The Nuttery : Volume 9 Number 1 March 1990

In this Issue...

The main feature is the announcement for the 1989 Annual General Meeting. Please bring this issue to the AGM with you as reference: the minutes and the treasurer's report for the 1988 AGM are published herein. The issue also covers its regular topics, namely updates on the Chapter Projects, General News items, The Nut Growers section, the Nuttery Marketplace and Member News.

In the Chapter Projects Section, Kurt Wasner reports on what could prove to be a very important hickory stand along the Ottawa River. Alec Jones continues to vigorously develop the Chapter's Technical Library as the Chapter's Librarian. George Joiner overviews progress on the Baxter Nut Grove. Irene Woolford pursues the work done at the Oak Valley Plantation. Bob Scally is picture perfect as the curator of the Chapter's Photo Library.

In the General News Section, there are reports on the Chapter exhibit at the 1990 Eastern Ontario Income From The Farm Woodlot Conference, the wholesale of Chapter publications to the Upper Canada Village, and an announcement of the "Forests: Our Natural Heritage" workshop at Carleton University. The Nut Grower Section reports on progress with the Siberian Connection, the Sawmill Cooperative and the PLASM proposal. The Nuttery Marketplace Section reports on the new Black Walnut Forestry Program offered by Source Wood Products Cornwall Ltd. and an update on Cobjon's Canadian Nut Growers Starter Kits. The Member Section provides the names and phone number of the Chapter's current and most recent members.

The 1988/89 Annual General Meeting

The Ottawa Area Chapter of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers (SONG) will hold its 1988/89 AGM Saturday March 24, 1990 at the Conference Center, Dickson House, RVCA Headquarters, Manotick, Ontario. Registration begins at 9:30 AM. Business in the AM ... Nut Growing in the PM. Bring a lunch, refreshment will be served. Share best nut recipes. Bring seed, tools, products for the exhibit and seed exchange. And bring your family and friends.

This year's AGM is divided into a morning session for business, and afternoon sessions on Chapter projects and activities, highlighted by a presentation by an important speaker. The speaker this year will be John Gardner, Horticultural Crop Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, who is a nut tree specialist. John's topic will be "An Overview on Nut Growing in Ontario".

During the long lunch hour, exhibits of nut growing, nut harvesting and processing equipment will be on display. A seed exchange will also be carried out. So, bring along any interesting devices, tools etc. you have that you think others should see, and any seed you are willing to pass on to others.

Please bring your own lunch. Refreshments will be available. For more information, please contact Bob Scally, Chapter Chair, at Kanata 592-1745.

Hickories along the Ottawa River

On Tuesday, February 27, 1990 I visited the area on the Ottawa River near Aylmer, Quebec some people call "Hickory Point". Following the directions published in the last issue of the Nuttery (Vol 8, no. 5), I parked at the end of the street and walked the last 200 meters or so to the river. I found mixed bush containing hickory, oak, white pine, silver maple and some ash. There was evidence that house once stood on the site, but no longer. Trees along the water's edge showed signs of exposure: on this point the bank is exposed to the northwest.

I found at least 50 hickories, ranging from about 15 cm to about 45 cm diameter. The bark is not as shaggy as I expected for Shagbark Hickory, so these trees need to be examined further to verify their species. The twigs are thick and big-budded. Several trees are marked with large red X's. Some show woodpecker or sapsucker holes. The land may belong to the NCC or some other government. The owner should be told of these trees, in case they figure on cutting down sometime.

We should check these trees in the coming growing season for nuts, and record the site in the Chapter's Inventree system.

Kurt Wasner, North Gower 489-3126

Studying the Chapter's Technical Library

The referencing and abstracting work in the Chapter's Technical Library proceeds apace, much faster than is being reported in the all-too-infrequently-published Nuttery. At present the Nuttery is falling behind in reporting new references. More timely means of announcing these are being sought. Possibly, the information could be prepared in a compatible computer form to the Nuttery publishing system (a Macintosh Computer is used) to make it much easier to compile into each issue. Consideration is also being given, inter alia, to a special publication, possibly a periodical, which would circulate quickly on its own, so members would become aware of material of potential interest as soon after its indexing as possible.

For more information, contact Alec at Ottawa 828-6459.

