How long does it take a walnut tree to mature

How Long a Grafted Walnut Tree Takes to Bear Fruit | Home Guides

By Jolene Hansen

Waiting for a walnut tree (Juglans spp.) to bear its first crop requires patience, but rewards justify the wait. A healthy walnut is a large shade tree with abundant, nutritious nut fruits. Growing a grafted tree speeds up the process, delivering nuts in the shortest time frame. Choose a grafted variety suited to your location's climate and conditions. Before you know it, you'll enjoy walnuts from your own yard.

Grafted Advantages

  1. Walnut trees grow from seed, but many growers graft walnut seedlings onto seedling rootstocks of other walnut trees. Different rootstocks offer better resistance to prevailing regional diseases and insect pests. Grafting provides advantages in certain climates and soils, and it can shorten the time it takes the trees to mature. The majority of U.S. commercial walnuts are grown on the West Coast using English walnuts (Juglans regia) grafted on various rootstocks. Growers focus on the right balance between vigor and disease resistance to ensure walnut varieties overcome vulnerabilities and bear plentiful fruit.

Years to Crop

  1. By the time a grafted walnut makes it to a plant nursery, it's usually already 2 years old. The tree and rootstock both grow from seed the first year then are grafted together and grown for a second season. Once you plant a 2-year-old grafted walnut, expect to wait another four to five years for its first crop of nuts. A non-grafted, seedling-grown walnut often takes up to two years longer to bear its first nuts. A walnut develops a deep taproot as it matures, and so a young tree establishes most quickly after being transplanted. An older, larger tree has a more difficult time getting settled in its new location.

Walnut Culture

  1. Walnuts prefer full-sun locations with deep, well-drained soil. A location with at least 5 to 6 feet of soil depth provides a suitable home for the roots of a young, grafted walnut. A mature walnut withstands drought once established, but a young tree needs irrigation. Depending on weather, a young walnut in a Mediterranean climate needs 4 to 12 gallons of water per day. Always irrigate your walnut at the drip line -- below the tips of its outermost branches -- instead of at the trunk. Don't plant your walnut in the lawn; frequent shallow irrigation given to a lawn leads to root disease in the tree. In order to protect your young, grafted walnut from sunscald in a very hot climate, paint its trunk with a mixture that is one-half water and one-half white, interior, latex paint. It provides protection against insects, too.

Cultivar Selection

  1. Choose a grafted walnut variety with hardiness, flowering and harvest times suited to your climate. English walnut is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, but rootstocks vary. Northern California black walnut (Juglans hindsii), a popular rootstock, is hardy in only USDA zones 7 through 9. The cultivar affects pollination. Each walnut tree has separate male and female flowers, but the male flowers' release of pollen doesn't always coincide with female flowers' receptivity. For an abundant fall harvest, choose a cultivar in which the pollen release and receptivity overlap.


  • University of California-Davis, Fruit and Nut Research and Information: Walnuts in California
  • University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Walnuts -- Calendar of Operations for Home Gardeners
  • Royal Horticultural Society: Walnuts
  • California Polytechnic State University, Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute: English Walnut -- Juglans Regia
  • California Polytechnic State University, Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute: Northern California Black Walnut -- Juglans Hindsii
  • Stark Bros: How Many Years Until Your Tree Bears Fruit?

Writer Bio

Jolene Hansen is a lifelong gardening enthusiast and former horticulture professional. She is passionate about reshaping the way people experience gardens and gardening. Hansen's work appears regularly in consumer and trade publications, as well as numerous internet gardening and lifestyle channels.

How Many Walnuts Grow On A Tree? Full Walnut Timeline

Walnut trees, most commonly English and black walnuts in the United States, are used most often for their nut production and sometimes timber. But how many walnuts grow on a tree each year?

On average, a mature walnut tree produces 50 to 80 pounds of unshelled nuts every year. Many species of walnut tree will begin producing at 7 to 8 years old but take until the 15-year mark to mature fully. Some walnut trees produce more heavily every other year as well.

We’ll be discussing how to plant and properly care for a walnut tree. This includes pointers to help your walnut tree grow! Alongside this, we will cover the full timeline of a walnut tree’s life.

