The Q&A Archives: Black Walnuts from Seed

Question: I live in A zone 5 area and I have green black walnut seeds. I want to know how to grow them.

Answer: Black walnut (Juglans nigra) needs a period of cold stratification in order to germinate, so you might simply plant themnow (in fall) in approximately the location where you want a tree(s). It forms a taproot and for this reason is difficult to grow in a pot or transplant. When siting the trees keep in mind that a mature tree will be at least 50 feet tall and will drop its walnuts on whatever is below it -- they are heavy enough to dent cars! Also, many plants are sensitive to a chemical called juglone which is exuded by its roots as well as carried in other parts of the plant -- vegetables such as tomatoes as well as azaleas and rhododendrons are among those plants most severely adversely affected. Finally, you might also keep in mind that the best walnuts are found on named varieties which are generally purchased as grafted trees rather than seedlings. Good luck with your balck walnuts!

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