The Jones hybrid filberts stand from six to eight feet high, except those planted recently. This year they have a fair crop. The catkins came thru the winter in good shape for the most part. My two European filberts, which have lost their identity, but are either Italian Red, Cosford, or Medium Long, (one of the three perished) usually suffer the loss of their catkins and occasionally lose a branch or two to winter's icy fingers.
To me, the filberts are fascinating at all times of the year. When the snow is deep and the cold bites deep, their tight little catkins always hold forth the comfortable promise of spring. When spring does come the thrill of the tiny red blossoms and lumbering catkins is as real and enduring as the promise of a crop of the shiny nuts is fickle. Then, of course, after the last tiny blossom has faded and the last catkin has withered, the leaves push forth. To me, these tiny leaves are a sight comparable to the opening and unfurling of the various varieties of the grape. Then enters the element of suspense, between the time of leafing out and the time when the little nut clusters appear.
My bushes are all growing together on a rise of ground near an old barn foundation. The ground is rich and they love it. Each bush is individual and distinctive as are their nuts—some tucked far in the husk, some bulging out in a precarious fashion, some fat and round, others long and narrow. They're interesting. I can let the butternuts, bitternuts and hickories pass, the heartnuts, chestnuts, and pecans can wait until I am sure they will bear here. The walnut will grow up along with the other trees—blending into the landscape, but the filberts, like Zombie, call attention to themselves every day of the year.
Somebody said recently that the emphasis in England is in being, and in our country in becoming. I imagine our land stopped being with the disappearance of the Indian and the primeval forest and is now in the process of becoming something else. What that something else is we don't know, and each generation carries a new set of values, but we all know that to become something better, trees must and will figure in the plans of all generations—better and more useful and more disease resistant trees. It is significant that nut trees lead in these requirements.
Biology, Distribution and Control of the Walnut Husk Maggot
DR. F. L. GAMBRELL, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, N. Y.
DR. GAMBRELL: Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, some 22 years ago, I believe it was, I attended one of your meetings at the Experiment Station in Geneva, and at that time I gave a little talk on the walnut husk maggot. Perhaps some of you are old enough to have been there and remembered something about it, or maybe you are old enough so that you have forgotten as much as I have, so it would be worth talking over again. At any rate, when the chairman of your program committee wrote Dr. Chapman, asking him if he might talk, he came to me and said, "Would you be willing to do this?" I said I'd be willing but I didn't know whether I'd be able. But finally, the pressure was so great that I said yes, and I am here.
After I accepted the invitation, I made up my mind that I would like to bring myself up to date as much as possible on recent developments on walnuts, so I took the liberty of writing to a lot of our entomological colleagues and talking to one of your members, Mr. Slate, in the hope that I might get some more recent information on the maggots, or, particularly, the control of this walnut husk maggot. I wrote to some 10 or 15 entomologists in 15 states, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington and to our neighbors on the north in Ottawa. I must say that I have had a very fine response from everybody. They were all very willing to help, but practically all of them had the same answer: while they knew there was such a bug, they didn't know too much about it as an economic pest. So that left us all right in the same boat, with about two exceptions, as when we began. Our friends to the north in Canada sent some very nice information. We also had some information from the U. S. Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, Washington, D. C., together with some illustrated material. Also our good friend, Dr. Boyce, at the Citrus Experiment Station, in Riverside, California, with whom I have discussed the walnut husk maggot problem quite a few years ago, had a very nice bit of information and illustrative material which he provided. Incidentally, he is the man who has been mainly responsible for the development of the walnut husk fly control program for the nut industry in California. I would certainly like to take this opportunity to acknowledge any contributions he or the other people have made towards this discussion.
In New York State we have in our official list of insects about 30 species of fruit flies that are catalogued, but only about five of these can be classified as of economic importance. Two of these occur on the cherries, both sweets and sours, and are called the cherry maggots. Another one on apples, known as apple maggot, and a related form on blueberry. And then, of course, the walnut husk maggot, and one other which occasionally occurs on currants, but this one, of course, is of less importance than the others.
The fruit industry, of course, in New York is quite large, both apples and cherries, so that there is a considerable problem there as far as control is concerned. The growers spend thousands of dollars every year in combatting the various species of fruit flies. The interesting thing in this connection is that throughout the last 25 years with which I am familiar with the cherry fruit flies—in fact, that was one of the first projects I worked on in cooperation with Dr. Hugh Glasgow when I came to the Experiment Station in 1925—the control measures which we developed in 1925 to 1927 are essentially the ones which we are still using today; that is, for the most part. There have been various attempts to change the control program through the introduction of these newer insecticides, and some progress has been made, but in every case they have been wrought with some difficulties. At the present time the official state recommendations for the control of apple maggot and cherry maggot still include the use of arsenate of lead under some conditions. I mention that at this point because it is of some significance in the overall control. I am going to discuss that later on.
As far as the host plants and distribution of the walnut husk maggot is concerned, according to the original description which was published almost a hundred years ago, it was listed as occurring in and to the Middle States. That is a little bit indefinite, but at least it occurs all over the Eastern United States and as far west as Kansas. Then the one which occurs in California, which has since been called Rhagoletis completus (?) looks very similar to the one that we have here, but there are slight taxonomic differences, so at least it is considered a different species. At any rate, it is very similar to the one we have here, and this whole group of fruit flies that we have been talking about have a lot of similarity in their wing patterns and things of that sort.
And the fact that I mentioned the control as generally as I did is of significance in that all of these flies of the various species are apparently susceptible to the same type of control measure.
As far as the host plants are concerned, I have personally observed injury on all of our common Juglans species that I have run across in New York State and in some of the states to the south of us, including butternut, Japanese walnut, English walnut and black walnut. I have seen reports of infestations which were recorded in hickory, but I personally have not seen them.
I'd just like to have a show of hands. How many in the audience here have had experience with the walnut husk maggot or had injury on the fruit? (Showing of hands.) I see the majority of you certainly know what it is, but just as a brief reminder, the type of injury, of course, varies somewhat depending possibly on the variety and time of year at which the fruits first become infested. We know, of course, that the flies do not begin to puncture the husk until they attain a certain degree of softness. Early in the season they are not able, apparently, to penetrate the husk with the ovipositor, and that, of course, varies not only with hardness but with varieties. The flies, of course, may be seen on the fruit even though they are not able to penetrate the husk and deposit their eggs. These husks, of course, many of them, become dry and hard after they have been tunnelled out, and it is almost impossible to clean the shells. Occasionally you have nuts in which you have a separation of the suture, and in those cases you very frequently get the exudate from the husk penetrating through the suture in the shell onto the kernels themselves, and in those cases molds may grow on the kernels so that those fruits are no good.
In connection with this injury I am going to show you some slides in a few minutes, but the preceding speaker made reference to a type of injury which occurred on the terminal growth of a walnut tree and that is one that we have had a lot of inquiries at the Experiment Station about, injury to the new terminal growth fairly early in the season. That probably, in most cases, is caused by the butternut or the walnut curculio. Early in the season these adults begin feeding on the new terminal growth, and they even puncture the new growth and lay their eggs there before the nuts are large enough for them to attack and very often considerable killing back of the terminal growth occurs. I have seen it on English walnut seedlings in nursery rows where there would be very large kill-back from the walnut curculio. Superficially the injury on the fruit is quite similar to that of the husk maggot.
(First slide.) This first slide is just to give you some idea of the general areas of fruit growing and distribution in New York State. The eastern section, right-hand side, Champlain Valley and Hudson Valley, are primarily apple maggot regions. Some walnut husk fly probably occurs there, but they are predominantly apple-growing areas. In the central part of the state, northern, particularly, we have fruit, and as far as I know, there are no plantings of walnuts there, though you people may know of some. In The Ontario Plains section south of Lake Ontario is one of our big fruit belts in the State. Some walnuts are also grown here. Consequently this area has in it apple, walnut and cherry maggot flies, and, of course, they will be lapping over in all those areas into surrounding territories. But this gives you an idea, in a general way, of the distribution of the host plants and the flies about which I have been speaking.
(Next slide.) Those flies get pretty big when you get them up there. They are not that easy to see in the field. The ones on the top are the species found on cherries. The one on the lower left is the apple maggot, the one on the lower right is walnut husk maggot. The only difference you can see here is in the wing pattern but in nature they differ in color. They all have a little different wing pattern. Also, there is a little difference in size, the walnut husk maggot being the biggest of the four species shown here.
