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Nut suggestions for Northern Europe

 
pollinator
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We've planted a walnut and 30 hazelnuts we have a 80 year old beech tree and a few small oaks already on the property, I'm wondering what other nut trees might manage a crop in our cool/cold summers. Chestnuts, almonds and pecans do not crop here we simply do not have the warmth they require. Are there any pine trees that can be used for nuts? especially any that come from COLD summer areas.
 
pollinator
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Yeah absolutely pines will work for you. Korean nut pine comes to mind. I think there’s even some Siberian nut pines. Martin Crawford has an excellent book on all kinds of nuts. It’s worth checking out
 
pollinator
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Chris Holcombe wrote:Yeah absolutely pines will work for you. Korean nut pine comes to mind. I think there’s even some Siberian nut pines. Martin Crawford has an excellent book on all kinds of nuts. It’s worth checking out


Don't get fooled by the denomination "Siberian". Siberia stretches so far to North and South that there are actually regions with much hotter summers than Central/Northern Europe.
Denmark certainly has milder winters but at latitude 55 is more northerly than for example Irkutsk (52).

So while it gives a rough outline there still might factors that don't make planting comparable.

Sorry, nothing to add on the nut front. Walnuts and hazelnuts are easy here, everything else (including edible chestnuts) not and has to be imported.
 
pollinator
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Araucaria araucana- yes it can be a long wait but someone has to plant it. With some of the nuts you have ruled out there are varieties that are better for cool climates like England, e.g I have a robijn almond tree that has produced quite well but I guess if you are at 57N it might be a bit too far for them. Perhaps more named varieties of Hazel as Cobnuts and Filberts?
 
Skandi Rogers
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unfortunately monkey puzzles don't fruit here again not warm enough.
Pinus koraiensis Korean nut pine does sound possible since it appears to like cool summers, does anyone know if it can grow on chalk? I see it prefers acid but that doesn't always mean it can't grow on a basic soil. And I can see I can buy them here which is a big plus!
 
Henry Jabel
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People grow them in Scotland and get them to fruit there. I was assuming your climate isnt too different from there?!

One of the people I have bought seeds off before is in Inverness the other is Dundee

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Three-Araucaria-araucana-Monkey-Puzzle-Tree-Seeds/184443616349?hash=item2af1b23c5d:g:QxMAAOSwLAlfW-mD

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/40-x-FRESH-MONKEY-PUZZLE-TREE-SEEDS-Araucaria-Araucana/174583748776?hash=item28a60098a8:g:AYoAAOSwGz9fRl-L
 
Skandi Rogers
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Only going on what I am reading but they very rarely flower here and even when they do it's even less common that they ripen any nuts.  I've not seen any large ones around either which I used to in Aberdeen.
 
pollinator
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I just posted a bit on Korean nut pines here:  https://permies.com/t/153778/Korean-Pine-tree-growing-tips  

I actually just got around to shelling my first (tiny) harvest of bladdernuts!  https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Staphylea+pinnata  I actually picked them off the ground around November.  I've had the plant also about 5 years, and it's quite a pretty little shrub so far.  My understanding is that it's self-fertile but will fruit more heavily with another nearby, so I need to find another place for a second.  

I will say that the shells are VERY hard, and my nutcracker (from the nice guy at Piteba) left me with tiny shards of shell and meat instead of what the pretty picture shows.  So shelling was tedious and not particularly productive.  If anyone has a suggestion for improving the process, please chime in.

Also, um, a bladder is not the first organ I would have identified the protective structure as.  At least it makes finding fallen nuts easy, and the squirrels don't seem to have clued in that there's food inside.  
 
Anita Martin
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Only going on what I am reading but they very rarely flower here and even when they do it's even less common that they ripen any nuts.  I've not seen any large ones around either which I used to in Aberdeen.


One neighbour down the street has a little Auracaria, but in all the years I am living here it has hardly grown at all. Not sure about the variety.

Regardint the bladdernut:
Very interesting, just did some reading on the German wikipedia entry:
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemeine_Pimpernuss

It seems the nuts are used in the Georgian cuisine as jonjoli, the dried shells were used for rosaries, and in parts of Bavaria the nuts are used for a special liquor with aphrodisiac effects (so they say, never had one myself - it is the first time I heard of it, to be true).


Today I have received a seed and plants catalog from one of my favourite organic providers and they have hickory nut trees. First time I saw them.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Morfydd St. Clair wrote:

I actually just got around to shelling my first (tiny) harvest of bladdernuts! .  



