Broadview is the most popular choice of walnut tree in the UK because it begins to fruit much sooner than the Common Walnut.
It is a medium sized deciduous tree and with regular pruning it can be kept to a manageable size of around 12-15ft (3-4 metres) making it suitable for all but the smallest of gardens; this pruning also encourages heavier fruiting. With the right care fruiting can begin after just three years of being planted, and is very prolific.
Being self fertile it doesn't need a pollinating partner to produce its delicious nuts. These can be harvested green and pickled, or left until autumn to ripen when they are dried and can then be stored.
Broadview copes much better British climate than other varieties, largely because its leaves appear quite late in the season meaning that it is less susceptible to frost damage in Spring.
How to plant
Walnuts tolerate most soils, but prefer a rich free draining loam in full sun. They should be planted in autumn or winter and spaced at least 25ft apart.
Make sure the planting hole is well dug and enriched with plenty of organic matter, and always use Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi. Firm in well (but don't stamp too hard) and give it plenty of water.
The tree will need support from a stake, angled towards the prevailing wind. It's important to keep it well watered in dry weather until established, and it will benefit from a feed with general purpose fertiliser and a mulch with well rotted manure or compost in spring.
Pruning should be undertaken between mid-summer and early autumn to avoid excessive bleeding. All they need is a regular pinching out of growth at the fifth or sixth leaves to encourage bushy new growth.
Look out for...
Juglans regia Broadview Walnut roots release a poison that can inhibit the growth of other plants. However they are not as toxic as those of Juglans nigra, the Black Walnut. To be on the safe side it is best to avoid planting anything beneath or within a few feet of the canopy.
Did you know?
The walnut is an ancient tree that has significance in many cultures. On the small Greek Island of Skopelos, legend has it that someone who plants a walnut tree will die as soon as it grows tall enough to see the sea.
In rural villages in Serbia a walnut is traditionally cracked open on Christmas morning. If the nut inside is good, it was seen as a good omen that the year ahead will be prosperous... somewhat cheerier than for the inhabitants of Skopelos!