【赤鬼のつぶやき C.W.ニコル】サワグルミ(Japanese Wingnut、学名:Pterocarya rhoifolia)

 わたしたちの森のなかでとりわけ大きな木は、サワグルミ(Japanese wingnut)です。ツリークライミングⓇジャパンの設立者であるジョン・ギャスライト博士は、わたしの親しい友人ですが、博士が子どもたちのために特別な木登りのプログラムを教えてくれたときに選んだのがこの木でした。 




※松木さん C.W.ニコル氏と一緒にアファンの森をつくりあげた初代のアファンの森の番人。15歳から森に入り生計を立ててきた森の達人。


C.W. ニコル   


SAWAGURUMI – Japanese wingnut (Pterocarya rhoifolia)
The largest, tallest trees in our woods are ‘sawagurumi’ or Japanese wingnut trees. My good friend Dr. John Gathright, who founded Tree Climbing Japan, used our sawagurumi trees when he taught tree climbing on some of our special forest programs for children.
These trees are of the walnut family, but they do not produce walnuts, which was a bit of a disappointment to me at first, knowing only the Japanese name, which I learned from our now retired forester, Mr. Matsuki. I had never seen this tree before I came to Japan and walnuts are absolutely my favourite nut to eat. Until I learned better I thought that all ‘kurumi’ were walnuts. ‘Wingnut’ is an easier name to understand.
Sawagurumi prefer moist areas, often along streams. Ours grow at the head of a little valley, from which an underground spring produces a pretty little stream. They are native to Japan and China. They have complex, large, pinnate leaves, each leaf having 11 to 15 leaflets. They are wind-pollinated, producing long, dangling catkins, 15 to 45 centimetres in length. On these catkins grow rows of small winged seeds with are 5 to 10 centimetres across, with two wings on either side.
The bark is rough. The wood is similar to regular walnut, but not as dense and strong. Mr. Matsuki told me that when he was young they sold sawagurumi to match making companies. Those matches burned well and did not break easily when struck. Of course, not many people use matches nowadays. He also said that during the war the old Imperial Army used this wood to make ammunition boxes. I am sure that it has been used for all kinds of things, including furniture.

October .2018.