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Black Walnut (Juglans nigra). The nuts from the Black Walnut are one of the best tasting wild nuts there is. In my own opinion, after Hickory nuts, these are the best tasting nuts, period, though some would argue the closely related Butternut is tastier. I think this is a great tree to grow for food. They will start to produce nuts after about five years or so, and heavy crops after they are about 20.

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Planting: Small trees can be transplanted, but this tree grows quickly from the nuts, and that is a lot less work. They are very reliable to sprout from the nut. You want to plant them about 5-7.5 cm (2-3 inches) deep, back fill the soil, tamp down and leave. There is one problem with this - squirrels. They will smell them and dig them back up. After you plant the nut, fill the hole half way up with soil, and put on a few moth crystal flakes, and cover up the rest of the soil and tamp. Instead of moth crystal flakes, you can use freshly ground black pepper, or a crushed garlic clove. Do it the same way with whatever one you choose - half cover, put on your choice, and put the rest of the soil on, and tamp down. Or, you could just pee on the spot after you plant it - that is the universal animal way of saying to other animals to leave this spot alone, and it is free. I'm sure there are other things you could do, but at least you get the idea that you need to do something.When grown in the open, the black walnut reaches 75' tall with a round, low branching, open crown that spreads nearly as wide as it is tall. In forests and plantations, the tree may reach 150' tall with a well formed trunk and lower limbs self pruned from « to 2/3 the distance from the ground. It develops a deep taproot and is difficult to transplant. The hard to crack shell encases a rich flavored nut. However, the crushed black walnut shells can stain fingers, clothing, and concrete. The trees bear in 12-15 years.

(Partally self-fertile, plant multiple trees to ensure pollination) (zones 4-9) Alleopathy is the term given to the suppression of growth of one plant species by another due to the release of toxic substances. Black walnut tree roots contain juglone, a toxic substance released when the the roots of other juglone-sensitive species come in contact with walnut roots. You must keep a wide separation between the black walnut tree and susceptible plants. A partial list includes tomatoes, potatoes, peas, peppers, cabbage, alfalfa, serviceberry, chestnut, pine, arborvitae, apples, blueberry, blackberry, cherry, azalea, rhododendron, lilac, hydrangea, privet, members of the heath family. The black walnut's poison does not work on all species and some even seem to thrive on it.Juglans nigra, the eastern American black walnut, is a species of deciduous tree in the walnut family, Juglandaceae, native to North America. It grows mostly in riparian zones, from southern Ontario, west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern Florida and southwest to central Texas. Wild trees in the upper Ottawa Valley may be an isolated native population or may have derived from planted trees. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

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