I have tried to grow trees from the nuts and nothing comes up. How
do you sprout nut seeds?
Most temperate tree nuts including walnuts, butternuts, heartnuts,
hazelnuts, hickory, pecan, chestnuts, etc., need to be stratified
before they will germinate. Collect fresh nuts in the fall and fall
plant them as squirrels do, one or two inches deep. If squirrels
are plentiful in your area, you can duplicate nature's way, by mixing
the nuts with a wet medium like peat moss and store them in a plastic
bag in the refrigerator to give them the cold, moist conditioning
needed to set up the embryo to sprout. Chestnuts should be stored
in almost dry peat or spagnum moss. Plant them in the spring as
weather conditions permit. Cover the planting site with chicken
wire to keep the squirrels from digging up the nuts. Where squirrel
and other nut pest pressure is high, form the chicken wire into
a tent over the nuts and bury the sides and ends 20 cm into the
You can plant the nuts in a tall pot and sprout the nuts indoors.
A 2 litre (quart) milk carton opened to utilize the full height
with drainage holes poked in the bottom can be used as a planting
pot. A well drained soil mixture is best to get them started. Plant
the stratified seed with the top end facing the centre, just under
the surface. Place in a room temperature room to sprout.
do I do about squirrels?
are a number of birds and small animals that can be a problem in
a nut planting. Squirrels are the biggest problem of the nut grower.
They are most serious in Persian walnut, heartnut and hazelnut plantings.
They will start to cut the nuts down mid summer, long before the
nuts are ripe. Live trapping and removal can be a solution, but
this can be expensive in time and effort. A Jack Russell terrier
stationed in the planting can keep them under control, or a powerful
pellet gun can be used. Also encourage hunters to hunt squirrels
during regular hunting seasons. The best solution is to place your
orchard in an area that is isolated from wooded areas and parks
that can house a population of squirrels.
have a black walnut in my yard. What can I do with the nuts?
walnut meats are not only high in food value, but delicious. They
are well worth the trouble to get at the meats. They are excellent
in cookies, fudge and other places where nut meats are used. They
can be mixed with other nut meats or used alone.
Gather the nuts when they fall from the tree. You can remove the
green hulls by tramping on them. Small hullers can be built or purchased
to do this job if you plan to do a lot each year. Use heavy rubber
gloves to pick up the hulled nuts and wash or rinse the nuts vigorously
in a pail to remove any remaining pulp. For large amounts, a cement
mixer is useful for cleaning the nuts. Spread the nuts out in an
airy place to dry or if space is a problem, place them several layers
deep in trays, bins or boxes and flip them in the container twice
a day for a week or more. They will dry thoroughly in 1-2 months,
but this can occur faster indoors. Once dry they will keep fresh
tasting at least until the warm weather of summer. For longer storage
the nuts can be kept frozen.
Though black walnut crackers can be purchased, the cheapest way
to crack the nuts is with a hammer and vice or anvil. Rap the nut
with the hammer several times to crack it. A wire cutter can be
used to break out bound pieces along with a nut pick.
Butternuts can be treated in a similar manner, but the hulls are
more difficult to remove without a huller. Most growers leave the
hulls on and let them dry. When cracked, the hull which becomes
papery, will break away on the first hit with a hammer, leaving
a clean shell to crack. Butternuts usually crack better when stood
have a chestnut tree in my yard. Are the nuts edible?
people confuse the common horse chestnut with the sweet chestnut.
The horse chestnut is not edible. Horse chestnut burs (hulls) have
blunt spikes, while sweet chestnut burs are very sharp and spiny.
The horse chestnut nut is almost round with no flower end, while
the sweet chestnut nut has a pointed end with a small shriveled
flower tip. The most important difference is the taste. Horse chestnut
meats taste bitter, while sweet chestnuts are mildly sweet.
beech nuts edible?
nuts are very tasty, but the nut is quite small and so few people
collect them for eating. The nuts are triangular in shape and are
found in a bur like a sweet chestnut with spines that are much smaller
and softer than the spines of sweet chestnut.
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