Baxter Nut Grove on Display

Last summer and fall we held three extra field days tending the Baxter Nut Grove besides the official one which took place in May. The grove now has the appearance of a well groomed park and one finds it quite pleasant to wander through and take note of the tremendous growth which has taken place during the last two or three years.

The perimeter has been pushed back a little more each year. We are pruning and cutting back the hawthorns, these trees always seem to be encroaching on to the nut trees. The same-growth islands have all but disappeared throughout the area. In the grove itself, we have kept the well- formed cedars and trimmed hawthorns, the latter of course blossom out early in the spring and enhance the grove with their blooms. Noteworthy was the overall pruning, nearly every tree in the grove received attention. Fil Park and Alec Jones did an extremely thorough job. A lot of wood came off the black walnuts. The honey locusts proved very difficult, Fil and Alex still have the scars to prove it. Beeches and hazels also caused a few problems.

A special thanks to Cliff Craig and his RVCA staff for providing mulch, sprays and mowing of the area during the past growing season. We have accumulated a vast pile of cuttings close to the pond. The disposal of this brush will be one of the jobs for the upcoming spring.

George Joiner, Gloucester 824-1284.

Mark Schaefer, Chapter Vice-Chair, thinks this would be a good year to pull together all the documentation on the history of the Baxter Nut Grove from its very conception, and publish a complete report. I believe we will be hearing more of this upcoming project from Mark at the AGM. Mark can be reached at Kanata 836-3703.

News from Oak Valley

At the 1990 Eastern Ontario Income From The Farm Woodlot Conference being put on at the Kemptville Agricultural College Thursday February 22, 1990, Hank Jones met the Forester for the South Nation River Conservation Authority, Josée Brizard. He described to her the efforts of Irene Woolford and the Chapter to establish a black walnut plantation on a site near the South Nation River near Winchester Springs. This area is within the jurisdiction of the SNRCA. She had heard about the project but explained she knew little about it. Hank told her this plantation properly cultivated could become important in the history of the region. He offered to give her a tour of the Baxter Nut Grove to show how much the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority values its project. She expressed considerable interest in touring the Baxter Nut Grove and the Oak Valley Plantation in late May or early June of this year. Josée can be reached at Berthwick 984-2949.

The Chapter Photo-Library

For several years now the Chapter has been accumulating photos of its activities and of nut trees. The growing collection is in the hands of Bob Scally, the photo-library's curator. The library's purpose is to provide illustrations to anyone, member or other, who needs pictures of nut or bean- bearing trees and shrubs and their care. The photos are donated by members, along with sufficient information about each picture to enable its selection for use and to ensure credit is given to the photographer whenever it is used.

For more information, call Bob at Kanata 592-1745.

Woodlot Owners show interest in nut trees

After the winter meeting the Chapter executive met briefly to discuss an invitation received via Clarence Coons to participate in the 1990 Eastern Ontario Income From The Farm Woodlot Conference being put on at the Kemptville Ag College for woodlot owners Thursday February 22, 1990. Since last year's attendance had been 400 I felt this was an opportunity not to be missed and since I was the only person free that week I volunteered to put together an exhibit for the Chapter. This proved to be a lesson in what we do know and what we do not know. Where would I find pictures of the Baxter Nut Grove? Why, Fil Park, of course! He provided the photo-display he and George Joiner put together showing how the nut grove is maintained. An information handout on seed/seedling suppliers was put together by Art Read. We had never done this before. The Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario was put on display but lacked a price sticker for the first hour and some were picked up "free". But we sold all the rest and had orders for more. Our Chapter's nut cookbook Recipes in a Nutshell was sold to husbands as well as wives. And interest was big! Lots of people came to tell us (Susan Cooper helped me at the booth) they had large black walnuts on their property. These were folks from Brighton and Paris. I think the newspaper clipping I showed entitled "Won't accept $5,570 for his tree" published in the Montreal Star December 6, 1972 sparked comments. It shows William Wells in front of his 57" diameter tree that he believed at the time was in fact worth up to $15,000. Experts estimated the tree could produce 100,000 sq.ft. of veneer whose ultimate value could exceed $50,000! I wonder what the value might be today in 1990? Later in the day, I heard that the tree is still standing.

