How to plant black walnut trees from seed

How to Plant Black Walnut Trees From Seeds With Husks | Home Guides

By Sasha Degnan Updated December 15, 2018

With their stately growth habit and sweet-fleshed nuts, black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) serve a dual role in landscaping as an ornamental shade tree and edible crop. They grow best within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, where they will reach a mature height of approximately 100 feet with a gracefully spreading foliage crown. Nonhybrid varieties of black walnut trees grow reliably well from seed, which should be removed from the husk and sown while still fresh. The seeds germinate rapidly once exposed to warm conditions, although they must be chilled before sowing to break their dormancy.

  1. 1.

    Gather black walnut seeds in late autumn after the rubbery husks ripen to a bright, yellowish-green color. Collect the fruit from the ground. Avoid any fruit with obvious signs of insect or vermin damage, such as large holes and black spots.

  2. 2.

    Put on thick gloves before working with black walnuts, since the husks will stain your skin. Remove the husk from each seed by scoring it lightly around the outside with a utility knife. Pry off the husk and discard it.

  3. 3.

    Place the husked black walnut seeds in a bucket of water. Soak them overnight to determine which are viable. Discard any walnuts that float to the surface. Sow the walnuts that sink to the bottom.

  4. 4.

    Place the black walnuts in a 2-gallon sealable plastic storage bag filled with moistened perlite. Press them into the perlite until they are covered completely. Store the bag in the refrigerator for three to four months. Remoisten the perlite whenever it feels barely damp.

  5. 5.

    Prepare containers for the black walnut seeds after the cold stratification period has ended. Fill 1-gallon nursery containers with a mixture of equal parts compost, potting soil and coarse sand. Add water until the mixture feels moderately moist in the top 5 inches.

  6. 6.

    Sow one black walnut seed in each pot at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Set the pots inside a ventilated cold frame or outdoors against a south-facing wall. Choose a spot offering light shade during the hottest part of the day.

  7. 7.

    Keep the soil mixture consistently moist in the top 3 inches during the germination process. Water whenever the soil dries out slightly in the top inch. Never let the soil dry out completely.

  8. 8.

    Warm the pots to between 70 and 85 F if daytime temperatures stay below 65 F. Use a germination mat or a greenhouse heating coil. Turn off the heating element at night.

  9. 9.

    Watch for the first seedlings in four to six weeks. Turn off the heating element once seedlings emerge. Move the black walnut seedlings to a sheltered, lightly shaded area outdoors.

  10. 10.

    Acclimate the black walnuts to direct sun over the course of one week. Grow them in full sun during the summer months, but provide light shade during the hottest part of the day if growing them in a hot, dry inland area. Provide 1 inch of water weekly.


    Established walnut trees need at least 25 inches of rain or the application of an equivalent amount of water per year.

  11. 11.

    Plant the black walnut seedlings in a permanent bed in autumn when they reach a diameter of 1/4 to 3/8 inch. Choose a sunny or lightly shaded area with acidic, moist soil and clear weeds and brush from the site.


    When preparing permanent sites for your trees, consider that walnut trees can reach about 70 feet in diameter when mature.

  12. 12.

    Dig a hole for each seedling that's big enough to hold its roots and pack the soil around the roots tightly to remove air pockets. There's no need to fertilize at planting.

    Things You Will Need

    Test the ripeness of the fruit by pressing your thumb lightly against the husk; if it leaves an indentation, it is ripe.


    Position your trees at least 25 feet away from structures and walkways to prevent heaving and root damage.


  • Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute SelecTree: Black Walnut
  • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Germination of Tree Seed
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Harvesting Black Walnuts
  • University of Florida Department of Environmental Horticulture; Landscape Plant Propagation Information; Juglans Nigra
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Black Walnut
  • University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension: Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs

Writer Bio

Samantha McMullen began writing professionally in 2001. Her nearly 20 years of experience in horticulture informs her work, which has appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News.

Complete How To Guide ForGrow ingBlack Walnut Trees


This Guide Will Show You How To Grow Your Own Black Walnut Trees

We show you how to collect, husk, stratify, plant and prune black walnut trees.

Collecting Nuts

There three ways to collect walnuts; pick them up off the ground in the fall, shake nuts loose from a tree using a telescopic branch holder or climb the tree and shake individual branches by hand. Picking them up off the ground after they drop in the fall is by far the easiest and safest way to collect walnuts and should provide a thousand walnuts or more from a reasonably mature tree.

Separating The Husk From The Nut

Separating the husk from a walnut is time consuming, messy work. There are two ways to do this; one is to soak about 50-husked nuts together in a five-gallon pail for 2 days. This will soften and loosen the husks from their nuts to be easily pulled apart by hand.

