[Back to Home Page]
"Preserve the old, but Know the new" -- Ancient Chinese Proverb

A Network for Trees and their Friends

Newsletter #15, Spring 1991

What's in this issue...
Introduction..................... 1
Fall Fruit Swap...................1
Calendar........................ 1
Gleanings on Woody Ornamentals .2
Bored to Death................... 3
Nut News....................... 3
Literature of Note ...........4,5 & 6
Notable Nursery................. 6
Conservation Tree Sale............ 6
Business Cards We'd Like to See... 7
Fedco Trees Surplus Sale.......... 8
Scion Wood Exchange..........6 & 8
Sheepscot Valley Tree Pool.... 8
To Jack at Pruning Time.........8

This introduction, like those of past issues is something I tend to put off writing until last. This will be a slightly different beginning, appearing more like a conclusion, for that is where things are at here. I'm ready to celebrate my ninth year as editor-and-chief paper hanger, bottle washer for this gig—M.T.C.A. by calling it quits. Lainie would like me to call it a hiatus, or sabbatical and take a needed break, but I am reluctant to make any more promises. Chiefly, this decision is based on the usual constraints; time and money. Publication of this newsletter and coordinating activities for this venture have taken up a significant amount of our families' time and energy and taxed our limited finances. There are plenty of good reasons to continue and there has been encouragement to make this a paying enterprise. I've had a problem with success from the beginning of this network. Perhaps a break will give me insight into my hindsight. Meanwhile there is some support to keep the Scionwood Exchange going and I'll work to make that happen. I hope you will too. Write if you can help, and plan on being a participant at these events. They are a lot of fun! We'll maintain a copy of the mailing list and should we crank things up here again, you'll hear from us. Anyone wishing a refund at this time, please write to us directly at: RFD 1 Box 282, Freedom, 04941.

Some clarification may be in order regarding our relationship with Unity College. I have never had any position there. The point of using them for a mailing address from the beginning, had been to give them some notoriety for looking at trees...albeit a bit differently. This effort was also meant to connect with a program there that to date has never sprouted. Some seeds lie dormant for a long while. Who knows what the future holds?

I have plenty of complaints, gripes, criticisms and unanswered wishes for where this all could have or should have gone. I'm going to try to let go of all of that and relax, plant a few trees with our son Zachary. One of his first words was "ap-pul", appropriately enough, because he devours the applesauce and juice we canned last fall. I have a hunch he is going to explain alot to us about fruit and trees and more!

We want to give special recognition here to Tom Roberts for layout and pre-publication help with this and the previous issue of the newsletter. His volunteer efforts to create a very readable format has vastly improved the overall quality of this publication. Tom says this work is how he learns to use his computer. I feel equally inclined to learn by doing; talking less and seeing more. Thanks again Tom! And thanks to all of the other contributors and supporters out there!

That said, I hope you'll join us next weekend at our annual SCIONWOOD EXCHANGE. It sounds like quite a few people are excited about it. We are! Hope to see you there.
—Jack, Lainie, and Zack

Report on the
We had our poorest turnout ever for this event. Perhaps hurricane warnings and the sudden break in the weather Sunday contributed to the lack of attendees. Nevertheless, the relaxed atmosphere gave Lainie and I some needed breathing room and the folks there had an enjoyable time. Leonard Alexander brought a few pears and a whole watermelon picked and stored since mid-September. Its sweet yellow flesh was a nice change for the apple munchers present.
Someone brought several blemish-free fruit from old uncared for trees growing on Isle Au Haut. These and others from a Palermo orchard stood out as attractive and marketable fruit. Mark Fulford mentioned that he's had poor success in getting clean fruit from varieties brought onto the mainland. It makes me wonder how little we know about the pomological possibilities of coastal islands and the growing requirements of the different varieties.
Also on the table was an apple (another rootstock sucker) found growing out of a crabapple tree in Waterville, near the Cinema Center (not 1-95). The red, thick skinned, juicy fruit appealed to several taste buds. Another accidental “find”, this one caught my eye when I worked a nearby landscape planting and took a break from the routine. This fruit probably has limited possibilities for widespread propagation. I present it here as an “idea” (not ideal) fruit to again suggest to others to be open to the possibilities out there. Give chance discoveries a chance by following your idle curiosity.


