Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Sixth Annual Meeting. Rochester, New York, September 1 and 2, 1915
Author: Various
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Hazels do not come true to parent variety from seed, and consequently valuable stock is propagated by budding, by grafting or by layering.

Personally, I find that the hazel is rather easily budded, although layering is the method for propagation of choice varieties most often employed in Europe. The hazels have comparatively few insect enemies, but mine are sometimes attacked destructively by the elm beetle and by the larvae of two species of saw flies which are also found upon the elms. It is a rather curious fact that the insects should recognize a similarity between the leaves of the hazels and of the elms, which are somewhat alike in general appearance, although the trees are of widely different descent.

It brings up an interesting question, if the flying parents of the parasites from the elm are attracted by the appearance of the hazel leaves, or if they are attracted by the odor or other characteristics. Occasionally the exotic hazels are attacked by various leaf blights but not to any troublesome extent so far as my experience goes, up to the present time. The chief predatory elements which we shall have to meet when raising hazels are squirrels, white-footed mice and the neighbors' children.

W. C. REED: May I ask, Doctor, what you bud the Byzantine on?

DR. MORRIS: I am budding other things on those for stocks. I bud our American hazels and European hazels on the European and Asiatic trees.

MR. RUSH: Do you know anything of the quality of that nut?

DR. MORRIS: It is the chief hazel in parts of northern Turkey, and of excellent quality. Hazels form a source of income for some localities like the wheat or corn in other parts of the world, or the olive, as Dr. Smith told us last night.

MR. HOLDEN: Do they get these trees from seedlings?

DR. MORRIS: Yes, so far as I know. The nuts are called Constantinople nuts.

A MEMBER: What kind is it that blooms in the fall?

DR. MORRIS: I don't know any but the witch hazel which blooms in the fall; has a small yellow flower, but is not a true hazel. Catkins form upon all hazels in the fall, but these do not really blossom until springtime.

A MEMBER: I would like to ask if the Byzantine hazel is attacked by blight as are the others?

DR. MORRIS: No; none of my trees have been attacked by blight at all as yet.

W. C. REED: What method of budding do you find most successful?

DR. MORRIS: I have usually used the ring budding. It is not very difficult.

PROFESSOR HEDRICK: Are there any East Asia hazels that thrive in this country?

DR. MORRIS: There are specimens in the park here at Rochester that you will see this afternoon.

PROFESSOR HEDRICK: Our experience with Asiatic hazels is very satisfactory.

MR. MCGLENNON: A friend of mine here has some specimens that he would like to present.

DR. SMITH: We will ask Mr. Vollertsen to describe the specimens himself.

MR. VOLLERTSEN: They are from a private place of G. H. Perkins on East Avenue. They have never failed a year since 1886. Unfortunately we have no name for them, except that this one was always called John Jones. It has certainly proved a good strong hardy variety.

Then we have another one, a long one, which has never been named, and I am not able to say exactly what it is. Last year they were exceptionally well filled. This year there are not quite so many on them, although a goodly number. They have never failed a single year.

I have one little variety which was given me by Dr. Mann, on Alexander Street. The limbs are practically hanging down with the nuts. They are ready for market now, falling out.

I have here some purple hazels which have always borne fruit and no other hazel in the vicinity is as good. It has sometimes two crops in a year. These are really beautiful specimens. This little early variety should be passed round and have special attention. I have given this variety no name, but for over thirty-five years it has borne good fruit every year.

DR. MORRIS: If you are in doubt as to the name of a variety, I think Mr. Laney will find a way for getting you the name for almost every variety that is found in the markets.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. McGlennon asks that the gentleman advise us how he has propagated them. We went through Mr. McGlennon's beautiful orchard yesterday.

MR. VOLLERTSEN: We have been using an ordinary way of budding. An ordinary seedling can be used to good advantage for grafting. I have found in grafting in winter they do not seem to grow as well. In our fall layering we naturally get a larger plant.

THE PRESIDENT: Do we understand that these hazels that have borne for twenty-five years are European hazels?

MR. VOLLERTSEN: Yes; European hazels. I have had them under my care since 1886, and never noticed any blight.

A MEMBER: Can't you explain to us, with one of your specimens, your method of spring layering?

MR. VOLLERTSEN: In layering them, we practically don't cover them at all for the time being. They are merely pinned down.

DR. MORRIS: Do you cut the bark?

MR. VOLLERTSEN: Not on them. After they have grown some we cover them up. We find this a very successful way. We get younger and smaller plants in the fall lay.

THE PRESIDENT: I should like to ask Dr. Morris a question. In this native hazel, does it keep on spreading under ground?

DR. MORRIS: One single plant, planted in a pasture lot and not interfered with will in a few years occupy practically that whole pasture lot. In my part of the country this is true; how is it with you, Dr. Deming?

A MEMBER: Going back to the blight, will this tackle any size limb?

DR. MORRIS: It usually does not come until your hopes are at top notch, and then it drops in on you. It does not attack the smaller twigs at first, but may finally extend to them.

A MEMBER: Are any of your hybrids a success?

DR. MORRIS: There are none in bearing as yet. Byzantines are little, if any, larger than American hazel nuts, excepting from selected trees. Pontines are much larger. Both plants make a remarkably vigorous growth.

THE PRESIDENT: Do I understand that this Merribrooke hazel, put in the middle of an acre will fill the acre?

DR. MORRIS: I believe this is true. I don't think it is an exaggeration. The wild hazel is a nuisance in Connecticut.

THE SECRETARY: I know they will cover a very large space, but I cannot tell how they get there.

THE PRESIDENT: The point I am trying to get after is this, not the exact extent of spread but the method of propagation. Can we get a sprout from a good tree, and then have it go on sprouting indefinitely?

DR. MORRIS: Yes, that is true.

A MEMBER: In your experience are fungicides useful in handling the blight?

DR. MORRIS: I have not used them. I have talked with nurserymen who did, and they say the blight got the best of them just the same. They left the matter with employees, who did not give proper attention. This was perhaps because they did not know that a small jack-knife was better than a spraying outfit for the purpose.

A MEMBER: Once on, will it stay?

DR. MORRIS: Yes, until the blight area has circled the limb.

A MEMBER: What is the difference between the cobs and the filberts?

DR. MORRIS: The cob nut is generally a round nut. The filberts are longer nuts. "Filbert" is a corruption of "full beard," and refers to the involucre extending beyond the nut.

DR. SMITH: We may now proceed to the next number on the program, if the hunger for hazel knowledge abates. Members of this association have topworked pecans, hickories, etc. I followed the instructions of members of this association in my work and have had some success. Some workers report splendid success mixed with very great failures, so we may be encouraged to the very top notch, and the next spring we come back feeling very different. Last fall I was as large almost as a beer barrel with the gratification that followed the setting of 100 English walnut buds. I have adopted the motto "Blessed is he that rejoices early, or he may not rejoice at all." In March there were about ten or twelve alive. In June about nine were alive, and now these also have failed to grow. Last year I knew just how to bud walnuts. This last Fourth of July I was very humble.

For some reason or other we have not all the facts. We can propagate splendidly one year, and the next year we have a fall-down. Mr. Roper, of one of the pioneer nurseries, said he had 2,000 fine live walnut buds last fall, and had but 500 this spring, and not one of them grew. While the technique seems to be simple, there seems to be something lacking in our experience. I will ask Mr. Littlepage to give us his confessions first.

MR. LITTLEPAGE: The proposition of topworking is one of the schemes where art beats nature. In the fight in Congress over the oleomargarine bill some years ago, one member who favored it, said in support of his contention, that nature always beat art; and one of his opponents immediately referred him to a picture gallery near, where pictures of the statesmen were exhibited, as a proof that art sometimes beats nature. In top working, art improves upon nature.

The first thing to be considered is what is topworking, and then the logical question, why topworking. Possibly this should come first. If an individual is dissatisfied with his friends and neighbors, he must put up with them; he cannot change them. But if he is dissatisfied with a nut tree, it is his own fault if he does not change it. It can be top worked. He does not care to top work maples or oaks. We only top work to get something better than we have. The trees, of course, that interest us specially in top working are the nut trees. We have seedling pecans, seedling walnuts, seedling hickories, and seedling chestnuts. Down at the mouth of Green River in Kentucky are nearly two hundred acres of wild pecan trees. So far as we know there are only two trees in that orchard worthy of propagation. Of thousands of trees there we have propagated only two varieties. These trees are now too large to top work, but had it been possible 150 years ago to go in there and select the desirable nuts, and topwork all the other trees with these, there could have been a great orchard there now of the highest quality nuts.

