The Universal Herbal: Juglans Regia; Common Walnut-tree.

The Universal Herbal;
or botanical, medical and agricultural dictonary.
Containing an account of All the known Plants in the World, arranged according to the Linnean system. Specifying the uses to which they are or may be applied, whether as food, as medicine, or in the arts and manufactures.
With the best methods of propagation, and the most recent agricultural improvements.
collected from indisputable Authorities.
Adapted to the use of the farmer - the gardener - the husbandman - the botanist - the florist - and country housekeepers in general.
By Thomas Green.
Vol. I
Printed at the Caxton Press by Henri Fisher.
Printer in Ordinary to His Majesty.
Leaflets about nine, oval or oblong, smooth, subserrate, alost equal, the off one petioled; leaves pinnate, wit a very strong but not unpleasant smell; male flowers in close pendulous subterminating aments; females scattered, frequently two or three together; fuit an ovate coriaceous smooth drupe, inclosing an irregularly grooved nut, which contains a four-lobed oily eatable kernel, with an irregular knobbed surface, and covered with yellow skin. The varieties of common walnut are, the large walnut, the thin-shelled walnut, the double-bearing walnut, and the late-ripe walnut. They all vary again when raised from the seed, and nuts from the same tree will produce different fruit; persons therefore who plant the walnut for its fruit, should choose their trees in the nurseries, while they have their fruit upon them. The flowers begin to open about the middle of April, and are in full blow by the middle of May, before which time the leaves are fully displayed. Even in the south of France, this tree is frequently injured by spring forsts; and to avoid this, the Swiss engraft the common stocks with the late-ripe variety, which does not produce its fruit before the month of May or June. This [] probably be too late for us, but in those climates where, though they are warmer than ours, the olive will not succeed, and where the fruit of the walnut is therefore of much consequence for the oil which it yields, it may be worth attending to.

In France and Switzerland the wood is still in as great request for furniture, as it formerly was in England, under superseded by Mahogany. It is of singular use with the joiner, for the best grained and coloured wainscot; with the gunsmith, for stocks; with the coach-maker, for wheels and the bodies of coaches. The cabinet-maker uses it for inlayings, especially the firm and close timber about the root, which is admirable for flecked and cambleted works. To render tis wood the better coloured, joiners put the boards into an oven after the batch is drawn, or lay them in a warm stable; and, when they work it, polish it over with its own oil very hot, which makes it look black and sleek, and the older it is the more estimable; but then it should not be put in work till thoroughly seasoned, because it is very liable to shrink. It is most unfit for beams or joints, because of its brittleness. The enormous size to which this tree will grow, and the prodigious quantity of timber it will produce, may be judged from what Evelyn reports, that Scamozzi, the Italian architect, saw a table of walnut-tree, in Lorrain, twenty-five feet in breadth, all of one piece, and of competent length and thickness! The younger timber is held to make the better coloured work; but the older, being more firm and close, is finer cambleted for ornament. Those trees which are raised from the thick-shelled fruit become the best timber.

Besides the uses of the wood, the fruit when tender and very young is used for preserves. The oil is of extraordinary use with the painter, in whites and other delicate colours, also for gold-size and varnish, and for polishing walking-sticks and other works which are wrought in with burning. They fry with this oil in some places, in others they eat it instead of butter, which is so bad that they plant these trees all over the country of Berry in France, for that very purpose, as well as to supply their lamps with oil. The unripe fruit has been long eaten pickled, and is directed for medicinal use by the London College as an anthelminthic; and many authors recommend it for destroying worms. An extract is the most convenient preparation, as it may be kept for a sufficient length of time, and made agreeable to the stomach by mixing it with cinnamon-water. In this state the walnut is also said to be laxative, and of use in apthous affections and sore throats. The vinegar in which they have been pickled is a very useful gargle. The kernel is similar in qualities to the almond; the oil also does not congeal by cold, and answers the medicinal purposes of the oil of almonds. The bark, says Hill, taken either in substance, when dried and powdered, or made into a strong infusion and drank, vomits easily and plentifully, and the bitter skin with which the kernels are covered may be given in doses of three drachms, for allaying fluxes. The husks and leaves being macerated in warm water, and that liquor poured on grass-walks and bowling-greens, infallibly kills the worms, without endangering the grass. This, says Dr. Hunter, arises not from any thing peculiarly noxious in the decoction, but worms cannot bear the application of any thing bitter to their bodies; which is the reason that bitters, such as gentian, are the best destroyers of worms lodged in the bowels of animals. Worms are sel dom observed in the intestines of the human body, excepting in cases where the bile is either weak or deficient. The dye made of this lixive will colour woods, hair, and wool; and the green husks boiled, make a good colour to dye a deep yellow, without any mixture. Those nuts which come easily out of their husks, should be laid to mellow in heaps, and the rest exposed in the sun till the shells dry, else the kernels will be apt to perish: some again preserve them in their own leaves, or in a chest made of walnut wood; others in sand, especially for a seminary. Old nuts are not wholesome till macerated in warm water; but if you bury them in the earth in pots, out of the reach of the air, and so as no vermin can attack them, they will remain remarkably plump the whole year round, and may be easily blanched. In Spain, they strew the gratings of old and hard nuts, first peeled, into their tarts and other meats. For the oil, one bushel of nuts will yield fifteen pounds of peeled and clear kernels, and these half as much oil, which, the sooner it is drawn, will produce more plentifully, but not of so good a quality as when the nut is drier. The lees or marc of the pressing is excel lent to fatten hogs with. After the nuts are beaten down, the leaves should be swept into heaps, and carried away. Little use having been made of the wood during late years, the old trees that have been cut down have not been always replaced by young ones, and thus the plantations of this tree have gradually diminished. The wood is now principally used for making gun-stocks; and the fruit being eaten only ripe in deserts, or green in pickles, there is not so much call for it as there was formerly.