(Next slide.) I have shown here the emergence date of the various species, including the cherry fruit flies, the apple maggot and the walnut husk fly. And you notice that beginning over about the first week in June you have emergence of the cherry fruit flies, and you have a continuance of emergence of some of these species up until at least the first or second week in August. These points going up and down just show the number of flies that were taken on given dates, and there is a very definite correlation between the proportion of flies that emerge on any given day with the temperature or moisture condition. Some years, when you have very hot, dry weather, there is considerable mortality of these flies as they just do not seem to be able to emerge from the soil, which is a good thing.
(Next slide.) This photograph is one that I wasn't sure I was going to get back in time for the meeting, but it is a Kodachrome of a pair of flies mating on an English walnut. This happened to occur on some of our own trees at the station, so that we are not immune from attack by this bug.
(Next slide.) That is a close-up of an egg puncture, just a very tiny little hole in the husk, and once in a while they lay an egg even on the surface. Those eggs are quite small, about a millimeter in length and about two-tenths of a millimeter in width, but the next slide will show you that what they normally do is to put them inside that puncture in groups. They vary quite a bit, but the average number of eggs is about 20 in each puncture. But that doesn't mean you won't have maybe four or five different punctures on a given nut, so you may end up with at least a hundred or more maggots in a shuck.
(Next slide.) And the next picture is a photograph of the same English walnut taken about six or seven days later, showing the young maggots that have just hatched out. What they will do, they will begin boring in, and they will just radiate out in all directions into the shuck. When they have gotten that far along, of course, there is no hope for control.
(Next slide.) This slide is one taken when the maggots were almost mature, showing the type of damage that you get.
(Next slide.) This is the resting stage, or the pupa, the one which spends the winter in the soil and from which the flies emerge in New York, at least in our section, beginning about July 15th and going through up until August 15th.
(Next slide.) The one at the top is normal fruit. I mentioned a while ago that this butternut curculio causes quite a bit of concern and also spoke about its being in terminals. If you look carefully you see a very definite hole here in the husk. That is where the adult punctured the husk. It may have been a feeding puncture first and later an egg was laid inside, and then you get the maggot or the grub of the curculio developing in there, so that superficially that discoloration looks very much like the walnut husk maggot. But in this case you may not find over one or two maggots in a nut. And the other difference is that these fruits which are attacked usually fall during July and August, whereas the ones that have maggots in, many of them stick right on the trees and don't come off at all.
(Next slide.) I have two or three slides just showing the variations in the degree of injury on English walnuts from the point where you'd have an egg puncture. The puncture was made on the other side of the nut, on top here, and this is just the exudate running down around the nut which dries and becomes black. But these walnuts up above show just a lot of dark spots where the maggots are beginning to find their way through the husk. I have with me some injured nuts similar to those shown on the screen if you'd like to see them when I have finished my talk. They will give you a little idea what maggot injury looks like.
(Next slide.) This is the same type of injury on butternut. Maybe you'd have one egg puncture and as many as a hundred or 120 maggots inside the shuck.
(Next slide.) This is a picture of maggot injury on black walnut. They don't seem to like the black walnuts as well as they do the Persian walnut and butternut.
(Next slide.) This is one of the hybrid English walnuts that is located on the grounds at the Geneva Experiment Station. It's quite a large tree. I don't know the name of it. Maybe you do, George.
MR. SLATE: It has no name.
DR. GAMBRELL: It's not very fruitful, anyway, is it? But it is also susceptible to injury.
(Next slide.) This photograph was made quite a few years ago, and that explains some of the lines around it, but at any rate, this pile of nuts shows the damaged ones that came from one tree, and also the ones that were not infested. In other words, about two-thirds of the nuts on that particular tree had been infested with maggots.
(Next slide.) That's a close-up view and is the type of thing I was trying to describe to you earlier where the shucks dry up and stick to the nut so that you cannot remove them. Those on the left, of course, would be absolutely no good for commercial purposes.
(Next slide.) Now, I suppose you are all interested in this matter of control. Unfortunately, I must admit that I have not worked on the walnut husk maggots very much in the last 15 or 20 years. You may recall that we had a severe freeze back in 1933 or 1934, which took out quite a lot of our Persian walnuts in Western New York, and only the hardier trees remained. But prior to that time we had been getting numerous complaints, from growers about injury from walnut husk maggots, and we did some work at that time and also worked with the Farm Bureau people in the counties where walnuts were grown fairly commonly. In many cases these Persian walnuts were grown on fruit farms where they also have apples and other fruits. So that in those cases it was not a difficult problem to obtain control. We worked out a program whereby, say, beginning about July the 20th to the 25th, at which time quite a few of the flies would have emerged, if the orchardist, when he was going through with his regular spray operation on his fruit trees, would give his walnuts at least two applications at about two weeks intervals, he'd cease to have a maggot problem. That pretty well solved it, as far as they were concerned. But there were also these other plantings where you'd have just a few trees, or possibly one tree in a back yard, something of that sort, which is a little bit more difficult to control.
Dr. Glasgow and I found that on cherry maggot in the city, while a material like lead arsenate is very effective in a commercial orchard, it's very ineffective for just one little tree in your own back yard, providing your neighbors have some trees and they don't spray them. The reason is very obvious: the flies don't necessarily stay on the same tree. They visit around from tree to tree, they feed on the surface of the leaves or fruit. Therefore, it's possible for them to be over on someone else's unsprayed tree and still come over and lay eggs in the nuts of a sprayed walnut tree before being killed. So you can see that such activity may create somewhat of a problem.
At any rate, the lead arsenate spray of three pounds to a hundred gallons, with or without fungicides, has given good control in the past. That No. 3 combination of lime sulphur and lead arsenate was used west of Rochester here around Hilton where this grower had a commercial fruit planting, but he also had a number of English walnuts. The year prior to the time these trees were sprayed he had about 40 per cent of the nuts infested, and the year these were sprayed the infestation dropped they came down to about one percent. Notice the comment at the foot of the table which states that the trees that were not treated the following year went back up to 20 per cent of the nuts infested. There were about 20 per cent of the trees that had infestation. Of course, the flies moved around enough that the trees became reinfested. It simply brings out the point that unless you have a pretty good-sized planting, you are going to have to spray pretty thoroughly in order to get control, and also, if you only have one or two trees and you have a lot of surrounding shrubbery and a lot of trees, it would be very wise to also spray those, unless they are plums or peaches, which are quite susceptible to arsenical injury. But most things would stand the arsenate of lead, and it would be very desirable, wherever you can, to spray surrounding trees and shrubs close to the walnuts themselves, and in so doing you would get pretty effective control. It is quite possible to use this control method and obtain over 80 per cent reduction in infestation.
I am sorry to say I don't have any information on these newer materials, like DDT, methoxychlor and parathion. You have probably read about all of those in the magazines. Some of the men in our department have done quite a bit of work with these insecticides on the apple maggot in the Hudson Valley and in Western New York and they find, as I mentioned earlier, while it's possible to obtain control of apple maggot, say, with DDT, it requires much more frequent application. In that case, if any of you are orchardists or follow the apple-growing insect problems at all, the first application of the walnut maggot spray should go on at about the time the last cover spray for the coddling moth goes on for the first brood. That sounds a little involved, but from the calendar point of view it would be about July 25th in Central or Western New York. Normally, with us here the cherries are being harvested by about July 15th, sometimes a little earlier, but at any rate, that's the time the flies usually begin to emerge.
We have what we call a pre-oviposition period of about two weeks, during which time the flies are not laying any eggs in the shucks and are moving around feeding. Of course, that is the time you have to get this spray material on, before they have punctured the nuts and deposited eggs inside.
I think, unless there are questions, that's all I have to say.
A MEMBER: You recommend No. 3 to be used?
DR. GAMBRELL: Lead arsenate at 3 lbs./100 gallons and 2 gal. of lime sulphur would be an effective insecticide-fungicide mixture. I have used both the wettable sulphur and lime sulphur, as shown here, without any injury to foliage. Sometimes, as you know, if it's real hot, like today, sulphur could cause you a lot of foliage injury. Dr. MacDaniels will certainly bear me out on that.