Just to add – when you shop using links from Tree Journey, we may earn affiliate commissions if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Walnut Growing Season And Conditions

Walnuts have a growing season ranging from 140 to 150 days, beginning in late April or early May.

Most walnut trees require the temperature to stay above 27 to 29 ℉ while in the early stages of ripening. Walnut harvesting season is from mid-September through November.

You can tell they are ready for harvest when the hulls turn green, split, and start to fall naturally from the tree. 

Despite this, there are some hardier species like the Carpathian English Walnut. These are better suited for harsh winter climates. The Common English walnut, butternut, heartnut, and black walnuts are more acceptable in milder and warmer climates. Be sure to choose the right species for your local climate! 

How Long Does It Take To Grow A Walnut Tree? A Full Timeline 

Say you find walnuts nearby. What’s next? How much time and care will go into growing it? How soon can you expect to harvest walnuts of your own? 

While walnut trees are not the most complex to care for, they do require more attention than some others, like oak trees. However, walnut trees give back many times over in nut production what they require in care. 

Starting from the top, or more appropriately the nut, let’s go through the full timeline of growing a walnut tree! 

If you’d like to learn more about walnuts, read our post: 8 Differences Between Black Walnut Trees and Walnut Trees.

Day 1: Finding Viable Walnuts To Plant

The first step to planting your own walnut tree is finding viable walnuts. Identify a local species of walnut tree and wait for the perfect moment.

Collect your walnuts in the fall during their harvest season! Some walnuts, like black walnuts, need to be hulled and washed directly after collection. When doing so, wear protective gloves. Some walnut trees have toxic oils on their leaves and in their sap. 

You might find something like the Large Nut Wizard useful for gathering numerous walnuts. You’ll need quite a few to get started, so collect as many as you see fit, within reason of course. It will also come in handy once your tree bears nuts for you to harvest in the future!

While you are washing your walnuts, discard any that may float. If walnuts float, they are underdeveloped or poorly filled. Poorly filled walnuts will not germinate properly, so keep an eye out for the ones that sink! They’ll be perfect to move on to the next step. 

From the walnuts that sunk during washing, cut open a small sample. If they are full of solid, white meat, then they are viable. Non-viable walnuts will be beige and give off an unpleasant smell. Use this information to generate a percentage of viable nuts out of what has been collected. 

If a large percentage of the harvested walnuts are viable, you will need fewer nuts per plot or container. Now we’re ready to move to the next stage of preparation, stratifying.

Day 1-120: Stratifying Your Walnuts

Stratification is an important, but not completely necessary, step to your walnut tree journey. It can be done in one of two ways. 

Place your walnuts in a container filled with a mixture of damp sterile sand and peat moss. This aids in germination and will help ensure it is uniform later on. Place the walnuts in your mixture at 2-3inch layers and keep refrigerated for 90 to 120 days.

An example of moss would be Hoffman Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss. It increases the amount of moisture your mixture will hold, as well as the time it will stay moist. When you’re keeping your walnuts moist for up to 4 months, dampening them less often definitely comes in handy!

While stratifying, you can use containers like coffee cans, plastic storage bags, buckets, and similar closed spaces. As long as they fit in your refrigerator, you can use them. 

During this time, the sand and peat moss mixture must remain moist and cool.

The optimal temperature range for stratifying walnuts is 33 to 40 ℉. In terms of moisture, the sand and peat should be damp to the touch, but not soaked. Too much moisture may lead to molding. 

This process can be done naturally as well, though it is less controlled. By planting in a similar mixture in the fall and leaving them throughout the winter, the walnuts will experience the same dormancy.

With this method, you risk a large freeze halting germination completely.  

After stratification is complete, you can finally move on to planting your walnuts! 

Day 1-120: Planting Walnuts In The Spring

According to the University of Missouri, there are multiple ways to plant your walnuts. These include planting in plots, creating a nursery, and planting in containers. 

If you are going to plant in a plot, also known as in place, there is a bit of extra preparation. A seedbed for planting is the first step. It should be in an area that gets full sun.

You should also weed the area and keep it weed-free throughout the time it takes your walnuts to sprout.  

