DISCLAIMER The articles published in the Annual Reports of the Northern Nut Growers Association are the findings and thoughts solely of the authors and are not to be construed as an endorsement by the Northern Nut Growers Association, its board of directors, or its members. No endorsement is intended for products mentioned, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The laws and recommendations for pesticide application may have changed since the articles were written. It is always the pesticide applicator's responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. The discussion of specific nut tree cultivars and of specific techniques to grow nut trees that might have been successful in one area and at a particular time is not a guarantee that similar results will occur elsewhere.
NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION
REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS AT THE SEVENTH ANNUAL MEETING
WASHINGTON, D. C. SEPTEMBER 8 AND 9, 1916.
PRESS OF The Advertiser-republican, ANNAPOLIS, MD.
Officers and Committees of the Association 4 Members of the Association 5
Constitution and By-Laws 10
Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting 13
Report of the Secretary-Treasurer 14
Notes on the Chinquapins, Dr. Robert T. Morris, New York 15
The Black Walnut, T. P. Littlepage, Washington, D. C. 25
Discussion on the Almond 33
Discussion on the Hazel 37
The Chestnut Bark Disease, Dr. Haven Metcalf, Washington, D. C. 41
Discussion on Quarantine for Chestnut Nursery Stock 49
Hybrids and Other New Chestnuts for Blight Districts, Dr. Walter Van Fleet, Washington, D. C. 54
President's Address, Dr. J. Russell Smith, Roundhill, Va. 58
Diseases of the Persian Walnut, S. M. McMurran, Washington, D. C. 67
Discussion on Winter Killing 72
Address of Col. C. A. Van Duzee, Cairo, Georgia 75
Resolutions on Chestnut Blight Quarantine 80
Resolution on Investigations in Nut Tree Propagation 84
Discussion on the Growth and Fruiting of Pecans in the North 86
Top Working Pecans on Other Hickories 91
Letter from W. C. Reed, Vice-President 98
The Food Value of Nuts, Dr. J. H. Kellogg, Battle Creek, Mich. 101
Letter from J. C. Cooper, McMinnville, Oregon 114
List of those present at the meeting 117
OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION
President W. C. REED Vincennes, Indiana Vice-President W. N. HUTT Raleigh, North Carolina Secretary and Treasurer W. C. DEMING Georgetown, Connecticut
Auditing—C. P. CLOSE, C. A. REED Executive—T. P. LITTLEPAGE, J. RUSSELL SMITH AND THE OFFICERS Finance—T. P. LITTLEPAGE, WILLARD G. BIXBY, W. C. DEMING Hybrids—R. T. MORRIS, C. P. CLOSE, W. C. DEMING, J. G. RUSH Membership—HARRY R. WEBER, R. T. OLCOTT, F. N. FAGAN, W. O. POTTER, W. C. DEMING, WENDELL P. WILLIAMS, J. RUSSELL SMITH Nomenclature—C. A. REED, R. T. MORRIS, R. L. MCCOY, J. F. JONES Press and Publication—RALPH T. OLCOTT, J. RUSSELL SMITH, W. C. DEMING Programme—W. C. DEMING, J. RUSSELL SMITH, C. A. REED, W. N. HUTT, R. T. MORRIS Promising Seedlings—C. A. REED, J. F. JONES, PAUL WHITE
California T. C. Tucker 311 California St., San Francisco Canada G. H. Corsan 63 Avenue Road, Toronto Connecticut Charles H. Plump West Redding Delaware E. R. Angst 527 Dupont Building, Wilmington Georgia J. B. Wight Cairo Illinois H. A. Riehl Alton Indiana J. F. Wilkinson Rockport Iowa Wendell P. Williams Danville Kentucky A. L. Moseley Calhoun Maryland C. P. Close College Park Massachusetts James II. Bowditch 903 Tremont Building, Boston Michigan. Miss Maude M. Jessup 440 Thomas St., Grand Rapids Minnesota L. L. Powers 1018 Hudson Ave., St. Paul Missouri P. C. Stark Louisiana New Jersey C. S. Ridgway Lumberton New York M. E. Wile 37 Calumet St., Rochester North Carolina W. N. Hutt Raleigh Ohio Harry R. Weber 601 Gerke Building, Cincinnati Pennsylvania J. G. Rush West Willow Texas R. S. Trumbull M. S. R. R. Co., El Paso Virginia John S. Parish Eastham Washington A. E. Baldwin Kettle Falls West Virginia B. F. Hartzell Shepherdstown
MEMBERS OF THE NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION
CALIFORNIA Dawson, L. H., Llano Johnson, Chet, R. D. 1, Biggs Tucker, T. C., Manager California Almond Growers' Exchange, 311 California St., San Francisco
CANADA Corsan, G. H., University of Toronto Dufresne, Dr. A. A., 1872 Cartier St., Montreal Sager, Dr. D. S., Brantford
CONNECTICUT Barnes, John R., Yalesville Deming, Dr. W. C., Georgetown Deming, Mrs. W. C., Georgetown. Goodwin, James L., Box 447, Hartford Hungerford, Newman, Torrington, R. 2, Box 76, for circulars, Box 1082, Hartford, for letters Ives, Ernest M., Sterling Orchards, Meriden Lay, Charles Downing, Wellesmere, Stratford Lewis, Henry Leroy, Stratford Mikkelsen, Mrs. M. A., Georgetown *Morris, Dr. Robert T., Cos Cob, R. 28, Box 95 Plump, Charles II., West Redding Sessions, Albert L., Bristol Staunton, Gray, R. D. 30, Stamford White, Gerrard, North Granby Williams, W. W., Milldale
DELAWARE Augst, E. R., 527 DuPont Building, Wilmington, Del. Lord, George Frank, care of DuPont Powder Company, Wilmington
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Close, Prof. C. P., Pomologist, Department of Agriculture, Washington Goddard, R. H., States' Relations Service, Washington *Littlepage, T. P., Union Trust Building, Washington Reed, C. A., Nut Culturist, Department of Agriculture, Washington
GEORGIA Bullard, Wm. P., Albany Van Duzee, C. A., Judson Orchard Farm, Cairo Wight, J. B., Cairo
ILLINOIS Casper, O. II., Anna Poll, Carl J, 1009 Maple St., Danville Potter, Hon. W. O., Marion Riehl, E. A., Alton
INDIANA Hutchings, Miss Lida G., 118 Third St., Madison Lukens, Mrs. B., Anderson Reed, M. P., Vincennes Reed, W. C, Vincennes Wilkinson, J. F., Rockport Woolbright, Clarence, R. D. 3, Elnora
IOWA Snyder, D. C., Center Point Williams, Wendell P., Danville
KENTUCKY Matthews, Prof. C. W., Horticulturist, State Agricultural Station, Lexington Moseley, A. L., Bank of Calhoun, Calhoun
MARYLAND Campbell, George D., Lonaconing Darby, R. U., Suite 804, Continental Building, Baltimore Hayden, Chas. S., 200 E. Lexington St., Baltimore Keenan, Dr. John N., Brentwood King, W. J., 232 Prince George St., Annapolis Kyner, James H., Bladensburg Littlepage, Miss Louise, Bowie Murray, Miss Annie C., Cumberstone Stabler, Henry, Hancock White, Paul, Bowie
MASSACHUSETTS *Bowditch, James II., 903 Tremont Building, Boston Cleaver, C. Leroy, Hingham Center Cole, Mrs. George B., 15 Mystic Ave., Winchester Hoffman, Bernhard, Overbrook Orchard, Stockbridge Smith, Fred A., 39 Pine St., Danvers Vaughan, Horace A., Peacehaven, Assonet White, Warren, Holliston
MICHIGAN Copland, Alexander W., Strawberry Hill Farm, Birmingham Jessup, Miss Maud M., 440 Thomas St., Grand Rapids Johnson, Franklin, Munising Kellogg, J. H., Battle Creek Staunton, Gray, Muskegon, Box 233
MINNESOTA Powers, L. L., 1018 Hudson Ave., St. Paul
MISSOURI Bauman, X. C., Ste. Genevieve Darche, J. H., Parkville Funston, E. S., 1521 Morgan St., St. Louis Phelps, Howe, Pine Hurst Dairy, Carthage Stark, P. C., Louisiana (Mo.)
