Each of these situations requires research under your own state laws. I had hoped to be able to tell you something definite and precise as to each situation, but when I considered the membership in the Northern Nut Growers, the many states it covers and the great difference in the state laws, it's just impossible to lay your hand upon one set of facts that governs. You should consult your attorney who is dealing with your transactions and tell him specifically what you have in mind and what you want to protect. He will know whether your state recognizes covenants running with your land and what provision can be made to protect trees that you want to save or secure damages.
Remember, in any transaction, if it is not in the written instrument that you sign, it's just an oral agreement that you make on the side, and it doesn't mean a thing. It has to be in the paper that you sign.
As I mentioned briefly, in what they call "eminent domain", the state has a right to take property for public use. The only thing you can do there is just get your head square and fight, and if you are stubborn enough, you may find someone in the organization that you are dealing with who has some interest in trees. They may not be members of the Northern Nut Growers Association or any tree association, but there are some people who appreciate trees and who do realize how long it takes to have a nice pecan tree or nice hickory nut tree growing.
If they call you contrary, that you won't give in to anything, let them call you contrary, let them call you nuts, but you can protect your trees and make sure that their future is secure.
What will happen to your trees after you are dead? Each individual's situation has to be considered separately. In many states you can provide by will to whom you want your nut planting to go, or you can, by making a trust, give the trees to trustees with certain powers and duties to care for and manage them for a period of time or perpetually, depending on the laws of your state. Usually it is limited to the life of some person or 21 years. In that length of time if your heirs or the person you desire these trees to go to have not educated themselves to the value of the tree, then the planting will be lost anyway.
In all of these cases and all the transactions that you make, if you value your trees—and you surely do when you will carry water for them and plant them and dig that large hole for those roots—it is worth while to look after them during the trees' lifetime, not your own lifetime. And if you will consult with your attorney, particularly mention those trees to him and just exactly what your ideas are, I think you will be assured that you will have a future for nut trees.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: Thank you, Mr. Sonnemann.
Are there any questions you wish to ask on this subject. Here is a chance to get free legal advice on the spot. That's unusual.
DR. GRAVATT: There is one point I'd like to bring out, backing up what the gentleman just said. You know we introduced back in 1928 to 1936 very large numbers of Chinese and Japanese chestnuts. Most of them went out to state forestry departments and such; somewhere around a half million trees. We have had some very valuable cooperative orchard plantings, which have been lost because something happened to the man, he moved away, sold his property, or died. With these gentlemen who have passed away, experimental orchard plantings and other trees were part of their lives, but their children, or whoever inherited the property, had no interest in continuing the work.
We have had the same experience with some agricultural experiment stations where one of the horticulturists is interested in the plantings, but has moved away, and we have lost our plantings.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: Thank you, Dr. Gravatt. Mr. Becker, do you wish to say something about the Reed Memorial?
MR. BECKER: This is just a word of appreciation to a number of the Northern Nut Growers members who have helped out with the C. A. Reed Memorial.
When we organized the Michigan Nut Growers Association last January it was Professor O'Rourke's idea to have a memorial at Mr. Reed's home town, which is Howell, Michigan. With Mrs. Reed's approval we planned as our first project, planting a nut tree with a suitable plaque in memory of the late Dr. Reed.
As a followup, we issued a little bulletin asking for contributions toward the memorial. We sent these out to people who knew Mr. Reed, many of whom are among this group.
Response has been gratifying and we now have approximately $95 toward the tablet. On Arbor Day a Michigan variety of shagbark hickory called the Abscoda was planted at Howell on the library grounds. The services were conducted with the cooperation of the Michigan State College and the Livingston County garden group. This is a word of appreciation and also to explain what we have done. Thank you. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: We will go on to the next paper, "The Value of a Tree," Ferdinand Bolten, Linton, Indiana. Mr. Bolton. (Applause.)
MR. BOLTEN: Members of the Northern Nut Growers Association and ladies and gentlemen: I am just a farmer. I am not a speech-maker, like the lawyer here who makes his living talking. I make my living farming, and I have some ideas, views that I'd like to bring before you.
The Value of a Tree
FERD BOLTEN, Linton, Ind.
Members of the Northern Nut Growers Association, ladies, and gentlemen. It may be a little unusual for a fruit grower and farmer to be on this program; however, I have lived a lifetime working with trees on the same farm I was born on sixty-six years ago last May. We have one hundred acres of orchard, several varieties of nut trees, including English walnut, pecans, hybrid pecans or hicans, hickories, filberts, hazelnuts, heart nuts, butternuts, black walnuts; also, persimmons, pawpaws, hybrid oaks and many of the native forest trees. In operating a farm this size, you naturally get a lot of experience and headaches. A very good friend of mine told me a joke that I think fits in with my farm very well. He said a fruit grower delivered a load of apples to the insane asylum. One of the inmates was helping unload the apples. The inmate kept talking about apples, so the grower asked him if he was ever on a fruit farm. The inmate replied that he was before he came to the asylum and, in return, asked the grower if he had ever been in the asylum. The grower replied that he had not. Then the inmate said, "Mr., I have been both places, and I can tell you something. It is a lot nicer here than it is on a fruit farm".
My subject is,
THE VALUE OF A TREE
A tree out of its natural habitat sometimes becomes worthless. As an extreme example, the orange tree in Indiana has no commercial value and the apple tree in Florida has no commercial value. Therefore, it seems that we should, in Indiana, endeavor to develop better trees in the trees which are at home here. This includes the native hickory and the black walnut, hazels, filberts and the pecans in Southern Indiana. Personally, I am spending quite a bit of time with the Crath Carpathian English or Persian Walnut. Last winter, I lost seven out of fifty trees from some cause, after they had gone through the winter of 1950 and 1951, at a temperature of nineteen below zero without injury. It may have been they were caught last fall by a hard freeze in full foliage, early before the apples were all picked; and, again, it may be blight. I hope not. But this I do know, the hickory and black walnut in their natural habitat were not injured.
I wonder why hickories are so erratic in their bearing habits. Could it be the winter rest period? For example, the peach has to have from seven hundred hours, in some varieties, to twelve hundred hours, in others, of below forty-five degrees temperature, or they will not set a good crop of fruit. The value of a variety of peach in Georgia sometimes is determined by the number of hours of rest period below forty-five degrees that the variety has to have. It has happened that the same variety of peach has produced a good crop in Northern Georgia and a poor crop in Southern Georgia. Where the winter was not as cold in Indiana we never lose crops from the lack of enough cold weather; we lose them from sub-zero temperatures. So you see, the value of a variety in Georgia is different to Indiana.
The value of a tree may be in the wood or in the food its produces, or its beauty in winter. Many a picture is taken of evergreens covered with snow. Its value may be its beauty in summer, or the coloring of its leaves in the fall. There is also a sentimental value; a limb that is just right for a child's swing, the Constitutional Elm at Corydon, or the Harrison Oak at North Bend, Ohio. They have a historical value and are visited by many people.
A man said to me some time ago, "I wonder why God made the hicans the cross between the pecans and the hickory?" There may be a valuable nut tree show up in the second or third generation of the hybrid trees when certain characteristics begin to revert to the parent trees. I have on my farm some hybrid oaks grafted, and am very anxious to see them produce acorns so I can plant them and watch the results. This hybrid originated in the Greene and Sullivan County Forest in Indiana, and is called the Carpenter Oak after Mr. Carpenter, the district forester. It is, apparently, a cross between the shingle oak and the pin oak because it is comparable with both of them.
The value of a tree is not always the one that wins first prize in the show. The best plate of nuts in the show may not be from the most valuable tree, because it may be biennial in bearing habits, it may be a shy bearer, it may be an early bloomer and subject to frost. My most productive Crath Carpathian tree is not the best walnut and would not get anywhere in the show, but it is hardy, blooms late, and is productive; so its value is in these traits. The number of chromosomes in the Crath Carpathian walnut may be different. There is quite a difference in the size of nuts produced on individual trees. This indicates that there may be a difference in chromosome count. If this is true, it will be a great help in improving the size of the nuts produced. It may be of value in pollination. The triploid apple needs to be pollinated by the diploid variety. By setting them close together, you get a much better set of fruit.
Sometimes I think trees are as temperamental as people. Some trees, especially the apple, lose their value because they are subject to certain diseases. Some are susceptible to scab, blight, codling moth, rots, blotch, and other diseases, to a point where they become worthless as commercial varieties. The honey locust has been considered one of the trees on farms to be destroyed, because it was thought to be worthless. Now, its value is being found in the correcting of sugar deficiency in dairy cattle. The pods of the honey locust are one of the best foods to correct sugar deficiency and cattle like them and eat them freely. I have on my farm a thornless honey locust that produced ten bushels of pods one year. The honey locust is also a legume and produces nitrogen which, in turn, is used by the pasture grasses and makes more pasture for the cattle.
The mulberry tree that ripens when cherries are ripe has a value in the fact that every mulberry eaten by a bird saves a cherry and the birds are valuable because they destroy insects that cause the worms in cherries.
After observing trees for years, I am convinced that there are certain strains or families of trees in the forest that have outstanding traits. Those traits in growth might be dwarfs or they may be giants; they may have short lives or long lives, like different varieties of apples. The fruit or seeds may be large or small. I believe as reforestation progresses there will be certain trees located which have value as seed trees and which will improve the forest equal to the improvement in livestock on the farms today. The razor back hog that roamed the forest is gone and has been replaced by animals much improved; yet, the forest in which it roamed is the same. Now we are turning to man made forests and a chance to improve them by selecting the more valuable trees for our source of seed. In the native hickory and black walnut, there is a great need for more interest in searching for and preserving the most valuable trees for their cracking quality, flavor, and productivity. There have been and are now, nut trees on farms that were valuable trees, but were known only to the owner and the small boys of the community. These trees should have been preserved for posterity, but many of them are lost forever.
In forestry, a tree's value may be in its ability to re-seed itself. In the kinds of pine, the Virginia pine is one of the best, and also, one of the youngest to produce seed cones. I have counted twenty-five cones on a five year old Virginia Pine tree. In forestry, the red cedar is good to re-seed itself in the area in which it grows. The maple ash, cotton wood, and poplar also grow freely from nature's seeding.
Every tree that grows has a value. The leaves help purify the air; the persimmon and the tree with a wild grapevine are food for wild life. The old hollow tree is a refuge for the coon and o'possum and other wild life. I have a hollow white oak on my farm I let stand because a family of squirrels is raised in it every year. I also have a bee tree and the bees help pollinate my fruit trees so they produce better. A world without trees would be a desolate place. The value of a park is in its trees.
I have spoken of the value of trees for the preservation of wild life, but how do trees affect the life of man and how does man affect tree life? Man is the builder or destroyer of tree life; although the tree is the oldest living thing in plant or animal life, man is master over trees. A man came into my farm office one day and said, "Everything in this room either grew from the earth or was mined from the earth." How about everything in this room? The furniture, the clothing you wear, the ring on your finger, the glass in the windows, etc.? Let us think for a minute, what are the things of the greatest value in this room? We have an organization, The Northern Nut Growers Association. It did not grow from the earth, there is knowledge of science here, there are doctors' degrees (I wish I had one), there is ambition, honesty, love, pride, and patriotism. Man's knowledge is the key. What he leaves alone or what he destroys. So the greatest value is man's knowledge. After all, the greatest values are the things that come from the minds and the hearts of men. By man's efforts, we find or develop these valuable trees.
The value of a home is increased by trees. The love of trees and the pride in owning a home is hard to separate. The privilege in America to own a home and plant a tree on your own ground is of great value. It has been said that he, who plants a tree, is truly a servant of God. I sometimes wonder if this great value of the privilege of owning a piece of ground and building a home and planting a tree is in danger of being lost under the present creeping grip of socialism and communism. This privilege of planting and owning a tree is of greater value than any tree, and we must not lose this valuable inheritance in America.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: Mr. Magill, are you all set with your program?
MR. MAGILL: Yes, sir. This is to be a discussion of "Methods of Getting Better Annual Crops on Black Walnut—A symposium led by W. W. Magill (Kentucky)—Discussion by a panel made up of W. G. Tatum, Spencer Chase, W. B. Ward and Mr. Schlagenbusch." Will those men come here? We will get started.
My business in life is Extension peddler down in Kentucky, working on fruits and nuts and berries, and naturally that takes me into a good many counties. We have 120, and I have been in all of them. Some places didn't have anything, so no reason to go back. But I pick up a lot of conversation, people give you ideas and things to think about.
We were talking about the conditions of the world—everybody's got a good job and plenty of money and biggest incomes that the country has ever known. That's true, but if you take down in the hills and hollows into some places that I go and you take the financial status of certain of those families, it's not measured in thousands of dollars, some cases not hardly measured in hundreds of dollars. It's measured in terms of gratuities and things to eat and not measured by greenbacks, and the families don't pay income tax.
Last fall I was out on a farm in the foothills some 70 miles from Lexington, in a place that most of you folks wouldn't want to live in and call home, a little farm, probably 16 acres, with a widow lady probably 65 years old, living there with her daughter. And among other things, she said, "Mr. Magill, I understand that you are supposed to know something about nuts. See that tree standing right out there?" She says, "I will give you a $20 bill if you will tell me how to make that nut tree bear annual crops."
Well, I was a little bit surprised. I listened, and I got to asking her questions. Some member of the family had gone to Chicago years ago, and she knew about all the black walnut packing firms in Kentucky. This relative had worked in the market, and had indicated she could get a dollar a pound for all the nut meats she would pick out and send to this relative in Chicago. And that nut tree meant about 30 to 35 dollars a year when it had a crop but only bore every other year.
Well, that drove home just a little more to me than ever before the question of why certain nut trees bore and others didn't bear. To that lady there it meant $30 the year it bore and no income from that tree on the year it didn't bear. And she stood there beside the home and pointed out other trees that bore regularly. And she said, "Why do they bear regular crops and this good tree that makes so many fine, big kernels bears every other year?" That's a challenge I am throwing out to this audience today to all the members on this panel.
I am hoping that Pappy Ward or Friend Chase will answer that question completely. The thing I have in mind, is that in a group like we have here today, as many nuts as we have got here, if we think about this question and talk to the folks back home, I believe in a year or two we can have worked out and have printed in the records of the report some pretty reasonable answers as to why nut trees don't bear, or why they bear heavy crops on certain years and are off certain years.
Mr. Ward, I know you have observed this over a period of years. What, in your opinion, is the one factor that is more responsible for this alternate bearing of black walnuts?
Why Black Walnuts Fail to Bear Satisfactory Crops
W. B. WARD, Department of Horticulture, Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind.
When man or nature, and sometimes both, change the natural habits of a tree, most anything can happen. There are years when the black walnut sets very few fruits either on the seedling trees or trees of named varieties. Some few trees have alternate years of production, while other trees bear annually and some not at all. Good results and good crops may be expected only when several factors are normal and conditions favorable. After twenty years of keeping records and observations on nut trees and through correspondence with other growers, I consider the main reason for crop failure or light production to be climatic conditions and the weather for an entire year.
The black walnut produces a pistillate flower at the end of the present season's growth. The staminate flowers, or catkins, come from last year's wood. Good growing conditions are desirable for wood growth and fruit bud formation and any retarding of growth the previous season means little or no production. Winter injury to wood and bud, diseases or insects attacking the foliage, soil moisture, and summer temperatures will lower tree vitality. There are times when strong vigorous trees fail to fruit which could be due to a high or low carbohydrate-nitrogen balance. Soil type, plant food, age of tree, and location will have some influence on annual or even biennial production but yet are not the all important reasons for light crops.
The pollen of the black walnut is mostly wind borne as few insects ever visit the flowers and pollination is dependent on wind borne pollen. Trees planted in groups and close together are generally more productive than trees planted in orchard rows even as close as 40' by 40'. When the weather is cold and rainy during bloom, one should not expect much of a crop.
The staminate flowers opened early in Indiana the years of 1950, 1951, and 1952. The weather was more or less ideal during the time the catkins had elongated and about ready to shed pollen. This warm spell was followed by a fairly cool weather and considerable rain, which delayed the opening of the pistillate flowers, consequently the pollen dried and was lost before the pistil was receptive.
The few walnut trees in the University plantation have always had the best of care. The trees have been mulched, fertilized (both through root and leaf feedings), sprayed, cultivated and seeded to grass with the grass clipped. The trees are some distance away from other seedling walnuts and a bit off the beaten path of the right direction of the spring winds. The varieties are Ohio, Stambaugh, Stabler, Rohwer, and Thomas. When the spring weather is balmy at flowering time, the trees bear a respectable crop but let the weather change to cool and moist and then that is the time one begins to think about calling up the sawmill to see if there is any need for some good walnut logs.
MR. MAGILL: That's a mighty good discussion. I see Mr. Ward has been observing walnut trees closer than I assumed he had.
Mr. Chase, I know you have seen a lot of things in Tennessee that you are not going to tell us about, but I suggest that you discuss some of the things you have observed about walnut trees bearing anywhere.
MR. CHASE: Alternate bearing has been a problem with fruits and nuts since time immemorial. I know a tremendous amount of work has been done with the apple, which has a definite biennial bearing habit. There have been all sorts of things tried to make it bear annual crops, and as far as I know, there has not been anything effective developed along that line. Of course, there are varieties of apples that tend to bear annual crops.
As Mr. Ward brought out—he took all my thunder, so I don't have much to say—a tree may set a heavy crop of nuts one year because frost or poor pollination the year before destroyed the crop so that a large amount of carbohydrates were built up in the tree. Now, the tree in producing a heavy crop of well filled nuts utilizes every bit of carbohydrates it has stored and can manufacture. While it is doing this the terminal bud is being formed for next year's crop, and if there isn't a sufficient amount of carbohydrates in the tree at that critical period, there is not likely to be a flower bud formed.
This is not limited just to walnuts, but occurs with nearly all fruits and nuts, with the possible exception of the chestnut.
We made a study which was reported in the 1946 report by Mr. Zarger in which he reported the bearing habits of some 135 trees over a 10-year period, and there were definite bearing cycles, or bearing habits. It was not always an on year followed by an off year, but possibly two years in a row, then nothing. There were some trees that went three years without a crop, then a crop. Very few, however, had annual crops, and the annual crops were heavy or moderately heavy, followed by what we consider a light crop.
These trees were scattered through seven states and, of course, conditions were not the same. They were all seedling trees, but careful records were kept on the bearing habits. There was a group of trees that could not be classified into any definite bearing habit. In those instances we suspected unfavorable weather at pollination time, but as a general rule, in our section I don't believe we are concerned with that factor.
The Thomas, which we can watch carefully in a nearby orchard, is definitely on one year and off the next. Quite a few are on one year and off two years. We haven't found any way to make that an annual crop, because when it sets a crop, it sets a bumper crop, and there is simply not enough food in the tree to set a sufficient number of fruit buds for the following year's crop. I am sure that a lot of you folks have observed this, and I think, Mr. Magill, that you might sound out some of them.
MR. MAGILL: Going back to an observation I made as a kid, money didn't grow in bushes around our place, and back in those days you could go out and kill ten rabbits and sell them for 8 cents apiece, and if you only used 4 cents apiece for ammunition, you have made 40 cents off of the deal and had $20 worth of fun, and that was a good day's work. You remember those days, Pappy? Back in those same times, I used to get money out of hauling black walnuts to an old corn sheller and having people who didn't have an interest in the corn sheller sell them for 50 cents a bushel. That was also pin money. Come in mighty useful.
We had a certain group of trees on the farm I was raised on that bore every other year, and I can think of two fields where we rearranged the fences in such a way as to make pasture fields out of them, and two of those trees were where 15 or 20 cattle pastured. These were the only shade trees, and naturally they manured those trees. And I recall for a few years I was getting annual crops from them. Apparently they got something supplied by cattle that they didn't have otherwise. Others in the foothills of Kentucky, have come to the same conclusion.
I know a man who has pecan holdings in Alabama. He told me up to the time he got the farm the trees had a few blooms but wouldn't set pecans. He applied 15 mineral elements and claims to have got results from it. I have talked to at least three people in my travelling around who tried the same treatment on pecans, one in Georgia, one in Alabama and one in Mississippi. They reported that they had improved yield on pecans by using complete mineral fertilizer. That's in addition to nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
I am foolish enough to think that that nice, young orchard of Mrs. Weber's would make an excellent place to try it. I understand that the trees are not behaving as well as they should. I'd like for Ford Wilkinson to be made chairman of a committee to see that they are fertilized according to some kind of a schedule that could be worked out and do some observing. That is one of the few places I know of in the several states that would be as adequately laid out. I'd like to see a complete fertilizer including nine or ten mineral elements used.
I don't mean spend a lot of money, but you can do a lot of observing for relatively few dollars. I just throw that out as a hint.
I would like to open up this discussion. Mr. Bolten talked a while ago about things he was growing out of the ground, or out of minerals. Everything comes from the ground, and I reckon you'd say this Northern Nut Growers Association is a little like Topsy, it just developed, as the fellow about the weeds. He said they weren't created, they just come all at once. Now I believe that out of this Northern Nut Growers assembly here that we have got some keen observers that might have something on their minds they want to tell us about. Who wants to speak first?
MR. CALDWELL: This is just an observation I am throwing out for the benefit of those who are here. I spent some time in China, and I was interested in the fact that their walnuts there produced yearly crops. In trying to find out why they produced yearly crops, I also discovered that their persimmons, their plums and their peaches did the same thing. The reason for that apparently goes back to their mythology. They believe in signs and doing certain things according to certain seasons of the year, and one of the things that they did was to gather together in the dark of the moon on one particular night at a certain time and beat the living daylights out of these trees with big bamboo clubs. I wouldn't suggest that people here do that, but it's been known to foresters quite a while that by transplanting or severely pruning or girdling trees that you could produce fruits on these trees the following year. Apparently the Chinese so injured the cambium during the severe beating that they have caused that wound stimulus to induce the formation of flower buds for the following year. By so doing in their English or Persian walnuts they did have yearly crops. I have seen this myself, and I checked back to see why. Perhaps they could explain it. The only explanation we made was not fertilizing, but in the wounding of the cambium. Now, perhaps there could be something done of that nature for walnuts, but I wouldn't suggest getting around and beating the trees up.
MR. MAGILL: In that connection, one man in Kentucky got the same answer. He said about five years ago a cyclone came through there and blew the chimney off the house and uprooted a number of apple trees and leaned over three walnut trees, and he said they have borne five crops in succession. Now, this is the same story that you have got there.
MR. STOKE: I'd just like to remark that I think that's a sort of negative approach. I noticed a boy who had an apple tree that was about to die. He girdled it and got a tremendous crop of blossom. You probably have secured the same results. That is one of Nature's ways to perpetuate itself. But I think there a constructive angle in those trees that respond to nitrogenous fertilizer or manure. I believe the secret, if there is a secret, is that a tree in bearing a crop exhausts itself more or less. It recuperates the following year and then is ready to bear another crop. And the way to meet that situation is to fertilize heavily, especially with nitrogen, the season of the heavy crop so that you will have not only enough leaf growth to produce that crop, but to build up nutrients the following year. I believe that will help break the cycle and establish more regularity.
Some trees do that themselves; that is, they will bear a moderate crop every year. I have the Land walnut at home. It bears every year. Certain chestnuts will bear every year, not excessive crops, but Hobson bears a pretty good crop every year. I believe the secret of breaking that on-and-off cycle is to fertilize heavily the year of production not the year of non-production. If you apply nitrogen on the off year you produce perhaps an excess of wood growth that year and overbearing the following year.
MR. MAGILL: Referring to apples, any of you apple growers well know that the Golden Delicious and York Imperial grow crops in alternate years. Now, you come along with hormone sprays and take half or two-thirds of the young fruits off soon after the trees blossom and throw them into regular production. That's the same thing that you are talking about, Mr. Stoke. I never heard of anybody thinning walnuts. I don't know whether they do or not. A lot of things I don't know, but I don't know of anybody ever thinning walnuts, except squirrels.
MR. WARD: Last year a lady from Kokomo, Indiana, wrote me that she had a very fine walnut tree growing near Mr. Bolten's place in Greene County, and as far as she could remember that tree had borne an annual crop for the past 70 years. I wrote to Mr. Bolten asking him to investigate. If I remember correctly, these trees were grown in the poorest possible place. Is that right, Mr. Bolten?
MR. BOLTEN: Yes.
MR. WARD: There were two or three trees right close together that had a nice crop and the ground was covered with a lot of nice nuts which Mr. Bolten thought worth propagating, and he has a tree already started.
We have other varieties that we call the Saul, the Goose Creek and the Alley, which are all seedlings and which have produced almost every year with about the same size of crop.
In our own planting, at the University, we have tried a lot of things without telling anybody about it. Every once in a while the boys mow the orchard, and have bruised and barked a lot of these trees with no effect whatever on bearing. We have time and time again taken the Stambaugh, Ohio, Thomas, Stabler, and Aurora and have given them a good shot of fertilizer in the spring after a rain, and have produced wonderful growth in all of those years but still had only a light crop.
A few years ago some of the boys were spraying the apple orchard with Nu-Green and Urea at the rate of 5 pounds to 100 gallons of water, and had a little extra. They said, "Well, we don't like Ward's nut trees over there, we will put this stuff on them, and if it kills them, that's all right, and if they live, that's all right, too." They gave them some feeding throughout the summer and we haven't found any different results.
MR. STOKE: May I say just one more thing to clarify my suggestion? I was assuming that potash and phosphate were present in sufficient quantity. What I wanted was leaf growth to store up energy and nutrients for the following year and to apply that on the year of heavy crop, so besides maturing the crop, it will provide that leaf growth, and not in the year of no crop.
MR. WARD: We have tried that both ways, and going back, Mr. Stoke, again to the lack of pollination, it seems like both the pistillate and staminate flowers are there, but they just don't set a crop of fruit.
MR. STOKE: One thing more I wanted to say, and it slipped my mind. We know any tree that grows too rapidly will not produce seed nor fruit, and excess nitrogen on apple or walnut or anything else will not cause the formation of fruit buds, but the normal amount is necessary for the formation of buds.
MR. MCDANIEL: We have even got alternate bearing on persimmons in Urbana now. Trees that bore extremely heavily didn't bloom this year.
MR. MAGILL: We hill-billies have been taking a pass at that. I wonder if Dr. Slate couldn't give us some scientific facts about this. How about it, Slate?
DR. SLATE: Mr. Caldwell's remarks about the beating of the walnut trees in China reminds me of an ancient saying that, "A dog, a woman, a walnut tree, the more you beat them the better they be."
MR. DAVIDSON: One of my seedlings began to bear seven years ago, and has borne steadily every year exceptionally large crops. It never failed until this year, and the only explanation that I can give is that just as the bloom was incepted we had continuous rains. There was no pollination of that tree, whereas other trees that were receptive at other times are pretty well filled.
Out of two or three thousand trees you will find some exceptional ones. I have some that bear fairly good crops but do not fill. Walnut trees are just as different from each other as are apple trees. There are some things you can't do anything about at all, and weather is one of the things. One shouldn't be too much mystified by an occasional failure, because it may be due to continuous rains during the period of pollination and when they are receptive.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: This matter of alternate bearing is one that has plagued the pomologist for a great many years, and one in which we made little progress, with apples for example, until with hormone sprays the trees could be thinned very early in the year. Any thinning done after the fruit was the size of your thumb was too late. However, now that the fruit can be thinned when it is very young, real progress is being made in securing annual bearing on varieties that previously were a serious problem in alternate bearing.
The failure to fruit is due to many different factors. Some of these are external such as frost and rain at pollen shedding. There is nothing you can do about these. Other factors are internal and determine the formation of fruit buds. If the tree is carrying an exceptionally heavy crop, the chances are it will not have enough of the material which determines the setting of buds to form buds for the following year. With the apples we can do something about this by thinning the crop at the time it blooms. With walnuts, I don't see how we are going to do it. Fertilization is another approach.
Certainly we should make conditions just as favorable as possible for growth and for the development of the buds and by all means control insects and diseases. If you do not have a good leaf surface good crops will not be set the next year. It's a complex problem, but I don't think it is insoluble.
DR. MCKAY: Mr. Chairman, in connection with this matter of annual bearing of black walnut trees we believe that in doing all sorts of things you will not influence the yielding of most of our black walnut varieties. The black walnut, Juglans nigra is probably—some of us think, at least—constituted genetically in such a way that the varieties we have do not yield annual crops simply because they are not constituted that way. I know some of you may disagree with me, but one of the greatest arguments for this idea is the fact that in some of our other nut species we do have varieties that are genetically heavy producers. For instance, we have a selection of Chinese chestnuts right now that will bear annual crops on the poorest soil under any conditions imaginable. You can graft scions of that tree on other stocks and plant them anywhere you choose under differing conditions and it will have a heavy set of burs. It may not fill the nuts, it may not attain the size, but genetically speaking, inherently it is a heavy bearer. Perhaps our black walnut species are inherently not annual producers. This is hard to prove, I admit, because the breeding of the species takes so long that we cannot actually demonstrate it.
We have felt also that the black walnut species as a whole does not have the characteristics of thin shells and good cracking qualities that we want. For this reason we have begun a program of crossing the black walnut with the English or Persian walnut, in order to get the thin shell that we want from the other species. Perhaps the same thing is true in the question of yield and the species as a whole does not have the characteristic of yielding heavy annual crops.
MR. MAGILL: I think we can readily see that we haven't settled this problem but it is time to close the discussion.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: The next paper that we have is by H. F. Stoke of Roanoke, Virginia, "Survey on Hickory Varieties." Mr. Stoke is the chairman of our Survey Committee. Last year he brought us very valuable information about walnuts, and this year he is going to talk about the hickories. Mr. Stoke.
MR. STOKE: They delegated the job to the Survey Committee to make a hickory survey for this year, using the different state and provincial and national vice-presidents to collect the data. I am going to read this.
The 1952 Hickory Survey
By the Survey Committee
H. F. STOKE, Chairman
In compiling this report the pecan has been omitted from the list. As it is the most important member of the hickory group it was felt that the national and state pecan associations are far more competent to compile complete and reliable data on the species than is this organization.
The response by our vice-presidents to the questionnaire sent out has been rather disappointing, replies having been received from slightly less than half their number. It is apparent that interest in the hickory is considerably less than in the black walnut, which was surveyed in 1951.
Perhaps the most beloved and widely distributed of the hickories is the shagbark, Carya ovata. It is reported from Massachusetts on the east to southeastern Minnesota, southward to Texas and eastward to the Carolinas where it mingles with and is sometimes confused with the scalybark. In the opinion of many the superb distinctive flavor of its nuts is not equaled by those of any species.
The domain of the Shellbark or Kingnut C. laciniosa lies within the same area but is slightly less extensive. Like the pecan, it is partial to the rich alluvial bottom lands along streams and is seldom found elsewhere. It occurs rarely in Virginia and North Carolina, and there only in the Appalachian area.
The Scalybark or southern Shagbark, C. Carolina septentrionalis, is reported only by Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.
The White Hickory or Mockernut, C. alba, covers the South and is reported as far north as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana and, rarely, in Michigan. It is found from the Atlantic coast to east Texas.
The widely distributed Bitternut, C. cordiformis, covers virtually the same territory as the shagbark.
The Sweet Pignut, C. glabra, is reported from New Hampshire to Wisconsin and southward to North Carolina. Its south-westward occurrence has not been defined in reports received.
In addition to these better-known species, the Water Hickory, C. aquatica, is reported from Louisiana, and the Black Hickory, C. buckleyi, from Indiana and Texas.
In an unusually full report Indiana lists all of sixteen hickory species and sub-species as appearing in The Flora of Indiana, a book by Mr. Charles Deam, former State Forester. The list follows.
1. C. pecan
2. C. cordiformis
3. C. ovata
3a. C. ovata, var, fraxinifolia
3b. C. ovata, var. nuttali
4. C. laciniosa
5. C. tomentosa (alba)
5a. C. tomentosa var. subcoriacea
6. C. glabra
6a. C. glabra var. megacarpa
7. C. ovalis
7a, b, c. C. ovalis var. odorata
7d. C. ovalis var. obovalis
7e. C. ovalis var. obcordata
8. C. ovalis var. pallida
9. C. ovalis var. buckleyi
Doubtless many sub-species and variants are actually hybrids of obscure ancestry. Virginia has many such.
There is no reason to doubt that the hickories will grow anywhere ecological conditions approximate those of their native habitat. This is true in the Pacific coast states. Mr. Julio Grandjean, of Hillerod, Denmark, reports that there are several white hickories, C. alba or C. tomentosa, growing in the Horsholm Royal Park that were planted about 1790. There is no reason to believe that such northern species as the shellbark and shagbark would not also succeed. He reports winter-killing of pecans from southern sources. Inasmuch as extreme winter temperatures in Denmark are less than in some places where the pecan is grown here, it would appear that the more northern strains should succeed there, though lack of summer heat would prevent the maturing of nuts.
There appears to be much less interest in planting hickories on home grounds than the value of the species justifies. Only five states, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, indicated any local interest. In each case the shagbark was the preferred species. Apparently we must still depend on the much-abused squirrel for the future of the hickory.
R. E. Hodgson of the Southeast Experiment Station, Waseca, Minn., reports 15 named varieties of hickory under test, but no evaluation of their worth can be made as yet.
Dr. R. T. Dunstan of Greensboro, North Carolina, has also a considerable number of hickory varieties under more advanced test. Results have been highly variable. He finds that Schinnerling has filled poorly; Whitney and Shaul are "Excellent growers and highly satisfactory bearers." Whitney, however, with a kernel of superb quality, cracks poorly and the husk is thick and heavy. Shaul is reported as having a rather thin kernel and cracking poorly, also.
