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Will Black Walnut and Hickory Nuts grow if picked green?  RSS feed

 
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I went out bog trotting today hoping to find, wild anything fruit.  I was able to find some blackberries.  and I saw a really old apple tree but the apples were too high up to pick. I gathered a bunch of nuts from the following three trees.  The last set of pictures I have absolutely no idea what it is but it feels like fruit.  

I'm wondering if a seed like this picked green will still germinate.  I know we are supposed to pick Walnuts in the fall but I'm not sure if that's because they are easier to pick or if that's the only time they will germinate.

A bog trotting photo.  East Coast somewhere near the Deleware Water Gap.






I think this is a Shag bark hickory but I'm not sure, it might be butternut.  I know they tend to grow together but a picture search gives mixed information. I'm wondering if these seeds will still germinate if picked green.






https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/C7R4p8ZkuCs6q5OSHYSRXLWmzwGw_55WcFG63635fEXgRChrW94aBvfZ2VaROrjkbQdaUJ1IDg5mjpDpQoeLTOHV86uPQvkDvwyKNj-fdOs6K6tnoifL0s0mvH6WBRq0TaDVSuWYDQ=w2400


Black Walnut.  Will these germinate green?






What is this?  It's seems like some kind of fruiting tree but I'm not sure.  The berries are elongated, still green so don't know the ripe color or if there is one.













 
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The short answer is NO, green nuts (or any unripe fruit from any plant that I know of) will not germinate. They need to be mature.  You may need to make a return trip later in the year. As for the mystery tree, I'm not positive, but it looks sort of like Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) to me.

The rock piles in your first photo are interesting ... was that area once a farmstead? Somebody obviously picked those up and piled them there in the past. I wonder what was there.
 
Scott Foster
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Deb this is an area close to a historical town founded in 1760, there is also a historic graveyard, and a few skeletal farmhouses scattered around.  All of this is in a large state park.  

These rock piles are all over the place. They were probably walls at one point.   I believe they are remnants of farmsteads and were probably made when clearing the fields.  Possibly some Irish immigrants?
 
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Two of my neighbors have large English Walnut trees in their front yards. The squirrels are busy harvesting the green nuts now. They strip off the outer covering and hide/bury the nuts all over the neighborhood. In the spring there are lots of English Walnut trees sprouting from forgotten hiding places.

A bit off topic. There are also crows that take some of the unstripped nuts from the squirrels and place them on the lightly traveled street, the nuts get run over and broken open. There are at this minute; doves, starlings, sparrows, crows, and a squirrel in the street eating the exposed nutmeats.  
 
Scott Foster
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Steve Mendez wrote:Two of my neighbors have large English Walnut trees in their front yards. The squirrels are busy harvesting the green nuts now. They strip off the outer covering and hide/bury the nuts all over the neighborhood. In the spring there are lots of English Walnut trees sprouting from forgotten hiding places.

A bit off topic. There are also crows that take some of the unstripped nuts from the squirrels and place them on the lightly traveled street, the nuts get run over and broken open. There are at this minute; doves, starlings, sparrows, crows, and a squirrel in the street eating the exposed nutmeats.  



So there is hope!  I think this is a great opportunity to experiment.  I started husking the walnuts yesterday.  Maybe do a side by side comparison planting, green vs. ripe.

Oh yeah, wear gloves if you decide to do this.   I've scrubbed the skin off my fingers and this is what my hands look like today.



 
Deb Stephens
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Scott Foster wrote:Deb this is an area close to a historical town founded in 1760, there is also a historic graveyard, and a few skeletal farmhouses scattered around.  All of this is in a large state park.  

These rock piles are all over the place. They were probably walls at one point.   I believe they are remnants of farmsteads and were probably made when clearing the fields.  Possibly some Irish immigrants?



Interesting. Probably not house walls though because those rounded rocks would not dry stack well so mortar would be needed. I imagine if they had been mortared together, many more intact sections would remain and you would see the mortar in places. My thinking is that they were loose piles of stones used as short pasture "fences" or borders between properties. Lots of times, farmers would clear fields of larger stones so they could plow and plant so the resulting rock piles would be used as bonus barriers or boundary lines. You may find some report or something somewhere that explains them. I would imagine that archaeological work has been done there at some point in the past. Is there an interpretive center at the park?
 
Deb Stephens
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Steve Mendez wrote:Two of my neighbors have large English Walnut trees in their front yards. The squirrels are busy harvesting the green nuts now. They strip off the outer covering and hide/bury the nuts all over the neighborhood. In the spring there are lots of English Walnut trees sprouting from forgotten hiding places.

A bit off topic. There are also crows that take some of the unstripped nuts from the squirrels and place them on the lightly traveled street, the nuts get run over and broken open. There are at this minute; doves, starlings, sparrows, crows, and a squirrel in the street eating the exposed nutmeats.  



