2002-2009 Meetings

The organizational meeting that founded the New York Nut Growers Association was held on March 9, 2002 at S.U.N.Y. Alfred, in Alfred, NY. Tom Potts, DDS, Ph.D. of Belmont, NY initiated the idea of forming a nut growing association in New York and coordinated the meeting. Tom is a member of the Northern Nut Growers Association, and thought that there might be enough interest in New York state to have a state organization that would allow us to gather more frequently to trade scion wood, and discuss cultural problems and solutions. Over 30 people attended that meeting. About half of those attending became the charter members of this organization and today we have 43 members. That first meeting featured a tree grafting demonstration by Malcolm Olson who operates an experimental tree farm in Findlay Lake, NY. John Gordon gave a talk on The Development of New Hybrid Chestnut Cultivars. John owns a nut tree farm and nursery in Amherst, NY. Don Cobb contributed several seedling trees for door prizes.

Our second meeting (summer 2002) was hosted by Don Cobb at his estate in Waterloo, NY. Don gave a talk on Oaks and how to grow them as well as uses for acorns, describing how the Indian tribes in the southwest prepare them for consumption. We also had a tour of the estate and a budding demonstration. There was also a talk by Richard Fahey on the historical development of nut trees. At the business portion of our meeting the name "The Empire Nut Grower" was selected for the association newsletter.

The third meeting (fall 2002) was held at Cornell Plantations on the campus of Cornell University. Ken Mudge and Louise Buck, Professors in the Horticulture Department gave presentations. Prof. Mudge gave a talk about Prof. L.H. McDaniels and the nut tree plantings he made in the early 1900's. Then we had a tour of this planting after lunch. Prof. Buck gave a presentation on ginseng, with information on growing, harvesting, and evaluating this plant.

Our fourth meeting (spring 2002) was held at the headquarters building of Rockefeller State Park, Sleepy Hollow, NY. The meeting was hosted by Jerry and Marsha Henkin. Ed Doolittle gave a demonstration on how to build and use a heated callus box to be used in grafting nut trees. Malcolm Olson demonstrated splice grafting on black walnut rootstock and explained the proper care of grafts. Claire Pierson gave a presentation on the medicinal properties of black walnut hulls and leaves. Jerry Henkin gave a presentation on how to make ink from black walnut hulls. The group also planted black walnut trees on the preserve. The last activity of the day was the scion and seedling tree exchange.

The fifth meeting (summer 2003) was Hosted by Malcolm and Henrietta Olson at their experimental tree farm in Findlay Lake, NY. Malcolm opened the meeting with an orientation to the farm. After the business meeting, Part I of the tour of the farm got underway. After lunch, Part II of the tour was conducted. John Gordon then did a demonstration of green tip grafting.

Our sixth meeting (fall 2003) was hosted by Francis Woodward, owner and operator of Woodward's Walnut World in Medina, NY. Fran gave an orientation talk on the history and operation of the farm. Next was a demonstration of the tree shaker that commercial growers use to shake the nuts from the trees. Then the efficiency of the nut harvester was demonstrated, making a clean sweep of the area in picking up the nuts and the first nut huller was used to remove the majority of the hull from the nut. After lunch, the second nut huller was demonstrated which removes the remaining hull fragments from the shell. The final demonstration was the nut washer which produces a nice, clean product.

The seventh meeting (spring 2004) was held at S.U.N.Y. Cobelskill, Cobelskill, NY. Prof. Chris Cash gave a presentation on the Micropropagation of plants. Tom Molnar gave a presentation on Eastern Filbert Blight. We toured the campus facilities and there was a hands on grafting demonstration and workshop. The last activity of the day was a tour of the greenhouses and propagation grounds.

Our eighth meeting (summer 2004) was held at the Yard of Ale Canal House Inn, Piffard, NY. This is one of Livingston County's historical landmark buildings as it was situated along the Erie Canal. Our speakers included the President of NY Forest Owners Association, and David Colligan Esq. on land managment and landowner legal responsibilities and rights. Eric grace gave a talk on land trusts.

The ninth meeting (fall 2004) was held at St. Lawrence Nurseries in Potsdam, NY. Bill MacKently, owner of the nursery gave a talk on the history of the nursery and the unique plant material offered. The harsh climate of this area results in super hardy stock, as only the hardy will survive and thrive. He also pointed out that grasslands are bacterial where as forests are fungal which influences the growth of trees. Lunch was followed by a tour of the nursery and Bill's wealth of knowledge.

Our tenth meeting (spring 2005) was held in Saratoga at the NY Experimental Station. Most of the morning was devoted to discussing the English Walnut Program and the business meeting. The featured speaker Frank Munzer, spoke on Restoring the American Chestnut to the Eastern Forest. Lee Reich gave a presentation on Tree Planting Myths. The English Walnut Seed Program seeds were distributed. This was followed by a tour of the facility conducted by David Lee, nursery manager.

