Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 41st Annual Meeting
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MR. CORSAN: Mr. Chairman, there is one point raised by the last speaker that's not understood; that the young black walnut trees, when they first blossom, they come out with a mass of male blossoms. Then the English walnut, when it comes out, it sometimes comes out with a mass of pistillate flowers which people might not know are the female flowers. They make the nuts, but there is not even one catkin. I have seen that time and again.

Those trees in Russia would be dependent upon larger trees to pollinate them. But here you have young trees, and you have to wait till they get a certain growth, and then they produce their catkins.

DR. MacDANIELS: Thank you, Mr. Corsan.

The next paper, by Mr. J. F. Wilkinson of Rockport, Indiana, "Observations and Experiences with the Persian Walnut in Southern Indiana." Mr. Wilkinson.

(Paper not available for this Report.)

DR. MacDANIELS: We have a choice of doing several different things. There are several other papers we have here, the authors of which are not present. Then the other possibility would be to go on and have some papers that require the use of the lantern, as long as we have this all fixed up.

Perhaps the thing to do is to have Dr. Anthony's paper on chestnuts, using the lantern, and then have these other papers on the Persian walnut summarized after that. Does that seem to be a reasonable thing to do?

(Chorus of yeses.)

DR. MacDANIELS: We will go ahead on that basis, then. Dr. Anthony has the talk on chestnuts.

(This talk, withdrawn for revision, may appear in next Report.)

MR. CORSAN: Dr. Anthony, I knew Captain Sober very well, and he showed me quite a group—a double handful—of Korean sweet chestnuts. They were a little thicker than the native Pennsylvania chestnut, they are rounder and a little larger, but they weren't as large as some of the Chinese or nearly as large as the Japanese. What about those nuts, because, you see, the blight killed all his Paragon chestnuts—you know, the cross between the European and the American chestnuts—killed them all off completely, as it did with me.

DR. ANTHONY: In our detective work we were instructed to follow down that plantation. Mrs. Sober is still alive, living in Lewisburg. The planting has practically disappeared. I am going over there next week. It is still with the man who wrote "Chestnut Culture in Pennsylvania." MR. CORSAN: It broke his heart.

DR. ANTHONY: We are going over there next week, but I think that whole planting has disappeared. When these things change hands, another man comes in who is not interested, and things disappear very rapidly.

(Continue with paper.)

MR. CORSAN: I want to tell you how to keep the deer out of the chestnut orchard. Plant filberts five feet apart all around the place, and after while just put one single electrified wire five feet from the ground, and the deer won't get in through that.

DR. ANTHONY: Glad to hear that, because deer is one of our problems.

(Continue with paper.)

DR. ANTHONY: There is a tree beside the blacksmith shop, and the old man used to go there early in the morning as a boy to get chestnuts. Today he has taken down the old blacksmith shop and built a home, but he preserved that tree in Linglestown. It practically covers his house, six feet six inches in trunk circumference, 60 feet high and a spread of 60 feet. It isn't too long before we will have chestnuts that big to eat alongside the old blacksmith shop.

DR. MacDANIELS. It is about three o'clock. We will take a five-minute recess.

(Whereupon, a short recess was taken.)

DR. MacDANIELS: For the first paper after the recess, we will call on Sargent Wellman to speak to us about the Persian walnuts in England. Mr. Wellman.

Notes on Persian Walnuts in England

SARGENT WELLMAN, Topsfield, Massachusetts

MR. WELLMAN: Members of the Association: I was fortunate enough to be in England last summer, and I agreed that I would say a few words about nut growing there. What I am really going to do is largely to read you a few things from some articles that I found there.

I was very much impressed with the little interest that there is in nut growing in England, and I was very much surprised at it. Of course, you all know that the walnut grows there. The chestnut grows there. There are some fine, marvelous trees in Kew Gardens, of course, that I saw, and if you read the English poets, you will remember how they talk about chestnut blossoms on chestnut trees, but curiously enough, there is now very little interest.

MR. McDANIEL. When they speak of the blossom, they speak of the horsechestnut, do they not?

MR. WELLMAN: Not always, but there are pink flowered horsechestnuts in France, particularly, whole avenues of pink ones. The cob nut, as they call the filbert, is very common there, grown in hedges. One year when I was in England previously I brought home a few in my pocket, and I have a seedling which grew from one of those, which is comparable to the filberts I have, but apparently there is no interest in that, so far as I can see—I mean, any investigation and any experimentation and encouragement of its planting. But there is about the walnut. That's the one nut tree in which they are interested.

I picked up two reports, both of them made by Elizabeth M. Glenn, who is the woman connected with the East Malling Station down in Kent and is the one person who is doing more with walnut work than anybody else, as far as I could find out. Unfortunately, the day I was there she was on vacation, so I couldn't see her, but they were very kind to me and took me around and showed me everything.

As you know, the East Malling Station is the place where they have done all that work with apple root stocks. This one is a reprint from the annual report for the East Malling Station for 1946. And then "The Men of the Trees," which is a forestry society there which some of you may have heard of, have reprinted in the Autumn, 1949, number another article by Elizabeth Glenn on "The Selection and Propagation of Walnuts." And I think if I make a few comments and read a few things from these, you will be interested.

She says, "The earliest record of a walnut tree in England is 1562, but remains of walnut shells have been found in Roman villas, and it is probable that the Romans planted some nuts and raised trees in this country."

She says, "There is a large tree of it"—black walnut—"at Kew, near the entrance to the Rock Garden." Of course there are some rootstocks, and they are all specimen trees, but they are not used for nuts. She says somewhere here, "In this country the nuts are of little value, although in America they are used for confectionery purposes."

The East Malling Station is really a fruit research station, as I said, and they are the ones who are primarily interested in walnut crops and not timber production. "However, there is no reason why a tree shouldn't produce both good crops and good timber."

"The French, have been grafting walnuts for well over 100 years, and the famous Grenoble nuts all come from grafted trees of named varieties." She emphasizes the fact that almost all of the English walnuts are grown on seedling trees and are very much inferior to those that come from the Continent and from this country. And of course that was the purpose of their work, to encourage the use of grafted trees.

I was interested in this sentence: "The late Mr. Howard Spence began the survey and collection of good varieties growing in this country and abroad, and collaborated with East Malling in the trial of selected varieties." He was always interested in our society and was an honorary member of it for a good many years prior to his death.

I was interested in the fact that the problems that they have over there in the way of climate and some other things are very similar to our problems. She speaks a good deal about the matter of climate. I will come to that as I go along.

"Work on walnuts, started at East Malling in 1925, soon showed that the budding or grafting of walnuts out of doors was far too chancy in this climate to be relied upon as a means of raising young trees," so that all their grafting is done in the greenhouse, and they don't try to do anything outdoors.

"Outdoor grafting can be done successfully only where the mean temperature from May to September is above 65 deg. F." Then she gives a description of the greenhouse grafting, bringing in the seedlings and potting them in November, in the fall, and then starting along in February in grafting, and then taking them out and planting them in the spring. I won't go into that; there is nothing particularly interesting I think, for us about that.

Patch budding she also describes.... She says it's a much cheaper method than grafting under glass but at the moment the results are far less reliable.

"The walnut will tolerate a wide range of soils so long as the drainage is good and the soil is not too acid. Lime should be applied before planting, unless there is plenty present in the soil.

"The site should not be in a valley or frost hole, because, although the dormant tree is quite hardy and can stand severe frost, the young growths and catkins are very easily killed by spring frosts." They are talking about the same problem we have. In fact, in spite of the fact that the weather is warmer than in Boston and New England, they don't have the severe winters, but they do have this late frost.

Manuring. They recommend mulching with farmyard manure or compost put on the soil and worked in and no artificial nitrogen because that again gives too much late growth, and you have trouble with killing back.

She goes over the problems that we have been talking about this afternoon, about the time of leafing out in the spring and what the difference in the varieties is and the effects of that on the winter killing.

Now, I am not going to read much more. I will just read over the names of the varieties which may interest you. This first article, the 1946 one, lists Franquette, Mayette, Meylanaise, Chaberte, Excelsior of Taynton, Northdown, Clawnut, and Secrett. The latter article, which was published last year, says that in 1929, with the help of Dr. Taylor, the Royal Horticultural Society held a walnut competition. "Over 700 entries were received and were subjected to severe tests. Most of the nuts were far below the required standards, but five Were selected for propagation and further tests. The owners of the trees from which these nuts came supplied scion wood to raise grafted trees for trial at East Malling." The best ones came from a tree which they called "Champion of Ixworth." The second one was called "Excelsior of Taynton," which was in the list I read previously. Another variety is called "Lady Irene." I am not going into the description of these varieties here, because if any of you are interested, you can get hold of these publications and get it. She lists the Stutton seedling and then the Northdown Clawnut.