PRESIDENT BEST: Now I think Joe McDaniel has a little idea here he wants to introduce at this time.
DR. MACDANIEL: I have been talking with Mr. Devitt. He is interested in following up these Carpathian trees in Ontario and is willing to act as our agent in securing seed nuts from some of the better selected trees. As I understand it, this Association couldn't properly act as a sales agency for them, but I believe there are some of the members who would like to get these superior seed nuts of Ontario, and I would be willing to take the names of persons who are interested in them, either for their personal planting or for resale. Mr. Devitt thinks he can secure the nuts at about 60 cents a pound from the owners who have these good trees and deliver them to the United States at around a dollar a pound. Anyone who is interested in that, see me or Spencer Chase during the remainder of the meeting.
Panel Discussion: The Persian Walnut Situation
Moderator: S. B. CHASE; Panel Members: H. L. CRANE, GILBERT BECKER, J. C. MCDANIEL, H. F. STOKE.
MR. CHASE: To introduce the subject, Lynn Tuttle sent a paper, and in addition he sent a few slides. We won't give the paper, but we are going to run through a few slides very hurriedly, because he took the trouble to send them. I am going to read the captions off very quickly. (A series of slides of Persian Walnut were shown).
The moderator isn't going to do anything other than ask for any questions that you folks have on Carpathians at this time. I am going to ask Dr. Crane to comment on this question: Are we going overboard building up our varieties as we know them now? In other words, we have selected four or five varieties that won a contest and our judges selected them as best, and these are the only ones we are hearing about.
DR. CRANE: Mr. Moderator, I don't believe we are, provided that we maintain high standards in the varieties distributed and tested. I feel that when we select a variety we should select it because it is a good nut, not that it's a world beater, for big size and thick, rough, rugged shell that is not sealed, and which is of no value for human use or consumption, excepting for firewood or fuel. Those big nuts won't fill. The best nuts are of reasonably large size, well filled with a well sealed shell and with a kernel that is sweet. Don't figure on selling nuts that have bitter kernels to anybody else. We have nut varieties of the Carpathians that are not going to go over because of the faults that I have mentioned. I should say, too, that we do not know how widely a variety is going to be adapted to different climates. If we select rigidly for good, outstanding varieties that bear good nuts and good, vigorous trees, we won't get too many.
MR. CHASE: That was one point I wanted brought out, that we are now just in the preliminary stage of this Carpathian variety selection business. Of the selections made some have been made by default, because there weren't enough of other samples to compete with. On the other hand, the several we have we all consider outstanding in some respect, or other, and are of value as a beginning provided we bear in mind that we haven't scratched the surface on Carpathian walnuts yet.
MR. STOKE: And let's not confine ourselves to Carpathian walnuts, because Hanson is not Carpathian walnut, and that's an excellent nut.
MR. CHASE: Mr. Stoke, what is going to be NNGA's policy in trying to give recommendations for the planting of Carpathian or Persian walnuts? In other words, does it make any real difference whether it's a Carpathian or whether it is not, as long as it has proved hardy and of good quality?
MR. STOKE: We are dealing with Persian walnuts, and Carpathian happens to be one class of Persian, and Broadview happens to be a Persian that came from Russia, and Lancaster is one that came from somewhere in Europe and landed up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I would emphasize the name Persian as the over all name. The Carpathian is merely a Persian walnut which has been brought from the Carpathian mountains of Poland.
MR. BECKER: Last summer a group of nut growers went to Lee Sommers', which is in the central part of Michigan. In the invitation to our nut growers I said, "This is the only pure Carpathian orchard we know in Michigan." That didn't set well with some of them and they took issue with me. In answering this issue, I said that Mr. Sommers had planted Carpathian Persian walnut seed that came from Poland direct. Many of us have a mixture. Even Mr. Shessler has the Hanson and Jacobs and a number of others. If he sells you seed, you are going to get it mixed. In a few years we will have a job keeping pure Carpathian.
DR. MACDANIELS: Isn't it a matter of straight terminology? Juglans Regia is the Persian walnut. Carpathians are a regional strain of Juglans Regia.
MR. CHASE: I think we all understand that.
MR. MACHOVINA: Can we speak of a Carpathian strain. Crath himself said there were many. He even found walnuts growing in clusters like grapes.
DR. MACDANIELS: It would be a regional group of clones with a certain origin not a strain in the genetic sense.
MR. STOKE: They are just Persian walnuts that happened to come from the Carpathian region.
DR. CRANE: There is a little difference. I believe that in the northern countries we have had more or less inbreeding and we could consider them more nearly a line, not a strain, because of that. When the original seed was introduced by Reverend Crath, probably each one of those lots of nuts come from different trees, as a line, but, now this second generation stuff that's coming along, it's just Juglans Regia. It's a hardy Persian walnut.
MR. STOKE: I think I can offer a word of explanation of those growing in clusters. I have no doubt that when the barbarians swept over the wall centuries ago they brought Asiatic walnuts with them from as far as Manchuria. They grew in clusters there like butternuts and heartnuts. No doubt some of them reached Europe, and some of them may have hybridized with the Persian, and I think really that's the answer.
DR. MACDANIELS: The same situation existed with peaches 20 years ago. We had five geographical races of peaches that were more or less distinct. With the exception of one, the Peento, they have all lost their identity now because there has been no attempt to keep them distinct.
DR. CRANE: That's right.
MR. CHASE: Then we end up, there is no such thing as a Carpathian, it's just a name for a hardy walnut that came from a certain region, that distinguishes it from others.
MR. KEPLINGER: In my parents' old home in Eastern Germany in the Bohemian mountains there is an English walnut tree that's 300 years old and bears a hundred bushels of walnuts a year. They stand 40 below zero there, too, and the nut cracks and hulls well. It has a record on standing the cold, but there hasn't been any of them brought out here and planted in this country, but they are there. I know they are there, because they are on our estate.
DR. CRANE: Mr. Moderator, there is one remark that I want to make. Here we are, the Northern Nut Growers Association, and yet we still use the term, "English walnut," when we are talking about Carpathian walnut and Persian walnut. This "English walnut" is the worst form of terminology that can be used. England doesn't have any walnuts; they have never grown any Persian walnuts or English walnuts, they haven't in the past and they aren't today. They have a few trees but are in the same fix that we are in the Northern Nut Growers Association; they are trying to find a variety of Persian walnut that they can grow in England, and yet here we call them English walnuts. They should be Persian walnuts, or Chinese walnuts. We don't know where they came from. The best authorities seem to think that they originated in Persia; others think they originated in China, but the abundance of evidence is on Persia.
We want to get this thing kind of straight. They are all the same thing, Juglans Regia.
MR. CLARKE: I'd like to make a suggestion. I don't know as you have any authority or power to change, but the term Juglans Regia means "royal walnut." Why not work for the adoption of a name like that, and it will include all of them.
DR. MACDANIEL: That's what they call them in France. This country has a little complication; there is another Royal walnut, one of the hybrids between the California black and the Eastern black.
DR. GRAVATT:-While we are talking about bringing English walnuts, Persian walnuts, whatever you want to call them, from Europe, I want to give a warning about a disease that is killing thousands of trees in Southern France. Just recently I saw quite a few of them in France and the edge of Italy. I don't know whether it's virus or what it is, but it is certainly killing out the English walnuts there at a very rapid rate, and I advise very strongly against introducing walnut seed, scions and such, from those areas in France and Switzerland or other areas in southern Europe where this disease is prevalent. We will know more later about it, because quite a team of pathologists is working on it in Europe.
MR. CHASE: Has anybody else got any comments about Juglans Regia? I am afraid to say anything else.
DR. MACDANIEL: I will say that this Carpathian strain, of Juglans Regia is the first walnut of the Persian type that we have had for Illinois. The Pomeroy, other Eastern strains and California varieties have not survived very long in the climate of the state of Illinois. We do know now that some of the Carpathian seedlings have been fruiting for 10 or 12 years and do show considerable promise there. I don't know whether it will ever develop into a commercial industry but they are worth growing.
MR. CHASE: Thank you. I'd like to ask George Slate what he knows about the Northern Star Persian walnut. Very hardy, and so forth? I think maybe the members might be interested in that.
