Walnut Growing

Young Groves Of Oregon

The Prince walnut grove of Dundee, Yamhill county, thrills the soul of the onlooker with its beauty, present fruitfulness, and great promise. Lying on a magnificent hillside, the long rows of evenly set trees--healthy, luxurious in foliage, and filled with nuts--present a picture of

ideal horticulture worth going many miles to see. There is not a weed to mar the perfect appearance of the well-tilled soil; not a dead limb, a broken branch, a sign of neglect or decay. In all, 200 acres are now planted to young walnuts, new areas being added each season. From the oldest grove, about forty-five acres, the trees from twelve to fourteen years old, there was marketed in 1905 between two and three tons of walnuts; in 1906 between four and five tons; in 1907 ten tons were harvested, bringing the highest market price, 18 and 20 cents a pound wholesale, two cents more than California nuts. The crop for 1908 was at least one-third heavier than for 1907. One tree on the Prince place, a Mayette, that has received extra cultivation, by way of experiment, now twelve years old, has a spread of thirty-eight feet, and yielded in its eleventh year 125 pounds of excellent nuts. Mr. Woods, the superintendent of the Prince place, considers walnut growing a comparatively simple matter; he advocates planting the nut where the tree is to grow, choosing nuts with care; and then thorough cultivation. The soil is semi-clayey, red, hill land. Near Albany, Linn county, 700 acres are planted; the soil is a rich loam, and seems admirably adapted to walnuts. Near Junction City, in Lane county, there are 200 acres of young trees. Every condition seems present for the best results. Eugene has two small groves. Yamhill county, where the greatest demonstration thus far has been made, has close to 3,000 acres in young trees, the planting having been both on hill and valley lands. At Grants Pass, Josephine county, there is a promising grove of 600 young trees. Near Aurora and Hubbard, Marion county, where the soil is a rich, black loam, rather low, a number of young groves are making a growth of four and five feet a season. J. B. Stump, of Monmouth, Polk county, has a very thrifty young grove. This is a view of a part of the R. Jacobson orchard one and one-half miles west of McMinnville. The land was bought for $60 per acre and when planted to walnuts sold for $200. The orchard is now five years old and could not be bought for $600 per acre. It is located on a hill 150 feet above the level of the valley. The largest single grafted grove in Oregon is situated one mile from Junction City, the property of A. R. Martin. He has sixty-five acres. Washington county is rapidly acquiring popularity as a walnut center, many fine orchards being now planted. Mr. Fred Groner, near Hillsboro, is now planting 100 acres to grafted trees. The Oregon Nursery Company is establishing large walnut nurseries in Washington county. In Douglas county, vicinity of Drain, little attention has been paid to walnut culture, but a sufficient number of trees are doing well to insure good results from large plantings. In Jackson county, near Medford, a number of young groves have been planted, and individual trees throughout the Rogue River Valley furnish ample evidence of correct soil and climatic conditions in that section. Even when apple trees have been caught by frost the walnuts have escaped uninjured, bearing later a full crop. In Tillamook county only sufficient trees have been planted to demonstrate favorable soil conditions. While western Oregon is universally conceded to be the natural walnut center, eastern Oregon also has its localities where walnuts bear heavily, and will prove a good commercial crop. In Baker county there are thousands of acres of land adapted to walnuts; young groves are being planted, and a number of trees have produced fine crops. When one considers the years of the future when the trees of each of these young groves will lift their symmetrical heads fifty, sixty, ninety feet into the air, laden to full capacity with a plenteous crop, each October dropping their golden-brown nut harvest that falls with the clink of dollars to the commercial-minded, but with an accompaniment of finest sentiment in the hearts of those otherwise inclined, one turns away with a desire to repeat the wisdom of these pioneer planters and start a grove of his own. With what grander monument could one commemorate his little span on earth?

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