After tilling and preparing the soil, dig 2 inch deep planting plots and place three to five stratified nuts per plot. Depending on the species, plots should be 20 to 80 feet apart.

The soil should be moist and kept moist for sprouting. Space out the walnuts in each plot as well as you will only keep the strongest ones in the future. 

A nursery is another viable method for planting multiple walnut trees. Unlike planting in a plot, these will require transplanting later on. A seedbed is the first step in this method as well, though it will look slightly different. 

Like before, till the soil and dig 2 inch deep holes for your walnuts. With this method, they should be 2 feet apart in rows that are a minimum of 4 feet apart.

Keep your nursery weeded and well-watered throughout sprouting and while growing your seedlings. You will transplant the seedlings the following year, which we will cover further down.

The last method, growing trees in containers, allows for the close monitoring of the nursery, with earlier and simpler transplanting later on.

Choose open bottom containers, the preferred type, or planters with sufficient drainage. The open bottom containers allow for air pruning, which helps prevent taproot circling. If you are using open bottom containers, place them on a wire bench to allow this air pruning to occur. 

The potting soil you choose needs to allow free movement of water throughout the entire container. Mix in a slow-release fertilizer that will allow your walnut tree to get the proper nutrients for approximately seven to nine months. 

Plant only one stratified nut per container and water daily. Container-grown trees require very careful attention and monitoring.

However, container-grown seedlings can be transplanted in the fall instead of the following spring. They can be held in containers over the winter, but be sure to keep the roots protected from freezing temperatures and insulated.

After the trees go dormant, cover them with an insulating cover or hay mulch.  

Day 1- Year 1: Fertilization And Transplanting Of Your Seedlings 

Keep an eye out for germination in four to five weeks. Your walnuts will begin sprouting and will require more attention. 

Around mid-June in all cases aside from container planting, fertilize your seedlings with a slow-release fertilizer. Each plot should be fertilized in the first method, and fertilization occurs per row in the nursery method. 

After fertilization, seedlings from the plot and nursery methods require watering once conditions become dry. Continue to water your container trees daily until transplanting. Any seedling area will need to be kept weed-free during this time as well. 

For your container planted trees, the transplanting season starts three weeks to a month before the first killing frost and can continue into mid-November. If you keep them warm and covered as we discussed before, they can be held until the spring. 

Weed and prepare the new planting location and start digging your walnut seedling a new home! The hole needs to be twice as wide as the root ball, and 16 to 18 inches deep, and spaced properly.

You should attempt to preserve as many roots as possible during this process. Space the holes according to the walnut species, though 30 to 50 feet is usually safe for planting at home. 

Throughout this first year, monitor all of your nursery and plot seedlings to decide which ones you will keep.

The strongest growing tree at each plot, as well as your strongest nursery contenders, needs to be selected out of the bunch. Any other seedlings can be cut off below the root collar and disposed of. 

You will transfer your nursery seedlings at the end of this section of the timeline. Once your seedlings are a year old, around March, the seedlings you choose to transplant need prepped.

To transplant, you will need to dig 16 to 18 inches deep around each seedling, preserving as many fibrous roots as you can.

The transplant process from here is the same as with the container-grown seedlings. Walnut seedlings will benefit from a layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches thick, kept away from the bark to prevent rotting.

Years 1-5: Growing Walnut Saplings

Once you have transplanted your saplings, the work gets lighter but does not end. Keeping the area weeded and properly watered is most important at this stage. 

For the first 2 years, your saplings will need your help to get water regularly. You should water your seedlings as soon as the ground has dried completely around them. Deep watering, or watering down into the soil, will also be necessary periodically. 

Deep watering can be done less frequently, around one to three times a month at the hottest point of the year, after the 2 to 3-year mark. The irrigation should occur about 2 feet deep around your tree. Walnut trees are not considered drought-hardy and benefit from this irrigation. 

Pruning will also help your sapling stay healthy and grow through the early stages. This should be done sometime between the late summer and late fall. If walnut trees are pruned during the late winter or spring, it may cause bleeding or excessive sap flow.  

When pruning, remove any damaged branches to prevent further spread. Thinning out crowded areas allows for more sunlight and air to reach the tree as well. 