The other way to separate husks is to fill a 20-gallon drum half full of water and pour in approximately 200 walnuts. Allow the nuts to soak for 48 hours. Then using a power cord drill (a cordless drill will not be powerful enough for the job) with an agitator attachment (this is the same attachment they use to mix paint or drywall plaster, which can be purchased at most hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowes, Tractor Supply, etc. ) stir the nut filled water for about 5 minutes. Then using a small 1-gallon children’s beach pail, scoop some of the mixture out of the drum and pour it into an upturned milk crate placed on top of a overturned milk crate. The milk crates will work as a sieve and give an elevated workstation so there is less bending over and strain on your back. Vigorously spraying the soaked nuts with a garden hose will separate the husks from the nuts. Set aside in a cool place – do not let them dry out unless you are cracking the nuts to eat.


Black walnut trees are temperate and require stratification in order to germinate in the spring. Stratification simply means to artificially create dormancy for a sufficient period to induce germination. Black walnut needs 3 to 4 months of dormancy before you can sow the seed. To start the process, clean and soak the nuts for 24 hours. Then strain and lay them out on a towel to dry at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Fill several large self-sealing plastic bags with nuts, peat and potting mix leaving just a little room at the top. Seal the bag and gently shake until nuts and soil are thoroughly mixed. It’s important not to add too many walnuts so you have good separation of soil between nuts. A crowded nut bag will rot the nuts in just a few weeks. Place the nut filled bags face down, one on top of each other in a second fridge (perhaps you can buy a second hand fridge and put in the garage). Do not place nut bags in your fridge where you keep food. After a few months, the nuts are ready to plant. If you stratify black walnuts in December, then your nuts should be ready to plant by the spring.

Planting Black Walnut Trees

Remove the stratification bags from the fridge and take them to the planting site. If you are planting black walnut trees the traditional way, then stringing a line between two stakes hammered into the ground will provide a guide to plant the seeds in a straight line. Use a shovel to dig small holes about 5 inches deep every 15 to 20 feet along the line. Place the seed in the hole and cover. Repeating the string and plant method will create rows of trees that should be spaced 25 feet apart.

How To Transplant Black Walnut Tree Seedlings

If you are transplanting black walnut tree seedlings, you will need to auger deep round holes in the soil. The holes should be wider and deeper than the tree seedling root. Depending on how many tree seedlings you need to plant, the auger can be handheld, or PTO driven. The string and plant method can also be used to align and space rows of transplanted tree seedlings.

Pruning Black Walnut Trees

If you are growing black walnut for nuts, there are two schools of thought to improve yield: heading and non-heading the trees. Heading involves topping the main trunk of the tree each season at a specified height. The thought behind this type of pruning is to encourage more branch development and with more branch development, more nuts. With non-heading only the lateral branches are pruned.

If you are growing black walnut for timber, then lateral branch pruning is a must to grow knot-free trunk wood for veneer and lumber. Pruning should start the second year after transplant giving the tree at least one season to establish itself. Pruning should continue year-to-year until the trunk of the tree has grown to a sawlog length of 12 feet. Continued pruning will create longer length sawlog that will exponentially increase the value of the tree.

Calculate Spacing And Distance Between Black Walnuts For A Tree Plantation

Black Walnut North American Growing Zones

Black walnut naturally grows in Eastern Canada and the United States, with the highest concentration in the Southern States. Although native to Eastern North America, this tree also grows in microclimates around the world.

Growing Black Walnut For Wood And Timber

High-density tree stands create more dark colored heartwood, increasing wood value. Dense tree stands encourage trees to grow faster and straighter as well. Young tree seedlings can be thinned when they achieve an 8 to 10-inch caliper giving room for the remaining trees to grow much larger.

Black Walnut Wood

The heartwood of this tree wood ranks with the most durable woods, including cedars, chestnut, and black locust, even under conditions that favor decay. Because of the unique color and grain characteristics, walnut wood has been a prized wood for furniture, cabinets, millwork, flooring and other decorative interior applications, as well as gunstocks. Bookcases, desks, dining room tables, bedroom furniture, office furniture, and many other pieces are frequently made of black walnut. Because of its low movement after seasoning, walnut is particularly suitable for gunstocks. Figured black walnut stocks are prized for expensive shotguns, sporting rifles, bowls and artistic carvings.

The following comments were collected from a national wood products discussion forum using black walnut wood in the United States.

Comment from contributor A:

Recognized as one of the most lovely and finest hardwoods, these days black walnut wood is in short supply. As a result, the wood is often cut into veneers and used to cover less-expensive woods in furniture making. A large diameter tree with a tall straight trunk can be worth tens of thousands of dollars and can produce enough veneer to cover 3 acres. And yes, there are black walnut tree rustlers – just ask mu neighbor.

Comment from contributor B:

The big money comes from veneer grade black walnut trees.They will be in the saw log class at 14 inches in diameter. Veneer grade trees will be 21 inches in diameter. The price per log triples from saw log to veneer. Get in touch with your service forester or private forestry consultant. Anyone with tall veneer grade trees may have a gold mine that is worth investigating further.

