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Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting online

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special mention of these nuts as being "notable for the high percentage
of kernel (1930 Proc. N. N. G. A., p. 108), having yielded 32.8 per cent
of total kernel."

The variety has not been tested by the department, although several
attempts have been made to procure specimens for the purpose, but each
such effort has been coincident with a crop failure by this particular

LAMB - The Lamb black walnut is a variety propagated and grown for its
wood only. The parent tree stood on a farm one-quarter mile east of Ada,
Kent County, Michigan, perhaps ten miles due east of Grand Rapids. After
the log had been cut and shipped to a mill, discovery was made that the
wood of the original tree had a highly figured grain. Mr. George Lamb,
then Secretary of the American Walnut Manufacturers Association, 616
South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, traced the origin of the log back to its
source, where the top was found to be still green, although the tree had
been cut two months previous. Scions were cut and sent by Mr. Lamb to
the Department of Agriculture in Washington, and also to Dr. Robert T.
Morris, Merribrooke Farm, Stamford, Conn. At the suggestion of Dr.
Morris, Mr. Lamb also sent scions to Mr. Ford Wilkinson, Rockport, Ind.

Some of the scions received by the Department were placed in the hands
of others, including the late Messrs. Jones, Bixby and Snyder, also
Prof. V. R. Gardner, Director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment
Station at East Lansing, and Dr. G. A. Zimmerman, Piketown, Pa. Drs.
Morris and Zimmerman, Professor Gardner, and Messrs. Wilkinson and
Bixby, were all successful in their efforts at grafting. Mr. Bixby made
new grafts as soon as the original could be cut for scions, and also
made some distributions of scions. At the time of his death in August,
1933, there were a dozen or more nursery trees of various sizes and
degrees of condition among his stock at Baldwin. From these, scions were
sold to a number of Association members during the spring of 1934.

While it has not yet been established that the character of figured
grain is transmissible with scions, the value of such wood is so great
that anyone interested in producing walnut trees of outstanding value
would do well to investigate this variety to the extent of growing a few
trees. In all likelihood the combined results from tests made by a large
number of persons would be of great value to science.

TASTERITE - The parent tree of the Tasterite walnut, owned by Everl
Church, R. F. D. 3, Ithaca, New York, was discovered and named by Mr. S.
H. Graham, a neighbor, living on Route 5, also out of Ithaca. The latter
submitted specimens to the department in Washington in 1929, where they
made a highly favorable showing. Tasterite nuts entered that year in the
contest of the Northern Nut Growers Association, although receiving no
award by the committee were given the rating of "excellent" by Dr.
Deming. In 1930, Prof. N. F. Drake of Fayetteville, Ark., gave Tasterite
nuts a rating of "100 per cent on cracking quality." He obtained a total
of 28.05 per cent of kernel. Nuts of the 1930 crop examined in
Washington averaged 36 per pound, ranged from 34 to 38, and yielded
20.92 per cent of quarters and 7.22 per cent of small pieces, making a
total of 28.14 per cent.

The shell of the nut is thinner than the average and the cracking
quality distinctly superior. The kernels of nuts promptly harvested,
hulled and cured have been bright, plump, rich in quality, and
especially pleasing in flavor. The one weak point of the Tasterite
appears to be in the matter of size, but this smallness is well offset
by superiority in the points just mentioned, and also in what is perhaps
more important, the latitude and altitude of the place of origin. Any
variety which will yield heavy crops of nuts distinctly superior to the
average black walnut in cracking quality and kernel merit at a 42-degree
latitude plus, and a 2,000-foot altitude, should be potentially very
valuable in the northernmost zone.

WIARD - This is another Michigan variety, apparently of much merit. Vague
bits of information regarding it have reached the department at
Washington from time to time since June, 1926, when Greening Bros., of
Monroe, stated to the writer that Mr. Everett Wiard, a fruit grower near
the eastern outskirts of Ypsilanti, was grafting a promising seedling of
his own origin. This clue was not successfully followed up until 1932,
when a few specimen nuts were obtained. These were found to be of medium
size and of excellent cracking quality. The kernels were plump, bright,
rich in quality, and of pleasing flavor.