Workshops at the home of George Stilphen, Bolsters Mills, Harrison, Me. Sponsored by Cooperative Extension Service:
April 6:
9-noon. Pruning and training young fruit trees.
1-4 pm. Renovation of neglected fruit trees.
Aug. 3:
9am-?. Grafting fruit trees - five ways for five reasons.


IFM-INTEGRATED FERTILITY MANAGEMENT, 333 Ohme Gardens Rd, Wenatchee, WA 98801. Tel # (800) 332-3179. Catalog $2.00.
They carry an extensive line of products for organic agriculture and fruit production, some innovative or new to the market. Company's consulting and planning service gives them valuable feedback on products that they offer.

EZE-LAP DIAMOND HONE AND STONE sharpening tool is a 3/4"x6" flat plastic bar with the last 2" impregnated with diamond dust. Fine (red handled) model works well to touch up pruner blades. Flat design allows easy sharpening without pruner disassembly. Fast and effective, it fits easily in a pocket. Available in some (Trustworthy) hardware stores for about $5.00.

ALL-WEATHER PAINT STICK (Agway, $.75 for a 2 1 /4 oz tube). Fade resistant, weather resistant (AND laundry resistant). This high visibility, orange, soft crayon, is sold as a non-toxic livestock marking paint. I've found it useful for marking woodlot trees for future cutting. I've found it useful for marking compass direction on stems of plants transplanted from the wild (some people feel that this orientation is helpful). Caution: stains clothing easily, needs a holster. Can be a bit messy! Zachary really enjoys "marking".

WANTED: Cuttings of Hungarian Grape brought to previous Scionwood Exchange. Contact Roberta Bunker, Box 340, Palermo 04354.

And again from our spring meeting...
• Caragana (pea shrub) has spread from seed on the Orono grounds and is considered quite a weed.
• Similar complaints have been voiced about Autumn Olive elsewhere.
• There is flowering Almond growing in front of Howard Johnsons' in Bangor.
• Pinus cembra is very susceptible to beetle damage.
• Akebia is rampant in Orono.
• Maackia amurensis is easy to grow from seed. July flowers are similar to Yellow wood.
• People have been known to travel quite a distance for fruit of Red Field Crab. This tree blooms early and has pink flowers. The fruit is high in pectin and is borne heavily. Some scab damage may occur.
• Golden Larch is very slow growing (1 ft in 9 years) Move all soil when moving in an attempt to contain mycorrhizae.


I've lost a couple of young apple trees to round-headed apple tree borers. A summer visit from Howard Wulf alerted me to the high rate of infestation on trees on our land and precipitated the following report.
Culprit: Round Headed Apple Tree Borer
Victim: Young apple trees in particular (not pear trees, which are frequented by a flat-headed borer).
Symptoms: Tree may die at any time. Leaves wilt as if water stressed. Leaves then brown and fall off.
Signs: Early signs are difficult to detect, very small amounts of orange/red sawdust (frass) may be evident near base of tree in the spring. A small slit and a spongy area under the bark may be detected upon close inspection. Older wounds look something like mouse damage (girdling). A round hole may be evident where a bird may have sought to get at grub. Life cycle takes 2-3 years.

Method 1: Search and destroy.

A diligent, hands and knees inspection in May and September may. work. Carry a knife and a small wire. Peel back bark at spongy area, look for larvae and destroy. If not visible, find tunnel and insert wire until larvae is killed (usually something squishes). This method is tedious, but represents a non-chemical way to control these insects, (sometimes several per tree) Their feeding will weaken and ultimately may kill a young tree.

Method 2: Suffocation
I've heard one person claim success controlling these borers by squirting oil from a pump-type oil can into the tunnels. In this instance, regular petroleum based oil was used. You might try a vegetable or mineral oil instead.

