• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Dwarfing Nut Trees Through Pruning

Posts: 973
Location: Western Washington
duck forest garden personal care rabbit bee homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's a lot of literature about dwarfing standard and semi dwarf fruit trees through pruning. I was wondering if the same would be possible with larger nut trees such as chestnuts and walnuts. I've met a lot of people who would like to grow them but don't have the space for 25 or 30 foot centers. Has anyone thought about or tried this? Do you think it would be bad for the tree?
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
forest garden solar
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Under perfect condition a walnut tree will grow to 150ft.
But a mature height of 70ft - 80ft is more common.
Most nurseries sell a 'dwarf' version that only grow to 50ft
Getting a 80ft tree to turn into just av10ft tree is asking for too much.

Butternut, Heartnut, and Buartnut Walnut are a different species in the same family they only get to 25ft. So that could be considered a 'dwarf'.
Juglans californica height is also only 25ft

Texas walnut (Juglans microcarpa) = 10ft - 30ft. I have never tasted the nut.
This one is your best bet for getting a dwarf walnut.
It would be cool if someone crossed this 10ft plant with a 25ft (Butternut/etc)
Texas walnut is not as cold hardy though.

You can always do bonsai, and any walnut tree would survive. Just don't expect to stop pruning or think that fruiting will scale down linearly. There will pretty much be 'no fruit' aka nuts.

Allegheny chinquapin, American chinquapin, dwarf chestnut, chinquapin chestnut (Castanea pumila) is a different species in the chestnut family, normally around 12ft tall, the nuts are good
Posts: 3119
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am way into this topic:

Chestnuts can be grafted to oaks.
Dwarf Chinkapin Oaks spread from the roots like a hedge and never get very high,20 feet at most.
It starts producing acorns early on,like at 3-4 feet tall,  produces a lot of them and they are so low in tannins as to need no leaching!

The Allegheny Chinquapin is a small shrublike native chestnut .
It is frequently  multistemed and tops out at about 15 feet tall.
The nuts are small, so grafting branches from trees that produce bigger nuts could be worth while.

First, you drop a couch from the plane, THEN you surf it. Here, take this tiny ad with you:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic