Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 43rd Annual Meeting - Rockport, Indiana, August 25, 26 and 27, 1952
Author: Various
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MR. FERGUSON: What temperature do you use in the frames?

MR. BERNATH: About 65. Sun heat naturally will raise it. Care must be used to ventilate the frames in the greenhouse to prevent condensation soaking the grafts.

MR. FERGUSON: Do you carry higher temperatures for walnuts?

MR. BERNATH: All of them about the same. You follow the method just the same as nature. If you follow nature, you will never go wrong. But you have to watch out for fungus in the case, because if you have excessive temperature, the fungus disease will get in your case and ruin the whole thing.

MR. WARD: I presume, Mr. Bernath, when you set out a tree and get a hundred per cent stand it's going to reduce your cost.

MR. BERNATH: Yes, because you have a better take, because you have everything under control, moisture, heat, ventilation, and so on.

MR. BECKERT: Are the hickory stocks potted before you graft, or are you grafting bare roots?

MR. BERNATH: Hickory and oaks are bare rooted. They are too long to pot.

MR. SHESSLER: How many years are lost in this method of bench grafting compared with field grafting trees in the nursery row?

MR. BERNATH: Quite a few. The gentleman is right, if you graft outside where the tree remains, you get a big growth on it.

MR. SHESSLER: In other words, a tree grafted out in the field will have nuts on it three years sooner?

MR. BERNATH: Yes if you leave it where it is. But if you transplant it, look out for a large tree. It is likely to fail.

Bench grafted trees transplant easily. The roots are limited and little of the root system is destroyed.

MR. WILKINSON: I have been propagating for about 39 years, and I have grafted thousands of pecan trees in my nursery, and I have only a few trees growing from grafts. Budding is much more successful with me. Several times I have had up to a 90 per cent stand by budding.

MR. GERARDI: I have tried bench grafting but it sets you back three years in the nursery to get a tree of equal size compared to grafting in the nursery row. If you want a small tree, it's all right. And then again, it's your help situation. If you have got to set them out, they handle the grafts like brush, and I don't like that. Hickory is not hard to graft in the field. I think if you set 10 you get 9 to grow. For scions I go back on two-year wood and oftentimes on three-year wood where there are buds. I don't have trouble at all. With pecans, you have a little more difficulty, because the wood is more pithy inside and doesn't grow so well.

MR. BERNATH: With any tree, I don't care what it is, give me one-year growth, this year's growth, and I am going to have wonderful success. When you take the old wood you have to be sure that you have buds.

PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: This last discussion certainly shows that, there is more than one way to get results. The fact remains that all these different men are producing hickory and other trees by various different means of grafting and budding. They have their own techniques which worked. What there is behind it from a scientific basis we probably don't understand too well at the present time.

I now call on Dr. McKay to present his paper. Dr. McKay.

A Promising New Pecan for the Northern Zone

J. W. MCKAY and H. L. CRANE[2]

In late 1949 Professor A. F. Vierheller, Extension Horticulturist at the University of Maryland, College Park, obtained two small pecans from an exhibit at the Prince Georges County Fair, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which he sent to the Office of Nut Investigations at Beltsville, Maryland. These nuts were very thin shelled and contained solid, well developed kernels very light in color and attractive. We gave them no particular heed until the fall of 1951, when the authors together with Professor Vierheller, P. E. Clark, County Agent of Prince Georges County, visited the tree on which they had been produced. We found also a number of other pecan trees nearby. All of them were on an old southern Maryland estate known as Brookfield. The present owner is John C. Duvall, whose address is Naylor, a small southern Maryland community located about 25 miles southeast of Washington, D. C. in the heart of the tobacco growing area.

Origin of the Duvall trees: The present trees probably grew from nuts sent to Maryland from the vicinity of Iron Mountain, Missouri, by a friend of the Duvall family named Mrs. Mary Medora Johnson. Mrs. Johnson had lived in Maryland as a neighbor of the Duvall family and when she moved to Missouri she apparently was so impressed with the native pecan that she sent nuts to her friends in Maryland for planting. This must have happened about 1850 since the oldest trees at Brookfield are estimated to be about 100 years old and Mrs. Johnson was a friend of John C. Duvall's grandmother. In terms of the human life span the trees are thus three generations removed from the time of planting, a time period which fits fairly well the estimated age of 100 years based upon size of the trees.

Description: The three largest trees are approximately equal in size and undoubtedly represent the original planting. The eight other trees are all smaller and could well have originated as seedlings of the original three. Five of the largest trees have been given numbers 1 to 5 and will be referred to by number. Duvall No. 1, 2 and 5 are the three large trees situated more or less in a circle surrounding the old mansion, each about 100 yards from the others. The smaller trees are located more or less between and around the larger ones, the old mansion being on a slight knoll in the center of the planting. The original dwelling of Brookfield is now crumbling ruins, part of the building being more than 200 years old, according to Mr. Duvall, who lives in a modern new country home across the road from the original mansion. The three large trees have a diameter at breast height of approximately 4 feet and all of them have a branch spread of more than 150 feet. They are 75 to 100 feet tall. All of the trees have very narrow and pointed leaflets characteristic of Texas and southwestern varieties, and they are remarkably free of insect pests and diseases.

The nuts from this group of seedlings are variable in size and appearance as might be expected of those from any group of pecan seedlings. However, one of the most striking characteristics of all the nuts is that the kernels are solid and well developed. This is an unusual characteristic for pecans grown in the latitude of Washington, D. C. In all of the varieties that are usually grown in this area none which regularly fill their nuts well are known. Another outstanding characteristic of all of the nuts produced by these seedlings is the bright, attractive color of the kernel. In fact, when the nuts of Duvall No. 1 are promptly harvested and dried in the fall, the kernels are almost white. Nuts that stayed on the ground 6 months during the winter of 1951-52 were harvested in late March 1952 and the kernels were still in good condition. Some of the nuts were on display at the Rockport meetings. Small size of nut is without question the chief undesirable characteristic of these trees. Duvall No. 5 produces the largest nuts of all the seedlings but they are so small that more than 100 are required to weigh a pound. Duvall No. 1 produces the smallest nuts and almost 200 are required to weigh a pound.

Past Yields: The one characteristic that sets these trees apart from all other pecan trees that we have observed in the Maryland area is that they yield heavy crops of nuts every year. We have known the trees only since the fall of 1951 but have observed two crops and Mr. Duvall has observed their performance for many years. In the fall of 1951 Duvall No. 2 yielded an estimated 8 to 10 bushels of nuts. Mr. Duvall harvested 3 bushels and he knew that 3 bushels were harvested by friends of the family. An unknown quantity estimated at several bushels was plowed under when wheat was sown shortly before we visited the tree in the fall of 1951. The tree had a heavy set of nuts in August 1952 and Mr. Duvall predicted that it would probably yield as much this year as last. He told us that the three oldest trees always have had annual crops of nuts except for 1 or 2 years when one of the trees failed to produce as much as usual. He could not remember which of the trees produced the light crops but he was certain that light crops were borne at only very infrequent intervals.

Sweeney Tree: The two nuts originally sent us by Professor Vierheller were produced by a tree growing approximately 200 yards from the nearest Duvall tree on a part of the farm recently subdivided and now occupied by a tenant named Sweeney. Mrs. Sweeney placed the plate of nuts on exhibit at the Prince Georges County Fair and from this plate Professor Vierheller procured the sample which he sent. Hence this tree has become known informally as the Sweeney tree. Its nuts are very long and pointed but in other respects resemble very closely those produced by the other trees. The Sweeney tree is undoubtedly a seedling of one of the three large Duvall trees. This tree also has an impressive yield record, as Mrs. Sweeney said that she has harvested a bushel or more of nuts from the tree every year during the ten or more years that she has lived on the place. In 1952 the Sweeney tree was bearing a heavy crop of nuts.

Soil: The trees growing on soil that is classified as Sassafras fine sandy loam in the heart of the southern Maryland tobacco growing district. This soil type, one of the best agricultural soils of the area, is not generally regarded as one of high fertility. This soil is well drained and aerated and friable to a considerable depth, thus permitting the trees to root deeply. None of the trees are growing under crowded conditions since they are located around the margins of the building sites of the old homestead. The question now is whether grafted trees propagated from the best of the Duvall seedlings will yield heavy crops of well filled nuts that will mature early under other conditions of soil and climate in other localities. We are inclined to believe that some or all of these trees may represent a line of pecan genetically constituted to bear heavy crops of nuts every year under conditions in Maryland. If trees propagated from the Duvall trees will perform elsewhere in the northern zone there will be available for this area a new type of pecan that we feel will be distinctly worthwhile notwithstanding the small size of the nuts. Present varieties of the so-called northern pecan grown in the northern zone perform erratically at best and when many of the varieties produce crops the nuts fail to mature and fill properly.


[Footnote 2: Horticulturist and Principal Horticulturist, Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland.]

The Hickory in Indiana

W. B. WARD, Department of Horticulture, Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind.

Mr. Charles C. Deam, forester, naturalist and botanist, in his book "Trees of Indiana," revised 1952, lists seven distinct types of hickory in the state and nine sub species. As Deam is approaching his 87th year (August 30), he makes this statement: "I thought I knew trees, and hickories especially, but at this time when I can hardly see and write I find there is a great need for reclassification." What is true in Indiana is no doubt true in other areas where Hicoria grows—each year new seedlings and hybrids are found that just step out of any previous description and a new tree may result or change the published data.

