In closing, I want to add just a few words more as to the value and beauty of nut trees. It is very hard to overstate either if the trees are properly cared for. A friend of mine recently asked me how early a pecan tree would bear, and how big it would grow within a certain time. I told him that it depended altogether upon who owned the tree. Nothing adds so much to the value of a home or to a farm as beautiful trees, and nothing indicates more the intelligence and taste of the person who owns a home or farm than the character of the trees surrounding it. In taking a trip through the country, it is very painful to notice how little attention has been given to trees, and I take it that this is due to the lack of information on this subject. A house can be built in a very short time. It can be furnished beautifully if one has taste and money. The science of mechanics can do much toward making an attractive place in which to dwell, but after all, the home that is remembered and admired, both by its occupants and by others, is the home surrounded by beautiful trees that bring forth their leaves and blossoms and fruit to please the eye and the taste and temper the heat of summer. These cannot be bought with mere money nor made in a day, but when placed there with care and intelligence come forth with surprising rapidity and beauty and not only add manifold value to the home and farm, but bespeak for some one a standard of intelligence and nobility that is better than great riches; for he who plants and cares for a tree is of the true, the beautiful and the good.
* * * * *
President Morris: The paper is now open for discussion.
Professor Lake: I'd like to ask Mr. Littlepage a question. What is the condition of the wood of those large growths of walnuts?
Mr. Littlepage: When I observed it in November, it was ripening off very nicely. The average frost period for that latitude is about the twentieth of October, and we had had quite a number of very hard frosts,—in fact, there had been some ice. It had not been injured.
Professor Lake: That is remarkable.
Mr. Littlepage: I have pictures here of those, taken the twentieth of June. There was perhaps three feet of growth at that time. They quit growing about the middle of August down there, and to that I attribute very largely the fact that the wood ripened up.
Professor Craig: What is your minimum temperature?
Mr. Littlepage: I have seen the thermometer ten degrees below zero. I have seen the Ohio River frozen over so thick that for a month at Rockport the wagons could go across the river on ice. In fact, a threshing machine was hauled over. I don't know how low the thermometer got. I imagine it went lower than ten degrees.
President Morris: I have seen it lower still on Persian walnuts and pecans. It is the early starting of sap in spring that hurts mine most.
Mr. Littlepage: The pecans differ from native hickory. The native hickories in that section opened their buds and began to show strong flow of sap long before the pecans gave any indication whatever. Some of the pecans there seem to be very slow about starting sap. Very few pollinate before the tenth of May.
President Morris: My trees had to stand twenty-eight degrees one night only, but they have had to stand twenty sometimes, and frequently several degrees below.
Mr. Pomeroy: I want to ask if he thinks he will have any difficulty in transplanting those black walnuts seven or eight years old?
Mr. Littlepage: That suggests a very painful subject. I have had that very thing in mind. They stand six or seven feet apart. I have got to settle that very question some of these times.
Mr. Pomeroy: I might suggest that you begin the fall before, and take a whole lot of time in digging around the trees, then leave them till nearly spring, then finish the transplanting before the ground has a chance to thaw entirely.
President Morris: I believe that is a good point, if you will do your cutting early, and let the callus form well during the winter. Let us hear more about that particular point.
Mr. Reed: In view of the fact that this Association is trying to rectify as many mistakes as it can, and the fact that it is looked upon as an establisher of precedents, I make the motion that all of our references to the nut just under discussion be to it as the Persian walnut, and not as the English walnut.
Mr. Pomeroy: I second that motion. (Carried.)
President Morris: Let us hear from Mr. Roper.
Mr. Roper: I don't think I know much about the Indiana pecan trees, except what we have been doing in Virginia with them. I have discussed some of the results in the paper on pecan trees for planting in the North.
* * * * *
President Morris: Committee appointments are as follows: Committee on Competition, Messrs. Reed, Littlepage, and myself, ex-officio. Committee on General Exhibits, Messrs. Barron and Roper. Committee on Resolutions, Messrs. Reed, Littlepage, and Schempp. Committee on Membership, Messrs. Deming, Lake, and Rush. Nominating Committee, Professor Craig and Col. Van Duzee.
Professor Lake: Does that complete all the committees?
President Morris: That is all on the list here.
Professor Lake: I would like to suggest one, because I think it will materially help the matter of bringing the nut subject before the people in an effective manner,—a committee on score card. That is at the basis of competitions, and when the nut grower gets acquainted with the score card, and knows that is going to be the basis of judging the competitions, he knows there is going to be something doing.
President Morris: That is a rather important point. I would like to have the matter discussed.
Professor Craig: I think the idea is an excellent one. There is no way in which we can analyze the qualities of fruit better than by having a systematic method of discussing its different characters. The score card does that,—separates each one and makes them stand for what they are worth. In order to unify methods of judging used by the different societies, a score card which this society might develop and recommend would be a very valuable thing as a guide for nut growers here in the Northeast. The National Nut Growers' Association has a score card for pecans, and a score card has been recommended by the Department of Agriculture. I am not sure that score cards have been provided for the Persian walnut and for the hickories, and our northern types. I think Mr. Lake's suggestion is entirely in order and well worthy of consideration.
President Morris: It appeals to me at once. I think we would put Mr. Lake and Professor Craig on a score card committee.
Professor Craig: I think a score card can be presented, subject to revision, which will answer the present demand.
FRIDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 15, 1911.
President Morris: The meeting is called to order. The Secretary will read the proposed amendments to the constitution. I believe there is no provision in the by-laws for making such amendment. I don't know what the customary rule is in the matter. I presume we could submit it to a vote.
Doctor Deming: Under the heading "Committees," the following is proposed: "The Association shall appoint standing committees of three members each to consider and report on the following topics at each annual meeting: first, on promising seedlings; second, on nomenclature; third, on hybrids; fourth, on membership; fifth, on press and publication."
Professor Craig: I move the adoption of this amendment to our constitution. (Seconded. Carried.)
Doctor Deming: Under the head of "Meetings," the amendment is as follows: "The Association shall hold an annual meeting, to be held at the time and place to be selected by the Executive Committee."
Professor Lake: Some way or another, I feel that I oppose that attitude. I believe a delegate will often go to a convention with the idea of presenting views upon holding it at some specific place. It seems to me we ought to give the annual meeting an opportunity to designate the place of meeting. Some people say they will pack a convention. If they are sufficiently enthusiastic to pack a convention they are entitled to have the meeting. I have heard an expression from one or two members that they would like to see it at a certain place. It is true they can present their views to the Executive Committee, but if the Executive Committee is not present at this place, it is necessary for them to make another trip, or appeal to them by correspondence. I would like to have that put in such a way that the annual meeting might select the place of meeting.
President Morris: It is a matter for consideration. Is there any further discussion on this point?
Doctor Deming: It seems to me that the question of the selection of the meeting place is a matter for very deliberate consideration, and it isn't always that a question of this kind will get deliberate consideration in a meeting which acts very often without considering all sides of the question. It seems to me that, while it would be advisable to have the place of the next meeting discussed by the Association as a whole, the decision as to the place of meeting might very safely be left to the Executive Committee.
Mr. Littlepage: I think, as a general rule, it is pretty wise to give some latitude in these matters, for the reason that conditions may develop from time to time which make it desirable to have some flexibility as to the place of meeting. I think, especially with the able Executive Committee we now have, it could safely be left to the Executive Committee.
Professor Craig: Since Professor Lake has spoken, I have a good deal of sympathy with his attitude, and I am rather inclined to think it would be wise to modify that clause in such a way as to give the meeting the privilege, in case there was an overwhelming element in favor of a certain place, of selecting the next place for the convention; and I would suggest a modification of that clause to this effect, that the place of meeting shall be selected at the annual meeting, or by the Executive Committee subsequently thereto. That would give the membership an opportunity of having a word in it, and would open the door so that it could be considered at the annual meeting; but in the event of this not taking place then, it would fall to the Executive Committee to select the meeting place. I move that as an amendment to the proposed clause.
Professor Lake: I support Professor Craig's motion.
Professor Craig: If my seconder will approve, I will offer that as a substitute instead of an amendment.
Professor Lake: I accept it. (Carried.)
Doctor Deming: Under the head of "Officers," the following amendment is proposed: "There shall be a president, a vice-president, a secretary-treasurer, and an executive committee of five persons, of which latter the president, vice-president, and secretary shall be members, and a vice-president from each state represented in the membership of the Association."
Professor Lake: I move that the clause be accepted.
Mr. Rush: I second the motion. (Carried.)
Doctor Deming: Under the heading of "Election of Officers," this addition is proposed: "The President shall appoint a nominating committee of three persons at the annual meeting, whose duty it shall be to report to the meeting a list of officers for the ensuing year."
Professor Lake: I don't want to be an objector. I simply want to file a protest against this method of election in an organization, on general principles. I am opposed to anything that looks like continuing an administration. This doesn't give an opportunity for election from the floor. It might be so amended, that an annual meeting may elect from the floor. I am thoroughly in sympathy with popular government. I have seen a good deal of this, and I would like to get away from the sentiment of anything of that kind by allowing nominations from the floor.
Doctor Deming: How would it be if the nominating committee, instead of being appointed by the President, were appointed in some elective way by the meeting as a whole?
