Ask a Question forum: Growing Black Walnut tree in containers

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Nsmith0771
Feb 12, 2017 1:08 AM CST
I'm attempting to grow some black walnut trees indoors to be planted in the fall. I've gone put them through 120 days of stratification and planted them in a peat moss + potting soil mix in 14" tree planters.

What conditions will lead to the best results?? Is there a good way to germinate a black walnut before planting? It's a lot of work for nothing to happen.

Has anyone done this successfully?

Thanks!
Name: Ronnie (Veronica)
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luvsgrtdanes
Feb 12, 2017 7:16 AM CST
I have never germinated them on purpose but find them all over the place from the squirrels Sighing!

I do have to ask why you want them? We had one behind our yard and it was nothing but a mess, walnuts everywhere, constantly losing branches and not to mention the juglone and not being able to grow a lot of things near it. It was finally cut down this year and it was the happiest day of my life Whistling

I would seriously consider planting something else unless you have a specific reason for growing them. Just my experience with them anyway Shrug!
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Name: Mac
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McCannon
Feb 21, 2017 8:04 PM CST
I have a stand of them in the back yard. Yep, lots of fallen walnuts on the ground, falling faster than the squirrels can pick them up and bury them. Yep, I pick up branches every week. BUT, the grass grows real well under mine, AND it's real shady over summer. I have 300+ board feet of air dried lumber in my garage that came from that stand. SO, I think I'll keep mine Smiling . The specific reason those trees were plant was for the walnuts though.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 21, 2017 8:40 PM CST
I only have two thoughts for you:

I assume the nuts fell from the husk. If they didn't, they aren't any good.

Use deep planting containers for nice long taproots.

If the nuts float, they are wormy and won't germinate.

(never could count) Smiling

Why are you waiting for fall to plant them out?
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Nsmith0771
Feb 22, 2017 8:11 PM CST
Thanks for the replies.

I'm growing them to plant in my families woodlot that has been ravaged by Ash bore. Black Walnut being the most valuable lumber, it's one species to start with. I'll want to do Oaks as well.

They didn't float when I took them out of the husk. There is surprisingly little literature out there about this. Maybe because it's just easier to do outside.
Name: Mac
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McCannon
Feb 22, 2017 10:27 PM CST
If I recall correctly ours were grown from transplants dug in the wild. They were planted too close together and some aren't more than 6-8" in diameter, after 40+ years. There are some around 20-24" and we took some of those for the lumber. The ones you plant now will make a nice woodlot for your grandchildren. Oaks about the same, very slow growing. I wouldn't plant them any closer than 40' apart.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 23, 2017 12:36 AM CST
Both oaks and walnuts need room. The only information I could find says start with a 12 x 12 ft grid and thin from there.

Neither oaks nor walnuts are a fast cash crop. You have to be in for the long haul to make a profit from either. The trees that have the most value are well over 50 years old.

I grew up in native oak country that has been turned over to walnuts. My best friend is a Walnut/Pecan farmer. She sells organic walnuts and pecans, mostly at farmers markets. Her worst fear is to have someone come in and pull her trees in the middle of the night. Yes, it happens - that is valuable wood. If its an old tree, the burl (where the trunk connects to the root) is the most valuable part. The Stanislaus County Sheriffs Dept. has an entire division covering tree and nut theft.

Anyway, walnut or oak... Will fall free from their husk/cap, and won't float if viable. We always planted them where we wanted them. No transplanting and nature takes care of them.
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Feb 23, 2017 5:20 AM CST
If you want to grow then commercially for the lumber, the local Dept Of Natural Resources office should give good advice.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Feb 23, 2017 9:11 AM CST

Plants Admin

DaisyI said:Use deep planting containers for nice long taproots.
I agree

From https://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/...
Early growth of the seedling root system is rapid. Vertical taproot extension during the first growing season is great, especially on drier soils. One researcher reported a taproot penetration of more than 1.2 rn (4 ft) for 1-year-old walnut seedlings on a prairie silt loam soil. Another reported 64 to 69 cm (25 to 27 in) for 1-year-old walnut on a more moist site (47). In the second year of root growth, the taproot continues to extend and many lateral roots develop.
Evan

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