MR. SLATE: Spencer asked me to find out about the North Star Juglans Regia, which was advertised in the Flower Grower. I called up the local nursery that was selling them, and they said they got their seeds from some Pomeroy trees in the western part of the state. I guess they are just Juglans Regia.
MR. STOKE: Down in Virginia we have Virginia Thin Shell purchased sometimes one place and sometimes another.
MR. CHASE: The secretary's office had an inquiry from the executive secretary of the American Nurserymen's Association wanting to know if those claims could be substantiated. I couldn't say on the basis of what information I had, and I so told him. Apparently they, through their organization, have stopped further advertising of that strain under the claims that they made for it.
MR. KORN: We find our public at large, not only our members, seem to be fascinated by the fact that the Persian walnut can be grown in this latitude. So in speaking to them about it, when I am speaking to our members, I try to say Persian walnut, but when speaking to the public at large, they don't know what I am talking about so I come out flatly and say English walnut. I tell them that we can't expect to grow the California type, but we have a hardier type coming from the Carpathian mountains or Germany or Russia or Holland, that can be grown successfully in this part of the country.
MR. CHASE: I think that's the only approach you can use.
MR. KORN: That's the one I use, and I think it quickly helps people to understand what you are talking about, and doesn't get them confused. If you talked to them about Persian walnuts, they wouldn't know what you were talking about, but if you say English walnuts, immediately they understand, or should, at least.
MR. CHASE: I believe Dr. Crane meant that in our inner sanctum he would prefer Juglans Regia.
DR. CRANE: I would like to ask if there are any growers here who have propagated the Persian walnut on Eastern black walnut, that is, experienced any trouble with graft union failure on them.
MR. STOKE: I haven't.
DR. MACDANIEL: Mr. Oakes?
MR. OAKES: I haven't.
MR. CHASE: No graft union failure on Regia and Nigra.
MR. STOKE: And my experience is they come in much quicker than on their own roots as seedlings.
DR. CRANE: How old are your oldest grafts?
MR. OAKES: Put on in 1938?
DR. CRANE: That's 15 years.
MR. STOKE: I have them at least 20 years.
MR. BECKER: Mine are twenty.
DR. MACDANIEL: Mr. Moderator, I have in my brief case a translation of the French book on walnut culture, and there is a section on root stocks. This was a publication issued about 1941, and according to that book, Juglans Nigra is the best stock they have for general use in France. They have reported no difficulty on this. A second one they were trying of the American walnuts, with some promise, was Juglans major, the Arizona black walnut.
DR. CRANE: The reason why I asked, as I reported in previous meetings—they are having very serious difficulty in Oregon and in parts of Washington with graft union trouble which is known as "black line." All or practically all of the walnuts in both Oregon and California and also what few are grown in Washington have been propagated on the Northern California black walnut, Juglans Hindsii. No graft union trouble evidence shows up before the tree has been grafted about 8 years, and then such cases are very rare. But after the trees or the grafts attain an age of 15 years or more, graft union failures are numerous. For three years now we have been making surveys in the State of Oregon, and we have surveyed tree by tree, year after year, the same orchards, the same trees, and our observations now go into the thousands, and we find that this black line is a terrifically serious thing. In some orchards 22 per cent of the trees will develop black line in one year's time. So, you see, at that rate it would only take you five or six years with a good bearing orchard until you wouldn't have any.
DR. MACDANIEL: Is that always with the Franquettes?
DR. CRANE: That is not only true with Franquettes but also with other varieties in California, even in Contra Costa County.
MR. STOKE: Where those trees are so grafted, does it tend to overgrow, or just the opposite?
DR. CRANE: No, it appears much like our Crenata-mollissima chestnut graft union failure.
MR. STOKE: Is there a tendency for the top to be more vigorous, to have more growth, or vice versa or is growth uniform?
DR. CRANE: It may be uniform. Depends somewhat on the varieties and the seedlings. There may be some overgrowth or some outgrowth, but there is only one test for it, and that is at the graft union. With an axe or knife and you cut out a strip of bark across the union. It may look absolutely perfect, but if there is a black line developed there that is just like a lead pencil line between the stock and the scion, the tree is on the way out. It's just a matter of time. Ultimately the bark between the stock and scion will split, and you get infolding, just like on the chestnut.
One of the reasons that they have propagated their trees on Northern California black walnut was that they had the idea that the Northern California produced a stronger, more vigorous seedling and that they grew much faster than seedlings of the Persian walnut. And, furthermore, somebody at some time circulated the idea that Northern California walnuts were immune to infection by the mushroom root rot fungus. We have surveyed thousands of trees of Persian on Persian roots, and we have never found a single case of black line developing or graft union failure as long as it's a Persian on Persian, and we find the same percentage of infection from mushroom root rot fungus on Persian as on Northern California black.
MR. CHASE: In other words, we should watch our stocks and perhaps try out some Regia on Regia?
DR. CRANE: That's right.
MR. CHASE: Now, folks, we could talk for a long time, but let me make one request before we close our panel: I would be interested in receiving from any member pictures, good, glossy photographs of the newer Carpathian varieties so that we can perhaps publish them in the newsletter and give some folks an opportunity to see what these nuts look like. Some of the folks who never come to a meeting never see a sample and just read about it. It's much better if we can show them a picture now and then. So if you have some good pictures, or plan to take some good pictures, remember, I'd like to have a copy.
TUESDAY EVENING BANQUET SESSION
PRESIDENT BEST: We will now hear from the Resolutions Committee, Mr. Davidson.
MR. DAVIDSON: Before reading any resolutions, I have been asked to read a letter that came to Mr. Chase dated August 16th of this year, from Dr. W. C. Deming:
"Mr. Spencer B. Chase, Secretary, NNGA.
"My Dear Child and Grandchildren:" What a beautiful greeting, that.
"This is to let you know that your father and grandfather still holds a house at this hospital and rejoices in your vitality and in your coming convention but especially in the energy and ability of your secretary who gets out those wonderful Nutshell letters which are so stimulating to all nut growers.
"More than 20 years ago I planted an Italian chestnut tree on the grounds of this hospital. The main trunk was killed by blight, but many shoots have come and now it appears to be flourishing because there are no other chestnut trees near. About that time I grafted nut trees commercially in Westchester County, New York at the Westchester Country Club, asking and getting $50 a day for my services and material and never a kick. But I have forgotten the results and the name of the beneficiaries. From my home in Litchfield, Connecticut, my sister, aged 85, saved for me—that is, saved from the squirrels—a double handful of nice chestnuts—no other chestnut tree nearby—and three green walnuts, Carpathians. Both were from my grafts.
"I shall never forget the NNGA and your splendid services. Ever faithfully devoted, Dr. W. C. Deming."
A beautiful letter.
Now, then, the Resolutions Committee recommends that we send this letter;
"Dear Dr. Deming:
"Once more we are happy to greet you and to wish you well. Today the representatives of more than a thousand members of your thought child, the Northern Nut Growers Association, are here gathered in Rochester, New York, to carry on the work in which you had so large a part in starting. It must be a source of great satisfaction to you to be able to see so important a project which you helped to start continuing and expanding fruitfully. We envy you.
"May your tribe increase. Affectionately, the Northern Nut Growers Association."
Now, shall I go on with the rest of the resolutions, and perhaps you can act on them all at once.
"Be it Resolved: That we hereby acknowledge our longstanding indebtedness to the men of the United States Department of Agriculture and of similar departments of the various states who have so faithfully and efficiently upheld the work of this Association. Without their loyal help, doubtless our efforts would languish or suffer severely. It is such a spirit as theirs that continues to make America the great pioneer it has always been."
"Be it Resolved: That the members of this Association acknowledge with deep appreciation the outstanding' hospitality of the City of Rochester at the hands of its representative Park Commissioner Wilbur Wright, Dr. Roy B. Anthony, Mr. Harkness, and their helpers who have done so much to make the visit of this organization not only welcome but extremely enjoyable and informative. We shall always remember Rochester's exceptional hospitality and its generously free provision of so beautiful a meeting place. This is sincerely appreciated."
"Be it Resolved: That this Association extends to Mr. George Salzer, Mr. Victor Brook its thanks for their work which has resulted in so pleasant and profitable a meeting here in Rochester; also to many others due our thanks, to Dr. McKay for organizing a splendid program, to Mrs. Negus for organizing the registration, to Mrs. Gibbs and finally to our outstandingly efficient officers who have so skillfully organized our work and the Association's expansion."