Method 3: Exclusion
Most recently I've read of a control method using athletic tape wrapped around the trunk to prevent borer entry.
Not tried, but a possibility for exclusion might be, TREE SKIN, a water soluble protective wrap that degrades in 2-3 years. Formulated from tree sap, this natural adhesive bandage is available from Lee Tec Corp. 10701 Red Circle Dr, Minnetonka, MN 55343 or RINGER, 9959 Valley View Rd, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3585, where a 3”xl5” roll costs $9.50. Normally, one roll would cover 2 young trees, but in this case, it should wrap 4 or more trees if only applied near the base.
Someone else has also successfully used regular window screen tied around the base of trees to deter this pest.
This insect is not found in any severity in commercial orchards where it is controlled as part of a regular spray program. Your best bet to thwart this pest is to get young trees growing well and to maintain vigilant surveillance until they reach a less susceptible size. Keep grass around young trees mowed. Egg laying occurs from late June until late August.
Other control measures advocated by Guy Ames (of Ames' Orchard and Nursery, Fayettville, AR 72701) include: keeping trees vigorous with proper fertilization and irrigation. Painting trunks from ground level to 18-24" high with white interior grade latex paint, or wrapping trunks with “slick magazine-weight” paper, securing top and bottom with twist ties.
NOTE Hosts for this pest also include: Juneberry, chokeberry, Hawthorne Flowering Quince, Plum, Cherry, Pear, Mountain Ash, Cottoneaster and Linden (Basswood).


PURDUE #1 isn't a grade of chicken, but a newly released patented variety of black walnut. Features of this tree include: a rapid growth rate of up to .9 inches of diameter a year; strong central stem tendency and outstanding straightness; late leafing qualities, which may reduce the incidence of frost damage; nut bearing beginning at age 3 or 4; annual nut production of large meated nuts; marketable timber in 25-30 years (estimate—Zone 6?) Seedlings are available from Indiana Walnut Products Inc, 1000N 500W, W. Lafayette, IN 47906. Tel # (800)999-0727. Trees start at $1.75 each.

As a comparison, Eddie Veronesi of Montville gives the following statistics for a seedling he planted in 1976 from an 85 year old tree growing in Plymouth, Me.*: 7.5” D.B.H. in 14 years=.53”/year. The male flowers appeared in 6 years, tree fruited in the 8th year and every year following. 1990 was a bumper crop of 100 Ibs. of walnuts (unshelled with husks on).
*seedlings sold by Harold Richardson, next door to the Plymouth Post Office.

Ed note: The information we have on the potential of black walnut culture in Maine is abysmal. We thank Eddie for his record keeping and would like to see more data kept on individual trees. Purdue #1 may be a good choice for some climates. Remember that besides late spring leafing out qualities, we need early defoliation and early nut maturity. Seedlings of this tree may exhibit some variation and tolerance to our weather conditions. The parent of the parent to Eddies tree grew in Ohio, so one could expect some adaptability. I'd like to hear more about other folks efforts of growing black walnuts.


COMPENDIUM OF APPLE AND PEAR DISEASES. American Phytopathological Society Press, 3340 Pilot Knob Rd, St. Paul, MN 55121. 100 pgs. $20.00. This is a very useful reference guide with clear color photos and a readable text.

GROWING GRAPES IN MINNESOTA. 62 pg. $6.50. M.G.G.A. PO Box 10605, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Revised edition is updated, lists resources and includes low-spray methods for northern grape growers.

THE BRADFORD THESIS, approx. 300 pg, available May or June '91. $35.00 ppd from George Stilphen, Bolsters Mills, Harrison, Me 04040. (ph # 743-9420). A newly bound edition of a literature survey from 1838-1909 to help trace origins and extent of plantings of apples grown in Maine. Both good and bad features of numerous local favorites and where the citations came from. A poorly photocopied, ring-bound edition of the original thesis has been available for viewing at our exchanges.

SOME ECOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF NORTHEASTERN AMERICAN INDIAN AGROFORESTRY PRACTICES. Karl M. Davies, Jr. A term paper prepared for a class in Landscape Ecology. 1984, 41 pgs. This is an overview of techniques Native American people may have used to ensure a constant and varied food supply of fruit, nuts, and wild game. Much evidence is cited for the adoption of regular controlled burning practices: to recycle nutrients, control competition, ensure the survival of desirable woody plants and preserve open hunting grounds. Low intensity fires started during the months of November to April may have had these desirable effects and more. Such a practice could cause a reduction in squirrel and rodent populations, limit overwintering insect larvae and favor less buildup of fungi inoculum. Implications for modern agroforestry practices round out this paper. Available from MTCA for reprint costs ($2.00) plus a business-sized, double stamped SASE.

MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR LOW-INPUT SUSTAINABLE APPLE PRODUCTION. Bulletin Center, Cottage A, Thatcher Way, UMASS Amherst, MA 01003. 84 pgs. $12.00 c/o UMASS. A publication of USDA'S N.E. LISA Apple Production Project and Cornell University, Rodale Research Center, Rutgers University, UMASS, and U.VT.
This is all off the promotional literature included in the N.E.USA Apple Production Newsletter that I receive. I am not terribly impressed with their first two issues. It seems to be a collection of condensed entries from scientific journals and a rehash of what is already known. But I do think it holds promise for shedding some light on a poorly illuminated area. I'll bite my tongue for now and try to be a bit more patient. I've sent in my $12.00, and I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

VIDEO: THE MAN WHO PLANTED HOPE AND GREW HAPPINESS. An animated version. $41.40 ppd from: Bountiful Gardens, c/o Ecology Action, 5798 Ridgewood Rd, Willits, CA 95490.

Here is a partial excerpt from SEEDS OF WOODY PLANTS IN THE U.S.: Phellodendron amurense, Amur Corktree. “Native to China, Manchuria, Korea and Japan. Introduced in the US about 1865, its thick, corky bark and massive irregular branches have made this tree of special interest for landscape and environmental planting in the northern and western US. It is a promising source of industrial cork in Japan, important as a nectar-bearing species in bee keeping areas of the Soviet Far East. Of possible importance for the insecticidal properties of the fruit oils and considered as a soil builder when mixed with Scots Pine in Byelorussia.”
As you can probably tell, I am impressed by both this book and its contents. The book has recently been reprinted and is available for $45.00 as Agricultural Handbook #450 from LAWYERS NURSERY (see below). I urge you to get or take a look at a copy.
I am also intrigued by the potential uses cited for cork tree, but probably most of all by the last one. A tree "companion plant" for increasing the productivity of Scots Pine sounds terrific. Is this tree responsible for stimulating beneficial mycorrhizal activity? If so, will this work with other 3-needled pines or other pines? How big would the cork tree need to be? Could this be applicable to a nursery bed/interplant or other nurse-type arrangements?
Ed note: Seed of Scots Pine, Pinus sylvestris "Byelorussia" and Amur Corktree are available from: Lawyers Nursery, 950 Highway 200 west, Plains, MT 59859. Minimum seed order is $50.00.

GROWING ORGANICALLY: A Practical Guide for Commercial and Home Organic Fruit Growers Paul Lamphere 93p $8.95. Hardly a review, these are excerpts from the book. The author raises apples commercially in central Washington state.

FERTILITY: Keep tree vigor up. Lack of thinning and low fertility will lead to alternate bearing years. Expense of application of manures or blood meal should be offset by market premiums ($5-$10/box). A product like 'Cellugest' will help break down wood chip mulch.

GROUND COVERS: Encourage lush ground covers. Shallow discing in early growth stages. Control quack grass with extra discing or smother with rye. (Quack toxins may interfere with tree growth). Leave substantial unmowed strips for insects and wildlife. Mixed cover (vs. sod) gives mice a food source so they're not a likely to eat tree bark. Monitoring their populations is still advisable. Populations generally swell every 7 years. Weeds can provide fertility.

MANURE: No evidence showing that natural fertilizers prolong dormancy. Fall applications are used.

MULCHES: Straw or hay at 1 bale/150 sq ft. Alfalfa works best. Some evidence linking alfalfa as ground cover to lessening winter injury. May convert zinc at root zone. Inoculate ground with manure prior to adding hay or straw. Mulch may correct potash deficiencies. Ligus bug may be a problem with alfalfa stand. Mulch may cause a slight postponement of color on some varieties, but fruit can be left on tree longer.

