The Nuttery : Volume 9 Number 3 September 1990

In this Issue...

The Ottawa Area Chapter of SONG announces its Fall Field Day will be held at the Dominion Arboretum, Agriculture Canada, in Ottawa on Saturday September 29, 1990 starting at 9:30 AM at Building 74. The Fall Field day is open to members, family and friends. Bring seed collecting supplies. The formal program will last until mid-day. For more information, contact any member of the executive, or the Nuttery Editor. See you and yours at the Dominion Arboretum next Saturday!

This issue of the Nuttery is smaller than most. We are putting a new Editorial Board in place which we hope will significantly increase the value of the newsletter to readers by increasing the technical content. Please bear with us as we make the transition. In this issue you will find the announcement of the Chapter's 1990 Fall Field Day, and an article explaining the opportunities that this year's program could provide for gathering seed and for joint projects with the Dominion Arboretum. Regarding news about Chapter Projects, we ran out of time to publish this issue, and had to skip these reports. We will make up for this omission in the next issue. However, there is a list of the Chapter's ongoing projects in a brief article under the Chapter Projects section. There are several interesting articles in the General News section, including one on making nut sapling walking sticks. Another explains a possible expanding role for the Chapter to cover the entire eastern Ontario region. Also, there is a look ahead to the Winter Meeting, and a solicitation for presentations to be given during that event. Finally, there is an exciting account of an unusual piece of craftsmanship in Alta Vista involving Black Walnut. In the Nut Grower section, an announcement concerning the imminent Commercial Nut Growers Committee is made, and also a report on the fast-moving activities of Guy Lefebvre and his company. Time did not permit inclusions in the Nuttery Marketplace for this issue, except for the notice about Chapter publications. Under the Membership section, current members and their phone numbers are listed. Also, the chapter overview explains the goals of the chapter and its major activities. Finally, the 1990 Calendar of Chapter events is listed so you can mark your own calendar and no inadvertently miss out on any events. See you at the Chapter Fall Field Day at the Dominion Arboretum on Saturday September 29th!

A Solid Black Walnut Front Door?

Yes. Geoff Truscott, one of the region's up-and-coming custom cabinet makers, just completed such a door for an older house in Alta Vista. The door was custom-designed by Geoff in consultation with the customer. With the final design in hand, Geoff carefully shopped for just the right pieces of black walnut. He then began building, a task that would take him almost three weeks. The core of the door was built up out of many small pieces to ensure the door would be dimensionally stable through all seasons and in all sorts of weather. To make the faces of the door, Geoff split 1" boards to create book-matching sections. The top rail, lock rail, bottom rail and styles were also carefully crafted. The door is made from about 100 board feet of black walnut, valued at about $700 or $7 a board foot. The openness of the grain suggests the wood came from trees that grew in warmer climes; locally grown black walnut would have a tighter grain that might be even more attractive! Geoff then inserted antique leaded bevelled glass, specially imported from the Orient. The glass, itself valued at about $1100, beautifully complements the hand varnished finish on the $4600 black walnut masterpiece. Though this door may not be unique, it most certainly is rare. Geoff can be reached at the Black Walnut Cabinetry Company, Nepean 723-9836.

Nut Wood Walking Sticks

Eon Fraser, a long time resident of the Glebe who emigrated from Scotland to Fort Churchill in the early 50's, used to make walking sticks from saplings. Typically, he selected saplings about 1" in diameter at the ground and uprooted them, ensuring he recovered the main root. It is this root, a tap root in the case of many nut tree species, that formed the handle of the stick. Eon is willing to demonstrate making walking sticks at our forthcoming Winter Meeting in January 1991. Can anyone spare a sapling or two: consider bur or red oak, possibly hickory or walnut? If so, please contact the editor to make arrangements.

Planning the Winter Meeting

The Chapter executive has already given some thought to the format for the Winter Meeting this January. Traditionally, this meeting is given over to individual members to speak to the Chapter about matters and accomplishments of personal interest re nut growing. This year we propose to do much the same. It is time then for al members to consider what topics they might address. Already, George Truscott has expressed interest in presenting slides showing how black walnuts grow in white pine plantations, and how the growth rate of individual trees can differ enormously depending on environmental factors. Eon Fraser has made walking sticks from saplings in the past, and is willing to demonstrate this craft. Each presenter will have about 10 minutes to tell their story. Hank Jones is considering talking about the nut growing kits his company, in collaboration with a graduate teacher, is developing as a teaching aid for grade school children to learn first hand about the value of nut trees to the biosphere. If you think you might have something interesting, try out your ideas on fellow members or call anyone on the exclusive. You might be surprised your idea is even more interesting than you thought! let us hear from you.

A new name for the chapter?

It was reported in the last issue of the Nuttery (Volume 9 number 2 April 1990) that certain Conservation Authorities in eastern Ontario might consolidate. New membership is coming from the Cornwall area, in the present Raisin River area. These new members, among them Guy Lefebvre of Source Wood Products Cornwall Ltd., have expressed the wish to be served by the Chapter. If SONG approves, the Chapter could redefine itself as coincident with the proposed merged authorities, thereby also coming to serve the far eastern end of Ontario. The Chair has sent a letter to SONG applying for permission to expand its area to cover the far eastern portion of Ontario, and to also change its name officially to the Eastern Ontario Chapter of SONG.

Guy Lefebvre writes

Guy and his company, Source Wood Products, are moving very fast in the Black Walnut business in eastern Ontario. He has expressed interest in the commercial nut growing committee being set up. He is also keen on the Chapter expanding to serve his region, and through seedling sales is developing a potential mailing list of growers who might be interested in becoming members in the future. His company is hoping to employ a horticultural or forestry degree student to take care of his forestry program, which he says will be dedicated to nut trees, mainly black walnut. Anyone interested?

Guy has send in samples of special peat pots, long and narrow, designed for germinating nut trees. He also supplied a sample of a product called Tubex, which is a specially designed tree guard that photodegrades in 5-7 years, and is constructed of a translucent polypropylene to create a greenhouse effect inside. He has distributed 50 of them for testing on black walnut, butternut, red oak, horse chestnut and black maple. The experience has been very good so far. Guy is taking orders for Tubex for the 1991 growing season. He reports also that the peat pots have extended the transplanting season of new seedlings right into the summer months, and that combined with the use of the Tubex, some seedlings achieved a height of one meter by the end of August! The peat pots and the Tubex will be on display at the 1991 Chapter Fall Field Day on the 29th at the Arboretum.

Guy has brought to our attention his interest in a 30-year old (at least) plantation of black walnut in Chesterville. He reports that Tome Lee, the local Parks and Recreation Coordinator, has contacted the OMNR representative for recommendations on thinning the 175 trees in 1991. He suggests a field day may be worthwhile, and we would certainly get a chance to examine the quality of black walnut timber growing in the region. Lastly, Guy has contributed many new articles to the Chapter library, including an article by Fred Ashworth of the NNGA that reports someone successfully growing American chestnut in Topsail (near St. Johns) Newfoundland!

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