Black walnut (Juglans nigra)

Black walnut fruits

Image - Wikimedia / RA Nonenmacher

The black walnut is an imposing tree, which gives very good shade and also produces edible fruits during the late summer / early fall. Its ornamental value is very high, since although its leaves are deciduous, before falling they turn a beautiful yellow color.

If you live in an area with a temperate climate and you have a space in your garden for a large tree, next I will tell you how to take care of black walnut.

Origin and characteristics

Black walnut tree

Image - Wikimedia / JoJan

It is a deciduous tree native to North America whose scientific name is juglans nigra, popularly known as black walnut. It reaches a height of 45 meters, with a straight trunk and an open crown up to 10 meters in diameter.. The leaves are formed by between 15 to 23 leaflets with an oval-lanceolate shape, the margin serrated and yellowish-green in color.

It's monoecious (there are female feet and male feet). The female flowers are grouped in clusters of two to five; male catkins are 8 to 10cm long. The fruit is a drupe that contains a walnut inside.


  • Ornamental: it is a very beautiful plant, whether grown as an isolated specimen or in groups.
  • Food: its fruits are edible, and are used in cakes, pies, ice creams and others such as confectionery products.
  • Hair dyeThe liquid (colorant) extracted from walnuts was used by Native Americans to dye their hair, and can still be used for that purpose today. The resulting color is yellowish-brown.
  • Wood. Being heavy and strong, it is used to make furniture, tool ends, etc.

What are their cares?

View of black walnut

If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:

  • Location: it must be outside, in full sun.
  • Earth:
    • Garden: grows in soils rich in organic matter, with good drainage.
    • Pot: due to its characteristics, it is not a plant that can be had in a pot. Only during its first years of youth could it be cultivated in it with a universal culture substrate mixed with 30% perlite.
  • Irrigation: 4-5 times a week in summer, somewhat less the rest of the year. It does not withstand drought.
  • Subscriber: in spring and summer with a monthly contribution of ecological fertilizers.
  • Pruning: at the end of winter remove dry, diseased, weak or broken branches.
  • Rusticity: it resists cold and frosts down to -17ºC, but cannot live in tropical climates.

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