Some trees develop five leaflets, while others have seven and nine leaflets. The bark may be smooth, rough, scaly, or shag. The nuts will vary in size and form with a thin to quite thick shell. This, of course, applies to the seedlings as the grafted or budded varieties vary only with the location, season, and growing conditions.

The present classification, according to Deam, is as follows:

1. Carya pecan—Pecan. 2. C. cordiformis—Bitternut. 3. C. ovata—Shagbark and 2 sub species—fraxinifolia and nuttali. 4. C. laciniosa—Bigleaf Shagbark (Shellbark). 5. C. tomentosa (alba)—Mockernut—one sub species. 6. C. glabra—Pignut and sub species—Black Hickory. 7. C. ovalis—Small-Fruited Hickory and 5 sub species. 8. C. pallida } 9. C. buckleyi } —Minor species of lesser importance.

The hickory species thrive in Indiana, doing very well in all sections except in certain portions of the northwestern part of the state and on muck or sandy soils. The tree loves company or does well alone. When the hickory stands alone, the trees are well formed and make a good specimen tree. Many hickory trees are found growing in the river bottom land from Central to Southern Indiana with fewer trees found north of a line extending from Terre Haute through Indianapolis to Richmond. This southern area also contains the largest population of pecans. There are some woods that contain only pecan trees while a mile or so away no pecans are found but all are hickories and occasionally some woods contain both pecan and hickory. The trees in the woods areas, many of which seem to be the same species, produce a wide variety of fruits. When the trees are more closely examined there is a difference in the bark, the branch, the leaf, pubescence, shape of nut and shell structure. As there are all seedling trees in this particular woods, several outstanding trees have been checked and especially as to cracking qualities of the nuts. At harvest time a hammer is part of the equipment and the nuts are cracked at the tree and the tree marked for discard or further consideration.

Future Possibilities of the Hickory

The hickory nut has not reached the popularity of the pecan, although the hickory contains more protein and slightly less fat, carbohydrates, and calories per pound than the pecan. Where the pecan does not fruit, the better hickories, which are hardy, fill the need. The named varieties are good and trees are available from some nurserymen. The propagators have developed a few new crosses but man is far behind nature in this work. The many new seedling trees scattered all over the regions where the hickory grows require only propagation and distribution for wider acclaim.

The development of a new hickory is a long-time process, yet may be hastened by first planting the nuts for new seedlings and when the growth is mature to bud or graft the seedling on large rootstocks. When old trees have been top-worked it is only two or three years' time until the fruit develops and, if worthy of propagation, much time may be saved by this method.

Most of the hickories have either 32 or 64 chromosomes, except pecan which varies from 20 to 24 to possibly 32. The chances of making suitable crosses between the pecan and hickory are most difficult yet it appears that these chance crosses result from time to time as in the hican through natural cross pollination.

How extensive will be the plantings of the hickories is yet to be determined but it is a known fact that many people, especially north of the route of Federal Highway 40, prefer the hickory to the pecan. This may be due to the fact that from childhood the hickory was the local fruit. The fruit and tree hold great promise for the future. If the hickories are to be of commercial importance, the work must be done by all concerned and not left to a few eager individuals to carry on the work alone.

MR. MACHOVINA: Mr. Chairman, members of the Association, I hope you will bear with me if I run 30 seconds over. Perhaps I had better point out that my training is that of an engineer and not a botanist, hence this report on the Merrick tree is that of a layman. I have not bothered to go into detail on the various features of the tree, such as leaves, buds, and so forth, because I have slides which you will see afterwards.

The Merrick Hybrid Walnut

P. E. MACHOVINA, Columbus, Ohio

The Merrick hybrid walnut is a natural cross between Persian and black walnut and is distinguished from most other such hybrids by the good crops it usually bears. The tree is located in Rome Township, Athens County, Ohio, on property owned by Mr. M. M. Merrick a farmer and fruit grower.

In August, 1950, Mr. Merrick first described his "English" walnut to the writer and arrangements were made to view the tree. Most striking at first sight was the large crop of nuts. The general outward appearance of the tree suggested it to be pure Persian; however, upon closer examination, mixed parentage became evident. As a hybrid, the tree's history was a matter of interest and the owner was happy to supply what information he could.

Mr. Merrick purchased the property on which the hybrid is located, in 1921. A few years prior to this, the previous owner had planted six Persian walnut trees obtained from a nursery in northern Ohio. These young trees bore their first crop of nuts during Mr. Merrick's first year of ownership. It is known that the nursery owners were also proprietors of a commercial Persian walnut orchard located in the vicinity of Niagara Falls. With this combination of date and orchard location, it seems not illogical to presume that the six nursery trees were of the Pomeroy strain. From Mr. Merrick's description of the nuts produced by these trees, they appear to have been two each of three different grafted varieties. In the early nineteen-thirties, Mr. Merrick planted several nuts from the Persian trees and raised a number of seedlings. One of these seedlings, transplanted to its present location, is the subject of this discussion and is presumed to be a cross between one of the six Persians and a native black walnut. During the late nineteen-thirties, all of the trees, Persians and seedlings, with the single exception of the existing hybrid, were killed by an unusually hard winter.

The Merrick hybrid walnut, now about 20 years of age, is an extremely vigorous and healthy tree. Its height is between 55 and 60 feet and its spread nearly as great. Trunk diameter is at present about 12 inches at breast height. The location of the tree is very favorable, being near the crest of a high ridge and with protection from the northwest by the house. A chicken yard is near and the kitchen drain empties close by to supply moisture.

In nearly all aspects excepting the nut itself, the tree favors its pistillate parent. This is evidenced by the general shape of the tree, by the texture and color of the bark of limbs and twigs, and by the shape and color of the leaves, the buds, the flowers, and the nut hull. Hybridity is indicated by the (usually) eleven leaflets to the leaf stem, by the nut, and in the disintegration of the hull which, after falling, quickly changes into a most disagreeable, dark-brownish, semi-liquidlike mess. The nut itself is much more like a Persian walnut in appearance than a black walnut. The shell surface is slightly rougher and somewhat darker than most Persian nuts. The suture of the Persian parent is prominent. Black walnut parentage is exhibited by the thick shell, the interior configuration and in the flavor of the small kernel. Nut size varies somewhat with diameters ranging from 1 to 1-1/4 inches and lengths ranging from 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches.

The bloom, which is strikingly like that of pure Persian trees, is always profuse and precedes that of the surrounding native black walnuts by a week or two. In the two years during which the writer has observed the tree, the greater part of the staminate bloom has preceded the pistillate by several days. This was noticeably the case during the current year, and either this, or the rainy weather, has resulted in a small set of nuts which the owner states to be unusual. During the years observed, the tree appeared to be self-pollinating.

It is recognized, of course, that the Merrick hybrid is worthless as a producer of edible nuts. The possible value of the tree lies in opportunities it offers in being the forbearer of more worthwhile progeny. We know of the vast possibilities in hybridization. We know of the difficulties involved in obtaining nuts from controlled crosses between Persian and black walnut trees; and we know that seedling trees raised from the nuts of such crosses are almost always sterile. The Merrick hybrid, yielding good crops, offers possibilities both in crossbreeding and in the raising of seedling trees from the nuts of the tree itself. In the latter connection, Drs. Crane and McKay, of the U.S.D.A., requested several pounds of Merrick nuts for planting purposes this spring. The writer himself planted five such nuts, of which four germinated. Of the four trees, one died early in the season, while the remaining three have thrived. The heights attained by the three remaining trees thus far this season are 1, 2, and 3 feet, respectively. These trees have the general appearance of young Persian seedlings.

The only crossbreeding attempted thus far ended in failure when a storm destroyed most of the bags prior to application of pollen. Persian pollen was used on the few bloom remaining covered but, unfortunately, no nuts were set. The experiment will be continued. Also, the Merrick will be topworked onto producing walnuts, both Persian and black, in the hope of obtaining nuts from which interesting and perhaps better second generation hybrids can be raised.

An interesting point of conjecture on which to terminate this report, and one to which nut experts will likely give little credence, may be found in a statement made by Mr. Merrick and vouched to by Mrs. Merrick. The statement is to the effect that the nuts borne by the Merrick during its early years, that is, prior to the time the adjacent Persians were killed, were of much better quality, being more like Persian walnuts both in appearance and in flavor. We've heard of "pollen influence" with chestnuts. Did it occur here?


Producing Quality Nuts and Quality Logs

L. E. SAWYER, Director, Division of Forestry and Reclamation, Indiana Coal Producers Association

I was trained as a forester and having worked at the profession for nearly thirty years, my first thought of trees is for their utility in building or in cabinet work. In school we were taught that the fruit of forest trees was a by-product. Its economic importance was not emphasized nor was the possibility of establishing stands of some species specifically for the production of their fruit.

Through the years the value of the nut crop from some species has increased so that the fruit is now the primary crop and any wood materials that may be derived are the by-product. This production of valuable food and necessary materials of high quality for the building of quality furniture and interior finish is a combination that will work well together.