Professor Lake: I accept Doctor Deming's suggestion. That is a most excellent way of eliminating both sides of the controversy. I would like to put that definitely into form, that we have a committee of five,—that is sufficient for the present,—that a committee of five be elected at the annual meeting for the purpose of nominating officers for the subsequent year. I put that as a motion.
Mr. Rush: I second that motion. (Carried.)
President Morris: The committee for the nomination of new officers will consist of Professor Craig and Colonel Van Duzee. This other committee of five, as I understand it, is not to be appointed now.
Doctor Deming: The only thing that I have now is the proposition that we honor Mr. Henry Hales by electing him an honorary member of the Association. I would like to move that Mr. Henry Hales of Ridgewood, New Jersey, be elected an honorary member of this Association.
Mr. Littlepage: I second that motion. (Carried.)
President Morris: On the competition, the committee consisted of Mr. Reed, Mr. Littlepage, and myself. Mr. Littlepage has specimens in for competition, and I will appoint Mr. Roper in his place. The next order of business will be the paper on experiences in propagation, by Professor Close.
THE BENCH ROOT-GRAFTING OF PERSIAN WALNUTS AND PECANS.
BY C. P. CLOSE, U. S. DEPT, OF AGRICULTURE, WASHINGTON, D. C.
The results of my bench root-grafting of Persian walnuts and pecans at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station in 1911 were not as satisfactory as might be wished, partly owing, at least, to the unusually long and hot drought which was disastrous in many respects in this section of the country.
PURPOSE AND METHOD OF THE EXPERIMENT.
The purpose of this experimental work was to devise some method of procedure in the bench grafting of nut trees which would be reliable and practical, especially if done during January, February, and March. The whip or tongue method with variation in thinness of tongue to make closely fitting unions, was employed. For the Persian walnut cions, black walnut, butternut and Persian walnut roots were used, and for the pecan cions, hardy Indiana and ordinary southern pecan seedlings, whole root and piece root, were used. Part of the grafts were planted outdoors in nursery rows as soon as made and part were placed in soil or decayed sawdust in a cool greenhouse. This was for the purpose of determining whether or not it would prove advantageous to go to the extra expense and trouble of placing the grafts under greenhouse conditions until April or May. Ground beds were used and thus bottom heat was not applied.
There were 287 grafts of San Jose, Concord and Franquette Persian walnuts, made from February 15 to April 4, which were planted in nursery rows very soon after being made. Only 40 of these were alive in October, the best results being obtained with San Jose on black walnut stocks. Sixty-four walnut grafts were placed in decayed sawdust in the greenhouse in February and March and of these 22 were alive early in May when they were taken out.
The pecan grafts, set in nursery rows as soon as made, numbered 474 and consisted of the following varieties: Mantura, Appomattox, Frotscher, Moneymaker, Van Deman, Stuart, and Pabst. Only one of these, a Pabst on a piece root, lived during the season.
The grafts which were placed in the greenhouse gave pretty good results as shown by the following data given respectively under the headings "Earth Bed" and "Decayed Sawdust."
Jan. 14. 10 Moneymaker on Indiana stocks, not waxed. 8 alive in May. 10 Moneymaker on Indiana stocks, waxed 4 alive in May. Feb. 14. 10 Mantura on Indiana stocks, not waxed. 8 alive in May. 15 Moneymaker on Indiana stocks, not waxed. 11 alive in May. Mar. 8. 33 Stuart on Indiana stocks, not waxed. 20 alive in May. 30 Stuart on Indiana piece roots, not waxed. 15 alive in May.
Totals 108 66
Feb. 14. 25 Mantura on Indiana stocks, not waxed. 6 alive in May. Mar. 8. 12 Stuart on Indiana stocks, not waxed. 12 alive in May. 23 Stuart on Indiana stocks, not waxed. 21 alive in May.
Totals 60 39
These figures show that 61 per cent of those in the earth bed and 65 per cent of those in the decayed sawdust, were alive when they were taken up early in May. Some had made a growth of from two to eight inches and were fine little trees. Most of these transplanted grafts were set in nursery rows and nearly all succumbed to the extreme drought of the season.
The season was so extremely dry that the practice of planting root grafts as soon as made did not prove successful. However, work done in other years indicated that in normal seasons this may be done with considerable success. Placing the grafts in a greenhouse either in earth or decayed sawdust gave encouraging results, but when transplanted in the nursery the grafts could not withstand the unusually dry and hot weather. The black walnut proved to be the best stock for the Persian walnut and two buds to the cion are required. Grafting wax should not be used if the union of cion and stock is to be covered with earth; this point was clearly proven in previous years.
[The foregoing paper, read by title, was the subject of a verbal report by Prof. Lake, who said further:]
Prof. Close performed considerable work in topgrafting and budding on three and four year old stocks. The top grafts were a failure. The buds survived, and were in good, strong condition October fifteenth. That was on Persian walnut and pecan, about half and half.
Mr. Pomeroy: Did he bud on black walnut stock?
Professor Lake: Yes. It was a little higher than a man, and had been cut back to about three feet. The crown grafting was fairly successful, but would have been much more successful, had they used something to cover the grafts.
Mr. Pomeroy: How long should the paper sack be left?
Professor Lake: It would vary with the season and activity of the stock, ten days to two weeks.
President Morris: I wish you would try further experiments in rooting scions in warm sand in the hot-house. I believe that in some stage you can probably root those cuttings in moist sand in the hot-house, heated beneath; and if you can do that, it is going to settle the question very largely of hickory and walnut propagation. What do you think about that, Professor Craig?
Professor Craig: I am not very optimistic about the possibility of that. I find it very, very difficult to get roots to develop from Hicoria. You can get the callus almost every time, but it is very difficult to secure the development of roots afterwards.
President Morris: How about getting callus by three months, we will say, in storage?
Professor Craig: We would have the same trouble. They would develop adventitious buds very poorly. Doctor Morris has sent us from time to time some samples, and we have been making experiments. I have used different methods and different propagators. We have one propagator, who has been most successful usually in striking difficult things, and he has absolutely failed in this one. I may say that our facilities for propagation are not ideal at the present time, but we shall have in a short time a good propagating house with properly regulated benches, as to bottom heat and overhead ventilation and all that; and we shall, of course, keep up the experiments.
President Morris: In my experiments, I grafted hickory scions on hickory roots, and the whole thing, root and scion, lived until the root sent out adventitious buds, yet in that case we did not get union between the top and the stock. How do you explain that, Professor Craig?
Professor Craig: I don't explain it.
President Morris: Are we likely to have success along that line by some modification of the plan?
Professor Craig: I couldn't say. You can keep the cuttings alive for three or four months.
President Morris: They were in damp rooms, exposed to light, right in the window.
Doctor Deming: Professor Coville has made some experiments in rooting hickory cuttings for me. Professor Coville is the one who has made such a success of blueberry culture. I sent him some cuttings, and he reports as follows:
"Two experiments were tried with the hickory cuttings received from Dr. W. C. Deming on January 5, 1911. In one experiment some of the cuttings were placed in a glass cutting bed in live sphagnum covered with sand, the upper ends of the cuttings projecting from the sand. The atmosphere above the cutting bed was kept in a state of saturation by a covering of glass. The bed was kept shaded and was subjected to an ordinary living room temperature varying from about 55 deg. to 70 deg., or occasionally a few degrees higher.
On January 11 the cambium ring at the lower end of the cuttings had begun to callus. On February 17 the upper bud on one of the cuttings began to push. Later some of the other cuttings began to swell preparatory to the development of new growth. All the cuttings, however, finally died. It appeared from their behavior that the temperatures to which they were subjected were too high for their best development.
In the other experiment the cuttings were placed in sand without sphagnum in a greenhouse at a temperature ordinarily of 50 deg. to 65 deg., rising occasionally, however, on still, sunny days to 70 deg.. After a few weeks, these cuttings were well callused and the buds began to swell slowly, exposing first their green bracts, and later on some of the cuttings the green compound leaves, pushing out from among the bracts. These cuttings also, however, finally turned black and died, but not until after the first of April.
The experiments showed that hickory cuttings, when taken at a suitable time of year and exposed to conditions suited to other hard wooded plants known to be difficult to root, retained their vitality and passed satisfactorily through the stages preliminary to rooting. While no actual roots were secured, the experiments suggest that the rooting of hickory cuttings is not beyond the possibility of attainment.
As the basis of an experiment this winter, I suggest that you select half a dozen twigs that you are willing to sacrifice on some good variety of hickory, and remove a ring of bark at a distance of 4 to 8 inches from the top. The ring of bark removed should be about half an inch in length and its upper end should come about a quarter of an inch below a bud. At the present season the bark will not peel from the wood. It will, therefore, be necessary to scrape it off, so as to leave nothing but the wood on the girdled area. The bark should be cleanly cut at each end of this area. I hope that we shall still have sufficient warm weather to induce the formation of a callus on the cambium at the upper end of this ring.
Later in the winter, some time in January, you can cut off these twigs and send them to me, packed as those were last year. The cutting is preferably made just below the ring. I would prefer that all the wood from the ring to the tip of the twig be of the past summer's growth. We can try, however, twigs containing two seasons' growth, if the others are not easily available."