Comment from contributor C:

If you have one or two or even a dozen black walnut trees in your yard and think you are sitting on a fortune in valuable wood, think again. The most valuable trees are straight and tall with even grain and diameter over 16 inches at breast height. Yard trees rarely have these characteristics. In addition, many yard trees have had nails, fence wire, horseshoes, and other metal objects attached that grow into the wood. This ruins the most valuable part of the tree from a veneer perspective and drastically reduces its value for sawlogs. Very rarely will a timber buyer mess around with yard trees.

Comment from contributor D:

If your black walnut tree has a damaged or crooked trunk and you want to get a nice straight tree that is much more valuable later on, you can cut down smaller trees with an established root system to the ground and they will send up a shoot that grows straighter and faster than the original.

Comment from contributor E:

Several key characteristics determine the value of this tree for timber or veneer; trunk diameter, merchantable height, and how free the trunk is from defects such as knots and damage from lightning. Quality lumber and veneer trees generally have diameters of 18 inches or greater.

Comment from contributor F:

The length of tree trunk that can be used for lumber or veneer is called its merchantable height. Merchantable height is usually the trunk height a foot off the ground to start of major branches or forking. Minimum merchantable height for lumber and veneer black walnut trees is 10 feet. Quality lumber and veneer trees will have merchantable heights that are several times that height. The quality of a hardwood tree is measured by how free its trunk is from defects such as crookedness, limbs, knots, scars, swellings, bumps, cracks, holes, insect or disease damage, and wounds. Other factors being equal, the fewer the defects, the more valuable the tree. High-value lumber and veneer trees have few visible defects. On the other hand, Walnut trees with numerous defects are of little economic value. In general, the larger the tree's diameter and merchantable height and the more free the trunk is from defects, the greater its economic value for lumber or veneer.

Comment from contributor G:

With all these positive attributes black walnut still accounts for less than 1% of the hardwood production in the US. Walnut wood is expensive, generally the highest priced domestic hardwood. Most logs are short; special grading rules allow for 6’ being included in FAS, the top grade. Lengthier logs would be worth considerably more.

Useful Links

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The best time to plant black walnut trees was 20 years ago.

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black walnut planting and care in open ground


  • 1 characteristics of black walnut
  • 2 Growing black walnut
  • 3 Black nut trims
  • 4 benefits of black nut fruits
  • 5 than the fruits of black walnut
  • 9000 6 wood 6 wood. black walnut
  • 7 Description
  • 8 Growing
    • 8.1 Characterization of the crop
    • 8.2 Growing conditions
    • 8.3 Planting and care
    • 8.4 Application
  • 9 Description of black nut
  • 10 Fruits of wood
  • 11 American nuts in a summer cottage
  • 12 subtleties of landing and care of a nut
  • 13 The main rules of fertilizers
  • 14 Diseases and parasites


Black walnut is the closest relative of the well-known walnut. Black walnut is native to North America, but there are many other places where black walnut grows. It has become widespread due to its use in medicine, cooking and everyday life. The tree got its name due to the specific color of the fruits, wood and roots.

Black walnut is a close relative of walnut

Characteristics of black walnut

The plant has a number of features that make it difficult to confuse it with other nuts.

The tree looks like this:

  • the crown is quite wide, with spreading branches down;
  • the bark is chocolate black with deep fissures all over its surface;
  • dark brown wood with a strong texture that can be easily machined;
  • rhizome is rod, extends over great distances;
  • leaves pinnate, oval, excised with small notches along the outer edge;
  • produces long light green catkins when flowering in the middle;
  • round shape of the fruit with a pointed end, the peel is light green during ripening, darkens later;
  • fruit shell has a special dark color.

Black walnut can be found throughout Europe, except for the Scandinavian countries, because the climate there is too harsh for this tree. Also grows in the deciduous forests of central Russia, where it was introduced at the end of the 18th century.

Young fruits of black walnut have a light green skin

Growing black walnut

If you decide to grow black walnut on your plot, you need to consider some features of this tree. The leaves are able to produce phytoncides - biologically active substances with bactericidal properties. They not only fight bacteria, but also improve respiratory function and heart rate, and also help to cope with headaches or migraines. But in addition to pathogenic bacteria, with a high concentration of phytoncides in the air, those that are vital to the human body can die. For this reason, it is better to plant young trees at a distance of 15-20 meters from each other.

Seedlings for breeding can be purchased from nurseries or grown independently from a nut. The second option will take longer.

Walnut is soaked for several weeks in water at room temperature, constantly changing it so that it does not stagnate. After pecking, the sprout is planted in fertile wet soil.

The plant has some requirements for environmental conditions and care:

  1. Black walnut does not like acidic and slightly acidic soil. Preference is given to neutral and slightly alkaline soil, otherwise the plant will not be able to prepare for winter in time and will die.
  2. Wood is very fond of moisture. In Indiana, black walnuts are flooded for one month, and sometimes a little more. The roots at this time are completely under water, but the plant does not receive any damage from this.
  3. The temperature regime largely depends on the age of the nut and its condition. Despite the fact that it comes from a warm region, a mature, healthy tree can normally survive winters with frosts down to -40 ° C, while young or injured trees cannot.

