SONG News Fall 1988 no. 33
In this Issue...

1988 SONG Meetings in Review

Spring Auction
The 1988 spring auction at the Civic Garden Centre, Don Mills, Ontario, April 16, 1988 was the largest ever. A capacity crowd had a great choice of items to purchase and all trees/seeds submitted were sold by the end of the day. A generous quantity of baked goods and nut tree books were sold too.

Summer Meeting at Cambridge
The annual meeting was held at the Grand River Conservation Authority's headquarters at Cambridge, Ont. July 30, 1988 The elections for the new officers for 1989 produced the following results:
President: Murial Braham
Vice-President: James Harvey
Secretary: Bob Hambleton
Treasurer: Marion Grimo
Editor: Doug Campbell
Auditor: Joyce Branston

The new nominating committee was constituted with the following members:
Chairman: Heinz Baumgarten Members: Eva McKay, Paul Bennett

Bob Hambleton gave the secretary's report of the last meetings and the various minutes were approved. The Treasurer's report given by Marion Grimo and audited by Joyce Branston was approved.

Marion Grimo reviewed the details for the production of the SONG Handbook on nut growing. Also, the input for the SONG Cookbook was mentioned and all members are encouraged to send their favourite nut recipes to Mrs. Marion Grimo, R.R.#3, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON LOS 1JO.

Ernest Grimo summarized the progress in the SONG Crop Introduction Program. 1988 is the third year of the program and 9 nut growers have been involved. Considerable progress has been reported through the year end summaries which will be covered in SONG News issues.

Norman Oldfield discussed progress to date in the Grand River Conservation Authority's nut plantings. Numerous acres of trees have been established for 1 or 2 years and these will require several more years to first harvest for which SONG members will be invited for a follow-up meeting.

The Grand River Conservation Authority was thanked for allowing the use of their spacious and attractive meeting facilities.

Fall Meeting at Orangeville
Bob Baker of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority hosted the fall, 1988 meeting of SONG. A tour of the planting at the Orangeville reservoir indicated that many of the nut trees heretofore regarded as "tender" were doing very, very well. Carpathian walnuts were developing good hardiness on north facing slopes. Chinese/American hybrid sweet chestnuts were doing well at several spots throughout the planting. Northern pecans were showing excellent hardiness and growth. Heartnuts were growing like weeds. Black walnuts were progressing very well. Butternuts were adapting satisfactorily as expected. Hazelberts were performing vigorously and there was evidence of a crop which had matured somewhat earlier in the fall. Overall, the Orangeville nut tree planting, started from seed, is an example success. Since Orangeville is one of the colder places in the southern half of Ontario, it means that nut trees can adapt to many locations from Midland, Orillia, Ottawa and southwards. The next question of course is how far north these various nut species can be of some commercial significance. It looks very promising after the fall meeting at Orangeville.

NNGA Meeting in Pennsylvania

The August, 1988 NNGA meeting had the usual features of lots of good nutty foods, socializing, business session, interesting speakers and entertainment. However, there was one item for which you would go back to the Texas meeting for an equal: the nut growers' tour featured a review of a commercial chestnut farm. Clarence Kohrs, the operator of the farm has 30 acres of sweet chestnut... substantially of the Chinese species. The trees ... mostly seedlings, were planted on 6 metre square spacings and they were at the stage where the branches of adjacent trees were close to touching. The planting includes cultivars such as Orrin, Abundance, Nanking, Eaton, Meiling, Crane, etc. However, Mr. Kohrs found that numerous of the seedlings outperformed the cultivars in his environment and in several key respects. The market which he serves prefers chestnuts which are large in size and deep chocolate brown in colour. This has meant a premium price for the product of selected trees and is an important factor in the commercial success of the planting. This instance points out the advantage of maintaining both diversity and versatility in a nut planting to make the best of marketing and growing opportunities.

A New OMAF Extension Publication

John Gardner of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food is authoring a new publication summarizing nut growing technology for Ontario. John has been working with numerous SONG members to accumulate information about the several nut tree species which have commercial opportunities. The objective is to produce 5000 copies for distribution throughout the various OMAF county/regional offices for accessibility to the general public.

John has mentioned to your SONG Editor that there is a special need concerning a proposed, full-colour cover for the nut culture publication. Printing in colour will cost an extra $3000 which the ministry at present does not have. Anyone who wants to help financially to make the new extension bulletin more visually attractive is invited to contact: John Gardner, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 50 King Street, London, Ontario N6A 2P2

1988 Productions in Review

The fall, 1988 chestnut crop at Campberry Farm was very generous as also was the case throughout Ontario and at selected locations in the neighbouring States. The hot weather combined with late summer rains and/or irrigation conspired together to produce very large nuts. This was the type of harvest for which it would be very easy to sell the product. Cultivars/selections such as Layeroka, Mahogany, NC1, NC2, Simpson, Douglass Hybrids and several of the Grimo selections performed very well and verified the commercial prospects claimed for the sweet chestnuts.

The filberts, hazels, hazelberts found 1988 to their liking and produced even better than in 1987. However, the last three years have been good for the hazel family as evidenced by consistent harvests. The Gellatly 502 has been a regularly high performer as also is the case for NY616, NY200, Grimo 184P, Grimo 188P, Chinoka, Winkler, Graham and numerous of the Gordon hybrid selections. The hazel/filberts hold good commercial prospects especially for growers who are within a few kilometres of the great lakes.

Most all of the Carpathian walnuts had fair or better crops in 1988. Some of the outstanding performers were: Hansen, Metcalfe, Lake, Somers, McKinster, WHES106/HW1 as well as several promising selections such as the B1 and B4.

The heartnuts came through with another big crop although drought did have an affect on nut size in some instances. CW3 and CWW performed very well. Imshu had a good crop of nuts which were very easy to crack and remove kernels. John Gordon has shown that heartnuts respond very well to the use of mulches and manure and produced heavy crops of fine nuts in spite of the droughty 1988 weather.

The "big four" as indicated above have repeated their promise for being productive commercial crops in Ontario. The increasing experience with these types justify the expansion of trial plantings which will become more common throughout Ontario in the next couple of years. In addition to the big four, two other areas show increasing promise. Hardy almonds have been consistently productive at Campberry Farm for the last six years. In fact, production of kernels/acre of almond has been greater than for any of the other species ... approaching 3000 pounds of kernels! These hardy types are being propagated as fast as possible so that they can be tried at a number of locations throughout Ontario. Preliminary evidence indicates that they are hardy to -33C (or -25°F).

The other up and coming item is the northern pecan. Cultivars/selections such as Colby, Lucas, Cornfield, Theresa Foster, NC4, NC7, NC11, Snag, Best's Early all filled/matured nuts that were rated as good or better in eating quality. When John Grodon tasted the first NC4 of the season he exclaimed ... "I didn't expect to see anything that good so soon!" This remark was made against the background of the 1979-81 major activity in the northern pecan seed distribution program and the fact that pecan needs 7 or more years to come into bearing from seed. Also, the cultivar, Colby was remarkable in 1988. Three bushels of pecans in the shell were harvested from one 12 year old tree. Many of these nuts have already been planted for production of seedlings but some surplus remains and makes the following offer possible: Colby Northern Pecan. Product of Ontario. 8 Nut Seeds for $5.00 Mail orders and checks to: R.D. Campbell, R.R.#1, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON Canada LOS 1 JO Growing Directions will be included. Colby is the mother tree of NC4 which is showing "Texas" pecan quality here in Ontario.

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