Years 5-15: From Seedling To Fruit Bearing Walnut Tree

Year 5 is the earliest your tree will begin producing nuts, though most start year 7 or 8. By the time you reach year 15, your tree should be in full production, providing the 50 to 80 pounds of nuts mentioned earlier. 

When it comes to harvesting the fruits of your labor, you will know it’s time when the nuts begin to fall themselves. After you notice this, you can encourage the ripe nuts by gently shaking the limbs by hand or with something long and sturdy. 

At this point, the nut collector you used to collect your initial walnut will come in handy again! After shaking, roll the cage along the ground, gathering the nuts. The quality of walnuts depreciates quite quickly, so be sure to collect them often.

Nuts lose quality faster inside their husks. If the husks remain after harvest, remove them manually. Easier to remove husks can be hand-peeled or rolled against a hard surface until they come free. For those that are harder to remove, dampen and store in an airtight container for 1 to 3 days. 

All nuts need to be washed after their husks are removed to get rid of any remaining material. Walnut husks can stain your skin, so wear gloves!

Walnuts can then be dried in one of three ways between 95 and 105 ℉: 

  • Place on baking sheets outdoors: Make sure your trays somewhere they will receive plenty of sunlight (a southern wall preferably) and wait for 3 to 4 days.
  • Dry on baking sheets indoors: They can be dried similarly indoors with low humidity. 
  • Place in an onion sack: Hang indoors, but be sure to shake the bag daily to rotate the nuts. 

You can tell your walnuts are properly dried when the kernels and the packing material are brittle and break easily.  

Once dry, you can store walnuts for 3 months to 2 plus years depending on the storage method. Always keep them stored in a cool, dry place.

At room temperature, walnuts will keep for 3 to 6 months. 

To keep your walnuts good for even longer, store them at even lower temperatures. Below 32 ℉, they last up to a year. If you store them below 0℉, walnuts may stay good for 2 or more years. 

Years 15-50: Maturing Walnut Trees For Timber

Other than just nuts, walnut trees are often used for their timber. Walnut wood is very hard and sought after for projects such as furniture building. 

Your tree can fit the criteria for timber sale anywhere from 30 to 80 years after planting. The longer it is allowed to grow taller, the more it will be worth. Also, the straighter your walnut tree is, it is more likely to meet the proper standards for sale. 

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, there are two types of walnut wood quality. Veneer or lumber grade are the categories your tree might fall into.

The specifications for both are quite different, but veneer trees are much rarer, raising demand for them. 

Consult a forester to assist you in identifying the value of your trees.

Your Results Walnut Disappoint! 

Terrible puns aside, that’s all the information we have for now! Hopefully, you have a decent concept of what and how long growing a walnut tree takes.

With time and a bit of dedication, you’ll have walnuts to spare in the future!

You may decide to keep your walnut tree for many generations to enjoy. You might also decide to continue to plant and teach them how to sell their own trees in the future. Either way, your beautiful trees will provide for you and yours for many years to come.


Balandier, P., Lacointe, A., Le Roux, X., Sinoquet, H., Cruiziat, P., & Le Dizès, S. (2000). SIMWAL: a structural-functional model simulating single walnut tree growth in response to climate and pruning.  Annals of Forest Science57(5), 571-585.

University, U. S. (n.d.). Walnuts in the Home Orchard. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from

Pecan and Black Walnut in Agroforestry Practices. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2021, from

Le Dizès, S., Cruiziat, P., Lacointe, A., Sinoquet, H., Le Roux, X., Balandier, P., & Jacquet, P. (1997). A model for simulating structure-function relationships in walnut tree growth processes.

Selling Walnut Timber. (n.d.). Missouri Department of Conservation.

