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. They are beautiful trees that provide a lot of shade thanks to their large, arching branches.
How Walnut Trees Are Grown
Many walnut trees that can be found growing in the United States attain a height of over 50 feet, with similarity in 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. A fully mature tree is capable of producing between 50 and 80 pounds of walnuts yearly. 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. In late spring, all of these cultivars leaf out, avoiding the walnut blight. Adapted to climates in the Mediterranean, Persian walnuts may not be the best choice for every area. Between 140 and 150 days annually are required where the temperature ranges from -2 to -6 C (27 and 29 F) to successfully grow walnuts.
Finding Parallels Between Plants and Life
Planting Walnut Trees
What Research About Options Can Teach You
After you select the type of walnut you want, you need 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. Tamp down after filling out the hole to eliminate air pockets that may exist around the roots. Moisten the soil by watering your tree, avoiding soaking the ground.
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. As the tree matures, it is only necessary to prune damaged or dead limbs. Every spring, remember to mulch the walnut tree.
A walnut grower must be patient. A walnut tree does not produce nuts until it is about 10 years old, with its production at a peak when it is around 30 years old. How can you tell when your walnuts are ready to be harvested? A light tan color tells you that Persian walnuts are ready to be harvested. Commercial walnut producers shake the tree with a limb shaker which has a window to collect the nuts depending on how large a walnut tree is. However, a home grower can simply shake the tree branches and collect fallen nuts.