President Morris: That is a suggestion, you see, of apparent value, because it has succeeded with blueberries,—this method of cutting off a ring of bark before the leaves are shed, allowing a ring to callous, then later cutting off this prepared twig and subjecting it to methods for striking roots. It is an extremely interesting suggestion. Just as soon as I heard of this procedure, I went out and prepared about fifty hickory and walnut twigs myself, but that was this autumn, and I haven't cut them yet for the experiments in rooting. Has anyone had experience along this line?
Mr. Collins: I saw an experiment in rooting, and I am prompted to ask if anything has been done along this particular line. The method employed was this. The twig was partially cut from the branch, perhaps cut three-quarters of the way through with a slanting cut. It was then bent a little, and a little sphagnum put in the cut, then a ball of sphagnum was wrapped about the whole cut area, and it was tied with twine, and that was kept wet for several months, I think, until, finally, new roots pushed through and appeared on the outside of this ball of sphagnum.
President Morris: I read of that. It was published in a government report.
Professor Collins: It was on the rubber plant.
President Morris: I tried it at that time on the hickory. The difficulty was in getting my men sufficiently interested to keep the sphagnum wet all the time. It promised something. The rubber plants, perhaps, would lend themselves more readily to such a procedure than the hickories, because most of the rubber plants are air plants, anyway. All of the Ficus family depend so little upon the ground for their nourishment.
Professor Collins: I have seen that worked very successfully.
Professor Lake: You don't know how successful the callousing has been?
President Morris: They calloused all right.
Professor Lake: How long did it require?
President Morris: I don't remember. It was a good while, longer than I anticipated. I don't think there was a callus on the hickory in less than thirty days. The butternut and black walnut hardly showed any callus at all after keeping the sphagnum wet as long as my men would do it.
Professor Lake: At what time was the ringing done?
President Morris: The leaves had fallen this year. Professor Coville suggested that it be done before the leaves had fallen. But the hickory will callous after the leaves have fallen. It seems to me hickories are at work all winter long. They have a free flow of sap in January, and any warm day in January they will be like a maple tree, almost, if they are cut. I have grafted them at that time.
Mr. Brown: Can anyone give me any information on grafting chestnuts?
Mr. Rush: I have been very successful with the grafting of the chestnut. It is just as simple as grafting other fruit, except the Persian walnut. Tongue grafting and cleft grafting is very successful. There is no particular secret in connection with grafting chestnuts.
President Morris: Personally, I found it difficult for two or three years, but now I can graft the chestnut about as readily as I can graft the apple. There is no difference in methods. It seems to me from my present experience that one may graft or bud chestnut by almost any of the accepted methods pretty freely. What has been your experience, Mr. Littlepage?
Mr. Littlepage: I haven't been experimenting with the propagation of the chestnut yet. I am getting ready. I have three or four thousand seedlings, a few of which will be ready to graft next year. I have twenty acres of the Paragon chestnuts growing.
President Morris: In chestnut grafting, we will find that one kind does not graft or bud readily upon another kind, perhaps. For instance, there is some antagonism between the American sweet chestnut and Asiatic chestnuts. There is some antagonism between Asiatic and Europeans; there is little between Europeans and American sweet. These antagonisms are something that one has to learn from experience at the present time, because I doubt if we have had enough experience to know just where we stand on this question.
Professor Collins: Doesn't there seem to be antagonism between eastern Asiatic other than Japanese and Japanese?
President Morris: Yes; the Koreans of both kinds, the north Japanese of both kinds, and the Manchurian chestnut are the five that I have experimented with in grafting, and none of those grow so well on American stock as they should.
Professor Collins: I mean to say between the Korean and the Japanese.
President Morris: There is less antagonism. You can graft the Korean upon the Japanese and the Japanese upon the Korean very readily. They have very much the same texture of wood, the same character of buds and bark.
Professor Collins: Is there any antagonism between eastern Asian and Japanese?
President Morris: I don't know that my experience has been extensive enough to say. My men have put on perhaps two or three hundred grafts back and forth between these kinds, the customary accidents have happened, and we have about given up trying to do much grafting of Japanese on American, but still plan to graft Japanese back and forth upon each other, and we are now planning to graft European and American back and forth upon each other.
Mr. Brown: What about the position of the graft?
President Morris: I don't know, Mr. Brown, if there is very much difference. I haven't found very much. I have grafted all the way from the root to the top.
Mr. Rush: It is better on top. Sometimes the grafting has an effect upon the stock just at the union. If it is budded low, it blights. The bark gets loose. All those that are grafted high are doing remarkably well.
President Morris: The next on the list is Doctor Deming's paper on "Nut Promotions."
Doctor Deming: I will read first a communication from Mr. Henry Hales of Ridgewood, New Jersey.
HALES' PAPER SHELL HICKORY.
My shagbark (paper shell) hickory tree was on my farm when I bought it in 1868. It had been noticed by the neighbors as bearing a fine nut and was watched by them for the nuts, but they did not appreciate the value of them. The late Andrew S. Fuller had not seen them, but asked me to bring him a few. When he saw them he was surprised and at once pronounced them the finest hickories he had ever seen, and named them "Hales' Paper Shell." The hickory is one of the most valuable of North American nuts. It is of a variable nature. I have over twenty old trees on my place, and no two bear nuts of the same shape or size, and although some neighbors planted some nuts from the old tree and produced fruit from them they were only ordinary sized, so that it is necessary to propagate them to retain their value. About 1880 Parsons & Son, of Flushing, N. Y., grafted some in pots under glass, from which trees these nuts sent are the product. The fruit is fully as fine as the original tree. Prof. C. B. Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum has taken great interest in the nut. I have two trees grafted on wild saplings by Jackson Dawson near bearing size.
Those are the only trees successfully grafted, out of thousands done in the North outside, from which I am afraid grafting outside in the North is a failure on hickory stocks. There may be a better chance on pecan stock, which I have not thoroughly tested under favorable circumstances. I have been sending northern pecan nuts and had them planted, and sent scions for working on them in the South; had some failures from natural causes. Simpson Bros. of Monticello, Florida, have had fair success there. My share of two year old trees are on the way here. Of the value of these nuts too much cannot be said. Mr. Fuller ranked them superior to the Madeira nut. It has remarkable keeping qualities.
It has taken from eighteen to twenty-five years for my grafted trees to come into bearing.
I earnestly hope that with the knowledge gained so far, the means of propagation on a large scale will soon be discovered and successfully carried on. What a gain it would be to the wealth of our food production and luxury. The American hickory would then stand highest on the list of our native nuts.
* * * * *
President Morris: Are there any comments upon this paper of Mr. Hales? So much is being said about the Hales hickory, it seems to me that possibly we ought to put on record some thoughts in the matter. Mr. Hales is entitled to more credit than any other man for bringing forward the development of the shagbark hickory, and his enthusiasm was based upon this remarkable nut on his grounds. It is a very large nut, and, like all large nuts, is much coarser in character than small nuts, and, like all large nuts, lacks delicacy of flavor that we find in small nuts. It is thinner shelled than most of the shagbarks that we would see in many days spent in the woods, but when we have for comparison some smaller nuts, we find shells very much thinner than the shell of the Hales. The Hales, like many other large hickories, keeps much better than the small hickories of finer texture and more delicate quality, and it may be very good at three years of age, while some of the most delicious of the smaller, more tender and delicate nuts are spoiling at the end of six months. I don't know that Mr. Hales would take exception to my way of stating this, but it seems to me that he ought to feel that we give him all honor, that we think it a remarkable nut, that it is a nut, because of its size and features, worthy of the enthusiasm he gave it. There is apt to be some misunderstanding as to the exact position this holds in relation to other shagbark hickories.
Mr. Littlepage: What is its bearing record as to quantity?
President Morris: The tree has been cut so much for scions that it has never had a fair chance. It is a prolific tree. It is well worthy of propagation.
Mr. Littlepage: It is, perhaps,—judging from looking at it—a very fine shagbark for commercial purposes. Isn't it true that within the next ten years there will, in all probability, be a complete reversion in the mind of the nut culturist as to the kind and quality of the nut he will propagate. I will supplement that by saying that heretofore, both in the pecan and other nut fields, the whole tendency has been toward something big. Now, the wise fellows in the South today are beginning to get away from that. I have made many trips down there, and I find there is a very changing sentiment. I want to say that in my observation the future price of the various nuts of the country is going to be determined by the price of nut meat; that the meats are going to be put on the market, and while there will always be plenty of nuts marketed in the shell, the price of the nut meat will be the dominant factor. I was walking down G Street in Washington the other day with an ex-United States Senator, and ex-member of Congress, and an ex-Governor, and they passed a nut store, and saw in the window some nuts, also a big box of nut meats. Everyone went in, and all passed up the nuts and bought the nut meat. That expresses, to my notion, the tendency that is coming; and that thing is going, then, to determine very largely the question of quality.
