SONG News Fall 1977 no. 11
In this Issue...

Fifth Annual Meeting of SONG

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, hosted more than 45 SONG members for their 1977 Annual Meeting. Many of the nut growers came early to participate in the picnic lunch session. Numerous enjoyable conversations took place during the lunch period. The Business Meeting got underway and the minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and approved. The several SONG development programs involving nut seed distributions (Heartnuts etc.) and tree plantings (Niagara nut grove) were reviewed at some length ... refer to the separate articles. The elections for the 1977/78 electoral year produced the following results:

Executive Officers:
President - John Gordon
Vice President - Oscar Filman
Secretary - Pat Easson
Treasurer - Bob Hambleton
Editor - Doug Campbell
Betty Martin, Herb Hale, Charles Rhora, Ernest Grimo
Nominating Committee
Ernest Grimo - Chairman
Fred Roth, Cedric Larsson
G. R. Larose, R.I.A.

The program started with a grafting demonstration by Ernie Grimo. Ernie showed how it is possible to convert an ever so average, seedling, black walnut rootstock to a top notch Persian Walnut variety with less than five minute's effort. Ernie also described in detail some of the lesser known secrets of grafting and budding which have allowed him to become such a successful propagator of nut trees over the past several years. The nut growers who master these techniques have the opportunity to take advantage of generations of nut growing progress almost as simply as "waving a knife". Ernie completed his demonstration by presenting a young grafted specimen of the Jenner beech to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Jenner beech which produces quantities of large and good quality beechnuts was a favourite of Fred Ashworth.

The merits of the Korean Pine as a nut producing evergreen were discussed. Several samples of Korean Pine were available for display. Cedric Larsson explained that the Korean Pine was introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources several decades ago with the idea of crossing the species with the native white pine to produce a hybrid resistant to the blister rust. The original objective of the experiment was a failure but the efforts did result in the introduction of a fine new species to grace the gardens and estates of Ontario.

John Gordon presented a series of slides on chestnuts and filberts. Some slides showed the progress of blight in several stages of advancement in native, sweet chestnut. John described how it is possible to identify specimens of native chestnut which are relatively resistant to chestnut blight as opposed to specimens which have simply escaped the blight because of isolation or "shield protection". The other slides showed some novel techniques for the propagation of filbert plants from root cuttings. These discoveries are earning John an international notoriety as a filbert propagator.

Lastly the R.B.G. staff with Freek Vrugtman in the lead, took the SONG members for a tour of the grounds of the Gardens and in particular showed the extensive nut nursery plantings. Both well known and rather exotic species from the J. U. Gellatly Nursery were studied at some length by the enthusiastic nut growers.....refer to the detailed article describing the selections of scion wood which are available for distribution to SONG members.

The additional plantings of the Gardens featuring horticultural trials of Roses, Chrysanthemums, Lilies, Iris etc. were a further delight for all members in attendance.

Harvest Home With Calvin Clark

On the 1st day of October 1977 more than forty enthusiastic nut growers converged on the nut planting of Calvin Clark to witness the annual bringing in of the nuts. The Clark Ranch is located near Hickson, Ontario which is north of Woodstock and plenty challenging territory for Persian (English) Walnuts at that. However, when Calvin took the SONG members for a tour of the nut planting, there was no doubt that he was having plenty of success with the Royalty of Nuts. Several of the Persians were fine large trees approximately 40 years old....some of the original seed distributed by Crath and Corsan. What a sight to witness the results of those famous nut growing experiments which got under way so many years ago. But the most exciting sight of all was the Clark Jumbo. Here was a tree which produced quantities of very large, very smooth and attractive, well-filled nuts. And the eating quality is extra good tool What a tree to have out in the back yard! Also, Calvin has numerous large apple trees which were heavily laden with bountiful harvest. What a delightful diet....some high protein kernels from thin-shelled nuts along with the fruit of the incomparable Northern Spy. George Corsan would have claimed that such was one of the best and most complete of natural diets.

After the tour there was a meeting session in Mr. Clark's spacious, metal-covered implement shed. John Gordon had assembled a number of samples of nuts from the original planting at George Corsan's Echo Valley Farm. There were some good samples of black walnut and of special interest was the sample of hican believed to be the Burlington. Several growers had fine samples of nuts from their own production or discoveries and these provided the focal point for many a lively discussion. Refreshments and confections made from favourite nutty recipes were available in abundant supply.

Editor's Note: One of the greatest delights of nut growing is to experience the thrill of being the first in your area to grow some exotic species of nut tree from a far off land. Such experiences often result in expressions of exuberance, Such was the case when Ted Morgan discovered that he would soon be favoured with a very special shipment of nut seed from Spain. It's with greatest pleasure that SONG News gives first publication to:

Nuts For The New World
(Lines for Martha on learning that she would be sending some Spanish nuts to Canada)

In fourteen hundred and ninety two,
(I think that was the date) ,
A bold Genoan went to Spain
As I will now relate.

