Juglans nigra Black Walnut

Often the gateway food of New England foragers. Once you find your first black walnut tree, you see them everywhere and autumn drives over roadside nut spoils are a cause to pull over and squirrel away!

Out of stock

Description

Black walnut can grow to a height of 125 feet but ordinarily grows to around 80 feet. It develops a smooth trunk and a small rounded crown when growing in the forest. In the open, the trunk forks low with a few ascending and spreading coarse branches. The root system usually consists of a deep taproot and several wide-spreading lateral roots.

Black walnut produces abundant seed crops irregularly, perhaps twice in 5 years. Although open-grown trees produce seed as early as 8 years after planting, the minimum seed-bearing age for commercial quantities of seed is about 12 years. Best seed production begins when the tree is about 30 years old and continues for another 100 years. USDA Species Information for Juglans Nigra

The nuts of black walnut furnish food for many rodents and make up about 10 percent of the diet of eastern fox squirrels. The nuts are also eaten by a variety of birds.

Shells have industrial uses and, beyond dye, immature nuts are pickled, hulls used for tinctures and the list goes on for homestead use.

Using black walnut husks for a natural fabric dye is the easiest way to get caught up in a new hobby. Flora & Fiber does a great rundown of black walnut dye methods posted online. Every year, we collect buckets of husks, let them fill with rain water and ferment until it’s wood stove season and the whole mess is strained into large pots and woolens are dyed on the stove. We refresh the color every year or throw in some rust water to get a deep brown black.

Juglone from walnut, butternut, butternut, hickory and other nut trees

Hydroxyjuglone is a nontoxic, colorless precursor that is converted into the toxic form juglone by sensitive plants and through oxidation. It is found in the vegetative buds, leaves, stems, nut hulls, and roots of the plants. Penn State Extension has a great list of trees and shrubs that are tolerant to juglone and land care practices that may give you some wiggle room when planting around these wonderful, nutty trees.

We offer the much much smaller nuts of Little Texas black walnut (Juglans microcarpa) and Arizona black walnut (Juglans major) because – diversity. The trees are from seed in our ecoregion and, who knows when they will come in handy as a nut in their own right or as a grafting root stock.