It is not recommended to plant birch, apple, pear and plum trees, tomatoes, potatoes and other nightshades in close proximity to the tree. Plants planted close to black walnut will die so quickly that the gardener will not have time to understand what happened to them. By producing the toxin juglone, the black walnut very quickly oppresses the plants closest to it.

An apple tree will not grow near a walnut tree

Pruning a black walnut tree

Planting and care also includes pruning a tree. A properly formed crown increases the productivity of the tree and promotes the growth of side branches. A feature of this tree is its typical growth method for forest plants. The trunk lengthens over time and is cleared of the lower branches, forming a green mass at the top.

It is best to prune in the spring, when there is little danger of heavy night frosts. Remove dry branches with a pruner or saw. Branches directed to the middle of the crown are also subject to pruning. The renewed tree gives bountiful harvests.

To make the tree squat, use the apical pruning method, removing the top growth point from young trees at the age of three.

Pruning removes branches towards the middle of the trunk

Benefits of black walnut fruit

Black walnut fruit is used as a dietary supplement. They are a source of fatty acids, trace elements and vitamins of groups B, A, PP, E and C. 10 nuts contain a daily dose of iodine, which improves thyroid function and helps strengthen immunity during colds and respiratory diseases. Also, black nuts are a source of carotene and tannin.

They have the following properties:

  • improves skin tone, helps to smooth mimic wrinkles;
  • dilates blood vessels, lowering blood pressure;
  • relieves muscle spasms, especially well against pain in women during menstruation;
  • destroys worms, helps to cope with intoxication by the waste products of parasites;
  • strengthens the immune system;
  • reduces the risk of malignant tumors;
  • cleanses the blood and lymph;
  • reduces irritability;
  • eliminates free radicals;
  • helps fight infectious diseases;
  • cleanses the skin of the face from acne;
  • stimulates the brain.

The properties of black walnut make it an indispensable product in the diet of any person, especially those who suffer from diabetes and impaired glucose absorption. Thanks to the substances contained in the kernels of the nut, the work of the pancreas, liver and kidneys improves.

Black nuts have a whole range of medicinal properties

It is recommended for an adult to eat 8-10 nuts a day to get enough natural iodine, vitamins and minerals. Children should be given no more than five pieces.

Kernels can be consumed fresh and lightly toasted. In the second case, the nucleoli acquire a refined taste, but lose most of the nutrients. Also, black walnut fruits are used for making desserts and as a seasoning for first and second courses.

In medicine, in addition to the kernels of this nut, the juice of the plant's pericarp is used. The green pulp is pressed to obtain a dark brown liquid rich in iodine.

It can stop bleeding and significantly speed up wound healing. Also, a tincture is made from the pericarp, which helps to cure thrush without pills and suppositories.

Why black walnut fruits are harmful

Despite the huge list of positive aspects of eating black walnut fruits, there are also disadvantages. Due to their high fat content, kernels are high in calories. For this reason, people who are overweight are advised to use nuts with great care. Do not abuse this delicacy for allergy sufferers. Nuts are strong allergens and can lead not only to itching and skin rashes, but also to Quincke's edema.

Black walnut fruit should be used with caution by pregnant and lactating women, children under 5 years of age. You should not eat roasted nuts for people suffering from gastritis and cholecystitis.

When buying black walnuts, make sure they are fresh and free of mold on the kernels. Otherwise, you can get severe poisoning.

Black walnuts should be carefully inspected for mold

Black walnut wood

The cultivation of black walnut is practiced not only for harvesting, but also for harvesting timber. Due to its unusual color (dark gold), wood is used in furniture production. Furniture made of such wood is not only beautiful, but also resistant to external factors, has antiseptic properties. Due to the content of glycosides, essential oils and organic acids in the tissues of the plant, the furniture is protected from fungi and the reproduction of pathogens.

The only drawback of the material is its low strength. When sawing, the wood bends easily. This can be considered a plus, because the assembly of complex decorative structures requires the elasticity of wood.

If properly dried and stored in black walnut wood, black walnut furniture will last a long time. In addition to black walnut furniture, the following are also made:

  • gun butts;
  • musical instruments;
  • floor coverings;
  • decor items.

From a medical point of view, black walnut is also very useful, and therefore, is actively used in pharmacology to create extracts, tinctures and powders.

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The black walnut tree got its name not because the fruit or trunk is black. Here the black powerful root system played a role. The second name of the tree is American walnut, because in its natural form it can only grow in the forests of North America.


There are several features that distinguish black walnut wood from others:

  • the tree reaches a height of 50 m;
  • barrel is chocolate brown;
  • the crown is lowered down, it has a vaulted wide shape;
  • black roots, deeply fissured;
  • rod type root system;
  • begin to bloom from the age of 7-10 years, the flowering months are April and May;
  • fruits are round, egg-shaped, with a pointed top, their diameter is 3-5 cm.