Black walnut, the most highly utilized of any of our native timber for furniture, veneer, and cabinet work is becoming increasingly more difficult for the mills to obtain in larger sized logs. Native chestnut, almost completely destroyed in our timbered areas by the chestnut blight, is in demand for interior finish. Pecan, which has had only a limited use in the past, is now enjoying a market for the manufacture of flooring.

The production of nuts from plantations or orchards of these three species will no doubt produce greater economic returns for many years after the initial planting than could be derived from the sale of the trees for the wood they contain. There will come a time in the life of any tree when it is no longer a profitable producer and should be replaced by a younger, more thrifty tree. When that time comes, the tree to be removed will have no economic value unless it contains products that industry can use. With the thought in mind that the wood from the tree is to have some future economic value the trunk of the tree should be kept free of all limbs to a height of about nine feet above the ground. The development of a large spreading top above that point will be desirable for nut production. The space below that top will give ample head room for maintenance work in the orchard and that clear length of trunk will produce a high quality log eight feet long. That is the minimum standard length normally used by the lumber industry. Some shorter lengths are utilized by the veneer industry but those lengths usually command a lower unit price.

The production of figured walnut could be combined with the production of one log per tree but it would take several more years to bring the trees to nut producing age. Mr. Wilkinson has successfully demonstrated that the figure of the Lamb Walnut does carry over through a graft or bud.

A double budding operation should not be difficult to perform. It would simply consist of budding the figured stock on the root at as low a point as possible, then when the figured growth has reached sufficient height, of budding again to the desired variety for nut production. This procedure would no doubt require a few additional years before the first crop of fruit would be harvested but it would produce an extremely valuable log when the tree is finally cut.

I would be remiss in my present job if I did not bring the revegetation program of the Indiana coal stripping industry into the discussion. That industry produces over fifty percent of the coal mined in Indiana today and is recovering coal that could not be mined by any other means.

In driving to Rockport many of you no doubt passed by areas of newly mined land, rough, barren desolate looking areas with no vegetation. They have the appearance of complete desolation and give the impression that those lands are forever lost. In that same vicinity you no doubt passed plantations of pine, or mixture of pine or Locust with our native deciduous species. Those too were mined areas that a few short years ago were just as desolate in appearance as the bare areas you saw. These plantations are the direct result of a reclamation program started by the members of the Indiana Coal Producers Association, a program that has attracted national attention.

The first record of an attempt at the reclamation of coal mine spoil is here in Indiana. In 1918, the Rowland Power Company, now owned by the Maumee Collieries Company, planted peach, apple and pear trees on mined land in Owen county. The records show that for a period of years the trees thrived and were good producers. Then, because the topography was rough and no spraying was done, disease and insects took their toll of the peaches and apples. Seedlings of the original apple and peach tree still grow on the area. The original Kieffer pear trees still stand and produce large crops of fruit.

In 1926, the larger, more far sighted companies began a definite program of reforestation of their mined lands under the direction of Ralph Wilcox, at that time assistant State Forester and fortunately our State Forester today. That voluntary program was carried on until 1941 when the Indiana Coal Producers Association, the Association of the mining companies, sat down with representatives of the Indiana Department of Conservation, representing the state, and the Indiana Farm Bureau, representing the people, and drafted a bill which was enacted into law. This law required each company to obtain a permit from the state to operate and required that each company revegetate an area each year equal to 101% of the area they had mined. To insure compliance, a bond was required. This law remained in effect for ten years. In 1951, representatives of those same groups again sat down together and drafted several amendments to the original act. Some grading is now required where areas lie adjacent to public roads. Access roads must be provided and areas to be devoted to pasture must be graded so that they can be traversed with agricultural machinery.

Under this program, sponsored by Industry, the Farm Bureau, and the Department of Conservation, 79% of the area that has been mined to date has been successfully revegetated. The remaining 21% is a natural lag and represents lands newly mined or areas that have not weathered to the point where they will support revegetation. The demand for recreation lands and home sites where water is available is constantly increasing. At least 13% of the revegetated area is now being used for public recreation or for home sites. Near the more heavily populated sections the price commanded by mined territory containing good lakes often exceeds the value of the land before it was mined.

These lakes, formed in the final cuts and in low lying areas of the strip mines, furnish the only clean, clear water available for public recreation and fishing in the south western part of the state.

The reforestation being carried on under the reclamation program consists of planting several species of pines, as well as a large variety of our native deciduous trees. The older plantations are being used as a guide as the research started in the last eight years has not progressed far enough to give conclusive results on many points. Until the last few years the Agricultural Experiment Station has devoted little or no time to the problem of reclaiming strip mine spoil. The area of the state that is involved, less than 1/4 of 1%, has been too small to justify the use of their limited funds. However, since funds have been made available to that Station, through the Industry, to establish research fellowships, the Station has given whole hearted cooperation. The information being obtained through these fellowships and through work being carried on cooperatively with the Central States Forest Experiment Station is going to answer many of the questions on reclamation we have been confronted with.

Included in our reforestation has been a liberal scattering of black walnut. A breakdown of species is not available on much of the earlier work but since 1940, when accurate records have been maintained, we have planted 239,000 black walnut seedlings or seed. Initial survival is not high, averaging only about 50 percent but we still have a general distribution of seed trees that are providing a source of seed for natural reproduction. Trees from plantings made in 1927 to 1934 have grown well and we now have walnut trees over 10 inches in diameter and 60 feet in height. The average for all areas would probably not exceed 5 inches but individual trees have made remarkable growth. These trees are only seedlings, but they are bearing heavily and their fruit is sought by the local people.

In 1946 and 1947, budded stock of walnuts and pecans and seedlings of Chinese chestnut were obtained from Mr. Wilkinson and were set out on six selected areas. A wide variety of sites were picked and a wide variation in both survival and growth has been obtained. No special treatment was given the areas where the trees were to be planted nor were the trees mulched or watered after planting. Even under these rugged conditions we have a survival of over 60 percent of all trees. The walnut trees now range from 5 to 12 feet in height and the pecans up to 6 feet. The chestnuts vary in form from low spreading plants 4-1/2 to 5 feet in height and as much as 8 feet across to well formed trees 8 to 10 feet tall. Pruning on all three species to produce a clear butt log has been started.

Pasture seeding on areas high enough in available lime to support legumes is following a pattern laid down by three years of graduate study, financed by the Indiana Coal Producers Association, at Purdue and by work done by the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station under a similar arrangement with the Illinois Coal Strippers Association.

Unfortunately, we have only a small portion of the spoil area in Indiana that is suitable for the development of improved pasture. Not over 10 percent of the area mined to date is good enough and that percentage will decrease. Modern operations are deeper than the early ones and are exposing more hard rock and shale. Fortunately, most of these areas can be reforested after three or four years. In exceptional cases less than 5 percent of the area mined the exposed materials contain large amounts of sulfides. These break down into acid that in some cases require ten to twelve years to leach out before revegetation can be undertaken.

The fact that these stands of trees established on raw spoil will produce merchantable timber has been proven. In 1951, an area was clear cut at the Enos mine in Pike county. The pines on this tract were planted in 1933-34. The products from that cutting, peeled posts and poles, were sold to the Indiana Wood Preserving Company at the rate of $335.59 per acre. An increase in value of $16.48 per acre per year.

Pasture, forests and fishing are not the only products. Game of all varieties is abundant in the worked out areas. One of the largest herds of white tailed deer in the state, now referred to as the strip mine herd, is located in northern Warrick and southern Pike counties. In the Indiana deer season of 1951, the first open season since 1893, the second largest recorded kill came from the strip mine herd. The Pitman-Robertson report of the Division of Fish and Game carries the following comment on deer from that area. "The superiority of the diversified range of the strip mine herd was reflected in above average weights and measurements in most age classes."

From the evidence at hand, there is every reason to believe that most of the mined area will again be highly productive forest land. It has completed the entire cycle of land use. Originally it supported magnificent stands of hardwood timber. This timber was cut and the lands devoted to farming. Poor management and erosion soon depleted the supply of top soil and many areas were abandoned to broom sedge, blackberries and gullies. Because it was close enough to the surface the coal has been removed and the areas replanted to many of the same species of trees.

With this reestablishment of the forest cover and the creation of the lakes in the final cuts, we can again have our forest resource combined with fishing, hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation, some areas of pasture and, I believe, others that can be profitably devoted to the production of nut crops and the by-product of quality logs for the veneer and lumber industry.

PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: If you ever think you are going to sell your logs for veneer or lumber, don't nail hammocks or other things on the trees. The metal is very soon buried and causes no end of difficulty. We will go to the next paper, which is, "Colchicine as a Tool in Nut Breeding," Mr. O. J. Eigsti, Funk Brothers Seed Co., Bloomington, Illinois.

MR. EIGSTI: Three years ago this project was conceived in a discussion between Mr. Best and myself. Then during the two-year period, all I did was turn over some Colchicine to Mr. Best. Mr. Best took the material, treated the trees and performed as well as any graduate student I had ever graduated in the 13 years that I was in university work. It is through his fine cooperation that we are able to start this project, and I look forward to this developing into a rather important nut breeding venture. But as you all know, it will take a long time. I have this paper written. It's only four pages double-spaced.