President Morris: I think we certainly are going to have a complete change in ideas about raising nuts. We are going to raise big ones of the kinds where everybody will buy one pound and nobody will buy two pounds. We are going to raise nuts that will appeal to the people who purchase things in the open market, and who never in their lives get hold of anything that is good. We are going also to raise nuts that will appeal to connoisseurs, and that will be bought by people who know one work of art from another. In other words, we are going to make the progress in nut culture that has been made in other fields of horticulture. At the present time, if one could raise a pear as big as a watermelon and tasting like the rind, that would be the pear that would sell in the market. But the connoisseur buys the Seckel in place of it. When there is a pear like the Kieffer that will fill the top of the tree so there is no room for leaves and branches, the market men are going to raise that pear. But when we go into the market, we go around a block to escape the place where they sell the Kieffer pear, and we buy the Bartlett. We have precisely the same problems in nut culture.
Mr. Pomeroy: I have been thinking some on this line. I have spent a good many half hours in the last four or five years with an old German in Buffalo. He has a stand on one of the big markets. I find that he has a whole lot to say in regard to what the people buy. He has found this out, and he has been there a good many years. He says, "I have been getting black walnuts from the same farmer boy for six or seven years. They are fine; try one." He has learned something about the different trees throughout that section, and about some nuts that are being shipped in, and he can tell the varieties. He has customers that do come back after the second package of nuts. He is trying to keep those customers one year after another. He is creating the demand. When I was a youngster, if I could have received the prices for black walnuts and butternuts that youngsters get now, I would have thought I was a capitalist. Butternuts are retailing at two dollars and two dollars and a half, and black walnuts the same.
President Morris: We have got to get away from the idea that we are going to find the best hickory nut or the best walnut or the best nut of any kind in the largest nut. Nature spreads out just so much material in the way of flavor and good quality of a nut, and if it is in a large nut, those good qualities are spread out thin; if it is in a small nut, they are concentrated.
Professor Lake: I wish I were as optimistic as Mr. Littlepage in this matter. That is because he has been studying all nuts for twenty-five or thirty years, and I have only been dabbling around in Persian walnuts for about twenty years. I have been dabbling with apples twenty-five or more years, and the real connoisseurs of the apple have been telling us during that time that the Ben Davis would be wiped out inside of ten years. I heard that twenty years ago. I believe that there are more Ben Davis apples being consumed by the public today than any other one apple. Notwithstanding that, every man who knows good apples goes out and decries it. It is because that apple can be grown anywhere by anybody at any time, and will be eaten by the people. The kind of nut that is going to make the money the next twenty-five or thirty years is the nut that is prolific, of fair quality, that can be grown by any man, and that has a fairly good appearance. I believe that the process of educating the public on the matter of quality is going to be tremendously slow. It is not always the case, however, that the smaller the size, the better the quality. A medium size would be better. The Yellow Newtown is quite a large apple, and it is superior in quality to the Winesap.
President Morris: I was stating a general rule.
Professor Lake: I fear we aren't going to be able to educate the people. How many people who eat nuts know anything about their quality? Dr. Morris has got the ideal of the best nut in walnuts, for instance, the French Mayette. That is the connoisseur's choice. I know of many people who will tell you very frankly they prefer the American grown Franquette, which is much more starchy in make-up and much less nutty.
Mr. Littlepage: I think there is a great deal in what Professor Lake says. I am not sure he has got the cause of the facts he states. One reason why the Ben Davis is being planted is, as he stated, that it will grow almost anywhere; but the reason the public accept the Ben Davis is because they can't get enough of another at a reasonable price. There isn't any doubt that if there were plenty others at a reasonable price the Ben Davis wouldn't be used at all. We hear so much today about this high cost of living. Of course, there are artificial conditions that have contributed to this to a greater or less extent; but the principal element is that we have come up against the problem of feeding the great American public, that has grown faster than the facilities have grown. The time for low priced food products is gone forever. Yet there is a good deal in this commercial phase of it.
President Morris: The Hales hickory is going to be like the Ben Davis apple, one of the very most popular in the market.
Doctor Deming: I will say regarding the retail price of nuts that in New York City shelled filberts are priced at $1.25 a pound, shelled almonds $1.00, ordinary run of hickories and chestnuts in the shells twenty cents, black walnuts in the shell twelve cents.
President Morris: Hickories will give somewhat over fifty pounds to the bushel; black walnuts about forty. If we make a rough estimate of fifty pounds to the bushel for shagbarks, and forty for Persian walnuts, we will probably have a good fair average.
BY W. C. DEMING, NEW YORK.
Promoters attack their quarry with a two-edged sword; one edge is what they say, the other what they leave unsaid; and both edges are often keen. What they say generally has a foundation of truth with a superstructure of gilded staff. You must knock over the staff and examine the foundations to see if they are laid up in good cement mortar or only mud. Sometimes they are honestly laid but your true promoter can no more help putting on his Coney Island palace of dreams than a yellow journal reporter can help making a good story of the most everyday assignment. I suppose he takes a professional pride in his decorations, even when the real facts themselves are good enough. Or even, in his enthusiasm, half believes, and fully hopes, that what he says is true. So you never can say that because of the evident gilding there is nothing worth while beneath.
What the promoter does not say it is absolutely necessary for the safe investor to find out. Deductions from experience in general, and from knowledge of the business in particular, will help and, when these favor further investigation, there are two essentials for a wise decision. First, a study of the records of the promoters, and second, a personal examination of the property. If these can be thoroughly made, and the results are satisfactory after a suitable period of mental incubation, if the prospects will stand the candle test for fertility, you may put some money on the chance of a good hatch; remembering, too, that many a good hatch afterward comes to grief with the pip.
Some promotions are conceived in iniquity, some in drunkenness and folly and some are abortive from incapacity. Your legitimate and well-born, well-brought-up promotion, fathered by ability and mothered by honesty, it is your problem to recognize, if that is what you are looking for, and to avoid the low-born trickster or incapable. No one can tell you how to do this any more than he can tell you an easy way to graft hickories.
The northern nut grower is not yet bothered with northern nut promotions. At most he is called on to discount the statements of sellers of trees, and that a little, not too expensive, experience will teach him. The West is apparently too busy selling fruit and fruit lands to lay out nuts to trap eastern nibblers. But the allurements of pecan growing in the South are spread before us with our bread and butter and morning coffee. The orange and pomelo properties have been banished from the stage, or made to play second fiddle, and now we see in the limelight the pecan plantation, with a vista of provision for old age and insurance for our children. And there shall be no work nor care nor trouble about it at all. Only something down and about ten dollars a month for ninety-six months. And the intercropping is to more than pay for that. It is indeed an enticing presentation.
Although we have as yet no northern nut promotions we may expect the time when the sandy barrens of the shore and the boulder pastures of the rock ribbed hills will be cut up into five acre plots and promoted as the natural home of the chestnut and the hickory, holding potential fortunes for their developers. I hope it will be so for it will postulate a foundation in fact. But the chestnut blight and the unresponsiveness of the hickory to propagation as yet hold up these future camp followers of the northern nut growing pioneers. So that for the present there is only the sword of the southern pecan promoter to parry.
It would be a work of supererogation and effrontery for me to attempt to treat this subject in particular since it has been so clearly and ably done by Col. C. A. Van Duzee of St. Paul, Minn., and Viking, Fla., from the standpoint of long experience and full knowledge. His paper should be read by all interested persons. I am permitted to make the following quotations from it:
"The pecan as an orchard tree has recently been discovered and its history has not been written. The record at present is largely based on scattered individual trees growing under abnormal conditions which, as a rule, are favorable....
"Calculations and deductions based upon these results have been made which are fascinating, but they are utterly unreliable when applied to orchards of other trees in different localities growing under totally different conditions?...
"No one knows what a pecan orchard grown under such conditions is going to do."
Col. Van Duzee, however, expresses firm belief in the success of pecan growing under proper personal supervision.
It all comes down to the question, "Can you or I hire our business done for us, never go near it ourselves and expect others to make a success of it for us?"
And yet, when all is said, I confess that I have been tempted by my faith in the present and future of pecan growing in the South. I might have invested were it not for my firm belief that, in nut growing, the North is but a few years behind the South, and that I wish to devote my resources and my energies to having a hand in a development which, I share with you the belief, is to be of inestimable benefit to the human race. We can picture the day when our dooryards, our roadsides, our fields and hills shall be shaded by grand nut trees, showering sustenance and wealth on our descendants, and all people, and bearing the names of their originators; when the housewife of the future shall send her wireless call to the grocer for a kilo of Hales' Papershells, the Rush, the Jones, the Pomeroy Persian walnuts, the Black Ben Deming butternut, the Craig Corean chestnut, the Morris Hybrid hickory, the Close black-walnut or the Littlepage pecan.
* * * * *
President Morris: It is a very timely paper. The number of promoters we find in connection with any subject furnishes an index of the fundamental value of the original proposition. The number of dishonest people, the number of fakirs that are now promoting development schemes in connection with the pecan indicates that down at the bottom somewhere, there is a real gold mine. We will go on to Mr. Roper's paper.
SOME FACTS CONCERNING PECAN TREES FOR PLANTING IN THE NORTH.
W. N. ROPER, PETERSBURG, VA.
Pecan trees for successful culture in the North must be of hardy, early-maturing varieties, budded on stocks from northern pecans and grown in nursery under suitable climatic conditions. These are requisites indicated by practical, experimental work and observations extending over several years.
