How to Grow a Walnut Tree in a Container

Growing a walnut tree from a seed requires a lot of time, instructions, and patience. They can be started from cuttings, or from a seed. Once they are mature, the black walnut tree can reach up to 100 feet tall with a large canopy of about 50 to 60 feet wide. They can live for 200 years and are naturally grown in the central and eastern part of the United States. A walnut tree is not only good for producing walnuts, but they make a great shade tree, and provide bright foliage during the autumn season. Growing a walnut tree in a container can be done by following these steps.

Step One – Collect Seed

Walnuts will ripen and fall from the tree during September and November. This is the time when you should be out gathering them up. This is important as the fresher you can get the walnut, the better chances you have of it actually germinating.

Step Two – Soak Walnuts

Fill a bucket with water. Drop the walnuts into the bucket to soak for a few days. The water will soften up the husks which will need to be removed before planting them into the soil.

Step Three – Remove Outer Husks

For this step you will need to wear some old clothes and gloves. The outer husk of the walnut will contain a residue that will stain very easily. This stain does not come off quickly and can take some time to wear off. Remove the outer husk by tapping with a hammer until it cracks. Remove the seed.

Step Four – Choose Your Seed

After the husks are removed place the seeds back in the water. You will see that you will have some that will float and others that will sink. Choose the seeds that sink to the bottom of the bucket. These seeds will have a better chance of sprouting when planted.

Step Five – Stratify Seed

Walnut seeds need a period of 3 to 4 months to go through a process of stratification. This means they are placed in a cold area for this period of time to activate the germination. Place the seeds in a plastic bag and then in a cool place. This can not be interrupted at all. A refrigerator is a good choice.

Step Six – Plant Walnut Seeds

After the stratification period is completed you can now plant the seed in your potting soil. Fill a medium sized pot with potting soil. Place the walnut tree seed in the soil to a depth of one inch. After about five to six weeks you will the beginnings of your walnut tree sprouting from the soil. Continue watering to keep the soil moist and spread a little fertilizer around the trunk. Transplant the tree, soil and all, into a larger pot for continued growth.

Once the walnut tree has a trunk diameter of 3/8 inch you can transplant into your landscaping. Use the soil from the container as you replant the walnut tree.

Growing Walnuts – How to Grow Walnuts

How to Grow Walnuts – A Guide to Growing Walnuts

Walnuts will begin to produce fruit after about four years. To obtain a good crop, most varieties will need a pollinator of a different variety as the male and female flowers grow together on a single tree but tend to be in bloom at different times.

Wear gloves when you’re handing the nuts, whether harvesting or preparing for preserving – walnuts produce a permanent dye – the resulting stain on your skin is just about impossible to remove.

Growing Walnuts

  • Pot grown trees can be planted at any time of year, but it is best to plant during the dormant period in winter as long as the soil is not frozen or water-logged; bare rooted trees should be planted late autumn–early spring.
  • Walnuts are best planted in well-drained but moisture-retentive, deep soil in full sun or light shade. They prefer an alkaline soil. Avoid planting in a frost pocket as a late frost will damage any early buds.
  • You will find both bare-rooted and pot grown trees available to buy.
  • When you plant, ensure that the visible soil line at the foot of the tree is just above the level of the soil.
  • Dig a hole large enough to comfortably accommodate the depth and size of the roots. Firm in and water in well after planting.
  • Remove any vegetation around the base of the tree and mulch well, to help keep in the moisture and discourage weeds, etc, growing and competing with the young tree.
  • While you should not let your young tree dry out during the first year or two, don’t let it get waterlogged as this can cause rot in walnut trees.
  • Feed with a general all-purpose fertiliser in early spring.
  • Prune in mid-winter or mid-summer.

Harvesting Walnuts

  • The nuts can be picked from the tree June–July while still ‘green’ (before the shells have developed) and pickled – a long broom handle is a help in gently knocking them off the tree.
  • Otherwise, wait until they start to fall and the husks split. Collect and place in a single layer, in a warm, airy-place to dry out. The green husks will completely split, revealing the walnuts.

Pests and Problems with Walnuts

  • Protect the young trees from deer and rabbits, which will strip the bark from the trees.
  • Squirrels will happily take the nuts.

Varieties of Walnut

  • There are many named varieties available.
  • To obtain a good crop of walnuts, most varieties (even those sold as self-fertile) will need a pollinator of a different variety as although the male and female flowers grow together on a single tree, they tend to bloom at different times.

