Hickory Nuts

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Hickory Nuts

Postby Eugene » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:00 pm

Wondering if anyone harvests, shells, and utilizes hickory nut meats.

Today, conversation with neighbor lady. She said that her mother use to harvest, shell, and sell hickory nut meats. One tree on her property always had large nuts.

I've tried harvesting hickory nuts. Found virtually all nuts had worm holes and not worth the effort to pick up.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby randallc » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:55 am

Never tried harvesting. The hickory nuts around here are so small it would take forever, but I do love the taste of them.
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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby v w » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:56 am

Haven't eaten hickory nuts in years. My grandfather had a tree. I liked them but it took a lot of time for what you got but at that age I didn't care. Don't recall any problems with worms but that was years ago. Not many hickory trees around here and most are red hickory not white. Vern

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby Bill Hudson » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:24 am

Can't beat a good hickory nut cake. Haven't had one in years.

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Eugene
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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby Eugene » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:38 pm

Think, next fall get with neighbor lady and locate the hickory nut tree on her property she talked about.

Have black walnut, pecan, and hickory on the acreage. Pecan, no production this year. Black walnut almost no production, only 24 cups of nut meat. Hickory, because of the worms, haven't tried harvesting. There is always next year.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby tmays » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:00 pm

Squirrels like some hickory nuts, I like hunting squirrel, so I just leave the nuts be :-)
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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby ricky racer » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:02 pm

We used to collect walnuts and spread them out in the driveway. Driving over them would knock the hulls off of them. After picking them up from the driveway, we'd place them in the basement (Michigan basement) to let them dry. Then my mom and us kids would crack them and dig out the meats. It was a lot of work as a kid but I used to love eating them especially when mom would bake them in brownies. :-:-):
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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby brewzalot » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:11 pm

Eugene, a little late on this thread, but we used to pick up hickory nuts literally by the garden tractor trailer load when we were kids on the farm. My dad sold the 14 acre woods 30 years ago but I bought it back recently. Most of the large hickories that were very productive are still there. My biggest disappointment is almost all ( 80-90%) have the worms that you talk about in the nuts.This was never a big issue back then, maybe a few here and there. I don't know much about them but they sure wrecked a wonderful thing. Problem is they grow inside the shell and you don't know they are in there until after you pick them and they come out weeks later. If you do find good ones I recommend cracking them with a vise versus a hammer, way more whole meats and less digging that way if done right. My father in law was picking and selling them but had to give it up for the same reason. The world is changing I guess, droughts, flooding, terrorists, and now wormy nuts.

Good luck

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby lyle11 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:09 pm

I was a member of the Northern Nut Growers Assn for many years and I have always been interested in nut trees. Here we have Shagbark hickory trees that produce a small whitish colored nut. I collected a few but they were so small I never got around curing and tasting a hickory nut. So, despite my fondness for nut trees, I am one of probably over 99% of Americans who have never tasted a hickory nut. I think the Shellbark hickories produce a larger, brown colored nut which is probably what you have. I am gonna make a point to collect a few this fall and finally taste one.

In the last 20 years or so a company out of Missouri started marketing black walnuts. You now see them shelled in stores and in ice cream but I have never seen even so much as a grafted hickory tree offered from Stark Bros. So, for some reason they have never been marketed commercially as far as I know. I guess if you are gonna grow nuts and have the land and climate to grow hickories you would grow pecans. Plus hickory seedlings probably take 20 years to produce nuts.

I just bought 400 square feet of solid hickory flooring from Menards. It sure is pretty wood and I see that it is about 20% harder than maple. In fact, I think the only harder wood grown in North America is persimmon, which is used for golf club woods and is 25% harder than hickory.

By the way, to cure nuts, all you really need to do is to husk them, and lay them in 1 layer in a dry place for about 6 weeks. I used my big empty basement. They will last about a year in the shell and I had 2 year old unshelled pecans that were fine to eat. I had 3 pecan trees and one Carpathian walnut at the place I just sold on a regular city lot. I had too much house and the nut trees are the only thing I miss. In NE Ohio you have to grow "Northern" pecan varieties that produce in a shorter growing season. I was discouraged by the NNGA from growing pecans due to the 160 day growing season we have but I had crops with grafted Northern varieties after 5 years and more than I could use by the time the trees were 10-12 years old. I got crops 2 years out of 3.

I am not sure if anybody is familiar with a Carpathian walnut, but they were brought to the USA from Poland by a priest decades ago and are hardy to Zone 5. They grow a light colored nut that looks just like the English or California walnuts you see at the store and, the best thing is that the husk cracks open on the tree and the nut falls out clean when you shake the tree. I would watch for the split in the nut and grab them out and was able to beat the squirrels. I planted 2 of them at my new house and should have nuts within 5 years.

Black walnut is not as popular as it once was for furniture and cabinets but I read once that there was a black walnut tree near Canton, OH that sold for $30,000. It had to be an enormous, spectacular, healthy tree to sell for that much money. Kind if a shame to saw it down. Makes me wish I had planted about 100 black walnuts on my farm 40 years ago. Not sure what one tree would be worth for its wood but a wild guess might be $500 for a tree.

