The Indiana Nut and Fruit Growers Association is non-profit group whose mission is to promote growing nut and fruit trees in Indiana. Meetings are held four times a year in various locations. Membership forms can be found on our Membership page.
Some of the nut trees that can be grown in Indiana are:
Almonds: Select cultivars will grow in Indiana, however they are no more hardy or reliable than peaches.
Black Walnuts: Similar in shape to the "English Walnuts" but more hardy and flavorful, this is a valuable timber tree that bears edible nuts.
Butternuts: The hardiest northern species, sometimes called the white walnut.
Chestnuts: Fast-growing trees. Most varieties are imported given that the American Chestnut is susceptible to a blight that has killed most stands. However, there is an ongoing effort to bring back the American Chestnut.
Heartnuts: Fast-growing trees that are a type of Japanese Walnut. Also an early bearing tree.
Hazelnuts & Filberts: Small trees and bushes that produce a single nut. Hazelnuts are native to the United States. Filbert is a species of hazel native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia that can also be grown locally.
Hickory: One of the tallest growing nut trees and the slowest to bear nuts. However, it is very hardy and tasty and some selected cultivars produce thin shelled nuts.
Hicans: A Hickory-Pecan hybrid.
Pecans: Although typically a southern crop, some selected cultivars will bear in Indiana.
Persian Walnuts: Frequently these are called "English Walnuts". Most of the cultivars grown in Indiana are of the Carpathian strain.
In addition, you will find members interested in the propagation of fruits such as Apples, Pears, Pawpaw, Persimmon, Prunus (stone fruits), and rare fruits.
History of INGA (later to become INFGA) as written in 1963
The Northern Nut Growers Association is an organization of people who are interested in nut trees and their propagation. In 1952, Indiana had 59 members who belonged to the NNGA. At that time there was considerable interest in the propagation of nut trees, in the Grant County, Indiana area and it was decided to hold a local meeting.
The first such meeting was held on Monday, August 11, 1952, at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Andrew, Matter Park Road, Marion, Indiana. Notices were sent out to the 59 members of the NNGA in Indiana and to others who were interested in nut tree propagating. Prof J. C. McDaniel Extension Horticulturist, of the University of Illinois, Urbana, who was at the time the secretary of the NNGA gave a grafting and budding demonstration of methods used in propagating nut trees.
This was followed by a field trip to the various nut tree plantings in this area.
Due to the success of this meeting it was decided to hold another meeting. This meeting was held in the Recreation Room of the Indiana and Michigan Electric Company. This was well attended meeting and the program consisted of an address by Mr. W. B. Ward, Extension Horticulturist, Purdue University on "Nut Tree Propagation." This was followed by a panel discussion on "Nut Trees for the Home" and an illustrated talk on "Nut Tree Varieties" by Mr. Ford Wallick and Mr. Ray Kaufman.
Due to the success of the two meetings and the interest created, many letters were received by Mr. E. W. Pape, who was at that time one of the vice-presidents of the NNGA, urging that an Indiana Nut Growers Association be formed. Mr. John Talbott of Linton, Indiana offered to set up a meeting place for this purpose. Mr. Pape, taking advantage of this offer, sent out notices to all Indiana members of the NNGA and to others interested.
This meeting was held August 23, 1953, at Humpherys Park, Linton, Indiana. Mr. Pape acting as chairman, called the meeting to order and after some discussion it was voted to organize the Indiana Nut Growers Association. The election of officers followed, with the following;
Mr. John Talbott, president; Mr. Howard Woodward, vice-president; Mrs. Franklin M. Harrell, secretary-treasurer; directors: Mr. Dwight Flanigan, Mr. Edward W. Pape, Mr. J. Ford Wilkinson. Mr. Woodward offered to edit and publish the first news letter of the INGA. President Talbott appointed Mr. Pape to draw up a constitution and by-laws for the INGA. The business meeting was followed by a field trip to the nut tree and fruit orchard of Fred Bolten.
The membership of the INGA increased by leaps and bounds due to the efforts of the members and the articles in the Indianapolis newspapers by Mr. Tubby Toms and Mrs. Margaret Smith. Mr. W. B. Ward created much interest and enrolled many new members by means of the talks that he gave to many Garden Clubs and other organizations.
The Display of nuts set up by Mr. Ward, in conjunction with the Indiana Horticulture Society and the Purdue Horticulture Show created much interest and many new members. At the end of October 1960 the INGA had over 500 members.
One of the more important aims of the INGA is to give more people a better understanding of nut trees that grow well and bear nuts in Indiana. Most of you know that the following species and varieties will grow and produce nuts in Indiana: named varieties of black walnut, selected varieties of pecan, hickory nuts, chestnuts, chinquapins, filberts and hazel nuts, Japanese walnuts, English (Persian) walnuts and various hybrids such as the Hican and Buart.
In addition to the nuts that these trees produce they are useful for timber and are being used more and more as ornamentals for shade and beauty.
Publicity Committee, Edward Pape, Chairman