NEBRASKA Kurtz, John W., 5304 Bedford St., Omaha
NEW JERSEY Black, Walter C., of Jos. H. Black, Son & Co., Hightstown Childs, Fred., Morristown, R. D. 2 Jaques, Lee W., 74 Waverly St., Jersey City Heights Lovett, J. T., Little Silver Marston, Edwin S., Florham Park, Box 72 Mechling, Edward A., Wonderland Farm, Moorestown Ridgeway, C. S. Floralia, Lumberton, N. J. Roberts, Horace, Moorestown Young, Frederick C., Palmyra, Box 335
NEW YORK Abbott, Frederick B., 419 Ninth St., Brooklyn Atwater, C. G., The Barrett Co., 17 Battery Place, New York City Baker, Dr. Hugh P., Dean of State College of Forestry, Syracuse Baker, Prof. J. Fred, Director of Forest Investigations, State College of Forestry, Syracuse Baker, Wm. A., North Rose Bixby, Willard G., 46th St. and 2nd Ave., Brooklyn Brown, Ronald J., 320 Broadway, New York City Ellwanger, Mrs. W. D., 510 East Ave., Rochester Fullerton, H. B., Director Long Island Railroad Experiment Station, Medford, L. I. Haywood, Albert, Flushing Hickox, Ralph, 3832 White Plains Ave., New York City Holden, E. B., Hilton *Huntington, A. M., 15 W. 81st St., New York City Jackson, Dr. James H., Dansville Loomis, C. B., East Greenbush Miller, Milton R., Batavia, Box 394 Morse, Geo. A., Fruit Acres, Williamson, N. Y. Nelson, Dr. James Robert, 23 Main St., Kingston-on-Hudson Olcott, Ralph T., Ellwanger & Barry Building, Rochester Palmer, A. C., New York Military Academy, Cornwall-on-Hudson Pannell, W. B., Pittsford Pomeroy, A. C., Lockport Rice, Mrs. Lillian McKee, Adelano, Pawling Simmons, A. L., State Highway Department, Albany Stuart, C. W., Newark Teele, A. W., 30 Broad St., New York City Teter, Walter C., 10 Wall St., New York City Thomson, Adelbert, East Avon Tuckerman, Bayard, 118 E. 37th St., New York City Ulman, Dr. Ira, 213 W. 147th St., New York City Wile, M. E., 37 Calumet St., Rochester Williams, Dr. Charles Mallory, 48 E. 49th St., New York City *Wissman, Mrs. F. de R., Westchester, New York City
NORTH CAROLINA Glover, J. Wheeler, Morehead City Hutt, Prof. W. N., State Horticulturist, Raleigh Van Lindley, J., J. Van Lindley Nursery Company, Pomona Whitfield, Dr. Wm. Cobb, Grifton
OHIO Dayton, J. H., Storrs & Harrison Company, Painesville Evans, Miss Myrta L., Briallen Farm, Oak Hill, Jackson County Miller, H. A., Gypsum Thorne, Charles E., Wooster, Agric. Exp. Sta. Weber, Harry E., 601 Gerke Building, Cincinnati Yunck, E. G., 710 Central Ave., Sandusky
PENNSYLVANIA Druckemiller, W. C., Sunbury Fagan, Prof. P. N., Department of Horticulture, State College Grubbs, H. L., Fairview, R. 1 Hall, Robt. W., 133 Church St., Bethlehem Harshman, U. W., Waynesboro Heffner, H., Highland Chestnut Grove, Leeper Hile, Anthony, Curwensville National Bank, Curwensville Hoopes, Wilmer W., Hoopes Brothers and Thomas Company, Westchester Hutchinson, Mahlon, Ashwood Farm, Devon, Chester County Jenkins, Charles Francis, Farm Journal, Philadelphia *Jones, J. P., Lancaster, Box 527 Kaufman, M. M., Clarion Leas, F. C., 882 Drexel Building, Philadelphia, Mountain Brook Orchard Company, Salem, Va. Middleton, Fenton H., 1118 Chestnut St., Philadelphia Murphy, P. J., Vice-President L. & W. R. R. R. Company, Scranton O'Neill, Wm. C., 1328 Walnut St., Philadelphia Rheam, J. F., 45 N. Walnut St., Lewistown Rick, John, 438 Pennsylvania Sq., Reading Rife, Jacob A., Camp Hill Rush, J. G., West Willow *Sober, Col. C. K., Lewisburg Thomas, Joseph W., Jos. W. Thomas & Sons, King of Prussia P. O. Weaver, Wm. S., McCungie Webster, Mrs. Edmund, 1324 S. Broad St., Philadelphia *Wister, John C, Wister St. and Clarkson Ave., Germantown Wright, R. P., 235 W. 6th St., Erie
SOUTH CAROLINA Shanklin, Prof. A. G., Clemson College
TENNESSEE Marr, Thomas S., 701 Stahlman Building, Nashville
TEXAS Burkett, J. H., Nut Specialist, State Dept, of Agric., Clyde Trumbull, R. S., Agricultural Agent, El Paso & S. W. System, Morenci Southern Railroad Company, El Paso
VIRGINIA Crockett, E. B., Monroe Engleby, Thos. L., 1002 Patterson Ave., Roanoke Lee, Lawrence R., Leesburg Miller, L. O., Miller & Rhodes, Richmond Parish, John S., Eastham, Albemarle County Shackford, Theodore B., care of Adams Brothers-Paynes Company, Lynchburg Smith, Dr. J. Russell, Roundhill
WASHINGTON Baldwin, Dr. A. E., Kettle Falls Rogers, Dr. Albert, Okanogan
WEST VIRGINIA Hartzell, B. F., Shepherdstown
* Life member.
Name. This society shall be known as the NORTHERN NUT GROWERS ASSOCIATION.
Object. Its object shall be the promotion of interest in nut-bearing plants, their products and their culture.
Membership. Membership in the society shall be open to all persons who desire to further nut culture, without reference to place of residence or nationality, subject to the rules and regulations of the committee on membership.
Officers. There shall be a president, a vice-president and a secretary-treasurer, who shall be elected by ballot at the annual meeting; and an executive committee of five persons, of which the president, two last retiring presidents, vice-president and secretary-treasurer shall be members. There shall be a state vice-president from each state, dependency or country represented in the membership of the association, who shall be appointed by the president.
Election of Officers. A committee of five members shall be elected at the annual meeting for the purpose of nominating officers for the following year.
Meetings. The place and time of the annual meeting shall be selected by the membership in session or, in the event of no selection being made at this time, the executive committee shall choose the place and time for the holding of the annual convention. Such other meetings as may seem desirable may be called by the president and executive committee.
Quorum. Ten members of the association shall constitute a quorum, but must include a majority of the executive committee or two of the three elected officers.
Amendments. This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any annual meeting, notice of such amendment having been read at the previous annual meeting, or a copy of the proposed amendment having been mailed by any member to each member thirty days before the date of the annual meeting.
Committees. The association shall appoint standing committees as follows: On membership, on finance, on programme, on press and publication, on nomenclature, on promising seedlings, on hybrids, and an auditing committee. The committee on membership may make recommendations to the association as to the discipline or expulsion of any member.
Fees. The fees shall be of two kinds, annual and life. The former shall be two dollars, the latter twenty dollars.
Membership. All annual memberships shall begin with the first day of the calendar quarter following the date of joining the association.
Amendments. By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of members present at any annual meeting.
Northern Nut Growers Association
SEVENTH ANNUAL MEETING
SEPTEMBER 8 AND 9, 1916
WASHINGTON, D. C.
The seventh annual meeting of the Northern Nut Growers Association was called to order in rooms 42-43 of the new building of the National Museum at Washington, D. C., on Friday, September 8th, at 10 a. m., the president, Dr. J. Russell Smith, presiding.
THE PRESIDENT: It is often customary to start meetings of this sort with a considerable amount of eloquence, such as an address of welcome by some high city or state official, a response to the address of welcome by some one else high in authority, and so on, during which the visitors are told of the many privileges they may enjoy, "the keys of the town" are handed over to them, and a good deal of high-flown oratory is indulged in. We suppose that the people in attendance at this meeting are so well acquainted with Washington that those preliminaries are unnecessary, and I have been informed by the members of the local committee that we can dispense with the frills in this case and proceed with the business of the meeting, which we think is going to rather crowd our time if we get said all that we want to say. We are going to devote this morning's programme first to a paper by Dr. Robert T. Morris on the chinquapin, and then to the discussion of a comparatively newly considered member of our nut family, namely, the American black walnut. We have been heretofore much interested in sundry exotics and talking far too little about this great tree nearer home.
Before taking up the technical programme we have a few matters of business to put through. First, we will have the report of the secretary and treasurer.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-TREASURER
Balance on hand date of last report $ 140.24 Receipts: Dues 292.75 Advertisements 21.00 Contributions 5.50 Sale of report 34.75 Contributions for prizes 10.00 Miscellaneous .65 ———- $504.89
Expenses: Printing report $ 142.56 Envelopes for report 9.00 Miscellaneous printing 32.50 Postage and stationery 49.26 Stenographer 26.35 Express and freight 2.77 Prizes 18.00 Checks, J. R. S. expenses and circulars 180.00 Lantern operator 3.00 Litchfield Savings Society 20.00 ———- $483.44 ———- Balance on hand $21.45
Receipts from all sources, except sale of reports, have fallen off markedly, as have new members, 31 less than last year, though we have now 154 paid up members, one more than last year. 10 members have resigned and 42 have been dropped for non-payment of dues. We have lost one member by death, Herbert R. Orr, of Washington.