The successful production of large southern pecans in far northern climates can hardly be looked for except under the most favorable conditions of soil, location and season. There seems no good reason for planting southern pecans in the far North, except in an experimental way; for there are northern varieties now being propagated that are the equal of most of the standard southern sorts in quality and very little below them in size. They will prove to be as large or larger in the North than the southern varieties grown in the same locality, and much more apt to bear regularly.
The method used in propagating the hardy types is important. Budding and root-grafting each has its advocates among pecan growers in the South, and this would indicate that there is no great difference between the trees propagated by these two methods when they are planted in that section. But based on results with several hundred specimens, root-grafted pecan trees are not desirable for planting in northern climates.
During the past six years there have been grown in nursery, in the eastern part of Virginia, near Petersburg, about 2,000 root-grafted trees of eight southern varieties of pecans and one Virginia variety, including Stuart, Van Deman, Moneymaker, and Mantura. All these trees are worthless. None of them, though they have been cared for, has ever been considered by the grower fit to dig and transplant. Most of these trees suffer winter injury each year, many of them being killed back to the graft union. Those that do not die below the ground grow out the following summer, only to be killed back again the next winter or spring. Those damaged only a part of the way down the trunks, even when not badly injured, do not recover promptly. Several hundred budded trees grown during the same period in adjoining rows have been entirely free from any winter injury. The grafts and buds were inserted on stocks from northern and southern nuts.
A thousand budded and root-grafted trees received from six southern nurserymen were planted in orchards in the same locality. A very large percentage of the root-grafted trees died; only a small percentage of the budded trees died. Many of the root-grafted trees that survived are making poor growth; most of the budded trees are strong and vigorous. The only trees of the Virginia varieties ever reported winter-killed were root-grafts.
No root-grafts of the northern types on northern stocks have been made in Virginia, but root-grafts of Indiana varieties on southern stocks transplanted there winter-kill badly. Several Indiana trees root-grafted on southern stocks and in their second year's growth in the nursery winter-killed in Florida last season. Not a single budded Indiana tree in Virginia suffered any winter injury whatever, although the buds were grown on southern as well as on northern stocks. All the root-grafted Indiana trees transplanted at Petersburg during the past two years have died from winter injury.
Northern types root-grafted on northern stocks not having been tested, no definite information can be given, of course; but with all southern varieties winter-killing in the North, when root-grafted on either northern or southern stocks, and the Virginia variety winter-killing when root-grafted on southern or northern stocks, and the Indiana varieties winter-killing both in the North and in the South when root-grafted on southern stocks, it seems reasonable to presume that the northern varieties root-grafted on northern stocks will also winter-kill. The stocks of the root-grafted trees are seldom injured. They send up sprouts except in cases where the graft union is so far beneath the surface of the soil that after the grafted part is killed the stock is too deep to grow out.
Not a single tree out of a total of 40,000 seedlings in Virginia grown from northern nuts planted during a period of six years has ever been found affected by winter injury; practically all the trees out of 50,000 or more grown in the same locality from southern nuts, planted during the same years had their tops affected by winter injury the first, and most of them the second season of their growth; but no injury after the second season has been noted.
With the view of making southern varieties better adapted to planting in northern area, experiments have been made in propagating them on stocks from northern nuts. This stock has thus far proved unsatisfactory for southern varieties either budded or root grafted. The trees from northern nuts go dormant earlier in the fall and remain dormant later in the spring than trees from southern nuts. Northern trees in the nursery rows in early spring, in a perfectly dormant condition, are in striking contrast with the southern trees and their fresh, green foliage. Though the growing period in the North is nearly a fourth shorter for the northern than for the southern varieties, the native trees in the North make equal growth with the southern trees there during the same season. Northern varieties budded on northern stocks grown at Petersburg the past summer made nearly as much growth during one season as root-grafted trees of the same varieties on southern stocks grown in Florida two seasons. The trees at Petersburg were from dormant buds set the previous fall. They were just starting into growth in May when the trees in Florida had made a growth of six to twelve inches.
The northern seedlings in the North make better growth in a season than the northern seedlings in the South, as far as has been observed. When the growing period begins in the northern climate, the native trees respond at once to the quick growing season and outgrow the trees that have been accustomed to a slower growing climate. When their growing period is over, they begin promptly their preparation for the winter. The long, slow growing climate of the South does not seem to give the quick growing tree of the North an opportunity for its greatest growth at the important period. There appears to be too much difference between the growing habits of the southern and the northern pecans for either to be suitable stock upon which to grow the other.
Two choice trees of Moneymaker and one of Stuart, all well grown and giving every promise of success, were selected out of a large number of these varieties budded on northern stocks, and were transplanted in orchard two years ago for experiment. The Moneymaker trees have made little growth and the Stuart tree practically none. All have an unhealthy appearance and are left standing only for further experiments.
The section of Virginia in which these experiments have been made affords very severe climatic tests. The temperature in winter sometimes goes below zero, the temperature in spring is variable, changing suddenly from warm to freezing. Pecan trees seem able to endure almost any degree of cold when they are in a thoroughly dormant condition. The winter-killing from which they often suffer in the South, as well as in the North, is due to the effect of sudden freezing temperatures following warm periods in winter or spring.
Only well grown, vigorous pecan trees should be planted in the North. It is a waste of time and money to plant indifferent pecan trees in any locality, and especially in a locality where they have to contend with severe climatic conditions. The size of the tree is less important than its root system and vigor. The purchasers of trees grown on thin, sandy soil, with the root systems consisting almost entirely of straight tap roots, destitute of laterals, need not expect success. Most of these trees will die early, and many of those that live will linger on for several seasons without making much growth, tiring out the patience of the planter.
The work of transplanting should be very carefully done and the trees given proper care and culture.
It has been found that it costs more to grow pecan nursery trees in the North than in the South, but it is believed that planters in the North will find that these trees have a value which will far offset their additional cost.
Some of the methods of propagation and care are slightly different in the North from those that usually obtain in the South. But it is not practicable to go into the details connected with this work. The facts that have been mentioned are those that are believed to be of most importance for consideration by persons planting pecan trees in the North. Those who have gone thus far with the work upon which the conclusions are based are continuing as earnestly as they began.
The outlook for the success of the pecan industry in northern territory is exceedingly promising where hardy, early-maturing varieties are properly grown in nursery on hardy stocks under climatic conditions that will best fit them for the locality in which they are to be planted.
President Morris: We can give some time to the discussion of Mr. Roper's paper. I want to ask if some of the hardy kinds which will stand the winters well may not carry their ripening season so late that they do not properly mature! Isn't this a line of observation we have got to follow out in adapting pecans to northern fields? Who has had experience?
Mr. Littlepage: That is a very important point, and it is one of the things that everyone is going to discover who is engaged in northern pecan planting on the extreme limits within the next few years. There isn't much danger of the pecan getting frost-bitten in the spring as some imagine, because the pecan tree seems to be a pretty good weather prophet. They don't get ready, as a rule, till most of the danger is past. A great majority of the Persian walnuts and pecans don't begin to pollenate till the tenth of May, and it is very rare that a tree doesn't ripen its nuts there. But once in a while we discover a tree that sets a bountiful crop annually and never matures a nut, because it gets frost bitten. It simply doesn't have the length of growing season.
Mr. Rush: I remember a pecan tree I received, and have had growing for the last six years in Pennsylvania. It was never affected with the cold, and made luxurious growth. But I haven't been so fortunate as to get it to bear, although it throws out catkins in the spring.
President Morris: The pecan tree is known to be hardy as far north as Boston. There are quite a good many near New York City, some of them fine, trees, but not bearing much, and for the most part small nuts.
Mr. Rush: Mr. Jones of Jeanerette, Louisiana, has been at my place, and he says that the growth of the pecan is just as luxuriant there as in Louisiana.
President Morris: The point we want to bring out is this, and I think we ought to emphasize it at this meeting—that pecans suitable for northern planting must include the idea of an early ripening season, earlier than the ripening season of southern pecans.
Mr. Rush: Sometimes there is a provision in nature for that. The tree will adapt itself to the climate, and give a smaller nut.
President Morris: What has been your experience, Mr. Roper?
Mr. Roper: We have only fruited Stuart at Petersburg. All the nuts have been well filled, but much smaller than the Stuart farther south.
Mr. Pomeroy: Mr. Littlepage made the remark yesterday that nature will attend to this largely for us. He spoke of the wood beginning to ripen the middle of August. With us in Niagara County, we expect that with all trees the wood will begin ripening about the first of August, preparing for the winter. Persian walnut doesn't come into blossom till about the last of May or the first of June.
President Morris: It is not mainly a matter of ripening wood, but of ripening nuts, in pecan growing in the North. A good many nuts will remain green, even though the tree will grow well; and we must have nurserymen draw our attention to this difference, when they are sending trees out to us for northern planting. That is a thing that may not be determined right now, but nurserymen must be able to report upon comparative ripening times of various kinds of pecans to be sent north.
We will have the report of the Committee on Nominations.
[The report was accepted and the nominees elected.]
President Morris: We have with us Professor Herrick, who will present his paper on the subject of the scolytus beetle. Professor Herrick has prepared his paper at our request since we came here.
THE SCOLYTUS BEETLE.
PROF. A. W. HERRICK, ITHACA, N. Y.
