SONG News July 2004 no. 68
In this Issue...

Things Older Growers May Have Forgotten and Newer Growers need to Know
Lois Davie

Why Do Nut Tree Growers Stay Active To An Advanced Age?

The pleasure of eating nuts nearly every year, constantly breathing fresh air, getting a great deal of exercise are high on the list of reasons. Then there is the excitement of having to see the first crop of a new cultivar growing on a tree he or she planted and possibly grafted. Maybe the best reason is to enjoy the delight of nut growing friends since nut growers are special people. Nuts are nutritious too.

How To Store Scions:
When you cut scions, put them in a cooler with an ice pack. The scions you cut or those you receive from others must not be allowed to dry out. If they dry out, they are dead. So label each scion or bundle of scions, put them in a plastic bag, add a paper towel that has been wet and all the water squeezed out, and store them in the crisper of the refrigerator. Be certain, that no apples or oranges are stored in the refrigerator with the scions because they generate ethylene that will prevent your scions from sprouting. (Farmers have known this for years and have stored their apples with their potatoes to keep their potatoes from sprouting.)

When you graft, take your scions to the field in a cooler with an ice pack. Keep the cooler in the shade if possible. Take out only the scions you need immediately. Label your graft as soon as it is completed. Use masking tape and a permanent marker. The tape and marker will last until you determine if the graft has callused. Then you should use a permanent label. A good idea is to tie a light stake to grafts that take so the wind does not break them off at the weak graft union.

How To Label A Tree Permanently
If you solve this age old problem you will probably become a millionaire. Thin, writeable, aluminum hung on with wire eventually fail because the hole enlarges to the point that the label falls off and the wire loop is left on the branch. Make a map of all your grafted trees and keep it up to date. Labels made from aluminum or vinyl siding strips and an electric engraver are fairly long lasting.

My Favourite Nut - Hickory:
Hickory nuts have the best flavour of all the nut trees. Unfortunately you cannot by them at super markets. "Grainger" is my first choice, followed closely by "Yoder #1". I can get many halves from "Grainger" and I can see the light coloured shells easier when picking them up at dusk.

Graft hickory on northern pecan rootstock. Hickory stops growing about July 15th. Pecan keeps on growing so the grafted hickory tree grows faster and bears younger.

I have "Fodermier", "Rhodes", "Etter", and "Canoka". "Canoka leafs out about 10 days later than the others so it escapes late spring frosts and freezes. It is self-pollinating while others all need a different pollinator near them.

Eastern Filbert Blight:
I finally got it. Turkish tree hazel is more resistant to blight but it is harder to graft. I think, it is because of the corky bark, and it takes longer to bear the first crop than if they are grafted on regular filbert. Maybe an interstem of Turkish tree hazel would work.

Lateral Bearing:
Most nut trees bear on the tips of branches so if a frost or freeze kills the tips, you have no nut crop. Many Persian walnuts, black walnuts, and the "Lucas" pecan are lateral bearers. If the tip gets killed, they will bear nuts on shoots or laterals. W7e thought "Lake" Persian (English) walnut was not a lateral bearer, but when a freeze killed the tips, laterals formed and bore nuts on those shoots.

Catkin Hardiness
'Hansen' Persian walnut probably has more catkins than other Persians, but they are the most tender so plant other Persians near 'Hansen' to pollinate it.

Late Vegetating Persian Walnuts:
'Spurgeon' escapes late frosts but won't harden off in the fall so it and 'Letsche' or 'Zuber' - they are thought to be the same - have two feet of new growth killed every spring until there is no tree left.

Huge Show-off Nuts:
The first one that comes to mind is 'Abraham' black walnut. They impress new growers but most do not bear well and do not fill plump nut meats. The exception is 'Coble #2' Persian walnut that Has very large, plump, sweet meats. 'Coble # 2' needs a pollinator, and heart nuts make good walnut pollinators.

When You Transplant a Nut Tree:
Plant the tree at the same depth that it was in it's original site. Prune the top back approximately 1/4. The first year you must water it well every week unless there is an inch of rain. If the second year is unusually dry or has some dry periods, the tree should be watered the second year as well. It helps to create a two or three inch deep ''saucer" depression around the tree to hold water over the roots.

All nuts except chestnuts need limestone.

Stratifying Nut Seeds:
Don't let seeds dry out. Bury them in a box with a wire mesh top and bottom to keep out rodents. Use sand not soil, and if you must use soil do not use clay. When you dig them out of the sand in February, it is easy to separate out the nuts without breaking off the roots or new sprouts.

How to Clean Black Walnuts, Heart Nuts, and Butternuts:
Use rubber gloves, not plastic to keep from getting stains even burns. Place nut on a section of 2x4 that is at least 18" long and whack it with a rubber mallet. If it takes more than two blows to break off the green husk, the nut won't be well filled. After using the 2 x 4 for a while it develops an indentation that will be the perfect size so the nut will not roll off the board. An observation: if there are large and small nuts under a tree, most won't be well filled. After the husks have been removed, wash the nuts well to keep them light coloured and milder flavoured. Put them in an onion sack and hang them on the porch for about two weeks to dry. Frozen nut meats kept in the freezer will keep for a long time in a plastic freezer bag.

How Do Squirrels Know Good Nuts:
If you check nuts stored under logs, in buildings, etc., they are all good with the lighter, blank ones being discarded.

Soil Makes a Difference In How Nuts Fill:
We had 'Kwik Krop' black walnut at home in heavy clay (Aliquippa PA). It did not fill well so we cut it down. We had grafted some of the same cultivar at our farm that had sandy soil, and they filled beautifully.