Romig, that has been late in coming into bearing, is described as producing a large, handsome nut of good quality that cracks unusually well. Grainger, good in other respects, has borne light crops as also have Glover and Weschcke. Fox is described as superb in every respect except cracking quality.
Among the hicans, Burton is declared to be outstanding in vigor and health of tree, and production of good regular crops of delicious nuts that crack well.
It is interesting to note that in his extensive hickory experiments Dr. Dunstan is using pecan stocks. He uses the bark-slot method of grafting and hot wax compounded of 10 parts resin, 2 parts beeswax and one part Kieselguhr. Both method and wax he finds highly successful.
Dr. Dunstan also reports a Mahan pecan grafted on a white or mockernut hickory stock that produces heavy crops of well-filled nuts. This is an exceptional performance for this variety.
Mr. Fayette Etter, of Pennsylvania, supports Dr. Dunstan in the use of pecan stocks for hickories. He states that the young trees grow more rapidly in the nursery, transplant better, and grow faster thereafter than when on hickory stocks.
Mr. A. G. Hirschi, of Oklahoma reports that in the hilly "blackjack" country of southeastern Oklahoma the scrub has been cleared away and a 40-acre project of grafting the native hickory (probably white or mockernut) with pecan has been established. The land has been terraced and is cropped with cotton. The results have been so satisfactory that this plot in one year carried off more prizes on pecans than any other entry within the state.
Mr. Harald E. Hammar reports from Louisiana that there has been some grafting of pecan on hickory, species not specified. The older trees show a decided overgrowth of the hickory stock by the more vigorous pecan, in some cases the diameter being almost double above the graft of that below.
In virtually all cases of topworking hickory on pecan, or vice versa, the bark slot graft has been used.
In point of preference of named varieties, Michigan suggests Abscoda, Ohio suggests Stafford, while Pennsylvania recommends Glover, Goheen, Whitney and Weschcke, in that order.
In naming the insects and diseases that attack the hickories, Pennsylvania offers the following rather appalling list:
Nut curculio Hickory shuckworm Galls Spider mites Twig girdlers Fall web worm Pecan phylloxera Black pecan aphids Flathead apple borer Other unnamed borers
Those that know Mr. Etter will understand that this formidable list is due to his excellent powers of observation and his integrity rather than to the likelihood that the state of Pennsylvania is worse plagued with insects than others. Dr. Dunstan lists leaf-spot along with some of those listed above, but adds that none are generally serious. This is corroborated by other reporters.
Wild nuts are generally harvested for home use. Commercial marketing, reported by Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, is in all cases local. Usually the nuts are marketed whole, but occasionally home-picked kernels are sold.
Good stands of second-growth shagbark hickory are reported in Pennsylvania. Kansas reports limited shellbark and bitternut stands. West Virginia reports considerable stands of young shagbark and pignut, while North Carolina reports small stands of mockernut.
The industrial use of hickory reached its height in the horse and buggy days. Nothing equalled its strong, tough wood for the wheels and running gears of horse-drawn vehicles. Old-timers will recall "hoop poles", tall slender young saplings of shagbark hickory that were split and fashioned with the "drawshave" into barrel hoops.
The market for hickory still remains, however. It is universally used for hand tool handles, if obtainable. In the mountains of the South hickory "splints" are still woven into imperishable baskets and chair seats. Louisiana insists it is still the only fuel for roasting barbecue and there is, indeed, no finer wood fuel of any species.
Those propagating hickory trees for sale and distribution should be given every encouragement. They are contributing a real patriotic service. No tree is more characteristically American. Except for a related species in China, it is found nowhere else in the world. In beauty, utility and durability no tree has greater appeal. Who plants a hickory plants for generations unborn.
MR. STOKE: If there are any misstatements, I'd be glad to have them publicly corrected.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: Thank you, Mr. Stoke. The comment that you made that there wasn't as much enthusiasm about the hickory as about the black walnut, although true, is not the way I personally feel about it. I have at Ithaca a number of trees of various kinds of nuts, and I think that the enjoyment I get out of the hickories, which we grow, is as great or greater than that from the black walnuts. The Davis hickory is one of the best that matures, the Wilcox—that's an Ohio nut—probably has a bushel and a half of nuts in the shuck this year, and the Kentucky will give a pretty good record. Of about 20 varieties, those are the only ones which amount to anything, and we have a fairly good selection.
There was a good deal said about stocks in Mr. Stoke's discussion. We have a short paper here by Gilbert Smith on his experience with stocks, and I have asked Mr. Chase to read it. Mr. Smith began topworking seedling trees on a side hill many years ago and has trees of good size at the present time.
MR. CHASE: This is a short discussion of several species of hickory which Mr. Smith has used as stocks to graft named varieties.
A Discussion of Hickory Stocks
Gilbert L. Smith, Rt. 2, Millerton, N. Y.
This is a discussion of several species of hickory as stocks on which to graft the named varieties of shagbark, shellbark and hybrid hickories. We have never had any experience grafting pecan as we are too far north for it. This paper is limited to the species with which we have had experience.
SWEET PIGNUT, Carya ovalis
This species will be discussed first because it is the poorest stock of any of the hickory species which we have used. This is probably because it is a tetraploid while the shagbark, shellbark and hybrids are diploids.
We have grafted many of the named varieties of hickory onto pignut stocks, using several thousand scions. We have found only one variety (the Davis shagbark) that will grow on pignut stock. We have heard of one or two others but have never tried them.
Nearly all varieties grow well the first season but fail to leaf out the following spring. They appear to winterkill. Davis has continued to grow on it for over fifteen years but growth is slower than on shagbark or bitternut stocks.
PIGNUT, Carya glabra
I have never been able to positively identify this species of pignut. Pignuts growing here vary considerably in roughness of the bark, some being smooth while others are as rough as the shagbark. In other respects they are essentially the same, all having seven leaflets per leaf. However, I have observed a very few pignut trees having smooth bark and five leaflets per leaf. The leaves are finer and smaller than on the seven leaflet trees.
These may be the glabra species, but if so, grafting results have been no better on these than on the seven leaflet trees.
As nursery stock the pignuts are worthless. However if one has some nice young pignut trees growing where he wants them, it is feasible to graft them to Davis or some other variety which has proven its ability to grow on pignut stocks. It is not advisable to graft hickory trees growing in dense woods.
MOCKERNUT, Carya alba
While the mockernut is also a tetraploid, it is a somewhat better stock than the pignuts, in that more of the named varieties will grow on it and as the mockernut is faster growing than the pignut, such grafts will usually grow faster.
It is of little value as a nursery stock, but if one has young mockernut trees growing where hickory trees are wanted, they would be somewhat better to graft than would pignut trees. One would at least have a larger selection of varieties and the grafts would grow faster.
PECAN, Carya illinoiensis
While we have read many favorable reports on the use of the pecan as a stock on which to graft shagbark, shellbark and hybrid hickories, our own experiences with it have not been very favorable. This may be due to the fact that we have used only two varieties of shagbark on pecan-stocks and may have happened to use two varieties that are not well adapted to pecan.
Pecan seedlings are much faster growing than are shagbark seedlings and for this reason would be valuable as a nursery stock if satisfactory in other respects.
BITTERNUT, Carya cordiformis
All of our experiences with bitternut as a stock, both in the nursery and as young trees growing in permanent locations, have been very favorable.
We have heard reports of grafts failing on bitternut stocks after a few years growth. All such reports have come from regions considerably farther south than our location. It may be that the bitternut does not thrive as well in the South as it does here.
Bitternut seedlings are much faster growing than are shagbark seedlings. This is of considerable value in the nursery.
SHAGBARK, Carya ovata
The shagbark makes the best stock on which to graft the named varieties of shagbark, shellbark and hybrid hickories. However it has one very serious drawback in that young shagbark seedlings are so very slow growing. It usually takes five or more years to grow a shagbark stock from seed to a size large enough to graft in the nursery row.
However, when shagbark stocks are large enough to be grafted, all of the named varieties we have grafted onto it have grown well.
SHELLBARK, Carya laciniosa
We have never had any experience with shellbark seedlings as stocks, but as it is so similar to the shagbark, I expect that it would make a good stock.
The production of grafted hickory trees is a serious problem in the nursery, taking many years to grow the stocks and the grafted trees are difficult to transplant, resulting in a high rate of mortality.