Topworking consists in cutting off the top of some undesirable seedling and replacing it with scions or buds from some desirable variety. It is just the same as any other grafting or budding process. Almost any size tree can be topworked but, of course, the larger the tree the more difficult the operation. A young tree, from two to five inches in diameter, can be sawed off four or five feet above the ground and topworked by grafting from two to four scions on it, by the slip bark process. If the tree is larger than five inches in diameter, it is better to go up to the first branches, saw off part of them and proceed just as if each branch were itself a small tree. If the tree is a large tree, with a number of branches or prongs, it is best to work part of them one year and leave the remaining branches to maintain the root system. It would probably kill a large tree to cut the whole top off at one time. I have seen trees, two feet in diameter, successfully topworked. It sometimes happens that the scions placed in the tree, in the spring, for some reason or other, do not grow. The tree then sends up nice green shoots that later in the season can be budded into just as if they were small seedlings. The wild black walnut trees, growing around the fields and hills, can all be very easily topworked to the English walnut by the slip bark method. The scions must be dormant and the tree starting into active growth.

The wild hickory, wild pecan and wild black walnut trees, offer the best field for profitable work along this line. We have topworked a great many hickories to pecan, but we do not expect permanent satisfactory results. The experience of the pecan on the hickory is not very satisfactory. The hickory is a dense, hard wood, that has a short growing season, and matures its nuts early; the pecan is of the coarser, faster growing wood, whose nuts grow until late in the fall. This inconsistency of the growing habits of the two trees prevents the pecan top on the hickory from producing normal crops of nuts. The pecan topworked to the pecan, however, is a perfect success and there is no reason why the wild hickories of all descriptions cannot be successfully and profitably topworked to the better varieties of the good shagbark hickories. I believe that there are great opportunities in the state of New York for successful nut culture by utilizing the wild black walnut trees and the hickories. I have seen hundreds of English walnut trees growing around Rochester, some of them bearing perfectly wonderful crops of walnuts. I am surprised that the people in this section have not availed themselves more of the opportunities along this line. If the farmers in this section would take up nut growing as a side proposition and set five or ten acres of nut trees on each farm, they would soon find that these nut trees would be producing them more than all the balance of their farms. We hear a great deal today about the back to the farm movement, but my opinion is that for everyone who is going to the farm, ten are leaving it, and the reason for this is that the heavy operating expense of the annual crops, such as corn, wheat and potatoes, etc., lay such a heavy toll on the farmer that farming is not profitable. The requirements of time, labor and money in producing these crops are so great that it discourages many farmers. I have made the statement to some of the farmers in my part of the country that they must produce alfalfa or go broke. I believe that alfalfa and tree crops will be two of the greatest factors in the rehabilitation of the farm, especially the nut trees, for the reason that nut trees do not require the same high degree of care, spraying, pruning, as do apple and peach trees, nor are the products as perishable. A crop of nuts can be harvested and stacked up in barrels, and boxes, in the smoke house, the barn or in a flat car and go to the market tomorrow, next week or next month.

Recurring to the advantage of topworking, however, it meets the objection that is often raised by those who say they have not time to wait for the nut trees to grow. Of course, this is a perfectly foolish statement; they are going to wait anyhow; it is simply a question as to whether they wait for something or nothing, and trees grow into maturity in a surprisingly short time. A few years ago, when I was setting out an orchard of nut trees, a neighbor of mine came over and looked very doubtfully with a trace of pity in his expression and said, "When do you expect all those trees that you are setting to bear?" I replied, "I am not sure, but I do know that they will bear a long time before those trees that you are not setting." Topworking, however, gives quick results and enables one to take advantage of the long-established thrifty root systems of the wild black walnuts, hickories and pecans growing in economic spots, around the fences, corners, creeks and hillsides.

* * * * *

MR. JONES: In all our grafting we cut the cleft; we don't split it. The slip bark method is better in some cases.

MR. PRESIDENT: What is the size limit for the slip bark method?

MR. JONES: Anything less than two inches we would cut.

THE PRESIDENT: Will Mr. Jones tell us about budding with cold storage wood?

MR. JONES: The cold storage buds would take better, but you would have more loss in their failing to grow. In other words, a much larger percentage of buds set with the current season's growth, will grow in the following spring. I would not recommend either method alone. By grafting in the spring and then budding, first with cold storage and later with the season buds, you would have three chances.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you budded any cold storage wood before this year?

MR. JONES: We have done more or less of it for six or eight years, and it has been successful. Anyone with very little experience can use cold storage buds.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. W. C. Reed, have you any additions that we ought to know?

MR. W. C. REED: Mr. Jones' method and views in regard to cold storage buds agree with mine exactly. Last year I put in on July 30th quite a number of English walnut buds that were held in cold storage. In the fall we seemed to have almost perfect stands from these buds, but they are still lying dormant. Buds of the season's growth put in about three or four weeks later gave better results, although our success last year was very poor. We seemed to have a fair stand on quite a number of varieties, but this spring they refused to grow. I lay much of this trouble to the extreme cold we had in November. This killed many peach trees that were from six to eight years old, and I think it injured many of the walnut buds. I found the buds that started best were those nearest the ground, where they were protected by a little grass.

In regard to the topworking of the English walnut, several of you have seen my trees, the three trees along the highway in a ditch where they catch the wash where they have made 91/2 feet growth. I am sorry to report that two of these trees are entirely gone, killed by the cold spell, and the other is about half alive, but I was not in the least discouraged by that loss. In September the rains commenced, following the extreme drouth and started a second growth, and the freeze caught them November 22d as full of sap then as they were in September, when you were there.

Other trees that I had topworked had made a moderate growth, and were not injured in the least. They made a good growth this season, and should be quite fruitful next year.

The Pomeroy trees in the bluegrass pasture had made only a moderate growth, and went through the winter in good shape.

I had three trees of the Rush, probably twenty-five feet high. They were injured a little, some of the growth killing back a third of the way, and one or two buds were killed entirely.

In regard to topworking pecans, I have not done much of this, but our success has been very good with what we have tried. I find them much easier to work, as far as the bud starting in the spring is concerned. Some varieties, however, do not start readily. With the Major, Green River, and one or two other varieties, we can use wood five, six and eight years old, and have it come out all right. I find, however, that the current season's growth, cut from two-year-old trees, well developed, will give you at least double the growth in the nursery the first year that older or dormant wood will.

THE PRESIDENT: Some apple experience of mine is a close match to the killing that Mr. Reed just reported. The season of 1912 was a very dry one. All September it rained frequently and heavily. The trees waked up and grew with such speed that many of them made a sappy growth where they had been manured, and a very cold spell early in the winter killed 100 of them. Others across the road were uninjured.

MR. W. C. REED: In regard to grafting in the nursery, this spring my experience has been somewhat varied. In grafting we started about April 10th; the first grafting was almost an utter failure. On May 1st it improved. On May 9th we set 900 and have 75 per cent growing today, some higher than my head. Set with wood some of which would run three-fourths inches in diameter.

LADY DELEGATE: My sister has on her place 200 or 300 black walnut seedlings. What would you advise her to do with these? They are in all ages and stages of growth, from one to ten years.

MR. LITTLEPAGE: That is a very broad question to answer. I should topwork them to the Persian walnut. I should topwork all of them on the chance that future developments would leave them the proper distance apart. The walnut transplants very easily, except that the larger the tree, the more danger of loss. Trees of that size ought to be worked very nicely.

Assume that this is your tree, and that you have sawed off the top. Here is your scion from your desirable tree. It is to be cut on one side only, and there is considerable art in making that cut true. Then with the knife split down the bark on the stock a little way and shove the scion down between the wood and bark, the cut side next to the wood of the stock (demonstrating), and cover with waxed cloth. Then apply grafting wax to the cut surface, and cover all with a paper bag for two or three weeks. There should not be more than two buds on a scion. Don't leave too many. One bud is better than three, but you may leave two buds. This scion must be kept entirely dormant until used. Any time after the bark will slip readily is the proper time to graft, and you will then get a high percentage of success. Keep your sap circulating to the top by putting two or three scions around the top of the stock. This method of grafting is a very simple operation when you know a few little fundamental facts about it. The kind of wax or cloth is not particularly important. Mr. Reed and Mr. Jones and Mr. Rush have had much experience in this work.

MR. PARISH: In doing this, shall we put in a little air hole?

MR. LITTLEPAGE: No. In from ten days to two weeks tear a little hole in the paper bag. Next time be careful, for it may be full of wasps. The purpose of that paper sack is to keep the water off the buds. This is essential.

MR. PHILLIPS: I had about 300 trees planted in 1911, black walnuts. In 1913 I budded them according to the Oregon method. I failed to make any of these grow. In 1913 I cleft grafted and a great many of these started, but they all failed to live. I wonder wherein I failed.