How a walnut grows, what a tree looks like when it needs to be harvested


  • 1 Where does a walnut grow
    • 1.1 Where does a walnut grow in the world
    • 1. 2 Where does a walnut grow in Russia
    • Does a walnut grow in 1.3 Moscow region
  • 2 How does a walnut grow and ripen
    • 2.1 What does a walnut tree look like
    • 2.2 How many years does a walnut grow
    • 2.3 How long does a walnut grow before fruiting
    • 2.4 How quickly a walnut
    • 9000 2.5 grows how many nuts give walnut
  • 3 When to harvest walnuts
    • 3.1 when the walnuts are harvested in the middle lane
    • 3.2 walnuts ripen in Crimea
  • 4 How to understand that a walnut is ripe
  • 5 How walnuts are harvested
  • 6 Conclusion

The birthplace of the walnut is Central Asia. On the territory of Russia, the tree appeared thanks to Greek traders, hence the corresponding name - walnut. Walnut grows almost all over the world. It is successfully cultivated in Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and the Caucasus. Hazel gained popularity due to the beneficial properties of fruits, green mass and bark.

Where the walnut grows

Walnut grows almost everywhere: some varieties are well suited for planting in the northern regions. Some species can tolerate long frosts, are practically immune to pests. The preferred place of growth is in well-lit, spacious, not wetlands. Hazel grows rapidly on hills, in loamy soils.

Where the walnut grows in the world

The tree grows in places with a temperate climate, however, prefers the southern regions. Wild landings can be seen on the territory of Transcaucasia and in the Talysh mountains. Often, wild hazel grows in the humid gorges of the Himalayas. Nuts are specially grown in China, India, Austria, Greece. They practice planting in the gardens of Germany and Italy.

Walnut plantations can be seen in the Tien Shan mountains, on the territory of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These forests are considered the largest in the world.

Where the walnut grows in Russia

Trees are common in the middle lane, they are also regularly planted in the southern regions of Russia. They practice landing in the Moscow and Leningrad regions. In the northern regions, cultivation is worse. The tree does not tolerate prolonged low temperatures, the maximum limit is 30 degrees below zero.

Important! Long frosts are detrimental to walnuts, low temperatures affect the quantity and quality of the crop.

Breeders develop varieties that can grow for a long time at very low temperatures. But in most cases, such seedlings practically do not bear fruit.

Do walnuts grow in the Moscow region

Walnuts are successfully grown in the Moscow region. The tree grows in gardens and park areas. In the state register of selection achievements there are more than 25 varieties that take root well in this area. Trees tolerate frost well, and in summer they are able to withstand a long absence of watering.

It should be remembered that the planting of each seedling has its own agricultural practices and characteristics. Proper care will help grow a strong tree with high yields.

In the Moscow region, it is recommended to plant seedlings away from drafts. In the first years of life, the main trunk is fragile, so it can break off in strong winds. The best option for landing would be a well-lit area near buildings and buildings. When planting in a summer cottage, attention should be paid to the fact that in the process of growth the tree obscures a large area, so vegetables must be planted away from the nut.

Important! Walnut during the growth process releases phytoncides, which can harm other vegetation.

How does a walnut grow and ripen? Therefore, at the age of 25–45 years, the seedling is considered young and is in the juvenile period. A feature of the walnut is that the quantity and quality of the crop increases with age.

Walnut grows well and develops under optimal climatic conditions. Tolerates dry weather and mild frosts. However, returning frosts are dangerous for the seedling. Spring sharp change in temperature is detrimental to vegetation. The main shoots and leaves are damaged, which later affects the yield. Over time, new branches are formed, but this takes a lot of time.

The fruit ripening period on the tree is August-September, rarely October. The exact harvesting period depends on the region of growth and the variety planted.

There are several types:

  • early;
  • medium early;
  • late.

Each species has differences in the period of flowering and final fruiting. For each region, the appropriate variety should be selected.

What a walnut tree looks like

During the period of active development and growth, a walnut tree forms a wide trunk, reaching 30 m in height, 2 m in diameter. The color of the bark is grayish-white, the crown is dense and wide with a large number of branches. The root is powerful, it goes deeper into the ground by more than 7 m. The lateral root system is quite long - more than 10 m.

The alternate leaves are compound, pinnate. The length of the plate is 5–7 cm. The green mass with a peculiar aroma looks very attractive during flowering. The flowers are small, green, collected in neat earrings. Flowering period: end of April - beginning of May, duration - 2 weeks. In late-ripening varieties, buds may re-bloom - in the middle of summer. Pollination occurs with the help of wind or pollen from nearby plants.