"In order to correct a tendency toward increasing confusion arising from the too great multiplicity of names and nut varieties, the Resolutions Committee offers the following motion: We move that the President be authorized to appoint a self-perpetuating Northern Nut Growers Association Committee on Variety Nomenclature, and we recommend to our members that they refer to this committee for its official approval any new nut discoveries they may wish to name and to propagate." That is in the form of a motion, which, I believe, requires a second and some action.
PRESIDENT BEST: I think we had better act first on this motion of Mr. Davidson's about this committee for naming of nuts, and then we can have another motion to accept the resolutions. Is there a second to that motion that we have a committee on nomenclature of nuts?
DR. MACDANIEL: Mr. President, I second that motion.
PRESIDENT BEST: Is there any discussion?
DR. CRANE: I wanted to suggest that the motion should provide that the committee use the rules of nomenclature approved by the American Pomological Society.
DR. MACDANIEL: I will accept that amendment, Mr. President.
(A vote was taken on the amendment, and was passed.)
MR. MACHOVINA: Is that a proposal to amend the by-laws of this organization? It would, if it's a self-perpetuating committee.
MR. DAVIDSON: May I suggest you withdraw the word "self-perpetuating." The idea, Mr. Best, was to make this a permanent committee, if possible. That was the reason for putting that word in there, but if it is an abridgment of the constitution, we don't want to do it, of course.
MR. KINTZEL: I'd like to know what the rules of nomenclature of the American Pomological Society are.
DR. MACDANIEL: The rules cover about two pages. I can give you the gist of it, I think. One provision is that the discoverer or introducer of a new variety has the privilege of selecting a name for it. Another rule is that it shall not duplicate a name given previously for a variety of the same class of fruit or nut. The name should preferably be one word or, at most, two words, without hyphens, without possessives. That a nut not be named for a person without his permission during his lifetime. That covers the meat of it.
MR. CHASE: Such a committee would give official status and recognition to your discovery. I believe it would prevent, on a large scale, such things as this Morning Star hardy English walnut. In other words, we'd have a committee to examine a nut sample from your tree, anybody's tree, pass on it and see that the name that you select meets the requirements of this American Pomological Society's rules of nomenclature, which are quite reasonable. I think it is an excellent step that we should take at this time.
MR. CALDWELL: Mr. President. The variety we are using is not a variety, it's a clone. Maybe we had better get together with taxonomists and botanists. That's all they are, selections, they are not varieties, in the botanical sense, even though the term has been badly misused by the nut growers. I don't see why we should continue with mis-application of a term just because somebody set up rules for application of names.
DR. CRANE: Mr. President, I want to get this straight. This Association is talking about horticultural varieties, not botanical varieties. A correct term for a horticultural variety is a clone.
The American Pomological Society is over a hundred years old, and they have followed all types of experiences and usages, and they are up to date, and we can't follow any better pattern than what the American Pomological Society has done all down through the years. The Northern Nut Growers Association would be the laughing stock of the world who are in the know if they don't adopt the rules of nomenclature as set forth by the American Pomological Society.
MR. SLATE: Mr. President, we already have a committee on Varieties and Standards. I don't see why that committee can't be revived. If we set up another committee by resolution, we are duplicating the work of that committee, or overlapping. I'd like to see this matter referred to the Committee on Varieties or Judging Standards and possibly report another year. I am not in favor of setting up this committee at the present time.
I would like to amend that motion to refer this matter to the present Committee on Varieties and Judging Standards.
DR. MCKAY: Second that amendment.
DR. MACDANIELS: There is one other angle to this. The International Committee on Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants, has during the past year published a report. I think it would be only wise for us to delay our action on this matter until our committee at least gets the opportunity to study the suitability of this international code for nomenclature of cultivated plants and see how it applies to our situation. In other words, I am complete in accord with Mr. Slate's motion.
MR. DAVIDSON: I would suggest that we refer it to that committee and think about it for another year.
(A vote was taken on the amendment, and it was passed.)
PRESIDENT BEST: The motion of the Resolutions Committee is now referred to the Committee on Varieties and Judging Standards.
MR. STOKE: I move we proceed with the adoption of the resolutions that were presented before the motion.
(Motion seconded and passed.)
PRESIDENT BEST: We'd like to hear from the Nominating Committee.
MR. SLATE: For president the Nominating Committee proposed R. B. Best. I think he is about one of the best presidents we have ever had. For vice-president Gilbert Becker of Michigan. For treasurer W. S. Clarke of Pennsylvania, and for secretary, our very efficient and very effective Spencer Chase of Tennessee.
PRESIDENT BEST: Are there further nominations?
A MEMBER: I move nominations be closed.
A MEMBER: Second the motion. (Motion passed.)
DR. CRANE: Mr. President, I move that the Secretary of the Association be instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for the nominations made by the Nominating Committee. Seconded and passed.
PRESIDENT BEST: Is there any further business to come before the group? Spencer Chase here has an item.
MR. CHASE: Now, for the feature of the evening, that honor which is bestowed upon the most deserving member of the organization, I will call on Mr. Wilkinson for the comments about the Big Nut. Mr. Wilkinson.
MR. WILKINSON: Four years ago at Beltsville, Maryland, Dr. Crane made a suggestion that someone ought to be the King Nut of the Association. If I remember, Mr. Stoke immediately took the floor and nominated Dr. Crane, and he was unanimously elected the Big Nut. One year later he bestowed that honor on Spencer B. Chase. The next year Mr. Chase passed it on to Dr. Colby. One year ago Dr. Colby passed it on to me. Now it's my duty to pass this on to someone else tonight.
Well, I didn't know just exactly how to do it, so I fell back on my friend, Mrs. Negus for her suggestion. She suggested that the King Nut should wear a crown, so I said, "Now, that's your suggestion; I will leave it up to you." So here is the crown she made, with an ornament from the Chief pecan, which in my opinion today is the king nut of the Northern Nut Growers Association.
I don't know whose head she measured to make the crown, she didn't tell me, but it looks to me like it would just about fit George Salzer. (Applause.) George, it's a pleasure that I pass that on to you as I received it, and I hope you will wear it for a year or longer (putting crown on Mr. Salzer's head).
MR. SALZER: Well, they can't say I am big-headed. Why, honestly, folks, my very good friends of the Association, honestly, I don't know what to say. This is the greatest honor that I ever thought would come to me. I always refer to myself as one of the buck privates in the rear rank, and here I am the King Nut. I will assure you, every one of you that I really appreciate this, I honestly do, right from the bottom of my heart.
Ever since I have been a member of this organization and attended the meetings, I have had the finest times, most pleasant associations and the closest friends I ever had in my entire life right here among you people. Thanks a million.
MR. CHASE: Now I think we are entitled to a few words from our new and best president, Mr. Best.
PRESIDENT BEST: Ladies and gentlemen, it is quite a responsibility to take this job on again. It's the first time that I have ever questioned your judgment about anything, but I think there are other people here that could have done the job better than I could.
When I was asked if I would accept if I were elected, I turned to my wife, and I said, "Are you willing to do the work again for another year?" and she said, "Yes, I suppose I'll have to." And I said, "Well, then, I will accept." There is a lot more truth in that than there is poetry. Honestly, we just don't give these officers that work for us enough recognition. There is a whole page of them, as you know, about 11 committees, and all those folks have all done a fine job, at the expense of their work at home. I am not talking about myself, because I don't do any of it, I have it done, as I explained. But Carl Prell made a great sacrifice when he handled the Northern Nut Growers business in a very, very fine, thorough, business-like way.
I ought to give you a good example of what salesmanship really means and how it operates. This morning Carl was going down to the museum in a taxi. The taxi man professed an interest in nuts. Well, what did Carl do? Did he say, "Well, that's all right, but I can't get into that?" No, he said, "Man, you ought to belong to the Nut Growers Association. The fact that you don't know anything about it, that's nothing. Come right into the museum here, and I will show you the exhibits," and he took the taxi man in, and I don't know whether he sold him a membership, but he passed him on to the next man. He's got him going out to see Irondequoit, and we, are going to get a sale there. That's the spirit that it's going to take to get this job done.