The committees on membership and on finance should be more active.
Our annual report constitutes the minutes of the last meeting. Our nut contest and other matters of interest have been reported through the columns of the American Nut Journal, our official organ.
THE PRESIDENT: Next in order of business is the first step toward the election of officers for the ensuing year. It is our custom to have a nominating committee elected at an early session. They deliberate and bring forward a slate which is voted on at a later session. This morning is a suitable time for the election of a committee, and tomorrow morning will be a suitable time for their report. Are there any nominations for the Nominating Committee?
MR. M. P. REED: Mr. President, I move that Dr. Morris, Mr. C. P. Close, Mr. C. A. Reed, Prof. Stabler and Dr. Ira Ulman be appointed as the Nominating Committee.
THE PRESIDENT: Are there any other nominations?
MR. C. A. REED: Mr. President, I would like to ask that Mr. Littlepage's name replace my name on that committee.
THE PRESIDENT: Will the nominating member accept that amendment?
MR. M. P. REED: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Are there any other nominations? Do I hear a second to the nominations?
A MEMBER: Second it.
THE PRESIDENT: Are there any other committees to report at this time?
THE SECRETARY: There is a Committee on Incorporation.
MR. T. P. LITTLEPAGE: Mr. President, the Committee on Incorporation has done some investigating as to the desirability of incorporating the Association, and also, if desirable, under what laws, but that committee has not yet made any final report nor come to any final conclusion, and I would suggest, as a member of the committee, that the committee be continued and instructed to report the following year.
THE PRESIDENT: I think that it is unnecessary to vote on the continuance of the committee, as it was appointed with indefinite tenure. We will proceed with the programme and first have the pleasure of listening to Dr. Morris.
NOTES ON THE CHINQUAPINS.
DR. ROBERT T. MORRIS, NEW YORK
According to Sargent the chinquapin (Castanea pumila) occupies dry sandy ridges, rich hillsides and the borders of swamps from southern Pennsylvania to northern Florida and the valley of the Neches River in Texas. He states that this chestnut is usually shrubby in the region east of the Alleghany Mountains, and assuming the tree form west of the Mississippi River. Most abundant and of largest size in southern Arkansas and eastern Texas.
Curiously enough there are chinquapins also in northeastern Asia which occur as understudies of the larger chestnuts, very much as they do in America.
The indigenous range of the chinquapin in America is limited northward by a plan of nature for checking distribution of the species. This plan is manifested in a habit which the nuts have of sprouting immediately upon falling in the early autumn. They proceed busily to make a tap root which may become several inches in length before frost calls a halt. In the north where the warm season is not long enough to allow the autumn sprout to lignify sufficiently for bearing the rigors of winter it is killed. If we protect the small autumn plants, or if we transplant older seedlings from their natural habitat, they may be grown easily far north of their indigenous range. Thrifty chinquapins are happy in the Arnold Arboretum at Jamaica Plain in Massachusetts, and no one knows but they might be cultivated in Nova Scotia and Minnesota.
The American chinquapin is one of the many beautiful and valuable plants which have not as yet been taken up by horticulturists for extensive development. It promises to become one of our important sources of food supply for tomorrow. If we were to develop all of our plant resources at once it would be an unkindness to the horticulturists of two thousand years from now, who would be left moping around with nothing to do. Chinquapin nuts borne in heavy profusion by the plants are delicious in quality, but usually too small to attract customers aside from the wood folk. The wood of the chinquapin of tree form (C. pumila var. arboriformis) is valuable for purposes to which wood of the common American chestnut is put, and some of the tree chinquapins acquire an earned increment of two or three feet diameter of trunk, and a height of more than fifty feet. The bush chinquapin on the other hand feels rather exclusive when attaining a height of as much as fifteen feet.
I present for inspection a freshly cut branch from an ordinary bush chinquapin, loaded with burs, indicating the prolific nature of the variety. The nuts in this particular specimen are small. The next branch exhibited is from a similar bush, but with nuts quite as large as those of the average common chestnut. The horticulturist has only to graft or bud his ordinary run of chinquapin stocks from some one bush which bears large nuts, and he will then have a valuable graded market product. The larger the nut the less prolific the plant is a rule which holds good with the fruiting of almost any plant.
Look at this branch from a tree chinquapin. It is not remarkable in any way, but the leaves seem to be a little larger than those of the bush chinquapin. My tree chinquapins came from Stark's nursery in Missouri. The first two which came into bearing had nuts quite as large as those of the common chestnut and I imagined that a discovery of value had been made, but other trees of this variety later bore very small nuts, and all of the tree chinquapin nuts, large and small, were much duller in color than those of the bush chinquapin. My final conclusion is that so far as nuts alone are concerned we may plant and cultivate either the tree variety or the bush variety of the species and then bud or graft any number of stocks from some one plant which bears the best product.
DR. AUGUSTUS STABLER: Is it a somewhat finer grained wood than the ordinary chestnut?
DR. MORRIS: I think it is. All the chestnuts have rather coarse wood. It is strong, hard, durable, and valuable. This chinquapin wood is somewhat coarse grained, but, for comparison with the American chestnut, I don't know. I imagine it is finer grained.
DR. AUGUSTUS STABLER: I know that the chinquapin wood is very much tougher than the American chestnut.
DR. MORRIS: Oh, yes. You cannot break the branches so easily.
Here is a branch from a hybrid between a chinquapin and a common American chestnut (Castanea dentata). The leaves and bark, you will observe, are very much like those of the larger parent. The burs are borne singly or in small groups like those of the common chestnut, instead of being crowded in dense clusters like chinquapin burs. There are two or three nuts to the bur, while the chinquapin has normally, but one nut to the bur. This particular hybrid tree showed an interesting peculiarity. During the first two seasons of bearing it had but one nut to the bur, and this was of chinquapin character. In the third year its nuts were still borne singly, but they were lighter in color than before and oddly corrugated at the base. As the tree became older its chestnut parentage influence pre-dominated, and the tree began to bear two or three nuts to the bur, and more like chestnuts in character, becoming smooth again at the base.
I have a number of hybrids between chinquapins and various species and varieties of other chestnuts, but none of these as yet has produced nuts of marked value. There seems to be a tendency for the coarseness of the larger nuts to prevail in the hybrids, a certain loss of gentility beneath a showy exterior.
The next branch which I present for inspection is from a most beautiful member of the chestnut family, the alder-leaved chestnut (Castanea alnifolia). It is classed among the chinquapins in Georgia where the plant is nearly if not quite evergreen. At Stamford it is deciduous very late in the autumn, but sometimes a green leaf will be found in February, where snow or dead leaves on the ground have furnished a protecting covering. The notable value of this species is perhaps in its decorative character for lawns, although the nuts are first rate. The dark green brilliant leaves are striking in appearance, and the shrub is inclined toward a trailing habit, much like that of some of the junipers. This species is one of my pets at Merribrooke, and a perennial source of wonder that nurserymen have not as yet pounced upon it for purposes of exaggeration and misstatement in their annual catalogues.
All of these specimens shown today are from my country place at Stamford, Connecticut, where the mercury in the thermometer leads one to make quotations relating to the Eve of Saint Agnes; five or ten degrees below the zero of Fahrenheit occasionally, and once down to twenty degrees below without injury to any kind of chestnut so far as I could observe.
I cannot make an exhibit of the golden-leaved chinquapin, from the Pacific slope, because tragedy came to all of my little trees of this species, and like most of the Pacific slope plants they are not very joyous in the east. One lot lived through one winter at Merribrooke, but they were the first green things that my cows saw in the springtime, and further comment would be surplus. A single specimen took courage in its root and grew finely until autumn, but it was near a path and somebody pulled it up and left it lying stark naked on the ground. Botanists have recently made two species of the golden-leaved chinquapin, one of the species attaining a height of more than one hundred feet. If horticulturists will secure specimens of Castanopsis chrysophilla from the region of Mount Shasta in California I presume that this beautiful evergreen chinquapin may be taught to grow in some of our gardens. It is cultivated in the gardens of temperate Europe. In our north it should be planted close to a running brook, where the roots of young trees can carry water in plenty to the evergreen top while the ground is frozen hard in winter.
Our common chinquapin of the east is perhaps the one that will be cultivated most profitably in the region between the Rocky Mountains and the Atlantic coast. The beauty of freshly picked bush chinquapin nuts is not rivalled by that of any other kind of nut that I have ever seen. The exquisitely polished mahogany color comes out of a light downy cloud near the apex of the nut, dark as midnight for a moment and then shading through glows of lively chestnut until it dawns in a dreamy cream color at the base, with just enough suggestion of green to temper the reds.
If any gourmet with a color soul could serve each one of his friends to a plate of twenty freshly picked bush chinquapins along with two Bennett persimmons, and all resting upon late September leaves of tupelo or of sweet gum the friends would remain and live at his expense while the combination lasted.