North Americans know exactly where the black walnut grows. This country is his home. From Texas and Florida to Massachusetts. The plant was brought to Russian cities in the 18th century. Today, the tree is quite common in all European countries, except for the Scandinavian region. After all, there are too cool climatic conditions for him.

The walnut tree tends to grow in areas such as:

  • deciduous forests;
  • mountains with fertile and moist soil type;
  • on the banks of water bodies;
  • along alleys, etc.

American black walnut should be germinated from the beginning of April. This is done as follows:

  1. Place the nut in a glass container and fill with water, which should be at room temperature.
  2. Three days to change the water every day at the same time - in the morning or in the evening.
  3. Soak the nut in damp sand for 15 days. In this case, it should be placed on the edge sideways. The nut is placed in a flower pot or a cut-off bottle with holes in the bottom to drain excess liquid. Bury to a depth of about 10 cm.

The container with the planted nut must be at room temperature. Under such conditions, almost all fruits germinate and roots begin to grow, and sometimes shoots come out. The first days of May, in good weather, is the time to plant nuts upside down. Plants are planted in specially made holes, the depth of which is 8-12 cm. It is advisable to keep a distance between the nut and the surrounding trees. It should be about 10 m. From the buildings to the nut, the distance should not exceed 3 m.

Attention! It is recommended to fertilize the landing site in advance - in the fall. If this has not been done, the soil should not be fertilized after planting the nut.

The first shoots usually appear after 2.5 -3 weeks. In autumn, the nut already reaches 10-15 cm. After a year, the stem with branches gradually get fat. In August, it is not recommended to water the seedlings too much. Because in this case it can be difficult for him to endure winter time. The seedling is dug carefully with the ground, without damaging the rhizome. Upon the onset of spring, a plant that overwintered is planted again in the right place.

Involves the cultivation of black walnut from seeds and such an important procedure as crown formation. You need to start in 3-4 years. The best option for crown formation is to leave 3 side branches and a central conductor. So it turns out to form a tree trunk up to 2 m in height.

Nut begins to bear fruit at the age of 5-6 years, provided that the crown is properly formed and properly cared for. The tree loves moisture and light. The best soil for it is moderately moist calcareous loam with a low level of groundwater. This forms a powerful root system that penetrates deep into the soil. Black walnut blooms in spring from April to May. The fruits reach maturity in autumn.

Black walnut (lat. Juglans nigra)

is a representative of the genus Nut of the Walnut family. In nature, the species is found mainly in North America. Typical habitats are mixed forests.

Crop characteristics

Black walnut is a deciduous tree up to 40 m high with a trunk covered with black, deeply fissured bark. The leaves are green, compound, pinnate, alternate, consist of 11-23 leaflets. Leaflets are oblong-ovate or elliptical, with unequal sharp-toothed edges and a rounded base, have a sharp balsamic smell. Flowers dioecious, wind-pollinated. Female flowers are collected in spikes or brushes, male flowers are in complex inflorescences-earrings, the length of which varies from 6 to 12 cm. Black walnut blooms in the middle lane in mid-May.

The fruit is pear-shaped or spherical, light green, pubescent with glandular hairs, up to 3.5-5 cm in diameter. The peel of the fruit is thick, fleshy, cracks when ripe. The nut is ovoid or round, pointed towards the top, dark brown or black, has a thick shell. The kernel is medium-sized, oily, edible. The culture enters fruiting 6-9 years after planting. The fruits ripen in late September - mid-October. Up to 5 fruits are formed on one axis.

Growing conditions

Growing black walnut in the conditions of central Russia is problematic, since the plants are quite demanding on soil conditions and location. Black walnut is a light-loving culture, but in terms of shade tolerance it is not inferior to gray walnut and walnut. The plant is thermophilic, the optimum temperature for growth and development is 22-24C. Black walnut does not differ in frost resistance, although botanists have found that some representatives are able to withstand short-term frosts down to -38C. The culture has a negative attitude to spring frosts, especially for young, still immature plants.

Black walnut is comparatively drought-resistant (compared to Manchurian walnut and walnut). Quietly tolerates short-term flooding. Soils are preferred neutral or slightly alkaline, fertile, loose. The presence of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers in the soil is welcome. Black walnut does not accept acidic, saline and waterlogged soils, as well as soils containing a large amount of nitrogen. In areas with an excess of nitrogen, plants slow down growth, do not have time to ripen for cold weather and, as a result, are damaged by frost. Black walnut needs protection from cold winds. In the lowlands, growing a crop is highly undesirable.

Planting and care

The black walnut planting hole is prepared 14-20 days before the intended planting. The depth and width of the pit depends on the size of the root system of the seedling. The roots of a young plant should be placed freely in the pit, this will have a positive effect on further growth and general condition. Phosphorus and potash fertilizers, wood ash and humus are necessarily introduced into the pit. Fertilizers should not come into contact with the root system, therefore, before applying, they must be thoroughly mixed with the topsoil. The seedling is lowered into the pit, covered with soil for 1/2 part, moistened abundantly and after 5-10 minutes the remaining soil is added, after which it is compacted and mulched with organic material.