He asked to see Queen Isabel,
(He'd seen her once before),
When she had sent him packing as
A quite obnoxious bore.

He had a queer idea, you see:
Said he, "The World is round,
So if I set my course to west
- and my opinion's sound -

The strands of India strewn with gems
Will one day come in sight:
The rarest set within your Crown
Will shed celestial light.

Unmatchéd, save by that, fair Queen,
Which shineth from your eyes;
That inner light, your beauty's guide
Residing in the wise!

With words of subtle flattery
Abetted too by greed,
The wily sailor gained his end.
She would supply his need--

Ships and men to challenge fate:
But what a fleet set sail!
Three tiny vessels, with their crews
Drawn from the local gaol.

And the cargo, it was said
Had whisky, many a butt;
While in the vessels three, they said
Was not a single nut!

No! Fellow "SONGsters" - narry a nut
From a land where nuts abound;
Nothing but bread and Scotch until
They reached an alien ground.

It mattered not that sailing west
The East did not appear.
The bold Columbus found the place
Which we all hold most dear.

And 'til this day from Spain's fair land,
to enrich our 'harvest home',
No nut has found a breeding place
Within our clay and loam.

But now, if promise follows through,
And well, I think it may;
A new arrival at our shores
Will soon be on its way.

A Spanish nut, to brave our clime
And homestead in our land;
A new Columbus in a shell
With taste and texture grand.

And this time, not a buccaneer
To rob us of our wealth,
But (I hope) a settler bold
To take our woods by stealth,

And o'er the, years, by patient growth,
To enrich our diet with nuts;
That 'til this time were only found
In Andalusian guts.

Ted Morgan, Ridgeville, Ontario

Black Walnuts,the Money Trees

Those black walnut trees are valuable! One tree sold by Mrs. Lloyd Hayes, a Williams County Ohio woman, made her $30,000 richer. The tree was 135 feet tall and measured 38 inches in diameter at shoulder height. It's reportedly the most ever paid for a single black walnut tree.

Walnuts on The Canadian Prairies!
If you are a member of the Prairie Provinces, this article is written for you.

Up until this summer, I would have been the first one to state that the prairie climate is far too cold in the winter and far to dry in the summer to be a suitable place to grow walnut trees. The fluctuating winter temperatures, strong cold winds, late spring frosts and short growing season would stunt and outright kill the most hardy of these "southern" trees. You might well imagine my great surprise, almost disbelief, when the officials of Harden Research Station assured me that, indeed, walnuts are growing successfully there.

In a tour of the planting I was shown rows of large black walnuts (Juglans nigra), butternuts (J. cinerea), Manchurian walnuts (J. mandshurica) and Chinese butternuts (J. cathayensis). I was impressed by the relative health of the trees, most of which were over 45 years old. A sure sign of their apparent happiness was the fine crop of nuts on display everywhere.

Still seeking some trickery in this, I posed the question, "How hardy are they here?" They assured me with scientific fact. The trees had a hardiness rating of 9.7 in climatic zone 3b. A hardiness rating of 9.0 is good, while 10.0 is perfect.

Of course, their trees must be from a hardy source for such success. Not just any black walnut could stand the rigours of the Manitoba climate. They must come from a nearby native area and be teased northward. Fargo, North Dakota supplied most of the black walnut. There was little doubt that they would survive. The long endurance of the other trees along with the excellent survival rate indicate that they are all well adapted for climate zone 3b.

With such easy adjustment to zone 3b, it seemed natural to me that with some winter wind protection, zone 3a, even zone 2b, would be possible growing climates for these trees. I soon had visions of prairie walnut groves in almost every populated region of the Prairie Provinces!

At the end of my tour, the wheels in high gear, I began to make plans with the researchers. What a wonderful pool of genetic material! What an abundance of unique seed! SONG has Prairie members! What an opportunity for them to act as pioneers of the Prairie walnut!

And so, the idea of a seed distribution program was born. All of the seed from the Morden trees was to be sent to me. SONG granted the "all go" at the Fall meeting. The plan is to distribute seed packets of black walnut and Manchurian walnut to interested Prairie SONG members. Others in zones 4, 3 or 2 may apply, but the bulk of the seed is intended for prairie members on a priority basis. A file will be kept on all participants in the program and annual questionnaires and reports will be prepared. SONG will support the cost of the annual mailings, however a nominal charge is necessary to cover some of the costs. Packets will contain 4 seeds of one species and cost $1.00, Any proceeds will go to SONG. You may order black walnut or Manchurian walnut. Requests of more than two packets should include an explanation concerning their use. Requests must be in before December 23, 1977, and no further seed will be distributed after that date.