Also in this article she mentions the French varieties, of course, which were mentioned before.

Well, I thought it might just interest you that in another part of the world they are doing the same sort of thing we are, and they are having the same sort of problems and working on it. (Applause.)

DR. MacDANIELS: Several of these papers which were scheduled will be either summarized or read. One of them will be read now by Mr. Silvis of Ohio. The paper is by Carl Weschcke.

Prospects for Persian Walnuts in the Vicinity of St. Paul, Minnesota


Although I was asked to prepare a paper on the Carpathian walnut, I feel that my other experiences with Persian or so-called English walnut (the botanical name of which is Juglans regia) are also of some value to those who might be tempted to try this species of walnut in cold climates.

When I first started my experiments with nut bearing trees, I included the English walnut among the possibilities for our section. Mr. J. F. Jones of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, gave me much information and a great deal of help in trying out what he considered hardy strains. There was a walnut tree in Boston, known as the Boston walnut, of which he sent scions, and which I grafted on butternut. This was about the year 1920, and was included in my grafting experiments together with black walnut, heartnut, hickories, and hybrids between hickory and pecan. Later on, he sent me scionwood from other known hardy varieties which I placed on butternut, and many of these made tremendous growths but were winterkilled the very first winter. None of the English walnut with which I continued experiments lived over the first winter until I received scionwood from Prof. James Neilson of Canada, who sent the Broadview. These Broadview scions were grafted on butternut and black walnut, and a few of the scions survived for possibly three seasons, even producing staminate and pistillate blossoms and small nuts which grew only to about the size of a quarter and then dropped off.

Clarence A. Reed arranged to have some small seedling Chinese strain of Juglans regia sent from Chico, California; these were planted in favorable places and survived a few winters. I also planted seeds of the Chinese strains which gave me no better results than the seedlings.

Then I bought walnuts from A. C. Pomeroy, of Lockport, New York. These were even more tender than other varieties with which I had experimented, although they were very much publicized by Mr. Pomeroy in the Nut Grower during that era as being extra hardy, because they were growing near the south shore of Lake Erie.

I next went to Mr. Jones, who was then selling quite a quantity of Wiltz Mayette and Franquette strains of English walnut grafted on black walnut. These proved to be among the most tender varieties I have ever tested here. Then he sent me scions of the Hall and Holden varieties, which he felt were considerably more winter hardy, but here they failed to survive even one winter.

We have not neglected the Rush English walnut either, which was tested in a similar manner without any good practical results.

This now brings us to the convention at Geneva, New York, in 1936 when the Rev. Mr. Crath and George H. Corsan presented a new strain of English walnuts, known as the Carpathian strain, originating in the Carpathian mountains in Poland. This so impressed me that after talking it over with my father we decided to finance a trip into the same region that Mr. Crath had been in, to locate new and better varieties for a real test. The story of the Rev. Mr. Crath's and my adventure along these lines, during the winter of 1936-37, has been printed in the records of the Northern Nut Growers Association, and I will bring out only the high spots that seem to be important 14 years later.

In the shipments of hardy material collected were some 4,000 scions of possibly a dozen different good strains of what Mr. Crath considered hardiest and best. In addition to that, there were around 500 trees ranging in size from small whips of one foot long to some that were over eight feet; also there were some 400 pounds of nuts to be planted to produce seedlings.

These nuts had been gathered from superior hardy trees with the expectation that the seedlings would produce nearly true imitations of their parents in the quality of their fruit and hardiness. These seedling nuts produced somewhat over 12,000 seedling trees, which were planted in about six large strips of land so as to give room for cultivation. The 500 trees received from Poland were planted in favorable locations and many of them are still alive. The scionwood was put on native butternut and black walnut. Some of it was grafted to young nursery stock, but most of it was put on large mature trees, being top worked. Grafting was started in April and continued into the early part of June. The later grafts were much more successful than the earlier ones, although some of the April grafts grew and flourished. Many of these grafts bore flowers and had little nutlets but none of them ripened nuts. After about three seasons some of the grafts that continued to live produced a few nuts.

Three varieties were practically mature, and then the native insect pests caught up with them. Also, there was a black rot or wilt which I am fairly sure was walnut bacteriosis disease, although specimens sent out to competent authorities did not corroborate this diagnosis. What turned out to be the butternut curculio attacked all grafted and seedling trees with such vigor that there was no way to combat it. I sprayed some of the grafted specimens and kept it up for several years, trying to hold on to them, but it became too much for me and my equipment; I doubt now whether any amount of poison would have saved the trees because the butternut curculio is difficult to kill with poison. One of the varieties, known as the Kremenetz, grafted on black walnut, was sent to Harry Weber. It thrives and bears nice crops at his country estate in Cleves, Ohio, near Cincinnati. He has sent me scions of this variety, and this spring I grafted them back on black walnut, as the butternut curculio is not nearly as bad as it was when there was so much English walnut foliage for them to feed on (this foliage is their choice over all other foliage). These insect pests also wiped out several heartnut varieties which came from J. U. Gellatly, of Westbank, B. C, Canada; for next to English walnuts the curculio loves heartnut foliage and its new branch growth.

We have about 60 to 70 acres of woods which contain a large percentage of butternut, therefore it is next to impossible to wipe out their native food. I doubt very much whether this would have benefited the situation at all, as the curculio would have then centered all its activities on the English walnut foliage and perhaps have attacked hickories, pecans, and black walnuts, on which they sometimes try their appetites. Hybrids between butternut and black walnut are viciously attacked by this curculio. Hybrids between English walnut and other species of walnut which I have here also become a prey to curculio. So there is no trick species which would be immune to their attack.

The English walnut usually vegetates too early in the spring to escape some of our late frosts. Because this new growth generally contains the flowers, the fruiting of such trees would be very unreliable and only occasional. We even have trouble with black walnut and butternut in this respect. The hickory is much better, and the pecan is even later in respect to vegetation. I mention this because even though everything had gone well it is doubtful whether reliable crops of English walnuts would ever have been produced from the so-called hardy Carpathian series.

A year or so following the experiment with the Carpathian walnut, I imported about 100 pounds of seeds from Austria. They came in two different lots: one of them was more expensive than the other seed, and it proved to be much the hardier. The larger lot of smaller seeds was not as hardy. Although we have several hundred trees of this better seed lot which remain alive, they are no better off in any respect than the Carpathian seedlings. In fact, I could not see much difference between the behavior of these seedlings and the behavior of the Carpathian walnut strain.

While in California in 1939 I picked up about five pounds of seeds from a hardy tree growing in the Sierra Nevadas in Sonora, also some native black walnuts. These survived a few years but finally were winter-killed entirely, root and all. The Carpathians are never killed out entirely but continue to grow from the root systems, even though they are frozen back to the ground; but the insect and the fungus have destroyed many thousands of the original group of trees so that there are today perhaps between 1000 and 2000 living trees, which sprout up each spring and kill back each fall with clock-like regularity. Among these; However, are a few outstanding varieties which extend some hope that there may be among these survivors one or more trees which resist the butternut curculio and have become acclimated, to such an extent that they do not entirely kill back but only a little of their new growth is killed. These specimens usually are the ones that make a shorter growth during the summer, in fact have more of a tendency to be a genuine dwarf type of tree. Three such seeding trees were known to have sprouted from exceptionally large and very thin-shelled walnuts, which I believe the Rev. Mr. Crath calls the giant type.

I will now summarize and express my own private opinion regarding the future possibilities of introducing the English walnut into such an extreme northern latitude as we are in. First, experiments started thirty years ago, which period gives a reasonable period of time that any man should feel is necessary to devote to giving a species a try-out. Secondly, we have used material from every reasonably known source. Third, persons in charge had a reasonable amount of skill and success with other varieties to have insured success if the material had been responsive. My opinion, for what it may be worth, is that the species is out of its range in this northern latitude, more particularly because it is too tender to fight its own battles as to insect life which attacks it, particularly the butternut curculio. Grasshoppers, leaf eating insects, and worms of different sorts, also attack it more than they do other nut tree foliage. The possibilities of a break in the strong cycle of insect life is a hopeful prospect which we are helping by breeding tens of thousands of toads and frogs. This might allow some, of the more vigorous specimens to acquire sufficient size to overcome this weakness. In my opinion, the climate itself is not the main governing factor which would kill out all hope of raising English walnuts here; but certainly, coupled with the disastrous attack of insect life and susceptibility to blight, these three foes are almost insurmountable. And then in view of the early vegetating habit of these species, there is the possibility that even though you had a hardy tree, immune to insects, you would never get much fruit.


