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How to Care For California Grown Walnut Trees

Besides walnut trees producing a delicious and very nutritious nut, they are also the source of high quality wood. The large, beautifully arched branches of these trees provide plenty of shade on hot days.

Instructions for Growing Of Walnuts

Most walnut trees in the United States grow up to a height of 50 feet and are of similar width. Nuts and shade are the most common reasons for growing walnut trees, with English and Persian black varieties the most popular in the U.S. 50 to 80 pounds of nuts is the average annual production capacity of a mature tree. The Persian walnut tree has large nuts and is the most common variety grown in California. Several cultivars exist, including Chandler, Ashley, Pedro, Howard, Hartley, Serr Vina, Tehama and Sunland. To avoid being affected by blight, all these cultivars leaf in late spring. Persian walnuts have evolved to survive in Mediterranean climates that have mild winters, which means they may not be suitable in some regions. Early ripening varieties of walnuts need 140 to 150 days annually with temperatures of -2 and -6 C (27 and 29 F).
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Planting Walnut Trees
Finding Ways To Keep Up With Tips

After choosing the type of walnut, it is time to plant the tree. Tilling about 12 square feet up to a depth of 10 inches or more will get rid of grass and weeds which would compete with your tree for nutrients and water. Next, you need to dig a hole which is 1 to 2 inches wider than the root ball of the walnut seedling. Put your walnut seedling in the hole you dug up to a similar depth to the pot or bury its roots between 1 and 2 inches beneath the ground. Fill out the hole, tamping down to ensure that there are no air pockets surrounding the roots. Water your seedling until the ground is moist, avoiding soaking.

Caring For Your Tree

Because of their extensive root system, walnut trees do not need constant watering unless the soil’s top 2 inches are dried out. A maturing walnut tree does not require any pruning unless its branches are damaged or dead. Mulch the tree as needed every spring.

Harvest of Walnuts

Patience is vital when growing walnuts. Until they are roughly 10 years old, walnut trees do not produce any nuts, and their peak only comes at about 30 years of age. How will you know when to begin harvesting your nuts? A light tan color tells you that Persian walnuts are ready to be harvested. Depending on how large the tree is, a commercial producer could use a limb shaker that has a window to collect the falling nuts. However, a home grower can simply shake the tree branches and collect fallen nuts.