the Northern Nut Growers' Association in 1912 and was a member until
his death on January 31, 1952, with the exception of the years 1930-35.
He often attended the annual meetings and gave reports of his experiments
at Echo Valley and later, his Florida property.
are excerpts from the NNGA annual-reports:
says there is no chestnut blight in Canada. "We have a blight
in Ontario that has attacked the Lombardy poplar and looks similar
to the chestnut blight. I have been watching it for 10 years and
the tree seems to have at last outlived it...We can grow chestnut
trees but no one has brains enough to grow them ... farmers don't
bother with chestnut trees."
planting nuts on roadsides, in fence corners, etc., advising people
to take a handful of nuts and a cane when they go out walking and
occasionally stick one in.
following seedlings lived through the winter: Pecans; Pinus edulis;
pinus Koraiensis; chestnuts, filberts; all the Juglans including
California and Canadian seed of regia; pawpaws; persimmons. My Pomeroy
walnuts are having a struggle to keep good form but I think I will
have a few hardy ones selected from them."
"I am certain
from my observations all over north-eastern North America that the
pecan has far more possibilities than the English walnut or any
other nut, unless we develop a blight proof chestnut."
Chinese walnut has been doing wonderfully well in Toronto and those
two trees 15 and 17 feet high have not a twig killed. They do not
bear as early as the Japanese. Their leaves are much longer than
the English walnut but the nut is fully as good as the best California
Persian walnut that has ever reached the market. Their appearance
is almost the same as the English but the tree is much hardier,
growing at the extreme north of China. This is the tree that the
nurserymen of Ontario have been selling as "English" walnuts
... as soon as we saw the leaf and the trunk we at once knew them
for north Chinese walnuts and upon being told that, the men acknowledged
that they were."
1915: He reported
that he was experimenting with 13 varieties of pecans. The best
were Major, Posey and Niblack.
was introduced as the "Canadian Johnny Appleseed." He
said "I first devoted 12 acres to the culture of nut trees...added
four more. I just planted seedlings. In 1912 I planted 100 chestnut
trees. When I found the blight was in them, I cut them all down
but two. I have those two now and last year I gathered a peck of
very large chestnuts from them which caused the Ontario government
to take notice of what I was doing."
a hard fight with Pomeroy's trees (walnuts)...but each year they
increased a little in size and now they are over my head and are
not dying down at all."
seedling English walnuts from St. Catharines. They did not freeze
down at all, but whether they will throw as good a nut as Mr. Pomeroy's
I don't know. They are certainly a different nut. I got a Chinese
walnut at Black's Nursery, Highstown, N.J., and it is growing remarkably
In 1928 when
the Northern Nut Growers' Association members visited Echo Valley,
they saw Thomas and Ohio black walnuts; Siers, Fairbanks and Laney
hickories; Chinese walnuts (rare); hybrid chestnuts, seedling heartnuts
from Virginia sources, filberts, pecans and Turkish tree hazel (rare).
Valley, 20 acres, has protection from north winds ... very rich
soil, some pockets of humus 7 1/2 feet deep and grass grows up to
my shoulder and weeds away up over my head ... I use the mulch system
to cultivate my trees as advised by my good friend the late John
the war I planted many nuts which are now large trees. The hickories
grew about a foot a year, the pecans two feet a year, the Chinese
English walnut about four feet a year, the Japanese walnuts five
feet a year, the Manchurian walnuts six feet a year and the Turkish
tree hazel one foot a year. Thus my trees range from 20 - 50 feet
high. On these trees I graft anywhere from one to nine named varieties
hybrid chestnuts have mostly succumbed to the blight, but three
I got from the late Mr. Riehl refuse to die and each year yield
an enormous crop of nuts ..."
I find that I secure 100% of black walnuts on black walnut and 40
to 60% for Circassian walnut on black walnut, from 25 to 40% of
hickory on hickory and 60 to 100% of hickory on pecan."
walnut takes the Japanese heartnut if put on by side and plain splice
graft, but not by cleft nor crown grafting. I have had very fair
success budding filberts but have yet to find out about budding
other nut trees."
years ago a gentleman at Beamsville sent me more than a peck of
splendid-sized Japanese heartnuts (Juglans cordiformis). I planted
these nuts here and there on my acres. They grew fast and are now
large trees, though never cultivated, and most of the time quite
neglected as I was away, even six years at a stretch...the six best
bear a nut that is undoubtedly a cross between our native butternut
and the mother tree, a Japanese heartnut. These six trees are exceedingly
hardy. The nuts ripen three weeks before the black walnut and thus
escape entirely any early October frost ... They are all regular
annual bearers and never have an off year. The trees are decidedly
healthier than our native butternut...all have much thinner shells
than our native butternuts and larger meats. The trees themselves
are indistinguishable from Japanese walnuts (J. sieboldiana) or
Japanese heartnuts (J. cordiformis) but are stouter and wider than
butternuts (J. cinerea) ... While the Japanese walnut will grow
in clusters of 24, and Japanese heartnuts in clusters of 10, these
hybrids grow only in clusters of six or seven ... Give me no credit
for these six trees as they just happened."
budding, I find that between the third week of July and the middle
of August some nut trees accept buds 100% and this is far easier
than grafting. But bud-sticks cannot be sent away ... this is a
great disadvantage as grafts can be sent a considerable distance
if sent in March or April."
of budding I can teach anyone in five minutes. My procedure is thus:
Procure a pound tin of pure Latex (liquid rubber) from the Viceroy
Mfg. Co., West Toronto. They sell the milk-white kind and not the
destructive amber fluid. The right kind smells strongly of ammonia
and costs 90 cents per pound and will last you the entire three
week's budding season, budding every day. Keep the top on the can
and don't leave it out in the hot sun. I use a stick to put on the
Latex and use a regular German budding knife, having a pointed brass
end for opening the T-cut. I also use 2 1/2 inch, thin rubber bands;
I prefer the red rubber, 40 cents a quarter-pound retail at most
cut the buds off I try not to leave too big a hole where the bud
is attached to the wood base and cut this little tit off, leaving
it not on the wood but in the bud--otherwise I have no wood attaching
to the inside of the bud."
walnut buds on black walnut readily. My hybrid nuts bud on butternut,
heartnut and Japanese walnuts. Hickory and hican bud on pecan. I
bud green buds on green wood; and green wood buds on two or even
past winter has been unique because of its severity and the absence
of snow ... The result was that all my four varieties of eulalia
froze dead. Some of my pawpaws and persimmons were killed. But,
astounding to say, all my Chinese jujubes lived through and came
out in the spring in most excellent shape. Nine varieties (of walnuts)
froze back one inch, while the rest of my 80 varieties from Russia
came out from the tip buds and are in perfect shape. My small Chinese
sweet chestnuts froze back a few inches while my medium-sized and
large trees did not freeze a bud."
crop is large and for the first time I have quite a number of varieties
of hicans in fruit."
just west of Toronto and north of Lake Ontario, this first day of
fall, 1942, the Thomas black walnuts are just ripe and the crop
is very good. The Winkler hazelnuts are almost ripe and waiting
for a frost to loosen them in their husks. The butternuts are bare
of leaves and the nuts are still hanging on, though ripe some 10
days ago. All of some score or more varieties of the European filberts
have been gathered. One variety was ripe and gathered on August
28. Hybrids between our native butternuts and the Japanese heartnuts,
to the number of six varieties, are fully ripe but not all fallen.
The Japanese heartnuts are ripe but not fallen. Stratford hickories
are fully ripe and falling. The larger hickories will not be ripe
until mid-October, and the same with the chestnuts, though some
varieties may ripen in early October."
... to be continued
... taken from
SONG NEWS No. 13, Fall 1998.