Black Walnuts are an incredible source of food and are a truly beautiful tree. We believe their shells are the hardest to crack because they have some of the most amazing gifts our native landscape can offer. They prefer moist alkaline soil, so choose your site carefully. Our black walnuts are from mother trees that are prairie hardy to zone 3. The nuts are really unique, with an earthy, spicy, wild taste, and can be roasted and added to all kinds of deserts, dishes, and flours. They make the best banana bread. They are extremely nutritious, being high in protein, healthy fats, and an array of vitamins and minerals. The nuts also have a long shelf life once they’re properly dried and can be stored for many years. What other foods could you say the same thing about?! The hull of Black Walnuts smells like aromatic limes and will stain your fingers for at least a few days, so wear your rubber gloves when hulling!
Black Walnuts need full sun, and they also exude a chemical called juglones that can inhibit growth of other plants around it. There are some plants that will live beneath it, but many will not including blueberries, apples, white birch, tamarack, pine, silver maple, potato, tomato, pepper and eggplant. Keep this in mind when planting. Black Walnut is self fertile, but having more than one will ensure better cross pollination and yields. Black Walnut is also prized for it’s hardwood. An acre of mature Black Walnuts can have a 100 000 value for timber.
If you’re serious about harvesting and processing a lot of black walnuts here’s a few tips and tricks. Fill a bucket of water and add the nuts with their hulls on them into the bucket. Using a corded drill with a paint mixer, mix the nuts in the bucket for 5 or so minutes. The agitation of the paint mixer will remove most of the hulls from the nuts. From there they can be dried. For efficient shelling, use the duke nut cracker, or grandpas goodie getter, or other nut crackers specifically made for the hard shell of black walnut. However, a hammer and a solid flat rock will work in a pinch!
|Latin name||Juglans nigra|
|Sun Requirements||full sun to part shade|
|Average year to bear fruit||10|
|Soil||Moist alkaline soil|
|Pollination||Self fertile- however more trees increases pollination.|