DR. MacDANIELS: Remember, the climate up around St. Paul is a bit rugged, and I think that work of that kind is certainly of value to give us an idea of the limits at which we can grow these trees, but I don't think that we have by any means explored the whole field.

In the Morris collection at Ithaca there is a little Persian walnut about the size of the end of this finger (indicating), a very small nut, that was given to Dr. Morris by a consul from the interior of Asia up in the Himalaya Mountains in Tibet, from of an elevation of about 10,000 feet. That little walnut had a hard shell, harder than some of our shellbark hickory nuts, and a bound kernel that I would say was much less promising than many of the nuts which we discard.

Somewhere, it seems to me, in this vast range of material we ought to be able to find some variety or clone of these species that would be adapted to practically every part of the United States. There at Ithaca we have the difficulties with the Persian walnut mainly of winter cold. That is the absolute low temperature that wipes out the trees, now that I have seen them come and go in my place there and in the vicinity. The old Pomeroy strain is killed at about 20 below zero Fahrenheit. It stayed there in fairly good condition up in the Lockport region until the extreme cold of 1933-34. Once the temperatures went down to nearly 30 below zero, except for a small region around the Niagara peninsula, where it hit only 12. Those trees are still there in that little circumscribed area around Niagara, and we saw a picture of one of them in Mr. Sherman's collection. But the Pomeroy trees, I have learned—I haven't seen them myself—were practically wiped out, as were the others, in what was thought to be the protected area along Lake Erie.

I remember the trees on the Whitecroft farm along Keuka Lake. Some of you saw those when the Nut Growers Association met at Geneva. They are on a bench close to Keuka Lake, which up to 1933-34 had not been frozen over for many years. They had grown, produced good crops, were in excellent condition, but that year the temperature went down to about 30 below zero and stayed there for a number of days. The lake froze over, and the trees were severely damaged. A California redwood which was there—had been there for 80 years—was killed outright, and so it goes.

Now, just for these Carpathian strains it seems to me that we have pretty well—perhaps you might say—licked this question of winter cold; that is, at least down to perhaps 30, 35 below zero Fahrenheit, but we certainly haven't licked the problem of early vegetation. That is, it starts out with warm days in the spring, the shoots get about this long (indicating), you get temperature going down to, say, 26, 27, 28, and your shoots are all killed back and you have lost your year's crop. So that's the problem which in the selection of varieties for this northern country, we have got to keep in mind, as I think that's one thing to look for among your Carpathian trees. It's one which will mature its foliage in the fall fairly early and which does not start out too quickly in the spring.

Now, we know there are some that don't start out in the spring, like these Chinese types, but what we want is a combination of short-season, late-starting, winter-hardy walnuts, and I think we can find them if we keep at it.

I didn't start out to talk so long, but I thought that was perhaps a sort of a summary of some of these things which we are looking for.

DR. CRANE: I'd just like to make a few comments. There is one thing that you have got to be very careful about, I think, in watching for these late-blooming Persian walnut trees that start in to grow, in Oregon, particularly, although the same thing is true in some areas of California where we are growing large quantities of Persian walnuts. You know that a deficiency of boron will cause trees to go into a condition which the growers out there now call "sleepers." They will stay dormant for quite a long period of time in the spring before they start growth. That's due to a severe boron deficiency.

Now, we have a lot of boron deficiency here in the East, and in areas in which we have trouble with growing vegetables, like cauliflower that has a hollow stem, or beets or turnips that split and crack, or where we have so-called drouth spot or internal corking in apples, you can be sure that you can't grow a Persian walnut, because the boron requirement alone is many, many times that of an apple or of most vegetables.

In Oregon on the same soils where we are growing apples, we put on a half a pound of borax per tree to control boron deficiency on apples. On walnuts we have to use anywhere from five to ten or twelve pounds for a tree of the same size. We have to have a boron content in walnuts very, very much higher than that of apples. We have got to be careful about that.

So if you do find late-sleeping walnut trees, or walnut trees that are late in starting to grow, you will probably find that is a result of boron deficiency.

MR. CORSAN: Mr. Chairman, I visited the Pomeroy Nursery in 1934. I had, in my own planting, about a score of trees and they were a most amazing sight. The big trees were all seriously damaged by that 1933-34 winter, as were all Ben Davis apple orchards. So what amazed both of us was the fact that Pomeroy's young trees weren't dead.[2] Of the Pomeroy, all the big trees were dead. I ordered some more from him, and I planted them, but the trees froze down to the ground. Just as a very few varieties of the Crath Carpathians did. They froze twigs and they froze buds and sometimes they froze the trunk. Only a couple of Carpathian varieties froze down to the ground, but every one of the Pomeroy did. I was quite sorry, because I had a Chinese English walnut from North China that was extremely hardy and lived through that winter almost undamaged. The nut, though, had a bitter tang, and Pomeroy's nuts were quite sweet and delicious, but I haven't a Pomeroy on the place. They are all stone dead.

[2] See Mr. Gellatly's paper in this volume.—Ed

DR. MacDANIELS: Thank you, Mr. Corsan.

Mr. Harry Weber will give us a paper by Gilbert Becker on Persian and black walnuts in Michigan.

Grafted Black and Persian Walnuts in Michigan

GILBERT BECKER, Climax, Michigan

The performance of grafted Persian walnuts in southwestern Michigan has been so satisfactory that I would not hesitate to recommend them, in preference to grafted black walnuts. One of the nicest things about grafted Persian walnuts is that when they start to produce nuts, they bear every year—there is not an off-season, as with the black walnut. Our locality may be especially suitable to them. Our skies are cloudy, and it is cool through much of the spring, thus preventing early growth before conditions are right for the buds to develop unhampered by late spring frosts. We have had an occasional late freeze that caused the lower nuts to drop, while the higher ones remained on the tree, unharmed.

In this article I would like to answer briefly our most often asked question, as to which varieties do we think best from our experience with them? Our climate must be quite different from that found around Ithaca, New York, because we have never had winter injury in certain Persian varieties, as occurs in that area. (And we had 26 below zero in February, 1949.) An instance of this difference is in regard to the McDermid variety, which happens to be our choice. We honestly believe the Crath No. 1 variety to have great commercial possibilities, because of its heavy production of large, thin-shelled nuts, of average quality. The Broadview is another. The Carpathian "D", apparently, pollinates the Crath No. 1 well. This one, however, is small, with a very white kernel that is sweet. We have many other varieties producing, some with their first crop this year; but we are not able to recommend any of them yet.

The black walnut varieties must be rather limited, because of the brooming disease trouble; so we select from those that are quite able to resist it, or that seem immune to the trouble. The Thomas and Grundy varieties lead with us, and two other local nuts, the Adams and the Climax, rate high in our estimation. We have some nice grafts of the Homeland bearing their third crop, which we like very much, and they appear disease free. The Elmer Myers, Michigan, and other varieties are now badly affected with brooming disease.

Several years ago I reported on my observations on the brooming disease. Now, I wish to report a little more upon the subject, especially in regard to how certain varieties have withstood its ravages. I hesitate to make any estimation as to how prevalent the disease is in the wild black walnut today, for it could be quite a controversial subject, with some claiming I was very wrong. Anyway, many of our native walnuts are now affected. Outward appearances are often very deceiving; but, when one cuts the top off a seedling and attempts to graft it, he may be amazed at the broomy growth that soon appears from the stock, should his graft fail to take. Trees that appear healthy, but have made slow or poor growth are often affected. Short, twiggy, upright growth that soon becomes dead or partly so, and arises from the main framework of an apparently healthy tree, is one of the signs that disease is there.

I have claimed there are two, or possibly, three forms of brooming disease, and I am still as convinced as ever. The so-called "witches-broom," as commonly seen in the Japanese walnut, is the form most people seem to think of. The second form is the rapid-growing type, that lops, or arches downward, is gray or green in color of wood, is very brittle and easily broken in the wind, ripping off good sized limbs, and winter-injures badly. An investigation, will, however, show much dead wood comes before severe weather. This form has some broomy, upright growth, like the first, but it is never bunched. The other, or possibly, the third form, is the latent type that doesn't seem to do much harm, merely causing poorly filled nuts. The latent form is difficult to note, and can be detected only by the many short, dead, or partly dead, upright twigs scattered along the main framework of older trees. Cutting off part of the top will cause the typical growth to arise, thus identifying itself.

