President's Thoughts

Walnut Council Bulletin

President's Thoughts

I want this column to have an educational message of, "See you in Grand Rapids for the Annual Meeting. I know you will have a great time and really learn something, besides, Walnut Council needs your money." We do need your financial support, but more important, you will have an enjoyable time and you will learn something valuable.

Speaking of learning something valuable, almost all my black walnut trees are natural or wild trees and a high percentage of them had poison ivy vines growing up the trunk. Some were quite large, one to three inches in diameter. Since sap flow is not a springtime problem, as on grapevines, year around I take my folding saw or chainsaw and cut a small chunk out of the vine and spray the surface with Tordon RTU or Pathway (identical labels, but Pathway is cheaper--2.5 gal. for $81.08 or $8.11/quart versus $14.00/quart for Tordon RTU). This causes no damage to the tree if carefully cut and sprayed. Why bother with poison ivy vines? On small trees I have seen vines occasionally wrap around the trees, and as the trees and vines grow bigger, put a groove or defect into the tree. On mature black walnuts which I have paint marked and numbered for sale for landowner clients, I have had many trees so covered with poison ivy vines one could not clearly see the trunk or butt log. When the potential buyers come to visit the standing marked trees to determine if and/or how much they wish to bid, if they cannot clearly view the butt log due to many poison ivy vines and they obviously can't tell if the tree has a veneer log or lumber log, what will they do? To be safe, they bid a lumber log price and hope it is a veneer log. When a lumber log may be worth 25 cents to 75 center per board foot and veneer could be $1.00 to $10.00 per board foot, depending on size and length, you are talking a huge difference in price. You can bet that timber buyer and forester have little interest in cutting and clearing lots of poison ivy vines off your trees. Therefore, to have higher quality trees which will make you more money, cut and kill your poison ivy vines. Obviously, do the same on any grape vines which stopped sap flow about mid-May in Missouri.

See you in Grand Rapids -

Scott Brundage, Walnut Council President