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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. How Walnut Trees Are Grown Many walnut trees that can be found growing in the United States attain a height of over 50 feet, with similarity in 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. With large, delicious nuts, the Persian walnut tree is the most common 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. Early ripening varieties of walnuts need 140 to 150 days annually with temperatures of -2 and -6 C (27 and 29 F).
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After choosing the type of walnut, it is time 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. Next, you need to dig a hole which is 1 to 2 inches wider than the root ball of the walnut seedling. Plant the walnut seedling up to the same depth as its pot or bury its roots 1 to 2 inches underneath the soil. Fill out the hole, tamping down to ensure that there are no air pockets surrounding the roots. Next, water the walnut plant, moistening the soil without soaking it. Care of 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. There is no need for you to prune a maturing walnut tree unless it has dead or damaged branches. Every spring, remember to mulch the walnut tree. Harvesting Your Walnuts It is essential to be patient. Until they are roughly 10 years old, walnut trees do not produce any nuts, and their peak only comes at about 30 years of age. How can you tell when your walnuts are ready to be harvested? In the case of Persian walnuts, the seed coat starts to turn a light tan hue. A limb shaker that has a window for collection of nuts is the most common harvesting tool used by commercial walnut producers depending on the tree’s size. Shaking the tree manually and collecting fallen nuts is the standard harvesting method for home growers.

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