Eating

  • Young, immature walnuts (picked in the summer) can be pickled in vinegar (read our article on pickling), or remove the mature nuts from their husks and preserve in a sugar syrup. They are also suitable for freezing.
  • Walnuts will store in their shell in a cool, dry place, for a few months.
  • We have several chutney recipes using walnuts.

Further Information on Walnuts

Walnut Trees from the Allotment Shop

NORTH HILLS (CBSLA) — Investigators Wednesday arrested a passenger who was riding in a car which was involved in a violent hit-and-run crash Sunday that killed one man and left at least four other people critically injured. However, the hit-and-run driver, identified as 27-year-old Maritza Joana Lara, remains at large, Los Angeles police report.

Early Sunday morning, a speeding 2016 Lexus sedan carrying five people ran a red light and broadsided a 2005 Nissan Murano in the area of Parthenia Street and Haskell Avenue.

Surveillance video of the hit-and-run crash in North Hills, Calif., on June 16, 2019. (LAPD)

The driver of the Nissan, 48-year-old Francisco Hernandez Rivas, died at the scene.

Security cameras captured footage of the Lexus’ driver, believed to be Lara, walking away from the fiery crash and leaving behind her four passengers, including her younger sister, critically hurt.

Lara remains on the loose. She has a previous DUI conviction and police found open containers in the wreckage and suspect alcohol may have been a factor.

On Wednesday morning, police raided the apartment of Lara’s mother, located at 8070 Langdon Ave., about one mile from the crash site, based on a tip that Lara may be there. However, when they arrived, they instead discovered one of her passengers, police said.

An undated photo of Maritza Joana Lara. (LAPD)

That female passenger had been released from the hospital after being treated for her injuries and was hiding at the apartment because she is wanted on outstanding warrants unrelated to the crash.

Los Angeles police raid an apartment on June 19, 2019, as they search for Maritza Lara. (CBS2)

She was taken into custody on those warrants. Her name was not immediately released.

Meanwhile, Lara’s sister remains hospitalized in intensive care, Lara’s mother told CBS2.

Lara’s mother claims she has not seen Lara since the crash occurred.

“We’re still looking for her, for leads, people are still calling in giving us information, eventually we’ll get there,” LAPD Det. Lisset Fuentes told reporters. “It’s best for her to turn herself in, but there is a lot of people calling us, so eventually we’ll get her.”

Police believe Rivas was on his way to church the morning he was killed. He leaves behind two teenage children.

Lara is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-1, 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She is known to frequent the North Hills or Van Nuys areas.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the LAPD at 818-644-8029 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7.

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

Description

This plant is restricted to ship to AZ, CA, TX

Latin: Juglans nigra

Zones: 4-9

Other common names: eastern black walnut, American walnut

Mature Height: 70-100 ft. Self pollinating

Soil / Climate: Native to eastern North America, can grow in a wide range of soil types and likes full sun.

Notes: Black walnut tree roots contain juglone, a toxic substance released when the the roots of other juglone-sensitive species come in contact with walnut roots. You must keep a wide separation between the black walnut tree and susceptible plants. Black walnut wood is highly prized for paneling and furniture and the nuts for food. The whole fruit, including the husk, falls in October; the seed is relatively small and very hard. The tree tends to crop more heavily in alternate years.

Wildlife: The nuts are eaten by woodpeckers, foxes, and squirrels

Cold Stream Farm supplies Black Walnut trees which are grown as bare root seedlings and transplants and sold both wholesale and retail with no minimum order.

Additional information on Juglans nigra can be found on the link: USDA / NRCS PLANTS Database.

Black Walnut: The Killer Tree


Black Walnut trees produce juglone in its fruit, leaves and branches that can be excreted from the root system into the soil.

By Chris Feeley
Extension Forester
Iowa State University

As a forester, I very often am asked “Will black walnuts have harmful effects on nearby plants?” Like a true professional, I always give the best answer. Maybe.

In the 1880s, scientists identified a compound called juglone that is produced by black walnut trees. After conducting a few tests, the scientists demonstrated that injury and sometimes death resulted when the chemical juglone came in contact with a susceptible plant. The symptoms that they noted were yellowing leaves, wilting and eventual death of certain plants.

We now know that juglone is produced in the fruit, leaves and branches, and can be excreted from the root system into the soil. The actual concentration in each tree part varies with the season. In spring, juglone is concentrated in the actively growing leaves. The amount of juglone in the roots remains relatively high throughout the summer, and the concentration of juglone in the hulls of the fruit increases as the crop matures.

All species of the walnut family (Juglandaceae) produce juglone. This would include many native trees such as black walnut, butternut, the hickories and pecan. However, black walnuts have the highest concentration of juglone.