We met the man, now retired, who had persuaded the Ontario government to start growing black walnuts because there was an interest out there. He had to prove it to them and he did! His name is "Pud" Johnson and he lives in Prescott now. We also met an enthusiastic young man from Cornwall who started in the lumber business but who also has a tree farm and is very interested in black walnuts. He has made a map showing the location of every black walnut in the United Counties and will collect seeds in the fall to grow! Enterprise plus!

Outside the hall were wood splitters and portable sawmills of many kinds, but you will have to ask Hank or Alec Jones about these fancy gadgets. We had a fascinating day, met some fine people, and have plans for a better display next year. There's lots of interest in growing trees and this year's attendance may well have been over 400 people.

Irene Woolford, Winchester 774-3385 and Susan Cooper, Cardinal.

Editors note: Irene also brings to our attention a new federal government program to encourage community-minded groups to undertake environmental improvement projects, planting trees being on the top of the list. The program, funded at $50 million per year, is administered by Environment Canada. Maybe the Chapter should look into this program?

Our Publications at Upper Canada Village

The operator of the Upper Canada Village bookstore, Owen Alguire, recently ordered five of our cookbooks, Recipes in a Nutshell, and five growers manual, A Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario to be offered for sale to village visitors. Both John Johnstone and Irene Woolford were instrumental in soliciting Mr. Alguire's interest in offering our publications to his clients. If sales are brisk (and no doubt they will be), maybe orders for more books will be forthcoming from the village.

The Minutes of the Chapter's 1988 Annual General Meeting

The 1988 AGM was held 18 March 1989 in the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's headquarters in Manotick, Ontario, starting at 11:20 AM after we found that the lovely building at the Baxter Conservation Area (our originally planned meeting place) had burned down overnight and was nothing but a pile of smouldering ashes!

There was a quorum of 13 present. Mark Schaefer moved the minutes be adopted as read, seconded by Hank Jones, and carried.

A summary of last year's events was given by the Chair, Bob Scally. A good day on May 7th meant a good day's work done at the Baxter Nut Grove, and an even larger turnout of 10 people on May 14th at the Oak Valley Plantation site helped transplant the two-year old black walnut seedlings from the nursery bed into the plantation. On June 16th, 1988, members visited the Woodhouse Tree Farm to see the transformation Irmi Underwood had wrought with her landscaping. On October 5th, 1988 there was a seminar to review the draft Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario, and on January 27th, 1989 at the Winter Meeting held in the Citizen Building in Ottawa, 150 copies of the printed Manual were presented.

Coming events were announced as follows: May 6th, a work day at the Baxter Nut Grove; May 13th at the Oak Valley Plantation and in September there are tentative plans to tour nut tree farms and woodlots in this area.

The treasurer, Art Read, reported income of $317.37 for the year, giving the Chapter a bank account of $1287.35. However, there had been some expenses since the last statement and the true balance was around $600. Art moved the adoption of his report, seconded by Len Collett, and carried.

Hank Jones, as Chair of the Nominations Committee, thanked the executive for a job well done, and asked that they be allowed to continue. All agreed. Moved by Fil Park and seconded by Alec Jones that the executive continue, and carried.

A Communications update was presented by Hank Jones. There were 64 members and 85 Nuttery's shipped each issue. Our membership is widespread and a newsletter is essential and appreciated. A short resumé of the work at the Baxter Nut Grove was given by Fil Park, and progress at the Oak Valley Plantation was given by Irene Woolford.

Mark Schaefer reported on the growth of the Korean Nut Pines he had planted in 1981 along the Ridge Road near Mer Bleue. 23 were growing. Similar to our red pine, they had thicker needles and there are 5 per cluster. The seeds are edible. Seed is available from Sheffield's Trees and Shrubs, 273 Auburn Road Rte.34, Locke NY 13092. An Agriculture Canada permit must be filled out. Since weevils attack the Nut Pine, the tips should be treated with diazinon.

Alec Jones gave us an impassioned plea to reforest the poorer soils of Ontario, thereby helping to control atmospheric pollution and surface water runoff, while cleaning the water, moderating extreme weather, and providing acclimatised seed for the future. Alec also spoke about the Chapter's Technical Library, which is growing steadily (due to his own fine efforts as Chapter Librarian). From time to time, a list of new acquisitions will be printed in the Nuttery. We hope to have our library computerised one day for cross-references.

