The Nuttery : Volume 7 Number 3 July 1988

In this Issue...

1988 Summer Field Day

The 1988 Summer Field Day will be held at Woodhouse Tree Farm on Saturday, 16 July starting at 11:00 AM. There will be a Pot Luck lunch, so bring the dish of your choice. A salad and tea and coffee will be available, but please confirm your attendance with host Irmi Underwood at Carp 839-5563 between 7 AM and 11 PM. Enjoy the day on 350 acres of assorted areas of plantings and natural bush. Rain date is July 17th.

To reach the Underwoods, proceed west on Highway 17 approximately two miles past the stoplight at the Highway 44 crossing. Make a left turn and immediately another left, onto the 7th Line. They are about 1/2 a mile down the road, last house on the right.

A Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario

This how-to manual, of which Mark Schaefer is the editor, is being prepared as the Chapter's first decennial project. Plans are to publish it by the end of this year. The Table of Contents was published in the last issue - it gives a good idea of the scope the manual will have. Members' personal nut growing data or experiences are expected to provide the best information for the manual. (So, members, lets start feeding our info to Mark right away.)

A working committee is in the works to give Mark a hand when he is ready for help. Alec Jones and Fil Park have already volunteered to serve. The Nuttery's Office of the Editor will be the manual's publisher - the MacIntosh computer, laser printer and scanner that are used to publish the Nuttery will be used for the manual. This system can edit both text and graphics, so the manual can evolve in bits and pieces as new information comes in. Draft copies for the working committee to scribble on can be easily and quickly printed and distributed. Changes, additions and deletions can be quickly made to the computerized master copy.

The only hard part left to preparing this manual is getting the information from people's heads onto paper and submitted to Mark. Send material to Mark Schaefer, 27 McKitrick Dr., Kanata ON K2L 2J7; 836-3703.

Irene Woolford updates us on the Oak Valley Plantation

On Saturday, May 14th, 1988 the Oak Valley plantation field day was held at the site, which is near Winchester Springs. By noon, there were 10 people hard at work transplanting black walnut from the nursery bed into the main 5 acre site. As Kathleen Jones observed, the site has good soil, the plants were high quality, the sunny cool day without flies made it an ideal time for the field day.

Bob Bogle and Mark Schaefer dug some 75 trees out of the nursery bed. Susan Wilson and Irene Woolford (with some brief help from Mark Jones and Hank Jones) planted some along the eastern road boundary, and Kathleen Jones and Alec Jones planted the rest along the northern driveway. George Truscott brought many trees from his own extensive While Lake plantation to plant to the west of the eastern boundary plantings.

Clarence Cross, the genealogical historian for the area, arrived to explain some of the history of the Oak Valley site. He has a map from 1879 and can trace the history of ownership of the site from that time. It would be worth soliciting a brief summary of the history from him for future reference as the Oak Valley plantation develops in future years.

Fil Park and George Joiner started at 7 AM from home, travelling to the Baxter Nut Grove to dig up some 30 black walnuts from nursery beds there to bring to Oak Valley. They planted these trees along the river's edge.

As a result of the field day, Irene writes a month later: "This is just a short note to tell you that our transplant efforts this spring are 100% successful! That week's rain following the 14th really did the trick! Some of the trees have not come out at the tip unfortunately, but all are thriving and even the last 10 or so which had very short roots and were stuck into one large hole decided to keep trying. I placed tree guards around the ones out towards the river that Alec and Kathleen Jones planted, but I didn't have enough with me for the ones Fil and George J. planted out along the river. They seem to have suffered somewhat as almost no tips have leafed out yet, whereas most along the gravel road have produced top leaves. I have found many pines missing - especially along the driveway out to the river, and at the downstream corner of the property there appear to be none ever planted. I am gradually working my way into the field from the fence line to eradicate the Manitoba maples that are taking over - and I must say the cool weather helps - there are no mosquitos. If you ever have a free day and lots of energy, you are welcome to come down and clear away. A shovel is usually sufficient but the larger trees may require an axe. Thought I would plant peas around the BWs for nitrogen fixing. The planting holes were made rather large so not much competition from the grasses or the wild parsnips yet. The rest of the grasses etc. are already quite a height and I must also try to get rid of thistles - a noxious weed, as is milkweed. Drop by any time."