With a residence of a little over a decade in the South, I became more or less intimately connected with a good many of the nut growers of the section, especially the pecan growers. I found them there an intelligent body of men.
The President has asked me to talk just a little on the hickory bark borer. While in Mississippi, I first came into contact with the hickory bark borer by its work on the hickories on the lawn in front of my house and on the Campus. It began killing the trees. I had ten or a dozen trees on the lawn that were from six to eight inches through, and they had made a fine growth but they began suddenly to die. First, I noticed the leaves falling in the summer time, then later in the winter the branches began to die at the top. On investigation, I found that it was this little hickory bark borer. We carried out, as a result of that investigation, a few experiments, and extended them over the Campus, following the recommendations of Doctor Hopkins of the Department of Agriculture, Washington. The results were pretty gratifying. I was able to save those trees on the lawn, and during three or four years succeeding the time we got these experiments into practice, no more had died, and they had kept on making a good growth; and I believe the ravages of the beetle had been checked.
The little beetle belongs to a family called the Scolytidae—very small beetles that burrow through the bark of trees, and between the bark and the wood, partly in the bark and partly in the wood. These beetles are interesting in their life history. The female bores through the bark, and then she builds a channel partly in the wood and partly in the bark. She goes along and digs out little niches all along, and in each one of these, deposits a tiny white egg. That soon hatches into the small grub, and the grub begins to burrow out to get his food, and you will find these little burrows running out from the main burrow of the mother beetle. When these grubs reach their growth, each one of them comes out and bores a little shot-hole-like round hole through the bark, so that a tree that is pestered with it will finally have the bark full of these little round holes. You have probably seen a similar thing in peach, plum, and cherry trees.
The hickory bark borer is found all over the eastern United States, from Canada to the Gulf, and as far west as Nebraska. It attacks hickory trees and walnut trees, and as far as I can find, the authorities say probably the pecan. I never found it on the pecan in the South. If it does ever come to attack it in any numbers, it will be a serious pest from the nut grower's point of view.
In this state, it was first noticed by its work on hickory trees in the vicinity of New York City, and it is killing a good many of them. To show its dangerousness—on the estate of Mr. Wadsworth at Geneseo in 1900 and 1901 over an area of two hundred acres, it destroyed ninety to ninety-five per cent of the hickories. It really becomes a most injurious pest. These little fellows running under the bark cut off the cambium layer and girdle it, and kill the tree as effectually as if we were to take an axe and girdle it. A few can girdle it very quickly.
An infested tree in the summer shows some characteristic effects. The leaves begin to dry and wither, and finally drop. The adult beetles, when they come out in June and July, attack the petioles, leaves, and terminal buds for food, then go down to the larger branches and trunks, and burrow to lay their eggs. The younger top branches begin to die. If you look, you will very often find a little white sawdust in cracks in the bark. That is an indication that they are present. If you take off the bark, you will find such an appearance as I have shown you. Later, you will find these holes all over, showing the work of the beetle.
I will give the life history of the insect very briefly. The insects live over the winter under the bark, as grubs, and in the spring they change to the pupa form, and come out along in June and July. Some may be as late as August. Those beetles go to the branches and leaves, and soon begin laying their eggs. There is only one brood a season, in this locality at least. In a longer season, farther south, there might be more than one, although my experience in Mississippi was that there was only one brood.
A word regarding methods of control. You can readily see that there is no way of getting at the beetle with insecticides after they have gotten under the bark. Doctor Pelt mentions the value of spraying the trees in summer to kill adults when they are feeding on the petioles and probably the terminal buds and younger twigs. It is rather doubtful whether it would pay to spray hickory trees at that time, although the expense of spraying large trees is not so great as you might think. We have had experiences here, because it fell to my lot to spray all the elm trees on the Campus last year. I kept very careful account of this. We sprayed between five and six hundred trees. About one hundred are scattered over the hillsides west of the buildings, some a mile from the water supply. We did the work for about eighty-eight cents apiece, each tree having a thorough spray. The largest trees on each side of the street we gave two sprayings for a little less than forty cents apiece.
The real method of getting at this hickory bark borer is for everybody to cooperate and cut those trees out, or at least the affected parts of the tree, before the first of May. I know of no other effective method of getting them. Cut them out and burn them. Some say, peel off the bark and destroy that; but if you do that, you have got to cut off the smallest branches and burn those, and I am afraid you would not get all of the grubs. But it is better, if you can, to actually dispose of the whole tree in some way.
There were three trees on the lawn infested and dying. I cut those out in February, and that evidently stopped the ravages of the beetle. That was carried on over the whole Campus, and it must have stopped the injuries, because during the three or four years I was there after that, we had no dead hickories from that cause.
That is evidently the only method of getting at them. It has been wondered if we might not go to the Commissioner of Agriculture, and ask him to take this matter in hand and force people to cooperate, because it has become a rather serious problem. It is evident from a perusal of the law that he has power to do that, and perhaps if this Nut Growers' Association wishes to pass resolutions to bring before Commissioner Pearson, they might induce him to take some steps to control this hickory bark borer.
President Morris: If we have evidence that the hickory bark borer can destroy ninety per cent of the hickory trees on an estate so well cared for as the Wadsworth estate, it indicates a menace to the whole hickory forests of the North. In view of this fact, in view of the possibility of ninety per cent of our hickory trees being destroyed by this beetle, it seems to me that we should ask our Commissioner of Agriculture to take charge of the matter, as he has taken charge of the chestnut bark disease, requiring the cooperation of the people in disposing of a question which is so vital among the economic problems of our state. Is there any discussion on this paper?
Doctor Deming: I would like to read an extract from a letter addressed to me by H. W. Merkel, Forester of the Bronx Zoological Park:
"Under Chapter 798 of the laws of the state of New York, passed on July 26th, 1911, the Commissioner of Agriculture is authorized and charged with preventing the spread of just such pests as the Hickory bark-borer, and if this matter be called to his attention promptly and in the right way by such responsible and interested parties as the Northern Nut Growers' Association, there is, undoubtedly, still time to check the further spread of the pest. We have from now until June (the time when a new generation of beetles will emerge) to take whatever action is necessary, and I urge upon you to persuade the Nut Growers' Association to take the necessary steps. I would be glad to have a conference with you on this matter, and will be glad to help you in any way you wish."
I would suggest the appointment of a committee to draw up a strong set of resolutions to be sent to the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of New York and perhaps of other states, and to the Department of Agriculture. (Referred to Executive Committee for report.)
President Morris: We will have next in order the paper by Professor Lake on the Persian walnut in California.
THE PERSIAN WALNUT IN CALIFORNIA.
ABSTRACT OF A LECTURE BY PROFESSOR E. R. LAKE, WASHINGTON, D. C.
The Persian walnut industry of the United States is confined, practically, to four counties in Southern California, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange. The territory covered is, in a general way, fifty by one hundred and fifty miles in extent, though, of course, only a very small part of this area is planted, and that really the best land in the territory. This industry which yields practically two and one-half millions of dollars annually to the growers is about thirty-five years old, and at present involves the consideration of one variety, the Santa Barbara Softshell. While it is true that there are about seventy-five named varieties now grown in the country, the Santa Barbara constitutes the commercial crop and will for some time to come, though effort is being made to find a more desirable variety.
During the past ten years a troublesome pest in the form of a fungous disease which attacks the young twigs and young nuts has awakened an interest in other varieties and at present much work is being done with a view to finding one or more varieties that shall be fully resistant to this foe. At present the University of California, which is the directive factor in this investigation, is recommending the trial of half a dozen of the more promising varieties or forms that have been developed through selection, or chance, in the local orchards. As a result of the effect of this trouble, the crop output has increased very slightly during the past decade, though the area of planted trees has increased very much, hence it is very apparent that some other varieties must be found; for it has been quite conclusively proven that none of the means so effectively used against the fungous troubles that affect other orchard crops are of any avail in this case. When it is noted that there has been practically no advance in the improvement of varieties since the origin of the Franquette and Mayette about one hundred and fifty years ago, except the accidental appearance of the Santa Barbara which was produced presumably from a nut from Chili (!) in 1868 on the grounds of Joseph Sexton, Goleta, California, it is evident that our nuciculturists have been indifferent, especially as to the possibilities of extending the area of production.
Speaking more particularly of California walnut growing, it may be said: The best of soils are selected for this crop; the trees are being planted from forty to fifty feet apart; the best and most common advice is to plant budded or grafted trees, and so far as this advice has been followed the Placentia, an improved Santa Barbara, has been used, though in the newer districts where efforts are being made, with apparent success, to develop this industry, several other varieties are being used, such as the Wiltz, Franquette, Mayette, Eureka, Chase, Prolific, Meylan, Concord, Treyve and Parisienne. Thus far this work is experimental, and only time will determine the success and value of it.
The crop, as with all orchard crops on the Pacific Coast, is cultivated intensively, clean tillage being given, followed by cover crops and in some cases fertilizers accompanied with intercrops.
The trees require very little pruning, and though formerly the heads were started high, they are now formed low and the primary branches trained to ascend obliquely, thus facilitating tillage operations, and, in this respect, even improving upon the high head with spreading or even drooping main branches. While the more progressive planters favor trees one year from the bud, which have been put upon two year old stock, some still prefer two year old tops. Stocks are preferably California black, northern form. This is a large and vigorous tree, while the southern form is often or perhaps better, usually, a large shrub or small tree.
