This is my first post, new to HOS, and actually bummed I can't become a member, hopefully we can all help to keep this going at some level, at least the forum, and I would be willing to help on that front. Pandemics are tough times for non-profits I understand.
My question is about Heartnuts, which are clones/sports of Japanese walnut that have a distinctive heart shape shell, crack easily, and in some cases can be shelled out whole. I am looking for anyone who has either named varieties or unnamed varieties that exhibit these characteristics that I could take cuttings/scion wood from. I am also interested in anything this group knows about varieties that do well in the pnw. Most nurseries have only seedlings for sale, but since the heartnut characteristics do not breed true from seed, that is too much of a risk for a long term investment like a walnut.
It looks like Burnt Ridge has scion wood for sale of Canoka, Cowlitz, and Ebert, but I don't know much about those varieties. I am in particular looking for the variety Imshu, which is supposed to shell in one piece. I will likely be grafting these onto black walnut which I have heard works well, but anything anyone can tell me about grafting would be great too. I have never grafted walnuts and it sounds like they are picky.
Short intro on me: OSU horticulture masters grad, specialty is wine grape production, work as an agronomist for an ag supply company. 2 acres in the Canby area.
I think that walnuts grow well here, as well as chestnuts, heartnuts, etc. It's nice that you have 2 acres, so you can separate them from other plants. As I'm sure you know the juglone limits other plants' growth.
I have also heard that they are hard to graft. I have no experience with that, because I have a limited suburban back yard.
I hope someone else has more info.
I have two seedling heartnuts from Burnt Ridge. They put on large clusters of nuts that look like oversized green grapes. The nutshells are mostly spherical and slightly larger than a bottle cap. Nut meat cavity is heart shaped but not much meat compared to a walnut. The shells are very hard and hard to crack.
Hard to crack might be what you want. When I had the peach cultivar frost , many kernels allowed for codling moth damage. Also see damages on walnuts:
After last summer I noted near Mission Lake to the north of Salem these bike trails that meandered through old filbert and walnut areas that according to the legend posted at northern end of the trail had the areas well mapped. At least one of these walnuts had sprouted the original /and under the graft portion -had produced what can be assumed to be the black walnuts you may be interested in. There were major differences in leaf and other traits so from that --seeds to seedlings will at least prove 50% black walnut:
note: ~20 feet SE of wide paved bike trail -seeds from either end of tree that show fast growth as seedlings will be hybrid
I also think you already know how walnuts tend to bleed moisture into the grafted buds. Best to follow the best guidelines for grafting these and the drying of the stocks for 2 weeks before grafting.