The English name Wall-nut is a corruption of Gaul-nut; which leads to conclude that it was imported from France into Great Britain. The French call the tree Noyer, and the fruit Noir; as the Romans call ed it exclusively Nuw, or The Nut; the Germans name it Wallnuss, or Welsche Nuss. Its native place of growth is uncertain, but Persia seems the most probable. It is much cultivated in some parts of Italy, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In several places between Hanau and Frankfort, in Germany, no young farmer is permitted to marry a wife, till he bring proof that he has planted a stated number of Walnut-trees. It was formerly much cultivated in England, particularly on the chalk hills of Surry.

— These trees are propagated by planting their nuts, which seldom produce the same sort of fruit as is sown, so that the only way to secure the desired sort, is to sow the nuts of the best kinds; and if this be done in a nursery, the trees should be transplanted out when they have had three or four years growth, to the place where they are designed to remain; for these trees do not bear transplanting when they are of a large size, therefore there may be a good number of the trees planted, which need not be put at more than six feet apart, as that will be far enough asunder for them to grow until they produce fruit; when those (the fruit of which is of the desired kind) may remain, and the others cut up to allow them room to grow: by this method a sufficient number of the trees may be generally found amongst them to remain, which will thrive and flourish greatly when they have room; but as many people do not care to wait so long for the fruit, so the best method is to make choice of some young trees in the nurseries, when they have their fruit upon them; but though these trees will grow and bear fruit, yet they will never be so large, or so long-lived, as those which are planted young. All the sorts of walnuts which are propa gated for timber, should be sown in the places where they are to remain; for the roots of these trees always incline downward. If the roots be stopped or broken, it will prevent their aspiring upward, so that they afterwards, divari cate into branches, and become low spreading trees; but such as are propagated for fruit, are greatly improved by transplanting, which causes them to produce larger fruit, and in greater abundance; and it is a common observation, that downright roots greatly encourage the luxuriant growth of timber in all sorts of trees; but such trees as have their roots spreading near the surface of the ground, are always the most fruitful and best flavoured. The nuts should be preserved in their outer covers in dry sand till February; when they should be planted in lines, at the distance you intend them to remain; but in the rows they may be placed pretty close, for fear the nuts should miscarry; and the young trees, where they are too thick, may be removed, after they have grown two or three years, leaving the remainder at the distance they are to stand. In transplanting these trees, observe never to prune either their roots or large branches, both which are very injurious to them; nor should you be too busy in lopping or pruning the branches, when grown to a large size, for that often causes them to decay; but when it is necessary to cut off any of the branches, it should be done early in September, (for at that time the trees are not so subject to bleed,) that the wound may heal over before the cold increases: the branches should always be cut off quite close to the trunk, otherwise the stump which is left, will decay, and rot the body of the tree. The best season for transplanting these trees, is as soon as the leaves begin to decay, when, if they be carefully taken up, and their branches preserved entire, there will be little danger of their succeeding, although they be eight or ten years old; but it must be remarked, that trees removed at that age, will neither grow so large, nor continue so long, as those that are removed when younger. This tree delights in a firm, rich, loamy soil, or such as is inclinable to chalk or marl; and will thrive very well in stony ground, and on chalky hills, as in the large plantations near Leatherhead, Godstone, and Carshalton, in Surry, where great numbers of those trees are planted upon the downs, and annually produce large quantities of fruit. The distance between these trees ought not to be less than forty feet, especially if regard be had to their fruit; though when they are only designed for timber, if they stand much nearer, it promotes their up right growth. The Black Virginia Walnut is much more inclined to grow upright than the common sort, and the wood being generally of a more beautiful grain, renders it preferable to that, and better worth cultivating. Some of the wood is so beautifully veined with black and white, that, when polished, it appears at a distance like polished marble. The cabinet-makers esteem it highly for inlaying, as well as for bedsteads, stools, chairs, tables, and cabinets, for all which purposes it is one of the most durable woods of English growth, and less liable to be infested with insects than most other kinds, which is probably owing to its extraordinary bitterness: but it is not proper for buildings of strength, being liable to break off very short. The general opinion is, that the beating off the fruit improves the trees, which is improbable, because in doing it the younger branches are generally broken and destroyed; but as it would be exceedingly troublesome