I am reminded of a little story in Kipling. You know the story about the sergeant in India. He was a sergeant in the cavalry. They had been out in the hills, and the weather was hot, and they had an awful, awful time. Well, when the men came in and lined up, this sergeant got off his horse and he said, "Well, boys, I realize it's been hot, I know you sweat. But," he said, "from here on in this campaign we are not going to sweat, we are going to lather." That's what it's going to take to get this 2,000 members that we have set for our goal. It's going to take a lot of hard work, and our job is not to peer into the dim future, but to attack those problems which are right with us every day and ask some of our friends to join the Nut Growers Association. We are all widely separated in different walks of life, and each in his own world is just apt to see things a whole lot like the goldfish in a bowl. That is, he will see it twisted and distorted. So when all is said and done, it's up to us to support these committee heads and help get this job done.
A preacher had in his congregation an old lady who was ill. On one of his visits to her she appeared to be growing weaker all the time, and fearing the worst he said as he left her, "Well, sister, I suppose that we will meet Up There." And she looked at him and she said,
"Well, Parson, it's up to you." So from here on out now it's up to you. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. CHASE: Now I think we ought to have just a brief word from Gilbert Becker, our new vice-president. Mr. Becker.
MR. BECKER: This was really a great surprise to me. It is humbly I tell you this, because I was on the Nominating Committee myself, and that is a very embarrassing position to be in, to find that I, as a member of Nominating Committee, appear as an officer. But it was a pleasant surprise, and in doing vice-president work I shall try my best, and I shall surely spend much time and much thought to it. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. CHASE: Now, Bill Clark, will you come up here for a few words? Bill will succeed Carl Prell as Treasurer and handle your finances during the coming year.
MR. CLARK: Friends, I thank you for this honor and that you should have enough confidence in me to trust me with your funds for the coming year. I will do the best I can, and thank you very much.
MR. CHASE: There will be a joint meeting of the new officers and old officers immediately after we adjourn.
George Salzer says the last time we met in Rochester was 1922, and we figure the next time we will be here is 1984.
(Whereupon, the meeting was adjourned.)
Walnuts in Lubec, Maine
RADCLIFFE B. PIKE, University of New Hampshire, Durham, N. H.
In the 1930's, when the Wisconsin Horticultural Society distributed seeds of the Carpathian Walnut from Poland, my brother secured some and we planted them. From these nuts we now have four trees, one of which has been bearing for the last four years.
Lubec, Maine is located at the extreme eastern tip of the United States just a few miles south of the 45th parallel. The site where the trees are planted is on a peninsula extending out into the Bay of Fundy which gives very low summer temperatures and moderate winter temperatures. The night temperature in the summer is usually in the 50 deg.s F. with day temperatures rarely reaching 80 deg. F. Winter temperatures seldom go to -10 deg. F. and only lower than this about once in ten years. During the early summer, fogs are usually heavy and continuous. Day length is, of course, longer in the summer than in most of the United States but it is similar to that of the Northern tier of States from the Great Lakes West.
The trees have grown well being about 18 feet tall and even more in spread. They are multiple trunked having never been pruned. The foliage is remarkably clean and glossy and has not been bothered by insects or disease and it ripens and turns yellow in the late fall before killing frosts at the end of October. Excessive late terminal growth is usually winter-killed but this sort of growth has not been as great since bearing started. The staminate flower buds are more likely to be winter killed than the pistillate but the whole of them have never been entirely killed.
The trees do not leaf out until mid-June, after the danger of killing frosts is over. They have not been frost injured at any time in the spring. The nuts ripen and are shed from the husks in late September and early October while the tree is in full foliage. The nuts are shed perfectly clean with husk either falling separately or remaining on the tree. The nuts will germinate and seedlings have been raised. In 1953, one tree bore 315 nuts. This number represents just a fraction of the pistillate bloom, for while this tree is self fertile, the catkins bloom for a much shorter period than the pistillate blossoms, the latter extending over nearly a month.
In the same year that the above Carpathian variety of Juglans regia was planted, my brother and I also planted some Juglans mandshurica secured from F. L. Skinner of Dropmore, Manitoba which had originated in Harbin, Manchuria. The resulting trees agree well with many of the specimens in the Herbarium of the Arnold Arboretum at Boston labelled Juglans mandshurica. These trees have done remarkably well in Lubec, the trunks being 8-9 inches in diameter, while the height is 15 feet or more and the spread 20 feet. They have borne annually since 1939. They are planted less than 1000 feet from the ocean exposed to the summer storms, winter gales and salt spray. These trees leaf-out a month earlier than the Carpathians yet the foliage has only been partially frost injured once. Wind whipping sometimes injures the leaves in early summer while they are still tender but this sort of injury has never been serious.
The nuts are borne in clusters of up to six and the shells are hard and thick. The flavor of the kernels is excellent having more character than the butternut yet not as strong as the black walnut. Cracking is easy with the Hershey nut cracker. The kernels resemble our American butternut in shape which may account for the fact that J. mandshurica is sometimes called the Oriental butternut.
The nuts germinate well and make trees quickly. In one case, I had mature nuts five years after planting the seed. This particular tree was unusually vigorous having leaves 36 inches long and 23 inches wide.
In my experience, J. regia and J. mandshurica do not hybridize easily if at all, at least with the individuals and under the conditions with which I have been working. After several attempts I now have two progenies of reciprocal crosses of which a few seedlings seem to show hybridity in the vegetative parts. However, there is such a range of characters in the herbarium specimens labelled J. mandshurica that there will be a doubt in my mind until I see the mature trees, or it may be possible that some of the herbarium specimens may have been collected from naturally occurring hybrids, as the two species overlap in their distribution in Manchuria. If the best vegetative and fruiting characters from these two species can be combined the result should be good for our northern sections.
My Thirty Years Experience With Nut Trees
CARL WESCHCKE, St. Paul, Minn.
From time to time I have submitted articles for our annual report, as well as other publications, which had to do more or less specifically with certain species of nut trees, but since there are so many species, and since most nut growers are interested in at least two or more, it might be well to bring the story up to date of how a nut orchard might be viewed or evaluated after twenty years.
Thirty years ago we did not have knowledge which has been gained by the experimenters in the nut growing industry in the interim. Therefore no one could foresee what the future would be. We hopeful ones of that era planted trees and experimented with seeds from all over the world because we thought nut trees deserved a place not only in the orchard but in the dietary needs of the human being as well. Many of the wisest and most respected experimenters of this era have passed beyond this life; however, their lives were made much more interesting because of their horticultural activities.
Here in the midwest in the 45th parallel we have established probably what would be considered the practical northern limits of nut tree cultivation. When I purchased trees it was by the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, because I knew from reading Luther Burbank's works that this work had to be done on a rather large scale in order to make any kind of an adequate test.
Let us start by taking the most obvious species, the black walnut, which, because of its native hardiness, and public popularity might have succeeded the best in a commercial way if everything had gone right. I have planted at least five hundred black walnut trees altogether; these included the Thomas, Ohio, Ten Eyck and Stabler, and later on the Patterson, Rohwer, Pearl, the Throp, Adams and others were added. The Ohio probably produced the first nuts, with the Thomas a close second. For a few years I was able to make good reports on the Stabler and its behavior but since that, our severe test winters of recent years have wiped them out and have substantially proved that the only one of the older varieties which can be trusted in this territory is the Ohio, and although derogatory things have been said of the Ohio because of its hull, I am inclined to put it high on the list because of its fine cracking quality and excellent flavor, also it has been a prolific variety, bearing good crops most of the years.
The Thomas grew faster, and the nuts were considered a better commercial product when hulled, but, alas, it could not take our winters nearly so well, and today the Thomas has a poor physical appearance although it shows tremendous power of recovery and seldom a tree will die entirely.
The Ten Eyck was a negligible experiment, and the Stabler as mentioned before, is much too tender for this climate. The Rohwer and the Patterson from Iowa did much better and even in an off year, like this one, some of these trees had fairly good crops. I like the Patterson the best of these—it is a roundish nut that cracks quite well and the kernels are on the sweet side.
The Throp was a curiosity and we did not have any of our grafted Throp trees bear.
Pearl has borne several crops of good nuts; they are large but are inclined not to ripen in time.
Vandersloot was considered the largest nut of any variety at one time. It has a very rough appearance but aside from its size it is of no particular interest as compared to others.