Colchicine for Nut Improvement Programs

O. J. EIGSTI and R. B. BEST, Normal, Illinois, and Eldred, Illinois

Colchicine (1, 2) as a plant breeders' tool is universally well known. Only limited use has been made of this technique for nut improvement. Early work was started by Dr. J. W. McKay, a member of the N.N.G.A., but numerous other problems demanded his attention and the Colchicine project was not carried to final completion. Other reports are at hand from Sweden and Japan but these results do not shed direct light on the problems under discussion today at Rockport, Indiana.

Colchicine, acting on cell-division, ultimately causes a doubling of the number of chromosomes within those cells in contact with the substance at the time of division. Such changes are transferred to succeeding generations by the hereditary chain familiar to plant breeders. Several species of nuts are among this class of plants with doubled chromosomal numbers, however, such duplications occurred in nature. A report on this phase was given at a recent meeting of the N.N.G.A. Therefore such excellent nut producing species as the pecan are naturally doubled types, called polyploids. We find numbers such as 32 representative of a polyploid situation.

Since colchicine is effective in doubling the chromosome number and that variations in chromosome number exist among species, the authors planned a series of experiments to determine the best methods of applying colchicine toward a nut improvement program. Seedlings of pecan were available and out of this experience a schedule is submitted that may be of use for other members of this association confronted with particular problems applicable to colchicine techniques.

The most satisfactory schedule for doubling the number of chromosomes is given in a number of steps as listed below.

1) Select expanding vegetative buds in the earliest stages of development.

2) Use seedlings or branches from mature trees.

3) Prune leaves and probe to the growing cone without damage to tissue.

4) Pack a small wad of cotton into the terminal point.

5) Soak this cotton by dropping .2% aqueous solution of colchicine on same.

6) Add glycerine to cotton to improve penetration of colchicine.

7) Place drop of colchicine on cotton morning and evening for four days.

8) Remove cotton wading from bud on 5th day.

9) If sufficient tests at hand, allow cotton to remain on some buds.

10) Try for at least one hundred buds treated.

11) Observe growth during first season and also next season.

12) If treated bud dies, watch for growth among lower laterals.

13) Evidence of changes appears in the new leaves, darker, thicker, greener.

14) Conclusive evidence of doubling rests with microscopic and anatomical analysis which is a task for trained technicians only.

The above procedures are suggestions for a start and everyone will wish to make changes suited to his particular needs. The concentration of colchicine need not be exact as in an analytical experiment in chemistry. One gram dissolved in 500 ml. water is an adequate and a sufficiently careful measurement. The local pharmacist or physician is well acquainted with colchicine in the practise of medicine since this drug is a standard for gout.

Effective use may be made from two specific areas of plant breeding. First, doubling of chromosomes changes sterile hybrids into fertile individuals. This is a promising field and whenever such hybrids are discovered, efforts should be made to apply the colchicine technique. Second, doubling of the chromosome number makes possible hybridization of individuals heretofore unsuccessful in such effort. In both instances germ plasm of wide genetic difference is incorporated into a new propagating breeding stock. In the case of the sterile hybrid transformed into fertile individuals, no counting of chromosomes is necessary because restoration of fertility is evidence of changes in the chromosomal makeup. However, the second type of experiment requires microscopic analysis.

There are a number of fundamental research problems in the plant sciences associated with the treatment of plants with colchicine. From horticultural subjects such as the apple,(3) pear, cranberries,(4) and grapes, it is obvious that periclinal chimeras will be of prime importance in analysis of results in treatment of nut trees. Following the treatment of a growing point with colchicine the outer layer of cells may be doubled by colchicine but the lower layers may remain unchanged. Or a reverse of this situation may obtain, and even other types. Since the formation of pollen takes place from a certain layer it is very important that such specific layers are changed. The course of plant breeding can be altered by these kinds of changes. To our knowledge, no investigations of periclinal chimeras have been made with nuts, following treatment with colchicine.

Specific experiments were conducted at Eldred, Illinois in the spring of 1951 with seedlings of pecan. The cooperation of the R.B. Best Farms and Nut Plantation made this project possible. Several types of treatment were tried. Out of this experience the above schedule listed in 14 steps was developed. Other details may be obtained by contacting the authors direct. Observations of the new growth in 1951 and 1952 were made and the shape of leaves, color, texture and general appearance suggest that doubling of chromosomes has been induced. Up until the present time, no microscopic analysis has been made but this is a contemplated step and facilities are at hand to complete this work.

While this paper is not a completed research, the authors hope that the presentation of technique will aid and stimulate interest in this new approach to nut improvement. In such instances where certain members may have a particular problem such as a true hybrid-sterile as a result of hybridity, it is hoped that the suggestions given in the above pages may lead into a new field of improvement. There are rewards in store for the plant breeder willing to master this new technique, but the mastery requires careful study and diligent work.

Literature Cited

1. Eigsti, O. J. and Dustin, P.—Colchicine Bibliography. Lloydia 10: 65-114. 1947.

2. ——, ——.—Colchicine Bibliography. Lloydia 12:185-207. 1949.

3. Dermen, H.—Ontogeny of tissues in stem and leaf of cytochimeral apples. Am. Jour. Bot. 38:753-60. 1951.

4. Dermen, H. and Bain, H. F.—Periclinal and total polyploidy in cranberries induced by colchicine. Proc. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 38: 400. 1941.

PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: The Resolutions Committee for this meeting is: John Davidson, chairman, and Dr. Rohrbacher working with him. If you have anything in mind that should be brought up in the resolutions, see one of these two men.

The next paper is:

An Early Pecan and Some Other West Tennessee Nuts

AUBREY RICHARDS, M.D., Whiteville, Tenn.

MR. RICHARDS: There came under my observation in the latter part of last summer a seedling pecan tree growing in the city limits of my home town. It seemed that this tree had been growing unnoticed for possibly 50 years, judging by the size of the tree. The outstanding thing about this tree and what called it to my attention was a patient who came into my office complaining with a backache from picking up pecans on the 20th day of August.

I wrote my friend, Mr. J. C. McDaniel, about this pecan, and when he visited me during the Christmas holidays I gave him a sample. The only thing that he could say bad about the pecan was that it was slightly on the small side. I know personally that at least three or possibly four bushels of good quality nuts were harvested from that tree, most of them on the ground by the 20th of August.

In my section the Stuart pecan, which we use more or less as a yard-stick, was ripe the latter part of October, and we thought that possibly this tree, since it had undergone an unusually low temperature the winter before of 20 below zero, might have possibilities.

But let's dispense with this pecan and say that we believe in the old adage that one raindrop doesn't make a shower. It has a fair crop this year, and they are just as green as my Stuarts now.

There is another tree that originated in West Tennessee which Mr. McDaniel chose to call this nut "Rhodes heartnut." This tree is 7 years old from a dormant bud on a 2-year-old black walnut seedling growing on my back yard. It bore two clusters its second growing season, and since that time it has borne annually, the crops increasing in proportion to the size of the tree. This year's crop consisted of 88 clusters of nuts, with an average nut count of 10.2 nuts per cluster, giving a total of almost 900 nuts on this 7-year-old tree.

There is one more figure I'd like to give you. The count of clusters compared to the number of terminals we had this spring is better than 90 per cent clusters. I have a few bud sticks here cut from green water sprouts. That's the only kind I can find a sprout on. I brought them up to Mr. McDaniel. If anybody can talk Mr. McDaniel out of a bud he wanted to try, but I don't really know what plans he had for these bud sticks. The 7 or 8 other varieties of heartnuts I have growing don't have any that have clusters like the Rhodes.

Scab Disease in Eastern Kentucky on the Busseron Pecan

W. D. ARMSTRONG, University of Kentucky, Princeton, Kentucky

MR. ARMSTRONG: Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: It is nice to be here at the Northern Nut Growers meeting. This is my second session. I attend all the pecan and nut sessions in the country. I have attended Georgia-Florida Pecan Growers Association and Oklahoma and Texas Pecan Growers Association.

These plates that I have contain some of the Busseron pecans affected with pecan scab. The disease has shown up in Southeastern Kentucky, about a hundred miles southeast of Lexington, a hundred miles west of the Virginia line, and about a hundred miles north of the Tennessee line, on a straight line west of Roanoke, Virginia.

These trees were planted in bottom soil, rather well drained, and they made a rapid growth. In the original planting there were two Green River pecans, one Major, one Busseron and two walnuts, a Stabler and a Thomas.

About 1946 we noticed that all of the pecans on the Busseron were like these that we have here—did not mature, completely covered with scab fungus and dropped off the tree. The shells were so thin that you could just crush the whole pecan, hull, shell and all with no meats in them. The Major tree right beside it and the two Green River trees had none of this trouble, and they have none of it as yet. And each year now that this Busseron tree has borne there, practically all of the nuts have been like this.

At the time we located this disease first in 1946, I sent samples to the U.S.D.A. at Washington and also to the Southeastern Pecan Laboratory at Albany, Georgia, and Dr. Cole, there identified it as pecan scab.

I reported the presence of the disease to Mr. Wilkinson and to Dr. Colby and they were surprised to see the disease on Busseron in any location, and particularly that far north.

