Publication Details

Nut production in response to thinning and fertilization for planted walnut

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Ponder, Felix; Rutledge, Steve; Van Sambeek, J.W.

Year Published

2013

Publication

In: Van Sambeek, J.W.; Jackson, Elizabeth A.; Coggeshall, Mark V.; Thomas, Andrew L.; Michler, Charles H. eds. 2013. Managing fine hardwoods after a half century of research: Proceedings of the Seventh Walnut Council Research Symposium; 2011 August 1-3; Madison, WI. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-115. Newtown Square, PA; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 90-100.

Abstract

Nut production from nursery-run black walnuts grown on 225 acres at the Hammons Products Company's Sho-Neff Black Walnut Farm in Stockton, MO, was evaluated from 1995 to 2010 to determine if nut production increased after thinning and fertilization in 2001. The farm consists of 11 upland and 10 bottomland plantings on sites ranging from unsuitable to well suited for growth of walnut. All 21 stands were thinned in 2001, removing about one-third of the trees, and fertilized with 60, 20, and 60 pounds per acre of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. Nine stands were limed to raise pH to 5.5 or higher. Five stands received an additional spring and fall application of nitrogen. Milled walnut shells and husk waste were periodically applied to 11 stands. Hay was harvested between rows 40 feet apart both before and after thinning and fertilization. Nut production increased on average 20 pounds per acre with one-third fewer trees over the 9-year post-treatment period compared to the 7-year pretreatment period. The modest gain in nut production suggests that competition between trees and low soil nutrients were not the major factors limiting nut production. These results cause us to wonder: can a grower expect early economic returns from nut production on an investment made in the culture of young black walnut from nursery-run or unimproved seedlings?

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Citation

Ponder, Felix, Jr.; Rutledge, Steve; Van Sambeek, J.W. 2013. Nut production in response to thinning and fertilization for planted walnut. In: Van Sambeek, J.W.; Jackson, Elizabeth A.; Coggeshall, Mark V.; Thomas, Andrew L.; Michler, Charles H. eds. 2013. Managing fine hardwoods after a half century of research: Proceedings of the Seventh Walnut Council Research Symposium; 2011 August 1-3; Madison, WI. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-115. Newtown Square, PA; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 90-100.

Last updated on: June 27, 2013