Early observation showed that certain walnut varieties were almost unaffected, or could even be immune, to the brooming disease. Different limbs of a large tree were topworked to the Thomas and the Allen varieties of black walnut. The Allen "took" the disease at once, while the Thomas grew thriftily and has always produced good crops of nuts. Later, the Calhoun variety was grafted on some lower limbs, and has remained healthy. The diseased Allen grafts are still in the tree, are now 15 years old, and are more or less alive, but in very poor condition, with the signs as found in what I call the latent form. In 1938, the McDermid Persian walnut was grafted into this same tree, and its grafts produced good crops of nuts.

I wish to cite another instance of how little the Persian walnut is affected, regardless of variety. In 1938 a large black walnut near the house was grafted with Persian grafts, on stubs that had failed the previous year. The tree had the second, or rapid growing form, of brooming disease. I have pictures showing how badly the 1938 grafts took the rapid growing form of growth; while two 1937 Persian grafts showed no signs of trouble. The tree started to bear in 1941, and has made remarkable growth. It is now one of the nicest Persian walnut trees I have, bearing heavily every year. It is about 30 feet tall and 20 feet broad, with no apparent signs that it was ever affected.

I feel we should recognize the fact that eradication of brooming disease is impossible; but one should plant, or graft, those varieties known to bear good crops in spite of this trouble. The Thomas and Grundy black walnuts do very well here, as well as the two local nuts mentioned. I do not know of any Persian varieties affected. I do not have any Persian trees with the typical broomy bunch, as is so often seen in the Japanese walnut, and its hybrids. The native black walnuts, when affected, seem to fail to fill properly, are immature, and watery, black veined, and worthless at harvest time, shriveling to a dark, hard, kernel when cured.

I think this answers the oft-asked question, "Why do not my black walnuts fill as they used to?" There is a strange relation to the filling of the native black walnut and the days of 1934 and 1935, when we had the great walnut caterpillar scourge!—when the trees were stripped of all their leaves. Ever since, we have had the brooming disease to contend with. One could jump to the conclusion that improper filling and this trouble were caused by a lack of certain nutrients; but seedlings in nursery rows are often affected, even where they are given every care.

At one time this spring I thought I had found a new way of "bench-grafting" walnuts. Seven grafts, on black root, were made in December, and were planted directly in a frost-proof coldframe, as lilacs can be grafted. All seven grafts made good growth, that is, over three inches, by early May, but failed later. There is only one alive today, I do not think this an impossible method, but there must be a better way of handling to give success, such as attention to shading and careful watering. One may find more on this subject in "Propagation of Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers," by Wilfrid G. Sheat.

In our greenhouse work we have used several nutrient preparations, with poor to good results. There is one that has proved quite remarkable, and may be of use to the nut grower. Our concern has been to promote greener, healthier leaves, and the product "Ra-Pid-Gro" is most outstanding. Our tests in regards to nut growing are very limited. A pan of Chinese chestnut seed mixed in pure sand was set under the greenhouse bench last winter. The seed sprouted too early to be planted out, and trees have been left inside. Since the sand had no food value, Ra-Pid-Gro was applied to the leaves, allowing the drippings to go into the sand throughout the summer. Today, the little seedlings are indeed nice. Outside, a Persian walnut had yellow-toned leaves, and Ra-Pid-Gro was applied—now the leaves are green! It is amazing how quickly yellow leaves will become green. This appears to be a very useful product.

I believe we can have scions too dormant to graft! Last winter I had to make a new scion-box for storage, so copied it after the Harrington method, sinking it in the ground north of some evergreens. Scions have kept perfectly—maybe too perfectly—because they were absolutely dormant at grafting time, and have given poor success. It was rather late to save scionwood when I received an order to cut some of Mr. Hostetter's "Special Thomas" wood, so I cut a little extra for myself, and some wood from a little seedling Persian walnut that I wished to hasten by topworking. The buds were very much swollen that day, and the terminal buds were partly expanded. At grafting time I was quite surprised to find the wood I had cut late to be in exactly the same condition as it was the day I cut it. When grafted, every scion grew—all nine grafts made of the little Persian walnut were smaller than a lead pencil—and were pithy as well! This experience is so encouraging, I hope to have most of my wood in this advanced condition another year. Absolutely dormant wood might well be brought out of storage several days before grafting, in order to get it adjusted from winter to summer conditions.

DR. MacDANIELS: I think Dr. Crane is going to talk about the bunch disease tomorrow morning and will give us some indication about the work that has been done with that.

This matter of dormancy of scions we could probably get into an argument about, but that isn't the subject right now.

MR. CORSAN: I find that you mustn't go cutting back much. They don't like to be pruned. They are an open tree that grows a branch here, a branch there. They don't get anything like the dense branches of, say, the Turkish tree hazel. They are the very opposite, and they don't want to be pruned, and if you go pruning them, they are likely to have the witches'-broom.

MR. McDANIEL: There is another paper by Mr. Ward of Lafayette, Indiana, "The Carpathian Walnut in Indiana." The first part of it, the introduction, covers pretty much the same thing we have heard before from some of the other speakers about the Carpathian strains in this country.

The Carpathian Walnut in Indiana


Extension Horticulturist, Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

The Carpathian or hardy Persian walnuts (Juglans regia), as grown in Indiana, are nearly all seedling trees resulting from the desire of some hobbyists to try something new. Other than a few exceptions, most of the seedling trees were planted during the period of 1934 to 1938. Credit is due to the Wisconsin Horticultural Society in offering the seedling nuts for sale and from these plantings numerous trees grew and fruited. A few test winters, with the temperature as low as minus 20 degrees F., left only those trees hardy in wood and bud. The seedling trees under observation have been fruiting for the past six to eight years, with some trees producing as much as five to six bushels of nuts per year.

The tree grows best in well drained, fertile soil and a bluegrass sod. Small amounts of nitrate fertilizer, about the same quantity used on fruit trees, have stimulated growth and no doubt have helped in the sizing up of the nuts. The tree does not do well under cultivation or mulching, as winter injury to the tree has been recorded when compared to bluegrass sod. There is also a possibility that the tree will respond to applications of liquid or soluble nitrates when mixed in spray materials. Six walnut trees were sprayed with "Nu Green" on May 9th and May 28th, 1950, using the same mixture as is recommended for apples—five pounds per 100 gallons of spray mix. These trees were observed weekly, and by late August had made more growth and gave better response than trees in comparable unsprayed rows. As the walnut trees are of different varieties, no definite comparisons may be drawn, but the trees so sprayed outgrew the unsprayed plot, although both plots had received a spring application of fertilizer of equal amount.

Set of Fruit Depends on Pollination

The best yields of fruit are found on trees that have a good pollinator close by. Oftentimes the catkins of the Persians dry up, fail to shed pollen when the pistillate flowers are receptive or fail to produce staminate flowers. It was noted early this spring that the catkins on the Persians were very few. Pollen was gathered from the butternut (Juglans cinerea) for pollinating the pistillate flowers that opened early. The mid-season flowers were pollenized with black walnut (Juglans nigra), and the later blooms were fertilized with pollen from the heartnut (Juglans sieboldiana cordiformis). Many of the pistillate flowers were bagged and remained receptive for a long period.

The best set of fruit on trees this year is on trees that have either the black walnut or the heartnut near by as pollinizers. The pollen from the butternut seemed to dwarf the fruit size on those trees where the pistillate flowers were bagged in the Purdue planting. We have little doubt that the Persian walnut develops a preponderance of pistillate flowers and relies on pollen from kindred species for a good set of fruit.

Nut Displays Have Educational Value

The interest in the Persian walnut in Indiana has developed to the extent that several commercial fruit growers have set out small acreages. Most of the trees are seedlings from trees previously fruited, although several growers have budded or grafted the better seedlings on the native black walnut. The public has become enthused through the various displays at local and state fairs and through the state nut show now being held annually. The exhibits have brought out some very desirable seedlings, each listed under the owner's name. Some of the seedling nuts have averaged about two inches in diameter, and 12 year old trees have produced as much as 50 pounds of cured nuts.

The largest Persian walnut tree found in Indiana is at Lafayette, it being 12 inches in diameter and possibly 40 feet high. This tree has been fruiting for the past 15 years. There are probably five or six bushels of nuts on this large tree at the present time. This tree was placed as a yard tree for its ornamental value and for the fruit.

Numerous persons have inquired about the Persian walnut as a specimen tree in their landscaping program and the demand far exceeds the supply. As many of the elms, oaks, and some chestnuts are going out from disease troubles, the Persians may be used as a replacement. The food value of the walnut compares very favorably with that of other native nuts, according to Dr. A. S. Colby, of the University of Illinois.