Furthermore, the children must always be taken into consideration along with chinquapin questions. According to authorities on the subject of decadence, we do not care very much about the children in these days. If some old-fashioned folks still remain, and if these old-fashioned folks do not take any particular personal interest in the beautiful garden and lawn trees that America has held out towards us in the chinquapins, they may at least plant a few of them because of the social standing that will follow. How so? Well, you see, it's because the parents of elite children will run over for a little visit in order to find out why the children do not come home. Then again, we are kind to dumb animals when raising chinquapins. Squirrels and white-footed mice, crows and blue jays are full of enthusiasm for the nuts, and they will assume the responsibility of gathering the crop if the matter is left in their charge.
This is really a funny country; something of a joke of a country when you come to think of it. Instead of setting out trees that will become both useful and beautiful, in accordance with the old Greek ideal of combining beauty and utility we set out Norway spruces that will make people hate evergreens in general. We set out poplars and all sorts of bunches of leaves in our parks and along the highways, instead of trees still more beautiful that would yield tons of coupon dollars every autumn. De gustibus non est disputandum!
When experimenting with hybridization of chinquapins, I ran across a phenomenon of new interest to botanists, and quite accidentally. A number of clusters of pistillate flowers of the bush chinquapin had been covered with paper bags, but not pollenized because of a shortage of pollen. An active man with a good sense of neatness and order would have removed those bags merely for the sake of appearance, but I was lazy and allowed the bags to remain for two or three weeks. When they were finally removed, it was found that the branches had set quite full of fruit, although not so full as other branches that had been pollenized from oaks. We were evidently dealing with an instance of parthenogenesis. The flowers that had received oak pollen did not show any oak parentage later in their progeny, and it was observed in other experiments in other years that almost any cupuliferous pollen would start cells of the chinquapin ovary into division and into the development of fertile nuts, but without inclusion of the pollen cell in a gamete. For purposes of convenience in thinking I have temporarily called this phenomenon "stereochemic parthenogenesis." Apparently the propinquity of foreign pollen serves to stimulate a female cell into division, although the pollen cell retains fixed molecular identity, and does not fuse with the female cell. I need not bring up abstruse questions of chromatin or of subatomic influence here.
At Stamford the bush chinquapins begin to blossom regularly about the twelfth of June, irrespective of weather conditions. The tree chinquapins blossom a little later, but the alder-leaved chestnut may not blossom until July, later than the common American chestnut. The bush chinquapins begin to open their burs very regularly about the fifteenth of September; earlier than any other chestnuts. They bear at an early age, sometimes in their fifth summer.
Grafting and budding is easily done among all of the chestnuts as a rule, and this year I employed for the first time a large chinquapin bush for top-working with the choice Merribrooke variety of the common chestnut. Every one of the grafts caught, and some of them have grown tremendously. This introduces an interesting question. May we graft the common American chestnut upon bush chinquapin stocks and secure precocious bearing? In that case we shall have trees like the dwarf apple and pear trees that are readily pruned and sprayed.
The chinquapin is practically immune to the blight (Endothia parasitica.) Easily blighting varieties of choice American chestnuts may be grafted upon these blight resistant stocks in orchard form if my experiment proves to be a success. It will not lessen the vulnerability of the American chestnut, but dwarf trees will be within reach of the horticulturist's pruning knife and spray outfit. Orchards of fine varieties of the common chestnut may perhaps be maintained in this way until the present epidemic of Endothia has expended its protoplasmic energy, or until it has succumbed to microbic parasites of its own.
THE PRESIDENT: Are there any questions to put to Dr. Morris?
THE SECRETARY: I venture to say that a good many people have tried, in the north, to raise the chinquapin, and I would like to have Dr. Morris tell us what to do to get it to grow best, whether to buy the trees from the nurserymen, or to plant the nuts, and just how to do it.
PROF. C. P. CLOSE: I would like to ask Dr. Morris about those chinquapins that set without the application of pollen, whether they fill well and whether they sprout at planting?
MR. LITTLEPAGE: With us out in Maryland it isn't a question of producing the chinquapin; we cut the bushes down every year by the thousands; we have nothing at all against it, but we have found that the weevil has been absolutely unsurmountable with us. It is the only discouraging thing about it in this part of the country. Around Washington the chinquapin is a weed tree, and if you gather a peck of chinquapins you will find that the whole peck, in two weeks, have turned to weevils. Perhaps Dr. Morris can tell us what to do about that, and put us on the road to success.
THE PRESIDENT: I should like to ask Dr. Morris two questions, first, as to the possibility of utilizing the western tree chinquapins as stocks for the larger eastern chinquapins with nuts of chestnut size. Is there a possibility thus of getting a larger tree?
The second question is akin to that—utilization of the western tree as a stock for a hybrid chinquapin which might have arboreal possibilities and enough chinquapin qualities to be blight-resistant.
DR. STABLER: I am very much interested in Dr. Morris' proposition to produce dwarf chestnut trees by grafting on chinquapin stocks. Now, the difficulty I would expect to encounter is the same as when pecans are grafted on hickory, and when sweet cherries are grafted on Mahaleb, namely, that the root is not sufficiently vigorous to support the top. The fact that his grafts grew so tremendously when put on the chinquapin roots would look as though that might occur.
THE PRESIDENT: The audience seems to have run out of questions.
DR. MORRIS: All right, sir. First, how are we to grow chinquapins? Plant as soon as the nuts have fallen. Put them in a cage. I have wire cages that are about eight inches high, and about two feet wide and three feet long. I plant all the nuts there. They have wire mesh tops to keep out the rodents; that is the important thing. All nuts, I find, are best planted under conditions which simulate the normal conditions. Our nut trees are not as yet domesticated. They haven't learned bad habits, and they depend upon peculiarly favorable conditions of moisture, warmth and light. You plant a nut two inches below the surface, but nature doesn't do anything like that. Consequently, that nut is surprised, doesn't know what to do, and stays down there looking for something to happen. But if you put that nut so it is about half buried in the sand, so that it is damp on one side and the sun strikes it on the other side, and the frost and snow affect it naturally, the nut does just what you want it to do. It gets out of that uncomfortable condition and begins to grow. (Laughter.) When planting any nuts, I place them in the sand and leave one side exposed to light, moisture, frost, and the observation of visitors. When I have sprouted chinquapins in the north and there is danger of their not lignifying when the ground begins to freeze, I put a lot of little sticks upright amongst them, so that my mulch will not bear too heavily upon the chinquapins, and then cover them with several inches of oak leaves, or any good, strong leaves that will not pack too tightly. That mulch of loose leaves will protect the sprouted nuts perfectly during the winter in Connecticut, so they all start growing in the next spring.
Another way is to buy chinquapin stocks from any of the nurserymen, stocks two or three years old, which begin to bear when four or five years of age.
Professor Close, I think it was, who asked if the nuts were fertile, both the ones that developed without fertilization by any pollen and the ones that developed by stereochemic parthenogenesis—by the influence of neighboring pollen. Both sorts are fertile, and I presume that the effect of that would be similar to the effect of close inbreeding. In other words, we would have intensification of characteristics of some one parent. If you get parthenogenesis through two or three generations I presume that same peculiar feature of the original parent would become so intensified as to become a marked feature of the progeny. This offers a new line of cleavage for horticultural investigation. I am very glad that you raised that question.
Answering Mr. Littlepage, I have apparently managed to get some crosses back and forth between chestnuts, and oaks, and beech, this year. I have a number of those crosses now under way that are apparently good hybrids.
DR. STABLER: A cross between a chestnut and a beech?
DR. MORRIS: Yes, I think so. You see, I have got to wait a year or so until the plants develop later characteristics. All of these parent trees are pretty closely related, you see. The blooming period between the different ones may be as much as two or three weeks, or three months apart, in fact. I have cross pollinated hazels and oaks, this year. The way to do that is to find correspondents at the extreme limit of the blossoming range of the species, who will send pollen. For instance, Professor Hume, in Florida, sends me chestnut pollen in time to cross my oaks, and Professor Conser, of the University of Maine, has some beeches that blossom in time for me to cross with chinquapins and oak trees. That is one way to do it.
Another way is to put your pollen in cold storage with some sphagnum moss, just put a little damp moss in your box with the pollen and put it in cold storage, and keep it at just about forty, above the freezing point. Another way is to put branches with dormant flower buds in cold storage. Hazels, for instance, may be kept for six months in this way. Put them in water, in the sun, and you soon have flowers furnishing pollen. I would take up the whole session of two days here if you were to ask too many questions along that line. (Laughter.)
