NY Nut Growers Association Seeks to Preserve Heirloom Nut Trees
By John Wertis
In the 1930’s, a lot of interest developed in growing English (Persian) Walnuts in New York State. The Canadian Minister, the Rev. Paul Crath, had collected seed nuts and seedling trees from his native Poland and was growing them successfully in Southern Ontario. He formed a partnership with S.H. Graham, a nurseryman in Ithaca, NY, and many Crath Carpathian strain trees were marketed and planted throughout NYS and in other parts of the country through the 1950’s.
Many of these trees have survived freeze, drought, and the Walnut Blight and continue as producers of large, crackable, tasty nuts today.
The NY Nut Growers Association is seeking out Crath Carpathian and perpetuating their germ plasm by grafting and growing them on member’s farms and at the John Gordon Demonstration Nut Grove in Trumansburg, NY.
Readers are encouraged to report the location of such trees to the Nut Growers Association for our expanding data base and for possible use in the “Heirloom Program”. If you have a large “English” walnut tree growing on your property that is producing a crop of edible nuts with some regularity, chances are good that it is of the Crath Carpathian strain and the Nut Growers Association would like to hear from you about it.
The NY Nut Growers Association also sponsors an annual internship in which individuals spend three full days gaining practical, hands-on experience in growing nut tree seedlings for “stock”, collecting and processing “scion wood”, and carrying out the grafting and callusing processes employed in asexually reproducing valuable nut trees of several species.
For more information on the internship, or to report a rare tree, visit www.NYNGA.org, or contact John Wertis, president, at (607) 387-4331, or firstname.lastname@example.org.