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Black Walnut and Saturated soils?

 
Matt Banchero
Posts: 27
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So my wife and I have bought a small chunk of land and we would like to plant walnut trees out in Zone 4, the lowest and farthest point from our house. We have sandy loam soil that perks great but for several days after large rain event water sits at the lowest points on the property.

I always see in the nursery catalogs "needs well drained soil" but what does that really mean? Can roots be wet during the dormant season? This is California, it's for sure going to be dry during the summer.

Any thoughts?


BTW. The plan is to over plant a bunch of native black walnuts and train them to have straight trunks with no knots...and then graft butter nut, heart nut and thin shelled European walnuts to the most vigorous specimens about 10-12' up so we have high value saw logs too. I just want to be sure this is a viable option at all.

Matt
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Near the western edge of its range, black walnut may be confined to floodplains

Flooding for 3 to 5 days during the dormant season is tolerated, but logs and other debris will often break or bend trees. Young trees recover rapidly from such treatment, but older trees may sustain permanent damage to bark, providing an avenue of entrance for decay.

To boil it down- short duration flooding during the dormant season is ok, but as that duration increases the likelihood of damage to the trunk and disease increases.

I wouldn't spend money on named cultivars until you know how well the species will perform, but it looks feasible to me.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2002
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Matt, where are you located? The black walnut is native to the south and east coast. It is easier to get pertinent answers if we know where you are located.

For instance, if you are on the left coast, then English walnut would be a better choice perhaps than black walnut.
Black Walnut has very thick shells and the leaves and hulls are a good dye.
English walnut has a thinner shell, larger meats and is less prone to dye your skin or anything else.

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