The remarkable behavior of the Vrooman orchard at Santa Rosa, in which there are sixty acres of grafted Franquettes, has been the chief means of stimulating the very extensive plantings that have been made during the past five or six years in the Pacific Northwest. This is the largest orchard of grafted nuts of a single type variety in the United States and is a most excellent example of what follows grafting. The nuts are exceedingly uniform, and large size. They are marketed in the natural color and are especially attractive, particularly when of a reddish-golden tinge.
The trees begin to bear at five or six years, though many instances are recorded where two year olds have borne a few nuts. Usually only a few pounds per year are produced prior to twelve years, after that the yield increases rapidly until at sixteen years the trees will average approximately fifty pounds or more per tree under favorable soil, tillage, and climatic conditions, providing the trees are of selected varieties of good bearing qualities.
One tree, known as the Payne tree, top worked on to a native black, has a record of yielding as much as seven hundred and twelve pounds in one season, though it is not fair to use these figures in estimating the yield per acre of seventeen trees.
While the walnut has received little attention in the Eastern United States, there are sufficient data at hand now to warrant the statement that several meritorious varieties may be successfully grown in favorable localities. These nuts, though not rated as high as the best imported nuts or the choice California product, would successfully compete with the foreign nuts which are now rated as replacement nuts by the dealers in California's best grade. It is not safe to endorse the view that any waste or abandoned land may be converted into successful walnut orchards, though such lands may in due time produce trees that will bear nuts. A first-class walnut orchard can only be produced upon first-class land, deep, fertile soil, a low water table, an open subsoil, with choice varieties, grafted upon the most suitable stock and then given first-class tree-care.
Professor Lake: I think a man now is making a tremendous mistake who thinks for a moment of advising the planting of seedling walnuts. We are bound to meet the problem of grafted fruit right away. The success in grafting in Washington this year has been such as to make us feel certain that we may safely advise budding yearling stocks and expecting a return of from seventy to ninety per cent of successful sets. Stocks giving best success in budding are California black. About two weeks after the budding is done, the tops are cut off two inches above, and allowed to bend over and protect the buds; and in the West, where they have intense sunlight, they have found it necessary to cover the buds with paper sacks. The budding which has given the largest success is hinge budding, a kind that I haven't seen discussed generally in the East. Instead of being a T at one end, it is a T at both ends. There is a horizontal cut across, another below, and a split between. The buds are taken preferably from the last year's wood. We attempt to take the wood away from the bud, with the exception of that little spongy part that runs up into the bud, and is the core.
Mr. Pomeroy: You speak of the hulling. Do they have to hull the Persian walnuts?
Professor Lake: In many instances, especially in dry seasons, or in those sections where water is not particularly abundant. Ordinarily, hulling is avoided by irrigating just preceding the time of falling. Frequently the growers of large acreages say that it is cheaper to run them all through the huller.
Mr. Littlepage: What would you prophesy about the average seedling Persian walnut tree as to success and quality of nut?
Professor Lake: I was led to think that all that was necessary to do was to plant the walnuts, because most of our authorities of twenty years ago said the walnut would come true to seed. I think out of several hundred trees planted throughout the state, and many we planted ourselves, not a seedling came true. I should think, normally, we should be very much dissatisfied in ten years from planting seedlings. As soon as anyone buds these with Franquette, Parisienne, Concord, Rush, Pomeroy, and others, I am satisfied he will not want to chance it with seedlings.
Mr. Littlepage: This dissatisfaction that may result from setting seedling walnuts, such as Rush, Nebo, Pomeroy, and others, would be just as great, perhaps, as the dissatisfaction resulting in the West, would it not?
Professor Lake: I can't see any reason, but that if there are present any of the native trees, they are bound to cross-fertilize. In California we have the Royal hybrid produced at over a mile and a half distance from any known American blacks. The Royal is a cross between the American black and the California black.
Mr. Littlepage: I don't suppose it would be reasonable to expect that there is a Persian walnut in the northern or eastern United States far enough from some native black to render it safe.
Professor Lake: I should hardly think so. Even if it is, I question whether a nut of real merit will come true to seed.
President Morris: Is it true that even from single type orchards the nuts, while coming fairly true to seed, would give trees widely different in bearing propensities?
Professor Lake: That is very true in this Vrooman orchard that has been developed to the very best possible advantage. There are trees that haven't borne a nut to make them worth while, others have been remarkably vigorous. From these, a few people, knowing of their real merits, are propagating select strains for their own use. They have fifteen or sixteen years' record. I question, if you take a hundred Franquettes from the Vrooman orchard miscellaneously, whether you would get more than ten per cent that would be really as good as the Vrooman.
President Morris: In California I went along the coast this summer from Los Angeles to Oregon and Washington, and looked over orchards. I find that in the West, as in the East, the tendency is for the Persian walnut to store up an undue amount of starch in the kernel. It is apt also to store up an undue proportion of tannin, and to be insipid. That means that in this country we must develop our own type of walnut, and it is quite the exception to find among any Persian walnuts growing on the Atlantic Coast or the Pacific Coast or in the middle of the country walnuts that are free from this tendency to astringency, to insipidity, and to toughness.
When I was on the Pacific Coast looking over specimens in one agricultural collection, a young woman who was showing the collection said, "And here is a lot of Franquettes, and Chabertes, and Mayettes, and Parisiennes that we imported; and do you know, we found our walnuts very much better than those?" I said to her, "Don't deceive yourself in this matter. This self-deception is a mistake. The thing to do is not to make that kind of a decision, but really to develop in our own country walnuts just as good as those, but not like them."
This was exemplified in a group of walnut raisers. One would say, "Here is a fine walnut that I raised." The other would say, "Yes, that looks pretty good, but you have got to hire a good talker to sell it." Another would say, "Isn't this a fine thin shelled nut?" And the same thing would be said. Now, the whole conversation of that meeting was to the effect that "you have got to have a good talker to sell it." Those people send their good talkers all over the country, and they do sell the walnuts; and it is going to kill the walnut market, unless this is stopped. Those points are ones upon which I would like to have an expression of opinion from Mr. Lake.
Professor Lake: I may say that the western knowledge of the walnut is based very largely upon the character of the Santa Barbara Softshell, and the people in the West are fully satisfied that the Pacific Coast walnuts are the best in the world. I am thoroughly of their belief, too. I agree thoroughly with the doctrine that we have got to improve our own varieties, and that is being done in the best way that we know at present,—by cross-fertilizing and growing the seedlings. A number have been developed the past few years. It is very true that the general public's taste, however, is not up yet to the connoisseur's in this matter, and I am satisfied that the ordinary grade of walnut is going to meet the public demand for a long time yet. The Santa Barbara Softshell will sell to the American public for good profitable prices for some time, and in the meantime, the men who are really wideawake and have a knowledge of the situation are going to endeavor to improve the home strains. I can't see that we can hope for very much from France, for during the last two years the real Mayette of France has been imported, because we have trees bearing in Santa Clara Valley a Mayette as near like the Mayette of Europe as it is possible to make them. The French have not been particularly anxious for us to get their best strains.
President Morris: In this connection, let me say I have seen Mayette, Chaberte, Parisienne,—the best European walnuts—growing in this country, and in this country they do precisely like the best European grapes,—that is, they give us a different product. Imported grafted stock will take from our soil those elements which make an astringent, tough, insipid nut. We have got to recognize it. Don't let us fail to go on record as calling attention to that fact. That means if we import the very best European kinds and plant these, we are going to have the same records as with grapes.
Professor Lake: This matter of quality is of considerable moment to the growers out there. Last year I took occasion to write five of the leading dealers in New York, like Parke and Tilford. They said in their letters of reply, "We consider the quality as varying from season to season. Some seasons we get the California product better than the European product; other seasons it is just the other way." It leads me to think seasonal variation has a great deal to do with the walnut, possibly. In some cases even the large dealers are not yet agreed that the American product is not yet good enough for the American market.
President Morris: Shall we say that nuts for the connoisseur should not be bleached?
Professor Lake: Modern bleaching consists in running the nuts through a current of salt. It is applied in such a way that it does not do any injury whatever to the flavor or the kernel, unless possibly salting the kernel in cracked nuts would be considered injurious. The bleaching is beautiful. They are not over bleached. They use six pounds of salt to a thousand gallons of water, and run a current of ninety-five volts. It is sprayed on to the nuts as they pass through a revolving cylinder, the spray coming on in a fine mist. As they pass over the cylinder, they are graded and ventilated, and put into sacks. That is after they have been dried. They are ready in about twenty-two hours to be sacked and delivered. The old method of processing in soda and lime and sulphur certainly did injure them.
Mr. Pomeroy: I am just a short distance from Niagara Falls and Buffalo. When any of you are in that section, I would like to have you come and see my trees. There are the seven year old trees my father started, and the orchard is of five or six acres. Some of the seedlings are in bearing now. I have a good many black walnuts in nursery rows, and I am going to begin grafting and budding. One thing I came for was to get information in regard to budding and grafting. In regard to the caring for the trees, it is a great pleasure to watch a tree grow and get it in shape.