In the south this disease frequently affects Schley, Delmas, Alley and Van Deman and some others. Formerly the trees were sprayed with Bordeaux Mixture. I think they are using Zerlate now. It's a problem to be reckoned with. It occurs on the nuts and on the leaves, and it is carried over winter on the stems and the one-year shoots.

Further News About Oak Wilt

E. A. CURL, Illinois Natural History Survey, Urbana, Ill.

In 1951 a review of the oak wilt situation was given in a paper, "Present Status of the Oak Wilt Disease", at the Forty-Second Annual Meeting of the N.N.G.A. at the University of Illinois. The following report is aimed at bringing up to date the present known distribution of the oak wilt disease, recent developments in scientific research on the disease, and possible control measures.

The oak wilt disease is caused by the fungus Chalara quercina Henry and is characterized by a very noticeable bronzing and wilting of leaves that drop prematurely. Brown streaks are usually present in the outer sapwood. These symptoms may be seen from June to September or until normal autumn colors of the foliage develop.

More than 30 species of oak are known to be susceptible to the disease. Other susceptible genera of the family Fagaceae are Chinese chestnut, Castanea mollissima, golden chinquapin, Castanopsis chrysophylla, tanbark oak, Lithocarpus densifiora, and Nothofagus from South America. The red and black oaks seem to be most susceptible and are often killed within 6 weeks after infection.


During the past few years the oak wilt disease has spread with such rapidity and destructiveness among valuable forest and shade oaks in parts of the eastern half of the United States that its seriousness is now well recognized. At present oak wilt is known to be in the following states: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, northern Arkansas, eastern Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, northwestern Virginia, western part of North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, northeastern Kentucky, western Maryland and southern Michigan. Aerial surveys for 1952 are not yet complete, but there are indications of extensive new infections in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia while the other states show a moderate increase in the number of infections.

The first case of oak wilt in Illinois was seen in Rockford in 1942. Today 54 of the 102 counties in the state have oak wilt areas. The disease is present in both the extreme northern part and the southern-most tip of the state. Practically all wilt areas in the southern half of Illinois consist of 5 trees or less that appear to have died within the last 4 years, indicating a recent spread of the disease southward. A similar condition exists in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Developments in Research

In 1942 a report from the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station revealed that the oak wilt disease was caused by a fungus, and research programs were started early in Wisconsin and Iowa. Neighboring states were quick to follow as surveys showed a wider distribution of the disease. Now almost every state in which oak wilt occurs is taking part in efforts to learn more about the disease and its causal agent so that practical control measures may be applied before the spread of the disease gets out of hand. The National Oak Wilt Research Committee at Memphis, Tennessee, supports in part an intensive oak wilt research program in coordination with several midwestern universities and with the U.S.D.A., Bureau of Forest Pathology.

Until recently the causal fungus of oak wilt was known only in its asexual or imperfect form living in the sap stream of infected trees. The most important question to be answered now is how the fungus spreads over long distances from diseased to healthy trees. Before this could be accomplished, however, we had to know how the fungus escapes from the inside to the outside of diseased trees where it can be exposed to agents of dissemination.

In the late summer of 1951 clearly visible mycelial mats of the oak wilt fungus were found in Illinois under the loose bark of wilt-killed trees. These mats were usually located beneath cracks in the bark; thus, they were exposed to the outside air and to visiting insects. Most wilt-killed trees contain beneath the bark numerous insect larvae of wood and bark boring beetles. Larvae were frequently found in direct contact with mycelial mats of the fungus. Larvae of the two-lined chestnut borer, Agrilus bilineatus, were most abundant, but larvae of species of the families Scolytidae and Cerambycidae were also present in large numbers.

In addition to the mycelial mat under the bark there was often present a thick dark pad usually in the center of the mat. It is not known yet what part this pad plays in the life history of the fungus but we do know that it is produced by the same fungus which causes oak wilt.

We also found in Illinois that the oak wilt fungus often develops into visible mats from chips of bark and wood that have been chopped from wilt-killed trees and allowed to lie on the moist forest floor. This should be remembered when considering sanitation as a partial means of controlling the disease.

In 1951 the sexual or perfect form of the oak wilt fungus was produced on laboratory media in Missouri by crossing different strains of the fungus. The sexual form is recognized by the appearance of microscopic, black, short-beaked fruiting structures or perithecia that are filled with sticky ascospores. This sexual form is a species of Endoconidiophora.

The sexual form of the fungus was first found in nature in Illinois in the autumn of 1951. The perithecia are produced on the mycelial mats beneath the loose and sometimes cracked bark of diseased oaks. Both the ascospores of the sexual form and the endospores or conidia of the asexual form will cause wilt if the spores are injected into oak trees.

From the foregoing information it is apparent that several methods by which the disease might be spread over long distances are possible. First, and what seems to be most probable, is transmission by insects. Adult beetles, such as the two-lined chestnut borer, which emerge from dead trees in the spring and feed on the leaves of healthy trees might transmit the spores of the fungus. Other insects might feed on the fungus mats that are exposed through cracks in the bark and carry both the sticky ascospores and conidia to other trees. Additional agents that must be considered are woodpeckers, squirrels and air currents.

Besides searching for the vector or vectors that spread the disease other important studies are in progress. Among these is the consideration of chemotherapy as a possible means of controlling oak wilt. For our purpose, plant chemotherapy may be defined as the control of disease by chemicals which are introduced into the plant. According to Dr. Paul Hoffman of the Illinois Natural History Survey, a number of chemicals have shown promise in curing small diseased oak trees when treated in a very early stage of the disease. In one instance, trees that were inoculated with the oak wilt fungus then treated with chemicals 2 years ago are still alive. The most promising results were obtained by injecting the chemicals into the soil where they are taken up by the roots and by applying chemicals directly to the foliage in a spray. Trunk injection showed least promise because of the limited distribution of the chemicals through the tree.

The use of chemicals for curing wilt-infected trees is still in the early experimental stage and is not yet recommended as a practical control measure.

In 1949 Wisconsin workers demonstrated the local spread of oak wilt through natural root grafts. They found that the poisoning of a single healthy tree with sodium arsenite often killed as many as 15 other trees nearby, indicating that their roots were connected.

Recently the results of experiments in Wisconsin explained in part what causes the leaves of diseased trees to wilt. When a tree becomes infected it is stimulated to produce tyloses or swellings in the vessels of the wood. Therefore, the flow of water from the roots to the tree top is restricted and the leaves wilt and die. It is also known that the fungus itself produces a toxin which might be responsible for the actual killing effect on the tree.

In Illinois experiments are being conducted with insects in relation to the spread of oak wilt. Insects of various species are collected from wilt-killed trees and allowed to run over or feed on laboratory cultures of the oak wilt fungus. The insects are then caged on parts of healthy trees to feed on the leaves. A single red oak treated in this way contracted the disease and died. This shows that the disease can be transmitted by an insect.

Controlling the Disease

The spread of oak wilt in local areas may be stopped by preventing the underground movement of the disease from tree to tree through natural root grafts. This can be done by (1) poisoning all healthy trees within 50 feet of diseased trees, (2) cutting a ditch 30 inches deep with a small trenching machine between diseased and healthy trees to sever root connections or (3) severing root connections with a tractor drawn plow on which a knife blade is attached. Unfortunately the use of such heavy equipment is not practical in rocky and hilly areas. Chemicals used for killing trees are sodium arsenite and ammate. Ammate is safe to use but does not kill trees as rapidly as the other poison. In some localities 2,4,5-T used as a trunk spray has given satisfactory results in killing small trees.

If infected trees are left standing mycelial mats with their numerous spores develop under the loosening bark. It is therefore advisable to cut and burn all parts of diseased trees as soon as possible after symptoms appear.

A combination trenching and eradication program was started in the summer of 1950 in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County in Illinois. According to Mr. Noel B. Wysong, Chief Forester, 2 newly wilted trees were found in the Forest Preserve in 1948, 72 trees in 1949, 141 trees in 1950, and 96 trees in 1951. The count for 1952 is not complete but a continued decrease in the number of new infections would indicate good control.

There is no information on resistant species of oak. In very rare cases, however, trees have been observed to recover after showing symptoms in the early spring.

Future Outlook

Among the many things that we need to know yet about the oak wilt disease and its causal fungus one is outstanding. How does the disease jump from one infection center to healthy trees 200 yards, 2 miles or even 100 miles away? Although spread through root grafts may be controlled by severing root connections, the value of such a control measure is limited as long as the agent or agents responsible for long distance spread remain unknown. The discovery of other methods of spread might result in the development of control measures that are cheaper and less drastic than those known at present.

A great deal remains to be done and research is increasing in the various states concerned. There is reason to believe that oak wilt can be checked before it reaches devastating proportions comparable to chestnut blight which wiped out our American chestnuts.

MR. SLATE: What is the origin of the fungus? Is it a native fungus, or imported?

MR. CURL: Yes, it is a native fungus, as far as we know.

MR. SLATE: Any evidence that the fungus is mutating to make more virulent strains?

MR. CURL: That's something that hasn't been found yet. There are several strains of the fungus, what we call strains, because they will form the sexual stage, and a strain alone will not. There is not too much known about that yet, the strain business.

