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11/10/2013 12:43 PM
 
What trees to get  (United States)
We nice locations with all of the requirements for 7 nut trees next spring. There might be a couple of more spots as well. What have some of you put in that worked? We at least want 2 Eng. walnuts and 2 hazelnuts. What else? Thanks.
 
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4/16/2014 4:00 PM
 
Re: What trees to get  (United States)
American Chestnut is making a come back. It was all but wiped out but the Arbor Day Foundation has done extensive breeding to develop resistant varieties. Chestnuts provide protein, oils and carbs and they are easy to liberate from their shells.

Annie M
 
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4/16/2014 4:29 PM
 
Re: What trees to get  (United States)
Hey, Thom and Annie!

Hazels are good and because there are native varieties around you're sure to have adequate nearby gene pools around even though I'm pretty sure they're self fertile. They are also easily stooled so you can propagate more if you make one higher priced purchase for a larger plant. My experience with them was that they were slow to establish and then one day you look at this thing you've practically run over with the lawnmower to find it's impeding your walk way - I was personally stoked to run into it!

Other nuts, I am told yellowhorn/popcorn shrub is good with lots of oils that you can either roast & eat, dry and use for feed, or plant and use for windbreaks and soil stabilization. The leaves are also supposed to be high in protein for livestock and not poisonous to them.

I agree with you, Annie, the American Chestnut is a great choice for our area. Even if you have a "full blooded" tree the climate here is not hospitable in any way to the chestnut blight that wiped them off the East Coast. You can also get the European and Chinese Chestnut to fit the same bill although both are smaller, wider trees.

A lot of the other nuts - hickory, pecan, beech, and oak - are all slow growing enough that you'll be planting for your children to eat. That said, I think planting these trees are a GREAT idea for the same reason. The best time to plant a tree is TODAY! Also, for Pecans, there are Northern growing ones from Michigan that would easily overwinter most of our weather here and still produce adequate nuts. If you find the right grower you should be able to get a couple of enough size to experience a harvest.

As far as what worked, Thom, so far the Hazelnut but I haven't even tried putting out the other larger trees - generally nuts are huge mature trees that need space. The yellowhorn is another story - we planted about 25 in a nursery bed last spring and will be moving them in the next couple of weeks to their new home up North and even with kids, dogs, chickens, and forgetfulness they all did well for averaging 6 inches when we planted them bareroot. Now that they have soil and roots they are likely to grow a lot more per season. Growth on them was everything from 4 to 10 inches of new stem in that first season.

I almost forgot my not so little pet - I bought an almond tree 5 years ago! It was 4 1/2 ft tall after planting and my friend laughed at me when he drove up and saw it in the ground. It has faithfully produced a decent crop 3 years in a row now. If I had any complaints at all it would be that the variety I bought has a VERY hard shell. So hard, in fact, that I have yet to get a whole nut from the 1/4" thick shell - so thick the squirrels have given up on them! The nurseryman could have told me it would produce great but was practically speaking difficult to get a harvest from! If you get an almond (they are also very beautiful trees) make sure it's one that you can reasonably shell or you may just have to enjoy the view instead of the nuts.

I know you've got plenty of evergreens but you could also tuck a few pine nut varieties on your place - a pinion or siberian would take your worst weather here - and start getting a harvest in 10 years or so. I am planning to add those to my collection of producers as well and they are pretty low maintenance. Here's an article (quick grab, not extensively proofed) but with 20 species to choose from you've got options! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_nut

Talk to you soon!
Sean
 
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