So what do they taste like? I've never heard of them before but they are available here and apparently crop well so if they taste decent they sound worth planting
 
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Araucaria doesn't fruit in Denmark? Weird, because according to the Norwegian alien species list it fruits well on the west coast of Norway, so well north of your location Skandi. (https://artsdatabanken.no/Fremmedarter/2018/N/3374) Also, I definitely saw one with ripe cones at about 63 degrees north (also Norwegian coast) although I never got around to checking if there were any seeds on that one. Probably not, as it was the only one of its species in the immediate vicinity. Awesome tree though, and the nuts are super tasty boiled, quite like chestnuts.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Eino Kenttä wrote:Araucaria doesn't fruit in Denmark? Weird, because according to the Norwegian alien species list it fruits well on the west coast of Norway, so well north of your location Skandi. (https://artsdatabanken.no/Fremmedarter/2018/N/3374) Also, I definitely saw one with ripe cones at about 63 degrees north (also Norwegian coast) although I never got around to checking if there were any seeds on that one. Probably not, as it was the only one of its species in the immediate vicinity. Awesome tree though, and the nuts are super tasty boiled, quite like chestnuts.



I have a suspicion that they die in our colder winters. the west coast of Norway is zone 8 and we are zone 7 so it may be that they die before they get old enough to fruit. That would explain why I have not seen one over 12 ft tall as well.

EDIT I found some more information on them, apparently one winter during ww2 every single one in the country died, except for one in Copenhagen there are a few large ones on an island on the southern border that look around 60 or so. If winters continue getting milder it might be something worth planting here, but at a 35 year wait to even know what sex it was..
 
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I have a similar problem here with cool summers on Skye (NW Scotland) the US zone system doesn't really work well to identify whether a plant will grow well or fruit.  However, we also get mild winters rarely below -5, so I am optimistic that my monkey puzzles will crop (in between 10 to 40 years from now- they grow here almost as fast as any other tree!).  I have also bought some hazelnut cultivars this year, since we had a really good year with local nuts three years ago.  Chestnut doesn't seem to like the salt winds, so isn't doing very well, maybe if the warmer summers reach this far I might get better wood ripening in future, but I'm not even planting it for firewood now.  I am also trying bladdernut and korean pine.  
I tasted bladdernut at East Devon Forest Garden a couple years ago - very pleasant, a bit chewy perhaps.  The inner shell is tough and soft which is what makes it difficult to remove.  Mine haven't fruited yet, but I'm optimistic; the plants are growing well so far.
I've struggled to get Korean pine to germinate - only one seedling in two years trying from seed (although that has now survived a year in the ground, still tiny).  Last year I thought I'd bought seedlings, but I'm not sure what they actually are, the foliage is yellow tipped, so I'm not convinced they are Korean pine.  I'm trying seed again this year.
Another nut I am hopeful may work for me is Gevuina avellana (chilean hazelnut), the edible seeds also have an oil that is supposedly a valuable sunscreen.  I have one plant growing well, and a couple of seedlings.  It may be too tender for you again though.
Another Chilean possible is Chilean plum yew: Prumnopitys andira/elegans and the somewhat similar Japanese plum yew Taxacarpus fortunii.  I have small plants of these, but they may need rather warmer summers than I get.
Some Elaeagnus species have edible seeds that may be of interest, and other Pines I am considering are Pinus cembra, and Pinus pinaster.
I wasn't hopeful I would get Walnut to fruit here.  What variety have you got?  I gather the heartnut (Juglans ailantifolia) will ripen earlier than walnut, so I'm thinking of trying a few of those. ART list several cultivars.
 
Eino Kenttä
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I'm thinking of trying shagbark hickory (Carya laciniosa) as I've read that it can fruit in southern Sweden, but haven't found a reputable seed source yet. Does anyone know of one (preferably in Europe)? But again, it will take many years to reach maturity...
Yellowhorn (Xanthoceras sorbifolium) is mentioned a lot, but few people seem to have actually tasted it. You find dozens of sources (all quoting each other, I suppose) claiming that the nuts taste like macadamias, but that seems to be nothing more than rumor. Tried to find statements from people who actually tried, could only find two who said they had. One said that it was pleasant eating, but not entirely like macadamias, while the other said it was barely edible and quite disgusting. Did anyone here try? Also, not sure how far north it would be hardy.
Nut pines are nice! In northern Sweden you find them (probably Pinus sibirica) planted in a lot of small villages, even in the cold inland. I once heard someone claim that the state at some point encouraged people to plant them as an emergency food source for scarce years (fat, yum). Unusually good thinking for the state, if it's true...
 