MR. GRAVATT: Just a word. We had a conference in Beltsville all day Sunday about the recent developments on the oak wilt. There has been very extensive spread in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland this year. We are very much alarmed about the situation. The Chinese chestnut is very severely affected. We have learned that in Missouri. One year there were three Chinese chestnuts killed by the fungus, the next year 60. The oak wilt is a serious threat to the chestnut orchards.

Life History and Control of the Pecan Spittle Bug

STEWART CHANDLER, Associate Entomologist, Ill. Nat. History Survey, Urbana, Ill., Consulting Entomologist, Southern Illinois University

Since it was a year ago that this subject of spittle bug was first brought to the attention of the Northern Nut Growers Association, it might be well to review briefly the high lights of that report. I told you at the annual meeting at Urbana, something of the life history. There are two broods, one appearing in June and one in July. The adult is a small sucking bug about an eighth to a quarter inch long. The species at that time was uncertain but now has been determined by specialists in that group as Cercoptera achatina Germ. This insect, I reported, is not the same as the one occurring on meadow and other field crops, not only the species but the genus being different. The distribution was found to be in every area where pecans are grown. As to its importance I pointed out that in Illinois it had become very serious in the past three or four years, apparently causing a marked reduction in crop. Control measures were directed against the nymphal stage, which is protected by the spittle which the insect emits continuously while feeding. Three insecticides were tested at Anna, Illinois, Lindane, parathion, and tetra ethyl pyro phosphate, known as TEPP. Lindane proved to be approximately 95% efficient, parathion roughly 60% and TEPP about 10%.

In 1952 the work was resumed in the orchard of Conrad Casper near Anna, Illinois and was begun at the Richard Best place at Eldred, 175 miles northwest.

In 1952 five phases of the work with pecan spittle bug were undertaken as follows:

1. A study of the importance of the pecan spittle bug. 2. The hibernation of the insect. 3. Life history and occurrence of the various stages and broods of the insect in relation to nut development of the pecan. 4. Control measures. 5. Varietal susceptibility to the insect.

1. Importance of the insect

Hibernation Studies

To learn to what extent if any the insect reduces the crop of pecans, terminal shoots from trees sprayed the previous season with three different materials were compared with the unsprayed check. These are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Pecan spittle bug effect of 1951 sprays on terminal shoots in spring of 1952

=================================================== Dead shoots Treatment per hundred

Check 87 TEPP 62 Parathion 17 Lindane 4 ===================================================

Since these terminals shoots later develop most of the nuts it would appear that the pecan spittle bug is responsible for much of the loss of crop under these heavy infestations.

It was planned to follow this up with later examination of nuts, and this was done with the assistance of Mr. J. C. McDaniel, but unfortunately it was found that this was the off year and the crop was very small, so we could not definitely settle that point. This will be a job for the future.

2. Hibernation studies.

In August of 1951, I introduced adult bugs into a cage placed over a branch of an unsprayed pecan tree for the purpose of determining whether there was possibly a third brood. Finding none the branch was removed and examined to study the hibernating eggs and the egg slits in which they were layed. The slits were not over a quarter inch long and frequently in pairs. Eggs were deep enough that they were rarely seen without opening the slits. Many slits were found containing egg shells, presumably from the previous brood, but possibly from a season earlier as the slits are corked over.

Following this study branches were cut from the sprayed and unsprayed blocks and gone over very carefully to find the numbers and location of the egg splits and the numbers containing live eggs and egg shells. Each split would contain as many as 5 or 6 eggs. Table 2 show their numbers and locations, and Table 3 the effect of sprays on numbers of live eggs.

Table 2. Pecan Spittle Bug Location of egg slits in branches

================================================================= Diameter of branches, inches 1/8 to 1/4 3/4 3/8 1/2 1/2 to 1 inch ————————————————————————————————- Live eggs 2 9 3 1 0 Egg shells 5 42 94 23 0 ————————————————————————————————-

Table 3. Pecan Spittle Bug Effect of 1951 sprays on number of eggs Examinations made March 4, 1952

======================================================= Inches wood Number of Slits with Treatment examined live eggs egg shells ———————————————————————————- Check 508 10 63 TEPP 795 5 25 Lindane 478 0 13 ———————————————————————————-

3. Life history and correlation of stages of insect and nut development.

It was soon found that the pecan spittle bug was putting in its appearance earlier according to the calendar than in 1951 so an effort was made during the season to correlate insect life history and nut development during the season. Table 4 give some of the principal points in both.

Table 4. Pecan Spittle Bug and Nut Development Anna, Illinois, 1952

——————————————————————————————— Insect Date Tree ——————————————————————————————— Egg stage Apr. 24 Catkins 1/2 to 3/4 inch First nymphs May 5 Catkins 1 to 1-1/2 inch Many nymphs and spittle May 12 Catkins 2 to 3 inches Fruit buds Peak hatch May 20 Female flowers Spittle drying June 2 Nuts developing 1st. 2nd brood June 27 Hatch mostly over July 7 Spittle drying July 26 ———————————————————————————————

Another phase of life history which is of practical importance is the increase of second brood over first. Records were made both at Anna and at Eldred in unsprayed blocks at approximately the peaks of occurrence of nymphs and spittle, and are tabulated in Table 5.

Table 5. Pecan Spittle Bug Infestation, first and second broods, 1952 Number of spittle masses per 100 terminals

========================================================== First brood, June Second brood, July ————————————————————————————— Anna 41 62 Eldred 23 50 —————————————————————————————

This table shows an increase of approximately 50% at Anna and 100% at Eldred. It is thought that a 3 inch flash flood which occurred at Anna might have reduced the first brood infestation somewhat after the counts were made and been responsible for no greater increase and possibly that the heat and drought in both places might have resulted in a reduction. Be that as it may the total infestation was not as severe in 1952 as in 1951.

4. Control.

First Brood Sprays

It was originally planned to spray in both places but at Anna the owner sprayed all but the 1951 check block with parathion early and the infestation was reduced to the point where later hatch did not build up to a sufficient point that good results could be observed so no spraying was done at Anna till the second brood. At Eldred two materials only were available, Lindane and Dieldrin.

At Eldred we had two difficulties in spraying. One was the type of machine with which I was not familiar and the other the inaccessibility of some of the trees. The machine is probably more fitted for field crop work than for large trees. It is called a Mechanical Aresol Generator, manufactured by the Hessian Microsol Corporation of Darien, Conn. The engine is a Wisconsin Air cooled motor made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The machine was mounted on a platform and transported in the orchard on a truck. Two fifty gallon barrels constitute the tank. Due to the nature of the machine and to lack of agitation only liquid materials can be used in it. It uses a much smaller amount of material than I had been accustomed to, and my first job was to learn to what extent the materials must be concentrated to compensate for the small output and how to get a comparison with the amounts used in regular orchard sprayer. In concentrate tests on fruit trees we arrive at this by judging the number of gallons which a tree would normally receive with a standard sprayer. There was little background to go on with nut trees and the problem was further complicated by the arrangement of trees which were not planted but grafted in their original positions in the woods. A clump of trees which could not be approached individually might have to receive not much more material than one tree which could be hit from both sides. Sizes of trees also varied. It was decided to use only 25 gallon lots of material and even this small amount sprayed from 55 to 65 trees of varying sizes. It was soon seen that the tops of the moderate and large sized trees were not covered very well. For the first brood sprays at Eldred about six times as much material per 100 gallons was used as had been successful at Anna the previous season. The results are shown in Table 6.

Table 6. Spittle Bug Control, Eldred, 1952 First brood, sprayed May 23, examined June 9

========================================================= Treatment Amount in Spittle masses 100 gallons 800 terminals ————————————————————————————- Dieldrin 1 gal. of 18-1/2% 18 Lindane 1 gal. of 20% 27 Check ——— 189 ————————————————————————————-

It will be seen that the reduction over the unsprayed blocks was about 90% with Dieldrin and 85% with Lindane.

For second brood sprays at Eldred materials were increased to about 8 times normal in hopes of getting better results. In this test 10 trees were selected in each block that could be reached moderately well and sprayed separately before the entire block was sprayed. Records were made the day before spraying, 3 days after spraying, and 10 days after spraying. Four materials were available, making five blocks with an unsprayed check. The results of these sprayings are given in Table 7.

Table 7. Spittle Bug Control, Eldred, 1952 Second brood, sprayed July 18

============================================================ Treatment Amounts in In 200 terminals 100 gallons July 17 July 21 July 28 —————————————————————————————— Lindane 6 qts. of 20% 123 24 2 BHC 10 qts. of 11.7% 98 11 0 Dieldrin 6 qts. of 18-1/2% 130 19 9 Toxaphene 8 qts. of 58% 107 16 3 Check ——— 99 98 47 ——————————————————————————————

Due to the natural reduction in the check by July 28 most attention probably should be given to the July 21 examination. This table shows approximately 92% reduction from Lindane, 87% with BHC, 85% from Dieldrin, and 85% from Toxaphene on July 21.

At Anna trees are all very big, from 50 to 75 feet high. They are planted in rows. A regular orchard sprayer was used with 600 pounds pressure using one gun and sprayed from the top of the rig. Approximately 25 gallons was used per tree. As will be noted the dosage was much smaller than at Eldred, and for ordinary use these are probably the proper dosages. Table 8 gives the results of these tests.