On February 12, 1934, Professor Neilson wrote the department that this
seedling had come to his attention during Farmers' Week, held shortly
before, at East Lansing. He stated that to him this appeared to be one
of the best seedlings thus far discovered and that he was recommending
it for propagation. He added that the nut was "of medium size, somewhat
diamond-shaped, thin-shelled, easy to crack and of excellent extractive
quality." Very likely more will be learned of this variety in the

Butternut Varieties

The American butternut, Juglans cinerea, although commonly held to be a
slow grower, a tardy and light bearer, and a producer of thick-shelled
nuts hard or impossible to crack without extreme difficulty, is
frequently quite the opposite in one or more, or all, of these respects.
Under favorable environment the trees grow rapidly, bear early, and
oftentimes the nuts may be easily cracked and the kernels extracted in
perfect halves. Probably more than a dozen varieties from various
portions of the North have been named. A few of these appear to be of
considerable promise.

The northern range of the butternut extends from Nova Scotia over Maine,
across New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, the upper peninsula of
Michigan, and through Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota to South
Dakota south to Georgia and Arkansas.

Butternut flavor is preferred by many people to that of any other nut.
Throughout New England the kernels are used to no inconsiderable extent
in the making of highly pleasing food products. Oftentimes the ground
kernels are used in the home manufacture of pastries and confections
which are either consumed at home or sold on roadside markets at good

The butternut is not without certain weak points which must not be
forgotten. The timber is less valuable than that of black walnut, the
trees grow to smaller size and seldom live more than 75 or 100 years;
outside of the best growing sections of the North, it is possible that
the majority succumb under 40 years.

Being less symmetrical, butternut trees are not as suitable for
ornamental planting as are nut trees of many other kinds. Nevertheless,
a tree or two of each of the best varieties now available should be
included in all nut planting as far south as the species is indigenous,
and perhaps farther down.

ALVERSON - The parent tree of this variety is owned by Mr. M. E.
Alverson, Howard City, Montcalm County, Michigan. It was first called to
public attention when it was awarded third prize in the 1932 State
contest held at East Lansing under the direction of Prof. James A.
Neilson, of Michigan Agricultural College. A one-pound lot tested in
Washington during April of the same year counted 47 specimens. It
yielded 14.44 per cent of quarters and 1.11 per cent of small pieces,
making a total of 15.55 per cent kernel. The cracking quality was found
to be good. The kernels were large, long, plump, medium bright, and the
flavor distinctly pleasing.

DEMING - This variety was called to attention by Olcott Deming, a son of
Dr. W. C. Deming, Hartford, Conn., to whom it was awarded first prize in
the 1918 contest of the Northern Nut Growers Association. Dr. Deming
sought to have this variety called Olcott, but the name became fixed
when it appeared in the Jones catalogue of 1920, and later in various
reports of the Association.

The Deming butternut is probably an early bearer, as in notes prepared
by the late J. F. Jones for use during the 1926 convention held at
Lancaster, reference was made to two trees (Nos. 88 and 89), which were
in "bearing while still quite young," the latter of which "bore two nuts
the next year after being grafted," and which was then "bearing its
third consecutive crop." Mr. Jones began its propagation in 1920,
commenting to the writer at the time that it was "larger and had a
thinner shell than Aiken."

IRVINE - This variety was awarded first prize ($50.00) in the Northern
Nut Growers Association contest of 1929. The parent tree is owned by
Mrs. L. K. Irvine, Menominee, Dunn County, Wis. In a Washington test of
three pounds, conducted in 1931, the nuts averaged 53 per pound and had
a range of from 44 to 59. The kernel yield was 22.13 per cent quarters,
3.90 per cent small pieces, and 0.38 per cent bad. The cracking quality
was excellent, the kernels large and highly attractive, the quality
good, and the flavor mild. This is apparently one of the finest although
not the richest or sweetest, of any variety of butternut yet discovered.
It is known to have been successfully propagated but to a limited extent

LOVE - This butternut originated on the farm of Mr. Frank Love, R. F. D.
2, Howell, Livingston County, Mich. It was discovered by chance, when
the large size and generally sound condition of the parent tree caught
the attention of the writer in 1931. In a cracking test conducted later
that year the nuts averaged 53 per pound, had a range of from 44 to 71,
and yielded a total of 27.32 per cent kernel. The yield of quarters was
24.68 per cent, and that of small pieces 2.64 per cent.

