Walnut Growing

Grafted Trees

The testimony in favor of the grafted tree is not yet very abundant in Oregon, as the grafting business is new; but with the evidence at hand it will surely have a standing in court. Prof. Lewis speaks plainly on this subject. He

says: One of the main points of discussion is, Which are preferable--grafted or seedling trees? Let us consider the seedling tree first. There are men who claim that these are superior to grafted trees, especially in size, prolificness, etc.; that there is something about our wonderful Oregon climate that causes the so-called second generation trees to bear larger and better fruits than the parent plant. And these writers love to dwell on the subject of generation. There is at times a sort of mystery, an uncanny vagueness connected with this subject that is baffling and bewildering to the layman, and causes him to listen with mouth agape. It is the same sweet silly story that we have had to learn by bitter experience with other nuts and fruits, and some of us will evidently pay dearly for it in the case of the walnut. The term 'first generation' is generally applied to the parent tree--some say the original tree, while others put the clause on the original grafted tree. Nuts taken from such trees and planted produce the second generation trees. These may be equal, may be superior, or may be inferior to the original stock. It is this very variation and instability that makes the seedling to a more or less degree a gambling proposition. The following is taken from a paper on walnut culture by Luther Burbank, read before the annual meeting of the California Fruit Growers convention: In all cases the best results will be obtained by grafting on our native California black walnut or some of its hybrids. No one who grows English walnuts on their own roots need expect to be able to compete with those who grow them on the native black walnut roots, for when grown on these roots the trees will uniformly be larger and longer lived, will hardly be affected by blight and other diseases, and will bear from two to four times as many nuts, which will be of larger size and of much better quality. These are facts, not theories, and walnuts growers should take heed. Although not popular among nurserymen, yet the best way to produce a paying orchard of walnuts is to plant the nuts from some vigorous black walnut tree, three or four in each place where a tree is to stand. At the end of the first summer remove all but the strongest among them. Let the trees grow as they will, for from three to six years, until they have formed their own natural, vigorous system of roots, then graft to the best variety extant which thrives in your locality, and if on deep, well-drained land you will at once have a grove of walnuts which will pay, at present, or even with very much lower prices, a most princely interest on your investment. By grafting in the nursery, or before the native tree has had time to produce its own system of roots by its own rapid-growing leafy top, you have gained little or nothing over planting trees on their own roots, for the foliage of any tree governs the size, extent and form of the root system. Take heed, as these are facts, not fancies, and are not to be neglected if you would have a walnut grove on a safe foundation. I hold in my hands a record, and also a photograph, of one of the Santa Rosa walnut trees, grafted, as I recommended, on the black walnut, 1891; this was handed to me by the owner, George C. Payne, of Campbell. The record may be of interest to you: Dimensions (1905)--Spread of top, 66 feet; circumference one foot above ground, 8 feet 9 inches. No record of nuts was kept until 1897, which amounted to 250 pounds; 1898, 302 pounds; 1899, 229 pounds; 1900, 600 pounds; 1901, 237 pounds; 1902, 478 pounds; 1903, 380 pounds; 1904, 481 pounds; 1905, 269 pounds; 1908, 712 pounds. The walnut has generally been considered a very difficult tree to graft successfully. Mr. Payne has perfected a mode of grafting which in his hands is without doubt the most successful known; by it he is uniformly successful, often making one hundred per cent of the grafts to grow. Who can do better by any method? When you plant another tree, why not plant a walnut? Then, besides sentiment, shade and leaves, you may have a perennial supply of nuts, the improved kinds of which furnish the most delicious, nutritious and healthful food which has ever been known. The old-fashioned hit-or-miss nuts, which we used to purchase at the grocery store, were generally of a rich, irregular mixture in form, size and color, with meats of varying degrees of unsoundness, bitter, musty, rancid, or with no meat at all. From these early memories, and the usual accompanying after-effects, nuts have not been a very popular food for regular use until lately, when good ones at a moderate price can generally, but not always, be purchased at all first-class stores. The consumption of nuts is probably increasing among all civilized nations today faster than that of any other food, and we should keep up with this increasing demand and make the increase still more rapid by producing nuts of uniformly good quality. This can be done without extra effort, and with an increase in the health and rapid and permanent increase in the wealth of ourselves and neighbors. An American black walnut growing on a lot on the east side of Grant street, residence of J. C. Cooper, McMinnville, grafted by Mr. Payne May 14, 1908, grew 7-1/2 feet in 95 days and was still growing when the terminal buds were nipped by the early September frost of that year. The sprouts were pruned back to 12 inches. The tree made a vigorous growth in 1909, making a spread of 13 feet. Some think the American black a better tree for grafting stock that the California black. One of the noblest and grandest trees in any American forest is the American black walnut, and while a little slow at the beginning of its career it is only a question of time when it will overtake all others. It knows no disease or pests, and he who plants it lays a foundation for 20 to 50 generations to come as well as for himself and those of his own household. A four-year-old hybrid, 4 inches in diameter, grafted in by Mr. Payne, grew a sprout as shown, 7 feet 9 inches high in four months from the setting of the graft. It is growing on the east side of D street near the Presbyterian church in front of the residence of Mrs. Sarah Updegraf, McMinnville, Oregon. Three trees there all show the same vigor, with little or no cultivation. John H. Hartog, formerly of Eugene, wrote of the experience of Mr. E. Terpening, one of the most successful walnut growers near that city. Mr. Terpening is a devotee of the grafted tree. And why? A burnt child spurns the fire, says the proverb. Mr. Terpening set out second generation Mayettes and Franquettes, expecting that these seedlings would produce true, but when they commenced to bear, behold his amazement at finding that he had a variety of almost every kind. This was enough to convince him that in the future he would use grafted trees, and know what he was doing and what kind of nut he was raising. Counting out trees of other kinds, he has four acres in walnuts, and these produced-- In 1905 700 pounds In 1906 1200 pounds In 1907 2000 pounds In 1908 3000 pounds This spring he set out 450 more trees and wisely he put them 50 feet apart and will grow peaches in between for a few years. While it is generally said that walnuts come into bearing after 8 years, Mr. Terpening states that the grafted tree will bear commercially in 6 years, which tallies exactly with my experience. The Terpening walnut trees are grafted on American black and his favorite variety is the Mayette and lately the so-called Improved Mayette.

Previous: Seedling Walnuts
Next: Walnut Grafting

Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon

Add to Informational Site Network