In most cases, the damage caused by black walnuts to other plants is a combination of the presence of juglone in the soil, and the competition for light, water and nutrients.

However, juglone can cause severe damage and even kill solanaceous crops (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant). Fortunately, not all plants are susceptive to the chemical. Most trees, vines, shrubs, annuals, perennials, corn, beans, onions, beets and carrots are tolerant of juglone.

Gardeners who have large walnut trees near their vegetable gardens should consider an alternate site. The greatest concentration of juglone in the soil exists within the dripline of the trees. The dripline is the area between the trunk of the tree and the end of the branches. The toxic zone from a mature tree occurs on average in a 50-foot radius from the trunk. Avoid planting your garden in these areas to protect your garden from damage.

Walnut leaves can be composted because the juglone toxin breaks down when exposed to air, water and bacteria. The toxic effect can be degraded in two to four weeks. In the soil, breakdown may take up to two months after the living walnut tree has been removed. Mulch or woodchips from black walnut are not recommended for plants sensitive to juglone. However, composting the woodchips for a minimum of six months allows the chemical to break down to a safe level even for plants sensitive to juglone.

Plants Sensitive to Juglone

Herbaceous Perennials

  • Columbine
  • Asparagus
  • Chrysanthumum species (some)
  • Hydrangea species
  • Lilies (particularly the Asian hybrids)
  • Alfalfa
  • Narcissus
  • Peonies (some)
  • Rhubarb

Trees

  • European Alder
  • White Birches
  • Hackberry
  • Crabapples
  • Norway Spruce

Shrubs

  • Red Chokeberry
  • Privet (some)
  • Rhododendrons
  • Lilacs
  • Yew

Vegetables

  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Potato

Plants Tolerant of Juglone

Trees, Shrubs and Vines

Most trees, shrubs and vines can be grown near black walnut trees with little to no effect on the plant health.
Annuals

  • Pot Marigold
  • Begonia, fibrous cultivars
  • Morning Glory
  • Pansy Viola
  • Zinnia species
  • Most other annuals

Vegetables

  • Squashes
  • Melon
  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Corn

Fruit Trees

  • Peach
  • Nectarine
  • Cherry
  • Plum

Herbaceous Perennials

  • Bugleweed
  • Hollyhock
  • American Wood Anemone
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit
  • European Wild Ginger
  • Astilbe species
  • Bellflower
  • Chrysanthemum species (some)
  • Glory-of-the-Snow
  • Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica
  • Crocus species
  • Dutchman’s Breeches
  • Leopard’s-Bane
  • Crested Wood Fern
  • Spanish Bluebell
  • Winter Aconite
  • Snowdrop
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • Herb Robert
  • Geranium
  • Grasses (most)
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Common Daylily
  • Coral Bells
  • Orange Hawkweed
  • Hostas
  • Siberian Iris
  • Phlox
  • Sedum
  • Lamb’s Ear
  • Spiderwort

Two high resolution photos suitable for publication are available for use with this story, linked below:
71505WalnutBlack.jpg, 270 KB
71505WalnutBlack2.jpg, 280 KB

The question of many people who did not closely see a walnut tree is that, what does a walnut tree look like? You can find plenty of pictures of this tree with a simple search on the Internet.

However, the apparent details of this tree, including fruit, bark, leaves, flowers and the appearance of the walnut tree, is not something that you can find easily for different seasons, by searching on the internet.

You can see pictures of all these details in this article, and then you can easily identify walnut types. If you’re not familiar with this amazing tree, do not miss this article.

General Specs of Walnut Tree

The walnut tree is a very valuable plant and is a broad-leaved plant. Walnuts in many parts of the world, including the northern hemisphere, from the center to the east of Europe, throughout Asia, as well as some its species in North and South America, grow naturally.

Walnuts are the Juglans, scientific name of the Juglandaceae family. The name of this tree is derived from the Latin word Jovis-Glans, meaning Jupiter’s hazelnut. The walnut tree is a single-base plant that grows up to 70 feet or more.

Walnuts have a lot of value because of its very beautiful and quality wood, as well as delicious nuts. Walnuts have different species that are found in most parts of the world. Of course, some people know the origin of this plant from West Asia.

In the eastern United States, you can see the types of walnut trees include black walnut trees (Juglans nigra), which are native to the area, and English walnut trees (Juglans regia), which came to this country with European settlers.

Black walnut treeEnglish walnut tree

While there are a few differences between these two species of walnut, both have common characteristics that will help you identify them as walnut trees.

