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are plenty of larger ones with thin shells which would be far more valuable for cultivation.
A careful research extending over a period of a quarter of a century yields only a solitary instance of the propagation and dissemination of a variety of the shellbark hickory, and this one is Hales' Paper-shell, which I named, described and figured in the Rural NewYorker, Nov. 19, 1870, p. 382, Vol. XXII. I am thus particular in regard to time and place, because years hence these facts may be of more importance than at the present day.
The original tree of this remarkable variety is grow. ing upon the farm of Mr. Henry Hales, near Ridgewood, N. J., and on bottom land within a few rods of the Saddle river. The tree is probably more than a hundred years old, and is about seventy-five feet high, and nearly two feet in diameter at the base, and of the shape shown in Fig. 60, taken from a sketch made in the fall
of 1894. There
among them, the FIG. 62. SECTION OF FIG. 61. HALES' HICKORY. one I have named HALES' HICKORY. is by far the largest and most distinct in form, and with the thinnest shell; in fact, the shell is much thinner than in many of the pecan nuts that reach our Northern markets from the South. The size and form of these nuts is clearly shown in Fig. 61, while the thin shell and thick, plump kernel is seen in the cross-section, Fig. 62. It will be noticed that these nuts differ from the ordi. nary varieties of this species in the absence of the sharp
Perhe kernels to or mordance with
ridges and depressions running from base to point, the surface of the shell being broken up into irregular, wavy lines, somewhat resembling the shell of the more common varieties of the Persian walnuts. I have occasione ally seen very similar varieties, but of smaller size,-among the mixed lots of hickory nuts on sale in our city markets, also oblong nuts, as shown in Fig. 63, but of course there is no way of tracing these to the trees producing them.
Another merit, in addition to the large size and thin shell of the Hales' Paper-shell, is its keeping qualities, the kernels rarely becoming rancid, even when two or more years old, and
FIG. 63. LONG from a long acquaintance with this SHELLBARK HICKORY. nut and hundreds of other varieties gathered from all parts of the United States, I am inclined to place it at the head of the list, and as the most valuable sort as yet
discovered. It is true, however, that I have found in the forests, and also received, many very large and superior nuts of this species, that are well worthy of propagation and cultivation, but they have been, in the main, of the typical form, and not of so distinct a type as this Paper-shell. Judge Miller
sent me a few nuts of a shellbark FIG. 64. SHELLBARK found in Missouri, that were even MISSOURI.
larger, and with fully as thin shell as that of the Hales' (Fig. 64), but upon making further inquiries in regard to the tree that produced them, I learned that an incoming railroad line had destroyed it, and thus one more tree of inestimable
value had been sacrificed in the march of this progressive age.
Varieties of the Western Shellbark.--The typical form of the thick or Western shellbark (H. laciniosa) has already been shown on a preceding page, but some remarkable and valuable varieties have been found in the Western States, and no doubt others will be, when more attention is paid than at present to the natural food products of our forests. The tendency of this species, in its variations, is usually in the direction
of an elongation of the nuts, eren when there is no decrease in the thickness of the shell, as shown in Fig. 65, taken from one of a number of long varieties collected in the Western States; and while they do not possess any special merit, they attract attention, owing to their unusual form.
NUSSBAUMER'S HYBRID. -Several years ago I received a specimen of a very remark
able nut from Judge Samuel FIG. 65. LONG WESTERN Miller, of Bluffton, Mo., un
SHELLBARK. der the name of “Nussbaumer's Hybrid Pecan.” Judge Miller informed me that he had received it from Mr. J. J. Nussbaumer, Mascoutah, St. Clair Co., Ill., who claimed that it was a hybrid between the pecan and the large western shellbark hickory (H. laciniosa). I had an illustration made of this specimen, and it appeared, with a brief description, in the American Agriculturist for Dec., 1884, p. 546. Soon after receiving the specimen nut from Judge Miller I opened correspondence with Mr. Nussbaumer, and learned from him that only one tree bearing such nuts