Write to: Ernest Grimo, R.R.#3, Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON LOS 1JO

As soon as you receive your seed, it should be stratified. Do not allow the seed to dry out. Store in a plastic bag in a wet medium (peat moss) and keep in the crisper of your refrigerator until spring planting time. Do not freeze. Plant directly outside in a nursery area in the spring. Use stakes to identify rows. Weed well and water frequently. They should sprout in June or later. Alternatively, plant the seed as soon as it arrives and mulch heavily with straw. Remove mulch in the spring before growth begins. Both methods should work. I prefer the first in severe climates. Please note that if per chance the seed does not germinate in the first growing season, it may germinate in the second growing season!
Ernest Grimo

Special Offer - Royal Botanical Gardens

Below is a list of nut tree selections developed by J. U. Gellatly, and currently growing in nursery rows at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton. Freek Vrugtman, curator of collections at R.B.G., has notified SONG that until the plant-out site at R.B.G. can be brought up to a standard, suitable for growing specimen trees, the listed selections will be pruned back, and held in the R.B.G. Nursery. As a mutual aid effort R.B.G. will give out trimmed-off cuttings in mid March, 1978. Co-operators are invited to graft selections, and be prepared to return this favour should R.B.G. lose one or more of the originals.

Direct Requests on or before February 15, 1978 to: R.R.#3, Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON LOS 1JO Ernie will prepare the mailing list for R.B.G. by the first week in March, 1978. Hopefully, requests will be flexible, so that all cuttings from each selection can be completely utilized.

Royal Botanical Gardens Hamilton, Ontario Nut Collection

Plants listed are at various locations, including the Propagating Department of the Gardens.
71226 Carya cordiformis Bitternut Hickory
74600 " ovalis Pignut Hickory
74601 " ovata Shagbark Hickory
74806 " " " "
75010 " " " "
XX216 " " " "
54972 Castanea crenata Japanese Chestnut
55392 " dentata Sweet Chestnut
56833 " " " "
65906 " " " "
75073 " " " "
54973 " mollissima Chinese Chestnut
74005 " sativa Sweet Chestnut
69311 Corylus americana American Hazel
71636 " " " "
74819 " " " "
64161 " colurna Turkish Hazel
66134 " " " "
72259 " " " "
65922 " " var. glandulifera " "
72518 " cornuta Beaked Hazel
62614 Juglans cinerea Butternut
66403 " " "
71232 " " "
75061 " " "
73062 " mandshurica Manchurian Walnut
XX224 " nigra Black Walnut
75015 " " " "
66406 " regia Persian Walnut
64369 " " 'Schafer' Schafer Walnut
58848 " rupestris

Cultural Practices for the Niagara Nut Grove

The Niagara Nut Grove offers us the challenge of establishing hardwoods where currently there is sod. In nature the change from sod to hardwoods is a gradual process involving intermediate stages of brush , poplar and pine. Finally hardwoods come on the scene and live to dominate the plant life. The following plan speeds this process by going from sod directly to hardwoods. The sod is gradually eliminated by competition with the trees which maintain good growth. Mulches and weed killers are used to suppress grass and weed competition until the hardwoods are established.

The typical planting practice relies heavily on weed killers. Directions on herbicide packages are to be followed carefully as are the special directions given here. Spray the planting spots with a root killing, fugitive herbicide one week before tree planting. Roundup is a product which travels through the leaves and stems of green plants and into their roots, killing them completely, and becoming inert in two weeks.
Roundup testing in Canada: Dr. Charles Waywell, Horticultural Dept., University of Guelph, Guelph ON WIG 2W1

Mix one handful of bone meal per ten liters (two gallons) of disturbed soil. Bone meal is a mild, slow release, and complete organic fertilizer. Twisted, damaged and projecting roots of the planting stock must be pruned. If major surgery is required a wound pressing is to be applied. Cut tops back to balance the reshaped root system. The planting hole is to match the size of the root system without bending together or confining the roots. Plant the tree with the root collar about five centimeters below ground level. Separate weed stalks and grass clumps from the replant soil. Tamp and water to compact the soil around the roots without bending them together. Throughout the initial growing seasons maintain a 1.5 meter diameter bare soil simazine mulch centered around the trees. This reliance on herbicides should take the place of hoeing and watering given at residential plantings.

Not all young trees tolerate simazine. Young filbert and hickory trees often go prematurely dormant. For filbert and hickory replace the bare soil simazine mulch with a black plastic, or hardwood sawdust, or nitrogen added softwood sawdust mulch. These surface mulches should cover a three meter diameter spot centered around the tree. Nitrogen is very important with the softwood sawdust because this mulch breaks down rapidly and robs the tree of soil nitrogen. With surface mulches the weed free mulched area is increased to isolate the tree from invading weed roots, which travel considerable distances underground. A 1.5 meter diameter area of surface mulch can be used if simazine is placed in a band around the perimeter of the surface mulch. Leaf hoppers and thrips, which are common in the Niagara Region, stunt the growth of young chestnuts, filberts and Persian walnuts. Di-Syston, 15% granular mixed into the replant soil at 80 grams (2.5 ounces) per tree is a good first year systemic treatment.