Suitable Climate for Walnut Tree

The temperature of cold winter and spring, rainfall and summer heat are important climatic factors that should be considered in choosing the location of walnut trees.

Areas that are constantly exposed to severe winds or in areas where the weather is cold are not suitable for this tree.

In general, the walnut tree is overly sensitive to heat and cold throughout the summer and winter. Therefore, the mild temperate of the mountainous climate is the best condition for growing walnuts.

How to Identify Walnut Trees

There are several ways to identify walnut trees. There are also several ways to make sure you find a walnut tree. The first step for the identification of the walnut tree is to look at your surroundings.

Your location does not specify that you’re looking at a walnut tree, but it can tell you if you’re not. If you’re in a swampy area or one place that floods often, the tree you’re looking at probably isn’t a walnut tree.

Looking at the ground can be also helpful. The ground around a walnut tree is usually littered with walnut shells that left behind by hungry animals like squirrels.

English walnuts trees are also easy to identify. The trunks of these trees are white and you can see that they join a thicker and darker trunk near the root.

Walnut Tree Bark

Walnut tree bark is rough and full of deep ridges and grooves, and they are gray. These vertical Streaks are from the up to the down of the tree bark and creates a regular texture. Look at the figure below.

Walnut Tree Bark

If you remove a piece of bark from the walnut tree, you’ll find a deep chocolate brown color hiding beneath the tree’s gray bark.

What Does a Walnut Tree Leaf Look Like?

In spring and summer, walnut trees produce branches that are full of leaves. Each stem contains several leaves in a row on each side and a final leaf at the end of the stem.

The leaves of the walnut are broad, and in spring and summer is green, in the autumn is yellow and brown and shed in the winter. Look at the picture below.

Leaves of the walnut

If you’re still not sure if you have got a walnut tree leaf, there is another way. You can crush a leaf in your hand and smell it to identify walnut leaf. The leaves of walnut trees have a distinct smell that is like Eucalyptus leaves.

Walnut Tree Fruit

The fruit of the walnut is tightly surrounded by a thick green skin that leaves the fruit when it ripe and the fruits fall on the ground.

See pecan wood for smoking meat.

When fruits have cracked about 80 percent of the green skin, fruits have ripened, but the ripening of the nut and the green skin is not always synchronous.

The ripened fruit of the walnut

What Does a Walnut Tree Look Like in Spring?

Walnut tree in the spring season

In spring, the leaves and flowers of the walnut grow. The walnut tree is a base and its male and female flowers are separated from each other on a tree.

Male flowers appear on the walnut branch and hang, and the female flowers form in pairs at the tip of the branch. The buds of female flowers are distinguished during the summer.

male flowers walnut in the spring

Male flowers grow on the branches of the previous year, and female flowers are on the branches of the new year. See above picture.

Walnut fruit in spring

What Does a Walnut Tree Look Like in Winter?

In winter, all leaves and fruits of the walnut tree are fallen. The bark is especially helpful in identifying walnut trees in the winter season when they’ve dropped their leaves and aren’t producing fruit.

Walnut trees in winter

Ending Speech

We’ve reviewed what does a walnut tree look like. Perhaps from now on, you can easily identify a walnut tree. It can be said the most important element to identify a walnut tree is its leaves.

If you find a walnut tree, be sure to pay attention to the following warning:

Sleeping under a walnut tree is not a good idea due to a large amount of carbon dioxide in the night, and it’s deadly!

Walnut anthracnose is putting an early end to many leaves

Anyone that has a black walnut tree, Juglans nigra, in their yard knows that this is a native tree with a short growing season. Leaves appear later than many other trees in the spring. In the late summer or early fall, yellowed leaves begin raining down before most of the other trees begin dropping leaves. One of the most notable contributors to the early leaf loss is a fungal disease called walnut anthracnose.

Walnut anthracnose only affects walnuts and butternuts which belong to the same genus of Juglans. There are other forms of anthracnose though. In the spring, other kinds can infect maples, oaks and other shade trees. There are forms of anthracnose that can cause problems with tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and squash during the growing season for these plants. Each growing year, Michigan State University Extension horticulture educators and Master Gardener hotlines receive calls about one form of anthracnose or another. It is a fungus whose very existence is tied to temperature and humidity. Mild temperatures and high humidity or rain are the magic weather events to kick anthracnose into gear. The tender growth of new leaves is the target.