to gather it by hand, so in beating it off great care should be taken that it be not done with violence, for the reason before assigned. In order to preserve the fruit, it should remain upon the trees till it is thoroughly ripe, when it should be beaten down, and laid in heaps for two or three days; after which it should be spread abroad, and in a little time the husks will easily part from the shells: they should then be well dried in the sun, and laid up in a dry place, secured from mice and other vermin; in this place they will remain good for four or five months. If put into an oven gently heated, and, after re maining four or five hours to dry, packed up in oil-jars or any other close vessel, mixing them with dry sand, they will keep good six months. The oven dries the germen, and prevents their sprouting, but when too hot will cause them to shrink. All the other sorts are propagated in the same way, but as few of them produce fruit in England, their nuts must be procured from North America. They should be gathered when fully ripe, and put up in dry sand, to preserve them in their passage to England. The sooner they are planted after their arrival, the greater chance there will be of their succeeding: when the plants come up, keep them clean from weeds. If they shoot late in the autumn, and their tops are full of sap, cover them with mats or other light covering, to prevent the early frosts from pinching their tender shoots, which often causes them to die down a considerable length before spring; but if they are screened from these early frosts, the shoots will become firmer, and better able to resist the cold. Some of the sorts being tender while young, require a little care for the two first winters, but afterwards will be hardy enough to resist the greatest cold of this country. The black Virginia Walnut, which is the most valuable, is as hardy as the common sort. They all require the same culture as the Common Walnut; but grow best in a soft loamy soil, not too dry, and where there is a depth of soil for their roots to run down. The Hickory when young is very tough and pliable, sticks of it are there fore much esteemed; but the wood when large, being very brittle, is not of any great use. In setting the nuts, Dr. Hunter recommends drills to be made at one foot asunder, and two inches and a half deep, into which put the nuts four inches apart. Evelyn advises some chopped furze to be mixed with them, to preserve them from vermin. The spring following, the plants will come up; and in two years they will be of a proper size to plant out in the nursery. There, having shortened their tap-roots, plant them in rows two feet and a half asunder, and at the distance of a foot and a half in the rows. Here they may remain till they are of a proper size for their final planting. If they are to be planted in fields, they should be risen out of the reach of cattle before they are removed from the nursery, which should be done with great caution; the knife should be very sparingly applied to the roots, and they should be planted as soon as possible after taking up, soon after the fall of the leaf. In raising the Walnut for fruit, Mr. Boutcher recommends flat stones, tile-sherds, or slates, to be buried eight inches deep under the nuts when they are set; the distance to be six inches, and the depth two inches. After two seasons, remove them early in autumn, and plant them fourteen or sixteen inches asunder, on the same kind of bottom, or any hard rubbish, to prevent them from striking downwards, and cause them to spread their roots on the surface. At the end of two or three years repeat this again, making the bed ding at the depth of fifteen or sixteen inches, and planting them two feet asunder: here let them remain for three or four years, when they will be fit to remove for the last time. The soil for fruit should be dry and sound, with a sandy, gravelly, and chalky bottom. The trees managed in this way will have higher-flavoured fruit, that ripens earlier, and they will bear a plentiful crop, twenty years sooner than in the usual method. The best manure for them is ashes, spread at the beginning of the winter after the lands have been first ploughed or dug. As plants raised from nuts of the same tree will bear fruit of very different qualities, Mr. Boutcher advises the inarching of one of the best sorts on the common Walnut-tree; by which method the planter is both sure of his sort, and will have fruit in one third of the time in which he could obtain it from the nut. This however is only practicable in a few situations; and a walnut-tree is generally about twenty years in bearing fruit from the nut. If these trees be intended to form a wood, for which purpose they answer extremely well, Dr. Hunter advises to take them out of the nursery when they are three or four feet high, to replant them three yards asunder, and thin them when their heads begin to interfere; this method will draw up these large and branching trees with beautiful stems to a great height. For raising timber, Mr. Boutcher's plan is to set the nuts in February, in drills five feet asunder, eighteen inches distant in the rows, and two or three inches deep, taking up every other plant after two years. They may then stand thus four or five years longer, the ground between being cropped with turnips, cabbages, or other kitchen-gar. den plants. From time to time, the least promising may be cut off below ground, when they are near touching each other, till they are left at the distance of thirty feet.

Ei kommentteja :