Trees in general are an investment in our future, but none more so than the beautiful, valuable Eastern Black Walnut (Juglans nigra). Magnificent, fine, close-grained wood is loved by woodworkers, furniture makers, and for production into veneer, gunstocks and musical instruments.
The story of the Eastern Black Walnut – like many native trees – is a fascinating one. Entire forests in the Northeast were cut down to build the cabinets in the homes in our founding cities. The decay-resistant heartwood is extremely durable and features a very attractive color.
During the Civil War, Eastern Black Walnut was the wood of choice for soldier's gunstocks. With no major replanting plan in place until after the 1970's, this national treasure tree became harder to find.
Now, enterprising souls have realized the revenue potential of this large shade tree. Why not plant a grove, orchard or even plantation on an unused corner of your property? You’ll reap rewards, nutritious nuts and eventually sell unequalled hardwood.
In the meantime, you and your family can enjoy the open, airy, dappled shade of the feathery, alternate compound leaves. Eastern Black Walnut trees will give you cool shade in the summer and an incredible focal point for your landscape.
The leaves will turn vibrant yellow in the fall well before any of your neighbor's trees. The contrast between the fall color and the deep, dark trunks is eye-catching and memorable.
Plant two, three or more for best cross-pollination. After 5 or 6 years, you will be collecting bushels of delicious nuts that store well once they're cured.
Eastern Black Walnuts have a rich flavor and a protein level that is almost 20 times higher than milk. They are high in edible oil which can be used in cooking or as a wood polish. It’s even possible to tap the Eastern Black Walnut in spring to produce syrup.
Overall, it’s estimated that an acre of Eastern Black Walnut timber produces $100K in revenue when mature in 30 years. Single trees have fetched $20K, so this tree should be seriously considered by hobby farmers and entrepreneurs.
Plant an orchard 15 to 20 feet apart on center. Measure from trunk to trunk.
In a managed stand, Black Walnuts will self-prune their lower limbs and leave a straight trunk soaring up to the sky. Site the plants carefully, and don’t try to move it once it’s planted. With a deep taproot, the Eastern Black Walnut won’t transplant well.
Planted in the open without competitors, the Eastern Black Walnut keeps its lower limbs. It spreads wide to create a picturesque large specimen with a beautiful, wide-spreading canopy. It will make an impressive, bold statement in your landscape.
Let’s talk about those plant competitors, shall we? Eastern Black Walnut is one of the botanical world’s most interesting trees. The roots produce a natural herbicide called jugalone, which prevents many plant species from growing nearby and gives a big advantage to the Walnut. Alleopathy is the name of this strategy, and it’s effective. The roots spread out about 50 feet from the trunk of the tree, and only jugalone-tolerant plants can grow in that boundary.
Don’t try to grow Apple, White Birch, Pine, Spruce, Viburnum, Lilacs, Azaleas or Rhododendrons near Eastern Black Walnut once the trees reach their mature size. While they are young, however, use agroforestry techniques. Interplant new orchard rows with other, smaller cash crops until the Black Walnut trees reach size.
When grown in a forest, Eastern Black Walnut grows straight up to 100 feet tall. Left uncut, this amazingly stately tree will be standing for your great-great grandchildren to enjoy. What a legacy.
Or, harvest the trees to reap a generous return on your investment! Order yours today and get started on your “Walnut Retirement Plan.”
On large properties, the Eastern Black Walnut can be used as a beautiful, broad shade tree in the lawn to screen the hot afternoon sun. With its bold look, fascinating history and value, it makes a great choice.
You can grow other wildlife trees nearby. Eastern Red Cedar, Honey Locust, Oak, Serviceberry, Dogwood, Elderberries, American Hazelnut are all jugalone-tolerant.
Eastern Black Walnut trees are renowned for their tasty nuts that typically grow in clusters of 3. They are not recommended for planting along driveways or as a street tree. This is not the right tree to use near patios or walkways.
Plant a Black Walnut nut orchard or larger timber plantation as an investment crop on large properties. The nut is prized for its high quality and are quite often harvested for commercial sale. It’s estimated you can achieve 6,000 pounds of nuts per managed acre.
The Eastern Black Walnut produces round nuts that fall to the ground in September and October. Plan to harvest them as soon as possible to beat the squirrels.
The nuts have three layers. The walnut seed coat is a green husk that will stain fingers and concrete. Use gloves when preparing walnut harvests.
De-hull the soft green husk using a specialized tool or take them to a processor. Next, wash the furrowed black hulls to remove all traces of the green husk. Then, dry the nuts in-shell outdoors to cure the nut and improve the flavor.
In-shell nuts keep for over a year in the freezer or airtight container. Shelled nuts can be kept in the freezer for two years or sold.
Growing primarily in the more humid parts of the country, the Eastern Black Walnut likes full sun. Plant in well-drained soil. It prefers rich, moist loam. However, if given regular water, it can be grown in drier soils.
Prune either in late winter, or in mid-summer.
It can take years for a healthy Black Walnut tree to grow from seed, but LetsPlantify.com has done all of the hard work for you! Buy from LetsPlantify.com today and leave your mark for generations.
|Botanical Name||Juglans nigra|
|Mature Height||50 - 70 feet|
|Mature Spread||50 - 70 feet|
|Soil Type||Widely Adaptable|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Bloom Period||Late Spring|
|Growing Zone Range||4-9|