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PROFITABLE WALNUT CULTURE.

The following article by A. B Mans- ' field, in the "Journal of Agriculture," 3 is of interest to our readers as a con* > siderable crop of walnuts is grown on the Peninsula :—" I have been agree* ably surprised to note how well tbe walnut does in South Canterbury, The trees bear heavy crops of nuts with little care or attention. The equable climate and the proximity to the east coast seem to make the district peculiarly adapted for suooessful walnut cultivation. The tree is a [ vigorous grower, and its timber is of great value, being much prized for 1 cabinet work. ( The common walnut (Juglans regis) ! is a native of Persia and the Hima- , layas, but it is profitably worked in all : the southern portions of Europe. Similar to the common walnut is tho black walnut, (J. nigra) of North i America. The latter variety is much valued in California as a stock for growing tbe selected varieties upon, , Tbe fact that the use of the black wftl- , nut as stock is highly prized is shown in the following remarks re> ceived by the writer from Judge 8. F. Lieb, of San Jose, California : "Speak ing upon the action of stock over scion I know an English walnut graft on Oalifornian black walnut loses very much of the little bitter twang which almost every walnut has. I can tell with my eyes shut the taste of a kernel from an English walnut grown upon a Californian black walnut root, although the two trees may stand side by side." Tbe walnut requires a coastal cU% mate, a3 it is found to come earlier into bearing than when planted fartbdt inland. Dapth of soil is essential, a rich loamy moist soil being most fay« oured. It will, however, succeed in deep calcareous' loams, and in stiff clay 3 resting on gravelly subsoil. Drainage is most essential for the longevity of the tree. As the walnut tree attains a great size, sufficient space is necessary to permit of proper development, Not more than twentyseven trees should be planted to the acre, They require to be planted 401fc apart, each way, on the square system The space between the trees can be cultivated, and peaches may be grown as fillers, or the bush fruits, together with vegetable crops, may also be grown. In California tbe trees are planted 50ft. apart in order to prevent crowding. Propagation consists or I planting either seedlings or grafted 1 trees. There has been considerable controvery as to the relative merits of both methods, Seedlings are uncertain, as there is tbe likelihood of the seedlfng tree not producing the type of nut required. The usual types of grafting apply to working the walnuts as to other fruit trees. French varieties, when planted as seedlings, follow more closely tho type of the parent tree * , 1. L In planting walnuts from the nut oue may water-soak them to hasten germination. Select good, fresh nutS| place them in a kerosene-tin, and cover thorn with warm water not over 105deg. F. Leave them in this water

for at least twenty four hours, and I plant them at once, Keep them in the water nil the time. Put the pointed end of the walnut in tbe soil first. The root oomes from this end, and will go straight down. This sprouting system doos away with the possibility of planting any weak growing nuts The nuts ehou'd make a sufficiency of growth the first season to enable tho grower to bud thorn in the early autumn. The bestrrethod of budding tbe walnut is by tbe shield bud. Push the bud into the cut, and not downwards, as is the usual style of budding. Should a sufficiency of growth suitable for budding not be madp, one has to have recourse to grafting. By experience tho common cleft graft has given 4he best results, Walouia are best planted at two years o'd from the nursery, alttough tbey can bo transplanted at a much later age if oare be exercised. The soil should be prepared as for other fruit trees, or strips only may be ploughed and well cultivated to receive the young trees. The walnut forms its head naturally ; thus little pruning ia required other than the removal of any straggling branches and for the purpose of preventing the interlacing of limbs. All limbs injured by frost should be removed. The best time to do any pruning is before tbe leaves fall, in the autumn. The walnut has separate blooms, staminate and pistillate, but they are both on the same tree. Fruition depends upon these iwo forms of bloom. The bearing tendency of the walnut depends upon the variety, French varieties boar earlier than others, and are rapidly gaining favour, owing to their being able to withstand cold weather. The seedling walnut rarely comes earlier into bearing than eight years of age. French varieties have been known to bear at two years of age, -Scions used in grafting taken from older bearing trees fruit earlier than those taken from young unbearing sorts. There ate two classes of walnuts, the '-hard" shell and the "soft" shell. The common English walnut is of the hard shell variety. Amongst the best soft shell varieties the follow ing may be cited ; Sexton's Soft Shell, Ford's Improved Soft Shell, Mnyette, a a Frenoh variety of soft shell, and Franquette, a French variety of good quality, but the shell is rather thick The Japanese varieties are of the hardshell type, but are not favoured for commercial purposes. In gathering the walnuts some growers gather them eff tbe ground, and in South Canterbury the grass is mown away from lha trees wiih a scythe. This permits of their being easily gathered. Some growers beat the trees with long poles and take all the nuts at the one operation