FOLIAR FEEDING: Mostly as nutrient aid in early spring. Common mix: 4 Ibs. Mermaid's dried fish fertilizer, 12 oz. Maxicrop Kelp and other chelated amino acids. Sprayed when leaves are under an inch long and again just before or after bloom. Lime sulfur in spring may also add nutrients. Cannot correct nitrogen deficiency with foliar feeding.

PEST CONTROL: Some control of coddling moth from woods near orchards (habitat for predatory insects and spiders). Ryania not disruptive of predators. Maintain ground covers attractive to alternate host insects, thereby feeding predators. Complete control by predators not yet possible. Conversions to organic controls similar to withdrawal symptoms in switching fertilizers. Need time for natural defenses to rebuild. Transition is a difficult period. Organic growing is nearly always transitional.

PESTS: Rosy aphid helps to build predator populations to later control apple and woolly aphids. Aphids help build populations of coddling moth predators. Sulfur, calcium and magnesium build insect resistance. Most non-phytotoxic soap used is Highway Plant Spray. Coddling moth will usually overrun predation, sanitation, bark-scraping, trunk-banding and trapping. The following won't control coddling moth: pyrethrum, Bt, Rotenone, D.E., summer oil sprays and mixes with small amounts of Ryania. Future prospects for control include granulosis virus and pheromone saturation. 2 gal/acre fish oil increases Ryania effectiveness on coddling moth. Rates are not recommended by manufacturer, but little phytotoxicity has been seen on some varieties. Mix Bt with fish oil to reduce UV disintegration.

Glen Koehler (Kay'-ler) works out of the Pest Management Office, 491 College Ave, Orono 04474 Tel # 581-3882. His talk on apple IPM at last year's Scionwood Exchange was much enjoyed. What follows is a cryptic summary. Glen will return for another talk again this spring. See or call him for more detailed explanations.

In the IPM Program, Glen works with orchardists who have a minimum of 5 acres. He is currently compiling information on organic fruit production. Recently he revised the regional pest management "spray" guide. It should prove helpful to low-spray growers, but not of much use to organic pursuants. Copies are available from P.M.O. for $3.50 Make checks payable to Co-op Ext. Ask for N.E. Apple Pest and Production Recommendations.

DISEASES: Black Rot is spread by pruning. Lots of cuts mean lots of infection sites, especially in renovating old trees. Clean pruner and saw blades in a solution of 1 cup Clorox bleach to a gallon of water.
Scab: UNH is working on leaf removal or breakdown to break the cycle. Flail mowing could help. Wild trees within 100 yards of the orchard should be removed. Copper and sulphur offer poor protection and may cause phytotoxicity. Denis Culley feels that scab-prone varieties cannot be grown using sulphur.
Bitter Rot: Remove mummies (old shrunken fruit) in vacinity.
Fly Speck: These insignificant fungus marks are normally controlled by spraying. Good air flow in the tree and orchard should lessen incidence.
Bitter Pit: Small dark indented dots are the result of low calcium levels.
PESTS: Plum Curculio: Tough on everyones crops, both commercial and home orchard. Enters orchard on first warm night over 65 F., just around petal fall. Difficult to monitor, traps need daily checking as one female can ruin 200 fruit. Monitoring plums or southern edge of orchard may aid in early detection. May damage 100 % of fruit in wild apple trees and plums. Picking up drops and an open pruning style may help, but remember, this insect is not well understood. Mostly anecdotal control measures given for organic orcharding.
Tarnish Plant Bug usually arrives around the 2nd week in May in Central Maine. Cosmetic damage in commercial orchards leads to about 10 % graded out on sorting line. TPB may feed in the understory of orchard. Delay mowing until after petal fall to give them an alternate host.



Get set for another exciting Scionwood Exchange! Our eighth annual exchange promises to be another informative and congenial occasion. Workshops will include Grafting, Pruning and Orchard Pest Management. There will be a small assortment of tools and supplies for sale, and tables of literature and catalogs to review. Bring labeled scions and seed to trade and give away and come prepared for an enjoyable time. (Scionwood is not mandatory to attend and we encourage you to take home what you can use). The fun starts at noon. PASS THE WORD and bring a friend. For more information, contact Jack or Lainie at 568-3444.

