The Nuttery : Volume 6 Number 3 September 1987

In this Issue...

Fall Field Day

The Executive of the Ottawa Chapter of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers is pleased to announce the Fall Field Day '87 to be held on Saturday October 3, 1987.

1000-1200 hrs. Seed Exchange, a tour of the Baxter Nut Grove, and a talk by Milt Stewart of the Ministry of Natural Resources regarding their programs. To be held at the Workshop a half mile beyond the entrance to the Baxter Conservation Area just south of Kars, Ontario, on Regional Road 13, and about 1 mile east of Highway 16.

1200-1300 hrs. Lunch - please bring your own.

1330-1500 hrs. A 2½ hour tour of the G. Howard Ferguson Forest Station, on old Highway 16 at the junction of Highway 43, just north of Kemptville. Meet just inside the main gate.

For more information, call the Chair Bob Scally in Kanata, 592-1745.

Future Meetings

The Chapter is planning three meetings for this year. Note them on your calendar, and watch for the details in future issues of the Nuttery.

  1. the Fall meeting mentioned above
  2. The Winter Meeting. The Ottawa Citizen Building, 1101 Baxter Rd., Ottawa. Wednesday 20 January 1988.
  3. The Annual General Meeting. Baxter Conservation Area Interpretive Center. Saturday 19 March 1988.

Baxter Nut Grove update
George Joiner, Gloucester 824-1284

In early spring, Phil Park, Alec Jones and I toured the Baxter Nut Grove and found the area had wintered quite well, very little damage by vandals, some trees suffered from late frost and at the time it was thought this might retard the growth. Later on the frost damage proved to be minor, except for a couple of trees where the tops have died back.

During May, two successful field days were held. A good turnout of members was gratifying. The mulch form under trees was raked back, followed by herbicide spraying which was done by Cliff Craig. The results of this year's spraying has not been as good as last years. Cliff managed to dump two more loads of tree shavings on the field. Later on another day was spent spreading the new and old mulch, at this time Cliff spend some time burning the brushwood from previous cuttings. All this mulch gave a large number of the trees a substantial cover. Phil, Alec and I are convinced the application of the mulch is beneficial, greatly reduces undesirable growth of weeds, conserves moisture, the material decomposes and gives the trees some necessary elements for their growth.

On August 26, Alec Kathy Jones and I spent the best part of the day weeding, Alec doctoring those trees that required care, and some perimeter cutting back was done to maintain a neat appearance. Phil has taken numerous photographs depicting various stages of managing and caring for the Baxter Nut Grove. The plan is to present the group of pictures properly mounted and with the necessary commentary this coming fall.

Oak Valley in the South Nation
Irene Woolford, Winchester 774-3385.

My ground is first rate for Black Walnuts - and weeds like it too. This year they are six feet high and over - and I am allergic to them. I am nursing blisters on my hands after a half hour of cutting a path in to where the plantation is located. I sure do not need the pines to stop the wind for me - the weeds have done that. The three year old walnut seedlings are ready for transplanting next spring but there will have to be a BIG program of clearing and spraying before this can be done. And where the new seedlings are I do not know, and where the seed went is impossible to find in the forest of weeds.

This property is owned by the South Nation Conservation Authority, and I am writing to them to ask for the help of a work crew. If SONG and the crew could get together next spring we might eventually see some super trees because this field is prime agricultural land. Care for some Spring Training, anyone?

The Chapter's Technical Literature

Alec Jones, Ottawa, 828-6459, has volunteered to be the next custodian of the Chapter's growing collection of hundreds of technical articles on nuts and nut tree growing. He is ready to receive any material members wish to contribute and to arrange for members access to the collection.

The Chapter's Photo Library

Bob Scally, Kanata, 592-1745, has volunteered to be the next custodian of the Chapter's growing collection of photos related to nuts and nut tree growing. He intends to prepare an index to the collection. He is also ready to receive any photo material, slides or prints, provided documentation of dates, places and persons accompanies the contribution. He will also arrange for members to view and use the material.

Seed Stratification
Bob Scally, Kanata 592-1745.

Many nut seeds require a period of cold stratification before they can germinate. For large seeds this usually entails burying them at a depth of two feet and covering with insulating mulch. The effective temperature is between 33°F and 41°F. The effect is cumulative, and if they receive insufficient time the first winter, they will remain dormant until the second or sometimes third year. I have had good results with walnut and butternut by covering them with moist earth in an insulated plywood box in my garage. The seed are then planted out in the spring, with a germination rate of about 15% in the first year, and the remainder in the second year.

Small seeds can be placed in a sealed jar with moist peat moss and stored in the refrigerator. I have had excellent success with Black Cherry seed handled this way.

The stratification time required varies with species. The following guidelines are extracted from Seeds of Woody Plants in the United States: Black Walnut & Butternut, 90-120 days; Black Cherry, 120 days; Shagbark Hickory, 90-150 days. Oaks are best planted out in the fall after they fall. White oak, swamp white oak and English oak require no stratification. Bur oak needs 30-60 days, and red oak 30-45 days, but this is usually attained on the ground over winter.

A Step Forward

Phil Park notes that the July/Aug issue of Engineering Dimensions, the official publication of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, reports that a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Ministries of Natural Resources and Citizenship & Culture on the protection of the natural habitat in Ontario's Carolinian zone. The article briefly describes this area, noting that it is unique in Canada in having sweet chestnut, paw-paw, honey locust and Kentucky coffee tree as indigenous species. The article is in the Chapter's technical literature collection.

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