EPISODE 420 BLACK WALNUT TREE AND A LITTLE MYSTERY
This glorious Black Walnut tree stands where once the Freeman back house stood.
Rich soil in other words. My grandmother, Louisa Freeman, told me when I was
a little squirt that I had planted the tree. Maybe I stayed too long in the
back house admiring alll the clippings pinned to the barnboard walls. Many featured
attractive girls promoting 1930’s cars. It was the Cars the interested me….honestly.
Well, maybe not so honest. The girls were not difficult to look at. Did I drop walnuts
down the back house hole? Maybe.
Pioneers coming from the United States…principally Mennonites…used walnut trees as the best guide to good
land. ‘ The Trail of the Black Walnut” is a book that says so.
Black Walnut trees are quite vicious. They exude a poison from their roots that kills any other tree that dares trespass
on their land. As you can see.
A few years ago I planted both a black walnut tree and an ‘axe handle tree’ (forgot the proper name) too close together.
They grew in harmony for a couple of decades until this year when the black walnut decided to kill its neighbour . And did so.
Makes me feel a little guilty since I have been hurling black walnuts along the fencerows on t he fifth line. My idea of planting somewhat
like Johny Appleseed…been doing so for
years That makes me feel responsible for a few walnut groves on the Line.
Why are our black walnut trees… We have many….why are they not festooned with parasitic larvae like so
many Fifth Line Walnuts trees are? Maybe the reason is simple…i.e. Appreciation.
ONE LARGE SAD FACT
While Marjorie and I agree on most things, we differ on black walnut trees. She fins the wheelbarrow loads
of walnuts a pain in the butt. They ‘thwack’ her lawn mower brutally. And they attract the goddamn red
squirrels who spend a lot of time trying to figure way to chew their way into the farm house where they can
pile up a winter supply of walnuts as they do in the barn. Then they chew them into tiny bits that are strewn everywhere
and when the black outer casings get wet the stains are permanent. Not nice. Walnuts even have a paint named after them.
Walnut stain. I made a pail of it a while ago…stained everything the goop touched including my hands.