The first symptom that is seen on black walnut leaves is small, round, brown spots that are seen initially on the bottom of leaves. In wet seasons, those early spots develop in late July or August. Soon, the spots are on both the bottom and top of leaves. Some are as small as pinheads while others are much larger. The leaf then turns a brilliant yellow. There may be brown edges appearing on leaves and leaves begin to drop. Anthracnose may also cause problems with the leaf petioles, twigs and walnut fruit. The stem or rachis that runs between the nine pairs of leaflets could also be marked.

Fruit could fall prematurely or nuts might have dark, shriveled nut meats, but in most cases, the only symptom is lemon yellow, lightly freckled leaves floating downward. After a hard rain or strong winds, tree owners could be shocked at the number of yellow leaves littering the lawn. A quick look at fallen leaves with the scattered spots gives a quick explanation for the event.

It is not necessary to control walnut anthracnose in almost all situations. If the tree is experiencing multiple years of early almost complete defoliation, it is weakening the tree. Control for walnut anthracnose can be accomplished by two actions. The disease spends the winter in fallen leaves, fruit and twigs. In the fall, rake up, remove and destroy as much of this material as possible. In the spring, an application of a straight nitrogen fertilizer encourages more leaf growth and reduces disease severity. This is a fertilizer like 46-0-0 (urea) or 21-0-0 (ammonium sulfate) applied at or below bag recommendations. Fertilizers that also contain phosphorus or potassium are not as effective as the straight nitrogen fertilizers. Read and follow the application rates on the bag and do not exceed the recommended amount per 1,000 square feet. Too much nitrogen can damage or kill the tree you are trying to protect.

Small nut trees in the Home Fruit and Nut Garden

All around the world we celebrate today, April 22, as Earth Day, and it is a perfect time to consider planting trees with edible fruits and/or nuts here on our lovely blue planet. If your planting space is small, here are some smaller nut tree suggestions. The dwarf siberian pine with edible pine nuts grows only to about 9 feet tall. A few of the smaller nut producers are actually more of a bush, like the Allegheny chinquapin, and some filberts (hazelnuts) make a great hedge, providing nuts for both you and the wildlife. There are some hybrid nut trees that will bear fruit in as little as 3 years, unlike the large walnuts and butternuts which take at least 10 years to fruit.

Stages of hazelnuts Baklava Hazelnut shrub

One of the best edible filberts is the European filbert, growing to about 15 feet tall. It thrives in cool, moist climates but is susceptible to winterkill. Here are a couple of filberts from PlantFiles: purple-leaf filbert (Corylus maxima ‘Purpurea’), zones 6 to 10. Hazelnut (Corylus americana) is a small hedge bush, native to the eastern U.S. Two plants are needed to set fruit and they can grow to 8 feet or more. They grow in zones 5 to 8 and their nuts ripen in August. The fruits are edible although often left for wildlife. The wild filberts in the eastern United States often carry Eastern filbert blight, a fungal disease. You should not plant European filberts if eastern wild filberts are growing close by. The wild western filberts do not seem to carry the disease.
Almonds (Prunus dulcis) are a stone fruit like peaches, but you eat the nut. Grown in zones 8a to 10b, they are produced commercially in California in the valleys where it is drier. Cross-pollination is required (hence the rental of honeybee hives by commercial groves). Raintree Nursery lists ‘Reliable’ as an almond that is easily maintained at about 12 feet tall, and is self-fertile. It is not a true almond, but a hybrid seedling of peach and almond for zones 5 to 9. There is an edible ornamental almond (Prunus amygdalus) said to grow 12 to 20 feet tall, bears in 3 to 4 years, is disease-resistant and self-fertile. Two varieties I have seen advertised are ‘Titan’ and ‘Halls Hardy’.

Cashew ‘apples’ with nuts Pistachios

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is a fast growing evergreen tropical nut tree growing to a height of 30-plus feet. They are very susceptible to frost. Both the “apple” and the nut growing from the end of it are edible, and they contain five times the vitamin C of oranges. Pistachios (Pistacia vera) originated in Western Asia, where they are used in a variety of dishes; we probably know baklava best. The pistachio tree grows to 20 to 30 feet tall in zones 7a to 10b. They do well in the deserts if they are irrigated and have good drainage, but do poorly in high humidity and are subject to root-rot without good drainage. A male and a female are needed for fruit production.

Pine cone with edible nuts

Piñon (Pinus edulis) Piñon cone with nuts

Pine nuts… oh my, there are so many… and they have been a food source for so long! Over 20 pine species produce edible pine nuts and of those, 5 are commercially important: Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica), Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), Italian Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), Chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana) and singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) and other pinyon (or piñon) species. The Korean Nut Pine is very hardy, tolerates clay soil, is resistant to white pine blister rust; and is a slow grower of medium height in zones 4 to 7. The Italian Stone Pine is not as winter hardy but it tolerates drought and heat better. It is the classic umbrella-shaped pine, said to grow in zones 7 to 9. Many of the edible pine nut trees also make great ornamentals.