Walnuts grow on sprawling trees with a crown diameter of about 20 m. Fruits are hard, brown in color, have a four-lobed seed, covered with a thin film. The peel is green, dense in structure, slightly wrinkled and bumpy.

How many years does a walnut grow? When planted in optimal climatic conditions, it can grow and bear fruit well up to 600 years. Wild trees in forest areas can live for more than 1200 years.

How long does a walnut grow before fruiting

The period of full growth and development of the plant depends on the variety. On early ripening species, the first fruits appear 3–6 years after planting. Mid-season and late-ripening before the first fruiting grow and develop for at least 10 years. From 10–12 years old, a tree can produce from 1 to 5 kg of crop per season. Mature trees that have reached the age of 50-60 bear fruit abundantly.

Attention! The older the tree, the higher the yield.

How fast the walnut grows

Mid-season and late varieties grow for quite a long time, often they can survive more than one owner. Early maturing trees grow much faster, but these species require some care.

How many nuts does a walnut produce? This indicator may vary depending on the age of the tree, the region of growth and the quality of care. A seedling that is about 10 years old bears little fruit - a maximum of 5 kg of fruit per year.

When to harvest walnuts

Regular walnuts ripen in early autumn. A more accurate harvest time depends on the region in which it is grown. During the ripening of the crop, the foliage on the branches acquires a dull color, and the fruits fall to the ground on their own.

It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with some signs by which you can determine the exact timing of harvesting:

  • cracking of the green pericarp;
  • Most leaves yellow;
  • Harvest dates can be determined by knowing the varietal characteristics of the plant.

When walnuts are harvested in the middle lane

Growing a plant in the middle lane is a laborious process. In this region, hazel trees bear fruit irregularly. When creating favorable conditions for growth, you can harvest a good harvest. The fruits begin to fall from the tree by August, but most of them do not separate the pericarp well. The harvested crop is first placed in a dark, cool place, after full ripening, it is well dried in the sun.

When walnuts ripen in the Krasnodar Territory

In the Krasnodar Territory, the harvest takes place a little later. Full ripening of walnuts in this region occurs in mid-September. The trees growing in Krasnodar are significantly different from those grown in other regions: their fruiting is plentiful, the main part of the harvest is impressive in size.

When walnuts ripen in Crimea

Crimea belongs to the region where walnuts are actively grown. Due to favorable climatic conditions, the tree grows throughout the Crimea. Fruit picking is carried out closer to August. However, in order to avoid spoilage by rodents and other pests, some gardeners prefer to harvest much earlier. Unripe fruits with a green pericarp are knocked down with a stick and left to dry under the sun. After a couple of days, the peel is easily separated, then drying is performed.

How to tell if a walnut is ripe

When it's time to harvest, the fruit begins to fall off the tree. It should be remembered that the tree matures and grows unevenly, so harvesting is not carried out in 1-2 days, sometimes this process drags on for weeks. After the ripened fruits have fallen to the ground, it is recommended to collect within a day, otherwise there is a high probability of damage by rodents and insects.

Another indicator of maturation is the cracking of the pericarp. This process can occur right on the tree. Therefore, the harvesting procedure can be carried out earlier, I used a roll to churn fruits.

Attention! In order to avoid damage to walnuts, experienced gardeners recommend using special harvesting tools: the process is comfortable for the gardener, the fruits are not damaged.

How walnuts are harvested

Timely harvesting of a ripe crop is a very important task. Having correctly determined the exact timing of ripening, you can begin to harvest the fruits.

Due to the fact that the tree is tall, manual harvesting is a rather laborious process. Often, ripe walnuts are knocked down with a stick or removed with a special roll for collection. The collected fruits are shaken well, cleaned of green peel. If the pericarp does not separate well, the crop is dried in the sun.

