281. Advance of Nut-growing

In Europe and Asia nut culture is nearly as ancient as the cultivation of the edible fruits, and by selection and culture the native varieties, usually much inferior to our native species, have been improved in size and quality to such extent that many of them are grown commercially and shipped to every civilized part of the world. In China and Japan, also, nut improvement has been going on for centuries by selection and propagation of the best varieties, and indeed it may be said that the recent introduction of the Japan chestnuts has given an impetus to American nut-growing in the States east of the lakes and in the South. With the exception of commercial almond- and walnut-growing in California, it may be said that in the States we have not had, until recently, a nut plantation in the States, except in the way of retaining forest-grown trees of chestnut, hickory, walnut, and other species in land-clearing.

Attention has recently been drawn to select varieties of our native nuts, and amateurs and the experiment stations have recently begun the important work of propagating and planting the largest and best varieties. Present indications favor the belief that during the next decade nut culture will be extended in a way that will materially lessen the importation of nuts into this country.