———————————————————————————————————- % Water % Protein % Fat % Carbo- % Ash No. Calories hydrate per Pound Persian walnut 2.8 16.7 64.4 14.8 1.3 3305 Black walnut 2.5 27.6 56.3 11.7 1.9 3105 Hickory nut 3.7 15.4 67.4 11.4 2.1 3495 Pecan 3.0 11.0 71.2 13.3 1.5 3633 ———————————————————————————————————-

Nut Data Important in Classification

Three students enrolled in Horticulture have classified several of the seedlings. Paul Bauer, 1947-48, and Edward Burns and Gilbert Whitsel, 1949-50, have been using such information for their special project work as graduate and undergraduate students. These workers found a difference in the habits and performance of the seedling trees and two such examples follow.

Nut Data Sheet

1. Common Name: Fateley No. 1

2. Scientific Name: Juglans regia

3. Source or Owner: Nolan Fateley City: Franklin State: Indiana

4. Average Size: inches 1.7x1.8

5. Average Number Per Lb.: 23

6. Average Wt. Each Nut: 15.8 gm.

7. Shell Texture: Wrinkled and furrowed Crackability: Very good, thin shell Separation: Very good Average Wt. Per Nut: 7.1 gm.

8. Kernel Color: Light tan Quality: Very good, bland Average Wt. Per Nut: 8.7 gm.

9. Percent Kernel: 40.5%

10. Remarks: Exceptionally large, well formed kernel, appealing taste. Bore 50 lb. 1949. Tree set as 1 year seedling 1939. (Carpathian strain.)

Nut Data Sheet

1. Common Name: Fateley No. 3

2. Scientific Name: Juglans regia

3. Source or Owner: Nolan Fateley City: Franklin State: Indiana

4. Average Size: inches 1.3x1.54 long

5. Average Number Per Lb.: 34

6. Average Wt. Each Nut: 12.3 gm.

7. Shell Texture: Smoothly wrinkled Crackability: Very good, paper thin shell Separation: Very good to best Average Wt. Per Nut: 6.9 gm.

8. Kernel Color: Light tan Quality: Good, desirable taste Average Wt. Per Nut: 6.4 gm.

9. Percent Kernel: 54.5%

10. Remarks:

Fairly large, well filled, attractive shape and size with a thin shell. This seedling placed first at the Indiana State Fair and the State Nut Show, 1949. Tree medium in size, planted as one year seedling in 1939. This tree bore 24 pounds of cured nuts in 1949 and has been in good production for 7 years. (Carpathian strain.)

The descriptions given of the two Fateley trees are typical of some of the forty seedlings coming from various parts of Indiana, as shown in the following list.

The distribution of the Persian walnut to the public depends on the ability of the nurserymen to propagate and list the available varieties or unnamed seedlings. There is a great demand and a wonderful opportunity for the hardy Persian walnuts all over the Middle West or where apples will produce, not only for the nutritious fruits but for the ornamental value and for something different.

Indiana Counties with Carpathian Walnuts Under Observation and Test

(North to South and West to East on Map)


Porter (on Lake Michigan) Elkhart (adjoins Michigan) La Grange (adjoins Michigan) Kosciusko Whitley Allen (adjoins Ohio) Miami (Peru here) Wells


Tippecanoe (Lafayette here) Carroll Howard Grant Delaware Henry Wayne (adjoins Ohio) Marion (Indianapolis here) Rush Johnson (Franklin here)


Greene (Linton here) Monroe (Bloomington here) Brown Gibson (adjoins Illinois) Pike Posey (adjoins Illinois and Kentucky) Vanderburg (Evansville here) Warrick Spencer (Rockport here) Harrison (Last 5 counties are on Ohio river, opposite Kentucky.)

DR. MacDANIELS: Is Mr. I. W. Short of Taunton, Massachusetts here, or does he have his paper here?

MR. McDANIEL: I haven't received it.

There is a paper here, however, "Notes on Nut Growing in New Hampshire," by Matthew Lahti of Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Wellman.

MR. WELLMAN: This is very short. It is just a report of bad winters in New Hampshire. Mr. Lahti I knew in Boston. His farm is in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, about 75 or a hundred miles north of Boston.

Notes on Nut Growing in New Hampshire

MATTHEW LAHTI, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

I will bring up to date my experience on nut growing in Wolfeboro, N. H., and supplement my reports for the years 1947 and 1948.

We had late frosts this spring, so that there is not a peach on any of my peach trees this year. This may also account for the fact that there are no black walnuts either on the Tasterite, the wood of which has withstood the winters very well, or on the Thomas. The Thomas black walnut which I reported in 1948 as having suffered no winter injury the previous winter, apparently did suffer considerable damage, which became evident later. It has borne no nuts since, and there is a lot of dead wood this year and the leaves are sickly looking. I am afraid that the tree is going to die.

The filberts, Medium Long, Red Lambert, and No. 128 Rush x Barcelona, which started to bear in 1947, have since then borne a few nuts each year, but the crop is not heavy enough to recommend them for planting in our climate. While the wood suffers no winter injury, the catkins for the most part get winter killed and, consequently, there is a very sparse crop. What is needed for northern latitudes is a filbert that will ripen in our fairly short growing season, and whose catkins are immune to winter kill. The Winkler seems to be more hardy than the others, but the nuts do not ripen. This year even the Winkler catkins were killed, although the catkins of a wild hazel growing nearby were not.

I have two Crath Persian walnuts planted in 1938 which are the survivors of perhaps a dozen seedlings. These two trees have shown no injury. One is bearing seven nuts this year for the first time, and the other one, bearing for the second year, has 80 nuts on it at the present time. Last year the squirrels got all the nuts so that I could not evaluate them, but I will take precautions to save some this year.

The Broadview Persian walnut has thirty nuts on it this year, but the wood of the Broadview definitely is not hardy in our climate.

Summing up my experience with the various nut trees as previously reported, I would say that our climate is not suited for commercial nut growing, but for home use named varieties of butternuts and hickories that crack out easily and possibly one or two of the Crath walnuts should give satisfactory results. My chief difficulty with hickories has been the poor union at the graft, resulting in slow starvation and death in a few years. I have only three left out of approximately 25 trees that I have planted.

MR. CORSAN: A professor from the University of New Hampshire wrote to me that they were very much interested in planting a nut arboretum. Does anybody know what result came of it? I sent them some hybrids of the Japanese heartnut (female blossom) crossed with our native butternut (male blossom).

DR. MacDANIELS: I guess they are somewhat interested. They have very little possibility of growing very much except the butternuts, and sometimes hybrid filberts.

MR. WELLMAN: I have a friend who is up a little farther north than that, in Woodsville, and they have been urging him to set out filberts for wildlife food there, and he has shown me some of those that he has started. It's been quite a movement up there. I don't know how wide. He has about a hundred seedlings that are used for propagation by the state.

Is the Farmer Missing Something?


(Read by title)

The farmer is a specialist; a producer of edible crops. Like any other specialist, his thinking tends to be channeled along the lines of his specialty, to the exclusion of other lines.

For example, the average farmer probably knows little and cares less about teleology, metaphysics, or, let us say, forestry. He is a farmer. He makes his living by raising crops. And yet, a better knowledge and practice of forestry will not only make him a better farmer wherever he is located but, in certain locations, this knowledge and practice is absolutely essential to his continued existence.

In a recent decision of the U. S. Supreme Court upholding a decision made by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, a principle has been approved which may have a profound influence upon our future well-being. It affirmed the constitutionality of a Washington State law which requires the owners of land used for commercial logging to provide for its reforestation.

Such a law is novel indeed. What? May private owners of the earth's resources not use or destroy them as they see fit? The court, in effect, says they have no such right. In the court's own words, the "inviolate compact between the dead, the living, and the unborn requires that we leave to the unborn something more than debts and depleted natural resources. Surely, where natural resources can be utilized, and at the same time perpetuated for future generations, what has been called 'constitutional morality' requires that we do so."

The New York Times, in commenting upon this revolutionary but perfectly sane decision, says: "Time is truly running short; the annual cut of saw-timber, with natural losses, is 50% greater than annual growth.... If the individual forestland owner is too lazy, short-sighted, or indifferent to act, the Federal Government will have to enter the picture."

It is a complex picture. The American farm owner is, by every implication, also involved along with the forestland owner. He, too, has a duty to the unborn, but it is an opportunity as well as a duty. It is only because of what J. Russell Smith calls his insane obstinacy, that the average farmer is now operating a one-story agriculture in place of a two-story agriculture. If he were thinking and doing more about his debt to the unborn, he would also be serving himself better.

I am convinced that the farmer is the key man in forest husbandry. And the best way to interest him in tree planting is through his specialty—through crop production. A two-story agriculture! Tree crops along with other crops!

The farmers' education along this line has been very inadequate. We have been very stupid. Can we never learn to begin, as Hitler began—as the Russians are even now beginning—with the nation's children?

Perhaps we are learning a little. It is heartening to know that school and community forests are fast increasing in number, notably in New England. When fully used and well managed, they can work a revolution in the thinking of the young people who are so fortunate as to have some of their schooling out in the open. These future American leaders are learning at first hand through the ways of the woods how to make the work of their hands live far beyond the span of their lives.

Perhaps, as the result of this training early in life, a new interest among the farmers will emerge and some of our sins of omission will be remedied. As a planter of trees for the future, the American farmer, both of yesterday and today, has notoriously, thoughtlessly, and disastrously failed both his children and himself. By all standards, he should be the first-ranking tree planter of the land. As a matter of fact, it is practically impossible to interest the average farmer at all. State experiment stations and forestry departments make some effort to stimulate interest in the planting of trees by furnishing seedling stocks of forest trees at nominal prices and by issuing occasional bulletins. However well intentioned and, within their limits, well done these bulletins may be, the fact remains that in proportion to their numbers, farmers are still not notable planters of trees. Perhaps one reason for this failure is that most of the literature upon the subject seems aimed at lumbermen, and not at farmers. As to the bulletins which are aimed primarily at the farmer, examples of advice on forestry which is given in these rather too specialized and somewhat near-sighted publications are typically of the following kind: "Fence off the woodlot and never pasture it," "Use your best land for field crops; your waste land for trees." "You are interested in nuts? You can not have nuts and timber, too."

It is evident that these rules are prepared by foresters—not farmers. Is it any wonder that the inquiring farmer finds them rather frustrating?

It should be remembered that practices which are valid and helpful in the care of an already existing forest or woodlot where mature growth is periodically harvested and where young sprouts are encouraged for replenishment may be of little use in the management of an entirely new planting of certain kinds of trees where cultivation, at least for a time, is necessary. Deep-rooted trees, for example. Such rules have been of little use to me in my own planting of American black walnuts upon an Ohio farm. Indeed, to have followed them would have been disastrous.

My planting is not large. It is modest enough to be within the power of nearly any farmer. It has been treated as a farmer would treat it, without too much pampering. We now have a few more than three thousand trees planted upon forty acres. Most of them are now fifteen years old. Here are some of the things we have learned in fifteen years from our trees:

1. Trees spaced 80 feet apart in good deep soil have not made as much growth as seedling black walnut trees spaced 8 feet apart in rows 20 feet apart, also in good soil. However, these wider spaced trees are grafted pecans and Persian walnuts.

2. The seedling trees which stand in good soil have made surprisingly good growth. Some better than 8 inches diameter, breast height. One measured tree has grown 7 feet 1/2 inch this year to date—Aug. 20. (No fertilizer used, but cultivated.) Those which stand in shallow, thin soil are dwarfs, worthless. Walnuts have deep taproots. They need deep, rich earth.

3. Trees grown from planted seed make the best timber trees. Upon the other hand, if production of known quality is the primary objective, grafted trees of known varieties must be planted. The seedling of good parentage is an exciting gamble. It may be, and usually is a commonplace producer of nuts. Upon the other hand, it is more likely than the tree of poor parentage to win a place among the named varieties, set aside for propagation by budding or grafting upon other stocks.

4. Walnut seedlings like human beings tend to show marked inherited trends, erratic and undependable though they may be. Thus, seedlings grown from vigorous and upright trees tend to be vigorous and upright. Conversely, trees of poor parentage, either as timber or nut producers, will tend to reproduce the poor characteristics of their parent. This is more markedly true where the parent tree stands isolated from the pollen of other walnut trees of the same species.

5. I have found no real evidence that walnuts of our planting are toxic to other trees standing immediately beside them. To test this, we planted a few apple, peach, and plum trees in the walnut rows. They still stand literally arm in arm. This is, of course, all wrong. No tree should be so crowded. The apple trees monopolize space by excessive lateral growth. The plums send up unwanted shoots from their roots. The peach trees are passing out. Two or three of the apple trees are half dead. Others still live, but I am not very hopeful that, after the walnut trees are more mature, any of the apples will survive. The usual diseases and insects, plus shading by the walnuts seems to account for most if not all of the dead trees to date.

6. Grass growth is excellent right up to the trunks of all of the trees. It has never been necessary for us to lose the use of the land upon which the trees are planted. While the trees were young, of course, no pasturing was permitted. The land between the rows was cultivated. In these strips we raised berries and other crops. Now that the trees are tall enough to be beyond the danger of damage from livestock, we graze the pasture under and between the trees. No damage is evident from trampled earth (the walnuts are deep-rooted) and the hazard of fire is eliminated because there is now no need to mow excessive grass, weeds, or brush.

7. The most precocious seedling walnuts began to bear nuts at about 7 years of age. New bearers are coming in each year. All are still counted as adolescent trees, yet, last fall, picking up the nuts from none but trees marked for their better quality of nuts, we gathered some 40 bushels of nuts in the shell.

8. Today, we can count about 2,000 walnut trees which promise to be of good timber quality 35 years hence. At a reasonable estimate, 1,000 trees will then survive, be 50 years old, be worth $50.00 each, at present prices. Total, $50,000.00. This represents an annual increment in value of $1,000.00 per year for the 20 acres which are closely planted to black walnuts. Can the average farmer save that much in his lifetime? Can even the exceptional farmer do it on 20 acres? With as little investment of money and work? If so, how?

Any farmer can do as well, or better, without losing a single immediately productive acre. Why doesn't he?

The answer is in the very nature of the farmer's business. As has already been said, he is primarily a producer of food. If trees stand in the way, he chops them down. He has always chopped them down. It has become a habit. If the farmer is to be persuaded to change his ways and turn to planting trees, instead of destroying them, I repeat, the entering wedge into his interest will be, I believe, through dual-purpose trees—trees for food crops, as well as for timber crops. Of these species, the black walnut of eastern America is probably the most outstanding one of all, at least in the mid-section of America. The butternut—"white walnut"—flourishes better in the north. The chestnut is another—a tree almost literally raised from the dead by the efforts of a few miracle workers like Dr. Arthur H. Graves of the Connecticut Experiment Station, who, with others of his kind, has been in the throes of producing a blight-resistant, tall-growing hybrid timber tree out of the bushy Chinese chestnut, a producer of the sweetest of nuts. The pecan, too, is being pushed northward. Great groves of wild pecans have firmly established themselves along the Ohio River. Their timber is fair; not wonderful. The mulberry tree is still another. The American species produces a timber which is remarkably durable under ground. Its fruit is not sufficiently appreciated. It makes an unsurpassed jam or jelly or pie when combined with a tart fruit like the cherry, grape, or currant. And who does not know the precious wood of the wild cherry? Its rosy warmth of color is the pride of the "antique" connoisseur; its fruit beloved by birds and squirrels; its juice, the secret of the cherry cordial. Even that foreigner, the Persian "English" walnut, of Carpathian strains, is pushing north into Canada and the East Coast region. Its wood, too, under the name of "Circassian," is famous for its figured beauty[3].

[3] Some of the "Circassian walnut" is another genus, the wingnut (Pterocarya).—Ed.

One might go on and on with a list of trees and tree crops easily available, mostly native, all of which should be both figuratively and actually right down the farmer's alley.

Perhaps the education which can come through the agency of many school forests will in good time turn the attention of young and impressionable minds to the potential wealth to be found in the trees. Normally, the young, who, of all people, should be forward-looking, are least concerned with the long-term future. They are not given to making plans or building estates for their grandchildren. As a consequence, the planting of trees is traditionally taken over by the aged, or at least by the mature. This is all wrong. The young farmer who plants interesting trees is preparing for some of the most exciting and prideful moments in the years which follow. And he is also building, at low cost, and with little labor, a priceless estate.

How to Lose Money in Manufacturing Filbert Nut Butter

CARL WESCHCKE, St. Paul, Minnesota

Inasmuch as there are so many words of wisdom and advice showing the reader how to make money in different ways, I have started a new line of caption with the hope that it might serve as a warning for those who would stick their necks out, as the term applies to those people who venture beyond safe margins of restraint. Since this is a recital of facts, and since Professor George L. Slate has requested me to report on my experiences, I submit the following for what interest it may hold for the readers.