MR. LITTLEPAGE: No one can tell why a particular scion does not live. I had scions from a very fine hickory and I put them in cold storage. The wood was in perfect condition. I grafted perhaps 100 of these scions as I have described. I have four trees growing out of the 100 grafted. In handling the wood I got fungus on it probably. That may be one reason why it failed. There may be other reasons. If the scions were not dormant that might explain it.

MR. W. C. REED: I think it is very important that walnut grafting wood should be cut before severe weather in the winter, though I don't think it ever grows cold enough to hurt pecan wood. You need not worry about pecan wood, but in the case of the walnut it should be cut before extreme cold weather and put in cold storage. I cut some last year after the extreme cold snap in December and we threw it practically all away this spring. It is useless. You are throwing away your time to use it.

MR. JONES: I don't think we had any wood that was not injured during the cold winter of 1911-12. Out of about 2,600 grafts set we had two grow.

QUESTION: What do you mean by cold storage?

MR. W. C. REED: I have been storing all of our wood in ordinary apple cold storage plants. Pack it in damp moss or excelsior. Paper line your boxes well, and nail them up, and leave them there until you are ready to use them. I have put wood in in November and taken it out in good shape in August. Pecan wood can be held the year round.

THE PRESIDENT: What can you tell us, Mr. White, that has not yet been covered?

MR. PAUL WHITE: About all I would care to say about topworking would be to ask a question. They claim that the pecan topworked on the hickory, only bears for a few years, and then stops. What would be the result in the case of the English and black walnuts? Might there not be some danger there?

THE PRESIDENT: I have made considerable investigation of this. I have found several English walnuts topworked on black walnuts, one done eighty years ago down in Maryland. The tree is reported to have borne twenty-five bushels of nuts. I think there is good explanation for the pecan-hickory trouble. A hickory grows for a short time in early summer and does not grow much, but a pecan grows twice as much. Therefore the hickory roots cannot feed the pecan top enough to make both vegetation and fruit. We are, in this city, in a very unusual place. Not only is it the center of a great wealth of seedling Persian walnut trees, but we have in the parks a great tree collection under Superintendent Laney. This is a very fine and notable collection, including American and foreign trees, some of which we will see this afternoon.

Adjournment at 12:12 P.M.

Photographs of the convention were then taken on the steps of the City Hall.


Convened at 8:20 P.M., Dr. Smith presiding.

Attendance about twenty.

A Nominating Committee was appointed, consisting of Messrs. Littlepage, C. A. Reed, J. F. Jones, Webber, and Teter.

At this point was given the address by C. A. Reed.



Ever since the colonists first established themselves in the Western Hemisphere, nut trees have been planted up and down the Atlantic Coast. One of the species oftenest included in such planting was a walnut, a native to Persia which, with Romanism, had spread across Europe and the channel into England. In the Old World it had variously been known as Jove's nut, under the supposition that it had once been the food of the gods; Royal nut, meaning King nut; and by other common names which would be interesting to discuss but which are not pertinent in this connection. In England it had been known merely as the "walnut," but in the New World, in order to distinguish it from the walnut found here, it was called the "English" walnut. In the trade today it is commonly known by the Old World name, other walnuts being distinguished from it by prefixing their common names, as Eastern, California, Mexican or Japanese black walnut, etc. However, being a native of Persia, it was long ago decided that the correct name of this nut should be "Persian" walnut, and not "English" walnut. As such it has now been referred to in scientific publications for well towards a quarter of a century.

Subsequent to this rather limited and scattered planting on the Atlantic Coast, by perhaps three hundred years, the Persian walnut put in its appearance on the Pacific Coast. According to Bulletin No. 231 by the University of California, it is probable that occasional trees were planted in that state long before the discovery of gold in 1848. Following that date, planting became much more general, but usually with hardshell strains and always with seedling trees. From these early trees the crops were never of great importance. In 1867 Mr. Joseph Sexton of Santa Barbara, planted a sack of walnuts bought in the markets of San Francisco, which he had reason to believe had been grown in Chili. Of the resulting trees some were very good, others mediocre, and some worthless. Later on, nuts from the best of these trees were planted, and second generation seedlings produced. In this way the famous Santa Barbara Papershell type of walnut was evolved. With it developed an industry which among the tree products of southern California is now second only to that of the orange. In 1910, the census takers found that in the year preceding, the crop of walnuts of southern California, which, by the way, came almost entirely from four counties, was valued at more than that of the total crop of all other nuts grown in the United States put together.

Four years after Mr. Sexton of southern California had planted this sack of walnuts from San Francisco, Mr. Felix Gillet of Nevada City, in northern California, began the introduction of French walnuts both by seed and scions. Out of his efforts and those of others who subsequently joined him, developed the walnut industry of northern California, which now bids fair some day to equal that of the lower part of the state. The famous French varieties of Franquette and Mayette were introduced by Mr. Gillet, and from seedlings of his growing evolved the Concord, the San Jose, and no doubt the Chase varieties.[1]

A nut which probably has received equally as much, if not more, attention at the hands of experimental planters in this part of the country is the chestnut. Just when the introduction of foreign strains began, history seems to have failed to make clear; but according to Powell[2] general dissemination in the Delaware section began with introductions by Eleuthers Irenee du Pont de Nemours, made at about 1803. It is said that some of the original trees planted at that time near the present site of the du Pont Powder mills by Mr. du Pont, still survived when Mr. Powell recorded their history in 1898.

The spread of both European and Japanese chestnuts and their general trial throughout the Eastern States has been narrated at former meetings of this association. The chestnut blight, discovered on Long Island in 1904, after it had apparently gained several years' headway, and which now seems fairly certain to have been introduced from Japan, has so monopolized the attention of orchardists, foresters, landscape gardeners and others interested in the chestnut that for the time being little is being done with it, other than to study and discuss this disease. What the final outcome will be no one can predict, but it is not improbable that our pathologists will discover some practical means of control, or that a natural enemy to the blight will appear. Nor is it unlikely that immune strains of chestnuts, either native or foreign, will replace our present groves and orchards, in case other efforts fail.

Another nut which has received a large degree of attention at the hands of the planters and upon which hopes have been built from time to time is the hazel, or filbert. Here again, history seems to have failed us, for as yet the writer has been able to learn but little regarding the early introductions into this country. In his Nut Culturist, published in 1896, Mr. Fuller (A. S.) reasoned that at that time plants of the European hazels must have been grown in the gardens of this country for at least a hundred years. Writers on pomology make little reference to this nut, but according to Mr. Fuller, nurserymen's catalogs listed hazel varieties all through the early part of the last century. It was believed that the hazel promised much for the gardener and the general planter who wished for early returns. The species seemed capable of readily adapting itself to cultivation, and being a shrub rather than a tree, it required little space. It could be cultivated along with other garden products at little additional expense for labor. Being an early bearer it doubtless appealed strongly to the normal American demand for quick returns.

Nevertheless, this nut met with its mortal foe in the way of a native fungus which in a great many sections has proved entirely too much for the European species. Where once this species was well represented up and down the Atlantic Coast, few of its representatives are now to be found.

Some early attention in these Eastern States has been paid to the almond, another foreign species. It is supposed that this nut is a native of the Mediterranean basin. Just when it was first tried on the Atlantic Coast is not known, but of the nuts thus far mentioned it has proved to be the least promising for the Eastern section. Sometimes said to be "as hardy as the peach," it has been found to be the most exacting in its requirements of soil and climate of any important nut now grown in this country. Except with certain of the hardshell varieties, no almonds are now known to be in any sense successful east of the Rocky Mountains. According to Wickson (E. J.) in his California Fruits, the almond is known to have been introduced into California previous to 1853. At that time efforts to build up an almond industry on the Pacific Coast began to assume a somewhat serious air. After a half century of trials and more or less persistent effort by the California planters the culture of this nut has developed into the third most important nut industry in the United States. As for the time being, the growing of Persian walnuts centered in southern California, so did the growing of almonds in the Sacramento Valley of northern California.