Though no formal plan for the site has been prepared yet, it has been generally agreed that black walnuts will dominate. It has been suggested that as much seed as possible be gathered this fall from local first class sites and that it be heavily sown into Oak Valley in order to allow for heavy culling for superior stock. One suggestion for a planting pattern is to plant seeds in groups of five to ten at a spacing of very few feet. A detailed map of the Oak Valley plantation should be made, as we have for the Baxter Nut Grove. Irene can be reached in Winchester 774-3385.

George Joiner's Diary on Baxter

Remember that the Baxter Nut Grove has many healthy and vigorous examples of nut bearing plants that have now been shown capable of growing in eastern Ontario. Take time this summer to explore the nut grove, either on your own, with family and friends, or better yet, give George a call at Gloucester 824-1284. Maybe he can arrange a tour for you, and possibly get your help in doing one or two of the many small chores that keep the grove so attractive.

The Chapter's Photo Library

Bob Scally, the Chapter's Photo Librarian, tells us that plans are afoot to prepare a computerised index to our collection of several hundred photos related to nut bearing plants. This task will likely be done at summer's end when the cold weather returns.

The growing collection comes mainly from members' personal photos, rather than from any professional work. There are many slides taken at chapter events or of particular trees. We do have a VHS Video however taken professionally at the Baxter Nut Grove. The video demonstrates transplanting black walnut seedlings, as well as the treatment we now use to promote tree growth in the Nut Grove.

These photos are available to members to browse, study, copy or otherwise use in the pursuit of nut plant growing in eastern Ontario. Also, Bob is keen for new material that has yet to be contributed to the collection. He will accept slides, prints, videos, etc. He advises against sending originals to him, though, recommending that you send copies. Please include your name, address and phone number with your submission. Also, identify each picture with dates, places, names and anecdotes as appropriate for making the pictures useful for posterity. You can reach Bob at Kanata 592-1745.

The Chapter's Technical Library

Alec Jones, the chapter's librarian, reports that George Truscott has submitted 4 articles, all dealing with the use of nut wood in cabinet making and the like. He also informs us that Mark Schaefer has the bulk of the library in his possession for the moment while he works on the decennial project, A Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario.

Ed Hogan, who is now completing a Master's degree at Carleton University on Agroforestry, sent in three articles on intercropping black walnut with corn. These articles were written by a professor of environmental biology at Guelph, Dr. Andrew Gordon, who is now making an economic, dollars and cents case for planting trees and crops together, specifically black walnut and corn. Ed has passed along Dr. Andrew's address and phone number as well. Thanks, Ed.

Our ex-member (unfortunately) Paul Bender passed along two items (our thanks to him for above and beyond the call) to be added to the library. The first is a report from the Petawawa National Forestry Institute on some of their recent achievements. It has an extensive bibliography. The other is the first decennial edition of the newsletter of the Forest Pest Management Institute at Sault Ste.Marie. It overviews the results of research at the institute done during its first ten years.

Bob Scally Reports

This has been a particularly bad year for tree cultivation. At my plantation there has been no rain since planting of seedlings started in late April, until the recent "end of June" rain. That meant a lot of time spent in watering seedlings and adding soil to the planting slots which reopened week by week as the ground dried up. The germination rate of stratified nuts has been very low this year, and the "garden rats" have done a lot more damage than usual, chewing the new growth off, and destroying roots of those that do germinate. The ultimate insult was when a June windstorm brought no rain to relieve the drought, but broke the top 10' off a 12-year-old walnut tree in my yard. Every year nature springs new problems at the nut grower.

I have been delinquent in sending "experience" to Mark Schaefer, to assist him in his work on the nut growers manual. Mark tells me that I am not the only one. Now is the time to jot down your experiences and send them along so that they can help other growers. The failures are also useful - no use many of us repeating the same mistakes when there are so many new ones to be tried.

Bob Bogle writes

Josie Farrar and I recently toured the north shore of Lake Erie. Our first stop enroute was at Ernie and Marion Grimo's nut nursery near Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ernie is a teacher by profession, with nut growing now a paying side line. The Grimos have 17 acres of which 5 are in grapes and the rest in nuts of many sorts. They retailed 1500 lb of nuts from the house last fall. However, most of their business is selling young bare-rooted nut trees.