Persimmon and paw paw require special treatment. Oriental persimmon is slow to start when transplanted. It should be started and container grown in a greenhouse for planting out later in the season. Also, wind protection is required for rapid summer growth, winter hardiness and late summer fruit ripening. Until a natural windbreak develops, a burlap screen is necessary. Burlap wind protection is also recommended for Persian walnut and persimmon the first season after grafting. The new growth is slow to harden up and is often lost to a sudden winter. Transplanting shock often causes paw paw to fail to break dormancy. If it is transplanted after it has leafed out, transplanting is much more successful. Be sure the top is cut way back to balance the impaired root system or the leaves will drop off.

Planting blocks of nine Persians, or nine chestnuts, or nine of any single species are recommended for the maximum number of individuals in a solid species block. This practice attempts to make the planting more natural looking, provide breeding groups, and thwart pests. Blocks of nine chestnut, mulberry, filbert, hickory, paw paw, Saskatoon, jujube and persimmon are used to separate the Juglans family of Persian walnut, black walnut, heartnut and butternut.

Planting interval is 7.5 meters (25 feet) between trees. This spacing will allow good production until tree diameter reaches 20 centimeters (eight inches). The 7.5 meter interval was arrived at by knowing that commercial nut orchards yield maximum production when 3 square meters (30 square feet) of trunk area is maintained per acre. Vegetative, fast-growing trees will reach 20 centimeters diameter in ten years while highly fruitful trees require about thirty years.

Lowest land is planted to mulberry and butternut. Land with poor spring drainage is planted to persimmon, pecan and bitternut hican types. But these trees will fail in any area where the oxygen content of the soil is exhausted. Chestnut should be planted in the sandiest and best drained soil with a pH of about 6. A pH of about 6.5 is best for most other species.

Nut pines are used to break up the flow of the westerly winds. Black walnut is recommended for planting on the west border of paw paw, filbert, persimmon and other small trees. Due to black walnut's windbreak effect, and the open shade of its foliage, a moderated microclimate exists beneath these walnut trees. Incidentally, black walnut is being utilized in two storey agriculture.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority plans some mowing and light field maintenance. White plastic tree guard coils are recommended, not only to flag the trees for workmen, but also to protect the main stems from rodents and sun scald. These coils are to extend below ground five centimeters to guard against burrowing mice.

In the foreseeable future, crops will be taken from these trees. It should be noted that four hundred pounds per acre of 10-10-10 fertilizer is necessary to maintain production and tree health in commercial planting.

Using these low maintenance cultural practices, it is likely that other nut plantings will be developed. A lot of hillside land can be upgraded to crop bearing hardwoods. On hillsides we gain great benefits from the spot use of herbicides. Hillsides are in unstable equilibrium held up by friction. Many hillsides are slowly flowing masses held to gradual downhill motion by their vegetation. Deeply rooted nut trees increase this stability. A good demonstration at the Niagara Nut Grove will be a standard for any future hill plantings.

SONG members in the Niagara Region will be looking for problems in this plantation that need correcting. Although we try to avoid much hand labour in establishing this plantation, we are very aware that these trees, like all plants and animals, need some periodic observation and attention.
John Gordon, Clarence NY
Editor's note: Roy Metcalfe has undertaken a long term project to evaluate the hardiness of certain species of nut trees in Ontario. His series of reports started with the issue of SONG News #10 (Nut Tree Hardiness) and is continued herein. The results compiled via questionnaire for this issue relate to the nut seed which was distributed by SONG in the fall-winter period of 1975-76 and had its first growing season in the summer of 1976. The data in this article summarizes the returns up to April, 1977. Several participants who observed no germination in the first growing season did find that some of the seed germinated in the second growing season-covering the period up to August 1, 1977.

Results from the Seed Questionnaire

Four lots of seed were distributed:

Over 1000 questionnaires were distributed with the seed and replies are still being received. All replies not received in time for this summary will be retained for participation in the future observational activities so that readers that have not yet returned the questionnaire are not left out of the program.

I was surprised to see that almost all of the seedlings are destined to be transplanted. While this fact has resulted in less information than originally hoped for, as shown in the following table, it does establish a good collection of trees for observation.
PAP-75 M-75 A-75 B-75
Number of questionnaires returned 139 82 15 5
Number of reports of no germination 7 2 2 1
Number of reports where the seedlings are not being transplanted 14 7 2 1
% germination (for most reports) 50-80% 50-80% 50-80% 20-50%

I suggest that a questionnaire be distributed in 1978 which will record where the seedlings are transplanted and their development through 1978. Hopefully, in the spring 1979 issue of SONG News some useful information on seedling establishment and early growth can be reported. If anyone has comments or suggestions concerning this program they can be sent either to me for consideration or to the editor of this publication for possible inclusion in future issues. Roy Metcalfe, 2680 Canberra Road, Mississauga ON L5W JM7