During the whole of this period of early American nut growing history, little attention in any part of the country was paid to the native nuts. However, in the southeastern part of the United States there existed a large portion of the country to which no choice species of nut trees were either indigenous or had been introduced. Necessity, curious interest, and, more probably intelligent purpose, prompted sea captains, plying from West to East Gulf Coast ports, Easterners returning home from visits in the West, Westerners visiting in the East, and no doubt nomadic bands of Indians, to carry pecans from the Mississippi River and beyond, to the coast of Mississippi, to Alabama and the South Atlantic States, where they were planted as seed. For fully a century the species gradually spread over the plains sections of the eastern Gulf and South Atlantic States. In 1846, according to Taylor (William A.) in the Yearbook (Department of Agriculture) of 1904, a Louisiana slave succeeded in grafting a number of pecan trees. So far as can now be learned, really intelligent interest in pecan culture began with that date, although history records no further successful propagation of the species until about 1882 when William Nelson began to propagate this variety in his nursery near New Orleans. Soon afterwards, C. E. Pabst of Ocean Springs, Miss., and E. E. Risien of San Saba, Texas, joined in the pioneer work. The late Col. W. R. Stuart of Ocean Springs soon took part by giving publicity to the early varieties. Gradually, but steadily, choice varieties developed, were propagated and were disseminated. Orchard planting followed, but did not assume great importance until since about 1905. The orchards, therefore, were still too young at the time the last census was taken to have been in bearing to any extent. However, the crop of pecans from the native forests and from single trees left standing in the open space where the forests had been cleared is shown by the census reports to have been the second most valuable of American nut crops in 1909.

In quantity, the production of cultivated pecans is still slight in comparison with that of the wild product or with cultivated walnuts and almonds of the Pacific Coast. Just now, however, a great many of the orchards, planted this century, are beginning to bear and not improbably the production of cultivated pecans will soon eclipse that of the forest product, and before long will overhaul the lead now held by the Persian walnut.

Thus, briefly, has been the separate history of the principal nuts of this country. Collectively, the history of American nut culture has been as follows: Nuts from foreign countries which have been under cultivation for centuries have been more inviting than have the native and undeveloped species, and so have received the major portion of attention in America. Then too, human nature has shown itself in the greater interest taken by nut planters in foreign nuts instead of those near at hand. It is in sections remote from their place of origin that many of the leading nuts have attained their greatest degree of perfection. Thus, the average pecan of the Atlantic Coast is distinctly superior to that of the western Gulf; the Persian walnut scarcely known in Persia is best known in France and in southern California.

Progress has been slow and not concerted. Seedling trees have been planted under the firm conviction that they would come true, or because methods of propagation other than by seedage were not understood.

The Persian walnut orchards of California from which today the bulk of the production is being realized, are of seedling trees. However, the Californians have learned their lesson and today are replacing their orchards with budded stock as rapidly as possible. They have found that while the Persian walnut, which for centuries has been grown from seed, will reproduce itself fairly true to type, it does not repeat true to variety. Every tree, no matter how carefully its parentage may have been guarded, is unlike any other. The seedlings differ in traits of vigor, hardiness, susceptibility to disease, time of beginning to bear, productiveness, and longevity, and the nuts vary in size, form, thickness of shell, ease of cracking, and in kernel characteristics.

The people of California have also found that in many ways, Persian walnut trees on their own roots are less desirable than are those budded or grafted on the roots of some black walnut.

The earliest pecan planters likewise set seedling trees, partly because no others were available, but more largely because of a supposition that such seedlings would come true. Later on, planters chose grafted trees of large varieties, irrespective of others' merits or demerits. Today, the orchards of both seedling trees and illy-selected varieties are being topworked at great expense of time, labor, and money.

In the northern and eastern part of the United States, the situation until very recently has been one of practical standstill. Efforts with foreign nuts have resulted in our being but little ahead of the starting point of a couple of centuries ago.

The great majority of the Persian walnut, chestnut, and hazel trees which have been tried have failed us; some have even brought fatal or near-fatal diseases to us.

At first thought, we would feel compelled to abandon all further efforts with the foreign nuts; but not all that have been tried are guilty of offence or failure. Here and there, from New England to Michigan and from Maryland to Missouri, we are finding occasional nut trees either in groups or standing singly, which because of their age, vigor, productiveness, and quantity and quality of nuts, appear to be fit foundation stock for the varieties so much needed in this part of the country. A number of such are being propagated by the nurserymen and, as the members here present know, are being disseminated.

The present great need is for knowledge regarding the location of other such trees, not only of the foreign species, but of the natives as well. The Northern Nut Growers' Association and the Federal Department of Agriculture at Washington together are seeking to find Persian, Japanese, or black walnut, Asiatic, European or American chestnut, European or American hazel, and native butternut, hickory, pecan, chinquapin and beech trees of more than ordinary merit. Upon the locating of, and the propagation from such trees, as new varieties, apparently depends the future of nut growing east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers.

The appeal therefore is made to the owners of hardy nut trees that they drop a postal to the Department of Agriculture at Washington, D. C., stating that they desire a mailing box and frank for sending in a few specimens of the nuts which they believe to be of more than average merit. The only expense necessary to incur will be in the price of the card, and in the trouble of collecting and packing the nuts. Before mailing, the package should be plainly marked with the name and address of the sender, and a note should be inclosed giving information regarding the location, ownership, bearing habits, etc., of the tree from which the nuts were obtained.

If more convenient, the nuts may be sent to this association, which in any case will be apprised by the Department of all new varieties of apparent merit which may be brought to light.

However, no one should anticipate a great fortune as the result of any nut tree of which he may find himself the owner. It is not possible for a variety to be of especial value, no matter how promising the parent tree may appear to be, until it has established proof of its adaptability and merit in other sections remote from that of its origin. Except in rare cases it has been only after a variety of any kind of fruit has become well known by many who have tested it and spoken for it that it has become popular or in great demand.

Therefore, all there will be "in it" for you, if you chance to be the owner of a nut tree of merit will be the thanks of this Association and posterity and the probability of having the variety named in your honor.

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MR. LITTLEPAGE: I should like to drop a word about the American Nut Journal published here at Rochester, N. Y. I would like to ask all the members of the Association to make as much effort as they possibly can to get new subscribers to the Journal. I don't own any stock in it, but I am talking purely in the interests of nut culture. Without a magazine nine tenths of our work would be entirely useless because it would be lost to the public. One of the duties of the members should be the support of the organ which puts forth the information for which this organization stands.

THE PRESIDENT: Methods of propagating pecans, hickories and walnuts have been discovered and used, at times, for a century. I know of a man who grafted them twenty years ago in New Jersey, but he left no records of his methods. The Journal helps us to keep these records.

This association has a great variety of contributors. We have with us men who work on the exceedingly practical end of propagation. W. C. Reed is a combination of the student and the propagator.




In considering varieties of the northern pecan, there are many points to be estimated, such as size, thinness of shell, cracking quality, quality of kernel, growth of trees in nursery and bearing records. The latter is perhaps most important. What we want are trees that will give us a fair crop annually; next would be the cracking qualities. If they crack easily and come out of the shell with a large percentage of whole meats the size does not make so much difference, for ultimately the value of a variety will be gauged largely by the number of pounds of whole meats a bushel, or a given number of pounds, will produce. I would therefore place prolific bearing and cracking qualities as the two most important points to be considered in selecting a variety worthy of planting.

Crop Records

In considering crop records of the different northern varieties; we have no grafted or budded trees old enough as yet from which to make comparisons, and in considering the crops of the original trees it is well to keep in mind that many of these trees are located in the native forest without cultivation, without proper sunlight and with a poor chance for the full development of the tree; also it is well to remember that scarcely two trees have the same surroundings and conditions, and that it is not often that the owner is able to secure the entire crop from any one tree, being located in the forest where a large part of the crop is carried off by others. With these conditions it is often impossible to tell what a certain tree may yield, except by comparison with former crops. In giving you these yields I am giving my own knowledge so far as I can, and then information and estimates from the most reliable sources at my command.


This variety is perhaps the best known (owing largely to its name), and has not failed to produce at least a partial crop annually for the past fifteen years. Since it has been under close observation, which has been about seven to eight years, it has usually borne from 100 to 300 pounds. Often a large part of the crop has been stolen. Crop 1912 about 200 pounds; 1913, 250 pounds; 1914, I am confident would have been 300 pounds. The owner secured 125 pounds; balance carried off by others. This year, 1915, is almost a failure; just a light sprinkling of nuts; was full of blooms but owing to heavy cold rain, failed to pollenize. The tree is located in a cultivated field, circumference of tree is 5 feet, height about 60 feet, spread 50 to 60 feet.


This is almost identical with Indiana, and the owner tells me has borne as many as seven bushels to twelve bushels at a single crop. The tree being very tall, the entire top was cut out of it a few years ago and it is just now commencing to bear again. The lower limbs, however, of older wood that were left, have borne annual crops. In the nursery this variety has shown a tendency to very early bearing; most one year trees, spring 1914, set full of catkins, and one tree produced 16 well-developed nuts. These, however, dropped during the extreme drouth of August. The past spring most Busseron trees in the nursery again set full of catkins and at the present time we have one tree, coming two years old from bud, bearing one nut that is full grown and looks as though it would mature during the next thirty days.

