John Saltveit wrote:The late John GOrdon of Northern Nut Growers came up with a great idea. He would put autumn olive trees next to his nuts and fruits. I'm trying to remember it exactly. The autumn olives attracted robins, I think, which attracted eagles and red-tailed hawks, which prevented blue jays and crows from stealing so much of his fruit and nuts. It was ingenious, It's probably still on his web site, and it made a lot of sense.
Also some people have figured out how to make roosts for hawks and owls.
Unofficial Eulogy wrote:John Gordon passed away on August 2 of this year after several months of being hospitalized. He was recognized as an expert in nut culture as well as some of the "orphan" fruits including pawpaw and persimmon. He was an extraordinary nut tree explorer and grower always searching for new adaptable species of nut trees or cultivars with outstanding characteristics. His most outstanding attribute was his willingness to share what he found with everyone who was interested without concern for credit or remuneration.
John Gordon joined NNGA in the early 1960's with a driving interest in the American chestnut, an interest that continued throughout his life. This interest expanded to all other nuts including hickory and pecan. I met John at my first NNGA meeting in 1968 and we became good friends from then on.
He was an inaugural member of SONG and attended the first meeting in October of 1972. He was an enthusiastic, active member for many years. He was elected as President of SONG, a position he held for several years. He donated the writing of Nut Growing Ontario Style, the first handbook of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers.
He was also an active member of the New York branch of the American Chestnut Foundation as soon as it formed. He assisted wherever he was asked in the meetings and research work. He also joined the New York Nut Growers Association as soon as it formed. He actively served both groups until his death.
He was one of the group responsible for the introduction of the ultra northern pecans that are successfully growing in eastern North America. He went into the nettle infested northern Mississippi River forests several years in a row to find early ripening pecans. He collected pecan seed nuts and scion wood from these trees. We now have his colorfully named cultivars like `Deerstand', `Lucas', `Carlson 3' and `Snaps' because of his efforts. He unselfishly shared all of his findings with his interested friends. He started the Pecan Distribution Programme where he sent out thousands of packets of ultra northern pecans to interested growers all over the USA and Canada for several years. This project caused the NNGA membership to swell to record numbers.
He dedicated a large part of his 50 acre farm to the trial plantings of thousands of seedling and grafted trees with the intention of introducing new cultivars of nut trees. His outstanding contributions of `Imshu', `Locket' and `Stealth' are a few of the heartnut selections he made. His nut tree nursery supplied numerous growers with seedling and grafted trees, as well as seed nuts and scion wood for many years.
His interests also turned to the fruiting trees that NNGA members adopted including pawpaw's and persimmons. He introduced and tested several selections of both of these fruits including his own persimmon introduction `Geneva Long' recently renamed `Gordon' by the Grimo Nut Nursery.
John will be sorely missed to all those who knew him. A remembrance was held on August 3 and his ashes were spread over his Amherst property by his daughter Katie Gordon on August 10.
Ernie Grimo in S.O.N.G News Sept 2012