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         GARRATT                               GROWING WALNUT

   Whether grown for fruit, timber, as a landscape tree or for industrial, medicinal or
   cosmetic purposes, walnuts can offer something to everyone.

   Landowner benefits:
                   •	 high value and sought after products
                   •	 opportunities for diversification
                   •	 well suited to climate change scenarios
                   •	 aesthetically attractive trees

   Site requirements:
    •	 fertile, free draining soils, pH near neutral
    •	 sheltered location and avoidance of frost pockets
    •	 good water availability

   Common, Persian or English Walnut (Juglans regia)
   Introduced to Britain by the Romans, it is the main
   species used for fruit production. It is also highly valued
   for its decorative timber which is used for gunstocks
   and quality furniture.

   Black Walnut (J. nigra)

   Native to eastern United States, it was introduced to
   Britain in 17th century. Its distinctive dark coloured
   heartwood makes it much valued as a timber tree.


   Southern and eastern regions have traditionally been the main growing areas for Walnut
   in England. However, more recently Walnut has been grown throughout England and
   as far north as the Scottish Highlands. The largest new planting area of Walnut for
   timber production can be found in The National Forest.
There is a range of walnut species and hybrid seedlings suitable
for timber production in the UK.

Pure species

Both the Common Walnut and Black Walnut are of great interest
for timber production. Top quality logs can be worth thousands
of pounds each. Logs of 40cm top diameter by 1.8m can make
veneer or prime logs but longer lengths and greater diameters
are desirable.

•	 relatively fast growing
•	 rotation times of 60 to 80 years on good to ideal sites
•	 twice as fast as oak and typically three times more valuable
•	 current UK prices for planking grade timber: £500/m3 to £900/m3 with veneer
   grade up to three times more.

Hybrid walnuts

Hybrids of Black Walnut x Common Walnut and Arizona Walnut x Common Walnut
have been developed specifically for timber production.
•	 greater vigour than the parent species
•	 predicted UK rotation time of 35 to 50 years (25 to 35 years in France and Spain)
•	 able to grow on more marginal sites (dry or wet sites with poor soils)
•	 continental prices for hybrid walnut timber ranges between £350/m3 and
    £1100/m3 depending on log size, quality and quantity
•	 young trees performing well in England

Planting Stock & Planting Techniques

It is essential to source walnuts which have been selected for
timber production if this is the primary objective of the planting.
This is especially true for Common Walnut where seedlings from
fruiting varieties often result in very poorly formed trees.

The pure species are typically provided as two-year-old seedlings,
whereas hybrids seedlings as one-year-old seedlings, reflecting
their differences in vigour. Seedlings should be pit planted,
established at wide spacing (5m x 5m) and planted with nurse
trees and shrubs.
The Common or English Walnut (Juglans regia) is the main species used for fruit
production. The nuts can be eaten pickled, as fresh ‘wet’ nuts and as dried nuts. The
nuts are highly nutritious and have many health benefits, including the ability to lower
cholesterol levels.

There are many fruiting varieties which can be split into three main types based on their
fruiting habit, fertility and productivity. An example of each is given below:

Traditional terminal bearing varieties: require pollinators, low productivity

e.g. Franquette: Traditional French variety, late leafing, good
productivity, excellent nut quality, terminal bearer (1- 2 nuts
per terminal), requires little pruning, yields only fair compared
to modern lateral bearing varieties such as Fernor and Lara.
Requires pollinators and starts fruit production about 4 to
5 years after planting. Late fruiting season, nut size mid to
large and well sealed. Resistance to blight and codling moth.

Modern terminal bearing varieties: partly self fertile, medium productivity

e.g. Broadview: Canadian variety from British Columbia, well adapted to Northern
European conditions and commercially planted. Very productive, partially self-fertile.
Typically healthy with moderate vigour and compact habit. Late leafing with elongated,
high quality nuts.

Modern lateral bearing varieties: self fertile, highly productive

e.g. Fernor: Excellent new French variety, late leafing, precocious flowering, lateral
fruiting and blight tolerant. Late ripening, large fruit of excellent quality; light coloured,
easily extracted kernels which store well and have excellent flavour. In France, yields
of 1 tonne per hectare at 6-years-old and 4 to 5 tonnes per hectare when mature are
typical. Average vigour and semi erect habit. Suitable for hedgerow orchard systems.

Traditional varieties tend to biennial fruit production (every other year) whilst modern
varieties fruit more reliably every year, providing weather conditions are suitable.

Nut prices

In 2007, in shell ‘dried’ and fresh ‘wet nuts’ retailed at £5/kg. Pickling nuts wholesale
prices were around £1.20/kg.

Orchard Design

Traditionally, orchards are laid out at wide spaceing of at least 7m x 7m. New hedgerow
orchard designs allow more intensive production and greater yields per hectare.
Walnut is a natural woodland species which over time, man has domesticated for
fruit production, as is the case in apple and cherry. As a result, most fruiting varieties
develop heavy branches to support nut production and allocate much of their energy
and resources into producing nuts.

With some fruiting varieties, it is possible to grow them
as multipurpose trees so that at the end of their useful
fruit production life, timber can be realised from the main
stem. However, this requires a compromised management
approach, especially in relation to pruning, disease control
and harvesting, and the proportion of stem heartwood can
vary considerably.

Grafted walnut fruit trees appear to have an increased
tendency to produce burrs, especially when grafted onto
black walnut or hybrid rootstocks. In traditional orchards,
typically short-boled trees of about 2m are developed for
timber production. Above this point, a full crown is allowed
to develop to maximise fruit production. The length of clean
stem on a fruiting tree is therefore much less than a purpose
grown timber tree.

Note: Not all fruit varieties are suitable as multi-purpose trees nor are hedgerow orchard
systems suitable for timber production.

If you are interested in walnut production and advice on:
                •	 site evaluation
                •	 grant availability
                •	 demonstration plantings
                •	 market advice
                •	 management of stands and orchards

         Please contact Karen Russell MICFor (Senior Forestry Consultant),
                               Lockhart Garratt Ltd
                  7-8 Melbourne House, Corbygate Business Park,
                   Weldon, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 5JG
Tel: 01536 408840 Fax: 01536 408860 Email:


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