The Love butternuts are considerably smaller than those of some other
varieties, and in comparison with Irvine of that year the kernels were
much less attractive in appearance, but richer in quality and of more
pleasing flavor. On the whole, these nuts now stand among the very best
yet called to attention, although during a test made a year later of
nuts also from the parent tree, the result was but 17.19 per cent of
kernel, composed of 16.86 per cent quarters and 0.33 per cent of small

These nuts have not appeared in any contest, and in all probability they
would have received no award during any but the most favorable years.
However, their record of 1931 placed the variety in a class at that time
quite by itself.

Scions from the original tree, purchased by the department in 1933, and
placed in the hands of several commercial propagators, have resulted in
at least one living grafted tree. This is being carefully guarded, and
as soon as possible others will be grafted from it. As Mr. Love is quite
averse to having the tree cut for scions, it may not be possible to
obtain new scions from the original source.

LUTHER - This butternut came to light as a result of the contest held by
Professor Neilson at the end of the 1932 crop year, when it received
second prize. The entry was made by Mr. F. Luther of Fairgrove, Tuscola
County, Mich.

In Washington, nuts of the 1932 crop averaged 52 per pound and yielded
15.45 per cent of quarters and 2.21 per cent of small pieces, making a
total of 17.66 per cent of kernel. This test was made in April, after
the nuts were rather too dry to crack to the best advantage. At that
time the cracking quality was fair only.

SHERMAN - The Sherman butternut first became known in 1929, when Mrs. E.
Sherman, Montague City, Mass., was awarded ninth prize in the Northern
Nut Growers Association contest of that year. Tested twice in
Washington, it has at neither time rated with the best in so far as
cracking quality is concerned. In 1931 it made the high kernel yield of
29.41 per cent. However, only 11.76 per cent was of quarters. Exactly
the same percentage was of small pieces, and 5.88 per cent of kernels
were bad. In 1932, the total per cent of kernel dropped to 15.31, that
of quarters to 4.78, and that of kernels to 0.96, while that of small
pieces rose to 9.57.

Further studies will be made to see if under optimum conditions of
handling after proper harvesting and curing the record of cracking
quality cannot be improved upon.


According to Alfred Rehder, of Harvard, in the Standard Cyclopedia of
Horticulture, six species of hickory are indigenous to that region east
of the Rocky Mountains here discussed under the term of the northernmost
nut zone. These are the shagbark, the shellbark, the sweet hickory, the
pignut, the mockernut and the bitternut. The shagbark hickory, Hicoria
ovata, and the sweet hickory, H. ovalis, are the principal ones among
this group offering promise as sources of varieties fit for cultivation
in this zone. The former is well known as a rich-land species, having
shaggy bark and a more or less sharply angled sweet nut; the latter,
often called pignut, has recently been listed as "sweet hickory" to
distinguish it from H. glabra, also called pignut, yet which is
sometimes better. The sweet hickory is less exacting in soil
requirements than the shagbark, although often nearly or quite as good a
nut, popular prejudice notwithstanding. When shelled the kernels can be
distinguished only with difficulty.

Of the other hickories indigenous to this zone, all are omitted from the
discussion for definite reasons, chief of which is the fact that few or
no seedlings of promise have been found. The shellbark, H. laciniosa,
which is much like the shagbark in many respects, occurs in this zone
sparingly and only in the southernmost part. Nuts of this species, while
very large, are thick-shelled and commonly more or less objectionable
because of the frequency with which the kernels are imperfectly
developed or entirely wanting. The pignut hickory, H. glabra, already
mentioned, is omitted from further discussion because of being no better
than the sweet hickory in any known respect, and because of the frequent
bitterness of its kernel. The mockernut, H. alba, while indigenous
practically everywhere that any other hickory grows, and producing a
sweet, agreeable kernel, has too thick a shell to justify particular
attention at this time. The bitternut hickory, H. cordiformis, is rarely
palatable. The tree makes an attractive ornamental, but is relatively
unimportant in so far as timber production is concerned.

Intermediate forms of hickory and hybrids originated from chance crosses
under purely natural conditions are fairly common. Quite a good many
belonging to one or the other of these groups have been brought to light
during the last two decades, largely as a result of discovery by the
Northern Nut Growers Association. Several of these will be discussed in
alphabetical order along with varieties of pure species.

