Heartnut Planting Plan

"P" represents permanent tree rows. Single density at 40' x 40' requires 27 trees per acre. By placing a tree in the centre of the square ("T"), the population of the orchard is doubled or "double density". The advantage of double spacing is that in the early production years (up to 15-20 years), the production would be double too.

Ideally, protogynous and protandrous trees should be planted, alternating. For example, 2 rows of a protogynous cultivar like 'Imshu' should be followed by a matching "P" or protandrous cultivar like 'Campbell CW3' or 'Simcoe' or 'Stealth'. Some care should be taken to put early ripening and later ripening trees next to each other to help in keeping the nuts separated.

Heartnut seedlings are not recommended as "P" or "T" trees, since cracking quality is too variable from tree to tree. If the nut from a tree is not easy cracking, it is not a commercially viable tree. Only grafted trees can provide the quality control necessary for commercial production.

When "T" tree rows begin crowding "P" rows, prune back or shear "T" row trees. Eventually, the "T" row trees may be removed or tree spaded into new orchard areas where they will be in full production in a few years. A stump grinder is the best way to remove stumps without disturbing the orchard floor that should be kept in a smooth condition for harvesting.

For plantings of an acre or more hand harvesting would be labour intensive and only practical if low cost or volunteer labour is available. Some machinery would greatly improve harvesting and processing of the crop. See our handbook Nut Tree Ontario, A Practical Guide for more information on this.
Stump Grinder Attachment

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SONG Members would like to thank the CanAdapt Small Projects Initiative 2000. Without their assistance this project would not have been possible.
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