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Growing Walnut

Growing Walnut

Northern Prize Walnut



Walnuts are attractive ornamental trees with large, pinnate leaves. They produces high quality lumber and edible nuts. The trees are slow-growing, but long-lived and their leaves emerge late in spring and drop early in fall. They are hardy in zones 5 to 8. Seedling walnut trees usually take 8 to 10 years to bear.

English Walnut (Juglans regia) is self-fruitful, but produces earlier and larger crops when two or more trees are planted together.

For full sun in moist, well-drained slightly acidic to neutral soil. Walnut dislikes hot, humid climates and grows best in cooler climates.

How To Plant

Plant bare root walnut trees as soon as the soil can be worked, 4 to 6 weeks before the frost in spring. Walnut is taprooted and can be somewhat difficult to transplant. Prepare a hole 18 to 24 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide amended with compost or other organic matter. Plant with the roots at the same depth as when growing in the nursery, and spread roots evenly without bending them.


Walnut is slow-growing, long-lived, and dislikes disturbance once established. Mulching around trees with 1 to 2 inches of organic mulch will help keep the soil moist and weed-free.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Walnut is a moderate feeders that benefits from occasional fertilization. Use full rates of

ALGOplus All Purpose 6-6-6 liquid fertilizer, Purple Cow Organics BioActive All-Purpose fertilizer 4-6-4, or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1.

Common Problems

Usually free of serious pests and problems. Sometimes affected by caterpillars including fall webworm. Diseases including anthracnose, bacterial blight, canker, and leaf spot occasionally occur.

Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew can be used to treat insect pests.

Alternative Products

Other hardy nut trees are chestnut, hickory, and pecan. Serenade organic biological fungicide can be used to naturally protect walnuts from diseases.

Product Recommendations

Plants that tolerate growing near Walnut include shrubs like forsythia and privet and flowering perennials like daylily, hibiscus, and phlox.

Walnut Facts

Walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone which inhibits the growth of many plant species. For more information about "walnut toxicity" and plants that are tolerant of juglone, see our article on Plants Resistant to Walnut Toxicity.


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