Juglans Nigra Black Walnut
A fast growing large tree compared to other Juglans and is commonly grown for the wood so it could provide a cash crop. The deep cracked or furrowed bark make it distinctive and a great addition to the glossy dark green and hairy underside leaves.
Expect male and female yellow-green catkins around May-June but the females might be delayed if they got distracted by talking to their mother. The male flowers are on 8-10cm long catkins and female flowers appear in clusters.
If you are looking to differentiate between the Common Walnut and the Black Walnut then the Black has 7-9 leaflets which is more than the common. The leaflets are also smaller and narrower.
A non native tree to the UK but have been here since 1629.
Juglans Nigra are slow coming into leaf and will not do so until the soil has warmed so don't expect to see much of any signs of life until late Spring.
Juglans Nigra has received the RHS Award Of Garden Merit meaning that compared to other walnut trees, this one performs particularly well. A tree of such outstanding merit that it is frequently used in parks and gardens.
The nuts are edible but they require a long hot summer which we are going to see more of because of climate change. Expect to see them in Autumn when the flowers turn a brown/green and show plum like fruit. A 4-6 year wait for the first crop is normal with the fullest crops possibly taking up to 10 years after that to appear. Juglans Black Nigra can be a little erratic when it comes to crop yields making crop predictions difficult. The nut inside is difficult to get out and drying makes the task easier.
You can speed things up a little if you are growing for the crop of walnuts by using a thick cable tie. Apply tightly to the trunk in May which will restrict growth and force the tree to produce fruit buds for the following year. Release the same year in Autumn. The process can be repeated year on year until the tree is old enough to produce fruit bud with out being strangled into submission. Expect an average lifespan of around 130 years.
The Juglans Nigra Black Walnut tree is one of the few trees listed with scented foliage. Crushing the leaves increases the aroma significantly.
An excellent tree if you want to attract wild life to your garden. We don't mean participants in the Jeremy Kyle show but the Mother Nature kind.
Birds and Squirrels eat the green flesh which is easier to penetrate.
Juglans Nigra is considered a large tree which means expect a height of over 6 metres at the 10 year point. It could go on to grow more but may stop depending on local conditions. The tallest EU Black Walnut has been recorded at 25m tall with over a 6m circumference and around 300 years old.
All Juglans produce a chemical called Juglone which inhibits plant growth within the drip line of the tree but Black Walnut is particularly bad for it. Expect little if anything to grow underneath your Black Walnut tree.
Walnuts are known to be difficult to establish in the first year, so by buying 1-2 year old saplings like these, you will experience much less loss. You will increase your success rate by providing plenty of water and keeping competition down from surrounding weeds and grass. Die back can be an issue in the first couple of years.
Planting Juglans Nigra Black Walnut
As with most other Juglans, a deep fertile soil will give you best results and planted in full sun. We don't mean wait to plant it on a sunny day, we mean plant it in a position where it can receive maximum sunshine. Any soil that can hold some moisture will give best results as dry soils will restrict growth.
Juglans Nigra is considered a pioneer species which means it is one of the first to take over disrupted eco systems e.g. forest fire, regardless of this, keeping the weeds down until the tree is established is still a very good idea.
Pollinating Juglans Nigra Black Walnut
Juglans Nigra is technically self-fertile however if nut crop yields are important to you then planting a pollination partner close by is advised. Choose another Walnut that produces male catkins at the same time as the female catkins on your Black Walnut appear. Commercial growers will plant one line of pollination partners for every 8 rows of Black Walnut and orientated to ensure the prevailing winds blow pollen onto them.
Pruning Juglans Nigra Black Walnut
Walnut trees REALLY do not like to be pruned and are best left alone if at all possible. Removing dead, diseased and crossing over branches is always a good idea and if you have to do this, leave it to the end of winter.
Historical Medicinal Uses Of Juglans Nigra Black Walnut
These include mosquito repellent, skin care, an anti-diarrhoea and a laxative (yes we know that is contradictory but that is what www.woodlandtrust.org.uk said), and an anthelminthic. In differing forms, Jugland Nigra has been used to treat high temperature, kidney ailments, gastrointestinal issues, ulcers, toothache, syphilis, snake bite and more.
More Recent Medicinal Uses Of Juglans Nigra Black Walnut
The Juglone in the fruit husks is a compound that inhibits bacterial and fungal growth, and could be used controlling dermal, mucosal and mouth infections. Possibly also contains anti-cancer properties.
Medicinal Uses We Could Think Of
Our Black Walnut can help with all forms of pain relief and modern ailments. Stand underneath the tree and look up at the highest branch. This is the perfect position to take your medication.
Woodland Design Principles
Typically, Common Walnut is planted in groups of between 10 and 25 trees. This number of trees is ideal for creating a wildlife habitat and a meaningful source of food and shelter. Spacing may vary between 1m and 5m. Blending of one species into another is suggested although bearing in mind different growth rates. The aim is to mimic what nature intended and thus avoid artificial lines.
Other Possibly Interesting Information About Black Walnut
The wood from the black walnut is attractive and valuable. Strong and durable, it polishes to a high gloss finish and often used in luxury furniture.
When grown closer to other trees it will develop a tall straight trunk but if grown with plenty of space around it, will form a short trunk and broad crown.
Better to pick the nuts when the husks are green. Waiting any longer means the fruits are bitter.
Grey Squirrels can be a problem to the young tree.
Rabbit and Deer Protection
We offer a range of tree shelters that will protect your trees against possible attack. Click on this Tree Protection Link and it will take you to all of these products.
Benefits of using our plug plant trees
Our trees are sold as plug plants, in other words the roots are encased in compost. This means that planting can be carried out at any time of the year, provided they are watered in periods of drought, compared to bare-root plants which can only be planted during the plants normal dormant period (November to March). All of these trees are UK grown, which is important for successful establishment.
Other Random Information About Black Walnut Trees
The crushed shells can be used in sand blasting where a less harsh abrasive is required e.g. on soft woods or ornate carvings. Some other types of abrasives can strip fine detail or remove too much material.
Black Walnut is a heavy, shock resistant and heavy hardwood with many durable characteristics.
The juglone that prevents plant growth underneath a Walnut tree can remain in the ground for several years after the tree has been removed. Improving drainage and aeration to promote microbe growth will speed up the break down of juglone. Signs of juglone poisoning include wilting and yellowing with apple, birch, pine and tomatoes being particularly sensitive.
Most Walnut trees are self-fertile which means they will produce walnuts without the need of a different walnut nearby. That being said, having a different species Walnut nearby (closer the better but you could go as high as 1.5 miles away) will improve pollination and give you a better walnut yield. Planting other trees and plants that attract the insects will also help cross pollination. If you are thinking of have a walnut orchard then consider planting 5% of your Walnuts as a different species and upwind of the others.
The Walnut fruits will be formed on the new seasons growth.