All natß should be well dried by being placed on } in. mesh trays in the shade. When they have dried, they should be put into a revolving grader with slats 1 in, apart. All the nuts that fall through are classed as "second grade." The nuts are then washed in clean water, beirjg stirred arouDd vigorously the whole time. They should be taken out and placed on the drying tray.-', and, while still damp, put into the bleacher. A good bleacher is made out of ahold packing case, if a small airtight ettsd is not available. Whilst in the bvaya in the bleaohiDg room or box they are sub jeofced to the fumes of sulphur for from twenty to thirty minutes. This improves the colour of tbe shells, and also destroys any mildew or fungus spores so detrimental to the kernel of the nut. The trays should be placed in the sun, so as to allow the nuts to dry. They shuuld then be put into neat, clean bags, containing 561b each. Sew up tbe bags with good strong twine, and neatly stencil on them the brand, and the name and address, together with the grade, "No 1" or "No 2."

The walnuts could also be dipped in a bleaching solution, which is made by dissolving Gib of chloride of lime in d gallons of water. In another vessel dissolve 121b. of sal soda in 4 gallons of water; Pour one solution into the otber and stir thoroughly. This gives off chlorine, the bleaching agent, Allow the lime deposit to settle, draw off tbe clear fluid, and then add 52 gallons of water. Add to this mixture J]lb. of CO per cent, eulphurio acid, mixing thoroughly. Place the nuts in a crate or basket and dip them in and out of the fluid. It should take from eight to ten seconds to get a good colour. The nuts should then be rinsed in clean water and spread out to dry. Tbß same mixture can bo used over and over again, so long as the desired effect is secured. From Mine to time add small quantities of sulphuric acid to make it efficient, By using a spray or dipping bath of an electrolyed solu tion of salt a very good colour can be obtained, and tho salt is found to net ag a preservative, preventing the meat, or kernel, from becoming rancid. Tho chloride bleacher may enter the stem end of tho nut and cause the meat to taste of the chemical.

Walnut-trees make a very desirable wind break for an orchard, and prove most suitable for shado tree 3 in the Bummer for stock. Pigs will feed on the nuts that fall to tbe ground. They seem to relish them. There h a splendid market for walnuts ; the consumption isincreasiog rapidly, and the nut is much used in confectionery manufacture. Especially is this the case since the introduction of the nutmilk chocolate. The locally raised nuts find a ready market here at Gd per pound without being prepared in "any manner at all. A lady in the Blenheim district assured me that she conld easily dispose of large quantities to the Bhipping companies for dessert purposes at highly remunerative prices. The walnut suffers from an attack of scale (Mytilnspis multiporu). Spraying in the winter, when the tree is dormant, with the red oil emulsion to 17 gallons of water will be found effective. The walnut-blight (Ptaidomonae juf/landis) is due to a specific bftcillua whiob has so far resisted treatment. The disease affects the young wood and the leaves. It is worse aft tbe blossom end of the nut, and is seen there first, as a rule. In the later stages of the disease tbe spots run together and cover portion or the whole of tbe sffoctod area. As tho

di?ea?e spreads tha nut degenerates into a rotten m<i«sp, nnd is completely destroyed In California steps are being taken to plant enly those varieties which show immunity to the disea-e.

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Bibliographic details

PROFITABLE WALNUT CULTURE., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXI, Issue 4360, 26 December 1913

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PROFITABLE WALNUT CULTURE. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXI, Issue 4360, 26 December 1913

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