I am currently visiting West Virginia USA, and have found some hickory and walnut nuts that I would like to plant at home in Southern California. Stratification and zone issues aside(I know it’s an uphill battle, but it will be fun to try to get them to sprout and survive), are there any pest, fungal, or other diesease issues that I need to worry about acidentally transporting to San Diego?
I definitely don’t want to be a vector for an invasive ecological disaster(I also have a mature pecan tree I don’t want to accidentally infect).
All the nuts collected so far do not seem to have insect holes or blemishes, but one has some myco activity on the surface (although it seems to be regular forest floor fungal roots)
Is there anything to be worried about, or any signs I can check for without destroying their ability to germinate?
I fly back to CA 10/08, but will not open the sealed bag of nuts until they get the provisional OK from y’all.
As long as there are no holes in the nuts they should be insect free, if in doubt, just wash them with warm soapy water, rinse and let dry, that way should there be any borer eggs present, they will be washed away and die, the wetting agent in the soapy water will penetrate their casing and drown them.
Hickory is a relative of pecan so the two will get along fine. Are the walnuts English or Black ? if they are black walnut then they will exhibit the allopathy they are famous for, but many herbaceous plants will grow around them.
We love visitors, that's why we live in a secluded cabin deep in the woods. "Buzzard's Roost (Asnikiye Heca) Farm." Promoting permaculture to save our planet. you can call me Dr. Redhawk
I’m not sure about the walnuts, I haven’t collected those yet, was just to Les there was a tree nearby, and will be hunting for it today - is the allelopathy/Juglone spread by the roots or decaying leaves? Will it affect the other Carya, or are they resistant, due to relation?
I’m sorry I’m having y’all do my research for me, there are just so many online sources that have conflicting/unsourced information (your credentials, and the Permies Way, however, have been proven trustworthy many times over)
If they're native to West Virginia they're probably black walnut (large, dark, roundish nut with a corrugated surface). There's an outside chance they're butternut (white walnut), the shut is narrower, shaped more like a pecan, but still with that dark, corrugated exterior. You may need to be careful- most butternut trees in the eastern US have been wiped out due to a fungal canker disease. The disease is apparently also found in black walnut, although it's less virulent in that species.
I don't know if it's been established in California, if it'd have an impact on native or introduced walnut species, or if it can be spread through the nuts- so you may want to be careful and float the idea by agronomy or university extension folks beforehand.
Turns out the "Walnut" mentioned was actually just a different species of Hickory - according to internet picture comparison, it looks like I collected Carya Ovata and Carya Ovalis; I also found one Tulip Poplar "cone" I might try to plant seeds from.
I checked all nuts for insect holes or any case damage and discarded offenders, then soap washed all the seeds, towel dried, and put them in a bag in the fridge until I am ready to research stratification and germination.
Tom, I looked up and found this study, based on your suggestion:
Based on skimming this briefly, I think I have avoided transplanting the fungus, as the vector is a beetle(of which I have culled insect damaged nuts) and the trees they fell from did not seem to have any cankers (but I can't be 100% sure).
I will re-read this and do some more searching before I take the nuts out of "quarantine" in the fridge - will try to find someone at an extension office to talk to as well.