How to Care For California Grown Walnut Trees

Close-up of Ripening Almonds on Central California Orchard

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.

How Walnut Trees Are Grown

The majority of California Almonds 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. A fully mature tree is capable of producing between 50 and 80 pounds of walnuts yearly. Prized for producing large nuts, the Persian walnut is the most common California grown walnut tree. Several cultivars exist, including Chandler, Ashley, Pedro, Howard, Hartley, Serr Vina, Tehama and Sunland. In late spring, all of these cultivars leaf out, avoiding the walnut blight. Mediterranean climates, which Persian walnuts are adapted to, have mild winters and this type requires similar conditions. Between 140 and 150 days annually are required where the temperature ranges from -2 to -6 C (27 and 29 F) to successfully grow walnuts.

How to Plant the Trees

After choosing the type of wholesale Almonds, it is time to plant the tree. Tilling about 12 square feet up to a depth of 10 inches or more will get rid of grass and weeds which would compete with your tree for nutrients and water. Dig a hole roughly 1 or 2 inches wider than your seedling’s root ball. Place your seedling in the hole up to the same depth as its pot or bury its roots about 2 inches below the ground. Fill out the hole, tamping down to ensure that there are no air pockets surrounding the roots. Moisten the soil by watering your tree, avoiding soaking the ground.

Care for Walnut Trees

The extensive network of roots on a walnut tree means that the seedling does not require constant watering unless the top couple of inches of soil have dried out. A maturing walnut tree does not require any pruning unless its branches are damaged or dead. Mulch the tree as needed every spring.

Walnut Harvesting

Patience is vital when growing walnuts. 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. Commercial walnut producers shake the tree with a limb shaker which has a window to collect the nuts depending on how large a walnut tree is. However, a home grower can simply shake the tree branches and collect fallen nuts. Learn more about nuts at


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