Green Horizons Newsletter - AgEBB

Green Horizons

Volume 9, Number 4
Fall 2005

Landowners share ideas at Walnut Council meetings
Dusty Walter, MU Center for Agroforestry

The Missouri Walnut Council works to promote the growth and use of black walnut. In recent years, efforts have broadened to include growing other high quality fine hardwood species in addition to black walnut.

The Missouri Chapter is part of the larger, nationally organized Walnut Council that was founded in 1970. Currently, the Walnut Council represents nearly 1,000 woodland owners, foresters, forest scientists, and wood-producing industry representatives in 45 states and seven foreign countries.

Every year the Walnut Council holds an annual meeting. This year’s meeting, titled "Reality Forestry," was held in Moline, Ill., from July 31 - Aug. 3. Long days, primarily in the woods, were filled with information that included discussions from the value of standing timber, to the actual felling and skidding of trees from the woods to a log landing where they were graded and valued. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to gain a better understanding of how log buyers assess value to standing timber. Additional tours and talks covered forest management, crop tree release, vine removal, the proper use of herbicides and forest farming for products including ginseng, golden seal and shiitake mushrooms.

In addition to the annual national meeting, the Missouri state chapter of the Walnut Council meets 2 to 3 times each year, often as field days held on members’ lands or farms. This is an opportunity for landowners to show-and-tell about efforts to enhance the growth and value of their black walnut and forested lands. On Aug. 20, the Missouri Walnut Council met on the farm of Mr. Lloyd Grafton. Mr. Grafton has more than 600 acres of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and planted with a mix of trees that includes black walnut and white oak. In many places, he has black walnut trees that are doing quite well; in others, the white oak is outperforming the walnut. This was quite a testimony to planting the right tree on the right sight! Soils, and changes in the availability of moisture based on a trees position on a slope, play key roles in the growth and development of trees and will vary by the species of tree planted. Among other lessons, the field day at the Grafton farm illustrated clearly that white oak and black walnut have preferences about the sites that they grow on -- and the sites on which they will grow best. These differences were especially marked in height and diameter variations between trees on given sites.

We welcome you to join us as we work to promote the growth and use of our state’s hardwood treasures. For more information, visit and select Missouri from the State Chapters link; or contact Harlan Palm, Walnut Council president, at (573) 882-1402; or email

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