Table 8. Pecan Spittle Bug Control, Anna, 1952

================================================================== Treatment Amounts in In 200 terminals 100 gallons July 10 July 14 July 22 ————————————————————————————————— Lindane 1 lb. of 25% 214 1 1 BHC 2-1/2 lbs. of 10% 244 5 9 Dieldrin 1 and 1/3 pints of 18-1/2% 148 3 5 Toxaphene 1 qt. of 31% 146 22 21 Check 61 47 20 —————————————————————————————————-

The reduction in the check block July 14 may be due to proximity to the sprayed block which was not true in Eldred. This check was small. Table 8 shows on July 14 an approximate reduction of Lindane 99%, BHC 98%, Dieldrin 98%, and Toxaphene 85%.

From these tests in both places it appears that we have a choice of three very good materials, Lindane, Benzene hexachloride called BHC and Dieldrin, and for that reason we can ignore the less efficient material, toxaphene.

At Eldred, since first brood sprays were applied in a sizeable area records of infestation were made shortly before time to spray for the second brood to determine whether the first brood spraying would eliminate the need for second brood spraying. However, the infestation was found to be practically as great in this area as the unsprayed part of the woods. It appears that the control was not good enough to allow this. In part this was due to failure to reach the tops of the trees. Records were made in the lower parts.

5. Varietal susceptibility.

At Anna where there was a limited number of trees, the orchards were plotted on paper and location of each tree with variety indicated records were made of each tree separately, in hopes that some varietal susceptibility would be shown. There is nothing very clear in this respect except that of the varieties in the Casper orchard, Butterick, Busseron, Indiana, Posey, Stewart, Osburn, Major, Green River, the Indiana and Posey may be a little more heavily infested than the others. At Eldred for the second brood infestation, the variety of each of the 10 record trees was reported, but there were so many varieties and they did not occur often enough in the five plots to make variety infestation data reliable. However, the rather high average on the Indiana variety did seem to corroborate the findings at Anna.

There was some foliage burn in two of the record trees in the Dieldrin plot at Eldred, both being the variety Rockville. Another tree in another part of the plot was also found to be burned and also found to be the same variety, so it appears that this may be particularly susceptible to spraying especially in this concentrated form such as we used. There were no Rockville trees in any of the other plots, so we have no way of knowing whether the Lindane, BHC or Toxaphene would have done the same or not.

PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: The next paper, the last paper of the afternoon, is Control of Insects Injuring Nut Trees, by Howard Baker, U.S.D.A. Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, Beltsville, Md.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Chairman, members of the Northern Nut Growers Association: It is a great deal of pleasure to be back here speaking before a group of nut growers. Back some years ago my first assignment to a station of which I had charge was an investigation to count insects in Louisiana and Eastern Texas, so it is a pleasure to be back before a group of nut growers.

Insect Enemies of Northern Tree Nuts

HOWARD BAKER, U.S.D.A., Agr. Res. Admin., Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine

The small number of requests for information on insect pests of northern tree nuts received in the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine is a strong indication that such pests are of little concern to northern nut growers. This is fortunate, because intensive, all-season spray programs, such as are necessary to produce most other crops without serious losses due to insect injury, are laborious and expensive and not always as effective as desired. However, as your acreage is increased and as your trees become older and larger, insect problems are likely to increase in number and intensity and require more of your thought and attention.

A somewhat similar situation prevailed in the pecan industry at one time in the South. I well remember the statement of one of the larger pecan growers in Louisiana to the effect that all the pleasure of growing pecans would be gone the day he had to start spraying to control insects and diseases. Only a short time later it became necessary for him to initiate a regular spray program. He still took great pride in growing pecans, however. It is well, therefore, for you to watch your trees closely for insect damage and keep informed concerning the habits and control of the species that show up in your plantings or in those of your neighbors.

Because of the scattered nature of the northern nut industry, the small size of most plantings, and the more pressing demands for information on the control of pests of more intensively planted crops, it has not been possible for the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine to give attention to many of the pests of northern nuts. A great deal of work has been done on the pests of pecans in the South, and some work on those that attack filberts and chestnuts. In addition, some of the pests with which you are concerned, or others similar to them, are receiving attention in connection with studies of pests of tree fruits. The results of these studies will give you up-to-date information applicable to your particular problems.

The timely use of insecticides is the most effective means of combating most injurious insects, but if spraying is not possible, other methods can often be used to prevent or reduce damage. A great many new insecticides have become available during the last six or seven years. Work with them has resulted in the development of treatments effective against a number of pests for which there was formerly no known means of control and markedly more effective treatments for the control of others. It is my purpose to bring to you as much of this new information as is applicable to your problems.

Leaf-feeding Caterpillars

The fall webworm[3] and the walnut caterpillar[4] are the leaf-feeding caterpillars most commonly reported as attacking northern tree nuts.

Fall webworms[5] are the insects usually responsible for unsightly webs on or near the end of the branches of the trees during the summer and fall. They enlarge the webs as they need more leaves. When nearly full grown they scatter to complete their feeding. The full-grown caterpillars are a little more than an inch in length and are covered with long black and white hairs. They spend the winter in cocoons in trash on the ground or just below the surface of the soil. There are two broods a year in many areas, the second usually being the more numerous.

Control can be obtained by applying a spray containing 3 pounds of lead arsenate with an equal quantity of hydrated lime (to prevent possible injury to the foliage), 2 pounds of 50-percent DDT wettable powder, or 2 pounds of 15-percent parathion wettable powder per 100 gallons of water. Apply the spray when the caterpillars are still small. Follow the precautions furnished with each package. Parathion is a particularly dangerous material to use. If you are not equipped to spray or have only a few trees, you can control this insect by removing the webs from the trees with a long-handled pruner or a long bamboo pole with a hook at the end.

The walnut caterpillar feeds in groups, or colonies, and commonly eats all the leaves on small trees or on certain limbs on large trees. The winter is spent in cocoons in the ground. The moths appear late in the spring or early in the summer and lay masses of eggs on the underside of the leaves. From time to time as they grow, the stout, black caterpillars go down to a large limb or to the trunk of the tree to molt, or shed their skins. After molting they return toward the ends of the branches and resume their feeding.

This insect can be controlled with the same spray treatments that are recommended for the fall webworm, and also by crushing or burning the caterpillars when they are clustered on the lower limbs or tree trunks.

Pecan Phylloxera[6]

Swellings called galls sometimes appear on leaves, leafstalks, succulent shoots, or nuts of the current season's growth of hickory and pecan. These galls are caused by small insects known as phylloxera, which are closely related to aphids, or plant lice. Several species are involved, but only one, known as the pecan phylloxera, causes serious damage. It causes twigs to become malformed, weakened and finally to die, and destroys the crop on the infested terminals. The insect passes the winter in the egg stage in protected places on the trees. The young appear in the spring about the time the buds begin to unfold.

The phylloxera can be controlled by spraying the trees thoroughly with a mixture containing 3/4 pint of nicotine sulfate plus 2-1/2 gallons of lime-sulfur or 2 quarts of lubricating-oil emulsion to 100 gallons of water during the delayed dormant period or by the time buds show about an inch of green. Sprays containing 3 pounds of BHC (10-percent gamma) or 1-1/4 pounds of 25-percent lindane wettable powder per 100 gallons are also effective, and their use is increasing. Other materials have given good control when applied about the time the buds begin to swell. They are 36-percent dinitro-o-sec-butylphenol liquid, 3 quarts per 100 gallons, and a mixture of 40-percent dinitro-o-cyclohexylphenol powder, 2 pounds, and lubricating-oil emulsion, 5 quarts, per 100 gallons of spray. Do not use the dinitro materials after the buds begin to open.

Twig Girdler

A stout, brown beetle about 1/2 inch in length, known as the twig girdler,[7] often cuts off the twigs of hickory, pecan, and many other trees in the late summer and early fall. The larvae spend the winter in the cut twigs, which are gradually broken off and fall to the ground. Injury can be reduced by collecting and destroying the fallen twigs before the larvae complete development the following spring. Recent work on pecans in Florida indicates that most injury can be prevented by applying a spray containing 4 pounds of 50-percent DDT or 3 pounds of 15-percent parathion wettable powder per 100 gallons of water. Three applications appear to be necessary, the first when the injured branches are first noticed, usually sometime in August, and the second and third two and four weeks later. When handling parathion be sure to follow the precautions on the package.

Weevils and Curculios

Weevils and curculios are small, hard-shelled, grayish to brown beetles about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, with stiff, slender snouts or beaks. They feed and lay eggs in the nuts and/or shoots of many kinds of nuts, including hickory, walnut, pecan, chestnut, hazelnut or filbert, and butternut. There are a number of species, but most of them attack only one kind of nut. The species usually called weevils most often lay eggs and injure the nuts from the time the meat begins to form until it is mature, whereas the group known as curculios generally emerge and cause most serious damage during the early part of the growing season, when the new shoots are developing and the crop starts to set and grow.