Mr. Littlepage's question about the weevils. The question may be settled very easily where there are not many chinquapin trees. That is the case in Connecticut. Collect all the nuts, and you collect all of the weevil larvae. Curiously enough, the common chestnut weevil, that had become very abundant, has disappeared locally with the disappearance of our American chestnut, and has not attacked our chinquapins. If you have an orchard of chinquapins and collect all the nuts you will soon dispose of the weevils. That is the only way that I know of for disposing of the weevils. Eat them up. (Laughter.) You can pick out the weevil chestnuts fairly well if you toss all of the nuts into a cup of water and pick out the ones that float. Pound them up with a mallet and throw them into the chicken coop.
Dr. Smith asks if the use of the tree chinquapin as a stock for the American chestnut would give good-sized trees. Undoubtedly, and, besides that, if it is used for hybridizing purposes, we shall probably find that we have, now and then, an individual that is very much larger than the American chestnut or the tree chinquapin. It is a peculiarity of hybrids to show eccentricities, and many hybrids that occur are very thrifty and larger than either parent. That is the case with the Royal walnut that they have said so much about in California. It grows so rapidly there that even Californians do not dare to tell about it. (Laughter.)
Another question, the last one—will the effect of using a bush chinquapin stock for the American chestnut be like that of growing sour cherries upon stocks which do not carry them well? Now, we have there what the lawyers call "a question of fact," and we shall have to work that out. Some tops will exhaust a root. Some tops will grab a root by the back of the neck and drag it right along. Some tops will adjust themselves philosophically to almost any sort of unusual conditions, and go on and bear fruit like true philosophers. We have an instance of that in the dwarf apple, which is a success. We have an instance of failure in some of the cherries which exhaust themselves. We have an example of dragging the smaller stock along when we graft the Royal walnut upon the common black walnut. The Royal walnut just drags the black walnut along where it doesn't want to go at all. So there we have three instances of grafting a foreign visitor upon another stock.
I have taken more than my share of time, Mr. Chairman, but the discussion has been very interesting, indeed. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: I am going to take the liberty of asking Dr. Morris one more question, which, perhaps, is of interest to others. In your experience with the golden-leafed chinquapins, from how far South have you secured stock, and how far North will the golden-leafed chinquapin grow?
DR. MORRIS: My specimens I got from a dealer in Portland, Oregon, and they grew pretty far North. The tree ranges from Oregon and Washington down through the lower extremities of the Coast range, but we had better get the northern forms, and there is one man, Carl Purdy, of Ukiah, California, who has the golden chinquapin for sale.
THE PRESIDENT: The next subject on the programme is the American black walnut. We have sent to the membership a series of questions about the black walnut which I will read for the benefit of those who haven't this programme.
First. What evidence is there to show that the black walnut may become a valuable nut commercially?
Second. Is quality important with the black walnut, and is there much difference in the quality of different nuts?
Third. What varieties of black walnut are most promising?
Fourth. Is the Thomas black walnut better than many others that have been brought to notice?
Fifth. What are the best methods of propagating?
Now, we have no set paper on that subject. I will call on ex-President Littlepage to make a few sallies concerning the black walnut.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: Mr. President, the black walnut ought to be the easiest subject in the world to talk about. It is a question of how much one ought not to say, however, in a limited time. The pecan tree was my first love. I shall always stick to the pecan. But if I were called upon today, to point out to this Association or to any prospective grower who actually wants to make money raising nuts, and who wants something that will pay the grocery bill and his sixty or ninety day notes, I think I should tell them to plant the black walnut. And I don't think, either, that that is treason, because I think, as we go through with this programme, the pecan will be properly taken care of.
In the first place, the black walnut is a native tree. I have seen it growing, too, on the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Dominion of Canada. Most native trees are immune to fungous and bacterial diseases that destroy so many trees. The black walnut is a hardy tree, and a fine timber proposition. In the second place, it is a fast growing tree. I don't knew just how quickly one could actually produce a black walnut orchard, but, outside of a few trees, such as the black locust and a number of others that do not produce nuts, the black walnut is one of the fastest growers. If you will feed a young walnut tree a small application of wood ashes and some stable manure it will commonly make a growth of six or seven feet a year. Therefore, you don't have to wait a long time for walnut trees to come into bearing.
It is easy to propagate the black walnut. Cleft grafting is one of the simplest methods in the spring. Dormant wood, cut in February or March and put in cold storage, and cleft grafted in the spring, ought to give from sixty to seventy per cent of success. I haven't had experience budding, but those who have say it is easy. Mr. Roper says it is, but grafting is easy and simple. The walnut, like other nut trees, must be propagated by budding or grafting in order to come true. It will not come true from seed.
Up until a few years ago I seldom saw a whole half of a black walnut. The ordinary black walnut cracks about like this (showing picture). Here is a black walnut cracked with two halves, and you can't even see the kernel. The two upper pictures show very beautiful walnuts, but they defy you to get out a whole kernel.
Now, then, when you come to a black walnut like this (showing picture), where you can crack out anywhere from fifty to seventy-five per cent of whole halves, and many entirely whole kernels, the most important problem is solved, and the black walnut has come into the competition.
This variety was discovered by Henry Stabler, and I named it after him. Perhaps one out of every ten of these nuts furnishes a whole, solid, undivided kernel. The other walnut is the ordinary field walnut that has little commercial value for the reason that you can't get the kernels out. It wouldn't make any difference if the nuts grew as big as pumpkins and a million of them on a tree if you couldn't get the meat out of them. I suppose no one will question that the black walnut will grow and bear almost anywhere. It is a weed tree in this part of the country. On President Smith's farm last year I saw them growing everywhere. They grow and bear all over the fields. And, as I said, the question of propagation is rather simple. I think the great trouble we are up against on the farm in America is labor, and that is because you cannot afford to pay good labor. You want a superabundance of laborers in the summer time for two or three months, and expect them to loaf all winter. The farm proposition isn't a profitable one, very largely because of the question of labor, and the farmers of this country must produce something profitable enough to enable them to hire and pay high-grade labor the year round, or they will go broke. They must raise such crops as Alfalfa that they can feed to their dairy cattle, and tree crops that they can use their labor on in the winter time. Nine men are leaving the farm today for every one going there. If you don't believe it, read the census statistics. The reason is labor and because you can't afford to pay it. I don't think there is any profit in selling the black walnut as a nut, but there will be profit in gathering that nut, storing it, and, when your farm crops are all in and you are ready to discharge the labor, put up an ordinary cheap cracking shed and let them crack the nuts for you, and sell the meats. That solves the question of what to do with farm labor in the winter time. The walnuts return about ten pounds of meat to a bushel, and a good cracker ought to crack from four to six bushels of nuts a day. Suppose you get only twenty-five cents a pound for the meats and your men crack only three bushels a day, each there is $7.50 a day coming in from each cracker, and, besides, you have made a valuable employment for your labor through the winter, and you can afford to pay them for their work. That is why I say the black walnut is, to my mind, one of the best commercial propositions.
I don't know how soon you can bring a black walnut orchard into bearing. Here is a picture of a tree probably seven or eight years old, loaded with nuts. That is a seedling tree. I should think a budded tree would bear sooner than that.
I don't know much about walnut varieties. The Rush and Thomas are excellent nuts. But this Stabler walnut, in my opinion, is in a class by itself in cracking possibilities. It is simply a cracking proposition with the black walnut, and that is, to my mind, about all there is to it. Perhaps, other good varieties will be discovered. Then, suppose we find, after a while, an English walnut much better and more profitable than we have at present, and one that is blight resistant. If you have an orchard of black walnuts you have an ideal stock to top-work to English. I will show you one on my farm with a larger top than I cut off grown in two summers, and it set some nuts last spring. So, if you want a foundation for an English walnut orchard, you can't make any mistake in planting the budded or grafted varieties of these black walnuts.
The black walnut is a beautiful roadside tree. There are different types, the same as with the pecan tree. Here is a picture of curly black walnut wood. The logs were cut from a tree in Kentucky. It took three wagons to haul this one tree to market, and it brought thirty-five hundred dollars.
THE PRESIDENT: I wish to present Mr. Stabler as the original propagator of the tree that bears his name. The nuts of the Stabler black walnut have been pronounced by a good many authorities as the best variety thus far discovered.
MR. HENRY STABLER: Dr. Smith has just introduced me as the discoverer of this walnut. This is hardly fair to Mr. Littlepage, who first introduced and, probably, first propagated this walnut. It was discovered by my grandfather a little over forty years ago. Nothing was done with it at that time for the reason that nothing could be done, but I was not the first one to get the idea of propagating it, because my father, who is here today, attempted to graft these walnuts, and every cion failed.
It seems to me that Mr. Littlepage strikes the key-note in his article in The Country Gentleman last spring when he says that:
"Through the efforts of the Northern Nut Growers' Association there was recently discovered a black walnut tree in Howard County, Maryland, producing nuts that crack out seventy-five to eighty per cent of whole halves. The meat of this variety, the Stabler, weighs forty-seven per cent of the whole nut."