Professor Craig: It seems to me that out of the very interesting discussion we have had on this question of the Persian walnut, and out of the discussion which has arisen from the papers of Mr. Littlepage and others on native nuts, we have obtained some very general principles which should be emphasized at this time. The one large principle that I want to call attention to is the principle which says that, in order to develop fruits—and we will include nuts in that general group—which shall be useful to the American public, we shall have to develop them under American soil and atmospheric conditions. In other words, the importation per se of European stock of whatever kind is altogether likely to meet with failure. This is the history of American fruit growing from the beginning. The very first beginning of fruit culture in this country was the importation of European fruits, and these uniformly failed. Success came when American colonists began to grow American seedlings. The fact that these have prevailed is shown by the percentage of American fruits the large orchardist produces at the present time. Today nearly ninety-nine per cent of our apples are of American origin. The condition of today means success; the condition of a hundred years ago meant failure.
In this Persian walnut business, I think success is going to come to us through such work as Mr. Pomeroy and other interested amateurs are doing throughout the country, in selecting a good type of seedling here and there and growing seedlings from it. This homely old method of producing new types through seedling selection is, I think, going to do a great deal to ameliorate conditions the country over. I simply wanted to impress that idea, that if we nut growers are going to do something to help the nut interests of the country, we can do it by planting nuts and selecting nuts from the best types, again taking the best nuts from the best types and planting them; thus by keeping on selecting, we shall win success in the future.
IS THERE A FUTURE FOR JUGLANS REGIA AND HICORIA PECAN IN NEW YORK AND NEW ENGLAND?
JOHN CRAIG, ITHACA, N. Y.
[Read by title.]
It is common knowledge that there have been frequent instances of the successful fruitage of Persian walnuts throughout the entire Northeast. The evidence is forthcoming in attractive samples of nuts. Specimens have been received during the past two years from New England, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the lake region of New York, as well as the Hudson River section. So far as I am aware, however, Hicoria pecan has not fruited to any extent further north and east than southern Indiana.
Is it not remarkable that so little effort has been made to extend the natural range of this superb native nut northward?
The fruiting habits of Juglans regia may be regarded as fickle, depending in some cases upon pollination, in others upon climatic conditions at the blooming time. One of its defects is its decided proterandrous habit, which seriously affects pollination and fruit setting. In general, the Persian walnut is capable of cultivation in all safe peach growing sections. Yet in the Gulf States the complaint is made that it is too readily susceptible to stimulating influences of warm weather in the spring. Again, the roots in that section are affected by fungi and insects. Notwithstanding these charges, there should be a future in the North, as well as in the South, for this fine nut. It is hardly to be expected that success is to be attained in all sections of the country by using exclusively the material, by this I mean the strains and races, we have at the present time. For instance, in the South the root trouble is peculiar to that section, and it is probable that the root difficulties spoken of may be overcome by using native stocks in grafting and budding. The blooming habits, however, can only be modified by the relatively slow process of breeding.
In the North, nature has already provided us with foundation material for the improvement of Juglans regia. We have many promising varieties that have appeared more or less fortuitously here and there over the country. It is conceded that all of these do not possess the full range of desirable qualities, but they are sufficiently attractive certainly to challenge the best efforts of the plant breeder. We are encouraged too by such experiences as has come to us in the crossing of regia with allied species. A number of crosses of regia and nigra are recorded from the Pacific Coast. Burbank, Payne, and others have made notable progress in this line. It is a question, however, whether this line offers as certain reward as breeding in narrower lines, using the best individuals of Juglans regia which have come to us more or less by chance. The latter appears to me as the best field to operate.
Among the requirements in the Northeast, it may be said that we need hardiness of tree, coupled with a determinate habit of blooming, more than any other characteristics. Of course it goes without saying that we need thin shells, well filled with palatable meat. The work of Messrs. Pomeroy of Lockport, N. Y., J. G. Rush of West Willow, Pa., and other individuals in the Northeast is worthy of all encouragement. Wherever Persian walnuts are producing good nuts here in the Northeast, the best specimens of the best individual trees should be planted in the strong hope of improving the strain. There should be a first rate promise of success in this field, for many of our walnuts are fruiting as individual trees, standing alone and isolated, and therefore, are probably self-fertilized, a circumstance which may assist in shortening the process of improvement by breeding.
Hicoria Pecan. This is undoubtedly the best of all the native nuts, and the most worth while improving. The great popularity which this form of hickory enjoys in the South is undoubtedly due in considerable measure to the fact that it is adapted to a considerable range of territory. This adaptation is the natural acquirement of many years' evolution.
At this time of the year, one sees in fruiterers' shops in New York and other cities appetizing looking baskets, containing cracked shagbarks and pecans. These nuts are enjoying a large share of popularity at the hands of the consumers. As these two forms are exhibited together, the observer may note the essential good qualities of each, and he may make a mental picture of the possibilities of a union which would eliminate the undesirable features and combine the desirable. The lack of hardiness of the pecan would be strengthened by the hardy northern form, while the breeder would aim to retain the excellent flavors of each, the good qualities of meat, but enclosed by a covering of paper shell texture. We want the hardiness and adaptability of the shellbark, combined with the thin shell, the excellent cracking qualities, and the pleasant flavors of the pecan. Here is a truly attractive field. The fact that returns may be rather slow in maturing should not deter the plant breeder, for sometimes prizes come quickly. Of course the field is one which appeals more strongly to the institution of indefinite life tenure than to the individual whose years of activity are relatively brief.
What nature has done in the way of extending the range of the pecan northward has been clearly set forth in the excellent paper presented by Mr. Littlepage. This indigenous movement from the natural zone of the pecan towards the North and East has undoubtedly been infinitely slow. The important fact has been established, however, that not only has nature extended the natural range in the directions indicated, but Mr. Littlepage has shown that here and there a variety of exceptional merit has appeared, fortuitously and without assistance or guidance from man. These superior varieties are being placed under observation by interested nut enthusiasts like Messrs. Littlepage, Niblack, and McCoy, and others, who are not only studying the nut in its native haunts, but are experimenting with methods of propagation so that we may confidently look forward to a stable supply of these natural selections in the years near at hand.
Here, then, we have the material for founding new races of northern nuts by combining them with our best hardy hickories. Who will gainsay the prophecy that not far distant is the day when we may expect new hybrid strains of great economical importance arising from the union of our northern hickories with the most northerly forms of the pecan? Shall we designate these hybrids as "shellcans," "shagcans," or "hickcans," after the nomenclatural methods of present day plant breeders? The splendid work of our President in the interbreeding of northern types of nuts gives us strong hope to expect results of this nature.
In the matter of propagation we have learned certain essential fundamentals. First and most important is the firmly established fact that southern, pecan stocks are unsafe and generally unreliable in the region of the northern hickory. We must grow our own stocks from northern nuts. We must propagate by using home grown material exclusively, and as to methods of propagation, it is probable that we can follow in general the practice of the southern nurseryman, but unquestionably modifications in procedure will arise out of the sum of our experience which will tend each year to bring a larger measure of success.
This Association will perform an invaluable service in collecting these various experiences, winnowing the sound from the unsound, and disseminating safe deductions and reliable principles to the rapidly increasing band of nut culturists throughout the region of its activities. Our second session has been an unqualified success. May this meeting be surpassed in respect to enthusiasm manifested, experience and knowledge disseminated, by each of the annual conferences to be held in the years to come.
President Morris: Discussion as to the next place of meeting is in order.
Mr. Rush: I would certainly be very glad to entertain the Northern Nut Growers' Association at Lancaster City, Pennsylvania, and will assure you in advance that I will give you the best hospitality that the country can afford. We have now associated with the walnut interests in Lancaster County Mr. Jones of Jeanerette, Louisiana, who has been through that section and is pleased with the work that is being done there. I think it may be policy for the Association to meet there. We can have our night session, and be absent several hours in the morning and look over some of the work. Mr. Jones contemplates topgrafting hickory trees at his new home, and we can have the opportunity of seeing with what success he meets.
The Association voted to accept Mr. Rush's invitation.
President Morris: We will hear the report of the Committee on Resolutions.
RESOLUTIONS PASSED BY THE NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION,
December 15, 1911.
(Read by Reed.)
Be It Resolved:
That the Northern Nut Growers' Association assembled does hereby express its sincere thanks to the President and Faculty of Cornell University for placing at its disposal the facilities for holding its convention at this time.
That special thanks be extended to Dean L. H. Bailey of the College of Agriculture for the invitation to meet at this place and to Prof. John Craig for his many courtesies shown the Association and its individual members.
That we hereby express our thanks to President Morris and Secretary Deming for their labor and untiring efforts to bring about a successful meeting.
That we also tender our thanks to President Morris for the liberal premiums offered for nut exhibits and to the many who have responded. That special attention be called to "The Morris Collection of the Edible Nuts of the World," maintained at this place by Dr. Robt. T. Morris, President of this Association. This collection is of the greatest possible educational value to those interested in the study of nuts and nut products.
That, in view of the distribution and rapid spread of the disease known as "Chestnut Blight," especially among the American species, we express our hearty approval of the efforts being made by the federal government, the several state departments and especially the action of the Pennsylvania State Legislature in appropriating the sum of $275,000.00 to aid in studying and combatting this dread disease, and