When young, black walnut needs regular watering. Adult plants require abundant moisture during a long drought, during a period of active growth and flowering. In the second half of summer, watering is reduced, this is necessary for the timely completion of the growth of the walnut, the maturation of the wood and its preparation for stable cold weather. In dry summers, moisture is also necessary at the time of fruit formation. Loosening the trunk circle is welcome. Sanitary pruning is required, shaping pruning is optional. Sanitary pruning consists in removing dry, diseased and frost-bitten branches. Thickening branches are also cut out.


Black walnut kernels are used in cooking and medicine. Kernels are especially widely used in the confectionery industry. It is known that the kernels are rich in ascorbic acid, tannins, organic acids, carotenes, vitamins and flavonoids. Nuts are often included in dietary supplements and medicinal tinctures. Black walnut wood is used in the manufacture of furniture, flooring, wall panels, propellers for helicopters and airplanes, rifle butts and musical instruments.


Black walnut is a culture little known in our latitudes. It got its name from the black color of the tree's bark. In appearance and taste, it practically does not differ from the well-known walnut.

In our latitudes, black walnut is a little-known crop

In some sources, the plant is called American walnut. This is due to the fact that only in North America it occurs naturally. It is thanks to the inhabitants of this country that we learned what a black walnut is.

Characteristics of black walnut

Black walnut tree is common in Europe and Scandinavian countries. It is famous not only for its fruits, but also for its strong wood, which belongs to the valuable species of mahogany. It is a strong and large tree.

On the North American continent, black walnut can grow up to 50 meters in height, and the trunk diameter often exceeds 2 meters. In our latitudes, it does not grow to such a size, because black walnut is a heat-loving tree, although it tolerates long frosts well.

Black walnut is planted in suburban areas due to its beneficial properties. It cleans the air well from dust, and its crown releases a huge amount of useful substances. If the choice is between planting walnut or black walnut, then the latter will be the best choice, but growing black walnut will take a long time, and the first fruits will appear only after 7-10 years.

The fruits of the tree

After you have learned how and where the black walnut grows, you can note several unique properties of its fruit. Despite the fact that walnuts and black nuts are the closest relatives, their fruits are different.

Their first difference is the size of the fruit. The fruits of the black walnut are larger than the walnut, and the skin looks much darker. Due to its hardness, this nut is practically not used in cooking, but the fruits of the black walnut are used in medicine and the cosmetic industry.

American walnut at the dacha

Rules and recommendations that you should be familiar with if you decide to plant black walnut:

  1. You should pay attention to the composition of the soil. Black walnut will not grow in acidic soil; it needs a slightly alkaline or neutral soil. Only in this environment will the plant be able to independently regulate its growth and hibernate in time.
  2. The soil needs to be fertilized. To do this, wood ash or a complex of special fertilizers is added to the planting pit.
  3. A tree can grow for 50 years, it will take a lot of space. It is undesirable to plant other trees and bushes near it. During growth, the nut will obscure them from the sun. This is also due to the fact that an adult tree releases phytoncides. They are the strongest natural antibiotic that kills not only viruses and bacteria, but also beneficial substances.
  4. A young tree does not tolerate northern air currents, so it must be protected from strong gusts of wind.

When planting and growing black walnut, a number of recommendations should be taken into account

Subtleties of planting and caring for a nut

What is planting and caring for a plant? Nut breeding is carried out by breeders or experienced gardeners. In total, there are three ways to breed black walnut:

  • seeds;
  • clothespins;
  • cuttings.

The first method is especially popular. A tree grown from seeds adapts better to environmental conditions.

Tree planting is done in the middle of spring.

To do this, dig a planting hole with the calculation of free space for root growth. The bottom is fertilized with humus, wood ash and potash-phosphorus fertilizers. In the case of planting seedlings, two-thirds of them are covered with soil and watered, after which the rest of the soil is covered.

It is important to regularly loosen the soil after planting and during growth to promote rapid growth. But this is done only in the spring and summer months. In August, it is necessary to stop loosening. This will stop the growth of walnut pagons, which serves as a symbol of the next onset of cold weather.

Black walnut, especially the Indian Gold variety, needs a lot of moisture, it needs plentiful and timely watering. Particular attention should be paid to the irrigation system during the period of growth and flowering. An adult tree no longer needs systematic watering. The exception is the period of drought.

Unlike many other plants, the American walnut does not need to form a crown, its shape is laid down genetically, but if necessary, it is worth cutting off dried or damaged branches. It is recommended to carry out this procedure after bud break, otherwise the awakening of new buds and the growth of shoots in an unfavorable period may be provoked.

Suitable temperatures for growing black walnuts range from +7 to +10 °C. This is especially important in the first three years, when they need protection from temperature changes and strong gusts of wind. Adult nuts perfectly tolerate short winter frosts.

During growth, the tree needs to be in direct sunlight, so it is not recommended to plant it in places where it is dark (near houses and tall plants).

