H.A.C. Jones, Ottawa Area Chapter
The Ottawa Area Chapter of SONG is interested in nut growing in the Eastern Ontario Region. For convenience, the region is defined as the five thousand square mile area covered by three Conservation Authorities, namely, The Rideau Valley, the Mississippi Valley and the South Nation Conservation Authorities. This area is further north than the natural range of most nut trees. Consequently, for nut growing the Chapter finds itself to be a frontier organization.
When the Chapter first started, it realized that information was needed on what kinds of nuts might grow in the area. Written records were found to be sparse and generally unreliable. Another way was needed and the idea of Inventree was born.
Inventree was to be an inventory, that is a list, of trees found to be growing successfully in the area, either domestically or in the wild. Members of the Chapter and other interested people are asked to report the whereabouts of any nut trees they know of or happen to discover in the area, or in Western Quebec Province. As soon as possible a group from the Chapter follows up the report, to verify the botanical identification, to document the site and describe it. The type of vegetation, soil, water drainage, and degree of exposure to the elements, are among the factors recorded. The state of health, age specially with respect to fruit bearing are recorded. Any other information about the trees or the site considered interesting is also recorded.
Inventree is comprised of four parts. Postcard sized site notification cards have a pre-printed address on the front and a form on the back for recording the location of the site, the kind of trees, and the reporter's name, address and phone number. Blank cards are distributed freely and widely. Completed cards are returned by mail and filed in a card index in the order received. The file is periodically reviewed and the more promising sites selected for viewing. The documentation team completes the long site report form as they inspect the site. These forms when filed become the second part of the Inventree system. Information retrieved from the system comes from these forms. The third part is the set of small scale maps on which each documented site is plotted, as a handy method of reviewing the geographic distribution of sites and consequently the kinds of trees. Lastly, the fourth part of Inventree is the detailed manual which describes all the systems, procedures, and files, and gives step-by-step instructions on how to maintain the whole system.
Inventree can be used in a number of ways. For example, to find trees of a particular kind possible in a particular region; to ascertain the soil or general site conditions favourable to a particular kind of tree; to ascertain the hardiness or vigour exhibited by a particular kind of tree in the region; and so on. Whatever the question, once it is asked Inventree responds by finding the appropriate records and copying the information to the requester, with instructions to contact the people who reported each site. In other words, it functions primarily as a referral service, putting people with questions in touch with people with answers.
As Inventree grows, the information will become more valuable as its coverage of the region becomes more thorough and its records more authoritative. If usage and interest also increase, then it is quite likely that other uses may be found for its data, for example, publications such as guide books to the nuts of Eastern Ontario.
At the time of writing, Inventree has identified over 50 sites, involving a dozen kinds of nut trees. All inquiries are to be directed to: Mr. Alec C. Jones 2446 Sudbury Avenue Ottawa, Ontario L2C 1L9
Nut Growers Visit Andrew Dixon
October 24, 1981 was a bright and brisk fall day when more than forty enthusiastic nut growers gathered at the apple and black walnut farm of Andrew Dixon, Ailsa Craig, Ontario. The meeting started off with the usual picnic lunch and Mrs. Dixon supplied a potful of hot, vegetable soup which was enjoyed by all. A short discussion on nut growing techniques followed and then the group visited Andy's established black walnut grove which is several decades old. These trees are 10 - 20 metres high and up to 30 centimetres in diameter at shoulder height. The trees have grown tall and slender because they were spaced quite close together in the initial planting.
Also, Andy has another planting of black walnut where the trees were planted on a wider, orchard type of spacing just several years ago. These trees also are doing well and now are putting on about 45 centimetres of growth per year. Andy feels that these trees may be superior to the others in the dense planting because they have more space to grow. Andy has developed a pruning method which he feels will cause these trees to grow straight and tall.
There were several interesting plantings to view at the Dixon farm and all the nut growers had some useful methods and approaches to consider by the end of the day. Thanks, Andy, for making October 24, 1981 a most worthwhile event.
NAFEX Annual Meeting July 29 - 51, 1982
The North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX) is an organization which is similar but different to the Northern Nut Growers Association (NNGA). The NAFEX group specializes in all adventuresome forms of fruit growing in the North as well as some nut growing. Have you even heard of medlars, jujubes, persimmons, Tay berries, plumcots, autumn olive, high bush cranberry, Indiana banana, thornless blackberries, golden raspberries, white black raspberries(I?)....and many other things too luscious to mention? Have you ever considered growing some of these delightful morsels in the North?? It is possible. You can find out about these many fruit bearing plants by attending NAFEX.
Letters to the Editor
At a recent Ottawa Chapter meeting we agreed that it is time to expand our nut grove coverage.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's Nut Grove at Baxter is progressing steadily and we
have learned a lot about setting up this sort of enterprise.