Fil Park presented a Chapter Achievement Award to Mark Schaefer on behalf of the members for his outstanding contribution in editing the Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario.

Following lunch, Sherwood Miller, Superintendent of Agriculture Canada's Smithfield Experimental Farm near Trenton, was introduced by Bob Scally. He spoke of the developing interest at the Farm in the cultivation of nut trees. In 1985, nut trees of several varieties were planted in addition to the 250-300 apple specimens from all across Canada. Smithfield is now the national clone repository. He spoke of site selection and of the four varieties planted - Carpathian walnut, hazelbert, heartnuts and northern pecans. He would welcome any information we could supply on our successes and failures with these species and of our need to develop disease free varieties.

There followed a brief question period, then Bob Scally brought the meeting to a close with thanks to the RVCA for providing the facilities on such short notice.

A Workshop on Ecological Forestry

A workshop entitled Forests: Our Natural Heritage, is scheduled for Saturday March 17, 1990 from 0830 to 1630 hours at Carleton University in the Loeb Building. Its stated purpose is to educate the public about forestry and provide direction to government on sustainable forestry. The workshop is being sponsored by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Ottawa/Hull Chapter, and cosponsored by several organizations including the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ontario Chapter; Geography Department, Carleton University; and the Institute for Research on the Environment and Economy, University of Ottawa. There will be speakers and question period in the morning and workshops in the afternoon. A fee of $20 for the full day and $10 for a half day will be levied. For more information call either Connie Downs 594-5425 or Stephanie Hunt 232-8783.

The Siberian Connection bears fruit

From the last issue of the Nuttery, you may recall that Alec Jones has been negotiating with Mr. K.I. Koshelev of Abakan, USSR through Trevor Cole, the Curator of Canada's Dominion Arboretum, for the exchange of nut seed between Canada and the USSR. Mr. Koshelev recently sent a list of the Canadian species he wants, as well as a list of the Asian seed he feels he could obtain for us in the future if we so wished. Permits authorising the shipping of seed have been issued.

Letters have recently arrived and are now being translated for us. We have shipped material to Siberia, namely: 1 kg black walnut, ½ kg butternut, 100 g bur oak, 100 g honey locust and 90 g ginkgo. Mr. Koshelev has Siberian Nut Pine available.

By Mr. Koshelev's standards these are probably small quantities, as he talks about many kilograms per species, which raises an important question for us. If the quantities become large, and the frequency of exchange picks up, how are we to manage the process? Seed storage, distribution, collecting, overseas shipping, paper work etc. may quickly become burdensome.

The potential benefits of successfully exchanging seed behove us to seek a sound management scheme for the Siberian Connection in the foreseeable future. For more information about the Siberian Connection, call Alec Jones Ottawa 828-6459 or the Nuttery Editor.

A Sawmill Cooperative

Several of our members have been discussing their periodic need of a portable sawmill since seeing such a machine during the Eastern Ontario Nut Tree Tour this last September. During the tour a Mr. Monette of Carleton Place, a forestry equipment dealer, demonstrated one of the new band saw mills to a very interested audience. A number of people said they could use a mill from time to time, and renting one would be the best solution. However, these machines are not rented, according to Mr. Monette. Consideration has since been given to forming a cooperative of some sort for a group buy of a machine. At the winter meeting, I handed out a questionnaire, asking those interested in cooperating in a sawmill venture for information about their needs. Four completed questionnaires were returned during the meeting and about a dozen were taken away. Please complete and return your questionnaire to me as soon as possible. Members not at the winter meeting can obtain a blank copy from me by phoning or writing, or through the Nuttery Editor. Copies will also be available at the upcoming AGM on March 24th, 1990.

Contact Alec Jones, 2446 Sudbury Ave., Ottawa ON K2C 1L9; phone 828-6459.