Several other varieties have set full of catkins in the nursery row but have not developed any pistillate blossoms. The Busseron has furnished much propagating wood and at the present time there are, perhaps, more trees growing in the nurseries of this than of any other northern variety. Crop of 1915 promises to be fairly good.


Crop of 1912, 100 pounds; crop 1913, about 50 pounds; crop 1914, 225 pounds; crop 1915, I would estimate at 100 pounds. This tree is very deceiving; the top is rather open and the nuts are usually scattered all through. The crop of 1914 was not considered heavy until after it was gathered. The past spring this tree bloomed very full, but owing to wet, cold weather when in full bloom did not set well. Size of tree 18 to 20 inches in diameter; 50 to 60 feet high with 40 feet spread, and is located in a cultivated field.


Crop of 1914 was 125 pounds saved; this tree is about the same size as the Niblack, located in the edge of a cornfield near heavy timber, being far from any house. A large part of the crop is often stolen; the crops of 1911 and 1912 were not so heavy, perhaps 50 to 75 pounds. It usually bears a fair crop, however, but I do not consider it a heavy cropper like the Indiana or Niblack. Its large size and splendid cracking qualities, however, will make it a popular variety and it may prove to bear much better on budded trees under cultivation.


This giant tree stands out in the open field, measures 14 feet in circumference, 90 feet spread and perhaps 100 feet high, and usually bears from 5 to 7 bushels. The owner tells me he has owned this tree for forty-four years and that it has not missed more than two or three crops during that time and that the former owner told him he owned the tree for fifty years and that it was a good sized tree when he bought the farm and bearing regular crops.


Crop 1912, 160 pounds saved, and from what information I can get this tree usually bears 100 pounds or more; tree about 3 feet in diameter, 120 feet high and 60 feet to first limb. Owing to its height and size it is very hard to get much of an estimate in regard to the crop it may carry until after it is gathered. Being located in the dense forest a large part of the crop is often carried off.


Tree is located in the same grove with the Major, is about 3 feet in diameter, 35 feet to first limb, crop 1912 reported 260 pounds and has not missed a crop in twelve years. Have had no report for 1915.


Crop 1912, 41/2 bushels; since that has borne good crops, but do not know the exact amount, but fair crop this year. The owner says it has only missed two crops in twenty years.


This tree bears very regularly, but owing to the fact that it has been cut so severely for propagating wood has not made any heavy yields the past few years. The old wood has heavy crop this season.

This practically covers the named list of varieties for the Indiana pecan belt. I might say, however, that most of the native trees are bearing a very good crop of pecans this season in our country.

Observations on Propagated Trees

The Busseron has shown a stronger tendency to early bearing than any other variety. The Major and Greenriver seem to be the best growers in the nursery, with very heavy foliage. The Posey makes a very stocky tree but seems to be one of the most difficult to propagate.

Southern Varieties

The summer of 1914 we had the Stuart, Delmas and Schley. The first killing frost was a severe cold snap; mercury dropped to 10 above zero, November 22d. Foliage on these perfectly green as well as the nuts. The Stuart seemed to have about matured fruit although foliage was green. Husk on nuts had burst open ready to drop. The fruit which looked to be ripe, however, when cracked, the kernel looked plump, but when cut open was found pithy and more like a piece of cork.

Stuart tree bearing this season nuts at present, September 1st, only half grown, while Busseron alongside in nursery row is full size. The northern varieties usually mature ready to gather October 1st; the Indianas in the jar on the table were gathered September 28th last year.

High Land versus Low Land. Pecans in High Land

There have been a number of articles written by men well posted claiming that the pecan will not bear or thrive except on the cultivated bottom lands of our valleys and streams. The writer wishes to disprove this erroneous idea. It is not borne out by facts. On the farm of W. J. Coan of Bruceville, Knox County, Ind., there are a number of pecans planted from ten to fifteen years ago. Part of these trees are on bottom land and part on high land. This high land is heavy clay underlaid with considerable hardpan. The writer visited these trees two weeks ago and has photographs showing four trees in a group that were planted fifteen years ago that have borne for the past six years, each crop getting better. At the present time I would judge they are bearing at least one bushel to the tree. A single tree in the barnyard has not made the growth owing to the compact soil around it. However, it has borne quite heavily, commenced bearing at nine years of age from seed. The trees on the bottom land are not as large and have not borne half as many nuts as the ones planted on high land. This is Mr. Coan's report and he says that were he planting again he would plant entirely on high ground. The trees shown in these photographs are located on perhaps the highest elevation in Knox County, Ind. There are a number of other trees near the writer's home planted on high land 150 feet above the river, back from three to six miles, that are large trees, measuring 18 to 24 inches in diameter and bearing regular crops. Heavy clay land seems to push a stronger and more vigorous growth than does the more loamy, darker soil. I submit here a number of photographs taken August 10 of pecan trees in the nursery row, budded one year ago, showing a growth of from 4 to 6 feet, many of them 5 to 7 feet and some 8 feet high and still growing rapidly. These were budded on four-year-old pecans.


We have tried all known methods of propagating the pecan with varied results; one of the methods you do not want to try is the Edwards method. While it may be a success in Texas, where it originated, it is a miserable failure in the North. Grafting above ground is done after the sap is well up, and gives fair results. However, best results have been obtained by the patch bud method on seedlings three to four years old. Good strong seedlings, well-ripened buds cut from the scion orchard or from trees two years old in the nursery have given best results—in some cases, as high as 85 per cent stand the past season.

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MR. JONES: Mr. Rush had a Stuart bearing last year in south-eastern Pennsylvania. The nuts were not very large but they matured fairly well. I am more encouraged than ever that the Indiana variety will be safe for use in Pennsylvania.

MR. REED: I think that if the Stuart bloomed as early as the others it would be all right, but it is about two weeks later.

MR. LITTLEPAGE: I don't believe in the Stuart very much: I have better pecans myself, hardy in the north.

THE PRESIDENT: I wish to corroborate Mr. Reed's point about the success of the pecan on high land. One man is, I believe, responsible for that widely circulated statement that the pecan will grow only on alluvial land. I have travelled a thousand miles in investigating that fact, and found it a fallacy. Some of the biggest pecan trees I have ever seen were growing at 900 feet elevation down in Georgia. This was on clay hills. I have seen the same thing in Raleigh. That alluvial soil business is a hoax.

This ends the intellectual side of our program.

Business meeting.

Meeting adjourned sine die at 10 P. M.



The walnut industry of California is just entering a transition period from the planting of seedling groves to the established plantings of grafted trees. Just as other seedling fruit trees, such as the orange, apple, peach, almond, etc., have been eliminated, so too, the seedling walnut groves of California seem doomed to be replaced by clonal varieties. In many ways this industry is as much in its infancy as the apple industry of New York was sixty-five years ago, when varieties first began to be propagated in a commercial way by grafting and budding. This readjustment in the walnut industry is well started, and, although it is likely to be gradual in its evolution, and wisely so, the change seems nevertheless certain. There are but a very few seedling trees for sale at the present time by the progressive nurseries, and, in fact, only a very few such trees have been set out in groves during the past four or five years. The demand for grafted trees has been brought about largely by the wide range of variation in walnut seedlings as regards their productivity, commercial value of the nuts, season of harvest and ability of the trees to resist the walnut blight.

In view of the very recent propagation of the walnut by grafting, which has extended over only about ten to twelve years, it is reasonable to expect that the majority of the varieties thus propagated so early in the development of the industry are only partially suited to the needs of the walnut grower. The nuts from many of these grafted varieties fall considerably short of the commercial standard for high-grade walnuts. Some of the heaviest-bearing sorts, such as the Chase, Prolific and El Monte, produce nuts that cannot be sold in the very best grade of the commercial product. On the other hand, the Placentia, which produces one of the most nearly ideal commercial nuts, is not a heavy-producing variety, especially in the northern walnut sections, and is quite as susceptible to walnut blight as the average seedling tree. Again, the Eureka variety, which seems to successfully avoid the walnut blight during many seasons by its lateness in coming into bloom, is a very moderately yielding variety in the southern sections. The above examples are only a few of many that might be cited to show the short-comings of most of the varieties of walnuts now being propagated.

The wide range of climatic and soil conditions makes the eventual propagation of quite a large number of varieties inevitable. While the coast regions are bathed in fog nearly every morning during the growing season, the inland valleys experience an extremely dry climate with high maximum temperatures. Walnuts are being grown at the present time on soil types varying from the extremes of sand to heavy clay loams. Many of the future varieties must be especially adapted to some one of these particular environments if they are to stand the test of time.