Adams, a long narrow type of nut similar to the Ohio, but still more elongated, was one of the best crackers I have ever seen, but did not seem to be prolific although it has lived and demonstrated its hardiness.
I am patenting a new walnut at this time which I consider the best for our locality. Some day it may produce well in orchard form if trees become available. One thing is certain about it—it is very hardy and is reasonably easy to propagate.
And so we can conclude the walnut chapter by saying that at least we have some giants in the orchard to show for our trouble and expense, which bear nice edible walnuts in favorable seasons. When comparing this with the wild butternut crop from butternuts in the adjacent woods, which has consistently failed each year for the last ten years, it is quite encouraging.
It was my hard luck to have an uncongenial soil for my experiments in chestnuts, and the knowledge of this came so late that I thought the chestnut was not meant to succeed in our territory. So I put my efforts on hickory nuts and filberts. Both of these succeeded to a degree and with my present knowledge and experience on hickory nuts I would not be a bit afraid to start an orchard on good deep clay or other satisfactory soil which hickories like, using grafted trees of Bridgewater and Weschcke.
A few Kirtland and Deveaux No. 2 would be planted for extra pollination and the extra variety in nuts. There are of course many other varieties of hickories that have succeeded in this territory but those above mentioned, have possibilities of commercial success in orchard formation.
The hickory is a difficult tree to transplant and I would advise that grafted trees be dug with a ball of dirt for shipping, similar to an evergreen, as I have found that, with the greatest of care and experience, the hickory is very slow to re-establish itself unless handled that way.
The hybrid hazels are perhaps the hardiest and certainly bear the earliest of any of the nut trees. My own hybrids show great possibilities for commercial enterprise, but as yet no nurserymen are carrying these varieties and I have not found help enough to promote them myself.
I am convinced that had I spent as much time with the chestnuts on favorable soil as I did with hickories that they would probably head the list of successful nut trees growing. Recently I have purchased an adjoining piece of property which has the necessary well-drained, sandy or gravelly soil, which chestnuts seem to like, and I have started my chestnut orchard there along with a sprinkling of hickory and walnut trees, merely as a matter of test.
This year the chestnuts are again putting on a fair crop for the number and the size of the trees involved. As yet, in order to get a reasonable number of nuts for planting, I have to cross-pollinize them by hand, and I was surprised and pleased this year to find one Chinese chestnut tree with staminate bloom, allowing me to make a cross pollinization with an American sweet chestnut and a Chinquapin type chestnut, which grows to be a tall tree. These crosses ought to insure trees with a great degree of hardiness, and should the blight ever strike this territory in the future they should be highly resistant as well. A few of my chestnut trees produce nuts that may be the size of the best Chinese chestnuts, but I am just as fond of the smaller and sweeter chestnuts of the several Chinquapin type trees which seem to be consistent bearers and certainly are prolific. There are three trees in a close group which are strains of the European chestnut combined with American chestnut. These bear rather large nuts and usually every year have a few and of high quality. It is conceivable that by crossing this hybrid with Chinese pollen that something unusual could be produced.
The pure Chinese strain has not proved hardy in this territory and I have never matured a pure variety. However, there are dozens of seedlings that are not old enough to prove whether there might be a hardy specimen among them that may at some time in the future be relied upon for this species of chestnut.
One other species of nut requires a little space here since it has shown that it can bear crops and is hardy enough to be included among the hardy nuts. It is the Gellatly heartnut. It is very subject to the butternut curculio, but in spite of that it continues to grow quite well when grafted on black walnut,—a difficult piece of propagation, however. A tree in St. Paul, on the boulevard, thrives next to a large butternut, and bears nuts practically every year which the squirrels delight in cutting down while still green. This tree is not bothered by the curculio since the curculio does not infest the large butternut near it.
In summing up the whole situation, I would say that my experiments over thirty years quite adequately prove that the walnuts, hickories, hybrid hazels and chestnuts can most certainly be set out in orchard form and in favorable locations. However, pecan, hiccan, English walnuts and almonds have not proved hardy enough to indicate that they can be relied upon for steady crops of nuts although in some instances varieties show a great hardiness such as the Rockville hiccan. Of course the native butternut is perfectly hardy and prolific but until such time as the butternut curculio ceases to be a major pest we cannot expect to have good crops of them.
Growing American Chestnuts and Their Hybrids Under Blight Conditions
ALFRED SZEGO, Jackson Heights, N. Y.
An interesting group of young American chestnut trees growing on my land near Pine Plains, N. Y. has been under observation since 1946. As they are growing closely together which suggests a common parental origin, we have named this group the "Dutchess Clone" for reference purposes. This name was chosen merely because Pine Plains is situated in Dutchess County.
Their reaction to the deadly chestnut blight was studied at great length and at different seasons. Sometimes branches were inoculated with the fungus to test resistance more precisely. It was learned that blight resistance, in this group of trees, was at an apparently low ebb from March until May. After this period the fungus seemed to make almost no progress at all. This might suggest that the resistant substance was manufactured by the leaves. Of course, such conclusions cannot be accepted in a scientific sense without an involved system of checks and measurements.
Pollination problems are exactly the same as with our Chinese Chestnuts that we are more familiar with today. Unlike the latter, in the American, species the bloom is concentrated near the top of the tree.
The burs are so high up as to create difficulties if we intend to anticipate nature and harvest our crop prematurely. The burs open during the month of October with or without frost. High temperatures in 1953 did not interfere with the harvest. The best method of harvesting is to use a long slender pole with a metal hook at the extreme end, and by gently pulling and twisting, remove the burs from the tree.
Unless this is done promptly before the nuts fall, the rodents will get almost every nut.
Tree growth is about 2 to 3 feet per year in height. At present some are nearly 40 feet tall. Bearing starts at about 12 years of age. The nuts, three in a bur are somewhat wedge shaped and average 5/8 of an inch in diameter. One tree has nuts almost an inch in diameter. This is definitely worth propagating and I will gladly furnish scions in the spring free to anyone who is interested. These are probably incompatible with Chinese understocks, but may be grafted on European and some Japanese seedlings.
As we are listed as cooperators with the U.S.D.A., Division of Forest Pathology, Beltsville, Md., we prepare semi-annual reports for Dr. Frederick H. Berry and also send a portion of our American chestnut seed to him. In this way we insure the continuation of the "Dutchess" clone after our lifetimes.
The American chestnut is not as sweet as Chinese chestnut but is much finer in texture and richer in subtle pleasing flavor. We would say that the quality is higher. Castanea dentata has the most uniformly delicious nuts. It is excelled, however, by many individuals of C. pumila. In our opinion these possess the highest quality nuts in the entire genus.
Our American chestnuts hybrids, especially those with C. Sequinii, are very interesting. The latter make a dwarf tree that bears incredible amounts of small chestnuts. They have pollination problems to be solved and the nuts are seldom filled. Pollen sterility is a common feature with them. They are also everbearing.
Some Northern strains of Chinese chestnut seem barely hardy but promise to survive. Of the grafted varieties we have, Abundance is the most vigorous. "Nanking" has winter-killed here and it has been replanted this year. These are very blight resistant, and rarely lose a branch to this disease after winter injury. The Japanese behave in much the same way.
We have many obscure chestnut species and hybrids growing here. They are grown for study, hybridizing purposes, and as a source of supply to interested members. When mature, we hope to obtain some cash crops from our Chinese and Japanese Chestnut trees. Blight in Europe will no doubt, in about 5 years more, reduce imports of chestnuts thus creating higher prices and a more favorable market.
Chinese chestnuts do not keep well when stored using standard commercial practices. European chestnuts are shipped in barrels and kept in open fruit boxes for weeks at a time in front of fruit and vegetable stores in New York City. Storekeepers never moisten these believing that rot would result. These are viable even in January and sometimes as late as March. Will our present Chinese chestnuts keep as well under these conditions? We think not. American Chestnuts can be kept in bulk only.
We are continually striving to obtain by selection and subsequent hybridization, the best chestnuts that can be grown in our severe climate. The Chinese chestnut has performed miracles in the Southeast, but we regret that it is not the answer to our problems. Only a long period of seed selection will turn up better trees of this species.