We now propose to start discussions with the Conservation Authorities on the Mississippi and
the South Nation Rivers. Thanks to John Gordon, we have good information, (brochures, copy of
plans, etc.) for the Niagara Nut Grove. Is it possible that we could have any similar material for
subsequent nut groves to help us sell the idea and draft plans for these new ventures? I think
there have been four groves set up since Niagara?
Alec C. Jones, 2446 Sudbury Avenue, Ottawa ON K2C 1L9
Editor's Note: All of the subsequent nut groves established in co-operation with SONG have been published in the respective issues of SONG News. Anyone who has useful views and information arising from those plantings is requested to get in contact with Alec C. Jones.
The Ontario Highbush Blueberry Growers Association has established an organization to assist interested growers. Full Annual Membership is $10.00 and Associate Annual Membership is $5.00. (Full members only have voting rights in the Association.) All inquiries may be directed to: Bill Parks, Secretary Treasurer, Ontario Highbush Blueberry Growers Association, R.R.#3, Bothwell ON NOP ICO.
I have been receiving numerous inquiries of late regarding nut trees and was hoping that you
could assist. I will be pleased to receive any brochures or leaflets on books available for sale or
membership in the nut grower organizations . In particular I will appreciate having a few copies
of SONG which I can pass along to interested persons.
Brent Warner, District Horticulturist, Ministry of Agriculture & Food, Sidney BC
We noted with interest the participation of SONG in the Balls Falls Thanksgiving Festival of the
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. We have a small place on Sawmill Road and so far
we have 150 black walnuts, 3 hazels and 10 English walnuts.
Ivey and Robert Spicer, Grimsby ON
I have recently purchased a property on the Niagara Escarpment near the town of Beamsville,
Ontario. I'm interested in planting some nut trees on several acres of open land and would like to
know more of your organization and also what information is available about nut growing in
H. A. Zuzek, Kincardine ON
The Hammons Products Company of Stockton, Missouri has indicated an interest in buying
black walnuts from Ontario growers if the quantities are sufficiently large enough to be
economical. Hammons Products cracks about 17 million pounds of black walnuts per year and
they have not been getting enough to satisfy their markets in the last few years. If quantities are
attractive enough they will consider sending up trucks and a huller for a designated
weekend....probably in late October. It all depends on how much interest there is. If any growers
are interested in this lead, please indicate so by writing the secretary: G. R. Hambleton, R.R.#2,
Niagara-on-the-Lake ON LOS 1JO. State the quantity of black walnuts (in the husk) which
you think you can deliver this fall and what would be the best week in October for the
Hammons huller to be in Ontario. If there is sufficient response then a quotation for price can be
obtained from Hammons. The price is paid per pound of nuts as taken from the huller with all
This may be the opportunity for which many Ontario nut growers have been waiting. Note: Estimates of crop need not be submitted until mid summer when it's more apparent how productive the trees will be.
Per/ Gus Rutledge, Hammons Products, Stockton MO
Recently I had the opportunity to visit a tree nursery in Sudbury. I was informed that some black
walnuts grew nearby and that their heights are in the 10 - 13 metre range. The trees are in good
shape but the nuts don't fill well at this location. Also, there are several butternut trees in the city.
Peter Moore, St. Charles ON
We have established a nursery planting of northern pecans. Also, our potential nut grove is being
summer fallowed and soon will be sown to filberts, grafted and seedling Korean nut pine, Asian
sweet chestnut, shagbark hickory and black walnut. Next year we hope to bench graft Korean
pine on to Scotch and white pine. The technique has been tested and looks alright.
H. Cedric Larsson, Regional Research Forester, Ontario Forest Research Centre, Maple ON LOJ 1EO
Les Kerr told me that when he was at the Modern (Manitoba) Experiment Station that he got
hazel and filbert pollen from the Geneva Experiment Station (New York) to make hybrids. He
made hybrids with the Corylus cornuta which is a wild native hazel common to much of the
prairies. When he came to the Sutherland (Saskatchewan) Forestry Station, he brought some of
these hybrids with him and that is where I got my start. Four out of five of my bushes have been
hardy and fruitful. The fifth has winter-killed back and is now scarcely alive. These hybrids have
the nuts partially exposed and do not have the thorny, prickly involucre as the local native hazels
Also, I've tried some of the Gellatly hybrid hazels but they winter-kill to the snow line each year. They have occasionally opened some catkins which were below the snow line in the colder parts of the winter.
A. J. Porter, Box 63, Parkside SK SOJ 2AO
Editor's note: The publication of this edition of SONG News is dedicated to my mother....without whom, none of this would have been possible.
Provided by SONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.