pest-resistant bushes. Gellatly was remarkably successful in achieving his objectives. Later on, he expanded his hybridizing goals to include Turkish and Chinese tree hazel species. Ultimately, he wound up with many superior hybrids which carry such interesting names as Cinoka, Manoka, Petoka, Faroka, Myoka, Morrisoka, and even Gellatly 502. The "oka" of these names refers to the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

This great variety of hazel types has been tried at several locations throughout North America and the initial results have been extremely encouraging. Not the Society of Ontario Nut Growers is making a special seed offer available for more extensive testing of these superior types throughout Ontario and the adjacent provinces and states. It is expected that significant returns will be realised for both home growing as well as commercial ventures. The details of the seed offer are as follows:

Packages of 8 Seed Nuts for $4.00 Send requests to: SONG, Attn: R.D.Campbell, Editor, R.R.1, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario Canada K0S 1J0. Make cheques payable to: The Society of Ontario Nut Growers. A set of growing instructions will be included with each package.

Also, a special offer is extended to interested individuals who want to become members of SONG and enjoy the benefits of all the nut growing information which is available from the organization. A three-year membership costs only $21.00 and those who take out new membership may receive the seed nuts for only $3.00 per package. Benefits of membership include twice-yearly newsletters, 3 general meetings per year, and the opportunity to profit from further special projects and crop introduction grants.

The hardy hazel hybrids are fast growing bushes and generally produce a maximum size about 7 m high by about 3 m wide. They accept a wide range of moderately to well drained soils and in particular, they respond vigorously to generous amounts of well rotted organic matter such as peat. The bushes start producing the delicious kernels in 4-5 years from seed and they have a life expectancy of 25-40 years.

The hardy hazel hybrids represent a great opportunity to produce a nutritious, natural food anywhere in the southern half of Ontario. In fact, it's an opportunity too good to be missed!

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