Harvesting rules for walnuts:

  1. Fruits that have fallen to the ground must be harvested within 24 hours, otherwise there is a high risk of damage to the crop by mold. Earth moisture destroys the amniotic membrane, spoilage of the product begins.
  2. If the harvest is done with a stick, ripe nuts and unripe nuts in the pericarp may fall to the ground. Such a crop should be harvested in separate containers. Fruits with pericarp should be kept for several days in the basement or cellar.
  3. If unripe fruits are harvested, place the crop in a dark, cool place, wait for full ripeness. This procedure must be performed with nuts that do not separate the pericarp. When the shell begins to move away well from the shell, the crop is fully ripe.
  4. Walnuts can be harvested when the protective skin of the fruit begins to crack. To do this, shake the branches of the tree. However, as practice shows, it is quite difficult to knock down most of the nuts with this method, so gardeners resort to using long objects.
  5. Well-ripened fruits may be damaged if they fall on hard ground. In this case, it is recommended to use special harvesting tools.


Walnut grows in almost every region. By creating optimal conditions for growing a tree, you can get a plentiful and high-quality harvest. It should be noted that at least 10 years pass from the moment of planting to the first fruiting. In the process of active growth, the tree needs some care. To obtain an early harvest, it is recommended to choose early-ripening varieties adapted to the climatic conditions of the region.

When does a walnut begin to bear fruit, after how many years | Lifestyle

If a walnut does not bear fruit, the reasons may be related to the characteristics of the variety, improper agricultural practices, and pests. The plant can "fatten" and not bear fruit. Having studied the main causes and characteristics of a particular variety, you can understand what to do first.


  1. Peculiarities of walnut fruiting
  2. What year does the walnut begin to bear fruit
  3. How for how many years a walnut is fruiting
  4. The time of ripening of the fruits of walnut
  5. How much fruits gives a walnut tree
  6. Why walnut does not bear fruit
  7. The variety
  8. Violation of the Landing Rules
  10. Lack of pollinator
  11. Pests and diseases
  12. How to make walnuts bear fruit
  13. Pro tips
  14. Conclusion

Peculiarities of walnut fruiting

Walnuts are harvested while still green, until the shell cracks. Therefore, it is important to learn how to determine the readiness of ripening by several signs:

  1. The main one is that cracks began to appear on the green shell. This means that you need to act as quickly as possible.
  2. Leaves are starting to turn yellow.
  3. The deadline has come. For most varieties, this is the end of summer or the first half of September.
  4. The nuts have become heavier. Fruit weight varies from 10 to 30 g, depending on the variety.
It is better to harvest fruits before the green shell cracks

What year does the walnut begin to bear fruit

Normally, the walnut bears fruit for 6–8 years. The specific period depends on the variety, so in some cases the crop is harvested after 4-5 years (sometimes even after 2-3 years), and in others - only after 10-12. Depending on how old the walnut begins to bear fruit, as well as on the size of the fruits themselves, the varieties are classified into three large groups.


How many years does a walnut bear fruit? Nuts continue to appear later - until the end of the life of the plant itself. We can say that fruiting lasts 100-150, and sometimes 200-300 years.

Terms of ripening of walnut fruits

Each variety of walnut bears fruit after a certain time - on average, after 3.5–4 months from the moment of abundant flowering of the tree:

  • if the inflorescences appeared in April-May, the fruits can be harvested from the second half of August to mid-September;
  • if flowering began in June, the crop is harvested from mid-September to early October.

It is not necessary to wait until the end of fruiting of the walnut. The fruits can be harvested while still green, before cracking. They are placed in boxes and sent to ripen in a moderately cool place for 10-15 days. After that, the green shell is easy to remove with your hands. Theoretically, the collection can be started after cracking. But in this case, part of the crop will inevitably be lost due to birds and pests.

How many fruits a walnut tree gives

After how many years a walnut begins to bear fruit, and what yield it shows, largely depends on the variety and care features. The most prolific representatives, for example, the Ideal variety, give 100–120 kg from one adult tree (age from 15–20 years). In this case, the yield of nuclei by weight ranges from 50 to 65%.

If we assume that one fruit weighs 10–12 g, then about 9–10 thousand units can be collected from each tree. In terms of 1 ha of plantings, the yield reaches 3–3.5 tons. The indicators are averaged, they depend both on the characteristics of the fruiting variety, and on agricultural technology and weather conditions.

A mature tree produces more than 100 kg of walnuts per season

Why a walnut does not bear fruit

If a walnut does not bear fruit, this may be due to both improper care and climatic reasons. Sometimes gardeners also choose the wrong variety or do not take into account the peculiarities of its cultivation (the need for a pollinator).