DIRECTIONS TO UNITY COLLEGE: From Bangor: Routes 202/9, turn left 1/4 mile past Unity village at sign to college. From Waterville: Route 139 to Unity village, right on 202/9, then next left at sign. From Augusta: Route 3 to 202/9, turn right at the sign for Unity College just below the village. The main entrance to the campus is 1 /2 mile from the sign on Route 202/9. Turn right and continue up the hill to the furthest building on the left (gym). Activities will take place upstairs, the first door on the left.

{The following is taken from the Annual Report of the Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District. Most items are being offered for $1.00 ea., some a little higher, some lower. Call for the price list to be sure. Check with your local County Soil and Water Conservation District Office to see if they too are having a sale, -ed.}


These shrubs are sold for wildlife purpses and they are bareroot stock. The shrubs will be on sale at 970 Illinois Avenue (off the corner of Griffin & Union Streets, beyond the AAA building), Bangor, the first week in May. The varieties are priced individually. If you have not received a price list by mail, you can get one by calling the District Office at 941-8973.
First come, first served! No advanced orders will be taken. Date of this year's sale is Wednesday, May 1, at 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. or until sold out.

Wildlife Seedlings
Partidge Crabapple
Horse Chestnut
Silver Maple
Red Oak
Manchu Cherry
White Birch

Wildlife Shrubs
Autumn Olive Forsythia
American Arborvitae
Globe Arborvitae
Pyramid Arborvtae
Rose Rugosa
Spreading Yew

Ground Cover
Blue Rug Juniper

Conifer Seedlings
Austrian Pine
Balsam Fir
Black Spruce
Blue Spruce
Japanese Larch
Norway Spruce
Red Pine
Scotch Pine
White Ash


ROCKY MEADOW ORCHARD & NURSERY. Rt 2 Box 2104, New Salisbury, IN 47161-9716. Tel # (812) 347-2213. A long time NAFEX contributor, owner Ed Fackler has first-hand experience raising many of the varieties he sells. Of significant value to small time growers here, may be the selection of rootstock he offers at reasonable prices. Also sells scionwood. Orders due by Feb 15th.

Business Cards We'd Like To See
Sheepscot Valley Tree Pool
This annual order of trees and nursery stock includes vegetable seedlings, cheese, jams, dry beans, and fudge along with the more typical items that go with such orders. The "other items" offered are produced locally in the Sheepscot valley, and coordinator Dave Chase shares this catalog with his producing neighbors. In business for 22 years, most of SVTP's stock is bare rooted and from in-state sources. Offered this year are ground covers, apples, pears, peaches, cherries, shrubs, evergreens, strawberries, potatoes, landscaping plants and garden supplies. Orders must be placed by Monday April 1, and pickup is on Saturday and Sunday, May 11 & 12, at Sheepscot Meadows Farm in Whitefield. No late orders! Get your 16 page catalog from: Sheepscot Valley Tree Pool, RR 1 Box 150, Townhouse Road, North Whitefield, Maine 04353. Tel. 549-5761.

9th Annual
SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 1991
NOON to 5pm
Bring labeled Scionwood to trade and give away.
Workshops in: Pruning, Grafting, Orchard Pest Management, and more. For more information and directions, see page 6.
Fedco Trees Sale

To Jack at Pruning Time
I wish I had a tail,
a strong, prehensile tail!
Then my hands could both be free
For work when pruning apple tree.
"Look, Ma! No hands!" I'd shout,
and dangling there I'd be
With both hands free, a tool in each,
No branch would e'er be out of reach.
To passersby this apparition
might first give fright, but recognition
will lend them mirth.
Let them laugh! But since my birth,
part ape I've longed to be.
For with both prehensile tail and feet,
for climbing trees they've got us beat.
        —Tom Vigue, 1990.

Maine Tree Crop Alliance Environmental Science Center Unity College Unity Maine 04988
Printed on Recycled Paper!
Layout of the Maine Tree Crop Alliance newsletter is donated by Tom Roberts in Dixmont using PageStream desktop publishing software on an Amiga. Photocopy-ready masters were then output to a laser printer.

This newsletter digitized by Tom Roberts, 4-Mar-2011.