The eleventh meeting (summer 2005) was held at Richard and Anna Marie Fahey's farm in Oxford, NY. The Fahey's and 4 of their children, Issac, AnnaMarie, Elizabeth and Martin demonstrated how to build rich easy soils organically, and amonst other activities how to select a good planting site Richard gave talks on general nut tree culture and a tour of his plantings.
Dr. Peter Smallridge, Director of the Arnot Forest and NYS Extension Forester discussed forest crop tree managment. He distributed information on the wise management of forested lands.

Our twelfth meeting (fall 2005) was held in Belmont at Tom Pott's estate. The featured speaker was Tom Molnar who gave a talk and slide show on his recent trip to Russia. Tom is working with Rutgers University on studying Eastern Filbert Blight and his trip to Russia and Slavic countries yielded many varieties of nut trees that are new to us. In the afternoon Tom Potts gave us a tour of his Filbert plantings.

The thirteenth meeting (spring 2006) was held at BBW Farm in Trumansburg, NY. John Wertis led the tour of his farm and the Butternut evaluation exercise. A brochure from the US Forest Service on How to Identify Butternut Canker was distributed to help in the eveluation. John Gordon gave a grafting demonstration. After lunch, Hans Spaholz gave a presentation on the work being done at the Badgersett research farm in Minnesota. The group also planted english walnut seedlings that were overwintered at Cornell University.

Our fourteenth meeting (summer 2006) held at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry on SU campus. A talk was given on genetic selection in the morning followed by a tour of the cloning lab and in the afternoon a tour of the growing test field.

The fifteenth meeting (fall 2006) was held at John Gordon's Nursery in Amherst, NY. Talks and demonstrations were given on nut seed stratification and storage and we had a tour of the nursery of 10,000+ trees.

The sixteenth meeting (spring 2007) was held in Sherbern, NY at Rogers Environmental Center. Our program featured a talk by Roy Hopke who spoke on American Chestnuts and American Chinquipins. There was also a tour of the chestnut grove.
The seventeenth meeting (summer 2007) This will be included as soon as I find my copy of the newsletter that reviewed this meeting. I have to rely on the newsletter review for meetings I did not attend. That's why some entries are shorter than others.
The eighteenth meeting (fall 2007) was held on October 6, 2007 at Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls, NY.   Meeting Director: Jerry Henkin. Registration, T-shirt and printed handout distribution
Featured Speakers and presentations:
Prof. Barry Kendler, "Nut Nutrition". He spoke on Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Nuts.
Clare Pierson spoke on "Medicinal Properties and Uses of Nuts and other Plants".
Lee Reich spoke on "Planting and Care of Young Nut and Fruit Trees" *
Presentation on the Forbus Butternut Association's successful effort to preserve the tree from urban development. Distribution of free Butternut seeds by Jerry Henkin, collected from the State Champion Butternut Tree. Jerry Henkin directed the demonstration of setting up a stratification pit on the farm for black walnut and butternut.
A buffet Lunch was served at Stony Kill Center.
Some members traveled to the site of the NYS Champion Butternut Tree on Forbus St. and South Cherry St., in Poughkeepsie.
The nineteenth meeting (Spring 2008) was held April 12, 2008 in Cayuta, NY at Wagner Hardwoods. The meeting opened with a presentation by Jim Wilkinson who talked about the history and operation of the mill. Bob Barton filmed the mill in operation prior to our meeting and Jim narrated this video. Then, Jim took us on a tour of the mill and answered questions.
Lunch was at Arnot Forrest. Before and during the lunch break, Carl Butterfield demonstrated his Wood Mizer. Some members brought logs to be sawn to demonstrate the ease of operating this machine.
Our Afternoon speaker on hardwood hybridization and asexual reproduction was Peter Podaras.
The twentieth meeting (Summer 2008) was held July 12, 2008 in Findley Lake, NY at Malcolm and Henrietta Olson's Experimental Tree Farm. After the long rainy spell we had all had this summer, we got a beautiful day to tour the impeccably kept farm. The meeting began with a presentation by Malcolm. He had several samples of cross-sections of grafts that didn't take and labeled nuts to show us and he answered questions on a variety of topics. We then toured part of the farm before lunch and the rest of it after lunch and the business meeting. The Olson's also offered the group free seedlings of chestnut trees. This was our second trip to this farm and it is always an inspiration. Our gracious hostess, Henrietta, provided us with a great lunch and snacks. Malcolm tells us how much Henrietta contributes to the day-to-day operation of this, and the other 5 farms they own. She and Malcolm do most of the work and they have a couple of part-time helpers. We all look forward to our next group visit.
The twentyfirst meeting (Fall 2008) was held at Rutgers University.
The twentysecond meeting (spring 2009) was held at Dilmun Hill Farm on Cornell University's campus
The twentythird meeting (summer 2009) was held August 8, 2009 at the plant Materials Center in Big Flats, NY


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