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How to Care For California Grown Walnut Trees Wood from walnut trees is used for producing fine furniture and their nuts are delicious and highly nutritious. On hot days, the large, arched limbs of the walnut tree provide lots of shade. Growing Walnut Trees The majority of walnut trees that are grown in the U.S. are up 50 feet tall or taller, and are of uniform width. Most commonly, the varieties to be found in the United States are the Persian and English black, which provide nuts and shade. 50 to 80 pounds of nuts is the average annual production capacity of a mature tree. The Persian walnut tree has large nuts and is the most common variety grown in California. Among the categories of Persian walnuts grown in California include Chandler, Ashley, Pedro, Serr Vina, Sunland, Hartley and Tehama. To avoid being affected by blight, all these cultivars leaf in late spring. Persian walnuts have evolved to survive in Mediterranean climates that have mild winters, which means they may not be suitable in some regions. To grow walnuts, you need between 140 and 150 days every year where the temperatures are between -2 and -6 C (27 and 29 F).
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Planting Walnut Trees
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After you select the type of walnut you want, you need to plant the tree. You need to till an area of approximately 12 square feet to a depth of at least 10 inches to get rid of grass and weeds which would compete with your trees for nutrients and water. After this, dig a hole that is about 1 or 2 inches larger than the root ball of your walnut seedling. Put your walnut seedling in the hole you dug up to a similar depth to the pot or bury its roots between 1 and 2 inches beneath the ground. After you fill in the hole, you should tamp down to ensure that there are no air pockets left around the seedling’s roots. Water your seedling until the ground is moist, avoiding soaking. Care of Walnut Trees Unless there is drying out of the top two inches of the soil, there is no need to constantly water your walnut seedling thanks to the plant’s extensive network of roots. A maturing walnut tree does not require any pruning unless its branches are damaged or dead. Every spring, remember to mulch the walnut tree. Harvest of Walnuts A walnut grower must be patient. A walnut tree does not produce nuts until it is about 10 years old, with its production at a peak when it is around 30 years old. How can you tell when your walnuts are ready to be harvested? A light tan color tells you that Persian walnuts are ready to be harvested. Depending on how large the tree is, a commercial producer could use a limb shaker that has a window to collect the falling nuts. Home growers often simply shake the trees and collect the nuts as they fall.