However, the grafting of young hickory trees growing in a permanent location is not difficult, and such grafts will grow much faster and bear younger than will grafted hickory trees from a nursery.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: My experience with bitternut stock with only two varieties, the Strever #1 and the Champigne, has not been good. The grafts have been stunted, the stocks have tended to sprout and make vigorous growth, and the fruiting has been sparse. Neither have I had success with the pecan stock with only three varieties. The trees have been very slow coming into bearing and have made rather stubby growth.
MR. MCDANIEL: I was about to remark that we have had similar experience at Urbana with bitternut stock with pecan and shagbark varieties. It warps the shagbark and very likely those trees won't live long. We have already lost the Weschke hickory grafted on bitternut.
MR. CRAIG: Have you tried hickory on pecan? The pecan is O. K. there.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: Tomorrow we are to have a round table on hickory propagation and suggest that further discussion of stocks might be left until then. Has anyone any comments on hickory varieties?
MR. KEPLINGER: (North Central Michigan) I was born and raised in Saginaw County where the Saginaw River is fed by five or six different runs and you have prairie farms. More hickories grow there than any place in the United States—enormous size. We think we have better hickories than anyone.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: Why couldn't you send some in for testing? Mr. Becker would be glad to take them. Any other discussion on hickory varieties? How many are growing the Wilcox? (5 hands). How many find it a good variety? (Two). How many have Davis? (Three). The shucks are fairly thin, compared with the Wilcox.
Who else has a variety that is doing very well? We ought to have a hickory show here sometime and see who has the best hickory.
DR. MCKAY: I'd like to ask if anyone has the variety Lingenfelter.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: We have it at Ithaca; doesn't mature.
DR. McKAY: We have two varieties at Beltsville that are outstanding as far as bearing is concerned. One is Lingenfelter, which has been a consistent bearer for us for a number of years, and the variety Shaul, that was mentioned in Mr. Stokes' report and has been mentioned here before, is a very good producer.
MR. MCDANIEL: What species is the Shaul, is it ovata or laciniosa?
DR. MCKAY: It's ovata. It's a shagbark, as also is Lingenfelter. The one characteristic that is outstanding with these two varieties with us is the fact that they bear while they are young trees; from the time our trees were as tall as one's head, they have been full of nuts.
MR. MCDANIEL: Have you fruited the Weschke at Beltsville?
DR. MCKAY: No.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: How about the Barnes?
MR. STOKE: I have been growing it on mockernut or white hickory. It produces moderate crops and is the one that came into bearing about first on mockernut. In fact, I have several varieties on mockernut that haven't borne yet. It's been on there about 12 years.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: The Barnes, with us, has yielded more at a younger age than any other variety, but it never filled. It began early and bore heavy crops, but the season is not long enough or hot enough.
MR. STOKE: In Virginia they fill well, but they are not easily extracted. The shell is rather thin and fills well.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: I don't want to prolong this discussion longer than seems profitable.
DR. MCKAY: Did I understand you to mention the variety Schinnerling?
MR. GERARDI: I have got that at home. That's one that's bearing, but if it's that variety I have there, I wouldn't give it yard room.
DR. MCKAY: It is also one of our best. We have three, the Shaul, the Lingenfelter that I mentioned, and the third one is Schinnerling, all three of which are extremely heavy bearers and the three hickory varieties that we are interested in.
MR. GERARDI: How big is that Schinnerling?
DR. MCKAY: It's an average-sized nut.
MR, GERARDI: Big as your thumb?
DR. MCKAY: Oh, yes, about an inch long, I'd say.
MR. BECKER: I was wondering about the Stratford. That's not supposed to be a pure shagbark, but it's the only one we've got, I think, that bears.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: I have the Stratford. It grows very well, but it doesn't quite fill. What does it do with you?
MR. SNYDER: It's not been doing well the last year or two. Of course, none of them have for that matter. Used to bear tremendous crops and filled well. I wouldn't say it's the best quality of any tree, but it's easy to graft and bears young.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: That's been my experience, that it was a young bearer and bears fairly consistently.
If there is no other discussion, on the hickories, we will close that discussion. We stand adjourned until this evening at 7:20.
Adjournment at 4:30 o'clock, p.m.
MONDAY EVENING SESSION
Called to order at 7:20 p.m.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: We will call on Dr. McKay as chairman of the Nominating Committee to present the slate of officers for the next year. Dr. McKay.
DR. MCKAY: Mr. Chairman, the Nominating Committee, as you know, is charged with the responsibility of selecting a slate of officers that will be presented to the meeting.
The committee, composed of myself as chairman, Mr. Allaman, Mr. Silvis, Mr. Ford Wilkinson and Mr. Gerardi, have the following slate of officers for next year: For president, Mr. R. B. Best; for vice-president, Mr. George Salzer of Rochester; for secretary, Mr. Spencer Chase; for treasurer, Mr. Carl Prell.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: You have heard the report of the Nominating Committee. At this time we will entertain further nominations from the floor, if any.
The only action to be taken now is to accept the report of the Nominating Committee. Do I hear such a motion?
The motion to accept the report was moved, seconded and carried.
Going on with the program of the evening, are you ready to show the film?
MR. MCDANIEL: The film comes to us from the Northwest Nut Growers now located in Portland, Oregon. They are an organization for marketing filberts, and you will see, "The Filbert Valleys", the title. I haven't seen it myself and don't know exactly what the contents are. We will look at it now and judge for ourselves.
The film, "The Filbert Valleys", was shown.
PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: We appreciate very much your running it.
The next item will be our discussion of filbert varieties and their culture. Mildred Jones, who was to be here, could not come. She telephoned the last minute that she was ill and could not be with us. I have asked George Slate to be the moderator in the discussion, with his panel, D. C. Snyder, Raymond Silvis, A. M. Whitford, Louis Gerardi and H. F. Stoke.
MR. SLATE: I just learned when I arrived here that I was to be on this discussion group, and I learned a few minutes ago that I was to lead it, so I can assure you that this is wholly unrehearsed, and I may have to flounder around a bit before we get things running smoothly.
I thought I might review the variety situation rather briefly. We have done quite a lot of variety testing of filberts at Geneva; in fact, about the only nut cultural work we have done at Geneva has been the filbert project. We started out with about 25 or 30 varieties that we secured from American nurseries, many of them from a firm in Rochester which imported them from Germany. Later we added varieties from England, France and Germany. I picked up nearly all the varieties that I could locate until we had about 120 varieties growing there at Geneva. These were there for some years, and it became evident that many of them were not of great value. Then we had a hard winter in 1933 and 1934, and although it did not kill the trees, most of them were blackhearted and began going back soon after that. However, I felt at that time that I knew enough about the varieties to discard most of them. Many of them were discarded because they had poor nuts, many of them were unproductive, and many of them lacked hardiness of catkins. I laid a great deal of emphasis on the hardiness of catkins in testing the varieties.
Out of that variety test were three varieties which we considered to be most satisfactory of the lot. These were Cosford, an English variety, rather a small nut but very thin-shelled. The catkins were hardy and one of the heavier croppers of the lot. Medium Long, a nut which I believe originated as a seedling in Rochester, was another one, and Italian Red, which later proved to be Gustav's Zellernuss, a German variety, was another.
As a result of that variety test it became evident that varieties from Germany, many of which originated in the colder portions of Germany and Northern Germany, were distinctly more hardy than the varieties that we got from French sources and English sources. In some of the proceedings of the Association published during the '30's I have reported on the different varieties and their hardiness and those varieties that I thought were most valuable. I don't recall the names of many of those German varieties. These three varieties which we consider the best of the lot were turned over to the New York Fruit Testing Association to propagate and distribute, because they were not available from American nurseries. I am not sure how many of them were available from other sources, but they are still available from the Fruit Testing Association.
Then out of that variety test a grading project developed. We got our start from about 500 seedlings that Clarence Reed sent us in the early '30's. We made crosses there at Geneva, using the Rush variety of Corylus americana as the seed parent in many cases. We also made some crosses between Corylus avellana varieties, and with these seedlings from Mr. Reed and seedlings of our own crossing, we have grown about 2,000 filbert seedlings there at Geneva. These have all been evaluated and discarded, except possibly 30 or 35 selections still on hand, some of them being propagated for a second test planting. Stock of one or two has been turned over to the Fruit Testing Association for increase and eventual naming and introduction.
The work of the United States Department of Agriculture was along similar lines. Mr. Reed did not send us all of his seedlings. A number of them were fruited at Beltsville, and from that work at Beltsville I believe two varieties have been named, Reed and Potomac. I am not sure whether they are available yet from commercial sources.
MR. MCDANIEL: Two of them are.
