This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There is no reason why these trees should not be made a profitable enterprise for an enterprising man. True, as far as the hickory is concerned, it would require a large souled man, as it would be doubtful whether he would realize the fruits of his investment during his lifetime; but his descendants would, and also the community. To ' come to the point at once; some years ago, Mr. Hales, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, requested us to try to graft a superior shellbark hickory, grown on his ground. After having worked at it in a very desultory way for several years, I requested i the company to give it up, as it did not pay us to do it except on a large scale, this not being possible with us, having so many other things on hand. There can be no doubt that by grafting superior kinds of soft-shell hickories, especially if they are prolific bearers at the same time, it will bring them earlier to bear than if raised from nuts, of which at the best you do not know what you will get after long waiting. Hence, say that grafted hickories, two years old, bought at a dollar each, plants twenty feet apart each way, say about forty trees to the acre, would after some years not cost much to take care of, as it is not necessary to have level land, but the very land not easy for ploughing other crops.
Now for chestnuts, things are much easier than with hickories. After all is said about the large-fruited Spanish or Japan chestnut, the American chestnut is by far the sweetest of all, and no doubt large-fruited trees can be found which when grafted will bear in a short time. Some years ago I grafted Japan chestnuts on the American; the second year they were full of chestnuts. Of course they were grafted on good strong stocks, about five feet high. Again, the same thing may be done with Juglans Regia or Maderia nut, grafted from some prolific tree that will bear the most perfect nuts, and no doubt they will do very well in a great many situations, and be a very paying remuneration.