Where To Plant:
If possible, plant high on a hill. Cold air settles near the bottom of a valley or ravine. Those on top of the hill usually escape the late frosts, those on the middle of a hill produce some crop, and those at the bottom usually produce no crop - just like peaches.
This article appeared in the PNGA (Pennsylvania Nut Growers Association) Newsletter and is reprinted here with the authors permission.

NNGA Publishes "The Hazel Tree" by Cecil Farris

Cecil Farris has recounted his 35 year journey that turned him, a former Oldsmobile worker, into an authority on hazel nuts and trees. Read about: Hazel tree culture, diseases and pests, breeding techniques, establishing backyard hazels...and more. This 74 page book contains 27 Collor photos and is a "must-have" for the Hazel enthusiast.

Want to Lower Your Cholesterol? Eat Walnuts!

Doctors usually advise patients with high cholesterol to eat a Mediterranean diet, which is low in animal fats, high in fruits, vegetables and olive oil (monounsaturated fat). Recent studies show that adding walnuts to your diet may reduce cholesterol levels further. Studies show that walnut extracts, called polyphenolic compounds, prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to plaques that cause heart disease and strokes.

A study from Spain compared two diets, one a normal Mediterranean diet, another the same diet, but with walnuts substituted for some of the olive oil and other high fat foods. The diet included 11 walnuts a day, replacing 35% of the fat calories as compared to the normal Mediterranean diet, for six weeks. The participants in this study were 55 men and women, average age 56, who were being treated for high cholesterol. At the end of the study, the walnut group had significantly lower total cholesterol as well as lower low-density lipoprotein levels (LDL, the bad cholesterol) as compared to the regular Mediterranean diet. The researchers concluded that substituting walnuts for part of the monounsaturated fat in a cholesterol-lowering Mediterranean diet further reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels in men and women with high cholesterol. In another study from Japan, researchers compared a diet with 12.5% of its energy from walnuts to a control diet. The walnuts were substituted for other high-fat foods like meat and fat. The results were similar to the Barcelona study. Both total cholesterol and LDL levels were significantly Sower among the walnut-eaters than those in the control diet. Substituting walnuts for some of the fat in a normal diet reduces both total cholesterol and LDL levels. The trick is to eat walnuts instead of other fats. Cutting back on other fats to compensate for the walnuts will not result in weight gain.
Journal of Nutrition, 2001, Vol. 131, No. 11, pp. 2837-2842; Annals of Internal Medicine, 2000, Vol. 132, No.7 pp. 538-546 Journal of Nutrition, 2000, Vol. 132, No. 2, pp. 171-176

Annual SONG Auction Sets Record

Our Annual SONG Auction on May 8, at the Toronto Botanic Gardens was a great success all round. There were about 40 members and guests in attendance and as usual the trees vastly outnumbered the bidders. Some bargains went as low as $1 while Marion, last name will be left unmentioned bid $50 to get a pot of hardy bamboo. The variety of plant material was as diverse as it ever has been. Gilles Cyr brought hardy nut trees from the Montreal area, Charles Rhora brought a variety of nut pines as well as some other unusual material, John and Andre Flys provided the sweetening in the form of their wild flower honey, Simon De Boer added a touch with some exotic herbs, perennials and ground-covers, while Ernie Grimo provided his usual complement of nut trees. A record $2821 was made in auction sales, 30% of which ($846.30) went to SONG. Taking the hall rental into account, the net return to SONG was $632.30. Thanks go to our auctioneer Ernie Grimo, tellers John Flys, Marilinda Cunliffe and Andre Flys as well as the numerous helpers who make the auction move smoothly. Marilinda promises to make the event move . even smoother and faster next year at electronic speed with her new laptop computer.

Baked Brie with Pesto and Pine Nuts

1 (8 ounce) wheel Brie cheese
1 tablespoon pesto seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
ground black pepper
assorted crackers.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Using a sharp knife, trim the white rind off top of the Brie (top part only, leaving the sides and bottom intact). Place Brie in an 8 or 9-inch pie plate or ovenproof dish. Mix pesto seasoning with olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic, if desired. Spread mixture evenly over the top of the Brie round (where white rind was trimmed off). Sprinkle with black pepper to taste, if desired. Bake 10 minutes or until Brie is warmed through. Serve immediately; surround with assorted crackers.

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Nut Loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup pecans/ walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cup of nuts( reserve 1/4 cup nuts to be chopped for the top of loaf) and baking soda in medium bowl. Blend eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk and vegetable oil in large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Pour into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Serves 12, warm or cooled.

Nuts May Help Prevent Diabetes

A 16-year study of 83,000 woman financed by the government indicates that nuts and peanut butter may prevent adult-onset diabetes. Women in the study who ate a handful of nuts or one tablespoon of peanut butter five times a week or more were at least 20 percent less likely to get diabetes than those who did not. According to Dr. Frank Hu, a researcher at Harvard University's School of Public Health, these results held up whether the women had healthy lifestyles or were smokers or inactive. The researchers believe the findings probably apply to men.

Past research has shown that nuts contain good kinds of fat and other nutrients that help keep cholesterol down. They also contain fiber and magnesium. Fiber and magnesium help to prevent diabetes because they help to maintain balanced insulin and glucose levels. (When the body can not produce or use insulin properly, diabetes occurs.) The researchers did not make note of what kinds of nuts or peanut butter the woman ate. Martha Funnell, head of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, warned that some brands of peanut butter, may contain high amounts of sugar or fatty preservatives. She advises people who eat peanut butter to check the labels.

Enjoy nuts, a delicious and healthy food!

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