How To Grow Black Walnut Tree From Seed – Easy DIY

How To Grow Black Walnut Tree From Seed by Growit Buildit

About Black Walnut Trees

Black Walnut Tree Leaves

When grown in the open, the black walnut reaches 75′ tall with a round, low branching, an 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 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. (Partially self-fertile, plant multiple trees to ensure pollination) (zones 4-9)

Allelopathy is the term given to the suppression of the 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 roots of other juglone-sensitive species come in contact with walnut roots. It would help if you kept a wide separation between the black walnut tree and susceptible plant. The black walnut’s poison does not work on all species; some even seem to thrive.

Where Can You Find Black Walnut Trees?

Black Walnut Tree Seeds

Black walnut typically grows as scattered individual trees or in small groups throughout the central and eastern parts of the United States. Although they are located on various sites, black walnut grows best on suitable sites in coves and well-drained bottoms in the Appalachians and the Midwest.

Its natural range extends from western Vermont and Massachusetts west through New York to southern Ontario, central Michigan, southern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, and northeastern Nebraska; south to western Oklahoma and central Texas; excluding the Mississippi River Valley and Delta, it ranges east to northwestern Florida and Georgia. On the fringe of the west of its range in Kansas, walnut is relatively abundant and frequently makes up 50 percent or more of the basal area in several hectares.

Black Walnut Tree Bark

How Do I Identify a Black Walnut Tree?

You can identify them in the open by examining the leaves and bark. Black walnut trees will have branching that starts low and eventually form a round to oval shape or crown, and the bark of black walnut trees consists of prominent rough ridges that run vertically. The limbs and branches will have a bark that is gray and smooth.

If you’re trying to identify black walnut trees in the winter, you can always find some empty walnut shells on the ground.

By looking closely at the twigs, you can also identify a black walnut tree. When the leaves drop, you will see a distinctive three-lobed scar that looks like a shamrock on the branch. Additionally, there will be few, if any, shrubs or small trees growing near a black walnut tree.

When Do You Collect The Black Walnut Seeds?

You don’t want to collect the nuts prematurely. The longer the nut stays on the tree, the more likely it is to form and be more likely to germinate properly. You can wait until the nuts begin to fall naturally from the trees and pick them up off the ground or directly from the trees.

Gather twice as many nuts as the trees you want, so if you wish to have five trees, get a least ten nuts, as some of these nuts will not be viable. Remove the husk using a chef’s knife or a butcher’s knife to check if the nuts are viable. Always wear gloves; the husk will stain your skin for a long time.

You may not want to put the husk in your compost bin because they contain juglone, a toxin that can kill certain garden vegetable plants like tomatoes.

Then get a bucket with water and immerse the nuts for about a minute plant the ones that sink and discard the ones that float.

Continue to soak the good nuts overnight or for a day as that can help germination. Don’t let the seeds dry out; they may lose viability.

Cold Stratification

Black walnut seeds need a cold stratification period of 70 to 120 days to germinate. In nature, the nut falls off the tree in late summer or early fall. A squirrel will eat or plant the nuts to save for later; the nuts they don’t find might germinate in the spring.

Planting The Black Walnut Tree Nuts

Prepare containers for the black walnut seeds after the cold stratification period has ended. Fill 1-gallon nursery containers with a mixture of equal parts compost, potting soil, and coarse sand. Add water until the mixture feels moderately moist in the top 5 inches.

Sow one black walnut seed in each pot at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Set the pots inside a ventilated cold frame or outdoors against a south-facing wall. Choose a spot offering light shade during the hottest part of the day.

Keep the soil mixture consistently moist in the top 3 inches during germination. Water whenever the soil dries out slightly in the top inch. Never let the soil dry out completely.

Carefully remove the seedlings and put them into their own pot. Repotting the plants causes stress, so put the reported plants in a shaded area for a week or so. After a couple of weeks, you can directly plant them wherever you want.


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