Many of the present seedling groves are of uncertain origin and represent greatly varying values. No doubt some of these groves are the progeny of especially selected trees known to have considerable merit. On the other hand, it is very apparent that many of them are the result of a great demand for seedling trees when the industry was in its infancy twenty or thirty years ago. At that time without doubt, great quantities of walnuts were planted without due regard for their parentage. Again, there is a wide range of variability among the individual trees of any grove, as variations in type of tree, blooming season, character of foliage, resistance to disease, productivity and character of the nuts.

Type of Tree

The tree types vary from the upright, sturdy individual to the more or less spreading, weeping types which droop nearly to the ground under the burden of the crop. The upright, vigorous growing type is well exemplified in the Eureka. On the other hand, such varieties as the Prolific have a spreading, bushy habit and an almost semi-dwarfness characterizes their growth.

Blooming Season

It is not unusual to find the blooming season in an ordinary seedling grove extending over a period of from a month to six weeks. A few individual trees leaf out and blossom with the first signs of spring. Then the great majority of the trees in the grove come out in full leaf. But there are frequently trees still leafless after the nuts on the early individuals are of the size of a marble. This variation in the blooming season has considerable economic importance in relation to the harvesting and marketing of the nuts as well as the avoidance of diseases and frost which may be more prevalent during certain periods in the spring.

Foliage Characteristics

The character of the foliage varies from the broad-leaved types, whose foliage somewhat resembles that of the horse-chestnut, to the narrow-leaved varieties whose leaves have a tendency to curl up like the foliage of the Winesap apple. The broad-leaved types are much more densely foliated and this factor has considerable bearing on the problems of sun-scald on the twigs and trunks of the tree and the exposure of the nuts to this injury. For this reason, the densely foliated varieties may prove best adapted to the inland valleys, where the difficulties of sun-scald are most prevalent. The more sparsely foliated types often appear to have less blight on the nuts and leaves because of their exposure to the sunshine.

Disease Resistance

Probably one of the most important limiting factors in walnut production in California, and especially in the older walnut sections, is the bacterial disease commonly known as walnut blight. The inroads of this disease have caused a very heavy dropping of the nuts during many seasons of the past, and although a great deal of time and scientific effort has been devoted to the control of the trouble, there is no satisfactory known means for the prevention of walnut blight at the present time.

It is a well-known fact that in the vegetable kingdom closely related species suffer in different degrees from the attacks of the same parasite. This difference in resistance is often as marked among different varieties of the same species as between the species themselves. The absence of blight is not necessarily an indication of immunity. There is a great deal of difference in the amount of blight prevalent at the present season in the different walnut growing sections. Again, the immunity from blight of a particular tree for one season may be followed by more or less prevalency of blight on the same tree the next season. The degree of resistance must be tested out through a number of years before any variety can be pronounced resistant to this disease. The observations must also be carried out in different localities as certain varieties seem to behave differently on different soils and when growing under different climatic conditions.

Some varieties seem to avoid the blight the majority of the seasons but really have little or no resistant qualities when the seasonal conditions and the growth of the plant happen to coincide with the most favorable time for the spread of the disease. An example of this is seen in the Eureka variety the present season. While this variety has maintained a reputation during a majority of seasons for freedom from blight, during the present year the Eureka is badly diseased in certain sections of Orange County. This may, perhaps, be explained by the prevalence of damp, cloudy weather for about a week or ten days during the first of May when this variety was in full bloom. In one grove under observation the trees were thought to have lost at least 50 per cent of their blossoms soon after blooming. At the present time on these same trees, 32 per cent of the nuts are afflicted with more or less blight. To be sure, some of these will likely mature, but the appearance of blight on nearly one third of the crop shows that this variety has very little resistant power against walnut blight. Its freedom from disease in the past has no doubt been due largely to its dormancy during the most favorable weather conditions for the spread of blight.

The field for the selection of blight resistant varieties must necessarily be in the badly blighted sections. A tree with only 10 per cent blighted nuts in an orchard having an average of 70 per cent to 80 per cent may really be more resistant to blight than a variety which appears to be positively free from the disease when growing among trees which are only 15 per cent to 20 per cent blighted. In making observations and selections, therefore, it is quite as important to know the amount of blight on the surrounding trees and the grove, as a whole, as it is to know the prevalence of blight on the selected individual. The extreme variation of different seedling trees in their susceptibility to this disease is well illustrated in some of the following observations which were made the present year. The percentages which follow the varieties named were determined by counting at least 100 nuts on a tree just before the blighted nuts began to drop. In a seedling grove in the Whittier district about 300 trees were examined and 100 nuts counted on each tree. The individual trees varied from 2 per cent to 85 per cent blighted nuts, while the grove as a whole averaged 25 per cent. There were at least a dozen or fifteen trees in this grove which were blighted less than 10 per cent, although some of the nearby trees were blighted as high as 60 per cent or 70 per cent.

Another seedling grove in Orange County which was counted in the same way, averaged 47 per cent blighted nuts during the second week in June. In making this determination 105 trees were examined. In this same grove, there were, however, at least three trees which averaged less than 6 per cent blighted nuts.

It is interesting to know that the Placentia variety, growing within a stone's throw of the aforementioned seedling grove and under identical cultural conditions, was blighted to the extent of 71.9 per cent on the same date.

Observations of the Prolific (Ware's) in the vicinity of the above mentioned grove, showed less than 1 per cent blighted nuts on the trees and practically none of the nuts have dropped to the ground at the present time, yet in the past this variety has not had a reputation for disease immunity. The original Chase tree was observed during this time and showed a percentage of 37 per cent blighted nuts. These examples are given neither in support of any particular variety nor to discredit others, but are noted merely to call attention to the wide variation, and this variation is a great source of encouragement in our endeavors to produce a disease resistant variety.

Of course blight immunity is not the only factor to be considered in selecting a variety of walnut. A profitable yield of good commercial nuts is the real test of the superiority of any variety. A very heavy yielding tree with a small amount of blight may prove more profitable than a light yielding variety that is totally immune to this disease.

The production of a medium grade nut which would grade only as a seedling No 1, might prove more profitable if the tree is at least partially blight immune than the production of such a high grade nut as the Placentia with its susceptibility to blight. These things must be considered and weighed carefully by the growers who are planting walnuts in the blight sections. The various areas where walnut blight is not a factor might profitably sacrifice heavy production to superior quality.

From our present knowledge it is very apparent that the disease resistance of individual trees varies considerably from year to year and under different soil and climatic conditions. The thorough testing of resistant varieties will require considerable time.

Nut Characteristics

The character of the nuts is as variable as the trees themselves, not only in the exterior appearance, but in the character of the meats as well. The ideal commercial nut should be of medium size, about one and one-eighth to one and one-half inches in diameter, of regular oval form somewhat elongated, with smooth surface, and light brown color, and uniform for these characters. The cracking quality of the nuts is quite as important as their exterior appearance. The nuts should be well sealed so they will not crack open in shipping. The shells should be thin but strong, so the nut may be easily opened and the whole meat taken out intact. The pellicle surrounding the kernel should be light tan colored or silvery brown with a glossy waxed appearance attractive to look upon. The meat should be smooth, and plump, averaging 50 per cent or more of the total weight of the nut, and with a mild, pleasant flavor, free from any astringency.

The shells vary all the way from extremely rough and unattractive specimens to the smooth commercial type, as the Placentia, while the color of the meats varies from dark brown to nearly white, and so on through the other characteristics mentioned.

In the selection of varieties the walnut breeder is exceptionally favored by the occurrence of large areas of seedling trees. According to the 1910 census there were in the neighborhood of one and a quarter million seedling trees growing in California. With this almost unlimited material for selective use, it seems indeed reasonable that many varieties will be selected in the future which are better adapted to the demands of the industry than some of those now being propagated. By means of hybridizing methods it is also hoped that some of the desirable unit characters of the varieties now in cultivation may be recombined into more nearly ideal varieties for future generations. The fact that walnut breeding is necessarily a long-termed, expensive problem has made it rather unattractive to the practical breeders. Such work will depend largely upon public or specially endowed institutions for its support.



Pruning is as old as horticulture itself, but the Persian walnut has escaped this treatment thus far. Practical experience, however, in growing these trees for fruiting, shows the great importance of systematic pruning. It is a common occurrence to see a young tree with straggling and irregular growths. Very frequently we see that growth takes place on part of the tree only, leaving the other part undeveloped, which would throw the tree very much out of balance in course of time. Pruning should begin early in the life of the young tree and as soon as it leaves the nursery the pruning shears should be in evidence.

There are two important objects in view in proper and systematic pruning. First is form, with a well balanced head. Second, to increase productiveness by having more lateral branches properly distributed all over the tree. As a matter of course productiveness will follow.

