Growing Black Walnut for Nut Production: Orchard Establishment and Early Management

Editor’s note
This page currently contains only the introductory section of this guide. For the entire text, please download the PDF.

J. Bryan Webber, M.S., Senior Research Specialist, UMCA
Mark Coggeshall, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor, UMCA
Ron Revord, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor, UMCA
Nicholas Meier, Ph.D., Senior Research Specialist, UMCA
William Reid, Ph.D., Retired, Kansas State University

Eastern black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) produce high-valued hardwood products and distinctively flavored, highly nutritious, edible kernels. Black walnut kernels are a rich source of fatty acids and contain the highest protein content of any tree nut, as well as vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B-6, manganese, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. The potential for producing two valuable products on the same tree has captured the imagination of tree planters for years. Both large and small black walnut plantations have been established with the intent to harvest valuable nut crops from trees that will also eventually produce veneer-quality logs. However, if experience has taught us anything about growing black walnut, it is that the optimization of nut production and wood production are not readily achievable on the same tree.