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to expect much much more of an 18 year old!?

(19 Posts)
Barrelofloves Wed 16-Sep-09 21:34:32

My 18 year old walnut tree, absolutely waving its branches in good health, is almost doing a Vs up sign at me.

It has just produced a measly few walnuts 3 years ago and nothing since!

Can anyone shed light on this problem?

Katymac Wed 16-Sep-09 21:41:04

It needs pruning

Mine yielded 36lbs of walnuts the year after it was pruned

Barrelofloves Wed 16-Sep-09 21:54:12

That is a fabulous amount, well done!

How heavily should it be pruned? The trunk is thick now and the tree is easily as tall as our house.

Do you prune it every year?

SolidGoldBrass Wed 16-Sep-09 21:56:05

It is, in fact, Possessed. Remember that notorious scene in The Evil Dead and don't go running round the garden in a white nightie.

KurriKurri Wed 16-Sep-09 22:05:25

I think you may have a difficult adolescent walnut tree - I seem to remember reading somewhere that they don't start fruiting properly until they're about twenty years old. I've also just remembered a rhyme;
'A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, the more you beat them, the better they be.'
So maybe you should set about it with a stick,
(disclaimer, - I don't normally sanction domestic abuse.)

Katymac Wed 16-Sep-09 22:08:08

I can't afford it my tree is about 60 yrs old & it cost about £250 to prune it

It has to be done at the right time of the year (can't remember when) & the wood burns very well

Barrelofloves Thu 17-Sep-09 04:14:10

OMG £250 for a big bag of walnuts!!

FlamingoBingo Thu 17-Sep-09 07:28:47

Can't you prune it yourself? Get a good lopper and/or chain saw and a good sturdy ladder and you'll be able to do it for free for years to come.

GrendelsMum Thu 17-Sep-09 09:19:54

I think the answer may be that you got hit by a late frost this year.

From the RHS advice site:

Walnuts grown for fruiting are types of the English or Persian walnut, Juglans regia. Some common cultivars include ‘Broadview’, ‘Buccaneer’, ‘Franquette’ and ‘Northdown Clawnut’.

They can either be grown as a standard with a central leader or kept small by removing the leader. Central leader standards should have their lowest branches removed back to the trunk while still young. To keep both forms of tree relatively compact and bushy, the new growth of the side branches can be pinched out at the fifth or sixth leaf every summer. Otherwise, where space is not limited the tree can be allowed to grow unhindered with pruning kept to a minimum.

Walnuts grown purely as ornamental trees do best as central leader standards with the lowest branches removed in the early years. If the leader is lost, perhaps due to frost, it should be pruned back into healthy wood in summer and a sideshoot used as replacement. The black walnut, Juglans nigra is less inclined to lose its leader than J. regia, J. cinerea and J. ailanthifolia.

Established walnuts, whether fruiting or ornamental, are best left unpruned. Where pruning is necessary it is important that the work be undertaken between mid-summer and early autumn. Prune side branches to a main branch or to the trunk, cutting along the line of the branch collar (the swelling where one branch joins another or the trunk). This promotes healing and prevents decay entering the trunk. Hard pruning is not tolerated.

Avoid pruning walnuts in late winter or early spring (January-April) as the sap rises early and the pruning cuts will bleed profusely.


Walnuts are wind-pollinated. Most are self-fertile, but the flowers open in early spring, making them vulnerable to frosts. On individual trees male flowers open before females so cross-pollination is more successful with at least one other tree within about 80m (27ft).

Barrelofloves Fri 18-Sep-09 01:46:43

Thank you so much! I might try and establish another one then and try and keep it small but they do take up an inordinate amount of room.

I found a discarded almond growing in the compost, have potted it up and brought it in the house. Is it worth keeping?

ToAnswerYourQuestion Fri 18-Sep-09 05:35:44

what a bizarre thread. i read the OP as being an analogy for an 18 yo ds or dd and was quite bemused when the analogy continued...

Katymac Fri 18-Sep-09 07:56:24

GrendelsMum I have no idea which type mine is (it has nice nuts) but I would question the last line of your quote 80m=27ft??

ToAnswerYourQuestion Fri 18-Sep-09 13:17:28

oh gracious grin

GrendelsMum Fri 18-Sep-09 15:34:55

If you've got to have a second full-grown walnut tree within 27ft, we may have identified the problem!

GrendelsMum Fri 18-Sep-09 15:36:55

Probably the almond you've found isn't worth keeping for nuts, as it will probably be a variety for growing in spain (or wherever your almonds came from) and another variety would be better in the UK. But that's only a general rule...

Barrelofloves Fri 18-Sep-09 19:30:29

If I've got to have a second fully grown walnut tree there'd be no room for our house!

Seems a bit OTT to bring the bulldozers in for the sake of a bag of nuts.

Seems there is nuttin I can do grin

Tortington Fri 18-Sep-09 19:31:52

i think you need to chuck it out - its taking liberties

GrendelsMum Sat 19-Sep-09 10:44:03

Is it a lovely tree? It sounds gorgeous. Why not just keep it for looks and not worry too much about whether you get fruit or not - you'll probably find that you get nuts some years and not others.

You could try growing something else for nuts instead - perhaps a cob nut would be more reliable?

Barrelofloves Sat 19-Sep-09 22:48:54

what's the difference between cobnut and hazelnut?

I ordered hazels for our hedging

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