Anita Martin
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Eino Kenttä wrote:I'm thinking of trying shagbark hickory (Carya laciniosa) as I've read that it can fruit in southern Sweden, but haven't found a reputable seed source yet. Does anyone know of one (preferably in Europe)? But again, it will take many years to reach maturity...
Yellowhorn (Xanthoceras sorbifolium) is mentioned a lot, but few people seem to have actually tasted it. You find dozens of sources (all quoting each other, I suppose) claiming that the nuts taste like macadamias, but that seems to be nothing more than rumor. Tried to find statements from people who actually tried, could only find two who said they had. One said that it was pleasant eating, but not entirely like macadamias, while the other said it was barely edible and quite disgusting. Did anyone here try? Also, not sure how far north it would be hardy.
Nut pines are nice! In northern Sweden you find them (probably Pinus sibirica) planted in a lot of small villages, even in the cold inland. I once heard someone claim that the state at some point encouraged people to plant them as an emergency food source for scarce years (fat, yum). Unusually good thinking for the state, if it's true...


Not sure if this is the hickory variety you mean, but saw it in a German gardening catalog.
IMG_20210105_171017.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210105_171017.jpg]
 
Eino Kenttä
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Thanks! What's the name of the company/catalog? Not sure what species it is either, but guess either C. laciniosa or C. ovata. Both are hardy and fruiting in south Sweden according to what I read... My German is so rusty it's virtually nonexistent, but those are plants, not seeds, right? Would be easier with seeds, but the best seed source I found in Europe was some russian guy on Etsy, plus B and T world seeds have them for preorder.
 
Anita Martin
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Eino Kenttä wrote:Thanks! What's the name of the company/catalog? Not sure what species it is either, but guess either C. laciniosa or C. ovata. Both are hardy and fruiting in south Sweden according to what I read...


The company is Hof Jeebel. The German name translates to shagbarked hickory nut (was that the name? Can't check on my mobile phone and hope I haven't written an obscenity...).
 
Eino Kenttä
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Yeah, that's the name, and whether it's obscene or not is anyone's guess... Gonna check it out, thanks again!
 
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Both chestnuts and almonds can crop in denmark. My grandparents got an almond (cant remember the cultivar) that usually get loads of nuts. Its up against a wall so its a bit shelted in its location, but almonds can be grown here especially if your in a milder part of the country. Sweetchestnuts are naturalized and spreeding in some places in denmark and they crop very well. The chestnuts i´ve seen around here are seedling trees so the nuts are a bit smaller but I know of people who has planted grafted varites that should produce decently in our climate. Last october I found a  huge chestnut in a park in copenhagen that produced nuts the size of those imported for eating. Black walnut can grow and produce ripe nuts here and the taste is great and totally different than the regular walnut (juglans regia). Due to black walnuts ripening here I think that some of the pecans and hickories with a more northern distribution might be alright also, but its just a theory.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Simon Flygare wrote:Both chestnuts and almonds can crop in denmark. My grandparents got an almond (cant remember the cultivar) that usually get loads of nuts. Its up against a wall so its a bit shelted in its location, but almonds can be grown here especially if your in a milder part of the country. Sweetchestnuts are naturalized and spreeding in some places in denmark and they crop very well. The chestnuts i´ve seen around here are seedling trees so the nuts are a bit smaller but I know of people who has planted grafted varites that should produce decently in our climate. Last october I found a  huge chestnut in a park in copenhagen that produced nuts the size of those imported for eating. Black walnut can grow and produce ripe nuts here and the taste is great and totally different than the regular walnut (juglans regia). Due to black walnuts ripening here I think that some of the pecans and hickories with a more northern distribution might be alright also, but its just a theory.



Interesting that sweet chestnuts can fruit here the only one I have ever seen died about 5 years ago when we had a spell of -15 it was quite a large tree as well I know they should survive that temperature but rosemary and sage don't survive outside here either and they should as well. (I suspect it's the constant freeze thaw and damp) Interesting you found one that produced big nuts, in the UK it's very noticeable how much smaller the nuts are in the north  than they are in the south. I found a good crop in Durham but they were nearly half the size of the New Forest ones. It might be worth getting some seed from that tree. Not that I will ever be in Copenhagen.
I am up near Hanstholm so it's much cooler than copenhagen, and my only south(east) facing wall is reserved for a fig it was only planted last year so will take a while.  I found this little diagram showing the heat differences over denmark

And the link so you can see what the colours mean
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Skandi Rogers wrote:

Morfydd St. Clair wrote:

I actually just got around to shelling my first (tiny) harvest of bladdernuts! .  



So what do they taste like? I've never heard of them before but they are available here and apparently crop well so if they taste decent they sound worth planting



i was told that they taste like pistachios.  With that possibly biasing me, I'd say that's correct.  A kind of green taste and a creamy texture.  I did not roast them, so I don't know how that changes them.
 
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