PLASM Proposal Update

The Nuttery Vol 8 No 5 carried an important article entitled A Proposal for Assuring the Future Health of Ontario's Forests concerned with possible complete loss of Ontario's forests in the future due to Greenhouse warming. The paper foresees the need to replant with more southerly trees pre-adapted to the future warmer climate. It proposes that a new government program be instituted now to establish diverse nut seed banks on private lands, to allow time for these plantations to mature to full seed production over the next one to two decades. Their acclimatised seed would then be available in quantity for extensive replanting of sustainable successional forests across Ontario.

This paper was also distributed to key people in many interested organisations for comment. A number of responses have been received. Of key interest is a request from the regional chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers organization for more information. They have asked the paper's authors to present a summary of its ideas at their upcoming conference at Agriculture Canada's Neatby Building on the Dominion Experimental Farm on the 24th of March 1990. They expect over 200 people, and will provide a booth for us. Recognizing that organic farming is growing very fast (the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, practitioners of organic growing, is the second largest farmers association in Ontario), these people may become the single most influential group for change in both farming and forestry in Ontario, and may be able to help us assure nut trees a secure place in Ontario's future. Plans are now being made to enable us to attend this conference.

Black Walnut Seedlings from Cornwall

Guy LeFebvre, the plant supervisor for Source Wood Products Cornwall Ltd. has become an enthusiast for the propagation of black walnuts in the Raisin River region. His company is establishing a Black Walnut Forestry Program for both food and lumber potential. He has surveyed Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry counties, finding and documenting some 1050 trees ranging in age from 20 to 120 years. He has collected seed and begun germinating same. He has some 8000 black walnut seedlings now, and much useful information, that he wants to sell. He is also seeking seed for germinating. The company will soon have a drying kiln that will be available to people sawing their own lumber.

Guy has decided to join the Ottawa Chapter. He is already a member of the Walnut Council and the Northern Nut Growers Association. He writes,

I have been a cabinet maker since 1977 then becoming co-owner of Source. One of my tasks is purchasing; realizing the walnut I am buying comes from the USA (Michigan and Missouri) I decided to get involved in reforestation in my area. Being raised on a dairy farm I have a bit of agricultural background. Having a secondary school diploma, co-owner of a lumber company, owner of 100 acres of abandoned farm which I purchased in 18\986, I realised I was the making of a nut tree grower.

In 1987 I started playing with black walnut, butternut and shagbark hickory. I soon realised I was spreading myself too thin, so I decided to stick to black walnut because of its past publicity and future food and timber potential. By 1989 I had planted 700 seedlings with different spacing techniques. In the fall of '89 I collected over 12,000 seeds and should have close to 8000 seedlings for sale in 1990.

Following my seed search and data collection I have now found over 1050 seed producing trees in my area and find more every day. All seed are kept separate from each parent tree and numbered for our future data on nut production, quality, soil makeup, wood samples (from trees cut) and possibly grafting quality. One of my future research efforts will include top grafting of Carpathian on black walnut at a height of 10-12' to produce good saw and veneer logs and good nut production.

I will encourage potential growers to joint he Ottawa Chapter of SONG to help keep the future of this organization alive. I am interest in purchasing all volumes of the Nuttery for our library ...

You can reach Guy at Cornwall 932-5300 (work) or 938-2081 (home). The address for Source Wood Products Cornwall Ltd. is PO Box 476, Cornwall ON K6H 5T2.

A Nutcracker that conquers Black Walnut

The Potter Walnut Cracker Company, PO Box 930, Sapulpa OK 74067 makes a cracker that easily cracks the black walnut and all the lesser nuts as well. Hank Jones bought one of the crackers several years ago, and shows it from time to time at chapter meetings. You may have seen it. It looks like a quadrant casting off a piece of farm machinery. It works by a double lever action, thereby putting very high yet controlled pressure against the nut. Good results are almost always attained. For more information, contact Hank at Ottawa 731-5237.

Exotic fruit trees and shrubs wholesale

Exotic trees or shrubs at wholesale prices can be obtained through Richard Aubert. Richard arranges bulk buys of unusual plants, including locust, almond and pecan this year. His interest in promoting exotic plants stems from the courses in horticulture he gives at Algonquin College. He also is the owner of Kanal, a clothing boutique in the Glebe in Ottawa. Richard can be reached at 820-4042, or visit him as his boutique. He has a price list of some 40-50 species/varieties that can be ordered.

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