It is a singular fact that a misfortune can sometimes develop into a blessing. Last year, 1914, was an unfortunate one in that an early and late drouth caused poor bud development, and, of course, they were not in a condition to withstand our usual winter weather.

In the spring of 1915, as soon as bud development took place, I commenced to prune. I cut off all weak branches to a strong bud and sometimes went over the trees a second time in order to insure that the work should be well done. These trees referred to are mostly three years old and at that age the pruning should be done very systematically.

It is a mistake to have a tree three or four years old in bearing. You will have branches from 2 to 4 feet long without any laterals, quite differently from other fruits, as the apple, peach, pear, etc. If these long branches are allowed to remain you will find that the terminal buds will develop nuts and weigh down the branch. But with proper management the life and productiveness of the tree can be improved by pruning. A branch 3 or 4 feet long should be cut back one half. Of course great care must be taken where the cut is made, for the future welfare of the tree.

I have a very fine five-year-old Hall variety on my side lawn that shows the neglect of proper pruning at the right time. The branches are entirely too long and drooping. In order to overcome this defect I will have to cut back to two-year-old wood and force the dormant buds for the future tree.

There is another great advantage in the proper method of pruning the young Persian, that is, that the finest kind of bud wood becomes available.

You will please remember that in pruning the walnut we are not pruning for color as with other fruits.

The tree should be as round headed as a Norway maple, and if some of the limbs should show indications of weakness by crowding then cut them out for the benefit of others close by.



Not being able to meet with you this September, as I have to go down to the State of Mississippi, I send this paper to your president whose paper on the Garden of Eden we all read in the Country Gentlemen of July 7, and so much admired.

Progress has not been made on my place sufficient to warrant my inviting you to Toronto next convention, but I will say that the year after next I will certainly have something worth seeing. But Dr. J. H. Kellogg of Battle Creek, Mich., extends an invitation to you to hold the next convention at the Battle Creek Sanitarium where nuts and nut preparations are used exclusively in the place of meat and fish and fowl. Here at Battle Creek on Dr. Kellogg's private grounds and on the Sanitarium grounds may be seen Colonel Sober's Paragon chestnuts, Mr. Pomeroy's English walnuts and Mr. Reed's grafted pecans, as well as some grafted persimmons of named varieties. In my statement in the American Nut Journal last May or June I mentioned that all the grafted persimmons sent from Washington were winter-killed. I find on returning in August that the Early Golden is very much alive. Twelve other varieties have been planted to see what this winter will do to them. The persimmon is exceedingly interesting to us northern nut growers because where it will succeed the pecan will also, without a doubt. Now I also find that my statement in the same paper that the grafted pecans sent by Mr. Reed were winter-killed was an error, as only certain trees failed to grow above the graft. Those that are growing are the Major, Busseron and Indiana, the Busseron showing most decidedly better than the Indiana, both here and at Toronto. All pecans lived, both here and at Toronto, if I include those that sprung up below the graft. Out of thirteen varieties that I experimented with at Toronto, Major, Posey and Niblack were the only ones that lived well above the graft and showed no winter-killing. Others were more or less winter-killed. Kentucky, Mantura, Appomattox, Luce and Greenriver showed no desire to live in the north. Mr. Pomeroy's English walnuts showed a most distinct dislike for Toronto, but all forty-eight are doing well here and are being cared for.

Colonel Sober's Paragon chestnuts showed the most determined attempt to not grow the Paragon part of the tree, and an equally determined mind to grow good and strong below the Paragon part—may this part yield good trees! I have three or four Paragons left out of 135 trees. Pecans grew as many as four feet both here and at Toronto this summer.

Of the new trees sent from Washington two specimens of Castanea Crenata (from the north Island of Japan), six specimens of Castanea Mollissima (almost blight proof, from north China) all are thriving.

Juglans regia sinensis lived to the tip through the winter and budded out strong from the top, as did J. cordiformis—may it always be so.

Re Dr. Deming's question as to the farthermost northern pecans I said Charles City, Iowa. Now these forty trees were planted twenty years ago and are all alive and yield crops, but the nuts are small as they are seedlings. Write Mr. Charles D. Patten re how his trees are doing and their history. He has been asking Mr. Reed for scions of better trees.

I have five types of soil to grow my trees in, stiff clay, rich gravel, quicksand and humus, light sand and silt or bottom land, well drained. I have no sour, undrained spot on my fifteen acres.



Henry T. Brown, Rochester Mrs. McLean, Rochester Rev. A. C. Crapsey, Rochester Prof. Fairchild, University Rochester Chas. E. Bunnell, Rochester S. W. Taylor, Stamford, Conn. Herbert E. Ingram, 432 4th Ave., New York Dr. J. W. Jackson, Dansville, N. Y. Martha Rush, New Providence, Lancaster Co., Pa. Edna Mylin, Willow St., Pa. Paul White, Boonville, Ind. J. G. Rush, West Willow, Pa. J. F. Jones, Lancaster, Pa. John S. Parish, Eastham, Va. Thos. P. Littlepage, Washington, D. C. Dr. and Mrs. Wm. C. Deming, Georgetown, Conn. Ralph T. Olcott, Rochester Dr. Robt. T. Morris, New York City Dean Baker, Syracuse, N. Y. E. R. Angst, Wilmington, Del. H. L. Grubbs, Fairview, Pa. M. E. Wile, Rochester Harry R. Weber, Cincinnati, Ohio Frank A. Bailey, Rochester E. E. Streeter, Rochester C. K. Sober, Lewisburg, Pa. W. C. Reed, Vincennes, Ind. M. P. Reed, Vincennes, Ind. Dr. J. Russell Smith, Swarthmore, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Reed, Washington, D. C. Carl J. Poll, Danville, Ill. Walter C. Teter, New York City Jas. S. McGlennon, Rochester Conrad Vollertsen, Rochester H. L. Reynolds, Canandaigua, N. Y. Prof. and Mrs. F. N. Fagan, State College, Pa. Jas. Rissew, Macedon, N. Y. J. C. South, Rochester R. L. Fitzgerald, Rochester H. M. Brown, Fairport, N. Y. Nellie Doty Butts, Barnards, N. Y. H. Goodall, Spencerport, N. Y. John Rick, Reading, Pa. W. A. H. Reider, Reading, Pa. Adelbert Thompson, East Avon, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Pomeroy, Lockport, N. Y. Daniel Pomeroy, Lockport, N. Y. Howard Pomeroy, Lockport, N. Y. C. C. Laney, Rochester, N. Y. John Dunbar, Rochester, N. Y. E. B. Holden, Hilton, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. B. S. Abrams, Charlotte, N. Y. Henry Hohener, Rochester, N.Y. Dr. Charles Forbes, Brick Church Institute, Rochester, N. Y.


1ST AND 2D, 1915

The program below is intended as a guide only. It may be necessary on account of conditions to vary this. It is therefore highly important that all automobiles follow one another along the lines later designated in this sheet.

On the afternoons of September 1st and 2d, we propose to drive in automobiles to the various trees of interest in the immediate neighborhood of Rochester. The limit of the trip on September 1st will be Hilton, N. Y. The present plan is to visit the trees in the following order:

1—230 Saratoga Avenue, Persian Walnut seedling;

2—Kramer, Emerson Street and Lake Avenue, Persian Walnut (This is the parent tree of the Thompson Grove seedlings at East Avon, N. Y.);

3—Riverside Cemetery, Hybrid Hickory Laneyii (tree named after Mr. Calvin C. Laney, Superintendent of Parks, Rochester, N. Y., by Dr. Sargeant of the Arnold Arboretum);

4—Westgate farm, Stone Road, Persian Walnut seedlings and filberts (nuts for the seedling trees and filbert bushes imported from England);

5—W. H. Anderson and Wm. Twitchill, Ridge Road, seedling Walnut (of these one tree 105 years old);

6—Hilton, N. Y., Holden trees, from which the Holden Walnuts originated;

7—McGlennon Nursery, Denise Road, filbert plantings, two years old;

8—Clifford Avenue, between St. Paul Street and Clinton Avenue North, seedling Walnuts;

9—Spiegel Park, seedling Walnuts;

10—Culver Road and Parsells Avenue, Hybrid Walnut and Butternuts.

(End of trip September 1st, 1915)

September 2d, 1915

1—Gregory Street, McGlennon Nursery, filberts; 2—Highland Park, Hazel; 3—West Brighton, Mrs. W. J. Miller, seedling Walnuts; 4—Golah, N. Y., King Nut Hickory; 5—Seedling Walnut grove, Adelbert Thompson, East Avon, N. Y.

