This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Pacific Rural Press says: " Experience with the English walnut has taught us to regard it as one of the most beautiful and rapid growing trees for purposes of shade yet introduced on this coast. Independent of its desirability as a shade tree, it is valuable as a timber tree for various manufacturing purposes; in addition to which, the commercial value, after a few years, of the nuts would pay a good interest on the investment. It is very hardy and seems peculiarly adapted to our Sacramento river lands - to which alone our experience extends in growing it. We think it no exaggeration to say that fifty acres in walnut trees - set out now - twenty years hence, would be worth more for nuts and timber, than 500 acres of the best land in the county for grain. A grove of these trees, if set out at one-year-old, would not preclude the use of the land for other purposes beyond the first two years after planting. The following from the Marysville Appeal, as to the rapidity of their growth, corresponds with our own observation: "At the gunsmith shop of B. Bigelow, may be seen some very beautiful and valuable timber from English walnut trees grown at the old Briggs' ranch, on Yuba river.
In 1858, Geo. Briggs planted the nuts and the trees grew to be large and very prolfic in yield, one being thirty-five inches in diameter at the time of their destruction by the flood of 1875, the roots being covered to such a depth by sand that they ceased to leaf and were soon after cut down and the body of the trees used. The annual growth for the seventeen years is clearly discernible by the rings or grain of the larger pieces. Mr. Bigelow had the stumps grubbed out a few mouths since and shipped by boat to to the planing mills of D. A. McDonald & Co., 217 Spear Street, San Francisco. This mill has the first and largest band saw manufactured on on the Pacific coast, it being five inches wide and forty-four feet long, and is perhaps the only place where the stubber and tough wood could have been worked up. Mr. Bigelow has now a very large stock of the best of timber at a small cost, and will use the most of it for the manufacture of gunstocks.' "