ABOUT WALNUT

Juglans

Relatives: Hickory Nut

Some members of the Walnut family can be traced back to the Cretaceous period....that's right....when dinosaurs roamed the earth! As a matter of fact, the Juglandaceae family was one of very first angiosperms (fancy word meaning flowering plant) to evolve on earth. Now that's pretty cool. It is believed that the walnut probably originated from Persia although they are now found practically everywhere. There are about 20 different species of Juglans, and all are grown for their edible nuts.Today, the USA and China probably grow over 75% of all the commercially produced walnuts sold.

DESCRIPTION

Walnuts are large, attractive, deciduous trees, with some species growing to 50 feet. They often have wide, spreading branches. The fruits are often found in groups of 2 to 3, and are dry drupes or nuts, that are wonderfully sweet and very tasty, particularly when eaten fresh.

CULTIVATION

Not suggested for maritime locations, and they enjoy full sun. Most mature walnut trees can easily survive in our regions, handling temperatures as low as minus 22 degrees.
The leader, or shoot selected to be the main trunk, should have reached a height of at least 7 to 8 feet before cutting (heading) back.
Heading the leader close to 8 feet will give more area for the scaffolds. The leader should not be headed any less than 6 ½ feet since the first primary scaffold should be at least 5 ½ - 6 feet above the ground so as not to interfere with mowers or foot traffic. Make the heading cut into mature round wood.
If the shoot selected to be the trunk has not reached sufficient height, cut it 3 to 6 buds above the point of origin and remove competing shoots. A stronger shoot can then be trained as the trunk over the summer.


CULTIVARS

The best cultivar we have found for our region is the Idaho, an English Walnut. It has proven itself to be a very hardy tree in our area.