Allegheny chinquapin shrub

One small nut tree I have on my list to order is the Allegheny chinquapin (Castanea pumila), which is basically a shrub or dwarf tree growing 12 to 15 feet tall in zones 3 to 9. The nut tastes similar to the native chestnuts that were wiped out by the chestnut blight beginning in 1912. It is said to have a more flavorful taste than the modern chestnut hybrids. There is another small chinquapin, the Georgiana chinquapin (Castanea alnifolia), which is more of a creeping 4-foot tall shrub that grows in zones 8 to 10. The Allegheny chinquapin prefers neutral soils, preferably somewhat uphill, and develops a taproot. The Georgiana chinquapin prefers shady, sandy thickets and spreads by very large, underground, shallow roots. Both produce numerous sweet nuts on the female trees, and a male is needed for pollination.

Ginkgo nuts Gingko leaves

Although not small trees, there are some visually interesting trees we don’t generally think of for edible nuts. Those include ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba). Ginkgo, also called maidenhair tree, is the oldest broad-leafed tree on earth, with existing fossils 150 million years old. They grow to 50 to 80 feet tall and are grown in zones 3 to 9 although they do better in zones 4 to 7. They need a male to pollinate the female for fruit, and it can take up to 10 years to produce the first fruits. The 1-inch nuts are stir-fried or roasted and are prized in Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes. They are also among the few nut trees that are not affected by pests or disease.

Another unfamiliar nut tree is the Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), which is an very sculptural looking tree. It is native to Chile and hardy to -10ºF, or zones 6 to 9. This evergreen tree is not self-fertile so you will need 2 to produce nuts. The 2-inch long nuts are grown on a large cone with as many as 250 nuts per cone. The nuts can be roasted and eaten like chestnuts, or dried and ground for use as a nut flour.

Monkey Puzzle nuts Monkey Puzzle nuts on branch

Nuts are an excellent source of protein, averaging from around 20% to as much as 75% in butternuts. Most nuts also have a high fat content although most of the fat is polyunsaturated. Nuts also contain Vitamin E, many of the B vitamins, and some essential minerals like zinc and magnesium. Almonds are a good source of calcium. Nuts are also low glycemic so they break down slowly and do not cause a surge in insulin levels.

Is there space for a small nut tree in your garden?

End Notes
Pinenuts: Species, Products, Markets, and Potential for U.S. Production, Leonid Sharashkin and Michael Gold, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry,
Photo Credits
Almonds on branch, iStockPhoto #4632901, used by permission
Ginko Nuts, iStockPhoto #1137307, used by permission
Ginko leaves, iStockPhoto #4794604, used by permission
Hazelnuts, iStockPhoto #4215418, used by permission
Piñon tree, iStockPhoto #1505385, used by permission
Piñon with nuts, iStockPhoto #3658859, used by permission
Pistachios on tree, iStockPhoto #4731667, used by permission
Cashews on tree, iStockPhoto #2769754, used by permission
Pine-cone nuts, iStockPhoto #2675140, used by permission
Baklava, public domain
American Hazelnut, Thanks to Equilibrium for her photo from PlantFiles
Allegheny chinquapin, Thanks to AYankeeCat for use of her photo
Monkey Puzzle Nuts: Thanks to Gustichock for the photo from PlantFiles

Dwarf Walnut Tree Dwarf Karlik®

Product information “Dwarf Walnut Tree Dwarf Karlik®”

The dwarf walnut tree Dwarf Karlik® grows really compact, unmistakably dwarfish. If the compact growth of the compact walnut varieties Lara and Europa is mainly due to the early harvest and the ability to also produce fruit on the side buds, then it is the short distance between the nodes of the dwarf walnut Dwarf Karlik® No. 5 that makes the plant so small. You have to imagine this: the classic walnut Franquette grows maybe 7-8 meters tall, Lara remains between 4-5 m and the walnut Europa even at 3.5 m, and a 20-year-old dwarf walnut Dwarf Karlik® reaches only 180 cm! The walnut is thus a compatible garden plant and thanks to Dwarf Karlik® it can finally be grown in containers and of course on the same level with many other plants in garden beds.
Short Description of the Dwarf Walnut Tree Dwarf Karlik®
Fruits: The fruits of Dwarf Karlik® No. 5 ripen almost grape-like, always 2-6 together; they are medium-sized, 2.6 cm long, 3.1 cm wide; the shells can be easily cracked, they are usually clean at the seam and the nutmeat can be removed as a whole. The nut kernel is yellowish with brownish veins and weighs 4.6 grams.

