[nafex] FW: Gellatly Nut Farm

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Jul 9 10:31:14 EDT 2001


----------
From: Arnold_Roos at pch.gc.ca
To: newcrops at purdue.edu
Subject: Gellatly Nut Farm
Date: Mon, Jul 9, 2001, 6:25 AM


This may seem like a strange request for help; however, concerning the
paucity
of information regarding the development of viable nut strains in North
America
and their relative importance in the overall production of this agricultural
product, any help that can be given will be extremely appreciated.

J. U. (Jack) Gellatly and his nut farm have been put forward to the Historic
Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) for consideration as being of
National Historic Significance.  We have used all available published
information possible to try and place his work within some sort of context
in
order that an historical evaluation could be made; however, due to the lack
of
information the paper  was not able to come definitive conclusions
concerning
the work of Gellatly, or the importance of the strains that he developed at
his
nut farm in Westbank, British Columbia, Canada.

Jack Gellatly worked this farm between 1920 and 1969.  In that time frame,
he
tried to develop nut strains that could be grown in northern climates. By
the
mid-1930s, Jack Gellatly had gained a wide recognition for his efforts in
nut
hybridization.  He was convinced that nuts could be grown commercially
wherever
apples and other tree fruits were grown, and that the establishment of a
domestic industry would displace the substantial volume of nuts imported
from
Europe and Asia, a dream that was never realized.  At present the existing
nut
orchard zone on the still extant farm consits of a network of rows and
clusters
of trees and nut-bearing shrubs totalling an estimated 1229 inidividual
specimens and including at least 25 different species.

In his work Gellatly focussed his attention on several speices, notably
walnuts,
heartnuts, filberts, hazels, and blight-resistant Chinese chestnuts. 
Through
his breeding programmes, Gellatly succeeded in producing a succession of
distinctive strains which he named and eventually distributed to other
growers
across Canada, the northern United States, and central Europe.  Among his
most
distinctive achievements were a succession of hybrid crosses: buartnuts
(heartnut x butternut); trazelnuts (filbert x Turkish tree hazel); and
filhazels
(filbert x native tree hazels).  By the time of his death in 1969,
Gellatly's
nursery had produced a succession of distinctive strains, at least 25 of
which
bore the distincitive OKA suffix in their names.  During the 1960s, Jack
summarized many of his breeding programmes in a series of articles that
appeared
in the 57th Annual Report of the Northern Nut Growers Association.   His
role in
nut breeding was acknowledged in at least four text books published between
1953
and 1984.

The problem in assessing the work of Gellatly is the difficulty of 
determining
the present day impact of his work.  I have been able to find some of his
hybrids listed in some growers contemporary lists, but these seem to be few
in
number.  Development of new strains is an ongoing process.  It is
information
concerning the impact of Gellatly's work on the development of these new
successful and commercial strains that is lacking  in the report, in other
words, what relevance was his work in regards to present day commercial nut
growing enterprises.

We have been able to come up with a partial list of Gellatly selections and
hybrids which I will include here for your information.

Soft Shelled Russian Walnuts (Juglans regia)
Broadview
Manoka
Lenoka
Hanoka

Heartnuts (Juglans seiboldiana)
Caloka
Wal;ters
Gellatly
Calenda
Nursoka

Buartnuts
Dunoka
Fioka

Filberts (Corylus sp.)
Petoka
Artoka
Chinoka
Winkler x Longfellow F1
Craig

Trazelnuts
Karloka
Morrisoka
Layoka
Sunoka
Orinoka
Eastoka
Hybrid 991

Filhazels
Myoka
Faroka
Petoka
Churoka
Selection No. 501, 502, 521, and 526

Chinese Chestnuts
Layeroka
Skioka
Manoka
Nuoka
Penoka

As I stated above, any help that you can give me so that this person and his
work can be given a fair evaluation would be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to discuss this further, or you have information that
might be
of help you can get hold at me at the e-mail address arnold_roos at pch.gc.ca 
or
phone me at  819 997 0527.

Arnold E. Roos


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