MR. SLATE: Mr. Graham of Ithaca, a long-time member of this Association and very much interested in filberts, had also made some crosses and raised several hundred seedlings. He used the Winkler variety as a seed parent. I believe he raised some seedlings of the Jones hybrids, which would make that material second generation stock from the original cross between Rush and the avellana varieties.
Mr. Graham's planting was in rather a cold area; he had considerable winter killing. Eventually filbert blight got into his planting, and it really cleaned house. There were a very few seedlings in his planting which remained free of filbert blight. I think it is a fairly safe guess to say that they were probably very resistant to blight. So far these have not been propagated to any extent.
There are a few cultural problems. The ones that we have encountered at Geneva have been winter injury, particularly of the catkins, and also some of them have not been as hardy in wood as we would like. We have had no trouble with filbert blight, presumably because we are isolated from the wild hazel, which harbors this blight. Dr. MacDaniels has had trouble with his planting at Ithaca with filbert mite.
With this introduction, which is mostly varieties and breeding, because that seems to be my interest, I'd like to call on some members of the panel to get their experiences. Mr. Snyder raises nut trees in Iowa where winter injury is probably much more serious than we have at Geneva. At Geneva we have a fairly respectable climate and can get a crop of peaches about nine years out of ten. In Iowa they have a lot more sunshine, and I think probably sharper drops of temperature than we have at Geneva. I'd like to have Mr. Snyder tell us what his experiences have been with filbert varieties.
MR. SNYDER: I really didn't know that I was to be on this panel until I got here. I thought I was on the hickory panel. As Mr. Slate says, our climate is more severe that that at Geneva. We can get the very hardiest peaches to bear about two years out of three, and the trees are severely injured in between. So that will give you a little idea as to the climate in that respect.
We made quite a planting at one time, maybe 30 of the Jones hybrids, and they did quite well for several years, and then between the winter-killing and the blight most of them are dead now. The Winkler, of course, is an Iowa nut and was introduced by our people and did very well for a number of years but has backed out on us the last several years, too, I believe due to this same mite trouble that Dr. MacDaniels reports in New York. They just don't bear. The bushes are quite healthy, and we get plenty of catkins, but we don't get any nuts to amount to anything.
We have a little bush of the Mandchurian hazel. It isn't worth mentioning as a nut producer, but it does have very attractive foliage and seems to be entirely healthy, produces perhaps three to five nuts a year on a bush as high as your head. You may be familiar with it. The foliage is very distinct from anything I know. The leaves are truncate at the end, cut off quite square, with just a little point in the middle.
MR. SLATE: I don't have that.
MR. SNYDER: That is standing our conditions all right, and several years ago Mr. Reed sent us what he said at the time were Chinese tree hazels, but later he retracted and said that they were not Chinese tree hazels but they were hybrids of the Chinese tree hazel. There were four of those plants; one of them was a tremendous grower. It would grow six feet or more a year and commence bearing in a year or two. But the blight hit it and cleaned it out. There is only one left now, one of the slower-growing ones, and while it promises to become a tree, it is a very irregular-growing one. I think it had half a dozen nuts on this year.
The Turkish tree hazel, of which I have two trees, were very badly damaged by a very severe hailstorm 12 or 15 years ago, which completely peeled off the bark on one side. That was in early July, and we were afraid to cut them off and let them grow up new for fear it would kill them. They have finally developed into quite beautiful upright trees. Also they have more than one stem from the bottom. One of them produces a great abundance of catkins, but neither of them has produced any nuts yet, and they are 14 feet high or more, good-sized trees and very attractive. The foliage is very beautiful, and it remains healthy. I don't know that there are any other varieties that I can name.
MR. SLATE: We have had several of the Turkish tree hazels, Corylus colurna, growing at Geneva for two or three years. They came from the Rochester State Park. We have one tree which Mr. Bixby imported from China, as Corylus chinensis, but recently I had it checked by Dr. Lawrence of the Bailey Hortorium and he assured me that it was Corylus colurna. I think these make a very handsome tree. I like that rough, corky bark they have as they get older. The trees in Highland Park at Rochester are the largest, perhaps, in the country, certainly the largest that I know anything about. They are at least as large as a very large apple tree. They have been fruiting for some years. The trees at Geneva have not fruited very much. I don't think you can expect much in the way of nuts until the tree is about 15 years old. This year one of our trees has a number of nuts on it. The nuts are too small and too thick-shelled to be of any great value for nuts.
Now, Mr. Whitford, you have had some experience with the filbert varieties. Which one would you recommend?
MR. WHITFORD: I haven't had a whole lot of experience with the filberts, but we had some of the old varieties, like Barcelona and DuChilly, and they didn't bear many nuts, and eventually they went out with blight. And we have some of the Potomac and Reed, about five years old, and they don't bear well as yet. I don't know what the outcome is going to be on the Potomac and Reed. They make a nice ornamental bush, anyway, and that's about the sum and substance of my experience with filberts.
MR. SLATE: The Barcelona and DuChilly at Geneva have not been very satisfactory. During the first two years Barcelona outyielded the other varieties, but as the trees became older they experienced winter injury. DuChilly or Kentish Cob makes a small tree, but the nut is about the best of the nuts. There is a German variety not in circulation in this country, Langsdorfer, which is much like DuChilly, but it seems to make a much better tree. I think if they were put into circulation it might be a good substitute here in the East for DuChilly variety.
Let's hear from you, Mr. Gerardi. I know you are testing filbert varieties now.
MR. GERARDI: Yes, I have DuChilly and Kentish Cob. So far, at our place we have no blight or mite damage to speak of. The original plantings were the Bixby and Buchanan. We have them yet, and they are still as healthy as the day we put them out. They show no damage; even the Winkler hazel has had no damage or disease. It may be the soil, although we have them on high ground and low ground both. Among the newer ones this year the Reed has the most on. The Potomac, though it is the strongest grower of the two, has less nuts. Although it appeared to me that the catkins were all killed in February of this year, still we have some nuts. The Jones hybrids, when the catkins are killed, have very few, if any nuts. Some years we have a crop, if some of the catkins are held back and bloom late. Winter killing in February before they have had a chance to pollinate, has been our main trouble. If we could get a variety that this wouldn't bother, we'd have what we are looking for.
MR. MCDANIEL: The Winkler will bloom for you almost every year. Doesn't the Winkler hold its catkins most years?
MR. GERARDI: Yes, sir, I'd say at our place the Winkler has never failed entirely. Even though the catkins are killed, they still bear quite regularly.
MR. MCDANIEL: I can say that for it at Urbana.
MR. WHITFORD: The catkins might have been killed, but you might have had some cross-pollination from other sources.
MR. GERARDI: There is a chance of that, of course. There is a wild hazel within a quarter of a mile, but apparently the wild hazel bloomed first. They were on a south slope and naturally came out first. I tried to keep them on the north slope, or on the cool side of any particular planting, because if you can hold them back more, you have got a better chance. If you plant them on the south side, you rarely get anything.
MR. SLATE: The hybrids bloom later than the avellana varieties, and they mature nuts later. Is that your experience?
MR. GERARDI: That's true, I will admit your hybrids are a little later blooming, because your American hazel nuts around our place bloom very early, sometimes in January in full bloom.
MR. SLATE: C. avellana starts blooming in March and blooms for about a month. Some years when you have had considerable open weather, they have bloomed as early as the middle of February. They will, of course, stand considerable freezing when they are in bloom.
As regards the pollination, I believe about all the information we have is the work that was done at the Oregon Experiment Station a number of years ago. All of the varieties tried were self-unfruitful or self-incompatible. The term, "self-sterile" is often used, but I think it is a little more exact to say self-unfruitful or self-incompatible. They are not sterile, because the pistillate flowers are normal and so is the pollen produced by the staminate flowers. It's just a question of inability of the pollen to fertilize the pistillate flowers on the same variety.
We know nothing about the pollination requirements of any of these Corylus avellana or Corylus americana hybrids. We do know that when the cross is made that the Corylus americana variety must be the seed-parent. The cross doesn't work the other way around. That's about all we know about the cross-pollination of these filberts.
MR. SAWYER: We have had them to bloom in April or the first week in May.
MR. SLATE: The seedlings?
MR. SAWYER: The seedlings.
MR. SLATE: What is the origin of the seedlings?
MR. SAWYER: They are the natives.
MR. SLATE: The native C. rostrata, or C. cornuta to some botanists, it seems to me has nothing that we want in the way of a nut, if we can possibly grow these other varieties, the americana selections or the hybrids. It's a miserable little nut with that long, prickly husk. It's very difficult to get the nut out of it. For that reason, I have never been very much interested in it.