All automobiles intended to convey members of the Association will have a sign "Northern Nut Growers Association." All cars will follow a pilot car, which will be plainly marked. There will be one relief car, which will be plainly marked, and will carry no passengers except in emergency. In the event of any break-down in an automobile, the emergency car will immediately pick up the passengers of the one delayed, and transfer its sign to the delayed car. The delayed car, after repairs, will act as a relief car in its place.

The start of both trips will be made from Powers Hotel at 1:45 P. M. All members are requested to be on hand promptly, as the several stops will consume considerable time. Unless delay in starting is provided against, the trip may be prolonged beyond a comfortable limit.

Local Committee

Ralph T. Olcott Supt. C. C. Laney, Park Dept. Asst. Supt. John Dunbar, Park Dept. M. E. Wile Mrs. W. D. Ellwanger James S. McGlennon W. Robert Bruce John Hall, Secy. W.N.Y. Hort. Soc.


Corylus cornuta Beaked Hazel Branch Dr. R. T. Morris Corylus avellana European Hazel Stem showing blight Dr. R. T. Morris Corylus colurna Byzantine Hazel Branch Dr. R. T. Morris Corylus avellana Purple Variety Branch Dr. R. T. Morris Corylus pontica Pontine Hazel Branch Dr. R. T. Morris Corylus avellana Var. Barcelona Branch J. G. Rush Corylus americana Var. Rush Branch J. G. Rush Long Hazel Joseph Risseu Walworth, N.Y. Round Hazel Joseph Risseu, Walworth, N.Y. Hicoria ovata Var. Taylor Nuts Dr. R. T. Morris Hicoria ovata Var. LeFevre Nuts J. G. Rush Hicoria ovata Plate Nuts Miss Ruth N. Reeves Newark, N.Y. Juglans regia Var. Alpine Miss Ruth N. Reeves, Newark, N.Y. Juglans regia Var. Nebo Miss Ruth N. Reeves, Newark, N.Y. Rush Miss Ruth N. Reeves, Newark, N.Y. Hall Miss Ruth N. Reeves, Newark. N.Y. Juglans hybrid supposed J. regia Miss Ruth N. Reeves, X cinerea Newark, N.Y. Juglans regia Var. Holden spec. E. B. Holden, Hilton, N.Y. Juglans cathayensis Foliage Park Board, Rochester Juglans rupestris 2 clusters, 4 nuts Park Board, each and foliage Rochester Juglans sieboldiana cluster 7 nuts and Park Board, foliage Rochester Pteryocarya stenoptera False Walnut Foliage Park Board, Rochester Castanea sativa Var. Paragon Branch with one very J. S. Parish, large bur Eastham, Va. Castanea pumila Common chinquapin Branch with cluster of nuts Dr. R. T. Morris Castanea pumila Southwestern Branch with nuts chinquapin Dr. R. T. Morris Panel with general collection of pecans, hickory nuts and walnuts, W. C. Reed, Vincennes, Ind. Juglans nigra Var. Rush Nuts J. G. Rush Juglans regia Branch Mrs. B. S. Abrams, Latta Farm, Charlotte, N.Y.



No chestnut stock should go out unless it is thoroughly sterilized by some satisfactory method and tagged by proper authority to show that fact.

States that are still clear of the blight are advised that effective quarantine is desirable to delay, for a time at least, the spread of the blight. Four infestations of chestnut blight have been found in Indiana in July and August, 1915. This fact, and the continued spread of this fatal fungus, are some of the reasons for this recommendation.

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Nut trees may and do sometimes come fairly true to type but they do not come true to variety. Consequently our association does not approve of the sale of seedling trees under variety names; and this association further recommends to all journals that they take no advertisements for nut trees if such trees are not sold under conditions that clearly comply with the provisions of this resolution.


The Chestnut Bark Disease on Freshly Fallen Nuts. J. Franklin Collins. Reprinted from Phytopathology, Vol. V, No. 4, August, 1913. With One Figure in the Text.

Melaxuma of the Walnut, "Juglans regia." (A Preliminary Report.) Howard S. Fawcett. Bulletin No. 261, Agricultural Experiment Station, Berkeley, California, November, 1915.

The Pecan Business. From Planting the Nuts to Gathering the Nuts. Catalogue of B. W. Stone, nurseryman, Thomasville, Georgia, containing cuts and information about pecan growing in the South.

Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Convention of the National Nut Growers Association, held at Albany, Georgia, October 27-29, 1915.

Report of the Proceedings at the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Northern Nut Growers Association at Rochester, New York, September 1 and 2, 1915. (In press.)

Walnut Aphides in California. W. M. Davidson. (Professional Paper.) Bulletin of the United States Department of Agriculture No. 100, August 31, 1914.

The Possibilities of Nut Growing in the East. W. C. Deming. Women's National Agricultural and Horticultural Association Quarterly, August, 1915.

The Walnut Book and Horticultural Digest, A Monthly Publication Devoted to the Production, Distribution and Consumption of the Walnut. Vol. I, No. 1, November, 1915. The Walnut Book Publishing Co., Orenco, Oregon. One dollar a year. Official Organ of the Western Walnut Association.

Nut Trees for the Country's Waste Places. Gilbert E. Bailey, Ph.D. University of Southern California. American Fruits, July, 1915, p. 8.

The Inside of a Graft. F. A. Waugh, The Country Gentleman, February 20, 1915, p. 328.

Progress of Nut Culture in the East. Possibilities of a Coming Industry. W. C. Deming. The Rural New-Yorker, March 6, 1915, p. 327. Illustrations of methods of budding and grafting nut trees.

Air and Wind Dissemination of Ascospores of the Chestnut-Blight Fungus. F. D. Heald, M. W. Gardner, and R. A. Studhalter. Reprint from Journal of Agricultural Research, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., March 25, 1915. Vol. III, No. 6.

Grafting and Budding the Walnut. E. R. Lake. Weekly News Letter to Crop Correspondents, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., April 7, 1915. Vol. II, No. 35. Numerous cuts.

Neglected Northern Pecans. Dr. J. Russell Smith, University of Pennsylvania. Country Gentleman, January 9, 1915.

Riehl Fun for Nuts. Dr. J. Russell Smith, University of Pennsylvania. Country Gentleman, October 9, 1915.

A Georgia Tree Farmer. Dr. J. Russell Smith, University of Pennsylvania. Country Gentleman, December 4, 1915.

Shade Trees that Bear Nuts. Dr. J. Russell Smith, University of Pennsylvania. Country Gentleman, January 7, 1916.

Grafting Nut Trees. Dr. J. Russell Smith, University of Pennsylvania. Country Gentleman, January 28, 1916.

* * * * *


[1] Bulletin No. 231 by Prof. Ralph E. Smith of the University of California, is authority for this history of walnut introduction into that state.

[2] G. Harold Powell, Bull. XLII, Delaware Agricultural Experiment Station, 1898.

[3] Paper No. 21, Citrus Experiment Station, College of Agriculture, University of California, Riverside, California.

* * * * *

"No, we would not think of planting a tree without using dynamite."—

Extract from a letter received from Edwards & Patterson, Milledgeville, Ga., who are amongst Georgia's best known pecan growers.

Edwards & Patterson's pecans, actual size, sent to us as fair average samples of nuts grown on unblasted and blasted trees. The pecan at the top was grown on a tree in unblasted soil,—at the bottom is the pecan grown where the soil was blasted.

Blasting with RED CROSS EXPLOSIVES shatters the compact soil, extends the feeding area of roots and increases the water-holding capacity of the ground.

Tree-planting in blasted ground is "life insurance" for all kinds of fruit and nut trees. Plant your pecans in blasted ground, and stop first-year losses.

Write for HANDBOOK OF EXPLOSIVES telling about tree-planting and other ways of using RED CROSS EXPLOSIVES.

E. I. du PONT de NEMOURS & CO.


* * * * *

Vincennes Nurseries


The Pecan The Persian Walnut The Hickory The Chestnut The Almond The Hazelnut And the Persimmon


We offer also a general line of Nursery Stock

W. C. REED, Proprietor


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Plant My Hardy Pennsylvania Grown, Budded and Grafted



* * * * *

You can't afford to experiment with trees of doubtful hardiness, neither do you want seedlings or inferior varieties

My 1915-16 Catalogue is yours for the asking

* * * * *


J. F. JONES, The Nut Tree Specialist


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Choice Fruit and Ornamental Trees, Cherry Trees on Mazzard Roots, Hardy Evergreens, Flowering Shrubs, Hedge Plants, etc. Originators of the


JOS. W. THOMAS & SONS, King of Prussia P. O., Montgomery Co., Pa.


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