Most ventures are backed by optimism of some sort or other, coupled with some experience, capital, hopes, and ambition. The project which sparked the entrance into the manufacture of filbert butter was the success that I was having with hybridizing our best native hazels with the best known filberts, such as crossing of the wild American hazel with Barcelona, DuChilly, Italian Red, Purple Aveline, Red Aveline, White Aveline, also filbert strains from J. U. Gellatly of Westbank, B. C., Canada, and strains from J. F. Jones, hybrids, European strains of filberts from the Carpathian mountains, and any right pollen which could be obtained from known filbert parents. Today we have over 2,000 seedling hybrids of which between 500 and 600 have come into bearing. Some of these are really surprising varieties of the combination hazels and filberts, but a complete history of the hybridization work and the results really deserve a separate account to be published some time in the future. I merely mention this because the success of these plants in producing nuts leads me to contemplate the future production of these hybrid nuts, called Hazilberts,[4] on a large scale.

[4] Another coined name, by Mr. Gellatly, is "Filazel."

My problem was to engineer a scheme whereby I could interest farmers in setting out small acreages of these plants and guarantee that there would be a market when the plants produced nuts, which would be in about three years from the time they were planted. Seeing that the filbert producers in the west were struggling for a better market, since conditions were not too favorable for the filbert in its competition with the foreign nuts and the California produced Persian walnut, I decided that nuts in the shell were a little bit old-fashioned. Many of our prominent members of the NNGA have from time to time advised the marketing of nut kernels rather than nuts in their natural containers, and I thought a step in the right direction would be to manufacture a ready-to-eat product from the kernels. And what could be nicer than a butter similar to peanut butter?

So I began scouring the market for a grinding machine that would grind filberts to the consistency of a smooth peanut butter. My first machine was a Hobart peanut grinder. When buying this machine the mistake I made was to let the agent of the manufacturer demonstrate how good it was to grind Spanish peanuts; I should have had it tested on filberts as they are much tougher, even though they do carry more oil. This machine was installed, but it was a complete failure and I decided to buy more expensive machinery, and also put in a cracking plant and buy the nuts by the ton or carload, if necessary, directly from the growers on the Pacific Coast or through their organization, the Northwest Nut Growers. I located a satisfactory machine for the purpose, which required about 7 horse power to run. Since this was during the war and no motors of the right speed and power were available at the time, I set up my own generating plant, using a 25 kilowatt generator driven by a Diesel engine which generated direct current so that I could use direct current motors which I already had among my machinery supplies. Then a separating machine, which required a 10 horse power motor just to operate the fan, which is part of that equipment, was purchased. Also, a nut cracking machine was secured from a West Coast manufacturer. Along with tanks and containers and other necessary equipment, all set up in a little factory building I had available for that purpose, I commenced the manufacture of filbert butter on a commercial scale.

The product was declared by every one to be excellent. We were quite sure of this since we had taken pains to buy up any product that purported to be a nut butter, and had tested those products in many ways to assure ourselves that we had a product superior to anything that we could find on the market at that time. The Owens Illinois Glass Company designed our label and gave us the benefit of their experience with containers. Then we placed our initial order for glass containers and re-shipping cases. Every detail in handling this material was properly taken care of, to insure that if the orders came rolling in we would be able to supply the demand and have our shipments reach the consumer in first class shape.

Then we initiated an advertising campaign, coupled with sampling, and received many fine letters which encouraged us to hire a salesman who sold the product to the stores in the Twin City area so as to have proper distribution. Advertising was done also in two national magazines, so we sat back, hopefully anticipating the big orders that we were soon to receive. The reorders from the local stores came in slowly, too slowly for our set-up. We received suggestions from the store keepers and from other persons that perhaps the product was too high priced, so we made experiments in other towns where we set the price so low that there was no profit. In fact, there would be a loss of money were we to do business on that basis. Yet there was no stimulation of sales due to this reduction in price.

Many good suggestions came in; among these was the suggestion that the product lent itself nicely to an ice cream topping; by mixing it with honey or with syrup we interested our largest manufacturer of ice cream in this locality and he did a lot of experimental selling. He was very cooperative. He also sold it in his branch stores as milk shakes; everybody liked it. No complaints whatsoever except that the manager said it was too expensive to compete with a chocolate flavor on which he made much more money. Finally this whole thing fizzled out and was discontinued.

The next experiment was with candy; as a candy center it was one of the finest tasting confections that had ever been made, but the oil which would ooze through the chocolate coatings prevented the practical use of it. You see, the filbert has about 65% oil, and when it is ground into a fine, creamy butter, this oil will come out and sometimes be an inch or more in depth over the top of the butter in the glass container in which it was marketed. So we investigated several methods by which we could eliminate the oil. We could pour it off and sell the oil separately; we could emulsify the product with the addition of certain emulsifiers, so as to keep the oil mixed with the starch and protein of the filbert nut. We tried many ways; there is only one method that we haven't used and that is to combine solidified or hydrogenized peanut oil with the filbert butter in order to prevent this liquid oil from rising to to the top of the product. The reason we did not do this is quite apparent—we did not want to mix peanuts and filberts, as we considered peanut butter a cheaper and inferior product. We could not hope to compete with peanut butter with the prices already set for peanut butter recognized by the trade.

Among the products that came to our attention, however, was one which had both filbert butter and solidified peanut oil in it. When we tested this product among many of our friends, they declared it tasted too much like peanut butter. It spoiled the delicate, fine flavor of the natural filbert butter (which we were marketing without adding any sort of seasoning, and without roasting the product the way peanuts are roasted before they are ground into butter.)

Now, if any of you readers think that we have left out something important which would have insured the success had we done it that way, we would certainly like to hear from you, or we have some nice machinery that we will sell cheap in case you want to experiment with it yourself. I would be the last one to condemn the future possibility of producing a commercial nut butter, and yet it is strange that the only successful nut butter is not a nut butter at all. Peanut butter is not a nut butter because peanuts are a legume like a pea or bean. To my knowledge, we do not have any nut butters on the market today with the exception of the cashew nut butter, which recently had a distribution in our locality, but which seems now to have run its course much as our products did. We bought the cashew butter and tried to interest everybody to use it, just to see whether it was any different than our product in its popularity. In our meager tests we found that the filbert butter was slightly more popular than the cashew, since the cashew reminded people too much of peanuts again. It was also very expensive. However, there must be a way to make a satisfactory butter out of filberts or hybrid nuts, as they carry the hope of the cheapest nut product, which is fundamentally necessary to manufacture a popular food item.

The method of propagation of the Hazilbert is by layers instead of grafting—layering is a cheaper and more satisfactory method. Also, the nuts are the most satisfactory to crack as they have no inner partitions which would require intricate machinery to extract the kernel. Their keeping quality is excellent; we have tested this out over a number of years, and filbert butter properly processed will easily keep a year without turning rancid or having an unfavorable flavor. The tonnage of nuts that can be produced on an acre of land is unbelievably high. I have measured individual plants and their production, and the area that they covered, and it is safe to say that we can expect to produce a ton of nuts in the shell per acre in favorable locations on good deep soil. Even at 10c per pound for the nuts this is a good return. New methods of gathering the nuts after they fall from the involucre or husk are being discovered and improved by the western growers from time to time, so that the old expensive method of hand-picking is being eliminated. This should make the filbert even cheaper to harvest.

It is not my intention here to discourage the manufacture of filbert butter, but to point out the difficulty that I have had personally to promote the idea in a commercial way. Neither is it my intention to stimulate too much interest in the planting of the new filbert varieties which are still under test. I feel that it is necessary to test a plant for at least a five-year period before it can be singled out as a plant to propagate. We have not yet reached the point where we care to sell these plants, as much better ones might crop up among the untested plants, which number over 1000, and which have never yet had a chance to bear so as to show what they can do. At some future time I expect to write an article on filbert hybrid culture (Hazilberts) for the whole central, north, and northeastern part of the United States, and at that time I believe that tests will have progressed to such a point that recommendations can be made.

DR. MacDANIELS: There was one more paper that the Secretary has that was not scheduled, from Mr. Elton E. Papple, of Ontario. Title, "Filberts, Walnuts, and Chestnuts on the Niagara Peninsula."

