Nut trees are welcomed all over the country because people can’t wait to grow their own delicious nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and more are nut varieties that are easy and fun to grow. Aside from giving people scrumptious and healthy snacks they also grow quite large, and make for excellent shade trees. They break up the monotonous landscapes with large, lush, green leaves.
When To Plant:
Planting in the early fall, six weeks before the first frost or in the spring six weeks after the final frost are the best times of the year to plant. However, you can plant a nut tree at any time during the year as long as your ground isn’t frozen. If you decide to plant during a hot summer heat wave, just make sure that your trees get enough water.
Choose a place for your trees that gets full sun. If your yard gets a lot of shade, just make sure that your trees get at least six hours of full sunlight a day. Nut trees can tolerate partial shade, but will produce more nuts in full sunlight.
Make sure that your location has well-draining soil, isn’t prone to flooding and doesn’t collect standing water.
Once you have your planting location all scouted out, dig a hole that’s just as deep as the root ball on your tree, and three times as wide. Then take a shovel or pitch fork and scrape the sides of the hole to loosen the dirt. Next, remove any debris from the hole, like rocks, grass, or large dirt clumps. When the hole is free of debris place your tree in it, and make sure that your tree is standing straight up, and level with the surrounding ground. Then slowly fill in the hole and gently tamp the soil down. After the planting process is complete give your tree a slow deep watering, by holding a hose to its base and counting to 20 seconds.
Pay attention to your tree’s individual watering needs. Walnuts prefer their soil to dry out in between watering sessions, while pecan trees like it when their soil is kept moist. Observe your tree’s leaves, they can indicate a lot about its watering needs. If the leaves are a shade of light brown, and curling upwards then your tree is being under watered. If the leaves are a shade of dark brown or drooping as if they’re too heavy for the branches to hold up then your tree is being over watered. Be careful to not correct under watering with over watering.
Most nut trees benefit from a well balanced fertilizer like formula 10-10-10. Apply the fertilizer annually in the early spring. Be sure to give your trees a thorough drink of water after applying fertilizer, so the water will carry nutrients down to the roots, and prevent root burn.
Mulch and Weed Control:
Spreading a 3 inch thick layer of mulch around your trees will help their soil retain moisture, and regulate its temperature. Mulch will also prevent weeds from growing close to the truck of your tree. If you happen to find any weeds growing the best way to get rid of them is by taking a firm grip on them in order to pull them out of the ground in a twisting motion.
The best time to prune your nut trees is in the late winter or early spring. Be sure to remove any dead, damaged or broken branches. Always look at your tree before deciding to shape it, and have a plan of which branches you would like to remove. Once you know what branches you would like to remove take a sharp and sterile pair of loppers or hand pruners and make your cuts facing upwards at a 45 degree angle.
Some nut tree varieties are self-fertile, while others need a mate to cross pollinate with. For example, some almond tree varieties need a mate, while pecan trees are self-fertile. Pay attention to the pollination requirements of your trees. Also, keep in mind that even when trees are self-pollinating, they produce much heavier harvests when they have a mate to pollinate with.