Post by blueadzuki on Oct 12, 2016 23:13:04 GMT -5
That may mean you'll start seeing a lot of hickory groves around too (and I don't mean pecans). Unlike most of the people in this country, the Chinese actually LIKE the taste of hickory nuts, enough to make a cash crop out of them. every time I go to a store (including today) I see bags of hickory nuts, roasted and salted (though still in their (cracked) shells*. Though I don't know if these are American species or the native Chinese ones (and since I have never seen them offered in a raw state, I doubt I ever will).
*The Chinese must like the experience of shelling their own nuts, even if the shells are pre-cracked (which kind of negates the whole "keep the nut fresh" idea. They sell macadamias the same way. I half wonder if they sell their CASHEWS that way. No, probably not, they aren't THAT stupid (nuts that are a &^&)*(*(*^(%* to crack are one thing, but nuts whose shells would actually cause the customers oozing rashes are quite another.)
honestly, some shagbarks are the best tasting nuts i've had. i doubt it's that americans don't like the flavor of hickories, more that it's too much work to deal with and most have no idea what they're missing.
Well, there must be SOME sort of machinery now that can do it. Besides the in shell ones, I have seen packages of hickory nut halves (not bits, actual "whole" halves) so they have some way of getting them out in once piece.
I don't know about machines but it's not hard to tap a hickory nut with a hammer and get whole halves. Takes a little practice I guess but I learned the skill a long time ago, with a rock. The big shagbark hickory that grow wild here are wonderful.
Nothing ruins a neighborhood like paved roads and water lines.
About 30 years ago I went to a NAFEX (North American Fruit Explores) meeting in Joplin MO. A group of older men had each gone out into the native walnut forests with nutcrackers, cracked some nuts from a bunch of trees, and marked the trees with thin shells and high nut/shell ratios. When the season was right for grafting, they went and cut scionwood and grafted onto seedlings back home. So a few years later, when the superior grafted trees began to produce, they contacted area walnut dealers to sell their improved walnuts. They were disappointed that the dealers wouldn't pay a premium for the improved walnuts. Walnut shells pay as much as the nut kernals. The shells are ground for cleaning jewelery by sort of sandblasting the jewelery with the ground shell. And the ground shells were glued together to make grainless "wood" for woodcarvers. They did find that they could direct market the cracked walnuts to cooks who would pay a premium price for the bigger pieces. Anyway, if you are near a bunch of walnut trees, you might want to sample nuts from each tree and check if some are significantly easier to shell.
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Oct 15, 2016 22:35:30 GMT -5
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions everyone! I don't know that we quite have the room here for the hoped for hybrid walnuts, but i do hope someday to find a nice piece of land and i think i'd like myself to have a few small orchards. That's the dream anyway. But when that time comes i will be sure to remember this thread!
Until then i will enjoy the two black walnut trees we have here that were squirrel planted only a few years back. Remarkable how incredibly fast growing trees they are. Able to harvest a whole basket of nuts. And your right about the skin staining. I had black stains on my hand for a day and a half or so a few weeks back. Best to just let them dry down on their own.
I just got back from Xi'an China last week which is one of the centers of walnut production in China. I sampled at least 7 or 8 raw walnuts and ate various processed walnuts including the partially opened and salted walnuts. Virtually everything I ate was better than the best walnuts commercially produced in California. I have no idea what walnut varieties the Chinese are growing but I wish we had them here in the US.
Post by blueadzuki on Oct 22, 2016 21:20:40 GMT -5
Well, if they looked sort of like normal walnuts, they probably were normal English J. regina. Manchurian walnuts (J. mandashurica) look sort of like black walnuts. Actually they don't really, but they look more like blacks than English. Hybrids of the two seem to look sort of like an intermediary; they're more top shaped than normal English, and the pits on the outside of the shell are larger and deeper (actually, there is the simple fact there are pits, English walnuts tend to just have some creases.) Those hybrids MIGHT tastes better than a pure English, as I think Manchurian have a more black walnut like taste (so they might make a nut richer). There is also something that can make the walnuts develop a pecan like sweetness.
There are also Japanese walnuts (J. aliantifolia) in the Chinese walnut pool, but those are smaller and smoother than any English (they're basically heartnuts that aren't heart shaped)so it's unlikely you'd get them confused.
The English walnut also has a subspecies unique to China referred to as the Iron Walnut (J. regina var. silligata). That's mostly used as a park tree (since it has a strong, upright shape), but it does make nuts, and they are eaten, so they could get into the food pool (certainly I've found them) Those look sort of like the conventional English, except the two sides of the shell are INCREDIBLY inflated until the nut has a wider axis perpendicular to the shell seam plane than parallel to it (I sometimes think of them as "Dizzy Gillespie" walnuts).
Most looked exactly like regular American English walnuts, except larger. A few were smoother with less bumps and ridges but I don't think they were necessarily a different species. more like the normal variation you might find within the species.
Does anybody have a pollination chart for walnuts, what will set sets with what? So, regia and nigra OK, ailanthifolia and cinerea OK, manchurian and english OK, what else? Anybody know? I have several species on the home place and planted seednuts a year or so ago, and am curious what I might get. Available parents, regia, cinerea, ailanthifolia and a couple of cinereaXailanthifolia crosses.
'Dooley Hybrid' Walnut Graft 'Dooley Hybrid' is a rare walnut cultivar introduced by Ken Dooley from Marion Indiana. Unlike most hybrids with eastern black walnut, it has a thin, paper shell that can be cracked with fingers. The tree is very productive, vigorous and leans toward the Persian walnut in most of its characteristics. It exhibits the best walnut blight resistance in the orchard. It is drought tolerant and holds its leaves until harvest is over. The nuts are early to mid-season ripening. The nut is medium size, round and very well-filled. A small number of the nuts are not well sealed at the tip. It is a protandrous cultivar and so should be paired with 'Broadview' or 'Sejnovo' for best production. Suited for climate zones 6a-8. Select a Size: