SONG News Spring 1995 no. 46
In this Issue...

Signals from Smithville Station

Some years ago, there was a nut planting established at the Smithfield Experimental Station near Trenton, Ontario. The area is approximately a hectare. For the last while John Warner, Program Leader has been overseeing the nut trees. We are indebted to John for his latest report which is included herewith. The report tells us alot about the hardiness of nut trees in one of the most difficult winters which we have seen in this century. With the current closing of Smithville Station, we might wonder ... What will happen to the nut planting? Do you think we should do anything about it??

Winter Injury to Edible Nut Planting
During the winter of 1993-94, unusually cold temperatures occurred which caused winter injury to the edible nut trees at the Smithfield Research Farm. A low temperature of -32 C was recorded on December 27, 1993 and on January 16, 1994. Below normal temperatures persisted through January and February.

Heartnuts were the hardiest and survived with only minimal tip dieback on the branches. Hazelberts were also hardy and exhibited up to 25% dieback on the branches of some trees. The hardiness of Northern Pecans varied with variety. Warsaw was rated intermediate in hardiness with 2 out of 8 trees dying. The other varieties of Northern Pecans suffered from 10 to 50% dieback of branches. Carpathian Walnuts were rated as tender. Most trees had over 50% dieback of branches and 15 out of 46 trees died following the winter.

The injured trees will be left in the ground to determine if they will recover in subsequent years or continue to decline. Only the Heartnuts and Hazelberts have fruit on the trees in 1994.

Average Winter Hardiness Rating of Edible Nut Cultivars at Smithfield Research Farm
Carpathian WalnutsCarpathian9.0 (7 out of 8 trees died)
Broadview9.0 (3 out of 8 trees died)
WHES 1068.7 (2 out of 6 trees died)
WHES 1028.0 (3 out of 8 trees died)
Northern PecansWarsaw5 (2 out of 8 trees died)
Boston Early3.5
New Boston3 .7
* Rating scale (rated July, 1994)
1 = Extremely Hardy (no visible dieback)
3 = Hardy (slight dieback, end of branch flagging)
5 = Intermediate (10 - 25% dieback)
7 = Tender (25 - 50% dieback)
9 = Extremely tender (50+ dieback)

Messages From Model Forests

Ted Cormier has sent me a whole parcel of information about nut growing activity in the eastern part of Ontario. The Eastern Ontario Chapter of SONG and the Model Forest group have been providing notable leadership. Some recent observations from Ted Cormier are as follows:

The Canada Lumberman

The Canada Lumberman publication may or may not be in business as a publication now but anyway, it wrote about some interesting nut growing activity back in May of 1895! Thomas Connaut planted 5000 black walnut trees on his lands near Oshawa, Ontario. The trees were purchased at Rochester, New York ... the same place some Niagara nut growers bought their trees in the early 1900's! Over the years Thomas found that approximately 95% of the trees took hold and grew. About 45% of the trees were 15 feet high after 6 years ... not bad! Hirram Robinson planted a small number of black walnut at Hawkesbury, Ontario at about the same time as Thomas Connaut and these latter trees attained a height of about 12 feet in 6 years. Your editor is indebted to Ted Cormier for this further, vintage information.

Black Walnut Sensitivities

A host of people claim that black walnuts will suppress vegetation for up to blocks and blocks from where the tress are planted ... powerful things, these trees. However, the OMNR has put together a list of at least some plants or trees which are not put off by the awful essences of the black walnut:
Plants Tolerant of Juglone
Common NameBotanical Name
Red Cedar/JuniperJuniperus virginiana
Arcadia JuniperJuniperus "Arcadia"
Mock OrangePhiladelphus
Black RaspberryRubus occidentalis
Burning BushEuonymus alatus
Euonymus GaietyEuonymus "Gaiety"
Poison IvyRhus radicans
Virginia CreeperParthenocissus quinquefolia
NightshadeSolanum aviculare
Jack-in-the-PulpitArissema triphyllum
Dogtooth Violet, Trout LilyErythronium americanum
Solomon's SealPolygonatum
Meadow RueThalictrum
White CloverTrilclium repens
Periwinkle, MyrtleVinca minor
Lady FernBulbinopsis bulbosa
Christmas FernPolystichum
Ostrich FernMaltcuccia struthiopteris
Vegetables: Lima bean, snap bean, beet, sweet corn, onion, parsnip
Other: Iris, Hosta, Narcissus, Cyclamen

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