Black walnut cultivates all over the United States and southern Canada. More commonly, it abundantly grows in eastern and mid-western parts of the U.S. It reaches a height between 30 to 40 feet. The uses for black walnut trees include food, lumber, shade and adding aesthetic value to a landscape. The wood of the tree is a chocolate brown color, sturdy and easy to work with when using power tools. The nuts have a tough husk with a hard shell covering the nutmeat. Harvest while nuts are still rather green in color, but have begun to soften.
Things You Will Need
Stainless steel bucket
Small wooden markers
Nuts fall between September and October. Collect the fallen nuts in a stainless steel bucket. Fill with water. Soak for approximately two hours to soften the husks. Remove the husks directly after soaking them.
Put on gloves to prevent staining of the hands. Firmly tap them with the hammer to remove the husks. Most crack open. Some will peel off. Rinse the seeds twice in the stainless steel bucket.
Plant walnut seeds one to two inches deep in soil that is deep, fertile, moist and drains well. The walnut seeds require cold stratification over the winter that allows germination of the seeds in the spring. If you prefer to place the seeds in the refrigerator, keep the temperature between 34 to 41 degrees F. Store them in a plastic bag or container for three to four months before planting in the spring.
Cover the planted area with chicken wire and leaves to help discourage squirrels from digging up the seeds for food. Place small wooden markers to mark off the newly planted area.
Once the seeds produce seedlings that have grown up to three inches, remove the weaker ones by cutting at the base of the stem. This creates room for the hardier ones to grow without competing for nutrients.
Black walnuts produce the first batch of nuts when they are about 10 years old. The amount and quality of nuts vary. It is time consuming to plant walnut trees by nut. Black walnuts grown from nuts require patience and a little maintenance to ensure they develop into large, sturdy adult trees for many years to come.
Tips & Warnings
*Plant twice the amount of walnut seeds than you plan to keep. Some of them are not any good and may not germinate.
*Do not pour water or husks near garden or other plants. It will cause them to die because of juglone, a chemical in black walnuts.
*Juglone is a chemical that strips plants of energy needed for metabolic action, resulting in death. Keep other plants away from the black walnut tree.
*Black walnut trees require full sunlight.