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Juglans nigra (Black Walnut)

Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, American Black Walnut

AGM Award
Juglans nigra, Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, American Black Walnut, Deciduous Tree, Fall Color, Fruit Tree
Juglans nigra, Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, American Black Walnut, Deciduous Tree, Fall Color, Fruit Tree
Juglans nigra, Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, American Black Walnut, Deciduous Tree, Fall Color, Fruit Tree
Juglans nigra, Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, American Black Walnut, Deciduous Tree, Fall Color, Fruit Tree
Juglans nigra, Black Walnut
juglans nigra, Black Walnut
juglans nigra, black walnut

Juglans nigra (Black Walnut) is a tall and massive deciduous tree with a large oval to rounded canopy of wide-spreading branches. The trunk is usually long and devoid of branches on mature trees. The dark gray-black bark is fissured and sharply ridged, forming attractive diamond patterns. Strongly aromatic when crushed, the large odd-pinnate compound leaves, 24 in. long (60 cm), comprise 15-21 lanceolate leaflets. Emerging late in spring, the dark green foliage turns bright yellow before falling in the fall. Inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers appear in spring, the male flowers in pendulous catkins, 4 in. long (10 cm), and the female flowers in short terminal spikes. The female flowers are followed by sweet, edible nuts encased in a green husk. The nuts mature in fall, dropping to the ground where the husks blacken as they rot away. The delicious nuts must be gathered early before squirrels and other wildlife can consume them. Black Walnut nuts are used in pies, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. Native to the eastern United States, Black Walnut occurs in rich hardwood forests, in ravines, and along streams and rivers. It is prized for its hardwood, especially for furniture, gunstocks, and veneer. A tall ornamental shade tree for large properties. If grown for nut production, it usually takes 20 years before a tree will produce a large crop of nuts.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 70-100 ft. tall and wide (21-30 m).
  • Performs best in full sun in moist, organically rich, well-drained soil.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Look for aphids, walnut blister mites, coral spot, leaf spot, and anthracnose. Nuts may become a nuisance as they litter and stain.
  • Propagate by seed or grafting. Plant nuts in fall or spring. If nuts are sown in spring, they must be stratified. Protect from squirrels.
  • This tree is difficult to transplant because of its deep taproot.
  • Black Walnut produces a substance known as Juglone that prevents many plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, peonies, and solanaceous crops (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes), from growing under them.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to horses, and non-toxic to cats.
  • Native to the eastern United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 5 - 9
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Juglandaceae
Genus Carya
Common names Eastern Black Walnut, Black Walnut
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 70' - 100'
(21.3m - 30.5m)
Spread 70' - 100'
(21.3m - 30.5m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Utah
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
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Carya (Hickory)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Carya glabra (Pignut Hickory)
Carya cordiformis (Bitternut Hickory)
Carya illinoinensis (Hardy Pecan)
Carya ovata (Shagbark Hickory)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Spectacular Trees for Vibrant Fall Colors: A Gardener’s Guide
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 5 - 9
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Juglandaceae
Genus Carya
Common names Eastern Black Walnut, Black Walnut
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 70' - 100'
(21.3m - 30.5m)
Spread 70' - 100'
(21.3m - 30.5m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Utah
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Carya (Hickory)
Not sure which Carya (Hickory) to pick?
Compare Now

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