The Hazels ... the Little Nuts Which Grow Everywhere

Of all the nut species there are none which could be claimed to be more hardy or adaptable than the hazels. Whether it's the barren, wind-swept northlands of Canada or the hot climates of the Middle East or Southern China, there is some species of the hazels which lives and thrives. These many types of hazel produce nuts of the similar type to which North Americans have become so thoroughly accustomed. The hazels are defined by the botanical genus Corylus and the many species within that genus may be described briefly as follows:

European filbert - Corylus avellana This is the major nut of commerce and is often referred to rather loosely as the Hazelnut. Cultivars of this species are the basis of the filbert industry in the Pacific Coast areas of North America. Filberts are native to parts of Central and Northern Europe. Filbert is the approximate German expression for "full beard" and refers to the husk which surrounds the nut. The nuts of this species are generally the largest of the genus and it's the preferred one for the North-East if the limited hardiness of the species permits. The plants grow naturally as many stemmed bushes and may reach heights of as much as 8 metres (25 feet) and produce crops as high as 5 - 10 kilograms (10-20 pounds) of nuts per bush.

American hazel - Corylus americana
This is one of the native hazels of the northern parts of North America and is common in Ontario and even as far west as Saskatchewan. In most characteristics such as bush and nut size etc., the American hazel is smaller than the European filbert. However the thickness of the shell is somewhat heavier. Its value for nut production is evident is those areas where limits of hardiness restrict the growth of the European filbert. The American hazel readily receives the pollen of the European filbert thereby producing hybrids which may combine the desirable characteristics of good nut size, productivity and superior hardiness of the bushes and catkins. These hybrids are often called Hazelberts. The European filbert does not readily receive the pollen of the American hazel; however when such union does take place the resulting seedling is called a Filhazel.

Beaked hazel - Corylus cornuta
This plant is a low growing shrub to about 3 metres (9 feet) but in many instances it never gets much above 1.2 metres (3-4 feet). These shrubs are found on a native basis as far north as Labrador, the James Bay area and northern Saskatchewan. The bristly husk of the smallish nut make it rather difficult to extract. The breeding potential of the beaked hazel to produce extremely hardy hybrids with the better European types has never been adequately explored. Many fascinating horizons await the breeders who may want to take up this most interesting challenge.

Turkish tree hazel - Corylus colurna
This species is notable for its single stem trunks which allow for easier culture when compared with the many stemmed types. Trees may reach 50 - 60 feet in height and are highly regarded for their narrowly pyramidal silhouettes and other ornamental values. Nuts are rather smallish in size and the shells rather hard but the kernel qualities are generally good. The husks tend to stick rather tightly to the nuts.

Several other species have been catalogued but little is known of their range of characteristics or potential worth as breeding partners with the currently identified superior cultivars. Chinese Hazel.....Corylus chinensis Tibetan Hazel.....Corylus tibetica Japanese Hazel....Corylus sieboldiana

There are a number of characteristics which make the hazels very attractive selections for nut growers. These may be summarized:

Evaluations of numerous hazels have been completed for several harvest seasons. The CENTS evaluation procedures have been used to rank the overall qualities of the nuts in order of decreasing merit. The calculation of the overall scores requires the evaluation of the seven specific traits as follows:
(1) k Kernel Percentage
(2) K Kernel Size
(3) C Crackability
(4) Q Eating Quality
(5) AI Appearance of the Nuts in the Shell
(6) A2 Appearance of the Kernels (Freedom from Fibrous Pellicle etc.)
(7) S Storage Characteristics (Keeping Qualities)

The evaluation of the individual characteristics and the overall CN RATINGS are reported in the following forms:
4 Excellent
3 Above Average; An Attractive Level of Quality
2 Average; General Acceptability
1 Below Average; Marginal Acceptability
0 Unacceptable.

The key to interpreting the CN raw scores is as follows:
(CN) Raw Score Range Simplified (CN) Rating Interpretation
0-10 0 Nut is not worthy of consideration.
11 - 100 1 Nut has some curiosity value and minor practical uses.
101 - 300 2 Minimum level of general acceptability.
301 - 1000 3 An attractive level of quality....a suggested minimum objective for the private grower.
1001 - 1120 4 Outstanding quality....virtual perfection.
The raw scores for (k) kernel percentage (% by weight of nut in the shell) and (K), Kernel Size (kernels per kilogram) are given for items (1) and (2) in addition to the simplified scores.

The (CN) ratings are the overall estimates of nut quality. Note that the (CN) Ratings do not include consideration of productivity factors. Further details of the CENTS procedures are contained in the 1976 Annual Report of the Northern Nut Growers Association.

