Saturday, August 02, 2008

More about the Black Walnut

At the end of the woodlot tour on Lalandes property, which was held on October 14th, 2006, one of the members was giving away walnuts that he collected from a tree on his property. He gave use about 50 walnuts, which I planned to plant here at Heartwood.

In the mean time we had the nuts stored in a basket outside, and by the time we were ready for planting on December 24th 2006 -- it was a very mild fall -- the squirrels had raided the basket and left us with 36.

We laid out a 6 metre by 6 metre grid and planted the nuts at each one metre intersection. The ground was very soft and wet so to plant them we simply pushed the nut into the ground with the heel of our boots.

Next spring 7 of the nuts sprouted. I cut squares out of old carpet and cut a slit from the middle out and placed the carpets around the nuts that survived. This was to control the weeds around them which worked very well.

The following year we had 14. Yay! seven more nuts sprouted. So what are we going to do with them all?

The previous trees did not do so well and were late putting out leaves. From this website I see now that it might be the high moisture that has delayed the trees. We have had a record number of rainy days this year in this area.

The referenced website also describes the process for transplanting walnuts. It appears that the nut produces a large tap root, so one can not wait too long to transplant them. They should be less than one metre (3 feet) tall. I might have another year yet since these seedlings are only about half a metre (16in.) tall.

This weekend I potted one of the walnuts as a gift for my father in-law who lives in northern New Brunswick. Some members of my family were going up to see him and took it with them. It is much colder up there and the winters are much longer. We are already at the northern edge of the Walnut habitat. I wonder how it will do.

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