ANTHONY - The Anthony shagbark originated with a seedling tree discovered
by Mr. A. B. Anthony, R. F. D. 6, Sterling, Whiteside County, Ill. It
appears to be a particularly choice variety, and as the latitude of
Sterling is practically the same as that of Chicago, it might do very
well in the lower portion of the northernmost zone. In a cracking test
of the 1932 crop the yield of quarters was 41.66, that of small pieces
0.60, making a total of 42.26 per cent. The nuts were large, averaging
74 per pound; attractive in appearance, clean, and of nearly white
color. The cracking quality was good, the kernel plump, bright, rich in
quality and medium sweet in flavor, but not being equal to some others
in this last respect. This is believed to be one of the choicest hickory
nuts yet brought to light.

CEDAR RAPIDS - This shagbark is from Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa,
where the latitude is about 42 degrees north, or about the same as that
of Chicago, Ill., Tecumseh, Mich., and the boundary line between
Pennsylvania and New York. Like Anthony (of Sterling, Ill.) the merit of
this variety is believed such as to justify its trial planting in the
southern portion of the northernmost zone.

The Cedar Rapids shagbark was discovered and brought to light by the
late S. W. Snyder, senior member of Snyder Bros., Inc., nurserymen at
Center Point, Iowa. The exact or even approximate year of discovery and
first propagation is not known to the writer, but a remark made by Mr.
Snyder during the 1930 convention, and passed on to him by Dr. Deming,
would indicate that grafts were made as early as 1914. It was, "a Cedar
Rapids shagbark grafted on a hickory (probably meaning shagbark), bore
in its third year and has borne every year since, but the same variety
grafted 16 years ago on a bitternut has not borne." In various comments
made by Mr. Snyder from time to time, especially in connection with the
Iowa meetings of the State Horticultural Society and of the Mid-West
Horticultural Exposition, he continued to rate this as one of the best
varieties within his acquaintance. There are a number of grafted trees
of this variety in various parts of the country, but very few yet in
bearing. The department at Washington has had no opportunity to test the
nuts in detail.

(There is also a variety of bitternut from Iowa known as Cedar Rapids,
but the two are quite unlike and should not be confused.)

COMINS - The original tree of the Comins shagbark hickory, awarded eighth
prize in the 1929 contest, is owned by Mrs. Nancy E. Comins, Amherst,
Hampshire County, Mass. This variety is probably worthy of further
investigation, although specimens of the 1929 crop examined at
Washington did not appear to as good advantage as did many others.

CREAGER - The Creager hickory is a supposed shagbark and bitternut hybrid
known since about 1925, when it was given a high rating, named,
propagated and disseminated to a limited extent by Snyder Bros., Inc.,
of Center Point, Iowa. It was called to their attention by Mr. W. O.
Creager, Sumner, Bremer County, Iowa, discoverer of the original tree.
The nuts are quite small, averaging in a test made in Washington of the
1930 crop 149 per pound. The yield of kernel was 30.27 per cent
quarters, 8.76 per cent small pieces, and the total 39.04 per cent. As
this test was made in February, 1932, the nuts were more than a year
old, and allowance should be made for this fact. The parent tree had
been cut down in the meantime and nuts were not obtainable later.

The shells of the nut are quite thin, easy to crack, and the kernels
fairly sweet. Like most others when their parentage involves a cross
with the bitternut, a distinct bitterness of flavor hangs over in the
mouth as an after-taste.

The grafted tree is said to be a rapid grower and so highly ornamental
as to be well worth growing for its beauty alone. A few trees of such a
hybrid as this should be in any variety test planting wherever they will
succeed. As the latitude of Sumner is 43 degrees, this hybrid should be
of interest as far north as Milwaukee, Wis.; Grand Rapids, Mich.;
Buffalo, N. Y., and the northern boundary line of Massachusetts. Being
primarily an ornamental, the Creager might be grown with safety even
farther north.

DENNIS - The Dennis shagbark hickory is another variety brought to light
by Snyder Bros., Inc., of Center Point, Ia. The original tree was found
near the City of Cedar Rapids and called to their attention by the late
Dr. A. B. Dennis of that city. Information is lacking as to the exact
year, but according to Mr. Bixby's address before the 1920 convention of
the Association, Snyder Bros. used Dennis in 1916 in top-working.

No test of the nuts by the department has yet been possible. However,
Mr. S. W. Snyder wrote in 1926 that he then considered the Dennis "...
the best shagbark yet discovered in Iowa." He added further that "where
the nuts are gathered and hulled promptly after ripening, the color of
the shell is usually highly attractive." He also stated that the shell
was quite thin, and owing to its inner structure the kernels could be
extracted easily. He regarded the quality of the kernel as rich and the
flavor sweet and pleasing.

