Notes from the nut fall, 2010

September 20, 2010

It looked as though the three nights of frost in late May had done in this year’s walnut crop, but after supper tonight Bet and I gathered about 40 gallons of walnuts from five trees growing together in the woodlot and one in the garden.

The young garden tree yielded 530 nuts (4 white oil-pails full) before I ran out of space and desisted for the evening. That was about 2/3 of the nuts on the ground. The tree still has a lot of nuts on it. I’d call that a best fruiting ever for that young tree. Perhaps it’s because I pruned a large extraneous limb off it last year. Stress seems to encourage walnuts to bear.

Update: 22 September. From the garden tree I gathered another 560 nuts from the ground and low-hanging branches. There are still perhaps 500 nuts on the upper branches of the tree, but they don’t seem ready to fall yet. About fifty nuts lay under the small tree in the shade of the barn, with a few on the upper branches. Competition from the nearby red mulberrry tree and vines crawling over the upper limbs have limited this tree’s productivity. In the woods again there are nuts not yet ready to fall, but I gathered only about 60 more from beneath the clump of frost-evading trees there. A search of the remainder of the woods turned up no more bearing trees, so it looks like a short nutting season in 2010.