The hulls stay green when the nuts mature inside, but you would still need mature nuts to germinate them. It isn't the color that matters, it's the level of maturation. If they sprouted, they were mature. With black walnuts, leaving them until the husks get black and rot off is usually the best method if you only want them for planting. I've found that if you aren't particular about where the trees come up, just pile a bunch of mature nuts somewhere that squirrels can find them and forget about them. You'll have all the trees you need the following spring and you can leave them where they are or dig and transplant to new locations.
 
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My experience is that seeds are viable much sooner than I'd tend to think they would be. That's not saying that they are mature, just that they will germinate and grow...

For example: Tomato seeds are viable about 35 days after pollination, but fruits don't ripen until about 50 days or more.

Corn seeds are viable at about 17 days, but seeds might take 50 days or longer to reach full maturity and dry down.

So if it were me, I'd plant the nuts and see what happens next spring, or two springs from now...

 
Scott Foster
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
My experience is that seeds are viable much sooner than I'd tend to think they would be. That's not saying that they are mature, just that they will germinate and grow...

For example: Tomato seeds are viable about 35 days after pollination, but fruits don't ripen until about 50 days or more.

Corn seeds are viable at about 17 days, but seeds might take 50 days or longer to reach full maturity and dry down.

So if it were me, I'd plant the nuts and see what happens next spring, or two springs from now...



Thanks Joseph, I'm going to try both and see how it works out.  
 
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Those Rock piles are plowing walls, the farmers stacked the rocks they piled up as they plowed their fields and those rock walls defined the field edges.
In the photo you can see two of these and between them would have been the access alley, where they would walk the horses to one of the fields.

I lived on a farm in Newberg N.Y. for two years and was commissioned to restack some of the walls that were first built in 1678 through 1754 by the farms owner.
Our house backed up to the area where the continental army wintered the year before valley forge.

That berry bush looks a lot like Byrony and if it is, it is not edible.

as for the "unripe" seeds, most nuts as mentioned by Kola Lofthouse can be planted while still green, the key is for them to be developed enough to have a good germ.
The easy way to plant such seeds is to crack the outer husk, lay on the soil and step on them, this puts them in good soil contact or you can actually bury them the way squirrels do most of the time.
I regularly have hickory nuts and oak acorns sprout while sitting on the surface of the soil, many of these get there from winds knocking them out of the trees while still green.

Redhawk
 
Scott Foster
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Those Rock piles are plowing walls, the farmers stacked the rocks they piled up as they plowed their fields and those rock walls defined the field edges.
In the photo you can see two of these and between them would have been the access alley, where they would walk the horses to one of the fields.

I lived on a farm in Newberg N.Y. for two years and was commissioned to restack some of the walls that were first built in 1678 through 1754 by the farms owner.
Our house backed up to the area where the continental army wintered the year before valley forge.

That berry bush looks a lot like Byrony and if it is, it is not edible.

as for the "unripe" seeds, most nuts as mentioned by Kola Lofthouse can be planted while still green, the key is for them to be developed enough to have a good germ.
The easy way to plant such seeds is to crack the outer husk, lay on the soil and step on them, this puts them in good soil contact or you can actually bury them the way squirrels do most of the time.
I regularly have hickory nuts and oak acorns sprout while sitting on the surface of the soil, many of these get there from winds knocking them out of the trees while still green.

Redhawk



Very cool Story Bryant!  I will definitely be planting the Hickory and Black Walnut I have.  I'll go back and get more in November and see if there is a difference in germination.  Originally I thought of creating air-layered beds but I'm thinking of just planting them.  I'd like to get some decent growth and it seems that planting

them in a lawn slows growth quite a bit.  I'm really noticing this with the honey and black locust I planted.  The locusts in the grass are 1/4 the size of those planted in a wood-chipped bed surrounded by perennials.

Any suggestions on how you would do a nursery planting of a bunch of nuts like this?  Why would I do this?  I've noticed I'm starting to lose track of the stuff I've planted.  My son has been mowing and he lopped off six Chesnuts I had out back.  I like the idea of keeping an eye on seedlings and if they are out of site they are out of mind.

Cheers Scott

Redhawk
 
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Somewhere I saw a post where a permie had a bed for trees. Logs or lumber about 18" or so tall surrounded the bed, with 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth covering it to keep the squirrels out of the bed. When the trees are tall enough to not be squirrel bait the hardware cloth was removed. Didn't find the post in a quick search. There were pictures.
 
Scott Foster
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Somewhere I saw a post where a permie had a bed for trees. Logs or lumber about 18" or so tall surrounded the bed, with 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth covering it to keep the squirrels out of the bed. When the trees are tall enough to not be squirrel bait the hardware cloth was removed. Didn't find the post in a quick search. There were pictures.



Thanks, Joylynn
 
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