This variety is represented in several known plantings and abundant nuts
for testing should soon be procurable. Meanwhile, the variety should be
included in further test plantings of the northernmost zone.

DREW - The Drew hickory is a shagbark named in honor of Mr. Arthur Drew
of Howell, Livingston County, Mich., by whom it was called to attention
in 1916. The parent tree stands on the Lyman Beach farm, Marion
township, about six miles southwest from the post office. It was then
one of many young seedlings less than forty feet tall standing in a
cattle pasture. When first examined the nuts were unimpressive, but
later specimens received high rating. The tree is difficult to reach and
its exact identity probably known only to Mr. Drew.

The latitude of origin, the early age of bearing, and the superiority of
nut, both with reference to cracking quality and merit of kernel, seem
to call for further study.

EMERICK - This shagbark was discovered by Prof. L. H. MacDaniels of
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Specimens of the 1932 crop were
submitted to him by Miss Etta Emerick, West Camp, Ulster County, New
York. In Washington seven of these nuts averaged 67 per pound and
yielded 33.33 per cent quarters, 2.22 per cent small pieces, and a total
of 35.55 per cent kernel. The cracking quality was very good and the
nuts otherwise appeared to be of considerable promise.

FAIRBANKS - This is a hybrid hickory, apparently the result of a chance
cross between shagbark and bitternut. The parent tree was discovered by
the late S. W. Snyder, of Center Point, Iowa, probably about 1912. It
then stood near a line fence on the farm of Mr. C. A. Fairbanks, nine
miles northwest of Anamosa, Jones County, Iowa. With reference to the
merit of this variety, the late Mr. Bixby once commented, "A heavy
bearer, nuts attractive, large, smooth and thin-shelled. The variety has
about all the good points desirable except that its palatability is too
low. It is the Ben Davis of the hickories."

The latitude of Anamosa is such that the Fairbanks should be hardy in
the south three or four tiers of counties of Wisconsin, Michigan, New
York, and over much of Massachusetts. It has been widely disseminated,
and because of the popular feeling in its favor, will likely continue to
be planted in experimental orchards.

GREEN - The parent tree of the Green sweet hickory is owned by Mr. Steve
Green, R. F. D. 9, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Mich. It was brought to
attention in 1929, when it was awarded fifth prize by the Association
among the hickory entries that year. This variety is the first of its
species (Hicoria ovalis) to have received a prize from the Association.

HUBER - The Huber shagbark hickory originated with a seedling tree owned
by Mr. Ferdinand Huber, Cochrane, Buffalo County, Wisconsin. It came to
light in 1929, when it was awarded second prize in the Association

HUFF - Like Green, this variety is a sweet hickory, Hicoria ovalis. The
parent tree is owned by L. S. Huff, White Pigeon, St. Joseph County,
Michigan. Aside from the fact that it was awarded ninth prize in the
Association contest of 1929, little is known as to its merits.

LANEY - This variety was brought to light by the late John Dunbar, First
Assistant Superintendent of Parks in Rochester, New York, who wrote the
department in Washington on March 13, 1916, that the original tree was
on a farm owned by Mr. R. J. Sheard, superintendent of a cemetery in
Webster County, New York. It appears to be the result of a natural cross
between the shagbark and the bitternut hickories. It was given the
species name Laneyi by Sargent in his Manual of the Trees of North
America, in honor of Mr. C. C. Laney, Superintendent of Parks, in
Rochester, by whom it had been called to his attention.

This variety is probably of chief value for ornamental and breeding
purposes. The nuts are large, like those of Fairbanks, attractive,
thin-shelled, easy to crack and of pleasing palatability to some people.
Upon becoming thoroughly cured, especially after a few months, the
disagreeable taste characteristic of bitternut usually becomes quite

MANN - This shagbark hickory came to light when awarded first prize in
the Michigan contest of 1932, held under the direction of Prof. James A.
Neilson, East Lansing. The parent tree is owned by Mrs. Rae D. Mann, R.
F. D. 3, Davison, Genesee County, Mich. In a cracking test of nuts from
the crop of 1932, conducted in Washington, the average was 75 per pound;
the yield of quarters was 43.52 per cent, that of small pieces 3.53 per
cent, making a total of 47.06 per cent. The cracking quality was

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Online LibraryAndrew LangNorthern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting → online text (page 12 of 15)