Maturity/harvest: The walnut Dwarf Karlik® ripens in the second half of September, which is early enough for all Central European locations to be always ripe.
Flavour: Good, intense nut flavour.
Use: The nuts can be eaten fresh or stored, or they can even be processed; as a small garden tree, Dwarf Karlik delivers a reasonable harvest. But above all, such a small nut tree, richly draped with nuts, is a sensation in the garden and a real eye-catcher!
Plant spacing/size: The dwarf walnut tree Dwarf Karlik® reaches just 180 cm after 20 years… Calculate about the same width, so that a plant spacing of 2 m results.
Location/growth: Dwarf Karlik® needs a sunny, but well-ventilated location. Due to the short distance between the internodes, the leaves are very close, so there is always a certain risk of Botrytis and other fungal diseases. With good drying this danger is reduced. Remember that walnut trees usually do not grow very well in the year of planting, by then develop well after they establish themselves.
Pollination: Dwarf Karlik® is protandric, that is, the male flowers bloom a little earlier than the female flowers, but there is almost always an overlap. So you can count on good fertilisation without pollinators. In addition, walnuts are wind pollinators, and at the time of flowering they also have good chances of being pollinated by foreign trees in the neighbourhood (up to 200 m and more away). Alternatively, some branches with male flowers of larger nut trees can be cut and then painted over the female flowers of the Dwarf Karlik® tree. Dwarf Karlik® is incredibly fertile and starts yielding very early; we see blossoms in the nursery already in the 2nd year; in the garden, the plant will start to bear fruit from the 2nd or 3rd year.
Training: Basically, you just have to let this dwarf walnut tree grow. It branches naturally and so, as with other walnut varieties, a beautiful crown develops almost without intervention. With Dwarf Karlik®, however, actively ensure that the crown does not become too dense and that is can dry out well.
Pot cultivation: Since the dwarf walnut tree Dwarf Karlik® grows slowly, it must also be changed very slowly to larger pots. I would start with a 20-25 L container, and then go up every 5 years to 5 L more volume. Ensure good drainage by providing the bottom 10-15 cm of the container with drainage material (stones, gravel, polystyrene or something similar). For overwintering, place the walnut container in a sheltered, shady spot, protect the container with insulating material, and in the first few years, tie up the trunk with jute sacks. In pots, we recommend using container plant substrate; the best, of course, is our Fruitful Soil No. 1.

Few trees invoke an iconic image like the walnut tree (genus Juglans). Its noble canopy hugs parklands, its wood builds artisan furniture, and its nuts do not require much of an introduction. The walnut is related to other hardwood trees in the hickory genus – and there are nearly two dozen species and many cultivars of this impressive tree.

Beauty and Function

Walnuts are deciduous trees native to Central Asia and Europe and prefer a balanced, fertile soil of either alkaline or acidic quality, with adequate rainfall or access to a steady moisture source. These are elegant trees that reach heights between 40-100 feet. The general hardiness ranges from zones 3-9, depending on the variety.

Whether accenting a landscape in dramatic fashion or starring in an orchard, this tree is a gem. California has the most Black Walnut and English Walnut farms in the U.S. The stately walnut tree is easy to identify in the field.

  • Young trees emerge from the hard seed (or “nut”) after setting down a long taproot. The sapling has a tacky quality to the soft stem and leaves that release a sticky residue when touched. New leaves are a vibrant green and have a unique, almost pine-like, tannic odor.
  • Adult trees retain the unusual scent and tacky leaves. The bark is deeply ridged in a consistent pattern and tinted a greyish brown. The understory is free of other small trees or vines. Walnuts produce a substance (juglones) that discourages plant growth around the base of the tree.
  • Vibrant green leaves are narrow and set along a single stem. This compound leaflet structure is known as pinnation- the leaves resemble a feather set evenly along a stem. Autumn turns the leaves an ochre/yellow and the entire pinnate falls from the tree.
  • The fruit emerges in the spring when tassels of green buds descend from the catkins. The catkins resemble a long, thin rattlesnake tail. Fertilized seeds ripen slowly over the summer, with these early nuts resembling fuzzy, green peaches. As the nut matures, a hard wooden shell is formed over the interior seed (walnut meat) and the outer husk is a pale green. Mature walnut husks have the look and texture of small Florida avocados.