MR. SAWYER: How is the Ryan?
MR. MCDANIEL: Mr. Gellatly out in British Columbia has named several hybrids between avellana and the Corylus cornuta. Have you seen it?
MR. SLATE: No, I haven't seen it.
MR. MCDANIEL: They described them in their catalog.
MR. COLBY: I have preference for the Winkler hazel, as you know. I bought and put them in the greenhouse several years ago and shook the pollen on the pistils and got a full set. So I felt that was self-fruitful.
MR. SLATE: That was pretty good evidence, then, that it was self-fruitful.
Now, Mr. Silvis, you raise nut trees, and the climate is somewhat like that in Western New York, perhaps a little milder in the winter. What have you to say about the filbert varieties?
MR. SILVIS: It's Warmer, and in spite of all the statistics of previous gentlemen, I find that avellana types which I had growing in my back yard three years ago produced pollen on January the 25th. It was unseasonably warm. It was 70 degrees, and most of the pollen was dispersed. And this year I found the wild hazel pollen much later than the early types, due to the different situation. The wild ones which I had seen were growing in semi shade under tall trees, and my bushes and plants are growing in the back yard south of our house. And I think I have the largest planting in the State of Ohio, about two dozen plants, and I am in production.
Besides numerous seedlings, I have the following varieties: Italian Red, Cosford, Medium Long, DuChilly. They are in bearing. Italian Red and DuChilly planted together, I believe, are good for one another for the production of nice filbert nuts. I have, from scion wood you sent me several years ago, Cosford, and now on their own roots Neue Riesenuss, and what I thought the tag said, not "Langsdorfer," but Langsberger.
MR. SLATE: There is a Langsdorfer, and I think there is another variety which Langsberg is part of the name. I am not sure, I will have to look that up.
MR. SILVIS: Well, I have it as Langsberger. I have shown last evening the picture of Harry L. Pierce's orchard at Willamette in Oregon, or in Salem, Oregon. I have one of his trees with staminate blooms only, no pistillate blooms. But I also have what Fayette Etter in Pennsylvania calls his Royal, and I just cannot get two fellows together with paper and pencil to determine whether those two Royals are the same, but I am hoping to find out whether the two Royals are identical. I had Fayette Etter find me scion wood, and now I have it growing as a graft and layered on its own roots.
I think you people do yourselves an injustice by not learning to graft and learning to work with the filbert. You only have to have three compatible plants. If you have more, you will have more nuts. I see no reason why anyone who owns a city lot cannot grow filberts. They are much easier to take care of, and you are not going to prejudice the plant by having it associate with its wild cousin, and I think you will find a lot of enjoyment in the filbert bush.
MR. SLATE: What variety do you think is best? What two or three would you plant?
MR. SILVIS: For eating I like DuChilly, and the catkin is hardy with me, and I am between the 40th and 41st parallel. I'd say anyone who lives from Iowa to the East Coast within one hundred miles north or south of the 40th parallel should have the same luck that I have. And as to a group planting, I would suggest, as you recommended to me when we first started out the Medium Long, Cosford and Italian Red. If you want only two bushes, Italian Red and DuChilly will work well together.
MR. MCDANIEL: Do you have Medium Long?
MR. SILVIS: Yes, I do.
MR. MCDANIEL: Is that doing well?
MR. SILVIS: I don't think it fruits as well as Cosford or DuChilly. That's been my experience. My DuChilly was plastered with nuts last year and this year, and I believe it's due to the Italian Red which New York Fruit Testing Laboratory sold me.
MR. SLATE: Thank you.
MR. WHITFORD: Do you fertilize those bushes?
MR. SILVIS: Due to the fact I have started to mulch with sawdust I have been using nitrate and rock phosphate, so my teeth don't fall out when I chew them.
MR. SLATE: I crack mine with a hand cracker, I don't crack them with my teeth.
DR. COLBY: Mr. Chairman, we can grow filberts. How does the chairman keep the squirrels from eating them?
MR. STOKE: I will tell you that.
MR. SLATE: Mr. Stoke raises his nut trees in the Sunny South, and he has problems down there that we don't have up north. I think he has to worry a lot more about winter killing than we do way up north where we are in Central New York. What's been your experience with some of the varieties and what are your principal cultural problems with the filberts?
MR. STOKE: I wish to answer Dr. Colby's query about squirrels. I find that squirrels are very highly allergic to these BB caps or the CP caps used in a 22 rifle. It works. In my back yard there is a Brixnut filbert, which originated in Oregon. I guess it's been there 15 years. There are four trunks to it, the largest about 16 inches in diameter. One of those I grafted to Giant, as a pollinizer for Brixnut. It's similar in shape, somewhat smaller in spite of its name, but it's pretty effective. Then about ten years ago there was an old gentleman from Halsey, Oregon. I don't know whether any of you have corresponded with him or not. He bought the Breslau Persian walnut—I pretty nearly said the English walnut, and I'd have been disgraced—and furnished me scions and I got a start of it from him. Russ sent me some scions from a filbert he called Jumbo. You will see it out on the table there. It's rather a long nut, little larger than DuChilly and not quite so flat, that I grafted in there. It absolutely is hopeless as a pollinizer for anything, because it loses its staminate blossoms by Christmas. But the Hall's Giant pollinizes them, and it's the best filbert I have, all things considered. This year off that one scion—of course, it's four inches in diameter—I got about 7 quarts of nuts, and they began ripening at least three weeks ago, and the crop is all off now. And the foliage is unusually heavy, almost in clusters, and it drops cleanly and freely from the husks, and I think it is a very nice filbert. Whether it's a recognized variety in the West I have no idea, and I haven't corresponded with the old gentleman for some years, and he probably has passed on by this time, because he was an elderly man and not in good health at the time I had my correspondence with him. I consider that an excellent filbert, and I think anyone wishing to plant filberts should investigate with the Oregon nurseries or Washington nurseries and see if that is a recognized variety. I tried to find out once and failed so far. I do not have it on its own roots. I hope that I will have it rooted in another year.
In my back yard also I have one that I bought in Oregon. That's as tall as up to that beam, maybe almost to the ceiling, very vigorous growth, larger nut than Longfellow, thicker nuts and also longer. But I think the thing he sold me was a graft and the graft died and this came from the root. It bears very sparingly, but it's a very large nut, and I wondered why it was always so spare, and I caught it blooming in December, staminate blossoms in December this year. So that's that.
Ten miles east of my home, east of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the granitic, very heavy clay soil of what we call the Piedmont down there, I have a planting that was made 15 years ago of filberts, some on their own roots and some that I grew on the Turkish tree hazel stocks. Those grew well, and the main advantage was they put up no suckers. You had a nice clean trunk, and you didn't have that problem of getting rid of the sprouts all the time. And it looked very good for a while.
I find where you graft that way, the stocks get old and do not renew themselves, and eventually the life will be shorter than if you had a shrub that might last for a century, when you are renewing your stalks when they reach maturity and cease to grow enough to be productive.
Two years ago I had most of the standard varieties you mentioned here in that planting, about three-quarters or perhaps an acre planted in between chestnut trees. Planted the chestnut trees 40 feet apart and then interplanted with the filberts at 20 feet. Two years ago we had an unusually wet season, and the blight, of which I had had some before, hit hard and virtually ruined the whole planting. And in addition to that, we have leaf miner. It's an insect that lays a tiny egg in the leaf and develops a little larva or worm that eats out the chlorophyll between the two membranes of the leaf, just hollows it out and makes unsightly spots in there and, of course, kills that portion of the leaf. But the blight, known as the eastern filbert blight, according to Mr. Gravatt, has just ruined that planting. Some of the trees have been killed outright, and most of the tops are either dead or dying. This year the blight wasn't apparently active on the living part, because it was very dry up until the first of August, and since then it's been very wet. That's what happened to my filberts there.
Now, in that same location I have some younger, second-generation or third-generation plantings that I grew from scions from the Jones hybrids and so far those have not been attacked by the blight and not much by the leaf miner. I used them to replace some of the others that had died several years ago, so they are right in there together. About the best I have of those are also on exhibit out there and marked as the Jones Hybrid.
At the same time I put out some seedling Colurna or the Turkish tree hazel in that same plot. They were attacked somewhat but not badly by the blight. Today you'd never know they had any blight. They look healthy, and as has already been said, they make a beautiful tree. And if you want an avenue of trees on a drive that don't spread too wide and run up like Lombardi poplar, they'll beat Lombardi poplar all to pieces. And if you crowd them a little, they will grow up like a spire and retain their branches, so you really have a tree.