How to Plant Black Walnut Trees From Seeds

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Growing your own black walnut tree from seed is easy. The black walnut tree is a valuable resource to the land and for making wood products. Black walnut wood has a beautiful color, is durable and makes wonderful pieces of furniture. The benefits of the black walnut tree don't end with the wood products. This tree has edible nuts that feed people and wildlife. You can plant many black walnut trees in a grove to protect the soil and water resources. In other words, when you plant a black walnut tree, you are making an investment for the future.

Things You'll Need

  • Black walnuts
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Hand-operated corn sheller or cement mixer
  • Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Sticks rocks
  • Hardware cloth
  • V-shaped wires or rocks
  • Gloves
  • Gather some walnuts as soon as they have fallen off a tree and remove the husks. If you have a walnut tree in your area, you can pick them up for free.

  • Place the walnuts into a bucket of water. This will soften the hull and it will be easier to peel the husk by hand. You can also remove the husks by placing in a hand-operated corn sheller. Another machine that you can use to remove the husks is to place them into a small cement mixer. Along with the walnuts, add some gravel and then cover the mixture with water. Rotate the walnut mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Wash the walnuts. Fill a basin with water and then add the walnuts. If any of the walnuts float, discard them as they will not germinate well.

  • Dig a hole 4 to 5 inches deep in the area where you want the walnut tree to grow. It is a good idea to plant at least six walnut seeds at the same time. Plant each walnut seed 2 to 3 inches apart, planting in a cluster. You can also dig one big hole so you can plant all the walnut seeds at the same time. Then cover the black walnut seeds with soil.

  • Cover the area with a 3-inch layer of mulch. You can use straw or leaves to cover the area. This will protect the black walnut seeds during the freezing and thawing cycles.

  • Mark the area with sticks or rocks to you know where your walnut seeds were planted.

  • Remove the mulch in late winter or very early spring. Be sure to leave your markers in place. This will prevent you from mowing over the young black walnut trees.

  • Allow the trees to grow for four to five months. After that period of time, choose the best tree growing. Eliminate the other trees by either pulling them out or cutting them away.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have squirrels in the neighborhood, it would be a good idea to cover the walnut seeds with hardware cloth. Pin the cloth to the ground with V-shaped wires or rocks to keep it from blowing away.
  • Wear old clothes and gloves when peeling the walnuts so you don't ruin your clothes or hands from the husks.
  • If you don't want to plant the walnut seeds right away, you will need to stratify them or they will not germinate. Place them into a plastic bag after the husks have been removed. You will need to keep them in a place that remains 34 to 41 degrees F. A refrigerator is a good place to put them. You will need to keep them there for 90 to 120 days before planting.

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