Evaluation of the Hazels
Identity Year Locality k K C Q A1 A2 S (CN) raw
(CN) rating
WHES-301 1974 Niagara Region 3 (37.5) 2 (693) 4 3 3 3 3 342 3
Comet 1973 Westbank BC 3 (44.9) 2 (769) 4 2 2 3 2 226 2
Craig 1973 Westbank BC 3 (42.8) 2 (666) 4 2 3 2 2 226 2
Duchilly 1975 Adams Co. PA 3 (45.3) 2 (769) 4 2 2 2 3 226 2
Barcelona 1975 Niagara Region 3 (40.7) 2 (625) 4 2 2 1 3 220 2
Royal 1975 Adams Co. PA 3 (34.6) 2 (556) 4 2 3 1 1 214 2
Longfellow 1975 Franklin Co. PA 3 (34.8) 2 (625) 4 2 2 1 2 210 2
WHES-302 1975 Niagara Region 3 (33.1) 2 (800) 4 2 2 1 2 210 2
Churoka 1973 Westbank BC 3 (31.0) 1 (1113) 3 2 3 2 2 106 2
Longfellow 1975 Adams Co. PA 2 (22.9) 1 (1250) 4 2 2 1 1 76 1
NY 398 1974 Ontario Co. NY 3 (42. 4) 2 (800) 4 3 2 3 2 322 3
NY 555 1974 Ontario Co. NY 3 (45.7) 2 (849) 4 3 3 2 2 322 3
Potomac 1975 St.Clair Co. IL 3 (45.0) 2 (746) 4 3 2 2 3 322 3
Reed 1975 Adams Co. PA 3 (35.5) 2 (909) 4 3 2 2 3 322 3
Gordon C-l 1974 Erie Co. NY 3 (42.0) 2 (690) 4 3 2 2 2 312 3
NY 200 1974 Ontario Co. NY 3 (41.7) 2 (606) 4 3 2 2 2 312 3
Gordon C-2 1974 Erie Co. NY 3 (46.2) 2 (714) 4 3 2 1 2 306 3
Gordon C-4 1974 Erie Co. NY 3 (43.6) 2 (587) 4 2 3 2 2 226 2
Tree Hazels (Trazels)
SE-4 1973 Westbank BC 3 (50.0) 2 (714) 4 3 2 3 2 322 3
Chinoka 1973 Westbank BC 2 (30.0) 1 (1111) 3 2 3 3 2 92 1
Winkler 1974 Ontario Co. NY 2 (29.8) 1 (1430) 4 2 2 2 2 88 1
A Seedling 1974 Ontario Co. NY 2 (27.4) 1 (1430) 3 2 2 2 2 72 1
Petoka 1973 Westbank BC 3 (51.9) 2 (712) 4 2 2 2 2 216 2


A good many of the currently available hazels are of acceptable or better quality.

The specific origins of the Tree Hazels discussed in this article are not known to the author at the time of this writing. Many of the characteristics of the Tree Hazels are rather similar and the exact species identity may not be critical for most growers. All the Tree Hazels will give a single stem tree form as opposed to the multi-stem bushes of the other types.

Many of the bush form hazels will produce their first harvests of a few nuts in as little as 5 - 6 growing seasons from seed. Some of the transplanted cultivars may be even more precocious. The tree hazels are generally somewhat slower in producing their first nut crops ... possibly as long as 15 - 20 years. All hazels will respond noticeably to soil improvement actions such as the addition of organic matter and balanced fertilizers. Hazels respond rather dramatically to high nitrogen fertilizers but care must be used to ensure that the bushes do not grow too late in the fall so that winter injury may occur. In dry seasons the addition of irrigation water will improve the thriftiness of the plants. The bush form hazels are relatively shallow rooted and will feel the effect of a prolonged drought.

All of the hazels require cross pollination to produce good crops of nuts. Often best results are obtained if there are four or more different cultivars or seedlings planted in close formation. The catkins (male flowers) tend to be the "weak link" in the production cycle of the hazels ... they tend to freeze out in the extreme dry-cold periods of winter. Where climates tend to be particularly dry, cold and windy in the winter, the hazels may be planted in the lee of tall woods or hedgerow areas. The bush type hazels make excellent low level hedges in themselves. They provide the functional screening effect of an ornamental hedge and produce a very worthwhile nut crop as well. The female flowers of the hazels look like minute purple hairs which extend out of the apex of the winter buds in the February to April period. The female bloom following pollination is hardy to temperatures as low as -12C (10°F)!

Sometimes there are noticeable differences in the performance of a cultivar or selection from one location to another. Observe the difference in the performance of the cultivar Longfellow at the two locations described in the tabular data. Attention to minimum cultural requirements is necessary for all kinds of nut trees for best harvest results.

Crops from the hazels should be dried for a short period after harvesting if the nuts are to be used for human consumption. There is generally a considerable amount of slack between the kernel and the shell if the nuts are properly dried.... about 50% slack volume.

