We recently returned from Pyin Oo Lwin near Mandalay where we found English or Persian Walnuts [Juglans regia] readily available in the market. That was the only species of Walnut we have encountered over the years, in our visits to northern Thailand, to Kachin State, and Shan State in Myanmar, and to Nepal. Does anyone have experience with other species of walnut in south or southeast Asia. I am thinking specifically of the Japanese Heartnut [Juglans ailantifolia] and its hybrid the Buartnut. I was told that most of the walnut groves in Myanmar are old, dating to the colonial era. Some have been cut down for their valuable lumber.
I am replying to you, not because I have an answer to your question, but because I live in Pyin Oo Lwin and I was surprised to see our town mentioned online. My wife, who is Myanmar, and I have started a demonstration organic farm on the edge of town, as part of the activities of our NGO Solar Roots. I have a friend who grows walnuts, probably of the old variety you mention. I am interested in learning more about agro-forestry, as I think it is much more appropriate to the hilly country around here, than the fields of pineapples, which are grown on the slopes near our village.
I am most interested in soil building and conservation and I have an active vermiculture project going, while my wife, Thida, takes care of the plant side of the operation. Here is our website, not recently updated, but it’ll give you an idea: www.solarroots.org. My main focus for a long time has been on Solar Energy.
I would like to hear about your work and if you are returning to our area, please be in touch.
Thanks for the reply Bruce; I agree that the hill country of the Shan highlands, as well as adjoining areas of Kachin State includes many areas that could appropriately be utilized by agro-forestry. Hopefully much of the areas that have been clear cut recently, will be restored as a native forest. In some areas walnuts could be part of that mix. In Kyrgyzstan huge expanses of forest exist, where the wild Persian walnut [Juglans regia] is the dominant overstory tree. Apricots, Cherries, Pecans, and Walnuts are trees that may well be profitable to grow. I am happy to see all of the teak, and other indigenous trees being planted near Pyin Oo Lwin. But I also believe that the more options landowners have the better. Your solar energy project sounds interesting.