Hi greg:

I know that the early pioneers would have planted a few walnut trees not just because of the nut but my mother harvested the walnuts from a black walnut tree for dyeing purposes, she hand spun and dyed wool from various animals using the liquor from the walnut husks.

I am not sure if the English walnut trees would produce the same type of dye, but I suspect they would.

If you looked back into the deeds that go with your property, you will probably find out that the early pioneers were no doubt of English heritage, and might have brought along a young seedling to their new home site.

Around here I know for a fact that they did bring in apple tree seedlings, as well as fruit root stock such as rhubarb, raspberries, goose berries.

Even right now if you want a good rooting of rhubarb just visit an old abondoned homestead site, you will find growing wild many of the old original strains. On our farm and by the original homestead site grew 4 very large crab apple trees. These trees were thirty feet high, and the trunks were aprrox 30" + in diameter.

a few years ago they started to die, and had to be removed, what I did was take graftings and started new trees to stay on the property. From One of the healthier trees I took a slice from the stump to examine the growth rings, I was shocked to find out that they had been planted very close to the arrival of the first owners of the property.

Another oddity was that prior to haaving the grafting done I thought that I could reproduce seedlings from the seed of the mature crabapples, but even with the help of a good horticulturalist, the seeds would not germinate. In the end it was determined that the seedlings themselves were brought here as graftings, and therefore would not produced fertile seeds.

So thanks for your question it spawned a good topic I think, and one that I like to retell to those that want to listen.

Just before I leave it is surprising that the English oak survived our Canadian winters, At UCV they planted some and the unusual seasonal weather played some funny tricks on the genetics of the trees, they finally did not survive after about 20 years. (they would hold on to their leaves right though the winter) and stand right out among the other bare trunks around them.