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Black Walnut Tree – The following information is for anyone who is interested in growing black walnut trees, or who resides in an area that was once occupied by natural black walnut trees, and who has questions regarding how to plant a black walnut tree. Also, what other information about the black walnut tree can we find out?
Black walnut trees are native to the central and eastern United States, where they were formerly extremely prevalent until the beginning of the twentieth century. These trees, which may live up to 200 years, are one of six walnut species that can be found in the United States of America. In a natural setting, black walnut trees may be seen growing alongside the following species:
- Sugar maples, elms, hackberry, box elder, and other trees.
- Ash trees that are both green and white in color.
- Oak (Red) and Hickory (Hickory).
- Basswood, and many more.
Dry-tolerant black walnut trees grow to be 100 feet (30 meters) tall, with a magnificent canopy that stretches for miles around them. Walnuts, which are highly prized for their timber, also offer food and shelter for local fauna.
The roots of black walnuts, on the other hand, contain juglone, which has been shown to be harmful to several plant species. Be aware of this and make preparations in advance.
It is possible to manufacture a yellow dye from the husks of black walnut fruit, and the seed may be utilized in confectionery production as well as abrasive cleaning goods and explosives.
How to Plant a Black Walnut Tree (with Pictures)
If you live in one of the USDA hardiness zones 5a through 9a, where you get at least 25 inches (63.5 cm) of precipitation per year and 140 frost-free days on average, you should consider planting black walnut trees.A deep, rich, wet yet well-drained soil with a variety of textures ranging from sandy loam to loam, silt loam, and clay loam to silty clay loam is ideal for growing black walnut trees.
When planting black walnut, choose a location that faces north or east and avoid valleys, bottom-land locations, and regions with little airflow, since all of these conditions promote the possibility of frost damage to the tree. You’ll also need to find a location that receives direct sunlight.
If you want to cultivate your own black walnut, you can purchase a black walnut tree or a seedling from a local gardener who has a tree, or attempt to germinate your own by planting nuts. Organize the nuts and separate them from their husks. Plant six nuts in a cluster four inches (10 cm) apart and 4-5 inches (10–13 cm) deep, spacing them four inches (10 cm) apart.
Because you are almost certainly home to squirrels, it is necessary to take preventative measures to care for your black walnut trees. Cover the planting area with a piece of fabric and secure it to the ground with pins. Mulch (straw or leaves) should be spread over the fabric to avoid repeated freezing and thawing of the cloth. Make a distinct mark on the ground where you will be planting.
The seeds will begin to germinate in the following spring. Late winter is the best time to remove the mulch and cloth. Following many months of growth, choose the finest trees and eradicate the rest of the bushes and shrubs. After that, taking care of black walnut trees is rather basic.
Keep them wet until they have grown to a reasonable size. Aside from that, the trees, although drought sensitive, have a deep taproot and should be good as long as they are planted in the manner described before.
Harvesting Black Walnut Trees
Black walnuts are one of the most delectable nuts to eat as a snack, bake with, or cook with. These hard-shelled fruits are one of the most costly nuts on the market, with a sweet, delicate walnut taste. Take advantage of each opportunity to harvest black walnut trees!
You’ll have a great time and collect a batch of tasty nuts that will keep for up to two years. It’s simpler than you think to pick black walnuts directly from the tree. Ripe black walnuts will almost literally fall into your lap. You just need a tarp, some containers, and an understanding of when black walnuts fall.
When Does the Season for Black Walnuts End?
Juglans nigra, sometimes known as black walnut, is a highly resilient nut tree. The plant produces fruit in the summer, but the nutmeat is not ripe until the autumn. If you’re strolling beneath a black walnut tree this time of year, you may want to wear a hard helmet. When dropped from higher branches, some of the hulled nuts may be roughly the size of a fist and carry quite a punch.
It is essential to test a few fruits before harvesting black walnuts. This is because they prefer to abort unfinished nuts, so you may wind up with aborted nuts instead of lovely, fat, mature fruits.
The harvesting of black walnuts takes place in the autumn. Fruits fall from September to October in the tree’s native area of eastern North America. Dropped hulls normally indicate ripe fruits, but inspect the look to assure maturity. Unripe fruit is green, whereas fully ripe fruit is yellow-ish to brown.
Because the hulls contain a strong stain, it is best to pick the fruit while wearing gloves. On unprotected fingertips, the stain will leave a permanent dark brown stain. Picking up entirely black apples is a waste of time. These are most likely beyond their prime, and the nutmeat may be rancid.
How Is the Black Walnut Tree Harvested?
When picking black walnut trees, wear unimportant garments and gloves. The stain will adhere to everything and will not wash away. The most difficult part of black walnut harvesting is hulling. Before washing, drying, and storing nuts, they must be hulled.
It might be tough to remove the hulls. Some swear by driving over the hulls to snap them off, but this may send shell and nut fragments flying everywhere. Commercial producers use a machine to separate the hull from the shell, while most home operations use a slurry of water and stones to soften the hulls before removing them with a hammer. Put on heavy gloves and hit the ends of the nut with them. When hulling black walnuts, it’s a good idea to use safety glasses.
How to Store Black Walnuts
Black walnuts may be kept in the refrigerator for up to two years. Wash the shells of the nuts after they have been hulled. This is best done outside since the shells themselves have staining effects. Sort the nuts and reject those that show symptoms of insect damage or decay.
Allow the nuts to dry in a single layer for two to three weeks. This guarantees that the nuts are cured and that the dried nuts will keep for a longer period of time. Unshelled nuts should be stored in cloth bags or netting in a cold, dry place.
Shell the nuts and store the nutmeats in freezer bags or containers for extended storage. Because the shells are tougher than the hulls, it’s a good idea to soak them in hot water for 24 hours before shelling. As a result, the shells will become softer and easier to fracture as a result of this. Shelled, frozen nuts may be stored for up to two years.