Basic rules for fertilizing

The first stage of fertilizing the soil begins long before planting. Soil preparation begins in the fall, six months before the seedling or seed is in the ground.

Rules for fertilizing before planting:

  • compost or humus is introduced into the ground with the calculation of 3 kg per square meter;
  • 10–12 days before planting, an already dug hole is filled with a small amount of superphosphate (100–150 g) and several buckets of humus;
  • fertilizer is evenly distributed around the perimeter of the pit, after which the plant is planted.

To increase the chances of survival, the roots of the plant can be treated with a special solution.

Diseases and parasites

In general, this strong and powerful plant is not attacked by parasites and pathogenic infections.

A common problem is bacteriosis, which manifests itself in the form of black spots on the leaves. This causes deformation of the leaves and fruit. The disease is born in the root system and the best prevention from it is the timely cleaning of fallen leaves.

Rainy weather creates conditions for the appearance of bacteriosis. Of the chemicals used for treatment, Bordeaux liquid is used, but spraying will be effective only if the infection has not reached the flowers.

Another disease can be brown spotting. Many fruit plants (plums, cherries, tomatoes, etc.) suffer from it. Its main difference is the appearance of brown spots on the leaves of the plant. In advanced cases, it covers the leaf completely, and it falls off. This disease also spreads to unripe fruits. During the period of damage, do not actively water the plant. In the fight against this disease, preparations of the fungicide group will help. They can be purchased at a specialized store.

Black walnut cultivation requires special attention and favorable conditions. In order for you to get the first harvest in a few years, you need to try and take care of the tree.

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Publication date: Planting in open ground

Black walnut - description. Growing and caring for black walnut

Black walnut is a little known plant in our country, until this tree became a particularly popular crop in our country. The black walnut is the closest relative of the walnut known to us, which we used to grow on our plots and eat.

However, black walnut is still undeservedly in the shadow of walnut and it is worth taking a closer look at it. So let's get to know this wonderful nut as close as possible.

The history of the origin of the black walnut

There is no exact date of appearance of this nut, but it is known for sure that this nut came to our territory in the 18th century and took root very well here.

The walnut came to Europe earlier than to us, the first seedlings were brought there as early as 1629year, there it took root perfectly and quickly spread throughout the territory of European countries.

Black walnut is found in the wild throughout the United States, where it is most popular and grown in large quantities.

In Soviet times, black walnuts were planted in forest belts, and today it can often be found in forests. However, let this not mislead you, you should not consider it wild growing on our territory, because people planted it, but wild animals contributed to its distribution, spreading its fruits throughout the forest belts.

Today, black walnut has lost some of its popularity, but over the past few years it has been talked about again and it has become much easier to purchase a seedling, it is grown in many nurseries.

Botanical description of the black walnut

The black walnut is a tree, its size is quite impressive, an adult plant can reach 40 meters in height depending on climatic conditions. The bark of the tree darkens with age and turns almost black with deep cracks.

The foliage of black walnut is not paired, the leaves grow up to 50 cm long, the shape of the leaf is oblong ovoid. The edges are irregularly shaped, finely serrated. The color of the leaves is light green at the beginning of blooming and become dark green with age.

Its flowers are collected in inflorescences in the form of catkins, the length of the catkins reaches 15 cm in length, the catkins are collected in inflorescences from 3 to 5 pieces.

The crown of the tree is wide, the branches are slightly lowered.

The root system is strong, rod-like, the roots grow very far.

The life cycle of the plant is quite long, its maximum age can reach 400 years depending on climatic conditions.

The fruit of the black walnut is small in size, the shell is very thick, which makes it very difficult to remove the kernel, which makes it not very popular. The shell of a mature nut is dark with deep cracks. The tree begins to bear fruit in 8-10 years.

Black walnut wood is very strong and is used in industry.

Black walnut varieties

Black walnuts are more popular in the USA than in our country, where several new varieties of walnuts were bred by breeders. The purpose of the selection was to create two additional types of nuts, one is aimed at pharmaceutical use, such varieties are more saturated with the concentration of nutrients in nuts. The other species is aimed at growing varieties more suitable for wood processing and the use of wood in industry.

Several of the most popular varieties are also grown here. These are varieties - Vander Service , Emma-K , Bisentennial , Thomas 108-N .

Planting, growing and caring for black walnut

Black walnut, like walnut, is not particularly demanding in care. It is enough to follow simple rules and your nut will please you.

Choosing a place for planting black walnut

Black walnut is a fairly large tree, its crown is spreading and it occupies quite a lot of meta, so it should be planted only in large areas. Its crown is dense, but it gives a patchy shadow, so planting it where you need to create a good shadow is also not worth it.

It likes non-acidic soil, preferably loose, but grows well on dense soils.

Black walnut is not afraid of winds or drafts, and therefore it is not worth planting it in a secluded place protected from the wind.

Black walnut in winter

Black walnut is a cold-resistant plant and is not afraid of frost. But a young plant up to three years old should still be wrapped with a non-woven fabric for the winter. Some varieties are able to endure frosts down to -38 ° C, which makes it possible to plant it in many regions.