Filberts, Walnuts and Chestnuts on the Niagara Peninsula

ELTON E. PAPPLE, Cainsville, Ontario

My brother and I have been interested in growing nut trees for some time, and have had some interesting experiences and some success. A few years ago, Mr. Slate sent us from Geneva some varieties of filberts which he considered quite hardy. We purchased some from Mr. Gellatly in Westbank, British Columbia, some from Mr. Troup, Jordan Station, Ontario (near Vineland); also from J. F. Jones Nursery, then in Lancaster, Pa. Mr. Slate sent us scionwood and we grafted these scions in the spring and layered them shortly afterwards. By the following spring they were rooted well enough to be planted out in the nursery row. This gave us our material to work with, and about the third year we started making crosses between different varieties. The first year we obtained quite a few crosses, and had a good number of these seeds to germinate in the spring after taking from stratified storage and planting them in the nursery row. These trees have now started to come into bearing, and they promise to be better than their parents in some instances.

We made a number of crosses since, but we have been very busy and the young trees of these crosses have just about perished through neglect. In this last lot we had a cross of the filbert on the beak or horn hazel[5], and of a cluster of three, had one to grow, which in turn was promptly eaten off by a rabbit or rodent of some description. The reason for this cross originally, was that, so far as we could see in the last fifteen years the male catkins never winter-kill; whereas filbert trees are subject to this hazard. Some of the filbert varieties have the ability to withstand changeable weather and not lose all of their catkins. Others will winter-kill in the wood as well. We have removed all our Barcelona and Du Chilly trees because they winter-killed almost one hundred percent.

[5] Corylus rostrata.—Ed.

With the experience we have had with filberts, we believe that before they could be commercialized, it would be necessary to have hardy catkins that will withstand changeable weather: not altogether resistance to extreme cold, but to temperatures that vary from warm to freezing in a few hours. A mulch does help where the warm period is for a short duration; but last winter we had a week or more of warm weather in January, with rain and then a cold snap. Even then, some of the catkins on the German varieties and others came through fairly well.

Selection of varieties for machine cracking or eating from the shell should determine varieties one should grow, but hardiness should be the key factor in selecting varieties. The following table shows some of the crosses we made. Most of these seedlings have borne a few nuts to date, but we cannot give anything definite as to whether the catkins are hardier than those of the parents.

Table of Crosses:

Female Male

Italian Red Medium Long " " Red Lambert Medium Long " " Cosford " " " Vollkugel Comet Cosford " Vollkugel Craig Red Lambert Gellatly Vollkugel Carey Red Lambert Fertile de Coutard " " Barcelona Vollkugel Seedling (W) Red Lambert " (E) Vollkugel

I would like to make a few remarks on our heartnut and Carpathian walnut trees. Most of the heartnut varieties came from B. C. and we think that Mr. Gellatly has some of the best obtainable anywhere in North America. The Bates heartnut from J. F. Jones Nursery seems to be very hardy here, and quality of nut is very good. We have found—comparing a heartnut rootstock which grows two weeks later in the fall than some of our black walnuts—that the same variety of heartnut will live one hundred percent on black walnut stock and winter-kill severely on the heartnut rootstock. We believe that the root system for the north, either heartnut or black, should be carefully selected for its growth habits before considering its use as material for rootstock in grafting or budding. I might add here that we also found that if the variety of heartnut was not hardy, it did not help any in regard to hardiness to use black walnut at the rootstock. There is a good crop of heartnuts on the trees here this year.

In grafting Carpathian walnuts on black, we found that some varieties graft or take more readily than others. Also some would give a better union. The Broadview winter-kills with us, but it is not hard to graft it almost one hundred percent. We have quite a number of the Carpathians bearing and they seem to be quite hardy, of good size and quality, and bear every year. As the catkins were killed on all but one variety, due to the unseasonable weather experienced last winter, there will be only a light crop. The hardy variety has late blooming male catkins which might account for its catkin hardiness. It is of good size and excellent flavor. Possibilities for commercial planting of these Carpathian varieties in the north appear promising in favored localities.

Our Chinese chestnut trees seem to be hardy and this year have produced a few burs for the first time. We have planted out about sixty young trees this year and they are all growing nicely. The weather has been wet and just the thing to get them started.

Our hickory trees, which we grafted, are growing well and we set some more out last year. When we started grafting hickories, we had one hundred percent failure, but kept at it until we got almost a perfect take. The hickory seems very slow in forming a union. A lot can happen to the graft before it gets started. Filberts graft as easily as apple. Our findings in grafting nut trees are that any amateur can graft apple trees, but nut trees are something different. We have a number of odds and ends besides what has been mentioned.

Being a member of the N.N.G.A. has helped us in growing nut trees, and the information in the Annual Reports should help anyone who has just become interested in growing nut trees. The information is up-to-date and fairly accurate. All one has to do is apply his findings to his own planting.

MR. CORSAN: Doctor, in that same neighborhood is a man who called on me who has a nut aboretum of 40 acres on Grand Island in the Niagara River. That's above Niagara Falls, of course. I thought he'd call again, but I didn't get his name, or at least I have lost it, and what do you think he is growing in the way of nuts? Can anybody guess:

A MEMBER: Coconuts!

A MEMBER: Peanuts!

MR. CORSAN: I am growing coconuts in Florida—but on that one 40-acre tract on Grand Island, New York—he lives in Buffalo—he is growing evergreen nuts from Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra), Korean pine, Philippine pine, Pinus Lambertiana, Pinus Monophylla, Pinus edulis and Digger pine (Jeffreyi). He is growing these evergreen pine nuts, and he says he is making very good success of it.

MR. STERLING SMITH: Chas. F. Flanigen is his name. He's a member.

MR. WEBER: I'd like to ask the members, or those present, whether they have failed to sign the registry of attendance.

DR. MacDANIELS: That ends the formal program this afternoon. It's always been a criticism that things are too crowded. We have an opportunity now for about half an hour to visit, look over exhibits and then later on we will meet at six o'clock at The Stone Chimney.

(Whereupon, at 4:35 p.m., the Monday afternoon session was closed.)


DR. MacDANIELS: Without any question at all, I think, the most important single consideration in determining the planting of nuts is the matter of varieties, and I know that Dr. Crane has some ideas along that line which he wishes to develop, and without any further talk on my part, I will introduce Dr. Harley Crane, United States Department of Agriculture.


Nut Varieties: A Round Table Discussion

H. L. CRANE, Chairman

DR. CRANE: Mr. President, members of the Northern Nut Growers' Association: I think it is, without a question of doubt, of the greatest importance that we consider this question of varieties. After all, a variety of any plant, in my opinion—which I think can be well supported—is the most important thing that anyone can consider when it comes to planting or developing a nut tree or a fruit tree or anything in the fruit line. We can cultivate and fertilize and spray and do everything that is needed to be done today in a modern fruit or nut orchard farm, but if the variety is not suited to the climate, if it is not a good variety, all our efforts that we make towards developing a good tree and bringing it into fruiting are wasted.

I know that every one of you appreciates old varieties of corn and just what has been done in our new varieties of hybrid corn, how hybrid corn has changed the variety situation. Now it's hybrid this and hybrid that, because hybrid varieties are generally superb.

Now, at this time in our nut work we are a long way yet from growing good hybrid varieties, and I feel that there has been an effort on the part of a lot of people to capitalize on the word "hybrid," because hybrid corn has been such a success; and we figured that by carrying it over into other plants, particularly the nut trees, we would get the same remarkable performance from hybrid nuts that we do from hybrid corn. But that is not the case.

We will come to that some day in the future, maybe—not in our lifetime, but we will have hybrid varieties, because, after all, our great improvements that have come in most of our plants, in corn and in wheat, and in other plants, have come through the mixing of the genes, or the characters that we have differing between species.

In our nuts, now, with the exception of hicans, we are still dealing with pure species, and most, if not quite all, of our hicans are worthless at the present time, largely because of sterility.

A good variety is the most outstanding thing that a horticulturist can get or can have, because of the fact that it does have the character in it which will make good growth. It will set a lot of nuts, it will carry them through to maturity and it fills them, and if a variety doesn't do that, it's not a good variety. Then after we get the nuts filled, cracking quality, eating quality or oil content, and all these things come next.

Now, this brings us next to the very important consideration of how are we going to get a new good variety? Well, we can do that by selecting from seedling nuts, or we can make controlled pollinations, crossing different varieties, or varieties of different species, planting the nuts or growing new trees and then selecting out of them those that have the desirable characters.

But the first thing that we have got to do after we have either selected the nut or made the hybrid and selected the nut is to evaluate the nut as to whether it does have the first character, or proper characters, that we ought to have in the nut. Does the crop ripen evenly? Whether it hulls readily or comes free of the husk is a minor consideration, provided that the nut itself has the desired characteristics. By that I mean, does it have a good, large kernel which is well filled and bright in color, or good flavor free from any objectionable characters? How about its shell, percentage of shell in relation to kernel? Those are some of the things that we have first got to consider.

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