From Grimo's, we travelled to Backus Mill near Port Rowan. There is a heritage forest of 600 acres near the flour mill. The forest contains many old and very large trees such as tulip, sassafras, Kentucky coffee, etc.

From Backus Mill, we journeyed on to Pelee Island, which lies in the lake about 16 miles south of the Canadian mainland and about 22 miles north of the US shore. On the north western corner of Pelee is a ruins called Vin Villa - an old stone winery. On the grounds around the winery are many large trees (most of which we could not identify, unfortunately). However, we did see a very large American Chestnut looking very much alive and happy, perhaps saved from the chestnut blight by its isolation.

Global Warming

The Globe & Mail of Wednesday 29 June front paged an article about the greenhouse effect's warming creating an inhospitable climate for the trees now being planted by the forest industry. The article quoted Dr. Jagmohan Maini, ADM Forestry, as saying that the climate changes expected will be beyond the evolutionary experience of these trees.

It goes on to say that for every degree warming, the forest zone will move northward about 100 km. The predicted increase for the global annual average temperature is between 1.5C and 4.5C over the next 50 years.

From other sources, the Nuttery editor has learned that local average temperatures will change depending on geographic latitude, from little change in the tropics to as much as 15C in the high polar regions. Eastern Ontario is about half way between the equator and the pole, so we may expect a midway increase. Consequently, the forest zone here now would be replaced by zones currently several hundred kilometers farther south. The US state of Virginia is 700 kn south of Ottawa.

Dr. Maini notes in the Globe & Mail article that it is important to start research now into which species will be suited to the future climate because of the large lead time it takes to grow trees. Our chapter has recognized the need for several years now, and our forthcoming growers manual must deal with this.

Gene is transferred into walnut plant

The Globe & Mail also reported, on Saturday 2 July, "Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have successfully transferred a foreign gene into a walnut plant, the first time this has been done in any fruit or nut crop. The team, which included scientists of UCD and the USDA, used a bacterium to transfer the gene into the plant. Offspring of the plant will express the trait the gene is coded for. In this case, the gene gives resistance to Kanamycin, an antibiotic. The researchers hope to eventually introduce genes that will give walnut plants resistance to pests and diseases, a strategy that could be attempted with other fruit or nut crops.

The Nut Grower

Since the last issue of the Nuttery, we have received four letters asking about nut growing. Short answers are given here. However, if you can help these people with seed, stock, advice, etc., please call or write them directly. At the same time, tell the Nuttery as well by phone or letter so that others can benefit from the information. Your personal help will be greatly appreciated by all.

Mrs. Ruth M. Raymond of 29 Dunham St., Gloucester K1J 7L7; 729-1724, asked about growing nut trees from seed. She wants to know what species she could start this fall, and any how-to instructions.

There are several species that would be good for starters. Red or white oak, black walnut, horse chestnut, Chinese chestnut, Kentucky coffee tree, hazelnut, shagbark hickory, bitternut hickory just to name a few. Getting seed or stock is usually our problem here in eastern Ontario. Members of the Ottawa Chapter of SONG usually gather their own and trade them around at seed and stock exchanges which are held every meeting of the chapter. Most seed gathering is done in the fall, so that is when the best selection is available. Information on how-to is also "traded" at the same time. Also, this year we are preparing a Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario which will include the kinds of information you need. The manual should be published this calendar year.

Mrs. Rose Forster of RR1 Golden Lake K0J 1X0 wants to plant 5-6' tall Carpathians in a southern exposure on the Bonnechere River between Round Lake and Killaloe and Golden Lake. Advice welcome.

Carpathians (Juglans regia) are not the hardiest of nut trees for this area of Canada. Some are growing in the city of Ottawa, but their survivability farther north is in doubt. However, please do not be discouraged. Try the Carpathians: you may well succeed. Keep in mind that our climate is now changing, and that in 50 to 100 years (well within the lifetime of a Carpathian Walnut), our climate will be well suited to growing these trees. If you succeed, when your trees are mature, the new climate will be well suited to them! Black walnut (Juglans nigra) or butternut (J.cinerea) are other options for you. We have compiled a list of some 77 species, varieties and hybrids that might have a chance of growing here. Also, you may be interested in the manual mentioned in the previous letter.