Popular Varieties

The black and English walnut are two popular and common varieties in the U.S.

Black Walnut

This tree is revered for its fine wood as well as its unique flavored nuts. Black Walnuts are housed in a fissured, and surprisingly hard, black shell. The husk is thick and does not split open when ripe. Peeling the nut loose from the husk is a difficult task, leaving persistent tannin stains to anything it touches- but the mess is worth it. The fruity, luxurious tasting meats are hard to extract, but considered a delicacy by wildlife and chefs. Black Walnuts have a very distinctive and strong pine-like odor. Seedlings are regularly found growing in abundance around the adult trees – and these are the result of “forgotten” nuts planted by squirrels.

English Walnut

The Carpathian, Persian or English Walnut is a well known, fast growing (2 feet per year) variety with familiar shelled nuts that are easy to crack. The broad span of foliage is set in a rounded frame. The pale acorn-colored shell is shallowly ridged with a wave-like pattern, unlike the dark hue of the Black Walnut. Winged nut meats are extracted without too much effort and have a sweet, woodsy taste – these are the most common nutmeats produced commercially.

Location and Planting Tips

Walnuts are hardy and disease resistant trees. Decide on wether you want a fruiting, timber or shade tree (or all three). Before selecting the right variety, remember that all walnuts release juglone into the soil around their trunks. Shrubs, grass or ornamentals will not grow under any walnut trees. Don’t set the walnut near a building or where cars will be parked – chunky nuts will rain down upon hood, windshield and roof. Walnut trees are messy, shedding leaflets, stems and nuts from late summer to fall.

Trees can be grown directly from the nut, but visit a nursery or commercial garden center (many are online) to order your tree. Most trees are shipped as saplings. Follow these steps to plant your sapling:

  1. Dig a hole twice as big as the root ball.
  2. Set the tree into the hole and ensure the ground is level to where the tree and root sections separate; don’t plant too shallow or too deep.
  3. Mix the dirt from the hole with loam and back fill around the roots.
  4. Firm the soil around the root ball and water heavily.
  5. In windy areas, stake trees to help them set root.

Raising a Nut Tree

Once established, walnut trees require minimal care in most regions. The trees set a long tap root allowing them to access water at greater depths. Because of this, do not plant these trees near sewer or septic tanks.

Fertilizing the Tree

Fertilize mature trees with an organic mix or commercial 10-10-10 nutrient blend. Follow manufacturer’s directions for fruit/nut trees. Generally, don’t apply fertilizers during drought times or when the growing season is over. Apply the product in spring and early summer.

Pruning Your Tree

Prune trees as needed. Consult a professional arborist to handle difficult, or high, trimmings. Remove any damaged, diseased or dead limbs, and pick up leaf debris and fallen twigs periodically. This helps to prevent diseases and pests from taking hold.

Harvesting Walnuts

Fruits are set in the fall.

  • English Walnuts are ready for harvest when the husks split and the nuts fall. Gather dropped nuts, hand pick from the tree (or with an apple picker), or gently shake the limbs to encourage nuts to fall.
  • Black Walnuts are ready for collection in the fall. Ripe black walnuts will simply fall from the tree and are easy to collect. The husk does not split open, but it will be large and soft.

Pests and Diseases

Walnut trees rarely suffer from diseases but there are a few pests that pose a problem.

  • Husk flies emerge from the soil around your tree. Eggs are placed on the nuts where the larvae burrow into the husk. When the husk is opened the “maggots” are seen in the pulp. The walnut shell is disfigured, however, the nut meat is not destroyed. These flies are only of concern to commercial growers selling shelled walnuts. If you chose to remove these flies use a sweet (molasses) base mixed with an insecticide.
  • Fall webworms and omnivorous leafrollers lay eggs under the walnut leaves. Caterpillars hatch and begin setting webs that pull the leaves around them to allow the worm to feed in safety. The distinct curled and netted leaves are a telltale sign of webworm. Both pests can be controlled with a June application of BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis).
  • Walnut blight may occur in areas with high or persistent humidity enhanced by dampness. The disease proliferates in these conditions (the Pacific Northwest region). Catkins and young nut husks will show a browning (almost burnt appearance) at the base. Bordeaux mix (Copper sulphate and lime), or other copper based sprays, are used to control the infection. Timing is key. In wet conditions, begin applications when half of the catkins have emerged.

Start Your Orchard

Walnut trees are a fantastic addition to an orchard or landscape. These majestic trees offer a bounty of beauty, wood, shade and nuts – they can’t be beat. With few disease problems and care concerns, try planting a few walnuts in your area.

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