Prolonged heat and drought caused us much concern this year. Some one year old seedlings died outright but older trees only suffered varying degrees of defoliation. In some areas, the subsoil was reported powder dry to a depth of six feet. Even the native forest trees dropped much foliage and went into premature dormancy. Oddly enough, the American and Japanese chestnuts suffered much less defoliation than the common Allegheny chinkapin, C. pumila. C. henryi, a rare species, a native of China, and the several chinkapins native to the Gulf Coast seemed inherently adjusted to drought and heat, and thrived without apparent damage. The Ozark tree chinkapins did well also.
Hybrid hazels and choice native seedlings have been set out here in the last few years. We are adding a few every year and planting them between chestnuts to prevent the latter from forming extensive root grafts. This is done in anticipation of oak wilt, which has not yet made its appearance here.
Experiences and Observations on Nut Growing in Central Texas
KAUFMAN FLORIDA, Rotan, Texas
In view of my membership in the Association for some twelve or fourteen years it would be quite reasonable to expect of me more observations in connection with nut growing in my area than I'm able to make. Though I've followed the proceedings of NNGA with great interest, the difficulty of earning a living (from farming) and putting a little something aside has caused me to neglect and put off from year to year the planting of the kind of experimental orchard I've long hoped for. I have lately acquired a reasonably well situated plot of land and, barring a continuation of the drouth of the past two or three years, plan to put out a few young trees next year.
My original interest in nut trees sprang from the hope that a tree combining beauty, utility and long-life might be found to replace the Chinese elm—a "weed tree" if there ever was one. In spite of many shortcomings the Chinese elm (along with two or three other equally undesirable trees) is to be found in most homestead plantings in my area.
Here, in my locality of north-west central Texas, the total rainfall ranges from a low of about twelve inches in some years to a high of about forty-two inches in others, and the annual average is about twenty-one inches. Our principal limiting conditions in nut tree growing is want of sufficient rainfall, though late spring frosts following a period of balmy weather would be a hazard in some instances. It appears to me that if a nut tree planting in this part of the country is to live, every drop of water that falls must be conserved; if it is to thrive, additional water falling on adjacent uplands and carried down in flash floods must be diverted to it. Terraces and retainer dams are usually essential. Cultivation and weed control are necessary. The addition of a mulch helps.
I have tried the Chinese chestnut here. The plants arrived in good condition and had excellent care with what I believe was adequate water and fertile soil. They put out in April and grew off most encouragingly until about July, and then, in an interval of about a week, every tree withered and died as though from heat and drouth. But until other evidence to the contrary comes in, I shall strongly suspect that the real trouble was that the Chinese chestnut demands an acid soil and is highly allergic to even a slight alkalinity. My impression is that the soil here has a reading of about pH 7-7-1/2.
Experience and observation here on the western fringe of the native pecan belt lead me to believe the pecan, black and Persian walnuts do well when they can be irrigated, or when they are planted on a site where a first class water conservation system can be devised and properly constructed.
The black walnut has not been damaged by any insect, disease or mineral deficiency of the soil that I know of. A very limited and inconclusive experience with Clark, Thomas, Myers, Mintle, Sifford, Snyder and Sparrow varieties led to the suggestion that the Thomas might be a slightly more thrifty tree.
The pecan (both nut and tree) seems more subject to insect damage than the walnut. It is also sensitive to a zinc deficiency in some soils. But a proper mineral and insecticide spray usually serves to control these problems when they occur.
I have observed only one named variety of Persian walnut—a Mayette. The tree was a vigorous grower and precocious in putting on nutlets, but to my knowledge never bore staminate blooms and over a period of several years matured only one nut. No other Persian walnuts grew in the locality and I assumed the matured nut must have been pollinized by a black walnut. The tree never seemed damaged by late spring frosts or other cause.
A few members of NNGA have manifested an interest in the honey locust and the Chinese jujube. Both of these trees grow well in this region with a minimum of care. The Oriental persimmon, like the nut trees, requires more than casual attention and ordinary growing conditions.
The Chinese jujube, a little known but hardy and attractive tree may deserve more attention in the southwest. I have trees of the Li and Lang varieties which bear annually and have never been bothered by insects or disease. I am not overly enthusiastic about the fruit but understand it "compares favorably with the fig and date in food value. Dried jujubes carry more protein than dried figs or dates and more (50%) sugar than figs."—T.A.E.S. Bulletin no. 41. But the jujube has the disagreeable habit of sending up root sprouts which are a nuisance to destroy and, because the tree is grafted, the sprouts are worthless seedlings. It has occurred to me that this bad feature of the jujube might be partly offset if cuttings of the improved varieties could be made to grow by means of some of the root inducing chemicals.
Propagation of the Hickories
F. L. O'ROURKE, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State College
The genus Carya comprises all the hickories and pecans found in the United States. The eighth edition of Gray's Manual of Botany lists the following species as being native to the United States:
 The survey of literature pertaining to this review was completed in August, 1952.
Carya aquatica—Water hickory, Bitter Pecan Carya cordiformis—Bitternut, Swamp Hickory Carya glabra—Pignut Carya illinoensis—Pecan Carya laciniosa—Shellbark, Kingnut Carya ovalis—Sweet Pignut, False Shagbark, Red Hickory Carya ovata—Shagbark Carya pallida—Pale Hickory Carya texana—Black Hickory Carya tormentosa (C. alba)—Mockernut
Nut growers are interested primarily in the pecan and the shagbark, although a few selections have been made of the shellbark species. The bitternut is quite often used for rootstocks for the shagbark and shagbark hybrids.
Hickories, like other nut and tree species, do not come true from seed, so superior selected clones are propagated by budding and grafting on other trees known as rootstocks. These rootstocks are produced from seed.
Investigations by Barton(1) showed that some seedlings were produced when the nuts were planted immediately in a warm greenhouse without pretreatment, but that germination was markedly increased when the nuts were held in a cool moist environment from one to four months before bringing into the greenhouse. She also found that fall planting of hickory nuts resulted in a good stand of seedlings the following spring if the soil was mulched, but that the freezing and thawing of unprotected ground resulted in an exceedingly poor stand of seedlings.
Burkett(6) advocated stratifying pecan seed over winter in moist sand and planting in moist soil in the very early spring. He observed that thin-shelled nuts germinate more quickly than thick-shelled ones, and warned against "damping-off" fungi which often killed young seedlings.
Brison(5) stated that some nurserymen prefer seed of certain pecan varieties as Riverside and Burkett for rootstock purposes as these produce strong vigorous seedlings. He reported that while the pecan seed does not have a rest period, germination is increased by stratifying in moist sand for 2 to 3 weeks or soaking in water, changed daily, for 4 to 5 days previous to planting.
Propagation by Layering
No records are available in regard to any hickory species or variety other than pecan having been propagated by any method of either soil or air layering. The writer(14) while experimenting with aerial layering in 1945 found one instance of root production on a hickory where the branch was girdled at the base of the one-year wood. This method offers possibilities, especially now that polythene plastic is available for retaining moisture in the moss about the girdle or wound on the layered branch.
Gossard(9) reported success in producing roots from the tops of small grafted and budded pecan trees by trench layering and from older trees by aerial layering with marcot boxes. He indicated that a favorable combination of etiolation, moisture, rooting medium, and a root-inducing chemical was desirable for successful rooting.
Propagation by Cuttings
Hardwood cuttings of pecan were rooted by Stoutemyer and O'Rourke(23) in 1938 by first callusing the bases of the cuttings in warm moist peat moss, and then treating with an aqueous solution of indole butyric acid before planting. Both roots and shoots grew well for three to four weeks and then the shoots wilted and died. It was observed that the roots were thickened and presented an abnormal appearance. Trials during succeeding years gave no better results and the experiments were discontinued. Cuttings taken from native hickories during these same years failed to produce roots.
Romberg(17) reported a small measure of success in rooting hardwood stem cuttings to which young seedlings had been grafted by the inarch method. The influence of the seedling on the nourishment of the cutting was gradually diminished by girdling caused by a copper wire which was tied about the seedling stem.
Apparently root cuttings of pecans and other hickories have never been tried. In 1896 Corsa(7) observed that "when the lateral roots of the pecan are broken by the plow, the ends of these roots frequently send up thrifty shoots." Such a response would indicate that adventitious shoots may arise from roots and that root cuttings may be successful.