One other interesting nut tree tidbit. You are probably familiar with the American chestnut story. Blight was brought over around 1900 and the trees were pretty much wiped by 1940. The interesting thing is that the trees still grow up from old roots and can survive long enough to produce nuts that seed new trees. I have lived in Ohio for 20 years and I am aware of an American chestnut tree at the edge of a park a half mile from here where I walk my dogs. They was also a stand of American Chestnuts that grew blight free in Wisconsin, isolated from the native range and the blight, for decades but they finally got the blight about 10 years ago and the farm they grew on was fenced off as the experts came in to try to save the stand of trees. I have 2 super hardy American chestnuts at my farm in Wisconsin which is why I can now easily ID the tree.

Anyway, if you have some room and can wait 5 years or so for nut, I highly recommend the Carpathians. But, forget it if you are in a colder Zone than 5.

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby Eugene » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:11 pm

lyle11 wrote:In the last 20 years or so a company out of Missouri started marketing black walnuts. You now see them shelled in stores and in ice cream.
Hammons is the name of the company selling black walnut meats in grocery stores, etc.. Hammons sets up purchasing stations in the southern part of the USA.
Carpathian walnut
Years ago I was working at a house in central Iowa that had a very large Carpathian walnut tree in the back yard. I ask the owner how old the tree was and how many nuts he harvested. Tree was 30 years old and no nuts harvested, ever. The squirrels harvested the nuts off the tree.
I read once that there was a black walnut tree near Canton, OH that sold for $30,000. It had to be an enormous, spectacular, healthy tree to sell for that much money.
Acreage neighbor sold all the harvest-able black walnuts trees. $14,000-. My estimate is that the property owner received just under $100- a marketable tree trunk.

After cleaning up the logging debris the property owner had a huge pile of black walnut fire wood, He also sells fire wood.

Neighbor in town trims trees. One helper said that they took down a large black walnut. Sold the trunk for $1200-.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby lyle11 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:49 pm

You jogged my memory with that name Hammonds. I think they just buy nuts rather than have actual black walnut orchards. I have a Master Nut cracker that will crack black walnuts. It has a hand lever that engages in a gear. Best nut cracker I have ever had. Now there are Chinese copies on Ebay that I would not trust.

Stark Brothers offers a grafted Carpathian that was developed at the University of Iowa that is supposedly hardy to -32F. I planted 5 of them at my farm in Wisconsin and they grew great for about 5 years. They got to about 10' tall and 8' wide and just started producing a handful of nuts. But, 2 did not survive the winter 2 years ago and only 1 of the remaining 3 is undamaged. The temperature never got to -32 as far as what was recorded. They did have a lot or woodpecker or sapsucker damage which may have weakened them.

That was interesting what your friends got for the walnut timber. They are usually planted about 10' apart when grown for timber so they grow tall and straight. Not sure how it is in other states, but in Wisconsin they offer a great tax break for land that is used for forestry. I did that with 40 acres and my taxes went from $1,400 per year to about $65. You either have to plant trees, or harvest trees to qualify. They harvested a few loads of hardwoods and pines and I got $8,000. The 40 is an old pasture, that grew in after having no cattle on it for 20 years so the trees they cut were were nothing special. I was pretty pleased with that deal. I figured the walnut trees would be worth more based on that experience.

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby Eugene » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:22 pm

From Hammons web site.
To help ensure the profitability of Black Walnut orchards for independent landowners, Hammons Products Company is currently working with the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, the Missouri Nut Growers Association, USDA Forest Service, Forest Keeling Nursery, and other public and private organizations.

For an extensive economic analysis and more valuable information regarding improved cultivars, visit http://www.centerforagroforestry.org
Years ago a relative of my brother in-law purchased some rough land in Iowa. He planted trees and fenced the property. No property taxes as long as he maintained a certain number of trees per acre.

Missouri provides a little financial assistance and advice for forestry type programs. But as far as I know, no property tax break.

Most black walnut trees in this part of Missouri are squirrel planted and not maintained for lumber. Unless a tree trunk is something special it usually winds up being cut up for pallets or cut into fire wood.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby Stanton » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:09 pm

A nice tasting nut is the hican; a cross between the hickory and pecan tree. There was a company based in Brunswick, MO, who offered the nuts for sale, but don't believe they marketed the initial graft/cross. Widely popular now.

I still have to rank pecans as my favorite, although hickory nuts are tasty as well.
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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby lyle11 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:15 am

The nursery in Brunswick is probably James Pecan Farms. Never been there but their gimmick was an enormous concrete pecan out by the road for all passersby to see. I bought a bareroot grafted James pecan tree from them years ago but it did not survive. I know Mrs. James was elderly then and that was 20 years ago, so I am not sure if the family is still running the place. Pecan is my favorite nut too for taste and I like the looks of the trees best too. Pecan trees can live to be over 200 years old so, although I will be long gone, a long lived tree aways appealed to me. I think there are pecan trees planted by Thomas Jefferson that are still living.

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Re: Hickory Nuts

Postby bob in CT » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:07 am

The folks at Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery are real nice. I have some Paw Paws on order for this Spring.


http://www.nolinnursery.com/


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