That's it, gentlemen. I did not discover this walnut, and without the organization of the Northern Nut Growers' Association I could not have done any more with it than my grandfather was able to do forty years ago, but, as it was, we just took up several samples and the Northern Nut Growers did the rest. The walnut has been attracting more and more attention ever since.
Considering the black walnut as timber, here is a picture of a black walnut log, published in Farmers' Bulletin No. 715, of the Department of Agriculture. The original owner, a farmer, sold the whole tree, standing, for fifty dollars; the buyer felled it at a cost of fifteen dollars, and sold it there for $138.26. It was resold, without being removed, for $164.84, and later sold (the last price is not published) to a large sewing machine factory, but it certainly brought more than that last price which is printed, of $164.84. We occasionally hear of prices of $100 or so being paid for black walnut trees on the stump. The reason we don't hear of such prices being paid more frequently is because the farmer in not more than one case out of twenty gets real value for his black walnut trees. There is a very highly organized and efficient system in the United States of gathering up the black walnut trees which are large enough to use for furniture and other purposes and paying for them as little as possible; but they make a practice of getting them even if they do have to pay more. There was a man living not so far from where I live, up in our country, who had a very fine black walnut tree standing in his yard. One day a man came around and entered into conversation with him, and said, "Mr. Harder, what will you take for that tree in your yard?" "It isn't for sale," said Mr. Harder. "Well," said the man, "I'll give you a hundred dollars for it." Mr. Harder merely shook his head. The buyer dickered along a little bit more and after a while said, "I'll tell you what I'll do; I'll give you $150 for that tree." Mr. Harder said "If you don't get off this place, sir, immediately, I'll shoot you."
I am prepared to say that if you are going to plant trees for timber there is no other tree which will give such a yield as the black walnut, with the exception of the catalpa, and, perhaps, the black locust. It is the most valuable tree we have, and it is the most valuable wood grown in the North. I don't believe, either, the black walnut will ever be less valuable than it is. I know positively that the Stabler tree is not over sixty-five years old, perhaps, not over sixty, and yet that tree, judging from the prices I have seen paid for other trees of similar size, is worth from $125 to $150 on the stump. From the time that tree started until now, it has increased in value at the rate of two dollars a year, for timber alone, to say nothing of the nut. Suppose the tree had been purchased sixty years ago at two dollars from the nurseryman. It would have paid one hundred per cent annually on the investment. It bears, as a regular thing, a crop every other year.
As to what Mr. Pomeroy said about the black walnut not cracking well and crumbling up when it gets to be old, I have some specimens here of the Stabler walnut I cracked this morning, which are of the 1915 crop.
The kernel of these old nuts keeps its flavor and sweetness wonderfully. There is hardly any change in quality within one year, whereas some other nuts, as the hazel and some varieties of the pecan, become rancid after keeping six months.
DR. MORRIS: I would like to say one word about the curly walnut. In Maine, not long ago, I saw a young man who had bought a bird's eye maple, perhaps fifty years of age, that he paid $1,500 for. I asked him why he didn't graft one million ordinary maples from that tree and sell the stock at $200 per tree, and then he would have $200,000,000 at just about the time of life when he could enjoy it. Well, that hadn't occurred to him. Now, if Mr. Littlepage will hunt up this curly black walnut stump that sold for $3,500, and if he will graft a million trees from that he will be able to raise a family of ten children (Laughter.)
DR. STABLER: Mr. President, I just want to call attention to an omission in the little talk that my son gave about the characteristics of this Stabler tree, namely, its beauty as a shade tree. He didn't mention that, and I don't think any one has mentioned it in connection with the black walnut. Now, the black walnut trees, as we meet them along the roadsides, vary exceedingly in habit of growth. The majority of them have very few main limbs, perhaps not over half a dozen main limbs on a tree, and they will be gaunt, ungainly things, stretched out straight, like great arms reaching out with very little beauty. Now, if you plant seedlings, that is what you are likely to get on your lawn. You may have something that is not pretty except as a trunk, but the tree that produces these very remarkable nuts is also one of the most beautiful in its conformation. It is shaped just like an umbrella, rather low, very spreading, and very frequently with a very much larger number of limbs than almost any black walnut tree that I have ever seen, and its habit of growing in the nursery confirms that opinion—that it produces a very large number of buds and branches from each graft.
Mr. Littlepage has in his fence row, uncultivated and surrounded by bushes of every kind, a small seedling walnut that he grafted this year with the Stabler walnut. When he grafted the seedling it was a little over an inch in diameter. I measured the growth from that graft recently, and five shoots measured over five feet long, and others over four feet long. Four month's growth—five shoots over five feet long! Now, I don't know of any other walnut or any other nut tree that would have produced that many shoots from a single graft. It makes a very beautiful shade tree and has a top which is capable of producing very large crops of fruit.
THE PRESIDENT: It sometimes makes me feel ashamed of my race when I realize our limitations in comparison with the trees. We run across a valuable type of tree genus, and we can make millions like it in a short time. But when a remarkable specimen of the genus homo, arises, he stays with us but a short while before we cart him off to the cemetery, and that is the last of him. Does any one else wish to make a contribution to the black walnut?
MR. M. P. REED: Mr. Littlepage made the remark that it is very easy to propagate the black walnut. We haven't found it so. We have made almost a complete failure of both budding and grafting.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: Well, I was speaking of my experience in grafting this spring. I think I remarked that my personal experience in budding had not gone far enough to tell definitely what the results are going to be. But I put in about fifty-five grafts, and I had fifty of them to grow, and of that fifty there were probably ten or twelve knocked out—thrown out at the first cultivation—and probably thirty-five are growing there yet. I don't know what Mr. White's experience was in Indiana. I think it was, perhaps, not as good as he expected, because of the fact that a lot of the bud-wood dried out, but I think Mr. McCoy can give some experience. Now, Mr. Roper here, has had experience in budding the black walnut, haven't you?
MR. W. N. ROPER: We only put in about a dozen buds a short time ago. I think half of those are growing.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: Well, we budded, perhaps, two or three hundred this summer, and I don't know really how they are coming out, but, from the way these grafts behaved this spring, I don't see any reason why it is going to be very difficult. What do you know about it, Mr. McCoy?
MR. R. L. MCCOY: Mr. Stabler's grafts didn't take very well, but so far as budding the black walnut is concerned, it is just as easy as handling the peach; there is nothing to it when you get the bud-wood; but first you have got to have the bud-wood. You can't jump on to any old tree and get buds that will give satisfactory results. Now, if Mr. Reed and his father had to go into Wisconsin and Michigan to get their bud-wood, and cut it from some old cherry trees, we'll say, and came back to Indiana and tried to produce trees from those buds in the nursery, they would fail.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the net result, apparently, of the discussion on propagation seems to be that Mr. McCoy, in Indiana, has had great success with buds; Mr. Littlepage, in Maryland, has had great success with grafts; I also had great success with grafts put in by a man who could neither read nor write, but who was taught the technique as taught by this Society. Is there any further discussion?
MR. LITTLEPAGE: Mr. President, Professor Hutt ought to know something about the black walnut. He knows something about everything else I have ever talked to him about. I believe he wrote me, in connection with some of his tests, that forty-seven per cent of the Stabler nuts were meat.
PROF. W. N. HUTT: I think so. I think it was pretty close to a half. There were no broken halves at all, and some of them came out entirely whole.
THE PRESIDENT: We want to hear from Dr. Deming.
THE SECRETARY: I just want to call attention to one of the questions on our list. "What can we do to cheapen nuts and nut meats in the retail market so as to make this valuable food available to persons of small means?" It seems to me that we are going to do that with such nuts as the black walnut. I think we ought to work for the time when the black walnut can be sold in quantity in New York City, and in all the larger cities for around a dollar a bushel. Perhaps the shellbark hickory is also going to be a nut of the same kind, a nut that can be put on the market in large quantities at a small price, for the man of limited means to buy and crack out himself. Dr. Morris, speaking of some tough nut, once said it was so tough that it was only of interest to squirrels and men out of work. That expression about "men out of work" made me think, as do so many things that Dr. Morris says. If a man out of work can buy a bushel of black walnuts for a dollar, and if he can crack out several bushels a day, or even only one bushel a day, he can make more wages just cracking out that bushel of black walnuts than at ordinary laboring work. I think that we ought to get on the market a supply of cheap nuts for the man of limited means and that we ought to educate the people to a knowledge of the value of such nuts.
THE PRESIDENT: It is always well to put the brakes on. I haven't heard a thing about this black walnut except virtues. I believe Mr. McMurran, of the Department of Agriculture, is present, and I think he has been giving particular attention to the black walnut, and perhaps he will tell us of some of its enemies, either animal or vegetable.
MR. S. M. MCMURRAN: Well, Mr. President, unfortunately, I haven't given much attention to the black walnut. My time has been given to the pecan until this summer, when I worked on the persian walnut to some extent, but I can say, generally, that the black walnut hasn't got any very serious enemies. Everything it has got is right here now. There isn't any reason to suppose that it would have any serious disease if we cultivated it on an extensive scale.