Mr. Geoffrey Chittenden or 250 Reynolds Dr., Brockville K6V 1X9 and a friend want to grow walnuts. One is already growing. Attempts to start another from a cutting proved unsuccessful. Geoffrey is also interested in Horse Chestnuts. Seed of both is wanted.

As noted in the response to Ruth Raymond's letter, getting suitable seed is a major problem in eastern Ontario. The reason is that for many popular nut species we are rather north of their preferred climate zones. Seed sent in from southern regions will not be acclimatized, reducing its chances of growing successfully here. Consequently, we seek out those rare specimens that have taken hold in eastern Ontario and gather their seed. We maintain a file, called Inventree, of what we call Class 1 seed sites. These sites have trees in stands or are of such numbers that their seed is expected to be of the best quality.

Ms. Ann Chudleigh of Box 118, Wakefield J0X 3G0; (819)827-1560, is on a nut tree hunt on her woods in the Gatineau. She has enlisted Isabel Bayly's help, but anyone in her area who knows the local nut trees might call her.

Nut-tree Seed Farming in the USSR

The Nuttery Editor recently received a copy of correspondence from the Curator of Canada's National Arboretum, Trevor Cole. It started with a letter from Konstantin Ivanovitch Koshelev of Abakan, USSR saying he is establishing a nut-tree seed-farm in Siberia. The climate is similar to Canada's, so he wishes to exchange seed with us. He is looking for Carya, Juglans, Quercus, Corylus and Fagus. He will send his seed list this fall. Trevor replied that he was passing the letter on to us. He also said he would help arrange the import permits.

The editor acknowledged receipt of the correspondence, and affirmed our interest in attempting an exchange of seed, and asked that we be kept informed on the business of the permits.

Hank Jones presents a plan for increasing nut seed availability

One purpose for instituting the Ottawa area chapter of SONG was to find a good supply of acclimatised seed and stock for members and for chapter projects. Letters and enquiries to the chapter from the public often ask about where to obtain growing material.

It is time to establish a project comparable to the Baxter Nut Grove, the Growers Manual, and the Oak Valley plantation, geared specifically to gather and disseminate seed and stock. I propose we institute a project called "The Seed Exchange" and make it the responsibility of the Chapter's Executive Council, one of the councillors being appointed to coordinate it. Here is how the project might work.

The Seed Exchange Coordinator would

There would be many benefits from The Seed Exchange. New reports are coming in of local sites of superior seed bearing trees, mainly from Mark Schaefer. It seems lots of acclimatised seed is already growing locally. Inventree can record the information, and it can classify and individually identify each site. Seed from these sites can be thus documents by provenance, important for selecting superior seed and stock and so growth performance can be scientifically monitored in the future. Inventree, specially if properly computerised, would be a key part of The Seed Exchange.

Documented seed, specially if available in bulk, will attract many uses. Stockpiles of seed could be made available year-round to an increasingly interested general public. Proposed plans (none yet fully accepted) for th4e Oak Valley Plantation at South Nation call for dense plantings of seed followed by heavy culling to avoid labour intensive transplanting of seedlings in future. This same strategy can be used for plantations, groves, or orchards on any scale. For example, local governments, which are now showing serious interest in our efforts, might do this in their own nurseries. The research on intercropping black walnut and corn could attract many local farmers who are largely corn growers. A large scale "Siberian Connection" would require that the provenance of exchanged seed be known. The same is of course true for the "Newfoundland Connection".

Furthermore, there is a growing realization that today's reafforestation efforts are planting trees now that may not survive the coming climate warming. Of course, our chapter has been trying with some success for 10 years to grow desirable trees from warmer climes, trees that will prove pre-adapted to our future climate.

In The Seed Exchange project we can encourage governments to take our seed for reafforestation, in return for their help in our projects, e.g. seed germination tests (at the Canadian Forestry Service's National Tree Seed Bank, Petawawa); interprovincial and international seed exchanges (like the Siberian Connection); site selection, preparation, planting and financing for commercial, public and private nut groves and plantations; and possibly special funding for future Chapter activities.

Do you agree that the time is right for The Seed Exchange? If so, call Hank Jones, Ottawa 731-5237, and tell him about it.

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