Propagation of black walnut

There are usually two methods of propagation of black walnut, it can be propagated by cuttings and planting seeds.

Propagation of black walnut by cuttings . For grafting, they are selected in the fall, when the leaves have already fallen, young healthy branches.

They are cut 40-50 cm long from the top of the branch. Carefully cut the branches, wrap them in a damp cloth at the cut points and put them in a bag and send the bag with the cuttings to the basement for the winter.

In March, remove the branches and put them in water, you can add a little root to the water, so the roots will appear faster and be stronger. Leave branches in water until roots form and buds swell. Then plant these branches in a pot of soil, you can even just use a bucket of soil.

As soon as stable warm weather sets in, plant the cuttings in the place where the plant is constantly growing.

It is possible to cut the branches in the spring before the sap flow and immediately put them in the water, but such cuttings may not survive the winter because they will be planted at least in June.

Propagation of black walnut by seeds . For propagation by seeds, you will need a few ripened nuts.

Plant the nuts in earthen pots immediately after ripening. Put them in a place where there is no direct sunlight. As soon as you see sprouts of at least 1 cm appear on the surface, place the pots with sprouts in a sunny place.

Plants are planted in the open ground when the temperature is stable. It is better to grow several plants at once, because not everyone can take root when planting in the soil, therefore it is necessary to plant several pieces at once and then leave the strongest plant for further growth.

Planting black walnut

Black walnut has a very strong and spreading root system, this should be taken into account when planting. Prepare a hole for planting in which all the roots will lie freely and will not be constrained.

  • Then pour soil into it in a slide, put the plant on the hill.
  • Then fill the planting hole with most of the soil, approximately 70-80%, fill it well with water, wait until it is completely absorbed into the soil.
  • Then pour out the rest of the soil, sprinkle sawdust or straw around the top under the plant to mulch the soil.

Plants under 2 years old are not very strong yet, so it is better to make a small fence around the plant if you have small children or animals that can damage it.

When planting several plants, consider the size of the tree. The walnut takes up a lot of space and therefore it is worth planting plants at a distance of at least 3 meters from each other, otherwise they will interfere with each other's development.

Black walnut planting time

Black walnut, like most plants, is best planted in spring, when planting a walnut in autumn, it can take root very poorly and die during the winter. Since this nut is preparing for winter starting from the end of July, and its root system stops growing during this period, which makes it difficult for the nut to take root when planting in the fall.

Caring for black walnut

Black walnut is easy to care for and does not cause much trouble for the gardener, even those who have just started growing trees on their plot can easily cope with this task.


The first year after planting, black walnut should be watered frequently and abundantly, but watering should not be until autumn, it is necessary to finish watering at the end of July, even if there is a drought. If you don't stop watering the young plant during this period, it will be oversaturated with water and may not survive the winter.

But only the trees of the first two years of life are watered this way.

Then the tree is watered 3-4 times during the summer before fruiting. When the tree begins to bear fruit, it should be watered in the spring, and then it will need watering from the end of July to mid-August, during this period the fruits are poured and if your tree does not grow near a reservoir, then it will need watering.

Loosening the soil

Abundant root system needs not only water, but also air, just like watering, loosening the earth must be stopped at the end of July, this is the same period for black walnut when it begins to prepare to wintering.

A mature tree does not need to loosen the soil underneath.

Black walnut pruning

Black walnut needs almost no pruning. It does not need to be formed, a neat crown - he has it by nature. It is necessary to cut only dry branches and remove excess ones if necessary, which happens very rarely. Pruning is carried out in the spring, as soon as the buds swell. Trimming black walnut in autumn is not recommended, it does not tolerate late pruning and the tree may die.

In case you don't want your black walnut to grow too tall and still want to form it into a short tree, you need to remove the top of the tree. Cut off the top when the plant reaches 3 years old, you should not do this earlier, otherwise you will not be able to form it.

How and with what to fertilize black walnut

Black walnut is unique in that its leaves also serve as its fertilizer, falling leaves, rotting, give the soil a lot of useful substances necessary for the proper growth of this plant. In the wild, of course, people do not fertilize black walnut, and the walnut does not suffer from this because it gives fertilizer to itself.

But the tree growing on your site does not grow in the forest, and this makes its own adjustments. When a walnut grows on a personal plot, of course, you cannot leave all the foliage, and because of this, you will still have to apply some fertilizer to feed the plant.

Black walnut does not tolerate chemical fertilizers well, therefore it must be fertilized exclusively with organic matter. Before planting in the pit, you need to pour out a bucket of humus. Further in the spring, humus, wood ash or cow dung are also introduced with the calculation of 1 bucket per 1 meter 2 , it is no longer necessary to apply, just like any other fertilization.

Neighborhood of black walnut with other plants. What can not be planted next to a black walnut?

Black walnut has a very large root system, which occupies a fairly large area, the roots of the walnut will release a very strong toxin and not every plant can be planted next to it.

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