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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing the Growth Potential and Establishment of Eastern Black Walnuts in North Central Tennessee

Authors
item Brauer, David
item Idassi, Joshua - TENNESSEE STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Northern Nut Growers Association Report
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2007
Publication Date: June 1, 2007
Citation: Brauer, D.K., Idassi, J.I. 2007. ASSESSING THE GROWTH POTENTIAL AND ESTABLISHMENT OF EASTERN BLACK WALNUTS IN NORTH CENTRAL TENNESSEE. Northern Nut Growers Association Report. 96:1-10.

Interpretive Summary: There are several hundred named varieties/genotypes of eastern black walnuts that have been selected for improved nut quality; however, little data are available regarding the suitability and productivity of these varieties in specific regions of the United States. The success of establishment of four varieties of grafted eastern black walnuts was studied at three locations in north central Tennessee. All three sites had soils that were classified as being well drained. Survival three years after planting was affected by site. Only about half of the trees survived at the one site as compared to an average of 90% survival at the other two sites. Trees at one site were subjected to spring flooding twice in the three years and tree survival was least at this location. In addition, there was a tendency for higher mortality for trees grafted with the scion from the genotype Emma Kay and tree height tended to be less after three years for grafted trees with the scion from the genotype Emma Kay. Flooding at the one site appeared to be related to its position in the landscape rather than the drainage characteristics of the soil. These results indicate that survival of eastern balck walnut seedling trees can be quite high; however, flooding can reduce tree survival and growth, with trees from the genotype of Emma Kay being more susceptible to the adverse effects of flooding.

Technical Abstract: The major American processor of nuts from eastern black walnuts has presented a new vision for the industry, in which landowners would grow this tree species specifically for high quality nuts under orchard-like conditions and to facilitate this vision, the processor has been buying high quality nuts from improved varieties/genotypes at a premium price. There are several hundred named varieties/genotypes of eastern black walnuts that have been selected for improved nut quality; however, little data are available regarding the suitability and productivity of these varieties in specific regions of the United States. The success of establishment of 4 varieties of grafted eastern black walnuts was studied at three locations in north central Tennessee by scientists from the ARS location in Booneville AR and Tennessee State University. Survival 3 years after transplanting was high for all 4 varieties; however, there was a tendency for higher mortality with the variety Emma Kay on the site that experienced the spring flooding in 2 of the 3 years. These results are of interest to landowners considering planting eastern black walnuts for nut production, and consulting foresters and natural resource conservation specialists who provided advice to landowners.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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