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.
"S. A. W.," New York, writes: "I notice that a discussion on nuts is being carried on in some of the weekly agricultural papers. Thus far, however, little real light has been shed upon some moot points upon which I believe many farmers like myself would like to have definite and accurate information. These points are:
"I. Can the pecan nut (Carya olivaeformis) be grown and fruited at the north - say as high as latitude 410 or 420 in New England or northern New York? Have pecan grafts upon other varieties ever been tried?
"2. Would the marron or Spanish chestnut prove hardy and productive as far north as latitude 420 or even 42 .4° east of the Alleghenies? That it will grow and fruit freely south of latitude 400 may be regarded as practically settled.
"4. Would you recommend the English filbert for those who wanted to raise nuts for market, as a steady cropper and a hardy tree?
"Now these are points which can only be determined by actual experiment. So many trees and shrubs, natives of warm climates, and presumably tender or half hardy, are known to be perfectly hardy at the north, that it is impossible to say without trial what will or will not thrive in more rigorous latitudes. Among the readers of the Monthly, however, there must be some, perhaps many, who have tested these nut bearing trees. What is the result of their experience?"
[The pecan nut will not fruit to any advantage north of Philadelphia; and scarcely there; a few cultivated trees bear a few nuts once in a while, but not worth speaking of. 420 would be about Boston, and we know no reason why the chestnut should not fruit there. It is not safe however to fix lines by latitudes. Climate does not follow these lines.
Ihe Japan chestnut has been grown several years in the Atlantic States. It is perfectly hardy and seems dwarf; no doubt it has fruited, but we have no record of the fact.
The filbert is found one of the most unreliable of all nut trees in the United States. The male flowers are brought forward by a moderate temperature not sufficient to move the female flowers, and there is no pollen for fertilization left when the female flowers appear in spring.
As you truly observe, there is an immense amount written about trees and forestry generally by intelligent people which is misleading for want of practical experience. Because a tree is "hardy," or comes from a "cold climate," is but a fraction in the great whole which makes up success. - Ed. G. M].