As to the insects, I am not able to state. I have never noticed any particularly on the nut since a boy.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: Mr. President, I think Mr. McMurran has covered the diseases of the black walnut. I think the observation of every one will confirm what Mr. McMurran has said.
THE PRESIDENT: The chair will deviate from parliamentary practice for a moment by dismissing the question. I wish to contribute three small facts. One is with reference to the special growth of the black walnut under fertilization. The men on my place have to cut bushes around apple trees, and some stray black walnuts planted by nature under those trees have been cut for 10 years but for the last two seasons have been left alone. They have promptly come up through those apple trees, under the influence of nitrate of soda, like a steer going through a bush. They have grown five or six feet each season.
Another point is the great variation, apparently, of the black walnut with regard to its keeping qualities. I recall putting away in a garret, in 1894, a number of bushels of a nut of particular merit, and they were perfectly sweet and edible as much as seven years later. Now it is only occasionally that you will find one that will keep as long as that, but with the trees bearing every two years, it is quite possible that the fruit would be marketable for two or three, or even four years afterwards, if kept properly.
There is no reason to think that the Stabler is the best nut growing in the United States. It merely grew within reach of the eyes of observing men.
The filbert and the almond we hope to cover briefly before adjourning. I will ask Mr. Reed to give us a short contribution on the almond.
MR. M. P. REED: This almond (exhibiting specimens) we received scions of from Mr. C. A. Reed, of the Department a few years ago. It was three years ago this summer that we top-worked it, and we picked almost half a bushel of almonds from it this summer. The almond has a thick shell, kernel of good flavor, but I don't think it will amount to anything very much except for home use.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: How old was the tree that bore them?
MR. M. P. REED: Top-worked three years ago this summer.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: And bore how many?
MR. W. C. REED: Bore a half a bushel this last summer.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: If any one here would like bud-wood of that almond I will be glad to send it to them.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Littlepage offers to send those present bud-wood of that tree, which can be, with great ease, top-worked on the peach by the ordinary process of shield budding.
DR. IRA ULMAN: I have grafted scions of this nut on Amygdalus Davidiana, the new Chinese peach of the Department of Agriculture, and the growth is marvelous. It does just exactly as Mr. Reed told you.
DR. STABLER: I would like to ask whether the almond is attacked by the same insects and diseases that affect the peach, whether it is affected by peach yellows and whether it is affected by the peach borer. I understand that the apricot is, in a measure, immune to the peach borer at least, and possibly also to the peach yellows. If the almond is to be short-lived like the peach tree, it may not be nearly as valuable as if it were a hardy tree. If you place it upon peach stock it seems to me you must expect it to be attacked by the peach borer.
MR. M. P. REED: I believe that the original tree of this variety is something over sixty years old. Not very many peach trees live to be that old, and in the nursery it is a very vigorous grower.
THE PRESIDENT: The commercial almond is a rather long-lived tree in the countries where it is grown. Of course, here is a question of technique and individual behavior which only experience can answer. We ought to take some of these nuts home that Mr. Reed has given us. I should like to know why Mr. Reed so deprecates a tree which bears so much fruit in so short a time. If the fruit is good, why can't it be handled commercially?
MR. M. P. REED: It is the cracking quality. It has a very thick shell.
THE PRESIDENT: Is that a problem that machines cannot solve?
MR. M. P. REED: No, sir.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: How is the flavor?
MR. M. P. REED: The flavor is good.
MR. LITTLEPAGE: I was just going to say, Mr. President, that I visited Mr. Reed's place this summer, and it is utterly surprising how fast and beautifully this hardy almond grew. He took me out at the edge of the garden where he has them growing, and I could hardly realize that they were only three-year-old trees. They were as full of little almonds as the peach trees were of peaches, only they were much longer and with very red leaves. Vincennes, Indiana, is on the thirty-ninth parallel, which is the northern boundary of the District of Columbia, and it gets much colder there than here, and those trees haven't the slightest sign of winter-killing. I don't know anything about the quality of the meat, but they are certainly wonderful bearers.
DR. MORRIS: I find that in the region of Stamford, Connecticut, hard shelled almonds do pretty well if you look after them pretty closely, but they take all your time. They have so many different blights on them that I am glad mine died a long time ago. They bore heavily, but they were too much trouble. They blossom so early in our locality that the blossoms are apt to be caught by frost. You may overcome that if you set the trees on the north side of a stone wall where the ground retains the frost for from one to two weeks later than on the south side. I find, that by doing this you can retard their time of blossoming sufficiently to materially lessen the danger of their being caught by spring frosts.
MR. HARRY R. WEBER: Will you get the same results if you put a mulch under the tree? Won't that prevent thawing and hold the tree for a week or two?
DR. MORRIS: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you used this particular almond?
DR. MORRIS: One very much like it, and it was a mighty good almond—hard to get at but good.
THE PRESIDENT: I would like to ask Mr. Reed as to the blooming time of this particular tree in comparison with some standard peach like the Elberta.
MR. M. P. REED: It bloomed about a week earlier than the Elberta, and the peach crop is light.
MR. HENRY STABLER: I have been associated for the past three or four years occasionally with Mr. M. B. Waite, of the Department of Agriculture, and I have had a good chance to study the effect of spraying on peaches in preventing brown rot and curculio. At Mr. Littlepage's I observed an almond tree that started, I should think, with twenty-five or thirty almonds on it this spring. Those almonds gradually succumbed to the curculio and brown rot until, at last, only one was left, and it seems to me that, if this almond is to be grown commercially in this climate, we will have to use the same methods of growing as with peaches, and we will have to spray them.
THE PRESIDENT: I think the chief benefit of the discussion of the almond would be to get more of us to try it, and the fact that we have one which is only one week earlier than the Elberta peach in blooming shows that we have a good chance, possibly, of even exceeding the possibilities of the peaches.
MR. MCCOY: Mr. President, I notice a good many almonds bloom about the same time as Elberta peaches. I have probably twenty-five trees of this almond that Mr. Reed spoke of, and I think they were in bloom at the time the peaches were. It is very productive, just as he says. I have noticed some of the old trees around in our neighborhood have borne good crops for several years, and I don't notice much disease on them either.
DR. STABLER: I asked the question whether anybody knows whether the almond is affected by peach yellows, and nobody seems to know, but peach yellows is something connected with climate. There is a yellows line that has remained definite and distinct for the last twenty-five years, and you can describe that line on the map, and it stays right where you put it. All north of that line the peach trees are affected by yellows, and south they are not. That line runs through Mount Vernon and Annapolis, and across Chesapeake Bay to Chestertown. Now, below that isothermal line there is a little peninsula south of Chestertown, in Kent county, a little peninsula there—a little long neck that runs out into the bay below Chestertown—where they have never had any peach yellows, and yet at Chestertown the trees have always been affected by peach yellows, and it is probable that it will be found, if the almond is affected by peach yellows, that the same laws apply to it. That is, south they will have the yellows, and north they will not. Now, at Vincennes, I suppose that they are north of the yellows line for peaches. Do your peach trees have peach yellows?
MR. M. P. REED: No, sir.
DR. STABLER: Perhaps you are north of it, then. If so, the almond hasn't been tried out as to yellows.
THE PRESIDENT: This association is greatly indebted to Dr. Morris, who helped to get it together, for his indefatigable searching of the corners of the earth for specimens, species and varieties of trees in his ambition to get to his Stamford place all of the varieties of nut-bearing trees. Several of our members have taken a little interest in the question of the hazel-filbert family. Dr. Morris has taken a lot of interest. Last year he gave us a most exhilarating presentation of the subject, and he is this year going to give us some brief notes on the progress of his knowledge concerning the hazels and filberts. Dr. Morris.
DR. MORRIS: Just a word, in order to start the discussion. I have tried to work out during the past year two or three points that came up for discussion last year. I stated that in Connecticut the common American hazel would probably not become a horticultural proposition for the reason that the main stock seldom lives more than seven or eight years, and then dies. New stolons, starting from the root, make abundant new stocks. In that way, dying at the center, and growing at the periphery, like a ring worm, one plant may extend so widely as to drive cows out of the pasture lot. (Laughter). Dr. Deming understood me to say that it spread so "rapidly" as to drive the cows out of a lot. I said "widely," not "rapidly." (Laughter). For that reason a plant of our common hazel bears a few nuts about the third year; it bears a good crop about the fourth year and sometimes in the fifth year. It then begins to die and is gone by the seventh or eighth year, while new stolons, coming up on all sides, are ready to perpetuate that rotation. That, at least, is ordinary hazel history in my part of Connecticut. So I doubt if this species will ever be a good horticultural proposition.
This year, for the first time, I have budded the European hazel upon our common stock for the purpose of observing whether the character of the guest will change the character of the host.
