Black Walnut Sapling Trees
Juglans nigraSapling Trees
- Excellent nuts & timber.
- Sizes: Saplings & Standards
- Not used for hedging.
- Max Height: 30m
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Bareroot Delivery Only: Nov-Mar
Black Walnut Saplings
Delivered by Mail Order Direct from our Nursery with a Year Guarantee
The Black Walnut tree, Juglans nigra, is a vigorous, deciduous plant with excellent nuts (although they are tricky to open). The husk of the nut stains everything black (so wear gloves) and the kernel is harder to remove from the inner shell than the common walnut, but we promise that it is all worth the effort!
Black walnut timber is highly prized and well grown, mature trees are now worth a great deal of money, so why not plant a few as a pension? Kill two birds with one stone, and use it as a screening tree at the same time. It will eventually reach about 30 metres high.
Black Walnut plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March). All of our young trees and shrubs are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
Growing Black Walnut Trees
Suitable for any fertile, deep, well drained soil, they do need full sun. If you want good crops, a sheltered location is ideal.
To keep your tree at a relatively manageable size, the standard practice is to prune out the leading stem and maintain them as an open centred goblet.
Please note: Walnuts do not crop reliably North of about Liverpool, especially on the cooler Eastern side of the UK.
Harvesting: The nuts are perfectly ripe when you can squeeze the outer hulls with your fingers and easily leave a dent. They will start to fall of their own accord, but you can shake the tree with poles to encourage them.
Wear rubber gloves and work clothes, because they stain. Use a knife to slice around the hulls and then twist the halves in opposite directions to remove it.
Next, put the hulled nuts into a bucket of water and scrub them clean, or use a pressure hose. Discard any that float.
Dry them off (you can speed this up in a cool oven at 40°C) and store them in mesh bags for at least four weeks. Shake the bags every day at the start to ensure that they dry really well. They are now ready to eat and will keep for about a year in a cool, dry place.
Black Walnuts are infamous for preventing many other plants from growing underneath them. Here is a list of companion plants for Black Walnut.
Did You Know?
Black Walnuts are American natives that were brought to Britain in the mid-1600's by John Tradescant. They have now naturalised across Southern Britain.
Notes on planting Black Walnut:
Your trees do need deep, well-drained, fertile soil and they like plenty of sun.
Their flowers are more frost resistant than the Common walnut, but we still don't recommend these tree for the North or Scotland if you want to get nuts from them. The flowers are just too susceptible to spring frosts for you to get much of a crop, although the tree itself will still grow happily if your site is in full sun.
Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the area where you intend to plant several months in advance. Destroy the weeds first: nettles, brambles and ground elder are tough and a glyphosate based weed-killer is the best way to remove them. Then dig the soil over; remove rocks, roots and other rubbish. Mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.
If you have a heavy clay soil, it might be too difficult to dig over for most of the year. Heavy clay is fertile soil, so you don't really need to improve it; killing the weeds is still necessary.
Remember to water establishing plants during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
If you are planting in an area with rabbit and/or deer, you will need to use a protective plastic spiral for each plant, supported by a bamboo cane.
If your soil quality is poor, we recommend using mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of new trees and shrubs.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.
After you plant your Black Walnut trees, the most important thing to do is water them in dry weather. You will also need to weed around the plants. Both of these will be necessary for at least a year after planting.
Water thoroughly but not too often: let the soil get close to drying out before watering your plants again.
Special notes on caring for Black Walnut:
Black Walnut is a very tough plant that shouldn't need special attention once it has established. If pruning is necessary, it is best do it in winter. Always hire a tree surgeon to remove large branches.
Hygiene & Diseases:
Dead, damaged or diseased wood can be pruned off as soon as it appears.
Disinfect your pruning tools between every cut if there is any sign of disease.
Burn or dispose of any diseased material, do not compost it.