Wrong variety

Some varieties bear fruit after 3 years, others much later (10–12 years). Therefore, you can expect a harvest only after this time. And normal fruiting occurs only in relatively mature trees that are at least 15 years old.

Violation of the planting rules

If even after 10-12 years the walnut does not bear fruit, this may be due to a violation of the planting rules. Specific rules depend on the characteristics of the variety. A scheme from 10x10 to 14x14 m is considered a classic. If the trees are not too sprawling, other options are also used - in the range from 8x4 to 14x7 m (the first number is the distance between rows, the second is between holes).

Violation of the rules of care

Often, incorrect agricultural practices also lead to a violation of the fruiting of a walnut. Most common mistakes:

  1. Too dense crown - thinning should be carried out regularly. This is usually done in early spring, before the buds begin to swell. During pruning, all old, dried and broken branches are removed.
  2. Over-watering - normally water should be given no more than 2-3 times a month (in case of light rainfall).
  3. Violation of the top dressing regime: fertilizers are given 1 or 2 times per season. In the spring they are fed with nitrogen, and towards the end of summer - with a mixture of superphosphate and potassium salt.

Climatic conditions

The fruiting of the walnut is also disturbed in case of adverse weather conditions:

  1. Weak wind - pollen does not have time to get from male flowers to female ones, as a result of which the ovaries do not produce so many fruits.
  2. Heavy rains, cloudiness provoke the development of white spotting.
  3. Prolonged drought has a negative effect on fruiting.

Therefore, you should pay attention to weather forecasts, regulate watering, and, if necessary, carry out artificial pollination.

No pollinator

The walnut is self-fertile because it produces both male and female flowers (on the same tree). Very often they pollinate each other, so fruiting is normal. But sometimes pollen may not fall, and a significant number of ovaries do not bear fruit.

Often the lack of fruiting is due to poor pollination

If the walnut does not bear fruit for this reason, it is important to understand what to do first:

  1. Wait for the pollen to ripen and tear off a branch from another plant, and then shake it over the one that has problems with yield.
  2. Pollen can simply be collected in a natural cloth bag. At the stage of blooming anthers, earrings are selected and laid out on paper, kept for a day at normal temperature, after which pollen is scattered over the branches.
  3. However, both of these methods are not very convenient, so for a longer-term effect, you can graft a branch from a tree that has begun to bloom and still bears fruit normally.

Pests and diseases

Pests interfere with walnut fruiting: white American butterfly, nut gall mite, codling moth, sapwood (weevil beetle).

Insects are controlled with pheromone traps and insecticides:

  • Fitoverm;
  • "Decis";
  • "Confidor";
  • "Colorado";
  • Vertimek and others.

Sometimes a tree suffers from various diseases (white spot, bacteriosis). The provoking factors are the violation of the norm of irrigation: both a lack and an excess of water. Therefore, you need to monitor the volumes, especially in rainy or dry summers.

Notice! As a preventive measure to maintain normal fruiting, it is necessary to periodically thin out the crown, inspect trees and destroy branches with caterpillar nests.

How to make a walnut bear fruit

If the specific cause is known, it can be eliminated, after which the yield will be restored. But in practice, not one, but a whole combination of different factors can be observed. Therefore, you need to take care of normal growing conditions, which will make the walnut bear fruit:

  1. Plant another variety nearby and attract insects for pollination (place as many flowers as possible on the plot).
  2. Thin out the crown regularly.
  3. Dig the soil under the tree with a pitchfork, then apply organic fertilizer, such as humus or compost (30–40 kg per 1 m2).
  4. Do not allow the soil to dry out - always make sure that the soil is sufficiently watered. In order to prevent excessive moisture, it is better to mulch the plantings with peat, humus and other materials, then the soil will remain moist for a long time even in the heat.
Proper watering, feeding, mulching and loosening the soil can speed up fruiting

Pro tips

Walnut fruiting does not always go as expected. Therefore, experienced gardeners have developed a system of care rules for different occasions:

  1. Prepare a section of a branch from a tree that produces pollen in advance (especially if the weather is calm for several days in a row).

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