How to Grow an English Walnut Tree

English walnut trees are beautiful shade trees that produce nuts faster than most walnut tree varieties. A strong, hardy breed of tree, English walnuts grow best in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, where the lowest average minimum temperatures are between 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Learning to plant and care for your English walnut tree is simple, leaving you more time to enjoy your tree.

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Plant your English walnut tree in a well-drained area where the subsoil moisture is less than 12 feet from the soil's surface. Dig a hole that is 18 inches wide and 30 inches deep. Lower your English walnut tree transplant into the hole and fill the hole halfway with soil. Lightly water the freshly covered roots, then fill the hole with the rest of the soil. Water your English walnut tree again to eliminate air bubbles in the soil. If you're planting more than one English walnut tree, plant them 40 to 60 feet apart.

In the absence of rain, water your English walnut tree once a week, and more frequently in the summer months. Turn a garden hose on to a slow drip and let run for 20 or more minutes to allow the water to sink deep into the soil. Dig a small hole six to eight inches deep if you're unsure when to water. If the soil is dry or crumbly, it's time to water.

Fertilize your English walnut tree with a thick layer of manure in the fall. Use a specially formulated chemical tree fertilizer according to package direction, if you prefer. Keep your English walnut tree properly nourished to ensure that it will grow to its potential.

Prune your English walnut tree to remove damaged or diseased branches as necessary. Other than pruning the occasional problem branch, your English walnut tree does not require pruning.

Rake up the leaves around your English walnut tree before the first frost to make it easier to harvest the walnuts when they fall. Collect the walnuts from the ground and relocate them to a cool, dry location to dry out.

Tips & Warnings

  • When planting your English walnut tree, incline the tree slightly toward the prevailing wind. This will help keep the tree from bending or breaking during heavy winds.
  • Be careful to not over-fertilize your tree. Fertilizing your English walnut tree too often could burn or kill your tree's root system.


  • The Gardener's Guide to Planting and Growing Trees; Mike Buffi; 2007
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