The chestnut weevils are probably the weevils best known to most of you. E. R. VanLeeuwen, of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, has added much to our knowledge of these weevils in recent years. Two species, the small chestnut weevil[8] and the large chestnut weevil,[9] are commonly present together and cause similar injury. The small chestnut weevil appears as an adult over a period of about 6 weeks beginning near the first of May in the vicinity of Beltsville, Md., but it does not lay eggs until about the middle of August. The larger species does not emerge until about the middle of August and begins to lay eggs soon thereafter. Eggs are laid in the developing nuts, and injury is caused by the feeding of the larvae therein. Most of the small weevils require two years to complete development, and most of the larger weevils but one year.

Some control of these weevils can be obtained by collecting and destroying the infested nuts before the larvae leave them to enter the soil. Better control can be obtained by spraying the trees with DDT. Apply a spray containing 4 pounds of 50-percent DDT wettable powder per 100 gallons of water (3 level tablespoonfuls per gallon) 30 days before the first mature nuts are expected to drop, and make two additional applications at intervals of 7 days. If you are not equipped to spray, you may obtain some control by treating the soil under the trees with ethylene dibromide at a depth of 5 inches. Make injections at intervals of 1 foot in each direction and also in the center of each square formed by these injection holes. Place 1 milliliter of 40-percent ethylene dibromide or an equivalent quantity of another dilution in each hole. Make the application in the fall immediately after the nuts are harvested and close the injection holes by pressing with the foot. The soil should preferably be loose to a depth of 5 inches.

The pecan weevil,[10] also known as the hickory nut weevil, often causes heavy losses of pecans and most species of hickory. Two or three years are required for the insect to complete its life cycle, but some specimens reach maturity every year. Adults emerge from the ground from the middle of July until early in September, according to locality and seasonal conditions. Injury is of two types—(1) that resulting from attack before the shell-hardening period in July and August, causing the young nuts to drop, and (2) that resulting from attack after kernel formation, the kernel being destroyed by the developing larvae, or grubs. Egg deposition in the nuts usually begins late in August.

To control this weevil spray the trees twice with 6 pounds of 50-percent DDT or 40-percent toxaphene wettable powder per 100 gallons of water. Make the first application when at least six weevils can be jarred onto a sheet on the ground beneath any tree known to have been infested in previous seasons, and make the second 10 to 14 days later. The first application will be needed sometime between the last week in July and the first week in September. If the soil is hard and dry, it will delay emergence of the weevils. If you are not equipped to spray, you can reduce weevil injury about 50 percent by jarring the limbs of the trees lightly and gathering the weevils on a sheet during the period of emergence. The dislodged weevils will remain quiet on the sheet long enough to be picked up and destroyed. Begin jarring about the last week in July and confine it to two or three trees until the first weevils appear. Then jar all trees at weekly intervals until about the middle of September, when egg laying will have been largely completed.

The butternut curculio[11] attacks native butternuts and introduced nuts of a similar type. It passes the winter as an adult in trash or other shelter it can find in the vicinity of nut trees. It is a small, hard-shelled, rough-backed snout beetle. Late in the spring it makes its way to the trees, and lays eggs in the young shoots. On hatching, the young larva penetrates into the young shoot or leaf stem or nut and feeds there, causing the leaf or nut to dry up and fall off. Upon completing development in the fallen leaf or nut, the mature larva enters the soil. After a month or so in the ground the adult emerges, feeds on the foliage for a while, and then enters hibernation. There is but one generation a year.

The black walnut curculio[12] is similar to the butternut curculio in seasonal history, but it attacks principally the fruit of the black walnut and butternut, apparently preferring the former.

The hickory nut curculio[13] is much like the preceding two species, but it attacks chiefly partly grown hickory nuts, causing a heavy dropping in midsummer.

The hickory shoot curculio[14] attacks chiefly the shoots of various kinds of hickory. The damage is seldom of much importance except to newly transplanted trees. On pecan it attacks the unfolding buds and shoots. Pecans most commonly attacked are those that are uncultivated or are adjacent to woodlands containing native pecan and hickory trees.

For many years these curculios have been controlled by spraying the trees soon after growth starts with lead arsenate, 2 pounds per 100 gallons, plus an equal amount of hydrated lime. One or two additional applications may be needed as new growth appears or as the nuts increase in size. Recent experimental work indicates that BHC or lindane may be more effective for controlling these insects. A spray containing 3 or 4 pounds of technical BHC (10-percent gamma) or 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of 25-percent lindane wettable powder per 100 gallons, applied when the buds show from 1/4 to 1 inch of green growth or when jarrings show adults are present, has given fairly good control.

Walnut Husk Maggot

The walnut husk maggot[15] attacks black and English walnuts, butternuts, and a few other nuts. The feeding of the larva, or maggot, in the husks impairs the quality of the kernels, discolors the shell, and often causes the shells to adhere to the nuts. It causes the most damage to English walnuts. This insect hibernates in the pupal stage in the ground. In midsummer it transforms to the adult fly stage, leaves the soil, and flies to the nut trees. After 1 to 3 weeks the flies lay eggs in the husks of the developing nuts. The eggs hatch in a week or 10 days, and the young maggots burrow within and throughout the husks of the nuts; they mature in the fall.

The walnut husk maggot can be controlled by spraying the trees with lead arsenate or cryolite the latter part of July and again 3 to 4 weeks later. Use 2 or 3 pounds of lead arsenate plus an equal quantity of hydrated lime or 3 pounds of cryolite per 100 gallons of water.

Filbert Moth

The filbert moth,[16] a serious pest in some filbert orchards in Oregon, also causes some injury to chestnuts. Adult moths begin emerging toward the end of June and lay their eggs singly on the leaves beginning early in July. The newly hatched larvae tunnel through the husk and feed between the husk and the chestnut shell before entering the nut. This feeding produces a gummy substance, which causes the husk to adhere to the nut. The larvae may tunnel into the center of the kernel or excavate an irregular cavity in the side. They reach maturity about the time nuts are ripe, and then leave the nuts and construct cocoons in the soil in which to pass the winter.

Control can be obtained by spraying the tree with lead arsenate or DDT early in July. Use 3 pounds of lead arsenate or 2 pounds of 50-percent DDT wettable powder in 100 gallons of water.


Two general types of mites sometimes damage nut trees, eriophyid mites and spider mites. The most important eriophyid mites are the wormlike gall mites and bud mites, most of which overwinter in the buds and cause deformities of the buds and leaves and otherwise limit their development. The spider mites may overwinter in the egg stage on the twigs or as adults in protected places on or beneath the trees. These mites feed primarily on the foliage.

The filbert bud mite[17] is occasionally of economic importance as a pest of filberts in Oregon and has been of some concern recently in New York. It attacks the leaf and flower buds and catkins. Infested catkins become distorted, rigid, and brittle, and yield no pollen. In Oregon this pest has been controlled with 3 gallons of a dormant oil emulsion or 6-1/2 to 8 gallons of liquid lime-sulfur in water to make 100 gallons of spray just as the buds are opening. Related species of similar habits that attack walnuts have been controlled with 9 or 10 gallons of liquid lime-sulfur in water to make 100 gallons of spray applied at the time the buds break or soon thereafter.

The feeding of the spider mites on the foliage of infested trees causes it first to have a bronzed or scorched appearance, and later to dry up and fall. These mites frequently become abundant following the use of some of the new organic insecticides, such as DDT and BHC, which destroy their natural enemies and perhaps have other effects on the trees favorable to mite activity. The European red mite, which overwinters on the trees in the egg stage, can be controlled by application of 3-percent oil-emulsion spray in the late-dormant period. The two-spotted spider mite and related species, as well as the European red mite if it is not controlled with the dormant spray, can be controlled with a spray containing 1 pound of a 15-percent parathion or 1-1/2 pounds of a 15-percent Aramite wettable powder per 100 gallons. Apply the spray before many leaves show the typical bronzing or leaf scorching. If the infestation is heavy, a second application may be necessary in about 8 or 10 days. Be sure to follow the precautions on the container, especially if you use parathion.

PRESIDENT MacDANIELS: We greatly appreciate your care in getting this thing together, and we know it is going to be a great help to us when we get it printed as a matter of reference.

MR. O'ROURKE: I'd like to ask Dr. Baker if insects are getting stronger or if the chemicals are getting weaker. I refer to the rates of application. Formerly we were told that one-half pound of parathion for one hundred gallons and one pound of DDT would control almost all insects. I note the rates are going up.

MR. BAKER: That's true, particularly with parathion. The first year that we tested parathion on any scale we thought a quarter to a half a pound would control mites for 30 days or more and would control curculio for 20 or 30 days, but the next year we used it we found that was a little optimistic. It seems that each year since we have had to use more of it or use it more often, or with mites, particularly, there are a number of instances where it just doesn't control them at all.

Two years ago that came to notice in the Wenatchee area of Washington on apples. Mites in a certain orchard just couldn't be controlled with parathion. A year ago the area in the Pacific Northwest where that was true was extended and included several orchards of the Yakima Valley. This year it also includes orchards in the East, in New York. We have seen an orchard where two pounds of parathion and a hundred gallons of water just didn't have much effect on the mites, and we have had to use other materials. We hear of instances of codling moth on apples where DDT doesn't seem to be as good as it was in the beginning. I have talked with some of the people working on the problem, and they find that there is quite a difference between different brands of some of these insecticides. Possibly that is the answer.

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