Now another point. Many of the European hazels that have been brought to this country, I find, do not bear for the reason that they flower so early that the staminate flowers are caught by frost—not the pistillate. The pistillates will hold out against frost for a long time and make good. There are two or three ways for overcoming this difficulty. We may select for cultivation those kinds which bloom a week or two, or even three weeks later than others, as in the case of the Bony Bush variety.
There is hardly any more valuable tree in Central Europe than the purple leafed hazel. I never have seen one bearing in this country. Its staminate flowers come out too early in Connecticut. I have now some in which I have grafted the Bony Bush, which flowers so much later that I hope to have my purple hazels bearing nuts at Merribrooke.
On the whole, most of the points have been simply confirmatory of points previously considered. We need not fear hazel blight because it is very easily controlled, and many of the European hazels will furnish an immensely valuable crop for almost all parts of temperate America. We may develop, by breeding and by cultivation, types which will be hardy, which will give us large, valuable, marketable crops, and which will be desirable from the market man's point of view.
DR. STABLER: Can you get stocks that are free from blight?
DR. MORRIS: Last year I showed specimens of blight. The blight, fortunately, begins upon a fairly large stem—upon a part of the stem that is in plain sight. It takes from two to four years for a patch of that blight to encircle a limb. If one will go over his hazel orchard once a year and, where a bit of blight appears, cut it out with his jack-knife and later paint the spot with a little white paint, one can very readily control hazel blight. It is so easily done that we need not fear it at all.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Ulman, I believe, is a hazel enthusiast.
DR. ULMAN: I have attempted to gather as much information as I could by seeking out the failures with hazel because I had found no one reporting success. In answer to a large number of letters which I sent out I received some 290 replies which reported failures with the European hazel. Dr. Morris tells us that blight can be readily controlled. So far, that does not seem to be the experience of others, but it is only fair to say that they do not know how to get rid of it in the way that Dr. Morris has told us.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Ulman, I should like to ask if it is not true that the hazels growing at Rochester could be added to your collection of 290 and change this complexion a little bit. Certainly last year we saw hazel trees almost the diameter of this room which appeared to be perfectly healthy.
THE SECRETARY: Can we recommend the hazel to be planted commercially?
THE PRESIDENT: If the hazel propagates by underground stolons automatically, why can we not take the stolons and plant them in the places that the trees have abandoned, letting them run on elsewhere?
DR. MORRIS: In regard to Dr. Deming's question, green European hazel nuts are now selling in New York, out of cold storage, at seventy-five cents a pound. Green hazel nuts like green almonds are prized by the gourmet. All of the European hazels will eventually furnish a good commercial proposition provided that the market is large enough, and the market will probably grow, is growing in fact. Ripe filberts bring, approximately, from ten to fifteen cents a pound. The trees bear well, and I don't know of any reason why the hazel proposition should not be a first rate one right now. The thing to do is to select kinds which we know are valuable here. One may go through the seedling orchards at Rochester and select one parent which bears large nuts prolifically, and then propagate any number of European hazels from that one stock. My Bony Bush is probably a desirable hazel.
In regard to the question of breeding from stolons, if we can keep that thing going it would be all right, but it requires so much work I doubt if we shall do anything in that way with the American hazel. The European hazels don't travel by stolons. That is the advantage. So I have given up the common American hazel as a commercial proposition. A number of European and Asiatic hazels will be commercially profitable, unquestionably, just as soon as we care to develop them.
MR. WEBER: What do you know about the hazels of the Western coast?
DR. MORRIS: Very profitable in parts of Oregon and Washington. They have a large, good crop, which sells locally, but, like most Pacific Coast fruits, the nuts lack flavor and quality. They have size and beauty, but lack quality. The fruits and nuts grown on the Pacific Coast all lack a certain fineness of character, for some reason yet unknown.
You have got to look after your European hazels, and not neglect the orchard. I remember seeing some very beautiful apple trees in central Maine not very long ago—no blight—no codling moth, and the trees free from almost everything in the way of insects or fungous troubles—beautiful, cultivated trees, and beautiful apples on them. I asked another man, one of my acquaintances there, an old farmer, why he didn't set out a lot of similar trees and make a good income. He said, "Well, it won't go." He had a pasture about eight miles north of there, and, said he, "I spent thirty dollars for apple trees to put into an orchard, and I had great ideas about those apples. I set the trees out in that orchard about three or four years ago, and last year when I went up to look at them, there were hardly any apple trees left." He hadn't looked at them for three or four years. (Laughter.) You can't raise hazels that way.
THE SECRETARY: The reason I asked about the commercial value of the hazel is that my own experience has been very unsatisfactory. I got some hazels from Gillet, on the Pacific Coast six or seven years ago, set them out around my place, and they have grown beautifully. I haven't been able to detect any blight on them anywhere. Some of them are fifteen feet high, have grown luxuriantly, and blossom every year, but I haven't seen one nut yet. On the other hand, the other day I visited a man near my home, who told me that he had raised some trees from nuts which he had bought from an Italian grocery on the corner. He gets the nuts when the crop first comes in, and stratifies in wet sand all winter, and he says they all grow. He had some beautiful hazel trees. One I estimated to be twenty feet high. I never saw a hazel tree which approached it. He said it was only five or six years old. Last year he had a fine crop of nuts from it. This year, however, he said that during a warm spell in the winter the staminate bloom came out and was killed, and there were no nuts on the trees. Now it seems to me that there is great uncertainty about the hazels, and I don't know exactly what to advise people to do. People ask me for advice as to what nuts to plant commercially. I don't know whether to advise them to plant hazels or not, and I don't know what varieties to advise people to plant. I don't know how to advise them to overcome this difficulty of the early staminate bloom and the winter killing. I can't now conscientiously recommend people to plant hazel nuts commercially.
DR. MORRIS: Go to Rochester and get some there that bloom every year and that bloom later. My Bony Bush blossoms some three weeks later than the others, I presume. It is a bush that bears well every other year, apparently.
THE PRESIDENT: Are there any further questions about this large family of nut trees of which we have but a small corner of knowledge? If not, we may look to an adjournment.
First, I wish to announce that this afternoon we are going to devote to an excursion around the city, to see some of the most remarkable Persian walnut trees which I think may be found anywhere.
I am asked by Prof. Close to say that the Department of Agriculture has an exhibit of nuts on the fourth floor at 220 Fourteenth Street, Southwest.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2 P. M.
Meeting called to order by the President.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Metcalf, Chief of the Bureau of Forest Pathology, of the Department of Agriculture, has been in charge of the investigations concerning the chestnut blight for a number of years.
DR. HAVEN METCALF: Mr. Chairman and Members of the Society: I will present, first, a few general facts regarding the present status of the chestnut bark disease, and, for the greater part of the information you desire, I will rely on you to ask me questions.
The chestnut bark disease is getting to be an old story, but that plant hyphenate, that objectionable imported disease, is more of a live issue today than it ever has been before. All my attention during recent months has been taken up with another imported plant disease, the white pine blister rust, of which you have heard, and which does not concern the special subject matter in which this Association is interested, unless, perhaps, you may be interested in the pinon nut as the pinon pine may ultimately be subject to attack by blister rust. However, this disease, like the chestnut blight, is an example of what a relatively harmless, or at least, not serious disease in a foreign country can do when it is permitted to get into the United States.
This brings us to the question of the origin of the chestnut bark disease, which, although the story has been told many times before, has been the subject of so much dispute that I probably had better recapitulate that matter. It has been proved beyond question that the chestnut bark disease is a native of eastern Asia, China, Japan and Korea; that it was introduced into this country in the '90's, upon diseased chestnut nursery stock. It was not critically observed until 1904, but the condition of trees which were observed at that time shows conclusively (provided the disease progressed in those early years as it has since) that it was introduced into the country as early as the late 90's. The final demonstration of the fact that the disease is a foreign disease and a native of Asia we owe to Mr. Frank Meyer, of the Office of Seed and Plant Introduction, of the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Meyer's observations are so interesting that I will pass around a few pictures illustrative of his observations in China, the first picture showing the country that is the home of the chestnut bark disease. The second picture shows a chestnut orchard in China where the trees have, with characteristic thrift, been planted around human burial mounds. The remaining pictures show how the chestnut blight acts in China—very differently from the way it acts in this country. In China, it produces, as the pictures show, definite cankers, which do not girdle the tree, which kill young trees occasionally, mutilate old trees, kill branches, but the cankers do not girdle the trees. That disease has been known in China we have no idea how many years, and, while it does a certain amount of harm, is said by Mr. Meyer not to be really serious in China. You can readily see, upon examining these pictures, that there is a sharp contrast in the behavior of the disease as observed in China and its behavior as observed in this country, where it will girdle a comparatively large tree and the fungus spread all through the bark, completely covering it, and doing that in a very short time. Of course, then, the chestnut blight is one of those cases of which we have so many, where a disease, passing to a new country, finds new surroundings, hosts more favorable to its development, and progresses rapidly.