Approximately 15 - 20 years ago John Gordon of Clarence, New York planted seed from select Hazelbert sources and produced a number of second generation Hazelbert seedlings ... about 40 bushes. Several selections from the planting have proven to be of competitive merit. Note how well some of these selected seedlings compare with the cultivars.

The pruning of the hazels consists mostly of confining the bush forms to no more than 8-10 main stems per bush. Occasionally in advanced years some of the senile stems may have to be removed to allow for more vigorous growth. The tree form hazels require little pruning and often achieve perfectly symmetrical, upright forms without any pruning whatsoever.

The hazels are remarkably healthy and ornamental in appearance. They require little disease or insect protection in Ontario. Occasionally plant bugs may attack the leaves and nuts. Thiodan or possibly malathion are useful in combatting this pest. But mite is not common in Ontario and the chances of introducing this pest are eliminated if bushes are grown directly from seed at the planting site or if the plants are purchased from a pest-free location. Thiodan is also effective against bud mite. Blight of hazels is not common at all in Ontario but the control is simply to rogue out the infested canes which show the characteristic fungus growth. If scale insects are a problem, control may be attempted with malathion when the insects are in the crawler stage. Malathion is also effective against aphids although it is seldom that they are of any consequence on hazels in Ontario.

Seedlings of many of the cultivars and selections described in this article have been subject to trial observations for several years at Queenston, Ontario. WHES 301 and Potomac seedlings are some of the most interesting. The WHES 301 seedlings are vigorous and are noticeably precocious in setting the first catkin and female as little as four years from seed. The Potomac seedlings are some of the most uniformly hardy and fast growing of any observed to this date.

One of the cultural bottlenecks in producing hazel seedlings is to get satisfactory germination of seed nuts. Ideally hazel seed should be planted out in the fall the same day that the nuts drop from the parent trees. Seed may be planted about 2 inches deep in nursery rows and protected with mulch until mid to late spring the following year. Seedlings will emerge during the first part of June. Similarly hazel seed can be picked up in the fall and immediately "layered" by placing the nuts in damp peat and storing in the crisper of a refrigerator at temperatures of 2 - 4C (35 - 40°F). Layered seed may be planted outside in nursery rows the following spring after frost has been out of the ground for about a week....approximately early April in Southern Ontario. If seed is stored in a dry condition over winter the nuts should be cracked (carefully) and soaked in well aerated water for 7-10 days. Then the seed may be planted outside in nursery rows as early in the spring as the soil can be worked. The efficiency of this latter approach may be improved by adding Gibrellic acid to the soaking water in concentrations of approximately 50 parts per million. Germination rates by any of the methods described above are never entirely predictable but will often range from 10 - 60%.


The hazels are sufficiently hardy and adaptable that one or more of the species are satisfactorily productive at most any location in Ontario. Many opportunities exist for Ontario nut growers to experience the rewards of growing the currently available selections of the hazels. Also, attractive breeding opportunities exist for those who wish to continue the development of the hardy, big nut, productive types for the far north.
R. V. Campbell, R.R.#1, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON LOS MO

Beware the Hides of Mice

Last winter many tree growers discovered that mice and numerous other rodents have a fondness for tender, newly planted trees. Countless thousands of people are disappointed each spring when they find that the lower trunks of their newly planted trees have been completely girdled and that the trees are either dead or dying.

Although prompt in-arch grafting sometimes can save a girdled tree, the best solution is prevention. Make sure that your trees are adequately protected by late fall either with generous coatings of rodent repellant paints (containing Thiram) or with tree guards. The protection should extend right from ground level (or even slightly below) to a height of approximately two feet, depending on the depth of expected snow cover etc. If snow is exceptionally deep such as in the winter of 1976-77, the rodents may eat the trees from the top down rather than the usual vice versa.

The cost of protecting trees from damage is small ($.10-.30 per tree) compared to the potential loss of the trees.

These same techniques will also protect your trees from the ravages of rabbits, woodchucks and a host of other hungry rodents.

Messages to the Editor

We are writing to you to inquire into the feasibility of establishing a nut grove in our watershed. We would like to know if it is possible to create a nut tree arboretum in our Authority and if so what type of site would be the most suitable location.
We would appreciate any advance information on this matter and if it is possible to establish a nut grove here, we would like to arrange for someone from your organization to assist us with the selection of the most suitable site.
Jim Penner, Conservation Services Technician, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, R. R. #7, Hanover ON
Editor's note: John Gordon, Ernie Grimo and Doug Campbell visited the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority on November 12, 1977. The SONG representatives found that not only does the Authority have a beautifully attractive Conservation Area but they have some excellent sites for nut trees as well. Efforts will commence immediately toward the objective of establishing a nut grove at a location several miles south of Douglas Point.

