In order to better promote tree nut growing in the eastern Ontario region, ECSONG in collaboration with a number of public land managers, has established and developed several public nut groves for research and demonstration purposes. ECSONG members conduct regular field days in these groves for the purposes of advancing the groves, carrying out maintenance and conducting research and demonstrations. The public is invited to visit the sites with ECSONG members or to visit anytime with family and friends to see nut trees growing well in our region.
The Nut Grove is located in the Baxter Conservation Area just south of Kars, Ontario on Regional Road 13. It can be accessed from the McManus Interpretive Centre in the Baxter Conservation Area by following the trail from the back of the centre, or by parking at the south end of the Third Line Road and following the old road beside the garage. At the entrance to the grove there is a sign kiosk offering a detailed map of the site. The picture shows the grove from a position at the northwest corner of the site, looking southward towards the Rideau River which is just beyond the farthest trees.
The site slopes from high dry ground, through to wetland, and has sandy to sandy/loam soils. It has been contoured to provide air drainage to the Rideau River, and a pond is located at the end farthest from the river. Thus the site offers a range of microclimates for testing. Many of the plants are now nut producers. New species, varieties, and cultivars are being planted every year, towards completing the collection of an estimated 60 to 70 kinds of nut trees that could grow locally. Today there are more than thirty kinds on display, comprising about 100 individual specimens. Included are Ginkgos, Nut Pines, Oaks, Walnuts, Hickories, Buckeyes, Horse chestnuts, Hazels, Yellowhorn, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Locusts, Beech, Black Cherry, Chestnut and Hackberry. Some commemorative Trees have been planted to honour individuals' contributions to the advancement of the Nut Grove.
The land is owned by the RVCA, whose staff and equipment help maintain the nut grove, along
with volunteers from ECSONG members and friends, with help from the
Eastern Ontario Model Forest.
On 20 May 2000, the oak groves were officially named the Mogens Leif Anderson Oak Plantations, in honour of his work to promote Canadian forestry.
The plantations include two dozen plantations of nut bearing trees and shrubs, with thousands of specimens of about a dozen species. Nut pines, oaks, black walnuts, butternuts, bitternut hickory, shagbark hickory, American chestnut and horse chestnut are represented: beaked hazel and American beech occur naturally. Most are similar in nature to a woodlot. Our programs offer participants the opportunity to observe, learn and experience agro-forestry activities specific to nut trees.
The land is owned by the NCC, whose staff and equipment help maintain the plantations along
with volunteers. It is a collaborative project between ECSONG, the
the International Oak Society, the
Canadian Chestnut Council, and the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources,
with help from the
Eastern Ontario Model Forest.
The four hectare grove, abutting a channel of the South Nation River, is divided into two
roughly-equal areas. The east half is dominated by a Black Walnut Plantation, currently
growing amongst White Pines, a nurse species, with a series of walking trails. The west half is
open parkland with a variety of nut tree species. One of Ontario's three Butternut Archives of
the Forest Gene Conservation Association is on the site. Co-located with the nut grove is the
Pioneer Homesteads Heritage Site, an initiative of Dr. Ralph McKendry and family. Commemorative
Stones are available for pioneer families in the area. The Truscott Nut Tree Nursery is a feature
of the nut grove. The entrance has a large sign, and offers a map and brochure to visitors.
The land is owned by South Nation Conservation, and is now managed by Oak Valley Pioneer Park Volunteers.
On 28 April 2003, the park volunteers were presented with an Ontario
Heritage Foundation Achievement Award and an municipal appreciation certificate by the Mayor
and councillors of North Dundas.
Over the years, ECSONG has contributed a number of nut trees specimens to this national collection; Ted Cormier and Jane Lynas have made notable contributions. Most notable were a number of bur oaks from Texas (Quercus macrocarpa) sent by Jane. Texas bur oaks produce starchy acorns the size of golf balls. It is hoped that these trees can grow well in our region. Their acorns could become an important part of our annual commercial and hobby nut crops if successful.
ECSONG has the goal to ensure the long-term perpetuation of the population and associated ecosystem.
We work with Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. and Linda Touzin (Forester, Ministry of Natural
A ginkgo tree was added in 2004 in memory of another CISTI employee,
Other similar plantings at this time were at Oak Valley (99 trees), Alfred College (31 trees,
currently being looked after by Boisés Est),
Dominion Arboretum (18 trees), Filmore R. Park (24 trees), and the Rideau Valley Conservation
Workshop (20 trees).
Provided by SONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.