How to Grow a Walnut Tree From a Walnut

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Things You'll Need

  • Walnuts

  • Hammer

  • Straw

  • Chicken wire

  • Compost

  • Vegetable cage

Grow a Walnut Tree From a Walnut

Walnut trees are high and majestic trees when they are full grown. The trees are very easy to start from seed and they grow well in almost any type of soil. The enemy you must watch for most closely is the squirrel. If you don't protect your seed, the squirrels will surely dig them up and make lunch out of them. Patience is key when starting a walnut tree from a walnut, as it can take up to 10 years for the tree to bear fruit.

Step 1

Gather some walnuts that have fallen out of a tree nearby your home. This usually starts happening in the fall before the first freeze. If there are no walnut trees near your home, go to a local nursery and purchase the seeds. This way you will know the seeds are viable and haven't been processed like the walnuts you buy at the store.

Step 2

Place the walnuts you've collected on a covered work table. Hold a hammer sideways and tap the nut a few times. It should split and the seed will be visible. Pull the husk off and discard.

Step 3

Dig a hole only a couple of inches deep. The hole should only be two times the width of the nut. Plant more seeds than you want trees in case some don't come up. You can thin them out later or transplant the others.

Step 4

Plant the seeds right away and cover them with dirt. Place chicken wire over the dirt where the seeds are and cover with straw. This will keep the squirrels from digging them up and protect them. Mark the location where you planted them.

Step 5

Leave them alone for the winter. They will start to sprout in the spring. You can remove the chicken wire at this point, but you may want to get a vegetable cage for them while they are very small. This will not only protect them from predators, but you will not run over them with the lawn mower either. They will quickly grow out of the cage and you will no longer need it.

Step 6

Transplant or pull up the weakest of the seedlings when they are about 6 inches tall. Water regularly throughout the summer and spread some compost around the soil but not directly on the new trunk. They will grow 1 to 2 feet in their first season. After the winter again, just water and compost the new tree.

Dale Devries

Dale DeVries has worked in real estate for more than 30 years. She has owned real estate offices in two states and has experience in every facet of the business, including listing, selling, rentals and investment properties.