The promotion of windbreaks in your spring, 1977 SONG News is certainly a important step in helping to reduce winter drying damage to nut and fruit trees not to mention the intangible, aesthetic value that this type of planting affords.
Please ensure that your SONG readers are aware of our Ministry's Extension Services which include field inspections, preparation of planting plans, (i.e. for shelter belts) and selection of nursery stock, etc. For your information we are enclosing literature relative to this Ministry's private land forestry program in the Niagara Area and Southern Ontario. Publications include:
The Farm Windbreak
Renewing the Forest
Planning Foe Tree Planting
Herbicides for Use in Forest Tree Planting
Private Land Forestry Service
Care and Planting of Forest Trees
Forest Tree Growers Calendar
Continued success with your association of nut growers.
J. E.Dickenson, District Manager, Niagara District, Ministry of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 1070, Fonthill ON LOS 1EO

I wish to tell you that my husband, H. F. Stoke passed away May 14, 1977. He was 98 years old at the time of his death and had been interested in the growing of nut trees for many years. He was a member of the Northern Nut Growers Association as well as SONG.
Mabel Stoke, Roanoke VA
Editor's note: H. F. Stoke was the first, Honorary Life Member of SONG. He was a major benefactor of SONG when he donated to the organization in its fledgling years, a complete set of Annual Reports of the Northern Nut Growers Association ... dating back to 1910! Also I regret to inform that Fred Ashworth of Heuvelton, New York passed away in the spring of 1977. Fred was most helpful to SONG members in supplying hardy sources of scion wood, nut seed and generous supplies of know-how which he accumulated over the years. May we bid these two eminent friends and supporters of SONG: Hail and Farewell.

Heartnut Offer Discontinued
Further distribution of heartnut seed by SONG was discontinued as of May 31, 1977. Heartnut seed will not be available through SONG until further notice is given. To date more than 1000 people are participating in the heartnut trials initiated by SONG and this level of participation assures thorough testing of the heartnut species throughout Ontario.

I took advantage of the SONG offer of heartnut seed and of the six seeds, five grew and are about 2 feet high now. My problem is that none of my gardening books give information on the heartnut. I would be interested in learning:
(a) Years to maturity and corresponding height?
(b) Pests and controls?
(c) Transplantability?
(d) Planting distances?
(e) Age for first nut production?
Mrs. Joyce Branston, Dunnville ON

Editor's notes: Suggested answers to the above questions.....

I planted the heartnut seed which I received in the spring of 1976 but none of them grew in the 1976 growing season. However, six of them sprouted in the spring of 1977! I have room for one or two and will transplant the rest.
The two filbert trees which I planted are growing nicely but it is too early to determine whether they will produce desirable nuts or whether these bushes will be able to pollinate two older hazels (or filberts?) which are planted nearby.
The little shellbark hickory which I obtained in the spring of 1976 is doing well.
Ross L. Hatch, Amherstburg ON

Years ago my Dad purchased some seedling black walnuts from the Ministry of Natural Resources. After they got to bearing nuts, the squirrels took over and planted them all over the place in fence rows etc. I decided to graft some of the better Persian walnuts into my black walnut seedlings and now have 17 trees grafted to named cultivars. One of these trees now has a crown which is 18 feet high and 11 feet across. If you have these seedling black walnuts around, you would be wise to try to graft them with Persian walnuts. Get in touch with someone who has had experience grafting nut trees before you start.
Don Kernokan, R.R.#6, London ON N6A 4C1

Here is a brief description of my research operations: In 1975 I successfully hybridized a Pecan X Oak (Quercus michauxii) combination; in 1976 I got two hybrid plants to germinate from 39 of these pecan seed nuts. From this operation I now have three Pecan X Oak (Okan) hybrid grafts growing on large pecan stocks making splendid growth, and if all goes well I should have a small amount of Okan scion wood available for 1978 spring operations. As these Okan bud-grafts emerge they are fiery red just like an oak bud, and make a perfect "L" square formation surging upward. I also have many Pecan X Hickory hybrids in the making.
In 1976 I hybridized a Pecan X English Walnut resulting in five hybrid seed nuts, two of which germinated into beautiful hybrid seedlings this spring (1977). If all goes well I hope to bud-graft this new Pecan X English Walnut material into large pecan stocks, also walnut root stocks, all of which are presently in preparation to receive juvenile scion wood for 1978 operations. I will use the same methods as I used in my Okan operations.
One of our State Foresters guessed these Pecan X English Walnut hybrids as having some resemblance of a Chinkapin Oak. One of our horticulturists said he could see some English Walnut blood in the leaf system. It is hard to classify new plants with their juvenile leaf systems. Also, I have one Pecan X Red Oak hybrid that remains quite small.
This spring (1977) I hybridized one pecan tree with filbert: Pecan X Filbert, and two trees: Pecan X English Walnut combinations which I trust will result in more fascinating hybrids for future research developments.
My research operations represent a big investment in time, money and the patience of Job. If you know of some nursery that may be interested in my new hybrids as scion wood becomes available have them get in touch with me.
W. F. Theilenhaus, P.O.Box 373, Fredonia Kansas 66736

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