Fall news letter From Z's Nutty Ridge LLC

What is in this newsletter?

  • Z’s Nutty Ridge First farm tour August 19th
  • We had a deep late freeze and then a drought. Are the trees okay, Answered!
  • NYTCA Cooperative is setting up shop.
  • NYTCA is hiring an Outreach Coordinator
  • Cultivar Spotlight – Photon - A very unusual hazelnut tree

Our first farm tour next Saturday the 19th    

Come see and learn about:

  • Nut orchards – walking tour
  • Native hazelnuts and chestnuts
  • Nut trees for our region
  • How to grow and propagate trees
  • How to process nuts for food and income


Sponsored by the NY Farm Viability Institute through a Specialty Crop Block Grant, Cornell Cooperative Extension and New York Tree Crops Alliance Cooperative.

  • When: Saturday, August 19th, 12-3pm
  • Where: Z’s Nutty Ridge 5296 Town Line Rd, McGraw, NY 13101.
  • Rt 81 to Exit 11 Cortland, take Rt. 13 North 7 mi. right on Youngs Crossing, drive 1 mile up the hill and first driveway on left.
  • Register here (if you can) for a free tour of the farm and hear from experienced growers. Come meet CCE Ag. staff, NY Tree Crop Alliance members, and nut enthusiasts!
  • Rain or shine! Water and light snacks provided!
  • For more information visit the CCE website.


Answer: Our trees froze back and are now brown, so are they going to recover?

We don’t know what you experienced but on May 18th, we went down to 24 F. degrees.  Almost all of our Persian Walnuts, our peaches, our cherries, some of our heartnuts, all of our chestnuts and some of our black walnuts were burnt back to the stem.  Would we get any fruit or nuts from our trees?  Our hazelnuts didn’t seem to notice, but our bearing walnuts (all of them) were burned back to some degree.  Walnuts like hazelnuts put on their flowers the year before and if the flowers are frozen when exposed, they can die.  Chestnuts on the other hand put on flowers in the spring.  Therefore, we lost most walnuts this year, no hardy hazelnuts and may have a reduced production of chestnuts.  Like all trees that have to start over and regrow, they lose a fair amount of energy when have to start over.  We see chestnut catkins emerging and can’t wait to see female flowers showing soon. 

The results are in on our tree status for the heavy frost.  There will be no walnuts of any kind, except a few black walnuts that the squirrels will probably get before we do.  The bush cherries are fine and had the biggest fruit set ever.  The younger chestnut trees 4 to 6 years aren’t producing nuts.  A few of the 1to 3 year olds died completely.  The very mature trees will produce some nuts.

A terrible year for walnuts but it is a good year for selecting which young trees to keep and which ones to eliminate.  We had a couple of trays of Persian (English) walnut rejects left over from last year.  They were slow growing and weren’t large enough to ship to customers.  Most of the seedling turned completely brown and died back to the ground, while a few never had any damage whatsoever. Those few seedling trees will now be planted in their forever home to see how they do with the next freeze event.  A bad year for nuts but great luck on finding the next level of cold hardiness for Persian walnuts.

NYTCA Cooperative will get the keys for their new processing center to move in Soon!

Remodeling of the space has been going on for a few months and we can move in August 1st  NYTCA Coop. has a newly outfitted space for five years with a manager and equipment to show case nut processing, to grow a nut based industry. You can see more as we post our developments at nytca.org.

NYTCA Cooperative is hiring an Outreach Coordinator

If nut trees in the of permaculture is your thing and you enjoy outreach visiting potential farmers and other forming cooperatives to share and gain knowledge, we have the job for you.  To see more visit: the New York Tree Crops Alliance (nytca.org)


Cultivar Spotlight - “Photon” - a very unusual hazelnut

Photon is a very small upright tree.  People often refer to hazelnuts as bushes, but photon is a tree. So the term “tree” is correct, it doesn’t sucker to form a bush and you don’t have to trim suckers to keep it in tree form.  It is a very cold hardy, prolific pollen producer and produces abundant tasty round nuts.  Photon was such a standout producer we patented it and it is now Plant Patent US34790 P2.  Limited quantities spring 2024’.

Photon hazelnut tree with second picture showing its beautiful hazelnuts at Z's Nutty Ridge lLC

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